Scottish star Ricky Burns will make the third defence of his WBO World Super-Featherweight title against the former champion Nicky Cook.
The pair will clash on Saturday 16th July at the Liverpool Echo Arena in a classic Battle of Britain.
Burns, from Coatbridge, is promising an exciting fight against his English rival..
“I’ve not had a defence against a domestic opponent yet, so I am relishing this one,” said Burns.
“Nicky has always been a fighter I have admired over the years and he’s a good fighter, and he we will be really up for getting his old title back on the night.
“But I will raise my game and deliver my first stoppage win as a champion.
“There’s always something special in the air when England and Scotland clash, and this fight will be no different.
“Nicky wants his title back, but even if he produces the performance of a life-time, he won’t beat me.”
Cook, who was also the British, Commonwealth and European Champion at featherweight, returned to action at the weekend on the big O2 Arena card, beating Youssef Al Hamidi on points after a long injury lay off.
And he says he is desperate to get his WBO belt back after losing to Roman Martinez – who Burns beat in a thrilling battle last September to claim the title – more than two years ago.
“I’m still hurting from that night,” said Dagenham’s Cook.
“The only way to heal the pain is to beat Ricky Burns.
“I felt I had the better of Martinez but I got sloppy and I got punished.
“But I won’t make the same mistake again.
“Burns has done well as champion, but believe me, I’m going in their all guns blazing to win back my old belt.
“I beat a Scotsman in Alex Arthur to win the title, and I’ll beat another one to get it back.”
Burns and Cook will meet head-to-head next Wednesday (1 June) for a press conference in Liverpool – details to be announced shortly.
Bam on boxing
BACK TO THE FUTURE
People often ask: “Why is the Philly fight game not what it used to be?” Fighters like Joey Giardello, Gypsy Joe Harris, Matthew Saad Muhammad, Eugene Cyclone Hart, Stanley Kitten Hayward, Bennie Briscoe, Willie The Worm Monroe, Bobby Boogaloo Watts, Charlie Choo Choo Brown and Richie Kates helped to build their reputations off inner-city rivalries.
Talented local warriors would fight each other two or three times. It helped to build competition and energy, pitting neighborhood against neighborhood, city against city. What happened? Where did it go? Why did it all disappear?
Rivalries spin when fighters from different local areas meet in the ring, even when they don’t live in the same city. Future light-heavyweight champion Saad Muhammad, of South Philadelphia, and Kates, of Millville, NJ, met in a classic on Feb. 10, 1978 at the Spectrum. That all-out war never will be forgotten in Philadelphia history. The same goes for the two Spectrum brawls between Hart and Briscoe, a pair of North Philadelphia neighbors who met in 1975 and 1976. Long before, Giardello’s wars with Gil Turner and Henry Hank were classics. What about Gypsy Joe’s big win over Hayward?
Is there a change coming? Do we smell something in the air? Are we going back to the future?
Up-and-coming welterweight Ronald Cruz (pictured on the left) will box Doel Carrasquillo on July 1 at the new Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, PA. Hometowns located so close make for passionate fans. Cruz is from Bethlehem; Carrasquillo from Lancaster, PA. Their hometowns are approximately 60 miles apart and that should make for its own intense, in-state rivalry. Cruz is 24, unbeaten, and on the way up. Carrasquillo is 38, with a good punch and a good chin and a reputation for knocking off young prospects. Passion and a challenge like the one Cruz is taking on makes for energy in the audience.
That energy needs to return. Philadelphia junior middleweight contender Gabriel Rosado is bringing back the importance of rivalries in the Philadelphia area. Last summer, Rosado met Derek Pooh Ennis at The Arena in South Philadelphia. Their 12-rounder for the USBA title had the liveliness to it that fight fans want. Why? It was because of the rivalry between two fighters and their neighborhoods, North Philadelphia (Rosado) and Germantown (Ennis). The atmosphere resembled a Big Five basketball game at The Palestra. Rosado lost the fight but it hardly put a dent in his career.
Rosado is making a name for himself. He has the heart and the confidence to step into the ring with any fighter willing to fight him. He did it earlier this year when he knocked out Philly rival Jamaal Davis at Bally’s Hotel Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. Now he’s doing it again. Rosado will showcase his skills against another local fighter, Harry Joe Yorgey, of Bridgeport, PA, on July 15, again at Bally’s. Though we would have liked to have seen Rosado vs. Yorgey in Philadelphia, it still will be a night and a fight to remember. Yorgey jumped at the chance to fight Rosado and that’s what we want to see from our local attractions.
Rivalries build a fighter’s resume and give the fighter the confidence and experience to help him on his way to, hopefully, a world championship opportunity.
COMING HOME: Philadelphia’s undefeated welterweight contender Mike Jones will stay busy when he faces Raul Munoz, of Leon, Mexico, on June 25 at The Arena in South Philadelphia. Jones built his resume locally before taking his show on the road to Dallas, TX, and Las Vegas, NV. Now he’s coming back to Philly for the first time in more than two years. Stablemate Teon Kennedy, a world-ranked super bantamweight, is right behind Jones on the international scene. He returns Aug. 13 at Bally’s. Looks like this will be a busy summer for Peltz Boxing!
IN OTHER BOXING NEWS: I would like to congratulate Bernard The Executioner Hopkins for becoming the oldest World Champion in boxing history, moving past the great George Foreman. BHop did this by exposing (former) light-heavyweight champion Jean Pascal last Saturday night in Montreal, Canada. Hopkins is a Philadelphia fighter who continuously had to prove himself and he added to his legacy. Gabriel Rosado (pictured with BHop), who sparred with Hopkins for the Pascal fight, said it best: “I can’t stop thinking about Bernard’s big win last night. Classic! I’m so blessed to be around a legend and learn the old school craft hands on. Philly doesn’t know what they got in a champ like Bernard. It’s time he gets the love he deserves.”…Philadelphia junior welterweight Steve Chambers’ scheduled fight on ESPN this Friday has been postponed…Boxing returns to Harrah’s Chester on Friday, June 3, and the next night, Saturday, June 4, there will be boxing in Atlantic City as well as Hamilton Township, NJ.
The author is a senior in sport and recreation management at Temple University. She recently joined Peltz Boxing as an intern. This is the second in a series of weekly columns.
Devine vs. Carr on 6/4
Luton Lightweight Michael ‘Chunky’ Devine will be back in action, against Trowbridge’s ‘Dirty’ Dan Carr, at the Olivia Goodwin Main Events promoted ‘Search & Destroy’ event at York Hall in London on Saturday 4th June 2011.
Devine-Carr will feature on the support card of Ryan ‘Mr Attitude’ Barrett’s International Masters Lightweight title defense against Kenya’s Geoffrey ‘The Tiger’ Munika.
It seems ironic that Devine will be fighting on the same bill as Ryan Barrett, as Barrett comprehensively stopped Finsbury Park’s Mark ‘The Flash’ Alexander to lift the title in September last year – the very same Mark Alexander who five months earlier ended Devine’s unbeaten run in similar fashion.
In March this year, following an eleven month sabbatical from the sport following that disastrous loss, Devine made his successful return to the fray, against the highly experienced Birmingham battler Sid Razak in Dagenham.
Throughout the bout Devine was divine, he plain out boxed the resilient Razak throughout. Razak is no walk over at the best of times but Devine outclassed him from start to finish to earn a convincing 39-37 points victory.
Speaking earlier this today Devine said, “Yeah, I’m back again. It was the first time I boxed in twelve months, it was good to get the rounds in. I made it tougher than I should have, but it was good to get in the ring again.
I thought I done better, but I watched the video and I’ve still got a few things to work on. I’m getting there and it was good to get the win and hopefully get another win on June 4th.
It’s a little bit of a step up so really looking forward to it.”
Devine then went on to talk about that fateful day in April 2010 that see him lose his precious unbeaten record, “Leading up to that fight last year, basically the training camp on the day I thought had gone well, but I was struggling to make weight. I think that’s why my resistance weren’t there. When I was warming up on the pads ready to go out I said to James (Devine’s coach James Paisley) I don’t feel right.
It was my birthday, my twenty first, had a lot of pressure. Something was missing, I didn’t have the pre-fight buzz or nothing. It was a learning curve and all that, I’m glad it happened now as it made me a better fighter.
When I went down in the first round, I thought I’m chasing the fight. I knew I could stop him if I landed, but I was too wild with my shots. It was a great learning curve for me though.
I know I showed heart against Alexander, but I can fight lots of different ways. I can stand there and trade. With Sid Razak I boxed. You’re going to see another different me on June 4th
I’m really looking forward to June 4th, it’ll be a good end to the first part of the season. I’m taking it one step at a time and want a six rounder by the end of the year.”
Michael ‘Chunky’ Devine versus ‘Dirty’ Dan Carr will be part of the fifteen bout undercard supporting the Ryan Barrett – Geoffrey Munika International Masters lightweight Title fight at the Olivia Goodwin Main Events promoted ‘Search & Destroy’ event at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London on Saturday 4th June 2011.
Tickets, priced £35 (Standard seated) and £50 (Ringside) for the ‘Search and Destroy’ event are available on-line now at www.tkoboxoffice.com, in person at The TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA or from any boxer appearing on the show. For further information call: 07960 850645