Fight analysis – Katsidis-Burns, Groves-Smith, Boulden-Saunders; Jose Antonio Rivera Seeks Fourth World Title

By Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro: I’m sure promoter Frank Warren must have been chanting ‘Remember, Remember the Fifth of November’ as he was planning his upcoming triple Championship headed ‘Gladiators’ show, which will take place at Wembley Arena on Guy Fawkes Night and shown live on BoxNation (Sky platform 456).

The pugilistic pyrotechnics on display will culminate in an explosive finale as former WBO Super Featherweight World Champion Ricky Burns and the Brit Bashing Aussie Michael Katsidis lock horns for the interim World Boxing Organization (WBO) Lightweight World title.

Katsidis is no stranger to battling it out on British shores, having stopped both Graham Earl and Kevin Mitchell in spectacular fashion, so will feel quite at home when he faces Coatbridge’s former Super Featherweight supremo Ricky Burns.

It bodes well that Burns has been stating that he feels stronger, since vacating the WBO title and moving up to the Lightweight division, as his good pal Kevin Mitchell can attest Katsidis is one seriously tough cookie.

Since beating our Kev, Katsidis has been in three seriously tough fights, the first against World #1 Juan Manuel Marquez, who he sent to the canvas prior to being stopped himself, then he took World #2 ranked Robert Guerrero the full distance. In his last fight Katsidis came back, from those two back to back losses, to KO Mexico’s Michael Lozada.

Burns on the other hand is unbeaten since 2007 and defended his World Crown three times, since beating Roman Martinez to lift the coveted title in September 2010.

It’s going to be a great fight but unfortunately I have to say that I think Katsidis, who’s a big Lightweight, is the stronger of the two and has to be the bookies favourite to win the triple crown by adding Burns to his list of British victims.

Heading up the explosive undercard sees George Groves defend his British and Commonwealth Super Middleweight titles against former British Champ Paul Smith.

Groves is riding high after his magnificent victory over James DeGale, but can’t afford to be too complacent against former champ Smith.

Yes I know, Smith lost his crown to DeGale and Groves then went and took it from DeGale, but believe me this is no easy fight for Groves.

Smith is not going to make the same mistakes, tactically, as he did against DeGale and as such is likely to revert to his normal style and bring the fight to Groves.

Both Groves and Smith fought different fights to how expected when they faced DeGale so any comparisons to those fights is right out of the window. I feel that this fight we’re likely to see them playing their normal game and as such are likely to see Smith coming forward with Groves boxing of the back foot for the first three or four rounds, then the more it goes on the real fireworks are likely to start as they go head to head.

The third championship bout on the card sees undefeated Middleweight sensation Billy Joe Saunders challenge Gary Boulden for his BBBofC Southern Area belt.

Saunders, a former Olympian, is without doubt one of the most exciting young fighters around today and to be honest I can see this fight, against the defending Champion, ending very much the same way as his past four bouts.

Boulden is a great Southern Area level Champion, but BJ is way above regional level or come to that domestic level. In his last four fights he barely broke into a sweat before dispatching his opponents, all in under 6 minutes.

Also on the card is ‘Del Boy’ Dereck Chisora, making his welcome return to the ring, since losing his British and Commonwealth Heavyweight straps to Tyson Fury back in July. On November 5th ‘Del Boy’ will be facing fellow Londoner Larry Olubamiwo.

As with Boulden-Saunders I can’t see this lasting very long at all as big Larry O isn’t in the same class as Del Boy, by a country mile, and I reckon Olubamiwo will be seeing stars before the end of the first round.

Also on the excellent card are ‘Super’ Bradley Skeete, Darren Cordona, George Michael Carmen as well as Billy Joe Saunders are fellow Jimmy and Mark Tibbs trained/TRAD TKO gym mates Frankie Buglioni and Gary Corcoran.

Frank Warren Promotions ‘Gladiators’ headlined by the interim WBO Lightweight title clash between Ricky Burns and Michael Katsidis will take place at Wembley Arena, and broadcast live on BoxNation (Sky Platform Ch. 456), on Saturday the 5th November 2011.

Tickets, priced £150 (Ringside), £100 (Floor), £75 (Floor), £50 (Tier) and £40 (Tier), are available now on-line at or from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA

Jose Antonio Rivera Seeks Fourth World Title; Promotional Free Agent

Former three-time world champion in two different divisions and Worcester, MA’s own “El Gallo” Jose Antonio Rivera (41-6-1, 24 KOs) is ready to step up into some big fights in 2012. This announced in a press release on Wednesday by Ten Count Media, Rivera’s publicist.

The former IBO welterweight, WBA welterweight and WBA junior middleweight world champion, Rivera is a promotional free agent and is also acting as his own manager. He is looking for a major fight in 2012 that will get him back into the world title picture, and is looking to align himself with a promoter that can make it happen. Rivera is hoping to get one more fight under his belt before stepping up to challenge anybody in the top ten in the junior middleweight division.

“El Gallo” captured his first world championship, the IBO welterweight title, back in 1997 near his hometown in Springfield, MA with a second round stoppage of Gilberto Flores. In 2003, Rivera, in what many believe to be one of his career defining fights, won the WBA welterweight world title by defeating Michael Trabant in his own backyard of Berlin, Germany. His third world championship was another WBA world title, this time as a junior middleweight when he defeated Alejandro “Terra” Garcia in his hometown of Worcester, MA in 2006.

Ten Count Media released in the statement, “We are very excited to have to have “El Gallo” Jose Antonio Rivera as a client, as he works towards his fourth world championship. He has the power, skills, and ring generalship to obtain his goal of a fourth world title, and we are thrilled to be able to be a part of Team Rivera.”

The 38 year old Rivera is (3-0) in his last three fights and (2-0) after a two and a half year hiatus. He fought for the first time since 2008 this past May on a Paxton Promotions fight card where he won a convincing unanimous decision over Connecticut’s Luis Maysonet. The other fight back in July featured Rivera in a tune-up fight as he shut out Paul Mpendo over eight rounds on a Classic Entertainment and Sports promoted event.

When asked for a comment in regards to him becoming a promotional free agent and why he is back boxing again, the former three-time world champion, Rivera said, “I am very excited to be back in fight mode. I took time off from boxing because of personal and boxing issues, injuries, and frankly, boxing just wasn’t fun anymore.”

“The time away from boxing helped me heal mentally and physically and it allowed me to fall in love with the sport again. I missed the optimal training, competing at a world championship level and being around my team. I feel strong and healthy which is the only reason why I am doing this again.”

“I am a young 38, but I am also not planning on breaking Hopkins record. I have a short window and my hope is to capitalize on the opportunities that come my way. I am driven by success and motivated to succeed no matter what the odds. Now I have this challenge in front of me and I hope I can find some interest in a champion willing to risk their title against a former world champion and veteran such as myself.”

Bailey and Jupp believe Tseveenpurev is too old to win Prizefighter Featherweight tournament

Choi Tseveenpurev is one of the favourites for Saturday night’s Prizefighter Featherweight tournament live on Sky Sports – but two of his rivals believe he is too old to lift the trophy.

The Mongolian Warrior is fighting in Prizefighter for the second time having lost in the semi-finals of the Super-Featherweights to Derry Mathews last November and since then the popular London-based fighter has turned 40.

The bookies haven’t been deterred by the former World Champion’s age, but TRAD TKO gym pals Ian Bailey and George Jupp believe that the years under his belt mean Choi won’t be pocketing the £32,000 winner’s cheque in the 22nd edition of Matchroom Sport’s revolutionary eight-man, one night tournament.

“I don’t see Choi as the favourite – as scary as he looks!” said Slough’s Bailey (7-7). “He’s really not a three, three round fighter for me and you wonder whether he really had much of an amateur career. Someone like Lee Jennings had an 80-plus amateur career and he can just fall back into that easily. He might be able to pick his way through fights and conserve energy with an amateur style whereas you know with Choi that it’s going to be a brutal three rounds.”

“I think it could be an advantage that I am young and fresh with only four fights,” added Jupp, from Bexley (3-1). “Choi is probably the favourite but he’s 40 years old now and his best days are behind him. I believe in my ability and it was too good an opportunity to turn down just because of my inexperience.”

Choi, Bailey and Jupp are joined in the line-up by unbeaten pair Lee Glover (6-0 from Tipton) and Troy James (9-0-1 from Coventry), Liverpool’s Lee Jennings, Manchester prospect Rhys Roberts and Nottingham’s Barrington Brown.

Tickets for Prizefighter Featherweights at York Hall, Bethnal Green in east London on October 29 are available from Matchroom Sport priced £35 unreserved, £60 ringside and £100 VIP – to buy call Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900.

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Boxing News Fight analysis – Katsidis-Burns, Groves-Smith, Boulden-Saunders; Jose Antonio Rivera Seeks Fourth World Title