UK Boxing: Ryan Rhodes; Steve Foster Jr; Mickey Helliet


RYAN RHODES and Denton Vassell both scored impressive inside the distance on Hatton Promotions Christmas dinner bash at Manchester’s Palace Hotel on Saturday.

Local fighter Vassell stretched his unbeaten winning record to 16 stopping Brazilian Welson Alves de Oliveira in the third round..

The South American held his own in the first round, but couldn’t handle the Commonwealth welterweight champion’s power.

Although he wasn’t floored referee Steve Gray had seen enough after 56 seconds of round three when he turned away grimacing and pawing at his face.

In another scheduled eight rounder southpaw Ryan Rhodes stopped another Brazilian Rocky Junior, after 2 minutes 28 second of round two.

The import was floored twice during the round forcing Gray to step in to save him from further punishment.

Sheffield’s Rhodes, 34, has now won 45 of his 49 contests and is set to challenge for a version of the world light-middleweight title in the first half of 2011.

In the show opener Commonwealth flyweight champion Chris Edwards had a tougher time than his Hatton Promotions stablemates, but was too busy for Middlesbrough’s Francis Croes taking a clear 40-37 points win.

Edwards who is much better than his 15-14-3 record suggests will defend his title early next year.

The sell-out event raised money for several local charities with the main beneficiary Willow Wood Hospice.

Among the famous at the gala event was Hatton Promotions head Ricky Hatton, Anthony Crolla, Gary Buckland, Steve Foster Jr, Scott Lawton, Martin Murray, Scott Quigg and Mark Thompson,Matty Askin,Rhys Roberts,Prince Arron.


STEPHEN FOSTER JR will make the first defence of his European super-featherweight on Hatton Promotions first promotion of 2011.

His opponent will be mandatory contender Ermano Fegatilli in the Premier Suite ay Bolton’s Reebok Stadium on Saturday February 26.

Foster Jr, 30, scored one of the world’s best knockouts this year when he sparked Levan Kirakosyan to win his title in October.

He said: “I couldn’t believe it when I won the title, but I had better start because I have got a big fight coming up.

“I was really close to packing in, but since I signed with Ricky Hatton everything has gone great and I have been buzzing in the gym.

“Even when I wasn’t boxing in 2009, I was still in the gym working hard and everything has come together this year with four wins.”

Fegatilli, 26, has won 22 of his 26 fights and is on a eight fight winning streak stretching back to August 2008.

Ricky Hatton added: “It is a great way for Hatton Promotions to start 2011 with a top class title fight.

“Steve is a close friend of mine and to now be promoting his fights and helping him succeed gives me an even bigger buzz.”

The undercard of this spectacular show being televised live by Sky Sports will be announced later this month.

Hatton Promotions latest talent stacked show is certain to sell-out but you can get your tickets £75 (Ringside), £55 and £35 from 0161 775 7500, There is limited number of corporate packages – price on request.

Special agent Mickey Helliet

London based promoter Mickey Helliet has become the exclusive European agent for 23 South African professional boxers including former IBF and WBF heavyweight world champion Francois Botha. Botha nicknamed the “White Buffalo” has been in the ring with the likes of Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis and Helliet is already lining up his new charge for a heavyweight showdown in Europe and possibly the UK. The Londoner said, “Francois has boxed at the highest level and is still a capable and dangerous fighter with a recent win against Timo Hoffman and a draw against hot German based Cuban Pedro Carrion.

Helliet who currently manages over 40 UK based boxers will certainly be busy after taking on this latest crop. “I’m looking forward to working with them and making some good fights with them, many of them could qualify for Commonwealth title fights and so I will be looking for them to target that title ” Other big names include super middleweight WBF champion William Gare, bantamweight WBF champion Lbubalo Msutu as well as Light middleweight WBF champion Bongani Mwelase who fought Lovemore N’dou in his last outing and now has his sights set on a meeting with Manchester based Commonwealth king Craig Watson.

The full list of South African boxers now represented by Helliet is as follows;

Heavyweight Francois Botha, Heavyweight Anton Nel, Cruiserweight Zack Mwekasse, Cruiserweight Alex Mbaya, Super-middleweight William Gare, Super-middleweight Roland Francis, Super-middleweight Kgotso Motau, Welterweight Bongani Mwelase, Welterweight Gerald Nekhubvi, Lightweight Kgotla Baeti, Lightweight Zolani Marali, Featherweight Sabelo Jubatha, Featherweight Matima Molefe,Featherweight Malibongwe Toba, Super bantamweight Oscar Chauke, Bantamweight Lbubalo Msutu, Bantamweight Bongani Mahlangu, Super-flyweight Themba Joyi, Super-flyweight Bongani Mhlangu, Light-flyweight Shamila Kortman, Light-flyweight Wele Yekose. Helliet is also the exclusive European agent for Brazilian heavyweight Raphael Zumbano

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