#FramptonAvalos Preview by Paul Ready @CWMCyclonePromo

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In the week of the 20th anniversary of Nigel Benn v Gerald McClellan, which was broadcast on ITV – British boxing returns to it’s “home channel”.

McGuigan who was part of the broadcast panel on that tragic night of 25th February 1995 – returns this time as manager and promoter of IBF Super-Bantamweight world champion Carl “The Jackal” Frampton.

The Clones Cyclone is no stranger to boxing on terrestrial TV – he won the WBA world featherweight title against Eusebio Pedroza back on 8th June 1985, that was viewed by 20 million people on BBC1.

Frampton (19-0: 13KO’s) – who turned 28 last Saturday – makes his first mandatory defence since snatching the title from Kiko Martinez in September last year.

The man in the opposite corner is American Chris “The Hitman” Avalos (25-2: 19KO’s) – trash-talker and a guy who has knocked out as many men as The Jackal has fought, Carl cannot afford to overlook him. Frampton however is confident that his style will make viewers watch in their droves and join his already swelling following.

Frampton told BBC Sport:

“If I turn up, I’ll win the fight, simple as that,” predicted Frampton, ahead of his first title defence.

“I want to keep on winning and look explosive in every single contest. He’s cocky but I’ll knock that out of him.”

“I had to take a bit of a break after injuring my hand in the Kiko fight and having to train over Christmas wasn’t nice,” said Frampton.

“I’d have preferred a complete rest but it’s one of those things that had to be done.

“I don’t know if Avalos is any better than Martinez but I’ll go in there expecting a tough fight. Kiko is a very good fighter and I dealt with him quite easily and Avalos is a good fighter as well.

“It’ll be an exciting fight while it lasts but I’m the biggest punching super-bantamweight in the world so it’s not rocket science what’s going to happen.

Stylistically I feel Avalos is tailor-made for Frampton – who will come forward swinging and allow The Jackal to box off the back-foot and catch him flush. It promises to be an explosive encounter from the first bell.

The Hitman, 25 yrs old has no qualms with fighting in Belfast in-front of a partisan crowd and doesn’t rate the champions power:

“The fans can expect a great fight. They will get a war if Frampton stands and fights and doesn’t run the way he likes to run,” Avalos said.

“Hopefully he will not stand off and run around like a little fairy. But we will have to wait and see.”

“I have fought stronger fighters than Frampton and I do not see anything special about him, nothing special,” he added.

“I have everything. I like my chin. I have been hit hard, but I have never been shook.

“I have never been dropped, and thank God for that.

“I have a strong chin and power, which is a lethal mix.”

I’m going for a Frampton 8th-9th round stoppage – but Avalos will bring it to him throughout.

Interestingly domestic rival and WBA regular champion Scott Quigg (30-0: 22KO’s) will be ringside to watch the fight on Saturday – that will no doubt fuel the flames of a blockbuster summer showdown.

On a packed under-card which will be shown on ITV4 from 7.30pm which contains exciting Heavyweight prospect Dillian Whyte; Middleweight prospect Conrad Cummings;Welterweights Denton Vassell and Paddy Gallagher; Super Featherweight Anthony Cacace and Featherweight Marco McCullough.

Attention then turns at 10.50pm to ITV for the main event – which won’t disappoint.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

@iam_yafai Exclusive Interview by Paul Ready

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Kal Yafai

I caught up with 25 yr old Super Flyweight contender Kal Yafai today. I was impressed by the maturity when he spoke and the sheer depth of his boxing knowledge.

2015 is a big year for Kal – boxing returning to Birmingham after 22 year absence by Matchroom as he “cuts the ring off” on his world title shot.

 

Kal – firstly thanks for your time. I want to get your thoughts on boxing returning to Birmingham and how you feel about it?

It’s massive. We’ve been waiting for a long time to come back home. I’ve boxed all over the country – I made my debut in Sheffield, boxed in Dublin and London. The closest I’ve got to home was headlining in Wolverhampton on Prizefighter – which was good, but it’s not home. My family and everyone I know is buzzing about. The demand I’ve had for tickets is huge – they are flying out the door!

 

Birmingham is a real hot-bed of talent now with yourself, brother Gamal, Frankie Gavin and young Sam Eggington coming through. It will be great to see boxing rebuilt there again in large venues. The gold at the end of the rainbow would be for you to box at St Andrews (Birmingham City’s ground) one day.

Definitely. That would be a dream one day to box there.

 

In reflection of 2014 – with regards to your progression & how active you have been – are you satisfied? 

To start the year I wasn’t active and I didn’t fight until the May. But the quality of the fights after made up for it. I won the Commonwealth and IBF Inter-Continental.

But I’ve needed the rounds and experience – which I got in November against Everth Briceno (Kal went 12 rounds for the first time in his career). He was a tough Nicaraguan and it was a great experience for me.

I coped with the distance well and answered any questions people had over whether I can last 12 rounds.

Briceno lost to Leo Santa Cruz in the 11th to a soft decision I thought – so that gives you an indication of the level I’m mixing at.

 

What are your goals and aspirations for 2015?

Today or tomorrow I’m sitting down with my trainer and Eddie Hearn to discuss our options – we have loads of routes we can go. There are opportunities in WBC and WBA, we could look at Flyweight too.

I’m confident that I will be world champion this time next year. (Kal is currently ranked #12 in the IBF.)

I’m boxing on the Kell Brook undercard on 28th March and obviously in Birmingham on 9th May.

I’m one of the hardest worker’s there are, you ask anyone who knows or has trained with me. You get out what you put in and I’m willing to put some serious work in – to get to where I want to be.

I’d love to box in America at some point; I think they would love my style. The jab is “God In Boxing”, once that jab connects and through the middle it’s a sickening punch, as they have to reset themselves. It’s very hard to counter. It’s something I’ve worked on.

I love America and I was travelling all over there and Mexico before Christmas, I can’t wait to fight there one day.

 

What would you say has been your best performance to date and why?

I’d have to say the Briceno one as it was a good performance, I could have upped the performance and gone through the gears. I dropped him 3 times and he survived. I learnt a lot by going 12 rounds. My hands were absolutely killing me in that fight and you have to go through the pain to succeed.

I do lots of hand strengthening to conserve them and I spend half hour to do that when training.

 

Who was your favourite fighter as a boy?

Sugar Ray Robinson was a fighter I loved watching. Sugar Ray Robinson was for me the greatest of all time.

Naseem Hamed was a hero growing when up to me and my family as he was Yemeni like us. Pernell Whitaker was a defensive master and Wilfred Benitez were two others I have huge respect for.

This might be a weird one I’d say Larry Holmes was a great too and the speed of his jab was unreal. I think I’ve modelled my jab on him in some way.

 

What is THE song or album currently on in your training camp?

Music at the moment – my missus downloads any album I want as she’s good at that!

Big Sean and Kid Ink are my two current favourite albums.

 

Finally Kal, you have some serious boxing talent in the Yafai family – with yourself and brother Gamal and Galal. You could be the Smith brothers of Birmingham.

It must be tough for your mum to see three of her sons fight?

My youngest brother Galal is a Light Fly, he’s a strong guy.  Stylistically very different to me and Gamal – he’s an allusive Southpaw and very tricky.

I think he’s training for ABA’s currently and he has all the ability in the world and is a natural boxer.

My mum gets to as many fights as she can but she does have her hands full (the Yafai family consists of 5 boys and 2 girls!)

It’s funny as mum feels bad for the guys we fight – but I explain to her that they are trying to rip our heads off and they certainly won’t feel any remorse towards us!

 

Kal – been a pleasure talking to you today. I’m hoping to be at Hull in a few weeks and no doubt you will be there supporting Gamal – so look forward to catching up then.

 

Nice one Paul – see you then!

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

@eggington_sam intends to take Singleton apart

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EGGINGTON: SHAYNE WILL FEEL THE PAIN IN HULL

Sam vows to take Singleton apart in March to land big Birmingham fight

Sam Eggington says he will rip the WBC International Silver Welterweight title from Shayne ‘The Pain’ Singleton at the Ice Arena in Hull on March 7, live on Sky Sports, and then wants a big title fight in Birmingham on May 9.

The Stourbridge talent meets the unbeaten champion in a clash that is sure to provide fireworks with the stakes high for both men. Singleton claimed the title in April with a comfortable win over Laszlo Fazekas in his hometown of Colne, but is most famous for a controversial win over Curtis Woodhouse to claim the English Light Welterweight title from the former footballer in March 2013.

Eggington landed a fantastic win over Denton Vassell in a great tear-up in his last major outing in September and the 21 year old is building a reputation as one of the most exciting fighters in the country. After signing a promotional deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing in October, Eggington’s future became even brighter with Hearn announcing he’d be a big part of Matchroom’s return to Birmingham alongside fellow Second City stars Frankie Gavin, Matthew Macklin and Kal and Gamal Yafai, and the Jon Pegg-trained fighter knows that he needs a big win in Hull to land a showcase fight in Birmingham to announce himself to the fight fans in the city.

“This is a massive fight for me,” said Eggington. “Shayne has a title that can open doors for me if I can take it off him. He’s unbeaten but I am very confident that I’ll take his belt. It’s great to have the two fights mapped out for me, if I can beat Shayne then I am sure that the fight in Birmingham on May 9 will be a big one and that’s a massive incentive. I want to put on a great show in Birmingham because that’s my first big hometown show so I want to really impress the fans.

“I like boxing in different cities and in big arenas, I’ve had a couple of fights at the M.E.N Arena in Manchester and at the 3Arena in Dublin, but to box at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham in front of a packed crowd of local fight fans will be brilliant. To do that though, I have to put in a great performance in next Saturday and that is all I am focused on right now, beating Shayne and doing it in style.”

Eggington’s clash with Singleton is part of a big night of boxing in Hull as hometown favourite Tommy Coyle meets former British Lightweight champion Martin Gethin and Luke Campbell MBE returns to the bill ahead of a potential summer showdown with Coyle.

World-rated Super Middleweight Rocky Fielding returns to action following his hand injury, Newcastle’s Light Welterweight star Bradley Saunders warms-up for his Commonwealth title challenge, Birmingham’s young Featherweight blaster Gamal Yafai is in action alongside a quintet of local talents Tom Knight, Nathon Smith, Charlie Payton, Connor Seymour and Ryan Fuller.

Tickets are on sale now priced £40 and £60 are available from Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900 and atwww.matchroomboxing.com

@luke11campbell displays huge mental strength to fight on March 7

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EMOTIONAL CAMPBELL TO FIGHT ON MARCH 7

Olympic star back on hometown bill

Luke Campbell MBE has decided to box on March 7 at the Ice Arena in Hull, live on Sky Sports.

The Olympic gold medal hero pulled out of the show earlier in February due to the ill health of his father, who had been moved to Dove House Hospice after a period of intensive care.

Campbell is targeting a summer showdown with fellow Hull Lightweight Tommy Coyle and despite initially pulling out of the show, the 27 year old stayed in the gym and as a result, he’s back on the bill and wants to fight for his father.

“After talking with my dad and my family I’ve decided to box on March 7,” said Campbell. “It’s been a difficult time for me but everyone wants me to crack on and succeed and I want to keep my momentum going as I approach an important phase of my career. I’m excited to box again in Hull on March 7.”

Coyle tops the March 7 bill in clash against former British Lightweight champion Martin Gethin, rising Birmingham star Sam Eggington challenges Shayne Singleton for the WBC International Silver Welterweight title, World-rated Super Middleweight Rocky Fielding returns to action following his hand injury, Newcastle’s Light Welterweight star Bradley Saunders warms-up for his Commonwealth title challenge, Birmingham’s young Featherweight blaster Gamal Yafai is in action alongside a quintet of local talents Tom Knight, Nathon Smith, Charlie Payton, Connor Seymour and Ryan Fuller.

Tickets are on sale now priced £40 and £60 are available from Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900 and atwww.matchroomboxing.com

@MatchroomBoxing and @Sauerlandbros in historic TV rights deal

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MATCHROOM AND SAUERLAND IN HISTORIC TV RIGHTS DEAL

 

12 World title fights plus Nordic Fight Nights to be shown via Sky Sports and Matchroom Fight Pass

 

Matchroom Boxing and Team Sauerland have agreed an historic TV rights deal to share their big fight nights.

 

The fantastic deal for fight fans will see 12 World title fights in Germany broadcast live on Sky Sports and on the Matchroom Fight Pass, with their Nordic Fight Night series also shown on the Fight Pass, Matchroom’s 20 shows on Sky Sports can be broadcast by the ProSiebenSat.1 media group in Germany on either SAT.1 television or its online platforms ran.de and maxdome.de, with Juergen Brahmer’s WBA World Light Heavyweight title clash with Robin Krasniqi on March 21 in Rostock the first to be aired. In addition to the deal, Matchroom and Sauerland will also have the opportunity to place their fighters on international cards.

UK fight fans will get up close and personal with the likes of Brahmer, WBO Super Middleweight World champion Arthur Abraham,  IBF Cruiserweight king Yoan Pablo Hernandez and rising stars such as Patrick and Micki Nielsen, Vincent Feigenbutz, Erik Skoglund and Jack Culcay. German fight fans will get to see international superstars in action like IBF World Welterweight champion Kell Brook, Super Middleweight World title challenger James DeGale MBE, WBA World champions Scott Quigg and Jamie McDonnell, Tony Bellew, Nathan Cleverly, former two-weight World champion Ricky Burns, WBC Featherweight World title challenger Lee Selby and Olympic Gold medal heroes Anthony Joshua MBE and Luke Campbell MBE.

 

“I’m delighted to get this done and be working closely with Kalle, Nisse and Team Sauerland,” said Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn.

 

“We will be able to place quality World Championship boxing on both Sky Sports and the Matchroom Fight Pass platforms giving fight fans to many of the biggest shows across Europe. In addition, we now have the ability to add our talent to these shows and allow our young talent to grow and develop and experience new surroundings. It’s a win-win for everybody.”

 

“This is a historic collaboration, in which there are only winners,” said Kalle Sauerland. “The fans in Germany can now enjoy regular international class fights on SAT.1 and their online platforms. In addition, the deal guarantees our boxers maximum exposure in the UK market. There, superstars are made.”

 

His brother Nisse Sauerland adds: “We will work closely together to enable our young stars to gain early important international experience. This cooperation is a milestone in the international market.”

 

Sauerland and Matchroom has long been working closely together. In May 2013, it hosted the mega-battle between Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler in the sold-out O2 Arena in London. Froch and George Groves broke records in their World title rematch in front of over 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium, and first Sauerland Event in England in September 2014 was also supported by Matchroom. Saturday night saw another collaboration between the promoters as Paul Smith fell to ‘King’ Arthur Abraham in their World title rematch in Berlin.

#GolovkinMurray Review by Paul Ready

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Gennady Golovkin v Martin Murray

Golovkin – wow!

Seems to be the general consensus – and I’m not talking about that outrageous robe he wears to the ring – velvet Versace surely!?

What a performance.

He was spiteful as he was accurate.

What was impressive about Golovkin?

Everything.

His movement & footwork is ridiculous. We’ve seen him cut-the-ring-off and stalk his prey before going for the kill, but this was truly a devastating performance. Huge credit must be given to trainer Abel Sanchez who has transformed the 32 yr old from an upright conservative puncher – (similar to the Klitschko’s) to the aggressive-puncher-boxer you see before you.

“Gennady has a completely different style than when he first came to me,” Sanchez said. “We’ve been able to modify it and convert it into a fan-friendly style. If I’d have kept him how he was – the best way to describe it is that he came over here boxing like a Klitschko – we wouldn’t be talking now.

“I was able to make a dramatic change, but I had to have a fighter who was willing to make that change with me. All of my guys fight similar styles, but they’re similar because we feel, well, I feel, they need to entertain.”

Abel Sanchez has developed his own DNA, inspired by the Ingle Gym in Sheffield – Sanchez made reference to the Ingle’s in his Big Bear Lake gym, shown on a recent video by Behind The Gloves.

Good Boy’s chin was tested on various occasions and he simply looked at Murray shrugging his shoulders – before continuing to break him down further.

Murray started well trading shots with GGG – before he was dissected and opened up. I feared for Murray in the 3rd as he was caught late but the bell sounded in-time to save him.

Two knock-downs ensued in the 4th – first a delayed reaction to a body-shot and the other a brutal uppercut – the end appeared nigh.

But credit to the 32 yr old Murray for surviving so long – he met the canvas again in the 10th after he was caught on the temple. He managed somehow to see the end of the round but you felt the “Big Drama Show” was coming to a conclusion.

In the 11th referee Luis Pabon had seen enough when a vicious combo was unleashed, he intervened and halted the contest.

Martin Murray put up a valiant effort and despite losing – he has won plenty of plaudits for his performance. He shouldn’t be too disheartened, he was beaten in my opinion by the most complete boxer in the world – Murray can secure a big fight off the back of this.

Golovkin, he wants WBC champion Miguel Cotto next – which is a fight I understand has to happen, but as a Cotto fan I would find it hard to watch him get completely butchered. Whether Cotto will “step-up” or vacate however is another question.

The winners of David Lemieux v Hassan N’Dam (IBF) and Andy Lee v Peter Quillin (WBO) will be on his hit-list for the remainder of 2015 – before a move up to 168lbs next year.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Andre Ward both took to Twitter on Saturday with digs at GGG.

Chavez Jr tweeted:

“Without his power he’s not that good of a boxer. I’ll bet you GGG a million dollars of the purse that I’ll knock you out if we fight. Come to my weight class GGG.”

Ward tweeted at the start of the fight:

“About to enjoy this good nap”

Now Chavez Jr famously “ducked” Golovkin last summer when the opportunity to fight presented itself, Golovkin’s trainer responded by saying that Chavez needs to call promoter Tom Loeffler to get the fight made as they are ready for June.

31 yr old Ward who is referred to in some quarters as “Son of Inactivity” will certainly be up for facing Golovkin at some stage – it’s a fight I expect to see in 2016. I’ve always felt that Ward would pose threats to Golovkin that would see the Olympic Gold Medalist victorious – however with his prolonged absence and the rapid development of GGG – this has made me seriously reconsider.

Whoever is next will have an insurmountable task of not becoming the 20th consecutive KO.

They all as it seems are destined become “Good Boy’s” in the end.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

@J_Warrington stops Tellez inside 5th at O2 World in Berlin

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WARRINGTON CLAIMS STOPPAGE WIN IN BERLIN

Leeds star bags vital rounds ahead of April bout

Josh Warrington warmed up for his WBC International Featherweight title clash with a dominant fifth round stoppage of Edwin Tellez at the O2 World in Berlin.

Warrington met the Nicaraguan over a scheduled eight-rounds in Germany, with the Leeds star out to get crucial rounds under his belt ahead of his meeting with Dennis Tubieron in Leeds on April 11, live on Sky Sports.

The 24 year old, roared on by over 500 fans from Leeds, controlled the pace in the opening rounds before unleashing a barrage of punches in the fifth session that caused Tellez’s corner to throw in the towel, Warrington moving to 20-0 with his fourth KO win – a highly satisfactory night in his first fight on foreign soil.

“It was a good workout and just what I needed,” said Warrington. “We had the chance to work on a few things in there which is great and I didn’t really get out of second gear and now I can focus on April 11 in Leeds.

“My fans are amazing, they were in great voice and the ones here tonight are the ones who go mad at all my fights wherever they are – I can’t thank them enough and I hope that they have had a great trip in this fantastic city.”

“Josh hadn’t boxed since October so this was a much-needed work out for him,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “It’s his first time boxing overseas and I don’t think it will be his last, so it was good for him to experience the whole occasion of fighting in a different country at such a young age.

“As for the fans – they are incredible. April 11 is going to be a fantastic night with 10,000 in the First Direct Arena and with that support behind Josh, there’s nothing to stop him going all the way.”

@gallaghersgym expects an explosive night in Berlin

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GALLAGHER: PAUL WILL GO IN GUNS BLAZING

Smith’s trainer predicts an explosive night in Berlin

Trainer Joe Gallagher says Paul Smith will lay everything on the line tomorrow night to rip the WBO World Super Middleweight title from Arthur Abraham at the O2 World in Berlin, live on Sky Sports.

Smith is back in Germany for a rematch with Abraham following their controversial first fight in Kiel in September, where lopsided scorecards led to a second crack for the Liverpool favourite.

Gallagher has been thrilled with the preparation for his 32 year old fighter who equipped himself so well in the first encounter, but he believes that with so much on the line for both fighters, there will be no doubt in the result this time.

“We have a game plan of course but there has to be more thrust and guns blazing this time because it’s win or bust,” said Gallagher. “Abraham will come to prove a point. He’s on a new TV network over here, he will want to win convincingly and to do that he’ll leave himself open at times and give Paul the opportunity to expose the weaknesses that he has, but at the same time, shooting from the hip as they say, there are gaps in Paul’s armour that Arthur will look to attack.

“I thought we might have nicked the first fight by a round, drawn or lost by a round. I couldn’t believe the cards and I have watched the fight back, Paul threw more jabs and more punches in the fight, and we can’t leave it to the judges this time. Paul has to go in there and give it hell for leather, constant tapping will crack the rock and that’s what we are hoping to do. It’s very hard to get a points decision over here, the record books show that, but Paul has had great training, we’ve been over to the MGM gym in Marbella to get out of England and break it up a little, we brought Chris Eubank Jr in for sparring along with David Brophy to add some nastiness and intensity to the sparring so I feel that we’ve covered all corners in the preparation and now Paul has to go out there and execute it.”

Smith tipped the scales at 75.1kgs with the champion scaling 76.1kgs in front of a huge army of fans from England in town to see both Smith and Leeds’ Featherweight sensation Josh Warrington (58kgs) who takes on Edwin Tellez (56kg) in an eight-rounder as he prepares for his WBC International title and World title eliminator clash with Dennis Tubieron in Leeds on April 4.

@PaulSmithJnr: I’ve improved – Abraham hasn’t…

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SMITH: I HAVE IMPROVED SINCE FIRST FIGHT – ABRAHAM HAS NOT

Liverpool man says the belt will be coming back to England

Paul Smith says that the confidence from his first clash with Arthur Abraham and the improvements in the gym means he will be taking the WBO World Super Middleweight title back to Liverpool after the pair rematch on Saturday at O2 World in Berlin, live on Sky Sports.

Smith pushed Abraham to the limit when the pair met for the Armenian-German’s belt in September in Kiel, where the champion held onto his belt but controversy reigned over the wide-margins in the scoring after such a close contest.

The Liverpool favourite landed the rematch he craved in December and has been working tirelessly in the gym with trainer Joe Gallagher to build upon the confidence from their first meeting and perfect a plan to leave the result in no doubt. Smith feels primed to rip the title from a champion that he respects, but does not believe can offer anything more than he did in their first meeting.

“I am ready and willing to do whatever it takes to get the win,” said Smith. “I am fit, I am strong and I have sparred very well; I know I have got what it takes to defeat him. He can be fitter and stronger this time around, but he cannot add anymore strings to his bow, he’s not that type of fighter, that type of man or that type of guy in the gym. What he does in incredibly effective, it’s won him many, many World title fights and I respect him massively, but there’s not going to be anything new from him.

“My sparring with Chris Eubank Jr was fantastic. He’s not got the same style as Abraham but a lot of his best attributes are similar, like Arthur he has a very good jab. We were both lucky getting that sparring, he wants it for his fight next week too, and we got some great rounds in. To get fit to fight you have to spar and spar hard rounds, and that’s what we did, and all that work in the gym and sparring has improved me.

“I always thought that this rematch would come. I would be lying if I didn’t think that it might not come off for one reason or another, the only doubt I had really was that he wouldn’t want the fight as he knows that he was in a hard and close fight. I know that everyone here wants him to fight Sturm, they are all looking at that as a big summer fight, so I am here to crash the party and take this chance that one or two people doubted I would get and prove I belong here.

“I think had that one card not been so out of line with the others then maybe I would have been defending my British title and looking at getting a European title shot or looking at facing Anthony or Andre Dirrell for a World title, the fights would have been there for me because I proved myself at World level in the first fight.

“I’m 32, I don’t want to be competing at a level below, I believe I can win this title and that’s why I am here. If the cards had been seven rounds to five for him then I would’ve accepted that as it was a 7-5 fight to him or me or a draw, I would have thought ‘I am in Germany, I don’t expect to get the nod in a tight fight’. I believe I won seven rounds in that fight, possibly eight, and many people watching the fight agree, some disagree, some sat on the fence and thought it was a draw, but it was never an 11-1 fight so the fact that a judge scored it like that probably opened the door for the rematch as the scoring was controversial.”

#AbrahamSmith2 #GolovkinMurray Previews by Paul Ready

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So here we are – the first trailblazing weekend of 2015 is virtually upon us.

Two Brits, two separate world-title challenges – buckle up as they are about to get busy!

I did debate putting two separate posts out for each review, but in such a saturated environment I decided to amalgamate two-into-one.

 

Arthur Abraham v Paul Smith Jr – 2 – WBO Super-Middle Title

The wide points victory of “King Arthur” last time round was outrageous.

One of the judges had it 11-1 to Abraham, the other two had it 9-3 which left everyone – myself included flabbergasted.

It was a very close fight, I had it 114-114 a draw and did anticipate the Real Gone Kid to lose on points – with the judges leaning towards the home-fighter.

Hats off to Abraham, he agreed to the rematch – which he didn’t have to do, and on Sunday morning will it be a decision he will live rue?

Smith (35-4: 20KO’s) is buoyant and in a confident mood at his chances:

“He’s saying that I won’t hear the final bell and I’m banking on it myself if I’m honest with you. I don’t want to hear the final bell. I believe I can get him out of there. Smith told SkySports.

“I think he’s old and showing his age and I believe I’ve learnt a hell of a lot from the last fight. There is a lot more I can do from the last fight which I’ve learnt from and I’ve picked up on.

“I’ll be surprised if he’s even watched the last fight. He’s a three-time world champion – it’s not something that he will worry about.

“It’s alright him saying he’s going to knock me out. He said it the last time. He couldn’t do it last time and he won’t do it this time.”

Can Smigga knock-out the German? I would have to say it’s unlikely as the 34 yr old champion has only been stopped once before – by Robert Stieglitz back on 2013.

How can and in my opinion will he win?

Work-rate.

The 32 yr old Liverpudlian needs to out-work and out-hustle the champion. In stages in the first fight, Smith looked like a seasoned title-challenger. The way he took the centre of the ring, was aggressive and applied pressure left me very impressed.

It’s surreal looking back that it was in fact his first world-title shot.

It won’t be an easy nights work for Paul – he will need to be switched on through-out but he can and I genuinely believe will emerge victorious. With Joe Gallagher in his corner, you have confidence that the game-plan devised will be meticulous and leave no-stone-unturned.

Verdict: Smith points victory by 2 rounds.

 

Gennady Golovkin v Martin Murray – WBA Super, Interim WBC Silver Middleweight titles

 

It has been well documented that this is Good Boy’s toughest test to date.

32 yr old Murray (29-1-1: 12 KO’s) is a former two-time world title challenger – drawing with Felix Sturm and losing controversially to Sergio Martinez (who he floored) in Argentina on points.

In both contests there is a valid argument that Murray “beat” both men.

The St Helens native is a legitimate top ten 160lb contender and one who Golovkin (31-0: 28 KO’s) won’t take lightly.

Whilst Murray is naturally the bigger man – he is a huge Middleweight, I do feel that his style is tailor-made for GGG.

Murray technically won’t be able to out-box nor display crisp movement to evade Golovkin’s bombs when unleashed – so he has to meet him in the centre of the ring and fight fire with fire.

I would love to see Murray put Good Boy under immediate duress when the bell sounds, the element of surprise could be absolutely crucial. The danger naturally of doing that to such a ferocious boxer-puncher is the fight could be over within two rounds. The shoot-out approach will win him plenty of plaudits, even in the expected event that he gets stopped.

Plan B for Murray which is less risky – would be to physically impose himself on GGG, make his size count. Perhaps tie the champion up in the clinch, lots of leaning – try to sap the life out of him – which effectively is survival mode!

Whilst I admire Murray’s lack of fear towards Golovkin, it’s very difficult to not see another brutal KO for the champion.

 

Verdict: Golovkin 5th-6th round KO. 

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net