Saunders and Joshua headline huge Newcastle show

Bradley faces Ryan for Commonwealth title and AJ debuts in North East

Bradley Saunders and Anthony Joshua will headline a huge show at the Metro Radio Arena as Matchroom bring live Sky Sports boxing to Newcastle on April 4.

Saunders will take on Dave Ryan for the Commonwealth Light Welterweight title, while Joshua will be fighting in his 12th pro fight after facing former World title challenger Kevin Johnson for the WBC International Heavyweight title in London next month.

Ryan upset the odds when he won the Commonwealth belt against Tyrone Nurse in October, taking a majority decision in Leeds, while Saunders has become one of the hottest prospects in British boxing as he has stormed his way to 11-0 with eight knockouts, and has his sights set on continuing his rapid rise onto the World stage in 2015.

Olympic gold medallist Joshua is also anticipating a huge year, and successful outings in London and Newcastle should lead him towards a huge domestic clash.

A stacked undercard features a host of local stars. Birtley’s Dickinson brothers are both in action, with former British Cruiserweight title holder Jon-Lewis up against Scotland’s WBC International champion Stephen Simmons and younger brother Travis defending his English Light Heavyweight title.

South Shields’ Anthony Nelson rematches Terry Broadbent having won the vacant English Super Flyweight title against the Yorkshireman in October with 2010 Commonwealth Games Heavyweight gold medallist Simon Vallily and Scottish Commonwealth gold-winning Lightweight Charlie Flynn also in action.

Mayweather, the man who cried Arum

floyd5By Victor Candelario: There are no more excuses for the Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Manny Pacquiao fight not happening. It is not Manny’s fault, it is not Arum’s fault, it is not the money’s fault, nor is it the drug testings fault.

The only person left to blame is Floyd “Money” Mayweather (47-0 26 KO’s) and its sad because as a fan of boxing I firmly believe Floyd wins a decision should they meet. But at this point in time I’m sick and tired of Floyd fan boys coming to his defense simply because it has become obvious Floyd is a coward. How can he not fight his Joe Frazier? His Roberto Duran and still be considered great when his career is over?

I’ll tell you what I think, he’s waiting, he’s waiting till Pacquiao (57-5 38 KO’s) is an ancient relic as he did when he fought Sugar Shane Mosley. Floyd is waiting for when Manny’s hands aren’t as dangerous, or as quick as they are now, even if they’ve already slowed down as opposed to 5 years ago. Floyd points fingers at Arum every single time the fight doesn’t work out.

Does nobody else find that the slightest bit suspect? Does it not make some of you laugh inside because at this point we all expect Mayweather to simply use arum as a scapegoat to avoid this fight?

Mayweather is getting the biggest payday of his career, in a fight that will shatter every boxing gross revenue record. He’s getting the money he’s asked for, he has control over the glove size (expect him to make Manny use bigger gloves with more padding), the ring size, who walks out first, where the fight takes place, and even drug testing. Arum and Manny have given Floyd everything he’s asked for and then some for Floyd to tell all boxing fans Arum is getting in the way.

Has it not become clear that Floyd is simply looking for any excuse to stop this fight from occurring? And when all other excuses fail (Money, Drug testing, Manny, Glove size, Ring Size, Venue) and no longer work, Mayweather simply blames Arum and for some strange reason everybody believes him. At this point if you believe this guy, you’re kidding yourself. Even if you’re a Floyd fan, you’re simply in denial that your favorite fighter is ducking the other best fighter of this generation. Floyd has become the boy who cried wolf, or should I say the boy who cried Arum, we don’t believe you Floyd.

Flynn to make Pro Debut in December

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Charlie Flynn has ended months of speculation by his recent announcement that he is turning to the paid ranks as a professional.

His first appearance will be at Glasgow’s Thistle Hotel on December 14th on the undercard of stable mate Willie Limond who will top the Bill.  And with big fight venues promised for February and May Charlie can’t hide his excitement.

He says “it’s a great start to my pro career getting an up close and personal venue like the Thistle Hotel, everybody can be seated ringside and really get into the atmosphere, my gym mate Willie Limond is headlining the card so it will be a really cracking night”.

Flynn’s training team will be headed up by veteran coach Peter Harrison of Glasgow Phoenix while he will be managed by Alex Morrison and Promoted by Eddie Hearn at Matchroom Boxing.

Charlie comments “I spoke to different managers about various deals but my gut feeling told me Alex was the man for the job which has proved to be right, also Eddie Hearn is the top promoter in the UK with Matchroom and Sky TV, so I will be boxing on the big shows down south as well.

Commonwealths

Charlie won Gold and the hearts of the Scottish public with his emphatic win over Northern Irelands Joe Fitzpatrick to bag Scotland’s 50th medal of the Games.

He became the youngest ever and first Scottish boxer to win the lightweight final since Scotland’s Dick McTaggart in 1958.  James Rolland in 1930 was the only other Scottish boxer to win Gold in this weight category.

Charlie says “I’ve left my mark on the amateurs, I’m in the history books now, I couldn’t be prouder of this achievement, and it still sinks in every day anew.  The memories of the games will stay with me for the rest of my life especially the podium, receiving my medal from the greatest amateur boxer ever Dick McTaggart MBE in Glasgow it was overwhelming.

I’ve had Messages and cards from everywhere! one Lady wrote to me from Aberdeen saying the tears were rolling down her face. People have contacted me from New Zealand, Canada, America, France and even the Philippines.  My life has changed, I’ve been doing loads of tv work meeting amazing people, but the feet are still well and truly on the ground.”

I’m still at work on a Monday morning after training, dodging away with the crew in Royal Mail.  But I’m on the verge of entering a new exciting era where my day job will get less and less and training will take over.

The Hydro

The switch to the pro ranks is a big decision but Charlie can’t wait to get into the big fight nights in the Hydro and the Emirates, he’s looking to lay a solid foundation on which to raise his pro career.

“Glasgow is my home ground; I’m looking to establish a fan base, I’m looking forward to boxing in front of the Scottish crowds and bringing titles back to Glasgow.  I can’t wait to box in the Hydro again to feel the rush of blood under the lights; I know I’m cut out for the Pro’s.  I know the Hydro awaits my return it’s my destiny.

A limited number of tickets are available here from this site for Charlie’s Debut in the Thistle Hotel.

Boxer Charlie Flynn unveils bike stand which is legacy of Games

CHARLIE Flynn helped to unveil a lasting memory of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow’s city centre

The first commemorative cycle stand was revealed by the champion boxer in George Square yesterday.Charlie, who won gold in the lightweight boxing category during the Games, said:” The Commonwealth Games was such a fantastic experience for me and it’s brilliant to see the legacy of Glasgow 2014 being continued.”I have chosen to place my own cycle rack in my home town of Motherwell where hopefully it will encourage people to think about using more active forms of travel.
“Boxing and staying healthy is my life but it’s easy for everyone to make small changes to be more active and choosing to cycle or walk over taking the car or train is a great way to get started.”A total of 78 cycle racks -one for each medal winning athlete – will be unveiled throughout the country with a total of 26 gold, 31 silver and 21 bronze stands installed from today.Speaking at the Cycling Summit in Glasgow, transport minister Keith Brown also announced details of a new active travel programme to encourage people to live healthier lifestyles.It will be delivered by a range of partners including CTC/Youth Scotland, Cycling Scotland, Forth Environment Link, Paths for All and Sustrans.
He said:”This new programme encourages people of all ages to take steps towards an active, healthier lifestyle and outlines how the success of the Games has had a positive impact on Scotland’s communities.”It goes without saying that cycling and walking benefits the individual with not just physical benefits, but benefits for mental health, the environment and keeping people’s transport costs down.”The Scottish Government aims to get more people making active travel choices to improve health and the environment.”During this year and next we are increasing our expenditure on cycling and walking infrastructure by a further £27 million to deliver projects that promote active travel for everyday commuter journeys.”

hannah.rodger@ eveningtimes.co.uk

 

Royal Mail boxer Charlie Flynn scoops gold at Commonwealth Games

He’s done it! In his own words ‘the mailman delivers once again’. Lightweight boxer and Royal Mail Logistics worker Charlie Flynn has fought his way to gold at the Commonwealth Games.

Charlie, 20, who works at our Scottish distribution centre in Wishaw, saw off Joe Fitzpatrick from Northern Ireland in his final in front of a passionate home crowd.  And in a live post-fight interview, watched by millions of viewers across the Commonwealth, Charlie heaped praise on Royal Mail and his colleagues in Wishaw.

Live interview

During the interview, conducted by veteran sports broadcaster John Inverdale and boxer Amir Kahn, Inverdale asked Charlie: ‘There might be some people you’d like to thank at Royal Mail.’  The passionate Scot didn’t need any more prompting saying: ‘Ah! The Royal Mail! The mailman delivers once again!

‘All of the boys down at the mail, Colin Mcleod, plant manager, and all of the rest, the managers and all of the crew – wee Kev, Martin Morrell, all the boys in there, Jason Grant, he’s dying for me to mention him! Thanks for everything!’

Click here to view the full interview

The Daily Express also quoted Charlie saying: ‘The Royal Mail have been there helping all the way, giving me time off and paid leave, helping me buy my kit. They’ve done everything.

‘I didn’t have any sponsorship going into this, so the Royal Mail have been a real help for me.’  On his journey to the final, the 20-year-old beat Ghana’s Jessie Lartey to line up a semi-final clash with Wales’ Joseph Cordina.

However, the final against Joe Fitzpartrick proved to be his toughest test with Charlie describing his opponent as an ‘awkward’ boxer.  Charlie wasted no time in the first round. A straight left, right uppercut, and a beautiful combination put him ahead, with Fitzpatrick counter punching, but missing with a lot.

Unanimous verdict

Charlie just got better and better towards the end of the round, and the judges correctly gave the round to our man unanimously.  Realising that he was behind, Fitzpatrick attacked from the bell to start the second round. His effort petered out midway through the round and, though the action was scrappy, Charlie was scoring with numerous shots while nothing of note came back from Fitzpatrick.

All the Scot had to do was survive the third to lift gold, but Charlie seemed determined to confirm his superiority and as the cheers of ‘Scotland, Scotland’ rang out the Royal Mail worker continued to post scoring points and the decision became inevitable – a comprehensive unanimous points win.  Fitzpatrick sportingly raised our man’s arm aloft before Charlie was briefly overcome with emotion.

Glasgow 2014: Boxers Josh Taylor and Charlie Flynn triumph with golden performances for rampant Team Scotland

SCOTLAND’S boxers left The Hydro thunderstruck last night after punching their way to a glorious double that took our haul of gold at the Games to a record-breaking 19.

Charlie Flynn and Josh Taylor produced the fights of their lives within minutes of each other to send the 12,000-capacity arena into raptures.  And tears followed the cheers as both men struggled to keep their emotions in check as Flower of Scotland echoed around the venue.  Lightweight Flynn, 20, received his medal from boxing legend Dick McTaggart and admitted holding it together was just as tough as winning his fight on points against Northern Irishman Joe Fitzpatrick.

The Newarthill fighter said: “It’s unbelievable. Even looking at the gold medal round my neck, I still can’t believe it.  “It hasn’t dawned on me yet – I just can’t take it in.  “Dick McTaggart is the man. He is Scottish boxing and was the first one to do everything in Scottish boxing. He is one of the best boxers who has ever lived and for him to present my medal is unbelievable.

“I was very emotional. I nearly started greetin’ but managed to hold it together. I’m a big tough boxer, I had to!

Scotland’s Charlie Flynn wins Gold defeating Joseph Fitzpatrick

“I had my head on his shoulder and I was just telling him I have all the respect in the world for him.”

Part-timer Flynn works in the Royal Mail’s sorting office in Wishaw and after the fight he said: “The mail man delivers once again!

“Commonwealth champion? I’m not used to hearing that! It will take 10 times for it to sink in.”  Flynn also admitted he was blown away by the passion of the crowd at The Hydro, He added: “The crowd were unbelievable. The noise just built up and every time you land a punch you hear the thunderstorm building up. It’s the only way I can describe it – a big thunderstorm building up slowly into a big roar.”

Prestonpans light-welterweight Taylor, who was favourite to beat Namibia’s Junias Jonas, handled the weight of expectation superbly.  But the 23-year-old couldn’t hold back the tears as he received the gold medal that followed the silver he won in Delhi four years ago. Taylor admitted: “I almost couldn’t sing it because of my emotions. I couldn’t hold it together.

“I tried to sing the national anthem word-for-word but I could only sing it in bits because I would have broken down completely with tears, happiness and emotion.

“My body feels numb. I just can’t believe it. Those were tears of joy and not tears of disappointment this time, thank God. It was a thousand times better than I expected it to be. I imagined it would be amazing with everybody singing but that was just surreal.

“I couldn’t hold myself together but it was brilliant.”  Scotland also landed a bronze in the badminton mixed doubles as the total medal tally smashed through the half-century mark to 52.

Imogen Bankier and Robert Blair saw their hopes of winning gold ruthlessly crushed by England’s Chris and Gabby Adcock yesterday morning at the Emirates Arena.  But they rallied for the third-place play-off and beat Malaysian duo Peng Soon Chan and Lai Pei Jing 21-17 21-11 to land a medal.  Another gong is guaranteed in badminton today as Kirsty Gilmour beat Tee Jing Yi 21-13 21-19 in the singles semi to set up a showdown for gold with Canada’s Michelle Yi

The mailman delivers: Boxing star Charlie Flynn gets a heroes welcome

  • By Nick Thomson Daily record

Boxer Charlie Flynn returns to his work at the Royal Mail distribution depot in Netherton

New national sporting sensation Charlie Flynn was given a hero’s welcome yesterday as he returned to his Wishaw workplace.

The 20-year-old claimed a breathtaking boxing Gold medal for Team Scotland at the SSE Hydro on Saturday, and proceeded to entertain the nation further with a hilarious post-fight television interview.

His win over Northern Irishman Joe Fitzpatrick in front of a fervent 11,000 home fans in Glasgow was one of the highlights of the entire Games programme, and demonstrated the Newarthill man’s potential to go right to the top – whether that be Olympic glory or in the professional game.

And as he proudly made his way around the delighted workmates he namechecked in the now viral BBC clip at Netherton’s Royal Mail Distribution Centre, it was clear to see the high esteem in which he’s held.

Colleague and friend Kevin Jones (or “Wee Kev” as Flynn memorably called him in his post-fight interview) revealed Flynn’s personality is just the same in the workplace as it was when he was competing in the Games.

He said: “He’s always a bag of laughs – it’s just him being him. A lot of people in here will say he’s not like that, but he is.

“Once I’d found out he’d mentioned me (on TV) I was over the moon.”

Plant manager Colin McLeod – another to receive a TV namecheck – added: “There’s a real buzz about the place and he’s a real local hero – and we don’t have too many of them.

“He’s got some important choices to make about his career I would suggest.

“It’s his decision – but we’d be delighted to have him back and we’d support him to the Olympic Games if that’s what he wanted to do.”

Given his role as a mail processor at the local plant, calls have been made for Flynn to be honoured with a gold postbox as Gold medallists from the London 2012 Olympic Games were, but postal bosses look set to snub the growing pleas.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Royal Mail said: “We are really proud of Charlie’s achievements at the Commonwealth Games. Everyone at Royal Mail sends heartiest congratulations to him, in particular his colleagues at the Scottish Distribution Centre in Wishaw.

“London 2012 was a unique occasion. Royal Mail chose to mark the achievement of the UK athletes through gold post boxes as well as stamps, an activity exclusive to the London 2012 games. For the Commonwealth Games 2014, Royal Mail will not be creating gold post boxes. We are marking the achievements of our athletes with a special commemorative set of Commonwealth Games stamps.”

The Champion himself was noncommital when asked if he would like the honour, but admitted to being overwhelmed even just at the talk of it.

He revealed: “It’s weird – the fact that everyone else has been saying it and been planting the seed is what I’ve found so great.

“It’s amazing that the public want something for me – it’s actually really humbling.”

He added: “It’s good to get back and see all my mates. They’re all chuffed and they’re all loving the fact that I’ve won it because they see me in here some times tired as I’ve been training for two hours before I start.

“They see the hard effort that goes in and that’s why they’re giving me credit.”

Glasgow 2014: Charlie Flynn reveals weight battle

FRIDAY night in the athletes’ village, and competitors arriving back from their events were greeted by a strange sight. It was time to be tucked up in bed, yet here was one individual skipping manically as if his life depended on it.

It was boxer Charlie Flynn, and, if his life did not quite depend on what he was doing, the gold medal he was after certainly did. The 20-year-old from Motherwell needed to make the weight for his lightweight final by nine o’clock that morning, and with time running out he was still about five pounds too heavy.

So it was out with the skipping rope, on with the sweat gear, and out down Scotland Street to work that weight off. “It’s been brutal,” Flynn said yesterday, his face still bearing the bruising from his last triumphant battle for gold. “I’ve been really tight on the weight – I was going to move up a year and a bit ago, but the doctor told me I’d still be able to make the weight for the Games. It’s going to be really hard, he told me, but I’d be able to make it.

“The night before the final, I’d just fought in the semis. As I wasn’t fighting [the final] at night I had to eat and drink to keep me going. I weighed myself after [the food] and I was two and a bit kilos over. I had to lose it for the next morning, for 7am. I was up with all these people walking about the village and I was out there skipping.

“It was 12 o’clock at night, people thinking ‘Who the hell is that nutter?’ It was just outside the Scottish bit. Everyone was walking about, these African athletes, thinking ‘who’s that nugget skipping in the corner?’

“I skipped for about an hour with all the sweat gear on. It was cold, so I didn’t really lose any weight. I was still a kilo over so I got up the next morning and went to the sauna. I felt better after it. I was fully hydrated and I’d been eating the day before, so it didn’t really affect me.”

He felt better still after beating Joe Fitzpatrick of Northern Ireland in the final – and then better again when he got back to the village and at least could eat some of the food he had denied himself for so long. “They had all these cakes and muffins,” he said. “It was all for free and you couldn’t touch anything! There I was walking about with bits of lettuce. It was brutal.

“You had all these athletes walking about with trays of food after being in an event which lasts a couple of days. Mine lasts the whole time. Me and Josh [Taylor, his team-mate] hammered it last night. I had pizza and cakes and chocolate. Everything gone.

“Why couldn’t I be good at darts or something? Necking pints and all that.” Now that he has triumphed at amateur level, the next question for Flynn is whether to maintain his present status up to the next Olympics at least, or take his chances in the professional game. “Everybody says ‘You’re still young’, but there’s always the temptation to turn pro.

“I need to start making money. I can’t just scrape by. I didn’t have any sponsors coming into this, so I’ve been getting by and no more.

“It’s got to the point that I’ll have to make money whether that’s on a funding scheme or turning pro. I’ll sit back for a couple of weeks and look at my options.

“It’s a perfect platform to go pro. But other people think I’d be better off waiting to Rio and even another Commonwealth Games.”

After a short break, Flynn will be back to the job where he is already a pro – working for the Royal Mail. “They’ve been great – they’ve been paying me while I’ve been off.

“But you’ve got the costs of travelling into the gym two or three times a day. Then there’s food. I’ve been buying all my diet stuff and food in bulk at the cash and carry. It all adds up.”

On the evidence of his post-fight interviews, in which he threw out lines such as ‘The crowd looked like ants, but they roared like lions’, Flynn is a little man with a big personality who could easily become a popular figure in the pro ranks.

But, for all that he has come across as a showman, he is a bit uneasy with his time in the limelight and is hoping – probably against hope – that he will soon be allowed to return to his past life.

“They’re brutal, man,” he said of those interviews. “I don’t know where I get these things from. I think I’ve been reading the weans too many stories at night with some of the stuff I’ve been coming out with.

“It’s going to be mad when I go home and I’m sure it’ll be mental at the Royal Mail as well.

“I’ve got a couple of weeks before I’m due back at work. I’m going to stay with family and friends over the next wee while and chill out.

“It doesn’t feel real. Everybody’s been coming up looking for pictures and wanting me to sign things. It’s hard to get used to.

“I’m just a quiet guy who keeps his head down. Now I’ve got people wanting me to sign phone covers and things.”

  • by STUART BATHGATE