Ward stops Smith in one-sided massacre

By Scott Gilfoid: In a total mismatch, WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward (28-0, 15 KOs) really had his way tonight in stopping an out of shape and badly outclassed Paul Smith (35-6, 20 KOs) by a 9th round stoppage at the Oracle Arena in Beautiful Oakland, California.

Ward hit Smith at will and looked like he’d never been away. Smith’ corner tossed in the white towel of surrender in the 9th round.

The fight took place at a catch-weight of 172 pounds. Smith came in over the limit at 176 pounds though, and then missed the secondary weight of 181 pounds at 11:00 a.m. today by coming in at 184 pounds. Smith wound up losing $60 thousand of his $225 thousand purse in fines. The surrender in the 9th just made complete.

Andre Ward vs. Paul Smith this Saturday, June 20th on BET

By Scott Gilfoid: The super middleweight division’s best fighter Andre Ward (27-0, 14 KOs) will be fighting this Saturday night in a fight televised on BET against the serviceable Paul Smith (35-5, 20 KOs) at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. Smith won’t be fighting or Ward’s WBA super middleweight title because the fight will take place at a catch-weight of 172 pounds.

There’s little chance that Ward will be beaten in this fight because Smith doesn’t have punching power, and he’s quite slow and not someone that is going to be able to get his shots off fast enough to bother Ward. Smith, 32, is obviously not a great opponent, but Ward needed a body to face for him to get the rust out.

I would have liked to have seen Ward fight someone a couple levels above Smith in the talent department because this fight is going to be too one-sided for Ward to get anything from it. When a fighter comes back from a long layoff like Ward, he needs someone at least halfway talented to get the rust out in a proper way, but that’s not what we’re going to see in this fight.

Smith is basically coming into the fight as a sacrificial lamb that is about to be slaughtered by Ward.

In Ward’s last fight, he defeated Edwin Rodriguez in November of 2013. It’s hard to believe that all that time has gone by since Ward took that fight, but you can’t blame him for not fighting because he had promotional problems.

Smith doesn’t have the talent to present any real problems for a fighter as talented as Ward. Smith lost his last two fights against WBO Arthur Abraham. There was a rematch between the two fighters last February due to Smith complaining about being robbed in his first defeat to Abraham last year in September. I saw the fight and had Abraham winning 10 rounds to 2. No way did Smith deserve a rematch.

For Ward, 31, this is the beginning of him getting busy once again with his career after taking a go slow approach in making fights after winning the Super Six tournament in 2011. Ward has only fought twice since then. A big part of Ward not fighting was due to promotional problems. Another part is that none of the top fighters were willing to face him.

Instead of just staying busy in fighting the contenders that were willing to fight him, Ward fought rarely. His only two fights since he whipped Carl Froch in 2011 were against Chad Dawson and Edwin Rodriguez. Those were two very fine fighters, but Ward needed to fight at least three times a year, and he’s not done that.

I don’t expect Ward to get any of the top super middleweights to face him in 2015 or 2016. Ward’s best bet to get a big money fight is if he moves up to light heavyweight and looks to fight Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev. Ward has made it clear that he doesn’t want to move up to light heavyweight because after he fights Kovalev and Stevenson, there won’t be anyone else for him to fight. But that shouldn’t keep Ward from moving up to 175 for one or two big fights so that he can get some good paydays. It’s better to move up to light heavyweight temporarily than it is to stay at 168 and fight down in their luck fighters like Paul Smith.

Carl Froch removed from Ring’s pound-for-pound ratings due to inactivity

In a predictable move, Ring Magazine has removed former IBF/WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch (33-2, 24 KOs) from their pound-for-pound ratings. The 37-year-old Froch hasn’t fought in over a year since his last fight in May of 2014 when he defeated fellow Brit George Groves by a 6th round knockout.

Since then, Froch just hasn’t had the motivation for him to get back in the ring and risk his legacy. I mean, there are tons of potential opponents for Froch to fight starting with Gennady Golovkin, Andre Ward and James DeGale, but Froch just hasn’t had the motivation to fight.

The easy money that Froch got in his fights against an unmotivated looking Mikkel Kessler, and a very, very green Groves seems to have robbed Froch of all his ambition.

Froch will be replaced in the Ring’s pound-for-pound ranking by Takashi Uchiyama (23-0-1, 19 KOs) at No.10.

Froch had recently said that he was going to make up his mind whether to retire or not in the first week of June. Well, the week has come and gone and Froch hasn’t said much about whether he wants to get back in the ring and face Golovkin, DeGale or someone else. If he’s going to retire, then he should have at it and just get it over with so boxing fans can have peace of mind. But if Froch is going to continue fighting, then he needs to pull the trigger on either Golovkin or DeGale.

Golovkin is the guy that boxing fans want to see Froch fight the most, but he’s also someone that could ruin Froch’s legacy. It wouldn’t look too good if Froch went out there and was absolutely crushed by Golovkin in four or five rounds.

Froch is totally hittable, and always has been. He’s won fights simply by being able to take his opponent’s best shots and then fire back with his own big punches to eventually wear them down. But in the case of Golovkin, he punches incredibly hard and you just can’t take those kinds of monstrous shots without nose diving on the canvas.

No one has made it the distance with Golovkin since 2008. He’s got a seven year knockout streak going, and I doubt that Froch would be able to stop this monster from recording yet another knockout. Perhaps this is why Froch hasn’t been able to come out and say that he’ll be taking the fight with the Kazakhstan star next.

There’s too much risk of Froch getting knocked clean out for him to take that fight in my view. That’s why I suspect that Froch will keep saying stuff about how it’s a 50-50 thing for him with him being able to retire or continue fighting. I think there’s a lot of fear with Froch when it comes to Golovkin because this guy could mess up Froch’s happy thoughts by stopping him in a vicious manner.

Froch hasn’t fought anyone that you can really call a good fighter since his loss to Andre Ward in 2011. Since then, it’s been aging guys like Mikkel Kessler and Lucian Bute, along with Yusuf Mack and Groves. Like I said, no one that was good at the time that Froch fought them.

Scott Gilfoid:

Brook v Khan: Who is the bigger name?

By Gav Duthie: Recent sources have revealed that Floyd Mayweather Jnr may be looking to the UK for his final fight with Amir Khan and Kell Brook as the front runners. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is often a careful selector of his opponents so just who is the bigger fighter and most logical option between Khan and Brook?

Amir will tell you that Brook hasn’t fought anyone and is just looking for a payday by fighting Amir or Mayweather. Brook will tell you he is the champion and that Khan is running scared and he is the bigger fighter now.

Does Khan need Brook more or vice versa. If Mayweather is considering selecting one of these two for his “final” fight then who should it be. This article looks statistically at who is the bigger name of the Brits with a recommendation for ‘Money’ Mayweather.

Boxing Record

Brook 8
Khan 7

Brook 35-0 (24)
Khan 31-3 (19)

Obviously Amir Khan has been fighting at the top level for much longer and as a result is more likely to have lost. Despite that you have to respect a fighter who has fought 35 times and never lost. Brook’s high knockout percentage also gives him an edge as Khan’s power has dropped as he has moved from lightweight-welterweight. If I was looking at it from the point of view of Keith Thurman, Manny Pacquiao or Mayweather I would rather beat an undefeated fighter like Brook than Amir Khan. There is something special about taking someones 0.

Opposition

Brook 6
Khan 9

Brook top 10

Kevin McIntyre, Michael Jennings, Matthew Hatton, Lovemore N’Dou, Carson Jones, Hector Saldivia, Vyachslav Senchenko, Shawn Porter, Ionut Dan Ion, Frankie Gavin

Khan top 10

Marco Antonio Barrera, Andriy Kotelnik, Marcos Maidana, Paulie Maliggnaggi, Zab Judah, Danny Garcia, Lamont Peterson, Luis Collazo, Devon Alexander, Chris Algieri

When you look at the top 10 opponents faced it doesn’t even compare. I had to Boxrec Brook’s record because I could only think of 8 decent fighters and some of them are only domestic class at best. Putting myself in Khan’s shoes I can understand him asking Brook to step up his level if opposition. There are 4 standard level opponents on there for Brook. Khan has defeated 8/10 of those on his list as I don’t even include Breidis Prescott. All of those top ten of Khan are ex-world champions whereas only Vyacheslav Senchenko and Porter are on Brook’s.

In fairness to Brook he was largely avoided for most of his career and I’m sure he wants the big fights. Now is the time to deliver.

Welterweight reputation

Brook 8
Khan 7

In terms of welterweight reputation it has to go to Brook. All 35 of his fights have been at 147 whilst Khan has only fought his last 3 there. Brook is arguably the strongest welterweight in the division and when he rehydrates he often looks much bigger than his opponent.

UK popularity

Brook 8
Khan 8

This is a tough one to call so I have went for the draw. When on boxing websites and forums it is abundantly clear that boxing fans prefer Brook over Khan. Amir is disliked for his arrogance at times and is rarely fights in the UK anyway. However if you were to ask casual fans many might not know Brook but they would certainly know Amir Khan.

I ask myself the question if Brook or Khan were to fight Mayweather at wembley who would gain more interest? I think both would sell out 80,000 but if it was Khan many might want Mayweather to win. Brook might be a popular fighter but people who watch that want you to lose its all the same just ask Floyd Mayweather Jnr. Whether they like him or not they still pay to watch him.

USA popularity

Brook 5
Khan 7

This isn’t even close. Kell Brook has only fought twice in America whereas most of Khans fights are there these days. It is difficult to assess how important this is for a British fighters career. If you are from fighting countries like Mexico, Puerto Rico or Argentina you need the United States as a base to get big fights and make money. If your from the UK, like Carl Froch for example, you can have a hugely successful career fighting mostly at home both in terms of legacy and financially.

If you want a big fight with an American like Mayweather however then you need to have a name across the pond which Brook doesn’t have. Khan isn’t a huge name stateside either, he thinks he is but his fight against Alexander sold 4,000 tickets and 7,000 for Chris Algieri who was fighting in his hometown. It is very difficult for British fighters to gain popularity in America but Khan is probably as good as it gets.

Champion status

Brook 8
Khan 7

Brook is a current title holder in a very hot division so he edges it. Khan is a two-weight world champion at lightweight (135) and light welterweight (140) but it was back in 2012 when he last held a title. His last 3 fights may have been against ex-world champions but few would consider Luis Collazo, Devon Alexander and Algieri as genuine threats in the welterweight division today. If Mayweather were to face Brook and win he would have held all 4 major welterweight titles within the year.

Money

Brook 6
Khan 9

Life isn’t fair and neither is boxing. Brook and Khan are roughly the same age, Kell has had one more fight but Amir has made much more money out of the sport. Khan recently stated the purse he received for the Algieri fight was more than Brook would have made in his last 5. Khan usually makes between $1.5-2 million per bout and seeing that Brook made $200k against Shawn Porter the estimate is probably correct.

I think in terms of pay-per-view Khan would also bring more numbers and revenue for Mayweather than Brook would. Amir was first linked as a potential Mayweather opponent after he beat Marcos Maidana and Zab Judah back to back in 2010-2011. His subsequent losses to Peterson and Garcia obviously halted that progress but the fight has been brewing whereas Brook has only came into the fold recently.

Overall

Kell Brook 49/70
Amir Khan 54/70

If Brook and Khan were to fight I would pick Brook all the way but at the moment the bigger name and the more obvious choice for Floyd has to be Amir Khan. Styles make fights and I do believe that Amir could cause him problems with his speed. Ultimately though I feel Mayweather would win and he would actually knock Khan out something he hasn’t done for a long time.

Charlie up for Manchester

Charlie Flynn notched up his third win in a row in Glasgow’s Thistle hotel providing him with another important step in his development as a pro boxer. Flynn outclassed Sheffield’s Qasim Hussains in a punch perfect display to the delight of his on-looking fans and Manager Alex Morrison.  Charlie says ‘we had a look at the guy before the fight and knew exactly what we were doing, it was a bit frustrating because Qasim covered up and locked his gloves on to his face which meant I went to the body, the main thing is it’s more rounds in the bag and experience.   And now Charlie will feature on Matchrooms High Stakes card on July 18th in Manchester Arena.

Charlie says “this is where I belong on the big shows, Alex and Eddie are giving me the best of both worlds, I’m getting out in Glasgow regularly, gaining vital experience and I’m getting on the big shows down south as well. On the Manchester show there’s two world titles at stake as well as two British titles up for grabs, it’s a great line up with Scott Quigg, Anthony Joshua and it will be good to see Anthony Corolla making his comeback after his traumatic assault.

Things are looking up for Charlie as Sky Sports and Matchroom Sport have extended their exclusive UK and Ireland broadcast partnership until 2021, offering up to 120 nights of live boxing over the next six years.

Matchroom Sport Managing Director Eddie Hearn said: “I am delighted to announce a new five year deal as Sky’s exclusive boxing promoter in the UK and Ireland. Over the past three years, with Sky Sports’ backing, we have developed a team of fighters unrivalled by any promotional company in the history of British boxing. We have worked together to take British boxing from small hall shows to filling major arenas all over the country, creating star attractions and taking the profile of the sport to another level.

Charlie will feature in Manchester Arena when Scott Quigg will defend his WBA World Super Bantamweight title against Kiko Martinez & Anthony Crolla takes on Darleys Perez for the WBA World Lightweight Title

Heavyweight sensation Anthony Joshua MBE will feature on the bill, Chris Jenkins will face Tyrone Nurse for British Light Welterweight title & Sam Eggington and Glenn Foot will clash for the vacant British Welterweight title. Tickets here

Joshua destroys Johnson in two rounds Olympic hero the first to stop ‘Kingpin’

Anthony Joshua MBE became the first fighter to stop Kevin Johnson inside two rounds in an awesome display of power at The O2, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Joshua blasted away at the American from the off, hurting Johnson immediately and then flooring him late in the round. Johnson was down once again on the bell but gallantly came out for the second stanza – but he only managed 80 seconds of the round before referee Ian John Lewis spared the American – who had never previously been stopped – from further punishment.

The 24 year old Londoner made it 13-0 and 13 KOs in the paid ranks inside three rounds – and Joshua said he will be back in the venue in the autumn to cause more havoc in the Heavyweight scene.

“I come out here and perform in front of everyone who comes to support me,” said Joshua. “This is what it is about.

“I have travelled about so many places with Matchroom but The O2 is my home and it is filling up more and more every time.

“This is what I am here to do. My coach really drills me in the gym n it is only right the hard work pays off. I want to dedicate that to Mitchell and John Ryder. We all share a changing room. It is an individual sport but they are my stable mates. They will bounce back

“People say that guy will test me, this guy will test me. It is only going to get tough and I will fight tougher opponents, the game doesn’t stop.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn added: “That was devastating. We witnessed the future Heavyweight champion of the world. We have to do things right and we will progress him at the right pace. “He will be out in July in Manchester and you will love the fight we have here for September 12. He is a great fighter and he is Great British. We have a few names there but we will fill this place again. This guy is going to beat every single Heavyweight in the world. We have a chance for a heavyweight to fly the flag for Great Britain and let’s all enjoy the journey of Anthony Joshua.”

Cardle And Evans Clash At Fiery Press Conference

Scotty Cardle and Craig Evans get into a heated exchange at press conference ahead of their Lightweight title battle at The O2 on Saturday night,

Cardle and Evans were calm as they posed for pictures at the press conference but as Cardle appeared to snub Evans’ offer of a handshake, Evans flicked out at the Lytham St. Annes man who reacted angrily to the gesture.

The unbeaten pair are desperate to get their hands on the title and it’s sure to be a tense weigh-in at Indigo at The O2 on Friday lunchtime – with Cardle desperate to make a name for himself alongside his illustrious gym mates in Joe Gallagher’s Bolton gym, and Evans keen to prove the bookies wrong.

“Everybody in the gym is making noise and making big names for themselves, and then there is me plodding along and getting there slowly but surely,” said Cardle. “Saturday is my time to shine and I do plan on entering the Lightweight division majestically.

“It’s my pay-per-view debut and it is such a big card to be on. It is a big moment and a big opportunity for me to be on a big bill and get that experience under by belt. I am overwhelmed to be a part of such a big show but I know I have a tough task ahead of me to win that Lonsdale belt.

“Craig Evans is a tough fight for me. Preparation has been perfect and I am more than ready. I know Craig from the GB setup. He was on the development squad when I was on the podium squad, so I have seen a bit of him back in those days.

“I haven’t seen too much of him as a professional but I have studied him and I know what I am in for. He is a southpaw, which is tricky anyway, but he is a tricky southpaw. I have a tough fight on my hands but the sparring and everything in training has been very precise. I have ticked all the boxes I can, so I am happy.”

“This title shot means absolutely everything to me,” said Evans. “I was meant to have a British title shot twice with Liam Walsh but he pulled out twice so I am moving up a weight to take on Cardle.

“I would love to win this title; the British title is one of the big belts before you go on to World level and I would love to bring this belt home.

“Cardle is a good fighter but I feel I am being a bit underestimated when you look at the bookies’ odds – but that doesn’t matter to me. There will only be me and him in the ring and I am thankful for the chance to fight for the British title on a big, big stage like this.

“I know Cardle from the amateurs. He is a good fighter, fast hands, but I don’t think he has met anybody of my calibre. He has fought name fighters but when he fought Paul Appleby I thought Appleby was on his way out. He isn’t fighting Appleby when he is fighting Craig Evans; he is fighting the best at Lightweight and I think I will beat him comfortably.

“His professional career has gone smoothly with 17 wins on the bounce. He is a tricky fighter and I rate him highly, he is a really good fighter but I am a good fighter too. I see it as a 50/50 fight. I am looking forward to the challenge and I think I can come out on top and bring this belt back to Wales.

“I am definitely ready for this. The better opponent I fight, the better you will see Craig Evans. I know he will come to fight to try and win the British title so we will meet straight on and I am looking forward to it.”

Cardle’s meeting with Evans is part of a massive night of action in London, with three huge World title fights topping a huge bill.

Sheffield’s Kell Brook defends his IBF World Welterweight title against Birmingham’s Frankie Gavin, Londoner Kevin Mitchell challenges Jorge Linares for the WBC Lightweight belt and Welsh stylist Lee Selby attempts to take the IBF Featherweight crown from Evgeny Gradovich.

Anthony Joshua MBE steps-up in class against Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson and there are two more great domestic title bouts on the undercard with John Ryder tackling Nick Blackwell for the vacant British Middleweight strap and Dave Ryan defending his Commonwealth Light Welterweight title against John Wayne Hibbert. Former World champion Nathan Cleverly is in action and Lucien Reid makes his pro debut.

Buffer ready to rumble for The O2

Hall of Fame MC to bring World title fights to the ring next Saturday

Michael Buffer will call the fighters to the ring on a huge night of boxing at The O2 in London on May 30, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

The Hall Of Fame ring MC returns to the UK for another evening of World class boxing featuring IBF World Welterweight champion Kell Brook against domestic foe Frankie Gavin, London favourite Kevin Mitchell challenging Jorge Linares for the WBC World Lightweight title and Welsh stylist Lee Selby takes on IBF World Featherweight king Evgeny Gradovich.

Buffer was in Sheffield in March when Brook made the first defence of his crown where he destroyed mandatory challenger Jo Jo Dan inside four rounds, and the legendary voice of boxing cannot wait to get to London for an epic night of action which includes a huge step-up for Olympic Heavyweight hero Anthony Joshua MBE takes on Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson – one of seven title fights on the monster bill.

“I can’t believe Kell is back in the ring in just two months since his KO victory over Jo Jo Dan in Sheffield,” said Buffer. “In this day and age of ring politics and twice a year fighting title holders that just doesn’t happen often enough. It shows that he’s completely serious about being a fighting champion whose ultimate goal is to unify the Welterweight titles and be known as the undisputed champion. If he continues at this pace he can claim the crown of ‘The People’s Champ’ by taking on any and all challengers.

“This time around though, he faces stiff competition from Frankie Gavin. The Birmingham man was also on the Sheffield card back in March and he too, doesn’t want to sit around, collecting dust, so he’s more than happy to have a chance at a World championship. He has 22 victories in 23 fights with over half of those wins by KO.  I can’t wait to see this bout.

“As a fan, I’m blown away by the card Matchroom Boxing has put together. In addition to the Brook vs Gavin fight we have two other significant World title fights on hand. Undefeated IBF Featherweight champ, Evgeny Gradovich will take on the very tough Welshman Lee Selby, who since losing a four rounder on points at the beginning of his pro career, has racked up 16 straight wins with eight KOs.

“WBC Lightweight champion Jorge Linares puts his title on the line against Londoner Kevin ‘The Hammer’ Mitchell. This fight, in my opinion, won’t go the distance as both guys can bang. Mitchell has gotten his grove back since losing to Ricky Burns and with six straight wins and five KOs, he’s determined to land his first World title. Linares, whose career totals are 38 and three with 25 inside the distance, didn’t travel thousands of miles to leave his belt in the UK. I’ve been at ringside for both of these fighters and it should be war.

“Looking at the line-up leading up to the three world championships and three British title fights, I found out that undefeated heavyweight Anthony Joshua MBE is fighting the granite chinned Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson on this card and I’m really intrigued with this contest.

“Joshua is 12 and 0, all early KOs. Johnson has six losses on his resume, but he has never been stopped – ever – and he’s gone twelve with monster punchers Tyson Fury and Vitali Klitschko. Neither of whom could put him away. Don’t forget, Johnson does have 29 wins with 14 KOs. What will happen if Joshua has to go past the third or fourth round with the veteran from Atlanta, Georgia makes this a must see heavyweight bout.  Man, this fight has my attention!”

Buffer has been quoted many times regarding the support and loyalty of the boxing fans in the UK and had this to say about what they can expect with this upcoming fight card.

“It’s events like this that build and enforce the fierce loyalty of fight fans across the UK,” said Buffer. “It’s such a great top to bottom line-up of fights. I think we have six twelve round title fights scheduled with more excellent supporting fights on the undercard including the Joshua fight. The place will be jumping and the fans will get their money’s worth. Just pack some sandwiches and bring the family.”

World title bouts for Selby, Brook, Gavin and Mitchell are part of a massive night of boxing at The O2, along with Joshua’s bout with Johnson.

There’s a trio of great all-British title bouts with John Ryder and Nick Blackwell clashing for the vacant British Middleweight crown, Scotty Cardle and Craig Evans meeting for the vacant British Lightweight belt and Dave Ryan defending his Commonwealth Light Welterweight title against John Wayne Hibbert, former Light Heavyweight World champion Nathan Cleverly returns to action plus the pro debut of Lucien Reid.

Limited tickets remain on sale for the bumper night of boxing at The O2 priced at £40 and £60 from www.theO2.co.uk and on 0844 856 0202.

Fielding faces Vera in huge summer clash

Liverpool Super Middleweight star to host World-rated Texan

Rocky Fielding will face Brian Vera in a huge Super Middleweight clash in the summer.

The popular Liverpool man faces the Texan on a date and an venue to be confirmed next week, as Fielding looks for a big win on his CV to serve notice of his intentions at world level.

Fielding returned to action in March in Hull after damaging his hand in his destructive dismissal of former World title challenger Noe Gonzalez Alcoba in July in Liverpool, and the 27 year old will take a big step-up in class when he meets the 33 year old.

Vera holds impressive wins over Andy Lee, Sergio Mora and Serhiy Dzinziruk as well as taking Julio Cesar Chavez Jr the distance twice – and promoter Eddie Hearn believes that the fight will represent a watershed night in Fielding’s rise to the top.

“I have been working on getting Brian over here for a while and I think it’s the perfect test for Rocky,” said Hearn. “Brian has mixed at top level and is always in all action fights. We are working on the date now and this will be confirmed next week.”

Rivals Evander Holyfield And Mike Tyson Pick Manny Pacquiao Over Floyd Mayweather!

Will Their Prediction Pan Out?

By Joey Parsons – kpopstarz

Two of the sport’s greatest rivals, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield foresee the same result in the Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather mega fight.
“So I’ll tell you what’s going to happen, because it’s going to be a close fight. Yeah, it’ll be close, and Pacquiao is going to get the decision,” Holyfield said in Boxing Scene.
If the Filipino boxer indeed wins, Holyfield said that this may also mean a Mayweather retirement after a lucrative payday.
Recent reports indicated that Floyd Jr. could receive at least $180 million if the fight round up more than $300 million. Pacquiao, meanwhile, might garner at least $100 million.
“It’s going to be a matter of whether Mayweather is going to fight again, whether he feels like he has made enough money to say ‘I ain’t got to fight,’” said Holyfield.
However, should a $100 million offer for a rematch come up, Mayweather Jr. might have a hard time turning it down.
“It’s a good chance Mayweather is not going to hang it up, so there’s going to be another $100 million and all like that.”
On the other hand, Mike Tyson posted a video on his YouTube channel why he thinks Pacquiao will be the winner of this match.
“When you think of the two fighters, Manny Pacquiao is the type of boxer who Floyd Mayweather will have a hard time with. Pacquiao had difficulties with opponents throwing over a hundred punch like Bradley and Marquez, while Mayweather is more like the scientific, defensive boxer who have the tendency to cover himself instead of attacking. Floyd Mayweather HAS TO FIGHT. He needs to trade punches with Manny Pacquiao in order to win this one”

Injury rules Saunders out of Ryan bout

Matchroom

Bradley Saunders has been ruled out of his Commonwealth Light Welterweight title challenge against Dave Ryan through a hand injury, but Anthony Nelson has landed a dream shot at the Super Flyweight strap against Jamie Wilson at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle on April 4, live on Sky Sports.

Saunders has ruptured tendons and ligaments in his right hand during training to meet Derby man Ryan for the crown, and the 29 year old is receiving treatment on the injury in order to get back into training as soon as possible.

South Shields’ Nelson and Dundee’s Wilson put their unbeaten records on the line to land the Super Flyweight crown vacated by Kal Yafai, with the Birmingham talent dropping down to Flyweight on this Saturday’s blockbuster bill in Sheffield, live on Sky Sports.

Nelson saw off Terry Broadbent to claim the English title in October while it’s a huge chance for Wilson to fight live on Sky Sports in just his sixth pro contest.

Heavyweight sensation Anthony Joshua MBE returns to action on the card, while 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

Bradley’s brother Jeff making his pro debut and there’s a host of unbeaten local talent on the bill with English Super Flyweight champion Anthony Nelson, 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.

“It’s a blow for Bradley but a great chance for Anthony Nelson and Jamie Wilson to steal the show,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Nelson will have the crowd behind him and it’s going to be a hostile atmosphere for young Scotsman Wilson to contend with, but I’m delighted that they both get this shot at the big time.”

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.

Bumper card at the O2 Arena, London, May 30th

By Gav Duthie:

Kevin Mitchell 39-2 (29) will be hoping third time is a charm as he again prepares for a title shot against Jorge Linares 38-3 (25) on May 30th in London.

Not content with one title fight Eddie Hearn has also moved the Evgeny Gradovich 19-0-1 (9) v Lee Selby 20-1 (8) from its April date. Another third times a charm attempt to put Anthony Joshua 10-0 (10) against Kevin Johnson 29-6 (14) will be chief support.

Mitchell v Linares

The hope is that at age 30 Mitchell is finally ready for a world title. In my opinion he is one of the best boxers around not to win one.

In saying that he fell well short against Katsidis (interim title) and Ricky Burns being knocked out in the 3rd and 4th rounds respectively. Linares by contrast is a three time and two weight world champion. Linares undoubtedly had the easiest route to a WBC title since Morales-Pablo Cesar Cano in 2011. Linares beat Javier Prieto 24-8-2 (18) to win it after Omar Figueroa relinquished it. I don’t think Mitchell or Linares could beat Figueroa but they are more evenly matched against each other.

The fight

Linares has a small reach advantage over Mitchell and fast hands. Seeing as Mitchell often fights as a counter puncher and aggressor I feel he will be the one coming forward as Linares likes to control the pace from the back foot. The Venezuelan has been stopped in all of his 3 losses but he can take a punch. His face was an absolute mess when throwing away a big lead against Antonio Di Marco and Sergio Thompson just swarmed him reminiscent of Froch-Bute. Mitchell is more of a thinking fighter so he needs to make sure he doesn’t take too much on the way in. I hope I’m wrong but I feel Mitchell will need a knockout that he won’t get.

Linares UD 12

Gradovich v Selby

Promoter Eddie Hearn did well to secure this fight as many thought Evgeny Gradovich would need to rematch Jayson Velez after their draw in November 2014. Gradovich was robbed that night and Hearn managed to secure the fight due to Lee Selby’s mandatory status. Its hard to pick a weak champion in the featherweight division with Nicholas Walters and Vasyl Lomachenko but Gradovich is beatable.

The fight

The Russian has more power than his 9 knockouts suggest, his TKO of Billy Dib is testament to that. He is a good all round boxer who doesn’t waste punches. The same can be said of Selby so I don’t expect fireworks but it will be a good technical battle. Gradovich will be the aggressor in this one and he will need to be aware that his punch output must be high to get the decision. This one will be closer but I again must go with the champion.

 

Anthony Joshua v Kevin Johnson

Anthony Joshua should have at least one more fight in before this. Being that he fought ten times in 1 and a half years this will be torture for him and he should sharpen his skills on April 4th first against an unnamed opponent. Kevin Johnson has little ambition now other than that of a high class journeyman but that doesn’t mean he isn’t dangerous.

The fight

Joshua needs rounds and this is why the veteran Johnson was chosen. The American has only been down once his entire career against Chisora. I feel Joshua will get the rounds he needs but may force a stoppage in the mid to late rounds.

Scott Quigg says talks over a bout with Carl Frampton are under way

Scott Quigg says he is determined to face Carl Frampton, insisting it is the fight he wants 
and the British public deserve.

WBA super-bantamweight champion Scott Quigg has revealed talks over a highly-anticipated bout with IBF counterpart Carl Frampton are under way.

Bury’s Quigg, 26, has overcome a recent hand injury and was ringside to see Belfast’s Frampton, 28, defend his title with an impressive fifth-round stoppage of Chris Avalos in Belfast last weekend.

With both fighters hoping to secure a lucrative domestic clash with two world titles on the line, Quigg told Sky Sports News HQ: “Training is going well at the minute. The hand’s healed well. I had to have three or four weeks without punching but now I’m back in the gym and doing light punching. So far, the hand is holding up.

“He (Frampton) boxed very good and beat a very good fighter in Chris Avalos. The key to the fight was patience and Avalos became wreckless and Frampton made him pay. He did the job well.”It’s the fight I want, he wants and the British public want. What gives me confidence is that if Floyd Mayweather Jr v Manny Pacquiao can be made, I’m sure me and Carl Frampton can get made. We’re in talks now and it’s going well. Hopefully, fingers crossed, it can be made because it’s the fight the public deserve.

“I’ll fight in Belfast, Manchester or London. It doesn’t matter. I’m 100 per cent confident I will get the job done. I know what I have to do.

“After his performance on Saturday night, a lot of people are writing me off. It doesn’t matter. I know what I need to do and I’ll prove a lot of people wrong when that fight gets made.

"He (Frampton) boxed very good and beat a very good fighter in Chris Avalos. 
The key to the fight was patience and Avalos became wreckless and Frampton made him pay. 
He did the job well."

Scott Quigg

“It’s another George Groves v Carl Froch. It captures the imagination of not just boxing fans but the general public too. There couldn’t be a better time – we’re both undefeated and both world champions. It just sets it up for a great fight.”

Looking ahead to another stellar weekend of boxing action on Sky Sports, Quigg was particularly enthused over Luke Campbell and Tommy Coyle – the lightweights who are hoping to increase the chances of a showdown by overcoming Levis Moralez and Martin Gethin respectively in their home town of Hull.

Quigg said: “I remember fighting in Bury for the first time and there were 1,800 people in the leisure centre. It’s still the best atmosphere I’ve ever heard. Fighting in your home town is always something special.

“Those two are both from Hull and are on a collision course for a big fight in the summer if they can both win on Saturday. They’re both quality fighters.

“Coyle has a tough fight against Martin Gethin. He’s operated at a good level but I expect Coyle to come through and set up a fight with Campbell in the summer. They both have potential to be world champions.”

Barry McGuigan warns Scott Quigg not to be ‘greedy’ in pursuit of Carl Frampton fight

By Nick Parkinson:

Quigg’s promoter Eddie Hearn will want the fight screened on Sky Sports, but McGuigan insists the fight must happen on Frampton’s terms

Carl Frampton’s promoter Barry McGuigan has warned Scott Quigg not to be “greedy” in his demands for a world title unification clash.

IBF world super-bantamweight champion Frampton set up the prospect of facing Quigg this summer by clinically finishing off American Chris Avalos in the fifth round.

The Belfast boxer thrilled his home fans and those watching on ITV in the first live world title fight in Britain since 2008.

Unbeaten Frampton’s first title defence might not have got the 18million viewers who saw Irishman McGuigan win the world featherweight title nearly 30 years ago on terrestial TV.

But McGuigan hopes ITV will be persuaded to continue showing Frampton, 28, and is determined to make a fight with Manchester’s WBA interim champion Quigg on free-to-air TV.

Quigg’s promoter Eddie Hearn will want the fight screened on Sky Sports, but McGuigan insists the fight must happen on Frampton’s terms.

He said: “We believe there’s a future with ITV and I really hope we can have the fight with Quigg on ITV. As long as Quigg’s not too greedy, that fight can happen.

“Quigg turned up for the fight so he’s genuinely interested in it. As long as he remembers Carl has the regular world title and packs out arenas and as long as he understands that and Carl is the attraction, it can happen.

“I think he’s on a fight by fight deal with Sky, he’s not on a contract with Sky, and he’s a nice kid and a hell of a fighter.

“But saying we want Quigg next is not a licence for him to come back and say he wants crazy money.

“I think the fight can be done at a 30,000 seater outdoor stadium or you could do it at the MEN Arena in Manchester or at the O2 Arena in London. QPR’s ground rings a few bells with me and our sponsors CWM sponsor Chelsea so that’s an option.

“We really want the fight. Hearn keeps pushing the pay per view but it’s a much better fight on terrestial TV where more people can see it and makes these kids superstars.

“We can do that if they are a bit less greedy. Eddie is about numbers all the time but let’s think about it being free-to-air and it will be a brilliant fight. Boxing has a future on terrestial TV.”

Frampton silenced Avalos’ taunts in the fifth round for what he rates as his best display – and then declared he is ready to face Quigg anywhere this summer.

He said: “It doesn’t matter where it is, I’m happy where ever and we can have it at a neutral venue in London if that’s what it takes.

“Now is the perfect time to do it. It should happen now.

“I think it was my best performance to date. He seemed very slow to me and I could see everything coming.

“He said I punch like a pansy in the second round and he was even talking just before I stopped him in the fifth.

“I wanted to teach him a few manners and after the fight he just got out of the ring asking me for a rematch. I give respect as a fighter, but not as a man.”

Froch gets bad news, WBA orders fight against Andre Ward.

By Scott Gilfoid:

WBA World super middleweight champion Carl Froch (33-2, 24 KOs) got some potentially bad news on Saturday with the World Boxing Association ordering him to face WBA Super World super middleweight champion Andre Ward (27-0, 14 KOs).

According to Fightnews.com, Ward and Froch have 30 days to come to an agreement for a fight, and that they have 120 days for their fight to take place. This would mean that the two fighters will need to face each other by the end of July. If Froch and Ward can’t reach an agreement, then the WBA will initiate a purse bid.

I fully suspect that Froch will vacate his WBA title in the same way he did with his IBF title after the International Boxing Federation ordered Froch to fight #1 IBF James DeGale.

It would be sad to see Froch vacate his last remaining title, because it would make his fights against other opponents have less importance in the minds of some fans. I mean, if Froch is seen vacating his titles left and right in order to avoid fighting difficult opponents, it’s going to potentially look bad with him fighting some contender without titles being on the line.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure that a fight against Ward is something that Froch had in mind in the near future, or ever. At this point in his career, Froch is concerned with his boxing legacy and he’s interested in fighting former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, or possibly 50-year-old Bernard Hopkins.

It’s unknown how victories over those two will do anything to improve Froch’s legacy, as neither of those fighters are considered to be the top guys in their respective weight classes. For example, Hopkins was recently easily beaten by WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev last November.

In the case of Chavez Jr, he still has yet to fight an actual super middleweight since moving up to the division in 2013. He’s twice fought middleweight Brian Vera at light heavyweight and then super middleweight. Vera isn’t a super middleweight thought, and he’s more of a journeyman level fighter than a contender.

In Chavez Jr’s next fight on April 18th, if it actually takes place, he’ll be fighting at a catch-weight of 172 pounds against light heavyweight Andrzej Fonfara. As such, Froch is proving zero in fighting Chavez Jr, other than him possibly beating a guy that was exposed by a fading 38-year-old Sergio Martinez in 2012.

I can see Froch possibly slipping in the fight against Chavez Jr before the 120 day period is up for him to fight Ward. Froch could then technically still be in possession of his WBA title at the time he faces Chavez Jr. But once that fight is over, Froch will have to face the music by the end of July whether to face Andre Ward or not.

Like I said, I don’t see Froch ever facing Andre Ward ever again. He fought Ward in 2011 and was beaten by Ward, who fought mostly using his jab. If Froch can fight Chavez Jr in June or July, he could then in theory still have possession of his WBA title. It would be something he can carry into the ring with him for the fight, even though it would likely be the last time that he has the title on the line.

It’s hard to say what Froch will do after the Chavez Jr fight. It’s possible he’ll vacate the WBA title and then retire, or he could turn around and fight Hopkins. Whatever the case, I don’t see him fighting Ward or the Dirrell brothers. I also don’t see Froch fighting DeGale, Sergey Kovalev or Adonis Stevenson.

Charlie Flynn will be Scotland’s next boxing world champion, believes Jim Watt

JIM WATT believes that the Commonwealth Games gold medallist Charlie Flynn’s much-heralded entry into the professional ranks, on the Morrison Promotions’ show at the Thistle Hotel on Sunday night, is exactly what the Scottish fight game needs.

JIM WATT believes that the Commonwealth Games gold medallist Charlie Flynn’s much-heralded entry into the professional ranks, on the Morrison Promotions’ show at the Thistle Hotel on Sunday night, is exactly what the Scottish fight game needs.

The former World Boxing Council lightweight champion believes that, with Ricky Burns’ career in apparently terminal decline and Willie Limond in the autumn of his career, the Scottish professional game is badly in need of an injection of youthful brio.

While Watt has no doubt that Flynn has a skill-set that could one day result in the Lanark 21-year-old following in his footsteps, and those of Burns, by becoming a world champion.

At the outset of Flynn’s professional career, Watt’s words of praise may seem premature but the former world champion has no doubt that the youngster’s memorable performance in securing Commonwealth Games lightweight gold in front of an expectant Glasgow crowd is tangible proof that he has the temperament to take the hype in his stride and go all the way to emeritus level.

“I have no doubt that Charlie will make a great addition to the pro game,” said Watt. “He is exactly what Scottish boxing needs right now: a real character with a personality that is infectious and bubbles over. But he also has loads of ability and a style that is almost ready-made for the professional game. Right now, with Ricky Burns and Willie Limond coming to the end of their careers, Charlie’s timing in turning professional is perfect for him and Scottish boxing.

“If you look at his last fight, in the final of the Commonwealth Games, Charlie has shown great temperament, a full ranges of punches and good movement, so he has all the tools he needs to make it in the professional game.

“I also think making his debut at the Thistle on Sunday is a shrewd move by Alex Morrison (Flynn’s manager); it is a nice size of promotion for Charlie to be turning pro on and, importantly, it is in Scotland. It should give him the perfect launch-pad.”

Morrison has already stated publicly he believes his new prodigy can claim global success in two years’ time yet, while Watt is a bit more cautious in his projections of timescale, he nonetheless remains convinced that a fine career is about to unfold.

“A timescale of two years is maybe a bit ambitious but Charlie has everything he needs to make that journey and the type of exciting style that will make him a very popular boxer,” said Watt, who was also a former British and European lightweight champion

“We know that we need a new kid on the block – an exciting young fighter coming through to fly the flag for Scottish boxing – and I have no doubt that Charlie is the kid who can do that. He has the talent to go all the way and I like the way he has real belief in himself.”

Watt is just as convinced that Flynn, who will face the English journeyman Ibrar Riyaz on his professional debut on Sunday night, has made the right move by using his golden moment at the Commonwealth Games to enter the paid ranks with his profile at its highest.

The 66-year-old said: “There comes a stage in every amateur’s career when he has to decide whether to turn professional and, with Charlie having won the Commonwealth Games gold medal, the time to make that decision was in its aftermath. In my opinion, the only option was to turn pro.

“You don’t get a much stronger bargaining position than when you have a gold medal around your neck and, by signing with Alex Morrison and Eddie Hearn, Charlie has guaranteed himself to be boxing on the big TV shows around the country.

“If you look at the way Anthony Joshua, the Olympic heavyweight gold medallist, has been developed by Eddie Hearn since he turned pro, then you have a perfect template for how they will bring Charlie along.”

Burns, Flynn & Limond set for Glasgow boxing dust-up

RICKY BURNS, Charlie Flynn and Willie Limond are all in line to feature in a mouth-watering fight night in Glasgow.

SportTimes can exclusively reveal Scottish boxing supremo Alex Morrison is planning a star-studded event with all three punchers set to take part in front of their home crowd.

Morrison, who manages the trio, is hoping to organise the astonishing line-up for a date in May, with the east end’s Emirates Arena the top choice venue.

It is understood at least 3,000 tickets will be on sale to see three of the country’s top names in boxing in action, however the arena’s capacity can be expanded further.

Getting a brief is thought to be the only way to see any of the action, with Morrison planning on doing a show away from TV cameras.

The boxing boss said: “I’m hoping to do something without television with Ricky, Charlie and Willie for the show. I’ve spoken to all of them and they are all up for it, so we will see what happens.

“We are looking to have at least three thousand there, but we know there will be a big demand from a Glasgow crowd to see these guys in action, especially on the same bill.

“It would be after Ricky’s fight in Las Vegas. We would then sit down and plan what we are doing.”

Burns is anticipated to be featuring in the gambling capital of the world on April 18, with SportTimes understanding a deal to see the Coatbridge puncher go up against WBC lightweight champion Omar Figueroa close to being concluded.

The man who is undefeated in 25 bouts will pose stiff opposition to Burns, who is currently in London training with Tony Sims.

But the former two-weight world champion could be the leading light in a tale of two cities if the Glasgow barnstormer is given the green light.

As well as British and Commonwealth champion Limond – who was awarded the boxer of the year award at Sunday’s Scottish Ex-Boxers’ Association bash in Glasgow – another big pull for the event would be the charismatic Flynn.

Almost seven months after he first burst into the spotlight at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Newarthill fighter has since turned professional under Morrison’s wing.

He won his pro debut against Ibrar Riyaz back in December, and is set to step into the ring again on March 6 in a Morrison show at the Thistle Hotel.

The former postman has delivered his fair share of punches and punchlines over the last few months to become one of the most popular faces in Scottish sport.

And Morrison is only too aware of Flynn’s pulling power. He said: “Charlie has only had one fight with me, but he’s a breath of fresh air. He just cheers everybody up.

“You could be the best boxer in the world, but you might not sell tickets. He can sell tickets and that’s because he’s media friendly, he gets on with people and has the personality as well as the talent. He’s perfect for the professional ranks.

“Charlie has a show on March 6 and we’ve already sold three hundred tickets. That is down to just who he is and how much people think of him.”

Scott Mullen evening times

ITV to show Carl Frampton vs Chris Avalos as boxing returns to terrestrial television

  • Carl Frampton to fight Chris Avalos in Belfast on February 28
  • Super bantamweight world title showdown will be shown live on ITV
  • Fight will be first world championship duel on terrestrial TV in seven years
  • Last terrestrial broadcast featured Amir Khan in 2010

By Jeff Powell

ITV are answering that call by screening Frampton’s IBF super bantamweight championship battle with mandatory challenger Chris Avalos at what will be a wildly atmospheric Odyssey Arena in Belfast.

The Northern Irishman’s legendary mentor, manager and promoter Barry McGuigan said when making the ITV announcement: ‘This is as crucial for boxing as it is important for Carl.

‘This is a great showcase for Carl to show the whole of Britain and much of the world what an exciting fighter he is. But on top of that our sport has been needing major exposure on terrestrial television.’

This will be the first world championship fight on one of the major networks since Carl Froch beat Jean Pascal for the super middleweight title seven years ago.

ITV are answering that call by screening Frampton’s IBF super bantamweight championship battle with mandatory challenger Chris Avalos at what will be a wildly atmospheric Odyssey Arena in Belfast.

The Northern Irishman’s legendary mentor, manager and promoter Barry McGuigan said when making the ITV announcement: ‘This is as crucial for boxing as it is important for Carl.

‘This is a great showcase for Carl to show the whole of Britain and much of the world what an exciting fighter he is. But on top of that our sport has been needing major exposure on terrestrial television.’

This will be the first world championship fight on one of the major networks since Carl Froch beat Jean Pascal for the super middleweight title seven years ago.

ITV’s re-entry into the prize ring may push back plans for a title-unifying Battle of Britain between Frampton and Scott Quigg, who is committed to Sky through his promoter Eddie Hearn. However, assuming he sees off Avalos as expected, Frampton will be looking first at other huge multi-belt duels with Leo Santa Cruz and Guillermo Rigondeaux, the brilliant Cuban who is generally regarded as the Floyd Mayweather of the super bantamweight division.

For a fight against Rigondeaux, for example, it is not inconceivable that McGuigan, now as shrewd in his negotiating as he was when a world champion in his own right, can pull together a multi-channel deal like those being discussed by US networks HBO and Showtime for Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao.

The undercard in Belfast will be aired on ITV4, followed by Frampton v Avalos on the main ITV channel

ITV’s re-entry into the prize ring may push back plans for a title-unifying Battle of Britain between Frampton and Scott Quigg, who is committed to Sky through his promoter Eddie Hearn. However, assuming he sees off Avalos as expected, Frampton will be looking first at other huge multi-belt duels with Leo Santa Cruz and Guillermo Rigondeaux, the brilliant Cuban who is generally regarded as the Floyd Mayweather of the super bantamweight division.

For a fight against Rigondeaux, for example, it is not inconceivable that McGuigan, now as shrewd in his negotiating as he was when a world champion in his own right, can pull together a multi-channel deal like those being discussed by US networks HBO and Showtime for Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao.

The undercard in Belfast will be aired on ITV4, followed by Frampton v Avalos on the main ITV channel

Frankie Gavin signs for Matchroom Boxing – added to Brook v Dan card

Gavin headlines May 9 NIA card with Macklin, Yafai brothers and Eggington

Frankie Gavin has signed a promotional deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing and will headline a show at The Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on May 9, live on Sky Sports.

Gavin will fight under Hearn for the first time on the undercard of Kell Brook’s IBF Welterweight World title defence against Jo Jo Dan at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield on March 28 before heading home in May in front of a huge crowd with a brilliant line-up in support.

World rated Middleweight Matthew Macklin boxes in Birmingham for the first time in almost five years as he looks to bounce back from defeat to Jorge Sebastian Heiland, unbeaten Super Flyweight sensation Kal Yafai will be in title action on the card and his brother Gamal will continue his rise in the pro ranks and all-action Stourbridge youngster Sam Eggington will be hoping for a major title bout on the bill should he beat Shayne Singleton in Hull on March 7.

It’s the first major show in the second city for Matchroom Sport for 13 years since Nigel Benn and Prince Naseem Hamed featured on a bill in May 1992, and Hearn is delighted to be bringing big-time boxing back to Birmingham.

“Firstly to Frankie Gavin – welcome to the team!” said Hearn. “Frankie has long been one of the most talented fighters in the Country and now it’s time to shine. I haven’t seen him smile for a long time and now it’s ‘Funtime’; time to enjoy his career, the exposure and the big lights. Frankie will defend one of his 3 titles on the huge Kell Brook card on March 28 at Sheffield Arena and then headline at the NIA in Birmingham on May 9. I have lost count of the number of tweets or messages I have had asking us to come to Birmingham and now the waiting is over!”

New year, new sense of excitement for Flynn

Gordon Stevenson Saturday 17 January.

2014 may have been the year that he claimed a Commonwealth Games gold medal, became a hometown hero and a Scottish sporting household name almost over-night, before making a triumphant and much lauded professional debut and achieving cult hero status after a string of waggish TV interviews, but Charlie Flynn has admitted that he is even more excited about 2015.

Yet the outstanding young pugilist has revealed that he has used the festive period to take stock and reflect on his meteoric rise to prominence while re-grouping mentally for the next stage in his development. Flynn will take the next step of his professional career at the Thistle Hotel, Glasgow, in just under seven weeks’ time and is already booked to box on the massive Sky Sports televised, Matchroom promoted Geordie Roar Show, at the Newcastle Metro Radio Arena, on April 4, with the possibility of another four outings to follow before the year is out.

The 21 year-old has embarked on a brutal training regime, under the expert tutelage of master trainer Peter Harrison, which will bulk up his upper-body and add extra power to an arsenal of punches, which even after only one outing in pugilism’s paid punching ranks, has an impressive variety to it. Thus, Flynn’s enthusiasm to make the next move in his professional development unbridled, it is clear the young tyro is a man in a hurry: “There was a lot of hype before my debut but, definitely, winning the gold medal at the Commy Games really stood me in good stead for all of that and now I feel like I can move on and just concentrate on building my boxing career but 2014 is a year I will never forget, no doubt about it,” said Flynn. The Commonwealth Games lightweight gold medallist continued:

“The important thing is that I pace myself and don’t try and rush things. The pros is a learning experience and one that is going to be ongoing for a while for me, as it is a real journey. “But I have a great trainer in Peter Harrison who has been over the course before with Scott (Harrison) and I feel like at the Phoenix I have the best possible base to achieve everything I want to.

“The target is to be improving aspects of my game from fight-to-fight and come March 6, at the Thistle Hotel, I like to think that the progress I have made in that process will become apparent.” Such was the celebrity that his ebullient interview style garnered in the wake of his golden moment at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games that Flynn was sent-up on the Hogmanay edition of TV’s Only An Excuse, yet demonstrating impressive maturity the young boxer says humour is a vital part of his make-up and admitted that he revelled in the experience of being lampooned.

Flynn said: “Yeah, I did catch Only An Excuse on TV at Hogmanay and it was a laugh. My parents always taught me that if you can’t laugh at yourself then how can you laugh at anyone else? “So there is no way I am ever going to be taking myself so seriously that I can’t have a laugh. In life humour is a really important thing, it is a great release and I took it as a bit of a complement that they sent me up like they did. “But with the programme coming so soon after my first pro fight it just felt it was, like part of the reaction to that and it has all been really positive.

I never want to get to a stage where I can’t look in the mirror and see a smile there.” But the hard work for his next professional outing is already well under way and Flynn has no doubt that the lessons he learned from his four round debut victory over Ibrar Riyaz, on December 14, have been invaluable as he prepares for his second coming. “I learned a lot from my first professional fight against Ibrar Riyaz and it was great to get the four rounds under my belt. There was a world of difference in my first pro fight to any of the bouts I had in the Amateurs, Riyaz made it very difficult for me, in that he came to survive and it isn’t easy producing your best boxing when you have someone who is just interested in covering up against you,” revealed Flynn.

He continued: “After the first round I felt like I could have stopped him but Peter (Harrison), told me to take my time, concentrate on placing my shots and make the most of getting the four rounds under my belt for the first time. “But the great thing is that it was a learning experience for me right down to the different hand-wraps they use in the pros and the smaller eight ounce gloves.

“Maybe there was a bit of frustration on the night I didn’t take him out earlier but now looking back I’m glad I got the four rounds behind me and it has given me a good foundation to kick-on. “There was pressure on me to look good but I felt like I did enough to entertain the crowd, which is important, now I can’t wait for my next fight on March 6 to come around.” Tickets for Flynn’s second outing at the Thistle Hotel, priced £90 inclusive of five course meal and £50 inclusive of buffet, are now available tickets here