@anthonyfjoshua eager to make up for lost time #GeordieRoar 

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JOSHUA: INJURY SETBACK HAS MADE ME HUNGRIER

Heavyweight hope back in the ring in Newcastle

Anthony Joshua MBE says his injury layoff has made him even hungrier for success as he returns to action against Jason Gavern at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports.

A stress fracture of the back forced Joshua out of his January bout with Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson, and the Olympic gold medal hero said it was tough not to capitalise on his rapid progress following another brutal KO win over Michael Sprott in Liverpool in November, but the 25 year old says he will be back and better than ever in the north east.

“I was on a roll and there was great momentum, but I think I can pick that up again,” said Joshua. “I wanted to fight but people were telling me not to and of course they were right. It will be great to fight in another massive city in the UK. I expect the atmosphere is going to be fantastic, the fans up there love their sport and I am really looking forward to doing my thing for them.

“It was going on since October but Heavyweights have big muscles to support your bones, so when it happened the muscles tensed up around the bone when I was training. I took two weeks off after the Sprott fight, the muscles relaxed and I didn’t realise it was a bone injury, I thought it was the muscle that was hurting. I got it checked and they said it was a stress fracture. I wanted to carry on training but had I done that it would have got worse and it could have even turned into a chronic injury. 

“You have to have great rehabilitation with an injury like that, with the best physios, doctors and medical advice you can get, I was able to tick over in an altitude centre and swimming for my core to make sure I didn’t get too heavy. I got back in the gym ahead of schedule but an injury that could have been a chronic one has been solved by eight weeks of rest.

“It’s not frustrating because when things are going well, there are always going to be hiccups. I had a broken hand and that healed up 100 per cent, the fractured back has healed up too – these things are going to happen, it’s how you deal with them, you have to stay positive, be smart, listen to the advice of the medial experts and pick up the momentum again and continue on the path I am on.

“My route is set up and it’s simple. I have been through my hard road and now the path is pretty clear. The pressure to be great, saying I can be the next this and that, or saying that I can’t, it’s just fuel to my fire. I want to be successful to thank those people that have helped me and backed me, and to those that doubt me I would want to say think twice before you think your opinion is fact. Life in general is hard and there are people out there with real problems, so the pressure I feel is nothing.”

Joshua’s clash with Gavern is part of a big night of action in Newcastle where South Shield’s Anthony Nelson faces Dundee’s Jamie Wilson for the vacant Commonwealth Super Flyweight title.

Local favourite Jon-Lewis Dickinson challenges Stephen Simmons for the Scotsman’s WBC International Silver Cruiserweight title, and there’s a family feel on the bill with Jon-Lewis’ brother Travis in action.

Jeff Saunders makes his pro debut and there’s a host of unbeaten local talent on the bill with unbeaten Cruiserweight Simon Vallily, Light Heavyweight Jordan King, plus a debut for Lewis Ritson and a second pro outing for Scotland’s Commonwealth gold medallist Charlie Flynn. 

Tickets are on sale now priced £40, £60 and £100 from the Metro Radio Arena at www.metroradioarena.co.uk and on 0844 493 6666.

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Ryan v Hibbert for Commonwealth Light Welter on May 30th

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RYAN VS. HIBBERT ADDED TO MASSIVE MAY 30 BILL

Light Welterweight dust-up joins World title bouts and Joshua at The O2

Dave Ryan will defend his Commonwealth Light Welterweight title against John Wayne Hibbert on the huge May 30 bill at The O2 in London.

The show already boasts two World title clashes plus a huge fight for Heavyweight favourite Anthony Joshua MBE, and fight fans will be licking their lips as the in-form Ryan and Hibbert clash in a rematch.

Derby’s Ryan landed the Commonwealth crown by taking talented Tyrone Nurse’s unbeaten record in Leeds in October, a result that followed his win over former World title challenger Paul McCloskey. Hibbert’s confidence is sky high after two great wins at The O2, landing the WBC International title in October with a fifth round stoppage of Leonardo Gonzalez and then defending it in style in January by stopping Tyler Goodjohn in eight rounds.

It’s also a revenge mission for Hibbert as the pair met in March 2013 in Essex, with Ryan edging that English title eliminator by just two points on the referee’s scorecard – a decision that Hibbert believes should have gone his way.

Mitchell challenges Jorge Linares for the WBC Lightweight title and Selby is looking to rip the IBF World Featherweight title from Evgeny Gradovich as Joshua meets former World Heavyweight title challenger Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson on a bumper night for fight fans.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing this rematch,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Both fighters have come a long way since the first fight and get the opportunity to do it again in front of a packed crowd at The O2. John has a huge fan base so I think most of Essex will be there on the night. It’s going to be a wonderful atmosphere and it’s a true 50-50 scrap for the title.”

Tickets are now on general sale for the bumper night of boxing at The O2 with tickets priced £40, £60, £80, £100 and £200 available from www.theO2.co.uk and on 0844 856 0202. The £400 VIP packages are exclusively available through www.matchroomboxing.com

#Unbreakable Review by Paul Ready

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Reporting ringside from Sheffield.

At a choker-block Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, the Steel City welcomed home it’s favourite son – IBF Welterweight Champion Kell Brook (33-0: 23 KO’s.

The whole production had the real ambiance of a big show, a homecoming & celebration of Brook’s fantastic victory back in August.

Michael Buffer introduced the champion as he made his descent to the ring with his synonymous theme song “All Of The Lights” playing – you sensed we were about to witness a demolishing.

Southpaw Jo Jo Dan (34-2: 18 KO’s) was a man that bar the Kevin Bizier victory, I hadn’t seen a great deal of – once the first bell sounded the gulf in class was crystal clear.

Once the 28 yr old champion settled into his groove – the timing & array of shots frequently landed – he made mandatory challenger Dan look very basic.

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Photo by Lawrence Lustig

In the 2nd round Brook put his foot on the accelerator as he dropped the Canadian/Romanian twice – he was merely warming up for the grandstand finish.

There was a legitimate argument for Dan’s team to consider pulling him out in the 3rd as the butchery was relentless.

The 33 yr old somehow survived the 3rd and met the canvas twice more in the 4th – he clearly had nothing left. Dan’s corner themselves agreed he had received sufficient punishment and the challenger retired on his stool at the end of the 4th round.

It was a battering pure and simple. The only slight criticism you could have was that Brook was loading up looking for that Hollywood KO – which would have been fitting for the occasion. Brook is one of my favourite British boxers and I’m looking forward to seeing what and whom is next.

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Photo by Lawrence Lustig

“It was hard today holding it together. I felt this is where I belong. I am sorry I have kept you waiting but I hope you have had a good night. I am back baby.

“What a heart. I caught him with some good clean shots n he kept getting back up. He’s never been stopped and he’s a legitimate World title contender that has never been stopped and I have just taken him out in style.

“You see little bits of greatness but much more to come from me and I will be back out in June in a massive fight.

“Amir Khan, Juan Manuel Marquez, Brandon Rios – those are the sort of names I want. Bring them on. I want to entertain the fans and want them to tell me who they want to see me fight – I think the answer is Amir Khan, and if he’s watching – let’s do it, come and fight me.

“I didn’t think I would ever walk again never mind box again and here I am defending my world title in style. I have been given a second chance. The best is yet to come.”

Brook v Khan is the overwhelming choice for the public and Brook’s camp – but how much does Khan genuinely want the fight?

I think he does but on his own terms. Interestingly I saw Adrien Broner tweet on Sunday that he held a “Facetime” conversation with Khan regarding those two meeting. Broner isn’t a natural Welter for me and a fight with Khan can be made the end of this year.

Brook v Khan, at Old Trafford or Wembley. I feel more confident about that fight happening than Quigg Frampton!

I would like to see Brook v Keith Thurman at some stage this year and with so many top Welterweights based in America – I hope we see Special K over there again in the not too distant future.

 

Frankie Gavin v Bogdan Mitic

Funtime Frankie made his debut for Matchroom in his first fight of 2015. The 29 yr old beat Mitic on points in what was a one-paced encounter.

Gavin’s last fight was back in November against Bradley Skeete – which he won on points in a rather forgetful encounter.

On May 9th Gavin faces the sternest test of his career against South African Chris Van Heerden. Both men have similar records and with the IBF International belt on the line – a shot at Kell Brook could be in the offing further down the line.

Gavin’s ability has never been in doubt but at the age of 29 he will know himself that it’s time to deliver performances that make everyone sit up and take notice – if he is ever to close in on a world title shot.

 

Adam Etches v Sergey Khomitsky

British boxing’s bogeyman Khomitsky struck again when he knocked Etches out cold in the 4th round.

The Ghost added the 24 yr old to his haunted list of Frank Buglioni, Jamie Moore. Nick Blackwell drew with the Belarusian back in October.

The 40 yr old veteran is beatable with 11 losses on his record – but only Gennady Golovkin has stopped him. Robert Stieglitz’s victory was a controversial cuts stoppage.

Many eyebrows were raised when Khomistky was announced for Etches, but after 18 fights he needed to be tested against a gatekeeper. Unfortunately for Etches he came up too short.

Etches looked wary of Khomistky’s power after the first few exchanges and the over-hand right you sensed was in the mail – about to be signed for.

The right hand that knocked Etches out left many gasps around the arena. When he stopped moving on the canvas, my instant reaction was that he had swallowed his tongue – fortunately this wasn’t the case and he eventually got back to his feet.

In the aftermath many have mentioned John Ryder – who was ringside – as an opponent for Khomistky. I feel the Blackwell fight is a better option for The Gorilla next as it’s for the British title and Khomistky is low-reward opponent.

Etches will need to re-build his career and look to get back in action soon.

 

Gavin McDonnell v Oleksandr Yegorov

McDonnell captured the European title on points in a dogged contest. I credit McDonnell for the victory as he was behind on the scores for me and both men were level going in to the final few rounds.

The 29 yr old is on the coat-tails of Kid Galahad and that would be a massive fight in Yorkshire. I would love to see that on the undercard of Brook’s next fight.

Many people I have spoken to about Galahad have described him as the real-deal & trainer Dominic Ingle rates him very highly.

The Super Bantamweight division domestically is becoming a real jewel in the crown. Carl Frampton, Scott Quigg, Galahad, McDonnell and Gamal Yafai coming in the next few years.

On a packed bill in Sheffield, there were victories for Kal Yafai, Stephen Smith, Jordan Gill, Kyle Yousaf on points and TKO’s for Charlie Edwards and Leigh Wood in the 3rd and 1st round’s respectively.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

Brutal Brook batters Dan @SpecialKBrook

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BRILLIANT BROOK DOMINATES DAN

 

The Special One destroys mandatory challenger in four rounds

 

Kell Brook sent out a chilling warning to his Welterweight rivals by dishing out a devastating four-round beating to mandatory challenger Jo Jo Dan in the first defence of his IBF World title at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield on Saturday night (March 28)


  

 

Photo by Lawrence Lustig

Brook came to the ring to a rapturous reception and rose to the occasion like an elite World ruler. The Sheffield star eased into the opening round and Dan felt the first of many right hands in the second half of the first stanza.

 

A sign of things to follow came in the second round as Dan hit the canvas early and then again after making the count, both from right uppercuts. The Romanian-Canadian was wobbled once more with a minute to go but gritted his teeth to hear the bell.

 

Brook cemented his dominance in the third round and Dan once again looked ready to fall and the writing was on the wall.

 

Dan was on the receiving end of another barrage at the beginning of the fourth and a flurry of punches floored him once more and again on the bell, where he was pulled out by his corner.

 

Brook moves to 34-0 with his 23rd KO win and The Special One was quick to thank his fans at the packed out arena before setting his sights on his next victim.

 

“It was truly amazing to walk out in front of all my fans,” said Brook. “I didn’t think I would ever box again but here I am filling arenas. I can’t put into words what it means to be back defending my World title.

 

“It was hard today holding it together. I felt this is where I belong. I am sorry I have kept you waiting but I hope you have had a good night. I am back baby.

 

“What a heart. I caught him with some good clean shots n he kept getting back up. He’s never been stopped and he’s a legitimate World title contender that has never been stopped and I have just taken him out in style.

 

“You see little bits of greatness but much more to come from me and I will be back out in June in a massive fight.

 

“Amir Khan, Juan Manuel Marquez, Brandon Rios – those are the sort of names I want. Bring them on. I want to entertain the fans and want them to tell me who they want to see me fight – I think the answer is Amir Khan, and if he’s watching – let’s do it, come and fight me.

 

“I didn’t think I would ever walk again never mind box again and here I am defending my world title in style. I have been given a second chance. The best is yet to come.”

 

Promoter Eddie Hearn added: “There is a little venue available on June 13 called Wembley Stadium. If Amir Khan is watching give everyone what they want. It is the biggest payday available and it’s for a World title.”

 

@SpecialKBrook: I’ll show you I am elite level Saturday night 

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BROOK: I’LL SHOW I AM AN ELITE FIGHTER

 

IBF king and challenger make weight in Sheffield

 

Kell Brook says he’s ready to prove he’s an elite level fighter when he defends his IBF World Welterweight title against number one mandatory challenger Jo Jo Dan tomorrow night at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, live on Sky Sports.

 

Brook is back in action following a rollercoaster ride in the last eight months, ripping the title from Shawn Porter in Los Angeles in August before a life-threatening attack on holiday in Spain just weeks later.

‘The Special One’ recovered from the attack and was told he would not only walk again but would be able to resume his career, and the Sheffield star has been on fire in the gym knowing that he’s back in the groove and at the top table of the lucrative Welterweight division.

 

“Every day has been a challenge but we have done it,” said Brook, who scaled 10st 5lbs 9oz at today’s weigh-in. “It’s amazing for me to defend the World title in Sheffield, with Michael Buffer announcing me into the ring, I will be stood there knowing that I was meant to do this and I belong at the elite level.

 

“I’ve come along way, fighting on undercards and in leisure centres to packing out this Arena as a World champion. It took me a long time to get that belt and there is no way on earth that Jo Jo Dan is taking it off me, not a prayer. I am going in there to excite, you’ll see flash and power. I’ve kept the fans waiting too long to fight again and I owe them a big performance. If Jo Jo does what he says he’s going to do and bring the fight to me well, the fans are in for a treat because you know how I fight. 

 

“He looks like a man that has come to win. He’s the mandatory like I was against Porter and I took the title off him. It’s every fighter’s dream to challenge for a World title and to take it, so I know that he’s put in 100 per cent in the gym and he will leave it all in the ring tomorrow night

 

“I would never overlook Jo Jo. It’s happened too many times in boxing that fighters are thinking about another fight and they lose the one in front of them. I am focused on him and I am making sure I take care of business. He’ll bring his best and I will bring my best, and I’ll show everyone why I am special, and I am looking to knock him out. 

 

“Nothing can be done about these super fights unless I do the business on Saturday night. There’s going to be power, speed, accuracy and World-class boxing from me.

 

“I hope Jo Jo Dan takes some nice memories back to Canada of Sheffield because that’s all he’s taking back with him.”

 

The challenger tipped the scales at 10st 6lbs 4oz and the Romanian-Canadian is confident he can upset the odds and take the title back to Montreal.

 

“I feel great and I am in the best shape of my life,” said Dan. “I cannot wait for tomorrow. The weigh-in is the first opponent to get past and now it’s time for the big one.

 

“I know what Kell’s strengths and weaknesses are and I’ll show that in the ring. He was impressive against Porter but I am ready to adjust to whatever he can bring and I am ready for 12 hard rounds.

 

“Who doesn’t want to fight Mayweather or Pacquiao for millions of dollars? Everybody. That’s the reality, the money is amazing. But I am concentrating on Kell Brook. I will get booed, he will get cheered – I don’t care about that, I’m so confident of winning that title.” 

 

Brook and Dan top a huge night of action in Sheffield as local favourite Adam Etches defends his IBF International Middleweight title against Sergey Khomitsky and Gavin McDonnell continues his fairy tale story challenging Ukrainian Oleksandr Yegorov for the vacant European Super Bantamweight title. 

 

Frankie Gavin makes his Sky Sports return as he prepares for his crunch clash with Chris van Heerden on May 9 in Birmingham. Stephen Smith and Kal Yafai continue their marches towards a World title and GB Podium squad member Charlie Edwards fights for the second time in the paid ranks on the bill. 

 

Limited tickets are on sale priced £40, £60, £80, £100 and £150 available from the Motorpoint Arena on 0114 2565656 and at www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk. VIP tickets at £250 are exclusively available from Matchroom Boxing at www.matchroomboxing.com.

 

@anthonyfjoshua ready for comeback in Newcastle against Gavern

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JOSHUA READY FOR COMEBACK AGAINST GAVERN IN NEWCASTLE

Olympic hero faces US Prizefighter finalist on April 4

Anthony Joshua MBE will face Jason Gavern at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle on April 4, live on Sky Sports.

Joshua is returning to the ring following a back injury and takes on the colourful American over eight rounds as Matchroom Boxing land in the north east with a bang.

The Olympic gold medal hero has blasted out all ten of his professional foes inside three rounds and the 25 year old is itching to get back into the ring after a four month absence.

“I can’t wait to get into the ring in Newcastle,” said Joshua. “It’s been frustrating being out of action but the injury has totally healed up and I will be firing on all cylinders next Saturday.

“Fans in the north east are mad about sport and I am sure it’s going to be a great atmosphere – I plan to put on a show for them.”

Gavern had success in previous outing in England where he defeated Larry Olubamiwo and former World champion James Toney to reach the Prizefighter UK vs. USA Heavyweights final in November 2013, where he was edged out by Michael Sprott. The Florida man provided a test for Joshua’s fellow hot Heavyweight talent from across the pond Deontay Wilder in August, and the American is planning to give Joshua a tough night.

“I’m excited to return to the UK,” said Gavern. “I had a great time in and out of the ring at Prizefighter and the fans were great. Anthony Joshua is a big talent but I’m confident I have the experience and have operated at a much higher level. Either way, we are going to find out plenty about AJ next week in Newcastle.

“I love fighting in the UK and England in particular as the boxing fans are so knowledgeable and passionate about the sport.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn added: “It’s great to see Anthony return from injury and I’m looking forward to seeing him face Jason in Newcastle. It’s a nice test on his return, Gavern has plenty of experience but Anthony has plenty of frustration to let out and north east boxing fans can expect an explosive performance in Newcastle next week.”

Joshua’s clash with Gavern is part of a big night of action in Newcastle where South Shield’s Anthony Nelson faces Dundee’s Jamie Wilson for the vacant Commonwealth Super Flyweight title.

Local favourite Jon-Lewis Dickinson challenges Stephen Simmons for the Scotsman’s WBC International Silver Cruiserweight title, and there’s a family feel on the bill with Jon-Lewis’ brother Travis in action.

Jeff Saunders makes his pro debut and there’s a host of unbeaten local talent on the bill with unbeaten Cruiserweight Simon Vallily, Light Heavyweight Jordan King, plus a debut for Lewis Ritson and a second pro outing for Scotland’s Commonwealth gold medallist Charlie Flynn.

Tickets are on sale now priced £40, £60 and £100 from the Metro Radio Arena at www.metroradioarena.co.uk and on 0844 493 6666.

“Lethal” @LucienReidy Exclusive Interview by Paul Ready

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The latest starlet to join Matchroom’s stable is 21 yr old Super-Bantamweight Lucien Reid.

Reid, makes his pro-debut on May 30th at the O2 Arena in London.

The prospect’s amateur career is impressive – he claimed a Senior ABA Elite 54kg title in 2013 and was a finalist at 56kgs the following year.

 

 

Elite Boxing:

Lucien – it’s great to meet you. Tell me, what got you in to boxing as a boy?

 

Lucien Reid:

What got me in to boxing was that me and my brother were having a fight outside my dad’s house. My brother was fighting another guy and to tell you the truth I was a bit scared!

My brother wasn’t throwing the right punches, dad came out and told us both that we need to learn how to defend ourselves – so he took us down to Repton Boxing Club.

Ten years down the line, I’ve signed a professional contract with Matchroom Boxing so it’s gone really well!

 

EB:

So are you saying that prior to that fight happening with your brother, boxing wasn’t really a hobby or sport that interested you?

 

LR:

I was 11 at the time, we initially got in to it for fitness purposes and to defend ourselves. It was never my intention to turn professional. Since then I wanted to be a boxer, I always loved the blood and the sweat, no tears at the age as I was only young. But I’ve done really well so far.

 

EB:

What was the first fight that you remember watching that made you fall in love with the sport?

 

LR:

It was shortly after I had my first competitive fight, I was round a friends house and we watched a Floyd Mayweather fight.

I loved his skill, loved his defence, I loved his movement and that’s what I base my style on. (Peter Sims believes he is similar to Kal Yafai).

My style is based on a lot of movement and a lot of speed & fast reactions.

 

EB:

The Super-Bantamweight division you are entering is really exciting not only domestically but also internationally.

How do you view the division at the moment?

 

LR:

I’m glad I’m in such a great division as all being well there could be some big fights to be made a couple of years down the line.

But I’m looking forward to getting out there, exciting people and letting the big guys in the division know my name.

I want them to know that I will be coming in the next few years to challenge for some titles!

 

EB:

I think everyone shares the sentiment that Guillermo Rigondeaux is the main man in the division. 

Just underneath that you have Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg in the UK. That fight is hopefully going to happen in the summer – how do you see that bout panning out?

 

LR:

Rigondeaux is unbelievable and definitely the best in the division. 

The fight with Frampton and Quigg if it happens is going to be amazing, I really can’t pick between them. It’s a great blend of styles and its a definite 50-50 contest.

The winner of Quigg and Frampton I’d like see face Rigondeaux.

 

EB:

To go back to yourself Lucien, talk me through your amateur career in more detail.

 

LR:

My amateur career started around ten years ago. I boxed for Repton for five years and for West Ham for five years. 

For Repton I got to the NABC Finals and lost by 1 point which was disappointing obviously. In the same year I got to the ABA Juniors Final and I lost by 1 point as well.

I went into the Seniors, I’ve done three Senior Championship’s, first I lost to Reece Bellotti in the Quarter Finals on a close decision.

Second year – 54kgs I went in and beat everybody comfortably winning the ABA’s. In my third year I got to the final at the Liverpool Echo Arena and lost to Qais Ashfaq. Qais is Team GB’s number 1 at that weight, he got a Silver in the Commonwealth games.

 

EB:

You are on the verge of making the transition from amateur to pro under Peter’s guidance.

Outside of this gym, who have you sparred so far?

 

LR:

I haven’t sparred many pro’s prior to coming here. I had sparred Charlie Hoy which was great for me – he has great head movement that helped me develop.

I’ve had loads of trials in Sheffield at Team GB, I had around ten trials over two years. I’ve sparred the top guys in the country there – Charlie Edwards, Jack Bateson, Peter McGrail, Jack Daniels, I’ve sparred loads up there.

 

EB:

You’ve been with Peter now for a month I believe. He’s a massive character isn’t he?

 

LR:

Haha! Yeah he is, but he’s a nice man. I know he wants the best for me.

I can’t wait to make debut on such a big show at the end of May.

I keen to progress quickly and I feel that I have the best team around me now. The sparring I can get at this gym, Tony Sims’ gym and possibly going up to spar Scott Quigg in the future would be fantastic for my development.

 

EB:

Lucien, it’s it’s been great talking to you. I best let you go and do the rest of your training before Peter comes looking for me!

Is there any final things you wish to add?

 

LR:

Thanks Paul – enjoyed it.

I’d like to thank my mum & dad for putting up with my diet and my moodiness!

A special thanks to my sponsors D&G Glazing, Muscle Food and L&O Meats.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ticket information for @MatchroomBoxing May 30th O2 show 

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TICKETS FOR MAY 30 BLOCKBUSTER ON SALE ON MONDAY

Fight Pass fans can buy on March 30 – General Sale on March 31

Tickets for the huge show at The O2 on May 30 with World title fights for Kevin Mitchell and Lee Selby and Heavyweight sensation Anthony Joshua’s meeting with Kevin Johnson go on sale to Matchroom Fight Pass members at 9am on Monday March 30 and then on general sale the following day.

Mitchell will take on three-weight World king Jorge Linares for the Venezuelan’s WBC Lightweight crown and Selby faces Evgeny Gradovich for the Russian’s IBF Featherweight strap. Olympic gold medal hero Joshua faces two-time World title challenger ‘Kingpin’ Johnson in his biggest test in the pro ranks, with the Londoner fighting in Newcastle next week to make his return from injury. Amateur talent ‘Lethal’ Lucien Reid makes his pro debut on the bill, and more big fights will be added to the card soon.

Tickets are priced at £40, £60, £80, £100 and £200 with VIP packages at £400, and go on sale to Matchroom Fight Pass members at 9am on Monday March 30 at www.matchroomboxing.com

The general sale begins at 9am on Tuesday March 31 with tickets priced £40, £60, £80, £100 and £200 available from www.theO2.co.uk and on 0844 856 0202. The £400 VIP packages are exclusively available through www.matchroomboxing.com.

@SpecialKBrook:      “Hometown return is going to be so emotional”

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BROOK: HOMETOWN COMEBACK IS SO EMOTIONAL

Sheffield star wants to mark his return with five-star performance

Kell Brook steps between the ropes for the first time as a World champion on Saturday night as he defends his IBF Welterweight title at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield against Jo Jo Dan in ‘Unbreakable’ presented by FX World, live on Sky Sports in the UK and on SHOWTIME in the US – after fearing he may never walk again after the shocking attack he suffered on holiday in Spain in September.

Brook ripped the title from Shawn Porter in Los Angeles in August with a stunning performance in the American’s backyard, but just two weeks after that win, Brook was fighting for his life in hospital after a machete attack whilst on holiday in Spain

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Photo by Lawrence Lustig

The unbeaten Welterweight king has made an astonishing recovery to get back into fighting shape, and Saturday night will be an emotional occasion as Brook’s incredible journey continues.

“Winning the title was an unbelievable buzz and for two weeks I was flying but after the attack, I was down in the gutter,” said Brook. “I was feeling sorry for myself just lying there in bed, but now I am back and better than ever.

“I’ve come a long way from the injury, not knowing where I would be with the leg. I’ve put it under severe stress in a full camp and I have had no problems with it. It was hard at the beginning but we took baby steps and slowly but surely we got up to full speed and tonight couldn’t come quick enough to defend the title in my hometown – it’s going to be so emotional.

“The leg is fine, I do everything that I used to do, there’s no pain and it’s not holding me back at all.”

Brook was barely able to celebrate his triumph with the attack coming so soon after his win in the States, and ‘The Special One’ feels the attack took the gloss off of his achievement.

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Photo by Lawrence Lustig

“I don’t think that I got enough credit for the win,” said Brook. “Before the fight people were saying that I hadn’t been in with anyone and I said that after I beat Shawn Porter, ‘the Mike Tyson of the 147lb division’, give me the respect that I deserve. Everybody agreed but I still don’t really feel I have had the respect for going into the guy’s backyard and doing what people said I couldn’t do and beat him, school him.”

Brook was mandatory for Porter’s belt and now he faces the number one contender for the strap in the Romanian-Canadian Dan. The 33 year old edged out Kevin Bizier in Quebec in December to land the shot at Brook, and the champion says that while he knows he faces a stiff test, he is only too aware of the huge fights that he could be involved in huge fights in the summer.

“Mandatories come along and you have to deal with them,” said Brook. “He’s earned his position like I did against Porter, so he gets his chance to take that title off me – but that’s not happening. I am not looking past him, but I know that there are massive fights out there for me in the division and after I take care of business tonight, I am free to fight anyone.

“Keith Thurman is making a lot of noise these days, Brandon Rios, Andre Berto, Juan Manuel Marquez and of course Amir Khan, there’s many top names in this brilliant division and I am in a great position holding a belt and sitting at the top table in the division.”

Brook’s clash with Dan is part of a huge night of boxing in Sheffield as local favourite Adam Etches defends his IBF International Middleweight title against Sergey Khomitsky and Gavin McDonnell continues his fairy tale story challenging Ukrainian Oleksandr Yegorov for the vacant European Super Bantamweight title.

Frankie Gavin makes his Sky Sports return as he prepares for his crunch clash with Chris van Heerden on May 9 in Birmingham. Stephen Smith and Kal Yafai continue their marches towards a World title and GB Podium squad member Charlie Edwards fights for the second time in the paid ranks on the bill.

Tickets for ‘Unbreakable’ presented by FX World are on sale priced £40, £60, £80, £100 and £150 available from the Motorpoint Arena on 0114 2565656 and at www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk. VIP tickets at £250 are exclusively available from Matchroom Boxing at www.matchroomboxing.com.

24/03 – Boxing Update by Paul Ready

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As British Summer Time officially begins in the early hours of Sunday morning, everyone becomes more upbeat.

Longer evenings, beach bodies made at salad bars and of course our glorious sport moves towards the business part of the season. 

  

With Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao finally announced it has yielded a much-needed “double vodka & redbull” to proceedings.

Let’s focus on where we are in the UK.

James DeGale (who I interviewed & spent time with last week) is expecting his IBF world title shot against Andre Dirrell to be announced momentarily.

Warriors Boxing based out of Florida won the purse-bid with an eye-watering $3.1m. Chunky will have to travel to America to make history in May.

Kevin Mitchell off the back of his career-best performance over Daniel Estrada in January has another crack at a world-title against WBC Lightweight champion Jorge Linares.

Matchroom have pulled a masterstroke delivering that fight in Mitchell’s home-town of London – the roof will come off the O2 on the 30th May.

Tony Sims told me a few weeks ago that Kevin Mitchell is the most talented fighter he has ever trained – the 30 yr old does things in camp that you can’t teach.

Mitchell brimming with confidence and I simply cannot wait for that fight.

On the same bill Lee Selby faces IBF Featherweight world champion Evgeny Gradovich.

Selby is the bookies favourite for this fight. I spoke to Selby last month and he was out in Omaha for Gradovich’s last fight. The 28 yr old perceives him as a similar come-forward fighter to Joel Brunker – the Welshman is confident he will break him down and stop him late.

Former two-weight world champion Ricky Burns makes his US debut on 9th May against Omar Figueroa.

Rickster has endured a hellish 12 mths breaking his jaw, losing his world title to Terence Crawford, a long protracted court-case with a former promoter, change of trainer to Tony Sims and culminated with a loss in the first fight under him.

Anything that could have gone wrong for the 31 yr old had. I think it says a great deal about his resolve that he still has that desire to fight – I hope he comes back with a bang.

Anthony Joshua has flown slightly under the radar this year due a back-injury.

The Olympic gold medallist was due to face Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson at the end of January – which has been rescheduled for 30th May – some card that will be!

When Joshua steps in the ring next month in Newcastle against a yet unnamed opponent – it will mark a near six month absence since his last fight.

The 25 yr old was involved in a brief spat on Twitter with former amateur foe Dillian Whyte some weeks back. Whyte who boxed on the recent Carl Frampton and Chris Avalos bill is very keen to face AJ again in the pro-ranks – I hope we get to see that score settled once and for all this summer.

Matchroom Promoter Eddie Hearn is reportedly due to meet Barry McGuigan of Cyclone Promotions tomorrow (Wednesday) morning in London to “thrash-out” a deal for Carl Frampton to face Scott Quigg this summer.

The two Super-Bantamweights have long been affiliated with one-another – all being well we can finally see this match-up in what I anticipate to be THE fight in the UK this year.

Amir Khan seems to be the one man without a date for the summer prom so far. He was stood up again by Floyd Mayweather and unless he moves quick he could be dancing on his own for a while.

Adrien Broner has declared on Twitter & Instagram that he would be keen to face the 28 yr old, but after The Problem was found out at 147lbs against Marcos Maidana – I feel he needs to box a bit longer at 140lbs before moving up naturally.

So who does that leave for Khan?

Timothy Bradley would be a good option but it was challenging enough to get Bob Arum and Al Haymon round the table for Mayweather v Pacquiao. I’m not going to hold my breath on that one.

 

So as you can see, there are fights announced and plenty bubbling in the background.

 

The next few weeks and months will be seductive – time to musk up lads…

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing,net