Marston: Aiming For A Big Win On May 2nd – Tell O’Connell I’m Coming For Her Title Next

MarianneMarston2ndMay2015Marston: Aiming For A Big Win On May 2nd – Tell O’Connell I’m Coming For Her Title Next

 

British #1 and reigning MBC International Super Bantamweight Champion Marianne Marston is set to return to the York Hall in London’s East End, the scene of her sensational Championship securing victory over Marianne Gulyas late last year, in a few weeks time, where she will face a yet to be named opponent on the Mark Lyons & Billy Elliott promoted LORDS OF THE RING event on Saturday 2nd May 2015.

 

Back in October Marston utterly dominated proceedings against the then Hungarian #1, European #3 and World #31 ranked Gulyas to secure the vacant MBC International Super Bantamweight title.

 

From start to finish it was the slick British southpaw that took the fight to her much vastly more experienced opponent, aggressively going forward, utilizing her sharp jabs and stinging lefts to great effect.

 

MarstonGulyas6261WEBREADYThroughout Marston appeared to be able to pick off her opponent at will, in doing so left Gulyas no option but to defend on the retreat.

 

During the bout, which was fought at a frenetic pace, Gulyas visited the canvas no less than seven times, however only two of these were counted as knockdowns by referee Alf Sprung, who waved the others off as slips or pushes.

 

After ten scintillating rounds of boxing, Judges Ben Doughty (UK) and Matt Hamilton (South Africa) scored the bout 100-89 whilst judge Lee Murtagh (UK) scorecard read 99-88 all in favour of Marston.

 

The superb shut out victory rocketed Marston up the rankings, as well as earned her a World title shot, against reigning WIBA Champion, Australia’s Shannon O’Connell, which will take place later this summer.

 

However it is the upcoming bout that Marston is currently focusing on, as she made clear when she spoke earlier.

 

“I’m really looking forward to fighting again, especially back at York Hall.

 

MarianneMarstonMelissaLewars6279WEBREADYIt’s close to six months since I won the title, I have to admit I hoped to be out much earlier this year, but for one reason or another that just didn’t happen.

 

If I had I would have either defended the MBC title or fought for the WBU European title again, but with the World title fight coming up this summer it was decided that rather than having all the pressure that comes with a title fight, we would find an opponent with a similar style to Shannon (current WIBA World Champion Shannon O’Connell) to fight on May 2nd so we could use this as a seriously testing dry run as such.

 

I know I won every single round against Marianna (Gulyas) but her style is very different to Shannon’s, luckily though my main sparring partner is Ian Napa, Ian is so experienced and can box in any style, which is great as we know can prepare properly for both Shannon and my May 2nd opponent.

 

Ian’s brilliant, having someone that’s been there, done that and has the t-shirt to prove it, I honestly believe it’s his input to my preparations that makes all the difference, I mean he’s won both the British and European titles twice as well as fought for numerous titles, so really knows what is needed.

 

It also helps that I have a great experienced team around me, my coach Brian O’Shaughnessy really has bought me on, now instead of being more or less one dimensional in my approach I’m now fully rounded and can box in any style, even on the back foot, which is something I always found hard to do.

 

Mind you when you’re sparring people like Ian (Napa), Sunny (Edwards) and Ian Bailey all the time, you need to be able to adapt, so some of the praise has to go to them also.

 

I’ve really enjoyed being the MBC International Champion, winning the title has affected me in such a positive way, can’t explain it, but it’s like I’m a different fighter now, maybe that’s just the confidence of knowing I can go ten rounds with a World ranked fighter and not just hold my own, but beat them.

 

Now I’ve got to use this to my advantage, first I have to beat whoever it is I’ll be fighting on May 2nd and then of course Shannon when I challenge for her title.

 

I know I said this before, but when my career comes to an end, I want to be remembered as a boxer that had good skills, a proper Champion, not someone that just coasted through their career.

 

I want real fights, meaningful fights, believe me I’m not looking at May 2nd being a warm up or anything like that, I want to make a huge statement on May 2nd, I want Shannon to worry about the Marianne that will face her this summer, I want her to know I’m coming to take her title from her.”

 

Marianne Marston, against a yet to be announced opponent, features on the Mark Lyons & Billy James-Elliott Wise Guys Promotions LORDS OF THE RING event, that takes place at the York Hall in Bethnal Green, London on Saturday 2nd May 2015.

Sanctioning for this event will be provided courtesy of the Malta Boxing Commission (MBC) – www.maltaboxingcommission.com

Tickets priced £35 (Standard seating) and £65 (Ringside) are available direct from Marianne or any of the boxers taking part, from the Ringtone Gym in Euston, London, on-line at www.mariannemarston.com and www.tkoboxoffice.com or call 07960 850645

 

Fight Report: Decastro KOs Rozembergs as Wood & Smith Score Sensational TKO Debut Victories.

Fight Report: Decastro KOs Rozembergs as Wood & Smith Score Sensational TKO Debut Victories.

 

Report: Gianluca Di Caro

 

 

Usually it is either a Friday or Saturday night that I get my regular fix of pugilistic action, this week though it was a little different as I made the trip from London up to Leeds on Sunday morning, in order to catch the latest offering from former Irish Champion, turned promoter, Lee Murtagh.

 

Considering it was a Sunday afternoon/eveing show I was mightily surprised, or is that impressed, that when I arrived at the venue, a good couple of hours before the advertised start time, it was already more or less full to capacity.

 

Have to say the Leeds fans really know how to enjoy themselves, the atmosphere at the Pryzm Nightclub was electric, so no surprise that when the highly entertaining MC, Mr. Tony Dean, announced each of the boxers that the crowd vociferously showed their support, not just of the home fighters but they also made the opponents welcome too, which makes a nice change.

 

1F4A6542-1Headlining the show was local favourite Sam Smith, who was making her pro debut, against Latvia’s Jekaterina Lecko.

 

From the off both girls moved to take centre ring, tentatively boxing off the back of their jabs, after about twenty seconds or so Lecko decided to step it up a tad, throwing a good stiff jab immediately followed by a looping right to the head, Smith closed her guard just enough to catch the shot on her glove, before shooting out a straight right, which caught the Latvian flush.

 

Smith closed in again and let rip with a big right to the body and a left to the head, Fecko tried to stand her ground but Smith came in even stronger forcing the Latvian back towards the ropes.

 

Initially Fecko used her jab to great effect to keep Smith at bay, but around the forty five second mark Smith slipped under the jab and let rip with a huge shot to the body, quickly followed by another to the head that shook the Latvian girl to the core.

 

Smith moved straight in for the kill, throwing a multitude of big shots, leaving Fecko no option but to cover up in the hope that she could survive the onslaught.

 

Smith had now corralled the Latvian into the corner and began bombarding Fecko with shots from every conceivable angle, then just as Fecko straightened up Smith landed an absolute peach of a shot to the body that sent Fecko straight to the canvas.

 

As referee Jimmy Byrne made the count Fecko looked towards her corner and shook her head before desperately trying to make it to her feet, however clearly in distress she instantly dropped back down onto one knee, leaving Jimmy Byrne no option but to call a halt to proceedings on the seventy second mark of the first round.

 

1F4A6492-1Prior to Smith-Fecko Lincoln’s unbeaten big punching Middleweight Nathan Decastro, against Latvia’s Elvis Rozembergs, in a six rounder.

 

Decastro’s ring moniker is ‘Nightmare’ and boy oh boy I bet young Mr. Rozembergs will be having plenty of them after this fight.

 

Decastro, a former English Amateur International, is about as clinical as they come. Right from the off the Lincolnshire lad picked his shots with precision, landing three pin-point perfect shots just with his opening salvo.

 

Rozembergs is game though, clearly believing that attack is the best form of defense the Latvian came straight back with a series of off target looping right hands, each time presenting Decastro with a clear target – Rozembergs body – to set his sights on, which of course he did, landing seriously solid shots each time.

 

On about the minute mark Rozembergs tried to back Decastro up by coming in hard and fast with a double handed flurry, however Decastro side stepped before letting rip with a big right to the body, which sent Rozembourgs to the canvas.

 

The Latvian was clearly in distress, instantly referee Jimmy Byrne stopped the fight and called the ringside doctor and paramedics into the ring.

 

After a few minutes Rozembergs was helped to his feet and as he did received rapturous applause from the appreciative audience.

 

1F4A6437-1Prior to Decastro-Rozembergs was another pro debut, this time Middlesborough Welterweight Chris Wood, against Edgars Milevics.

 

Milevics didn’t fair any better than either Lecko or Rozembergs, in fact the Latvian lad was sent to the deck in the first twenty seconds, following Wood pitching a big right into his ribs.

 

Milevics made the count, but on the restart you could see his heart was no longer in the fight, electing instead to cover up in the vein hope that Wood wouldn’t land another big shot.

 

On about the fifty second mark the inevitable happened, Wood sneaked a lovely little hook in just behind Milevics guard, causing the Latvian to bring his hands down to protect his body, which left him open to a big right to the head, which left Milevics no option but to cover up again and as he did Wood calmly threw another big left to the body, which sent Milevic down to the canvas for the second time.

 

Milevic just about managed to make it to his feet but referee Jimmy Byrne took one look and see how unsteady the Latvian was on his feet and rightly stopped the fight on the sixty seconds mark.

 

Support for the three professional bouts, were a number of European Boxing Federation (EBF) sanctioned bouts.

 

1F4A0870-1The main one, for the EBF International Bantamweight Championship, see Leeds’ Sophie Varley in a rematch against Malta’s Mandy Cortis.

 

The first three rounds Cortis played the waiting game, hoping that all action girl Varley would punch herself out.

 

Round four was a much more even affair, with Cortis electing to take the fight to Varley, initially the Maltese girl was landing a good few shots, but Varley is as tough as they come and by about the fifty second mark wrenched control back with a fantastic display of boxing, culminating with Cortis backed onto the ropes and absorbing a seemingly never ending barrage.

 

About the one minute thirty mark it was Cortis on attack again, utilizing her jab to great effect to set Varley up for a combination or two, until the final ten seconds or so, which was a pure toe to toe Battle Royale.

 

Cortis controlled the majority of the final two rounds, with some beautiful boxing, Varley still gave a great account of herself, just the amount of work she had put in during the early rounds had virtually drained her.

 

It was clear it was going to be close, and it was with Varley securing the title by a very, very close 58-57 points decision.

 

The results of the rest of the EBF card were:

 

York’s Carly McKenzie scored an excellent 40-37 points victory over Bridlington’s Mel Halstead for the EBF Central Area Featherweight title.

 

Leeds’s Graham Mattison scored a one minute and fifty second second round TKO victory over Balckpools Richard Leak in the EBF Northern Heavyweight contest.

 

Leeds’ Jay Stevenson scored a 30-28 points victory over Stoke’s Phil McGinn.

 

Leeds’ Liam Hayes scored a 40-37 points victory over Stoke’s Lewis Sherrat

 

Manchester’s Jimmy Gold scored a close 29-28 victory over Bramley’s Philip Walker.

 

Khan Marches On – TKO Win Over Miko Leads To May 2nd Title Shot In London

TasifKhanVictorious4453Khan Marches On – TKO Win Over Miko Leads To May 2nd Title Shot In London

 

On Friday evening Bradford’s Tasif Khan scored another sensational first round stoppage win, this time over Czech Republic’s Ladislav Miko, on the Stephen Vaughan promoted RED MIST event at the Grand Central Hall in Liverpool.

 

From the opening bell it was Miko that was the more aggressive, taking the fight to Khan, however in doing so the Czech fighter played straight into the Bradford man’s hands.

 

Khan had expected Miko to start fast and as such when the Czech fighter advanced rapidly, Khan simply danced to the side and let rip with a shot to the body.

 

Miko’s body language made it quite clear that he had been hurt, so no surprise that when he came in hard and fast again that the savvy Khan utilized a similar tactic, this time slipping to the right and letting rip with another body shot, followed up by a scintillatingly fast double handed salvo to both body and head.

 

On around the forty five second mark, Miko, who clearly hadn’t learned to be a little cautious, made yet another forceful attack, this time though Khan threw out a solid jab, followed by an uppercut and then just planted his feet and put full power into a lightning fast left hook, to send the Czech lad to the canvas.

 

Miko managed to make the count, but seconds later walked straight into another big left to the body. This time Miko really struggled to make the count, just managing to do so but was very unsteady on his feet, leaving referee Jimmy Byrne no option but to wave the bout off on the one minute and fifteen second mark of the first round.

 

Immediately after receiving the victor’s laurels Khan was informed by his team that he would get to challenge for his first Championship accolade, the International Masters Bantamweight title, on his next planned outing, which will be on the Billy James-Elliott and Mark Lyons promoted LORD OF THE RINGS event at York Hall in London on May 2nd.

 

Following receiving this news Khan spoke briefly about the fight as well as his upcoming title fight.

 

“Yeah brilliant, it was just brilliant.

 

I can’t complain that he didn’t last a round, I would have preferred it had gone on a bit longer, I mean it was a six rounder and I really would have liked to get some rounds under my belt, but as I’ve said before you don’t get paid overtime in this game.

 

We knew that he would start fast and rush in and the plan was to work off my jab to slow him down, basically to try and get the six rounds under my belt.

 

It didn’t quite happen that way as he really came at me much quicker than expected, instead I adapted and caught him with a good shot, I see his legs buckle a bit but he stayed on his feet.

 

He’s a game fighter, most people would have backed off to give themselves time to recover, not him he came back at me hard again, which gave me the opportunity to box him a little bit more and catch him as he came back in.

 

I caught him good with the uppercut and then the body shot, which he went down with.

 

Then I did more or less the same after the restart, although didn’t think I had caught him quite as well as the first time, but when he got up I don’t think he wanted to know anymore, even if the ref had let it carry on.

 

Hopefully onwards and upwards now, I’ve been talking with my team and been told we’ve got a title fight organized for May 2nd in York Hall, same night as Mayweather-Pacquaio fight, so hopefully I’ll pick up my first title, the International Masters, and bring it back to Bradford.

 

As you can see my fans turned out in force and make a lot of noise, they’re all ringside, they love their boxing, it’s a boxing city Bradford, they just need to get more shows there.

 

My fans are great, they travel to watch me, last time it was London, this time Liverpool and obviously it’s back to London again on May 2nd.

 

At the moment I haven’t got the opportunity to pick where I fight, hopefully if I win the title maybe we can get a promoter to put on a show in Bradford so even more of my fans will get a chance to watch me again.

 

I’m grateful for my team, the training went really well, I feel strong, I feel good and the fans coming out in force to support me is adding to that.

 

My sponsors, Kingsland Business Recovery in Bradford, Broadway Solicitors in Oldham, Kesser Jewelers in Bradford and Vyomax Supplements from Manchester, have been absolutely great.

 

These guys have been backing me up, which takes away a lot of the pressure so I can concentrate on my boxing.

 

Again I’ve got to thank my fans, they really are the best, they’ve followed me down to London and of course here in Liverpool, even though traffic was bad they all made it here tonight and really got behind me, making loads of noise, which is a bit like football fans being the twelfth man on the football pitch, it really inspires you, it lifts you hearing all the fans cheering you on, brilliant, just brilliant.”

Fight Report: Carney, Agadzhanyan, Khan, Counihan, Quigley, Boyce and Economides Impressively Destroy All Opposition

Fight Report: Carney, Agadzhanyan, Khan, Counihan, Quigley, Boyce and Economides Impressively Destroy All Opposition.

 

Report by Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

 

 

Whilst all the local sporting headlines have been about the weekend’s big game at Anfield, between Liverpool and old rivals Manchester United, there was another local Merseyside sporting event that went somewhat under the radar due to the enormity of the big footy fixture, which is a mighty shame as that game couldn’t possibly produce even a fraction of the excitement and drama that the international pugilistic extravaganza presented by Stephen Vaughan Jr and his team did on Friday night.

 

With the planned headlining title fight falling through just days before the event, a good sized crowd still turned out to watch the drama unfold at the recently reopened Grand Central Hall in Liverpool.

 

First up was local youngster Jay Carney making his second professional outing, against Czech Republic’s Petr Gyna.

 

What can I say, young Carney impressed with a very good stoppage win on his pro debut back in December, however to compare that win with the one on Friday night is like comparing a Reliant Robin with a Ferrari.

 

Carney was far more relaxed, than in his previous fight, picking his shots and controlling virtually every second of eight minutes and thirty two seconds it took him to secure the second victory of his fledgling career.

 

Carney’s performance belied his tender years, as he controlled centre ring, with good solid jabs and sharp combinations, even when Gyna stepped up the pace Carney kept his cool and just picked the Czech lad off with crisp double handed flurries.

 

After easily securing the first couple of rounds and with just about thirty seconds of the third stanza left, Carney threw a peach of a right hand to send Gyna to the canvas, as referee Jimmy Byrne made the count, the Czech lad tried desperately to get to his feet, but his legs weren’t having any of it, handing young Carney a much deserved second TKO victory, this time on the two minute and thirty two second mark of the third round.

 

Another of Stephen’s Vaughan’s growing stable of fighters, David Agadzhanyan, was next up, against the seriously tough Daniel Bazo.

 

Have to say whilst all the performances were exceptional in their own way, this was the fight of the night in my eyes, two tough uncompromising young fighters in a seriously entertaining all action battle royale.

 

Legendary referee Mickey Vann really had his work cut out for him when these two warlords locked horns, as it was clear there was no love lost between the two protagonists.

 

Both men clearly believe that attack is the best form of defense, I can assure you neither men took a defensive stance anytime during this bout, it was full on attack for every second of every round by both protagonists.

 

Agadzhanyan secured the first three rounds, only just, in my eyes, due to his being just a little more controlled in his attacks, as well as often landing the cleaner, crisper shots,

 

The fourth stanza was way too close to call. These two really stepped it up, much to the delight of the crowd they threw caution to the wind and literally went toe-to-toe for virtually the whole three minutes.

 

After four scintillating rounds referee Mickey Vann scored the bout 39-37 for Agadzhanyan.

 

Next up was Bradford’s Tasif Khan, against the Czech Republic’s Ladislav Miko, initially it was Miko taking the fight to Khan, however Khan is as savvy as they come and used this to his advantage, drawing the Czech lad into a well conceived trap.

 

Each time Miko advanced Khan just slipped to the side and either dropped a shot to the body or let rip with a double handed salvo of incredibly quick shots to both body and head.

 

On around the forty five second mark, Miko felt the full power of a Khan big left to the body and instantly fell to the deck, the brave lad made the count but just seconds later walked straight into another one, again he made it to his feet but it was clear to everyone ringside that he wasn’t in any fit state to continue, as such it came as no surprise when referee Jimmy Byrne waved the bout off on the one minute and fifteen second mark of the first round.

 

Two unbeaten, big hitting prospects, Birmingham’s Antonio Counihan and the Czech Republic’s Lukas Radic were next up.

 

I’m sure there’s no need to say this, but someone’s ‘O’ has to go. Counihan has had five wins, four of which were by early stoppage, Radic on the other hand just the two, one by stoppage win and the other by Knockout.

 

Initially Radic took the fight to Counihan, throwing power punch after power punch, however the Brummie kept his cool and cleverly boxed off the back of his excellent jab, which just kept the dangerous Czech lad back enough to prevent him being able to get the full power into his shots.

 

Around the two minute mark, Counihan stepped in and landed a big right, which sent Radic straight down to the canvas, clearly disoriented Radic just about made it to his feet just as referee Mickey Vann was just one second away from finishing the count.

 

No surprise on the restart Counihan, a former England amateur captain with masses of international experience, went straight in for the finish and boy oh boy did he do it in style, sending the unsteady Radic back to the canvas with a sensationally quick combination to body and head.

 

Once again Radic just made it to his feet, but his unsteadiness left no option but for referee Mickey Vann to wave the fight off on the two minute and twenty eight second mark.

 

Liverpool’s very own Lee Boyce was the next to be in action, against Matus Olah, whilst the first round stoppages by Khan and Counihan were mightily impressive, they just can’t compare to the speed and effectiveness of Boyce’s victory, which was over in the blink of an eye.

 

Literally the first shot Boyce threw, a full on power shot to the body, sent the Czech down and out, there was no way he Olah he could catch his breath and conceded the match immediately – the time just twenty seconds!

 

Next up was another Merseysider, Nick Quigley who faced Ludvig Gina.

 

Quigley, who must have noticed just how quickly Boyce returned to the changing room, couldn’t possibly have expected that he too would make an early night of it.

 

Whilst not quite his first shot, as in the case of Boyce, Quigley dominated the opening seconds, utilizing his jab to great effect, before backing Gina onto the ropes and shooting out a vicious jab, which sent the Czech fighter to the deck writhing in agony and with blood pouring from his nose.

 

Referee Mickey Vann waved the fight off in an instant and called the ringside doctor into the ring on just the fifty five second mark.

 

As the final result was read out, it was announced that Gina had a broken nose as a result of Quigley’s jab.

 

With five of the six bouts ending prematurely, surely the final bout of the night, between Paul Economides and the highly durable Ghanaian Isaac Quaye, would go the distance – Wrong!

 

The first round was a bit messy, with Quaye holding on each time Economides started to get his punches flowing, which continued throughout the round, leaving referee Jimmy Byrne no option but to give the Ghanaian a stern talking to.

 

Economies was clearly quite unhappy with Quaye’s holding tactics in the first round, as such when he came out for the second he switched to plan B, this time choosing to step in and let a shot or two off before stepping out, which worked a treat as Quaye was unable to grab hold as often.

 

This tactic really paid dividends and after just thirty seconds or so, Economides sent Quaye to the deck, after he caught the stretching Ghanaian with a perfectly placed side of the shot to the head, sending the off balance Quaye down to the canvas.

 

Quaye complained bitterly that it was a slip, only for referee Jimmy Byrne to have words with him once more.

 

Just seconds after the restart Quaye was down again, this time it was deemed a push and not counted, but before he could get settled Economides stepped in with a cracking right to send him down again.

 

Quaye made it to his feet but as soon as the bout was restarted Economides once again stepped in to send the slightly wobbly-legged Ghanaian down again, this time though referee Jimmy Byrne waved the fight off, on the one minute and forty five second mark.

 

Great night of action, true some of the fights were over quickly, but as Tasif Khan succinctly said in his post fight interview ‘boxers don’t get paid overtime’, can’t argue with that.

 

 

 

Counihan Ready For Liverpool Showdown With Walter This Friday

CounihanKis6677WEBREADYCounihan Ready For Liverpool Showdown With Walter This Friday

Birmingham Lightweight sensation Antonio Counihan is back in action this week, against Richard Walter, on the Stephen Vaughan promoted RED MIST event at the Grand Central Hall in Liverpool on Friday, 20th March 2015.

Since turning pro in October 2013 Counihan, the former England Amateur team Captain, has proved to be one of the UK’s top prospects of the Lightweight division, scoring five top class wins, four of these by stoppage finish, with Poland’s Marcin Ficner being the only opponent to go the distance with the young Brummie star.

On Friday Counihan will face Richard Walter, who stepped in at late notice after his original opponent was forced to withdraw with a hand injury.

Walter comes into the fight off the back of an excellent first round stoppage win over Rene Oravek in February, however that doesn’t seem to bother Counihan one iota, as he made clear when he spoke earlier today.

“Really looking forward to Friday, should be a very good night.

I have only just heard that I’ve got a new opponent, Richard Walter, don’t know much about him yet as this has just been announced.

I know he stopped his last opponent, so should be a good close fight, which suits me.

Have to admit I’m a bit disappointed with such a late change, but what can you do, fighters get injured in the gym all the time, I’ll just go out there and box the way I always do and if all goes well I’ll get another good win under my belt.

Had five fights now, won all of them, four of them by TKO, so am looking forward to moving up the rankings because I want a shot at a title soon.

Last time out had a real good fight with David Kis, I was really happy with the way that fight went.

It was a real good performance, I was happy with it, listened to my corner and did as they said and got him out of there in the third.

Hopefully I’ll put in a similar kind of performance on Friday, I’m not saying it will be another TKO win, but if it happens I’ll be well pleased, I just want to put on a good performance for the fans.

Talking about my fans, they really are fantastic, they travel to watch me fight every time, I can’t thank them enough for their support, I mean they’ve had to travel to London for four of my fights and now here we are on the road again, this time Liverpool and they’ll be there cheering me on once more, they really are brilliant.

I can only thank them properly for their support by keep performing well and of course keep winning.”

Antonio Counihan versus Richard Walter features on the Stephen Vaughan promoted RED MIST event at the Grand Central Hall in Liverpool on Friday, 20th March 2015.

Sanctioning for this event will be provided courtesy of the Malta Boxing Commission (MBC) – www.maltaboxingcommission.com

Tickets priced £30 and £40 are available direct from Antonio on 07535 806545 and will also be available at Grand Central Hall on the night.

Doors open 6:30pm first bell 7pm

Fight Report: Tolan Secures Irish International Title, Magee Jr and Fitzsimmons Truly Sensational In Belfast

Fight Report: Tolan Secures Irish International Title, Magee Jr and Fitzsimmons Truly Sensational In Belfast

 

Fight Report: Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Photos: Paul Green

 

 

Last weekend I found myself flying across the Irish Sea to Belfast for the first Malta Boxing Commission (MBC) sanctioned pro event in the province, Chuck Tolan’s Fianna Promotions ‘Ruaille Buaille’ event and boy oh boy and was it worth it.

 

But before getting onto the boxing, I have to say what a great city and great people, I was made incredibly welcome and the fans on the night, at the incredible Devenish Complex, were just plain awesome and really made it special, I’m sure the amazing atmosphere and energy they generated must have really lifted the home fighters.

 

Headlining the event see Belfast’s very own Tommy ‘The Tiger’ Tolan challenge fellow Belfast lad Phil Townley for the inaugural Irish International Middleweight title.

 

Tommy’s career has undertaken a bit of a resurgence the past twelve months or so, after a run of losses going back to 2011 the Irish bruiser has been putting in some great performances.

 

I felt he was unlucky not to get at least a draw against George Hillyard back in August last year, but perhaps that spurred him on when he came up against Matt Scriven just three months later and again against Rastislav Frano in February.

 

Those wins against Scriven and Frano set Tommy on course for his first headline fight, as well as the title shot, and Tommy wasn’t leaving anything to chance.

 

Tommy Tolan takes a shot from Phil Townley to land a shot of his own- Photo Paul Green

Tommy Tolan takes a shot from Phil Townley to land a shot of his own- Photo Paul Green

Right from the off both protagonists set about their business at a high pace, Townley being particularly forceful coming forward, which initially put Tolan on the back foot.

 

About midway through the round Townley backed Tolan onto the ropes and started to work the body of his opponent, however during one particularly frenetic exchange there was a sickening thud as their heads clashed.

 

Townley came out the worse, with a nasty cut on the top of his forehead, which oozed blood into both eyes. Referee Lee Murtagh stopped the proceedings and got the ringside doctor to check the cut immediately.

 

After cleaning the blood from his face it was clear the cut wasn’t quite as bad as it seemed and the fight continued.

 

Townley was a little hesitant on the restart, which opened the door for Tolan to entertain the crowd with some superb combinations behind a seriously forceful jab.

 

Round two much more of the same, with Tolan taking control of the proceedings in style.

 

On about the minute mark a nasty gash burst open on Townley’s cheek, have to say I’m not sure if it was from a punch or accidental head-clash again, as this happened during yet another very close quarters slugfest.

 

Either way, Townley was heavily bloodied and beginning to look just a little battle worn.

 

At the end of the round ringside doctor, Dr Robert McConnell and Chief Trauma Medic Chris Robinson inspected Townley’s gashes and then spoke with the referee.

 

With the knowledge that if the cuts open up again the fight will be stopped Townley came out in a more defensive mode, however this kids a fighter and after about ten seconds or so threw caution to the wind and went on the attack big time, what followed next was an all action toe-to-toe war.

 

With about thirty seconds of the round remaining the inevitable happened, not only had the gash on Townley’s cheek opened up again, but another cut opened up over his right eye.

 

Townley wiped the blood away from his eyes with his glove and went straight on the attack again, but Tolan was having none of it and let rip with a big right followed up with a double handed flurry of shots, in doing so backed the now covering up Townley onto the ropes and went in for the kill with another barrage of shots.

 

Tommy Tolan celebrates his championship win with his team - Photo Paul Green

Tommy Tolan celebrates his championship win with his team – Photo Paul Green

With just five seconds of the round to go referee Lee Murtagh stepped in to save the troubled and bloodied Townley from the inevitable knockout.

 

Have to say the fight may have only lasted three rounds, but there was probably more action in that nine minutes than you normally see in a ten rounder that went the distance.

 

Following the result being announced by legendary Irish MC Harry McGayock MBC’s Jennifer Burton and Irish International Championship Supervisor David Walshe presented Tolan with the Championship belt, much to the joy of the highly vocal local crowd.

 

Eamonn Magee Jnr in action against Dinars Skripkins - Photo Paul Green

Eamonn Magee Jnr in action against Dinars Skripkins – Photo Paul Green

Prior to the excellent Tolan-Townley title fight, Belfast’s sensational Eamonn Magee Jnr was in action against Latvian Dinars Skripkins.

 

What a fight, two seriously classy and talented young fighters in action against each other, this had the makings of being a true classic.

 

Initially it was a highly technical boxing display, more like a pugilistic chess match, yet played out at a frenetic pace, both Skripkins and Magee put on a fantastic display of boxing for the packed house, however it proved to be a short lived affair.

 

On about the one minute mark, Magee slowed his attacks and began picking off Skripkins with pin point accurate shots to the head and body, which in turn caused the Lithuanian to change his tactics in an attempt to regain some level of control.

 

After about thirty seconds or so of sublime boxing from both men, Magee stepped in with a big right to the body of Skripkins, which sent the Latvian down to the canvas.

 

Skripkins tried desperately to make it back to his feet as referee Lee Murtagh made the count, however his efforts were in vain, instead the young Latvian faced a TKO defeat on the one minute and fifty three second mark of the first round.

 

Magee Jnr is clearly the real deal, this kid has it all and what’s more he was in against a seriously good opponent in Skripkins, and came through with flying colours, great win that’s for sure.

 

My final words on this fight, it may not have lasted long, but if these two ever have a rematch I want to be there, it was that good.

 

Referee Lee Murtagh looks on as Matthew Fitzsimmons lands a shot on Aleksandrs Birkenberg - Photo Paul Green

Referee Lee Murtagh looks on as Matthew Fitzsimmons lands a shot on Aleksandrs Birkenberg – Photo Paul Green

Making his pro debut was former amateur star Matthew Fitzsimmons, against fellow debutant Latvia’s Aleksandrs Birkenbergs.

 

Just as with Magee Jnr-Skripkins this was another well matched bout.

 

From the opening bell Birkenbergs positioned himself centre ring and looked to control the proceedings, however Fitzsimmons was having none of that, especially as they were fighting in front of his home crowd.

 

Keeping his cool young Fitzsimmons was content to pick off his opponent with targeted shots to the head and body every time Birkenbergs would step in with an attack.

 

About a third of the way through the first round Fitzsimmons stepped up the pace, yet still retained his accuracy, leaving Birkenbergs no option but to cover up for periods of time until an opening for a counter attack presented itself.

 

Fitzsimmons changed tactics slightly in the second, going onto the front foot and taking the fight to Birkenbergs right from the off.

 

Birkenbergs is as brave as they come, he just kept coming forward at every opportunity, unfortunately for the youngster this played right into Fitzsimmons very capable hands, the Irishman dancing in and letting rip with either a pin point accurate shot to the head or body or a double handed flurry before stepping out before Birkenbergs could get a decent counter in.

 

Around the two minute mark, Fitzsimmons landed a rib cracking body shot, literally, but the brave Latvian youngster just shook it off and tried to get back to his boxing.

 

During the break both the doctor and referee Lee Murtagh went to check on Birkenbergs, who was clearly in a lot of pain. After a quick discussion with his corner it was decided that it would be foolhardy for Birkenbergs to continue.

 

Have to say Fitzsimmons is another classy youngster and boy oh boy did he showcase his skills on Saturday night, definitely one to watch for the future.

 

Prior to the three pro bouts there were five Exhibition bouts, organized by the IBA, to showcase just what the fans can expect when the MBC introduce the ‘Novice’ Pro format later this year.

 

The ‘Novice’ Pro concept is designed as an introduction to the pro ranks for talented amateurs more suited to the pros style wise but with only limited amateur experience, or on the other hand experienced fighters from the unlicensed scene looking to make a tentative move to the professional ranks.

 

Whilst the licensing and medical standards are virtually the same as with the regular pros, the Novice Pros bouts will be of two minute duration and can only be matched with others licensed as ‘Novice’ Pros.

 

The first of these bouts see Barry McCafferty beat Ben Robinson by a 40-36 points decision.

 

The next up see Mark McMahon beat Steve Keown for the IBA Gaelic Middleweight title by a 40-35 points margin.

 

Third bout see Michael Collins beat Stevie Martin in a four round Cruiserweight contest by a 40-37 points margin.

 

Johnny Lawson stopped Darren Butler with a cracking bodyshot on the one minute and fifty six second mark of the first round.

 

In the headline exhibition bout, Marty Kayes secured the IBA Irish Title with a 60-54 points victory over Karl Savage.

 

As I said at the beginning of the report this was my first time in Belfast and I enjoyed every single second of it, great City, great people and as for the show well what can I say, it was first class, at a great venue and it was packed with the most appreciative and friendly fans I have ever had the pleasure to meet.

Former Welsh Champ Lee Churcher Returns With A Bang .

LeeChurcherVictoriousFormer Welsh Champ Lee Churcher Returns With A Bang .

 

Newport’s former Welsh and British Masters Champion Lee Churcher made a successful return to the ring last Saturday night, Nottingham’s Matt Scriven by a 40-35 points margin.

 

Churcher, who hasn’t fought since his ninth round stoppage victory over Barrie Jones that secured him the Welsh title in May 2012, almost didn’t get to fight at all, after his opponent Ratislav Frano, as well as Elimer Rafael, who was due to face Andy Bell, Julius Rafael, who was to be Matt Scriven’s opponent on the night, and their trainer all failed to make their flight from Slovakia.

 

With time running out promoter Wayne O’Hara initially tried to get the errant Slovakian boxers on another flight, when it was clear that wasn’t going to happen then tried in vain to locate UK based opponents.

 

With time fast running out Matt Scriven, who had fought Churcher back in 2010, suggested that rather than lose all three bouts off the show that he and Churcher could fight each other.

 

Right from the off it was clear that both protagonists were in the mood for a good old fashioned slug fest.

 

After some nice tidy exchanges it was Scriven that was first to let rip in anger, with a scorching body shot, Churcher responded in kind and then for the rest of the round it was pure toe-to-toe pugilistic heaven for the fans, as the pair slugged it out big time.

 

More of the same in both the second and third rounds, much to the delight of the crowd, who had been on their feet for virtually every second of the fight.

 

In the forth stanza Scriven came out of the blocks fast, intent on securing centre ring with some beautiful jabs and crisp combinations, however Churcher was in no mood to play second fiddle to anyone, coming in hard and fast throwing powerful body shots and uppercuts at every opportunity.

 

About half way through the round Churcher landed a peach of a right, sending Scriven to the canvas. Scriven recovered before the count concluded and boxed smart, as Churcher went all out to finish off the Nottingham man.

 

At the end of four scintillating all action rounds, referee Lee Murtagh scored the bout 40-35 in favour of Churcher.

 

Prior to the excellent Churcher-Scriven bout, there were five top class exhibition bouts, featuring some of the young guns from Nottingham’s Robin Hood Gym.

 

These bouts gave the crowd an early peek at some of the future stars that are destined to follow in the footsteps of Nottingham’s most famous boxing star, Mr. Carl Froch.

 

The first of the bouts featured Robin Hood’s Jack Whitehouse against Will Smith from Leeds.

 

What a cracking closely fought fight, both boxed beautifully throughout, but at the end of the bout it was Whitehouse whose hand was held aloft in victory.

 

Following the excellent Whitehouse-Smith battle see Carl Coulthard in action against another local lad Aaron Stark.

 

Both lads went hammer and tongs for virtually the whole two rounds, but with just about twenty seconds of the second round to go Stark landed a peach of right hand to send Couthard to the canvas, unfortunately Coulthard tried to get to his feet but just failed to make the count.

 

Next up see Connor Riddick take the victory laurels against another local lad Dan McCreedy.

 

Right from the off it was clear Riddick wasn’t interested in anything but a good win, letting rip with big rights and lightning quick double handed flurries.

 

About midway through the bout McCreedy clicked it up a notch, in doing so played straight into to Riddick’s hands, as he was well up for an old fashioned slug fest and ultimately produced the second win of the night for the Robin Hood Gym crew.

 

The fourth bout of the night was a sensational all action battle royale between Tom Mulligan and Peterborough’s Dominic Masses.

 

The first round was very much a fifty/fifty round, with both protagonists more than happy to box at a fast pace, however saying that Mulligan shook Masses a couple of times with some pin point accurate exocets.

 

Round two see Masses in the ascendance, however even though the Peterborough man was backing Mulligan up for a good part of the fight it was the Nottingham man that secured the round, after sending Masses to the deck twice.

 

With blood pouring from his nose and on unsteady legs nobody would have been surprised if Masses decided not to come out for the third, but he did and as before took the fight to the Nottingham man.

 

For about two thirds of the round it looked like Masses would turn the tables on Mulligan, having shook the Nottingham man with some big right hands, however it wasn’t to be as Mulligan managed to settle himself after yet another barrage of shots and land a seriously hard right to the head, that sent Masses to the deck once more.

 

Before Masses had even landed on the canvas his corner had decided enough was enough and quite rightly threw the towel in.

 

The final exhibition bout was yet another stormer, this time featuring the highly exciting Tom Langley taking on Portsmouth’s Jules Phillips in a four round Super Bantamweight contest.

 

What a fight, without doubt both lads have a good future in the sport, especially young Tommy Langley, who boxed with a maturity that belied his tender years, keeping his distance nicely and just stepping in whenever he liked to land a cracking right or a tidy combination.

 

After four fantastic rounds it came as no surprise that it was Langley whose hand was raised in victory, most deservedly in my eyes.

 

Tom Langley is one seriously talented young man, boy oh boy can this kid box, definitely one to watch in the future, word is the eighteen year old is going to be turning pro this year, I for one look forward to him boxing on the pro circuit, that’s for sure.

 

With so much drama preceding the event who could have expected that the show would have gone so well and whilst there was only one pro bout in the end, nobody moaned or asked for their money back, how could they, it really was a good night of boxing.

WBF, WIBF & GBU AIM FOR LEGITIMACY IN WOMENS BOXING

ChristinaFrontWBF, WIBF & GBU AIM FOR LEGITIMACY IN WOMENS BOXING

 

While meaningless titles of any description seem to be flooding the professional boxing world, simply for the financial gain of sanctioning bodies, the World Boxing Federation (WBF) has decided to go the opposite route in an attempt to reduce the abundance of titles. 

 

To this effect, three of the most important sanctioning organizations in women’s boxing have merged to discontinue their individual championships in favor of one Unified Womens World Title ®. Besides the World Boxing Federation (WBF), they are the Women’s International Boxing Federation (WIBF) and the Global Boxing Union (GBU).

 

Therefore, there will now be just one world champion in each weight division, recognized by the WBF, WIBF and GBU as the Unified Womens World Champion ®, but wearing the championship belts of all three organizations. No champion can defend only one (or two) of those belts, at stake will always be the unified title without any exceptions. The basis for this is that the WBF, WIBF and GBU have synchronized their Rules & Regulations and Rankings. Only one Sanction Fee will be levied as opposed to three. A new Women’s World Championship Committee with members from all three bodies has been formed as the final authority for sanctioning, vacating of titles and appeals.

 

WBF President Howard Goldberg from South Africa stated in unison with WIBF President Barbara Buttrick (USA) and GBU President Juergen Lutz of Germany: “It is high time that people understand that there are far too many token titles available and this should be remedied. Therefore, we have put the best interest of boxing ahead of sanction fees and ego – and now there is just one title in female boxing that means something: The Unified Womens World Title ®.”

MBC Joins Forces with WKA To Sanction Pro Boxing In Scotland

MBCWKAMBC Joins Forces with WKA To Sanction Pro Boxing In Scotland

 

Malta Boxing Commission’s Managing Director and Vice President, Gianluca Di Caro and World Kick Boxing and Karate Association (WKA) Scotland President Stewart Allan today announced that they have joined forces to sanction professional boxing events in Scotland.

 

The new venture will not only present opportunities for Scottish Professional boxers to be able to compete more, but also will enable fighters from the Kick Boxing world to compete both as professional Boxers and Kick Boxers.

 

Whilst the intention of this venture is to sanction pro boxing events in Scotland, it also opens the doors to the possibility of combined pro Boxing and Kick Boxing events, with the boxing sanctioned by the MBC and Kick Boxing sanctioned by the WKA, not just in Scotland but also at any event sanctioned by the MBC in Malta, the United Kingdom or Ireland.

 

On making the announcement Mr. Allan said.

 

“We are very excited to be working with the Malta Boxing Commission, it can only be good for the sport to bring such a progressive professional boxing organisation to Scotland.

 

To join those from the pro boxing world with those of the Kick Boxing world is an exciting prospect, up to now the powers to be in the UK were quite happy for our Champions to switch disciplines and compete as pro boxers.

 

Unfortunately it has always been at the expense of the fighter’s Kick Boxing career, that’s been because once they have switched to pro boxing they are no longer allowed to compete as a Kick Boxer.

 

That will change, under our joint venture with the Malta Boxing Commission our fighters will be licensed and compete as pro boxers, as well as continue to campaign as Kick Boxers under the WKA.

 

For our fighters this means so much, they want to compete in both sports and have so much to offer to both.

 

This new partnership isn’t just about our fighters being able to fight in both disciplines, we will be actively be looking to develop the pro boxing side in Scotland, give Scottish boxers the chance to be more active than they have been in the past, we want to build up the MBC to benefit fighters from both disciplines.

 

We also want to bring more genuine 50/50 fights to Scotland, we don’t want it to be an extension of the current scene, we want to bring the fans genuine exciting closely matched fights, each and every show.”

 

MBC’s Mr. Di Caro then added.

 

“I couldn’t agree more with Stewart, this is a seriously exciting development for the sport, one that will benefit fighters from both Boxing and Kick Boxing.

 

When Stewart approached us with the concept we were open to it straight away, not for the reason many people will think, but because we had already made the decision that should anyone that competes in another pugilistic art that also wants to pro box, should be allowed to do so.

 

This decision was made some time ago, in fact it was when thirteen time World Champion Marlon Hunt first approached us about pro boxing under our banner.

 

Marlon is one of the top competitors in the Kick Boxing world, how could we possibly tell him that he has to give up fighting on the Kick Boxing circuit if he pro boxes, I mean he has World titles in Kick Boxing, K1, Muay Thai, with us he can defend those titles as well as begin challenging for Championships in boxing also.

 

I have to say, since I’ve mentioned Marlon, that when he joined us we didn’t quite realise what an asset he would become, he is a great ambassador for the MBC, with the fans and boxer’s alike, so much so that early last year he was unanimously elected onto the MBC Executive Committee.

 

Now, not only do we have the chance to have more of the top Kick Boxers competing in the pro boxing, but also have the opportunity of Kick Boxing World Champions from around the world competing for Championship honours as pro boxers.

 

On the business side of things Stewart will be the Chairman of the new MBC Scottish Region, as well as join the Executive Committee of the Malta Boxing Commission.

 

Stewart has big plans for the new venture and to that end has already signed up a couple of Scottish promoters, one of whom plans to promote the first MBC Scotland sanctioned event quite soon, probably in April or May.

 

I for one am so proud to be involved in this exciting new venture, I honestly feel that this will prove to be one of the best things to happen to our sport in a long, long time.

 

What’s more it will provide the boxing fans with a whole new breed of genuinely outstanding World class fighters to get behind, as well as present opportunities for Scottish boxers to be more active, which can only be good for the sport.”

 

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