Frampton and Quigg meet in February unification

Super-Bantamweight stars set for Manchester showdown

Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg will meet for the IBF and WBA World Super-Bantamweight titles at the Manchester Arena on Saturday February 27 2016.

The eagerly anticipated showdown between the British rivals was announced live on Sky Sports News this afternoon with the pair putting titles, unbeaten records and bragging rights on the line in the blockbuster.

Belfast favourite Frampton took the IBF crown from Kiko Martinez last September and has defended the title twice this year, stopping Chris Avalos in Belfast in February before an exciting debut on US soil in May where he climbed off the canvas twice in the opening round to defeat Alejandro Gonzalez Jr.

Bury ace Quigg’s reign as WBA champion began in October 2013 and the 27 year old has racked up five successful defences in that time, stopping Martinez in his last outing in Manchester in July to follow wins over Diego Silva, Tshifhiwa Munyai, Stephane Jamoye and Hidenori Otake.

Both fighters and their promoters expressed their delight at setting up what promises to be the fight of the year.

“I’m delighted that we have finally got this fight signed,” said Frampton. “This is the fight everyone has wanted for years, none more so than myself. I’m the legitimate champion and I’m going to his backyard to defend my title because that’s what champions do. On February 27 the fans will find out who the real champion is, I’m going to win this fight in style.”

“I’ve finally got the fight I’ve wanted for so long,” said Quigg. “February 27 will be the best night of my life. I’ve dedicated my life to this sport and I have never been more confident going into a fight, I know I will beat him in every department. This is a great fight for the sport and I’m delighted to bring it to Manchester and unify the division.”

“I am very pleased that we have managed to get this fight made,” said Frampton’s manager Barry McGuigan. “It will be a momentous occasion for British and Irish boxing. This is the fight the fans have craved and the one we have wanted all along. The atmosphere will no doubt be electric, but there is only going to be one winner on February 27, Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton!”

“Yes! All I can say is yes – get in!” said Quigg’s promoter Eddie Hearn. “This is been hard work but worth every second. I want to thank everyone involved for their desire in making this fight happen and now we have an event that will go down in the history of the sport. Two World champions, two fantastic fighters collide at the Manchester Arena. Can you even imagine the atmosphere, the tension, the drama? This is what it’s all about, roll on fight night! Scott Quigg has all the momentum going into the fight and will be crowned unified World champion on February 27.”

Information on ticket on-sale dates and the undercard will be revealed in a UK press tour that will begin later in November.

Talks progressing well for Frampton-Quigg showdown

A much-anticipated showdown between undefeated British junior featherweights Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg finally looks set to happen early next year.

Englishman Quigg (31-0-2, 23 knockouts) and Northern Ireland’s IBF beltholder Frampton (21-0, 14 KOs) are THE RING’s No. 1 and No. 2 at 122 pounds, respectively. But despite huge clamor for the pair to meet during the past 24 months, the fight has never materialized because of disputes over venue and purse split.

However, according to Joe Gallagher, long-time trainer to Manchester man Quigg, talks between the camps are ongoing and progressing well, with two dates in late-Feb. 2016 on the table.

“There have been lots of talks over the last couple years but finally it looks like it will happen. I’m hearing they are talking about Feb. 20 or Feb. 27 and it will be the biggest fight of the year,” said Gallagher in an interview with ESPN.

Until now, Belfast star Frampton, 28, managed by former featherweight titlist Barry McGuigan, held the edge in negotiations with Quigg’s promoter Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn because he holds a title.

But 27-year-old Quigg’s recent second round TKO over Spaniard Kiko Martinez, whom Frampton only beat on points 10 months earlier, has changed the picture.

Whether or not McGuigan and Hearn can agree on where to stage the bout is now the key issue. The neutral London O2 Arena is unavailable on either of the chosen dates in February, while the Belfast Odyssey Arena, which houses 11,000 spectators, is not deemed big enough to meet the expected huge ticket demands. That leaves the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena, in Quigg’s own backyard, as the next best option.

Harry Pratt

Brook forced out of Chaves clash

Kell Brook has been forced out of his IBF World Welterweight title clash with Diego Chaves at the Sheffield Arena on Saturday October 24 after sustaining a rib injury in sparring.

Brook was set to make the third defence of his belt against the dangerous Argentine, but having spent time in hospital with the injury and taking the advice of medical experts following scans, the Sheffield star will now look to face Chaves later in the year.

The Sheffield show goes ahead with the Sky Sports debut of Chris Eubank Jr topping the bill as he defends his WBA Interim World Middleweight title against American Tony Jeter, Gavin McDonnell defends his European Bantamweight strap against former World title challenger Jeremy Parodi, along with a host of exciting young talent on the bill.

“It’s always a bitter blow when an injury causes a fight to be postponed, especially so close to the event,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Kell picked up a rib injury in sparring yesterday and spent most of the day at hospital yesterday. Kell was desperate to fight but it was simply impossible and we will now look to reschedule the bout for the end of the year.”

Matchroom Boxing will make a full statement on Monday regarding details of full refunds and partial refunds to those fans still attending the show.

Brook vs. Chaves hits SHOWTIME in the US

Kell Brook’s IBF World Welterweight title defence against Diego Chaves on Saturday October 24 at the Sheffield Arena will be aired live on SHOWTIME Sports in the US.

The SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL presentation of the Sky Sports telecast will feature analysis from SHOWTIME boxing experts Brian Custer, Al Bernstein and Paulie Malignaggi before and after the world championship showdown. An encore presentation of the bout will air on SHOWTIME later that evening at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

“I’m delighted that my fight with Chaves is going to be shown in the U.S.,” said Brook. “I was thrilled when I saw my name in the top 10 of the pound-for-pound list in The Ring Magazine, and now is the time that I need to show the fans in the U.S. that I am a must-see fighter.

“Chaves is an all-action boxer who always comes to fight, and that is the perfect style for me to shine on October 24. I look forward to putting on an explosive performance and making the U.S. stand up and take notice that I am the best Welterweight in the world.”

“We know Brook is a tough fighter, very technical,” said Chaves. “But he is not a fast fighter and he is easily bothered by body punches, which is one of our strengths. I believe he has problems going backwards, and we are going to test his punching power, too.

“I feel that my confidence grows with this challenge, knowing that I will have to face a champion like Kell Brook in his home country in England. This raises the stakes for me, going up there as an Argentine and as a huge underdog. We know all the bad blood that exists between Argentina and England and this will give me much more strength. I will make history if I defeat an Englishman in his own country.”

“We’re excited to be back in business with Kell Brook, Matchroom Boxing and Eddie Hearn and to deliver this exciting matchup of top 10 Welterweights to the U.S. audience,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports. “Kell won the World title on SHOWTIME in an action-packed victory over Shawn Porter last fall, establishing himself as one of the top Welterweights in the world – but Diego Chaves is a rugged fighter who has also proven that he can compete with the elite of the division.”

Brook (35-0, 24 KOs) will make his third consecutive title defence of 2015 in his native England after coming to the U.S. and dethroning previously undefeated IBF Welterweight World Champion Shawn Porter in August 2014 on SHOWTIME. The Sheffield native has scored knockouts in each of his defences – a fourth round TKO of Jo Jo Dan on March 28 and a sixth round TKO of Frankie Gavin on May 30. Brook aims for a similar result against the veteran Chaves, who has faced some of the top fighters in the 147-pound division.

Chaves (23-2-1, 19 KOs), of Buenos Aires, Argentina, has been a road warrior in recent fights, facing favoured Americans on the road in three of his last four bouts. He challenged 147-pound titlist Keith Thurman in July 2013 and, after winning by knockout in a hometown fight in Argentina, was ahead on the judges’ scorecards against Brandon Rios in August 2014 until he was disqualified. In his last fight, Chaves fought to a draw against perennial Welterweight champion Timothy Bradley.

David Haye gloats about Fury’s bad luck

David Haye appeared to take enjoyment today in gloating about Tyson Fury’s bad luck with IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko postponing their fight set for October 24th because of a calf injury that he suffered during training.

Haye, who was forced to pull out of a scheduled fight against the 27-year-old Fury two years ago, said that the Boxing Gods don’t feel like he deserves to get a retirement payday.

Wladimir, 39, is supposed to be rescheduling the Fury fight by next week after he learns what his doctor’s prognosis is for his torn tendon in his left calf. But with an injury of that type, it’s possible that it could linger into many months. Fury would then have to make a decision whether he should cut his losses and move on or stick it out for the payday opportunity.

Despite being a very popular fighter in the heavyweight division, Fury still hasn’t been able to land a big cash out payday fight where he can walk away with loads of money and just live off of it for the rest of his days. Haye has made the big money in his fights against Wladimir and Dereck Chisora, but poor Fury hasn’t been able to get the same kind of cash for his fights.

Fury has already made it clear that he’s going to retire if/when he loses to Klitschko. The millions that Fury will get for his loss to Klitschko will enable him to sit back on his porch all day long and rest easy in his hammock for the declining years of his life.

Of course, if Fury wasn’t serious about his retirement threat, then he can always come back and get additional paydays against the likes of Dillian Whyte, Deontay Wilder, and Anthony Joshua and maybe even Haye.

I don’t know what it is about Fury that has kept him from getting that good cash in retirement fights like Haye received in his fight against Wladimir. It might have something to do with the fact that Fury keeps targeting the older heavyweights instead of the younger ones. When you pick out a fighter in his mid to late 30s, then of course the chances are going to be high that they’re going to suffer injuries during training camp. You can’t be surprised by any of that.

If Fury was a nurse taking care of an elderly patient, he shouldn’t be surprised if the elderly patient had medical problems that were plaguing them. When you take the job you have to have your eyes wide open to what you’re getting yourself into, and it’s just really bizarre that Fury is acting so surprised that the 39-year-old Wladimir is having injury problems.

Does Fury actually think that an older fighter doesn’t suffer injuries? Fury must be really naïve to think that an old timer like Klitschko doesn’t have injury problems like other aging athletes. If Fury eve sticks around the sport until he’s 39, I imagine he’ll see for himself what it’s like to be an old athlete. By Scott Gilfoid

The Great Pretender Finally Has to Get Real

World Heavy weight challenger Tyson Fury is 2.06 meters tall (6 feet nine inches) and usually weighs around 120 kilo’s and that is impressive. It’s Bigger than Lennox Lewis, bigger than Joe Louis or George Foreman. It’s much, much bigger than Mike Tyson or Evander Holyfield. It’s even bigger than either of the Klitschko’s, probably the most successful brothers in boxing ever-certainly as heavyweights. But as all these great champions proved on more than one occasion, bigger isn’t always better.

Indeed, many boxing fans have speculated that if he could be ‘Photo shopped’ down to the size of a more regular heavyweight would Fury even be a contender?

The bookies and betting shops say emphatically no-as do most of the boxing experts. If he has the skills to beat Klitschko he certainly hasn’t displayed them so far. So even as the giant that he most certainly is he still comes into next month’s fight as the underdog. But could he shock us all and turn out to be a modern day “Cinderella man”? James J Braddock was a 10 to 1 shot back in 1935 when in Madison Square Garden he faced huge hitting Max Baer for the Heavyweight Championship of the World. Baer hit so hard that he had once killed a man in the ring (Frankie Campbell) so there was a lot for Braddock to be concerned about. Nevertheless Braddock had studied Baer and knew that if he could just stay away from Baer’s hammering right hand he could win and he did just that by a 15 round decision. For this feat he was nicknamed ‘The Cinderella Man’.

Could Fury pull off the same upset as ‘The Cinderella Man’ or will he be brutally exposed and dismantled by Klitschko? Could the bragging Fury be all hyperbole and have his story be more of a ‘The Emperors’ new clothes’ kind of event?

Evander Holyfield beat a much bigger and talented fighter in Riddick Bowe and Mike Tyson beat many men taller and heavier than him-but these guys were exceptional. They proved it’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dig. Fury has now and then shown some flashes of potential in the ring but potential is nothing without dedication and commitment. I believe ultimately he will turn out to be more of a Audley Harrison than a James Braddock.

So although size isn’t everything, Fury is finally about to be ‘weighed and measured’ in the most dramatically realistic way possible and on a worldwide stage and by a genuine champion. It’s put up or shut up. Will he produce the upset he’s been bragging about for so long or will he be found wanting? We’ll just have to wait until we hear that first bell……

By Rob Blakeman

McDonnell: I want Quigg after I beat Kameda

 

WBA Bantamweight champ could move up after Texas showdown

Jamie McDonnell says he will KO Tomoki Kameda in their WBA World Bantamweight title rematch in Texas on Sunday September 6 live on Sky Sports before moving up to Super Bantamweight to face WBA champ Scott Quigg.

McDonnell defends his belt against Kameda in a rematch of their gripping encounter in May, where the Doncaster man claimed off the canvas in the third round to outpoint the previously unbeaten Japanese star.

The 29 year old says he will make a big statement at the American Bank Center before returning to the UK to seek out an all-British World title bash with Manchester favourite Quigg.

“This is a massive fight and one I really wanted before looking at that move up to Super Bantamweight,” said McDonnell. “The plan is to beat him again and then move up and I’d love the Scott Quigg fight; that would be a massive night.

“I’ve already proved that I belong at the elite level and it’s only four pounds, it’s not a massive difference and I am a big Bantamweight.

“I feel I am hitting harder, I’ve been working on my power in the gym and I feel it’s going to pay off. I’m always in great shape and I’ve been flying in the gym, I am really looking forward to this one, I feel I have a lot to prove still even though I am a two-time World champion. We’re here and we’ve settled quickly and I am just going to soak it all up and I really feel that I am going to destroy him on Sunday.

“We know each other inside out because we’ve done 12 rounds. I can’t be sloppy, I’ve got to stay focused. I’ve got to forget the first fight because he’s going to bring his A-game to the table and so I am so it could be a totally different fight to the first one.

“I think it will be a fast paced fight, I started too slowly last time so I don’t want that to happen again. I believe I will stop him late on, I took him into the trenches last time but I didn’t put it on him enough. I think I will make that big statement and then move up.”

Frankie Gavin to fight British champion and Birmingham rival Sam Eggington

  • Frankie Gavin will fight Sam Eggington for the British welterweight title
  • The Commonwealth belt will also be on the line in Birmingham in October
  • Gavin lost his last fight to world champion Kell Brook at the O2 in May
  • Brothers Kal and Gamal Yafai will also be on the packed card
Declan Warrington

Frankie Gavin is to fight British and Commonwealth welterweight champion Sam Eggington at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena on October 17.

In challenging his local rival, Gavin will continue fighting at 147lbs despite, in the aftermath of his one-sided defeat by Kell Brook in May, speaking of taking what appeared the logical step of moving down to light-welterweight.

‘The plan is still to [eventually] go back to light-welter,’ Gavin, 29, said. ‘[But] because I got a good offer I decided to stay. It’s not financial, it’s three belts on the line so I thought I’d stay up [at 147lbs].

Frankie Gavin (right) will take on Sam Eggington in Birmingham for the British welterweight title 

Frankie Gavin (right) will take on Sam Eggington in Birmingham for the British welterweight title

‘It’s a good fight for Birmingham.’

Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn added: ‘I have to take my hat off to Frankie and Sam.

‘Frankie is straight back in the war zone after his defeat to Kell [Brook] and Sam is putting all his hard work on the line at only 21.’

Matthew Macklin is one who will be changing weight divisions. After several years as a world middleweight title contender, the 33-year-old will fight Jason Welborn, also on October 17.

The promising Yafai brothers, Kal and Gamal, will also feature, the former against Jason Cunningham for the vacant British super flyweight title.

Brothers Kal (left) and Gamal Yafai will also be on the packed card at the Barclaycard Arena in October

Brothers Kal (left) and Gamal Yafai will also be on the packed card at the Barclaycard Arena in October

Jason Welborn, Eggington, promoter Eddie Hearn (centre), Gavin, Matthew Macklin, Kal Yafai and Gamal Yafai

Jason Welborn, Eggington, promoter Eddie Hearn (centre), Gavin, Matthew Macklin, Kal Yafai and Gamal Yafai

Campbell: I’ll KO cagey Coyle

Olympic hero questions Hull rival’s appetite for war

 

Luke Campbell MBE says Tommy Coyle won’t want to have a war with him when they meet in an official eliminator for the WBC World Lightweight title at the KC Lightstream Stadium in Hull, live on Sky Sports.

Campbell and Coyle clash in an east versus west fight that has divided their hometown and with local pride and a boost in the WBC rankings on the line, the stakes couldn’t be higher for the Hull pair.

The Olympic hero riled Coyle with comments made in an interview with Boxing Monthly but Campbell says that the fight is just business to him as he looks to move onto the world scene, and says he’ll prove that Coyle’s reputation for loving a war in the ring is misguided.

“Tommy says he loves a war but in his last few fights he’s boxed on the back foot,” said Campbell. “If you are doing that, you are not going in for a war, you are going in to box. But we’ll seen the night, I’ve prepared for anything that he can bring and I am ready. I’ll go in there and do what I do best. I know I can hurt him and we’ll see if he wants a war when I do.

“People have wanted me to step-up – this is a World title eliminator. Tommy’s fight with Daniel Brizuela was a 50-50 fight and I don’t believe he’s any better than Brizuela, different style, but that’s about it.

“I should be in with Tommy or better, and once I deal with Tommy in good style then we’ll step up again against the next opponent and prove myself again.

“I don’t dislike Tommy, he’s an obstacle in the way to reach my goals – that’s it. When all the talking is done and it’s just me and him in the ring, that’s it, not talking, boxing.

“There’s a nasty streak in me, definitely. People can take me however they want to take me, but as soon as the bell goes then I want to hurt the guy in front of me.”

Campbell and Coyle clash on a massive night of action in Hull, with former World title challenger Brian Rose looking for revenge in his rematch with Carson Jones, former two-weight World champion Ricky Burns back in action after his heroic performance in Texas against Omar Figueroa, Martin J. Ward defending his WBC International Super Featherweight title and unbeaten Brixton Heavyweight Dillian Whyte in action.

Frampton-Quigg two-fight deal possible for Manchester and Belfast

By Scott Gilfoid: WBA World super bantamweight champion Scott Quigg’s promoter Eddie Hearn has made an offer to IBF super bantamweight Carl Frampton to try and get the fight made between them. Hearn’s offer to Frampton and his management team is as follow: They have a two-fight deal with the first fight taking place in Quigg’s home city next November, and then the second fight being staged in Frampton’s home city of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Frankly, it’s a better deal for Quigg than it is for Frampton, because with the first fight being staged in Manchester, it gives him the better chance of winning due to it being his home venue.

The fans will be overwhelmingly in supportive of Quigg,, and you would have to assume that if the fight goes to the cards, Quigg will have a better chance of winning the fight than Frampton.

A rematch won’t be nearly as interesting if Quigg wins the first fight, especially if it’s one-sided. There will be less interest from TV viewers than there was for the first fight, which means less pay-per-view buys. Yeah, Frampton’s fans will fill whatever arena he stages the fight in when it goes back to Belfast, but the damage would have already been done with Quigg winning the first fight.

“I’m happy to commit to a two-fight deal – one in November in Manchester, and one in Belfast in the spring or summer. That’s not a problem,” Hearn said to skysports.com. “If it’s a good fight a rematch will happen anyway. Both guys think they will win the fight and move on. But they’ll probably find that, if the first fight is entertaining which everybody knows it will be, then the biggest money in the division remains a rematch.”

If Quigg wins the first fight, then I see the interest in the second fight being nowhere. Frampton can get his fight in Belfast, but I don’t see the fight doing well at all when it comes to the views. It might even mess Frampton up mentally for a second fight because he could wind up psyched out the second time around and unable to fight as hard as he did in the first fight. If he knows he gave it his best and still lost the first fight, then Frampton could be mentally broken by the time he goes into the rematch in Belfast.

If I were Frampton’s management, I’d tell Hearn to go fly a kite and get lost. I wouldn’t agree for his wishy-washy two-fight deal unless the first fight was in Belfast and the second fight in Manchester. That’s the only way I’d agree to the deal because it doesn’t work out to Frampton’s favor to have the second fight in Belfast rather than the first one. Heck, they both should be in Belfast rather than Manchester because Frampton can sell out huge venues over there. But no way should it be the first fight in Manchester. That’s too good of a deal for Quigg and a lousy deal for Frampton.

“From my conversations with them, Frampton and his team won’t acknowledge that Scott’s stock has risen considerably. However, if they did, it’s a fight that could happen immediately,” Hearn said.

This is not a good deal for Frampton. I don’t see it working out between them if Hearn is going to try and railroad Frampton into agreeing to fight the first fight in Manchester. I’m not sure what cut of the financial pie will be, but that might be a nonstarter as well if Hearn is looking for a 50-50 deal.

Hearn in talks for Rigondeaux vs. Quigg fight in 2015


By Scott Gilfoid: Gary Hyde, the manager for WBA/WBO super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (15-0, 10 KOs), says that he’s in talks with Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn for a fight between Rigondeaux and WBA World 122lb champion Scott Quigg (31-0-2, 23 KOs) for a fight that could take place this year. Hyde says Rigondeaux wouldn’t have any issues with fighting Quigg in Manchester, UK.

Personally, I can’t see Hearn letting his prize, Scott Quigg, take on a talent like Rigondeaux. If anything, we might see the fight happen in another three to four years, depending on how the 34-year-old Rigondeaux ages.

If he starts looking like a shot fighter, then and only then do I see Hearn pulling the trigger on this fight for Quigg. But if he were to make the fight now, I think Quigg would get royally clowned in the worst way by Cuban Rigondeaux.

“We can confirm that talks have started between Eddie Hearn and me with regards to Scott Quigg fighting Guillermo Rigondeaux in Manchester before the year is out. Eddie told me this morning that Quigg is ready to step up and take on Rigondeaux,” said Hyde via RingTV.com.

Hearn said that a fight between Quigg and former four division world champion Nonito Donaire is more likely to happen than a Quigg-Rigondeaux fight, which doesn’t surprise me in the least. It’s definitely a move in the weaker direction for Hearn in going after the guy that Rigondeaux easily beat two years ago in 2013 when he had an easy time defeating Donaire by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision.

If Donaire can handle Quigg’s punching power in the first four rounds, I see Donaire scoring a knockout over him. Donaire’s still very, very fast with his hand speed, and his left hook and right hand are very powerful. If he’s facing someone he can land those power shots against, then he’s almost unbeatable.

Yeah, Donaire lost to Nicholas Walters last year, but we’re talking about a fighter than weighs in the 140s for his fights at featherweight. You can’t blame Donaire for losing to a welterweight-sized fighter like Walters. I have no doubts that Walters would destroy Quigg as well if he could get him inside the ring, which I don’t think Hearn would ever let happen.

Besides trying to make a Rigondeaux-Quigg fight, Hyde is also trying to setup a fight between Rigondeaux and WBO featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko. That fight is a little trickier for Rigondeaux because it means him moving up to featherweight to fight at the full weight for the division at 126 without a catch-weight and without a rehydration clause. So if Lomachenko rehydrates to the upper 130s for the fight, then Rigondeaux will have to deal with fighting someone 10-15 pounds heavier than himself.

Rigondeaux has stopped Hisashi Amagasa and Sod Kokietgym in his last two fights in Asia. Those weren’t the big fights that he’s wanted, but with none of the top names willing to get inside the ring with him, he’s been forced to stay busy fighting whoever is willing to fight him.

“I think Nonito Donaire v Quigg is more likely than Quigg v Rigo,” Hearn said.

Quigg destroys Martinez in two rounds

Super Bantamweight star makes huge statement in Manchester

Scott Quigg produced a stunning second round knockout win over Kiko Martinez in his WBA World Super Bantamweight title defence at the Manchester Arena.

Martinez was the aggressor in the opening round but Quigg floored the former IBF king with a superb uppercut. The Spaniard got to his feet but Quigg swarmed all over him with a barrage of heavy shots that sent Martinez tumbling once more and although he beat the count, the fight was waved off.

“I have never had the reception like that before,” said Quigg. “Thank you to everyone who has come out to support me.

“In the first round I tested his power and I knew he would gain a bit of confidence. In the second it set it up for the shot we had been working for. And it was a peach of an uppercut.

“I looked a bit wild, but kept as calm as possible and finished him.

“The first round was how we knew it would be. He was very nervous, so he was sharp and on edge, and I had to see what he was doing.

“But I got my range and we knew he would come out quicker in the second and knew he would walk on to my shot.

“I was expecting 12 tortuous rounds. This is my life and I was welling up in the ring because hopefully now I will get some credit. This is everything I’ve worked for as a kid.”

Crolla: I will produce career-best to beat Perez

 

Manchester hero says he will deliver for the home fans

Anthony Crolla says he knows he has to put in the performance of his life to take Darleys Perez’s WBA World Lightweight title from him on Saturday night at the Manchester Arena live on Sky Sports – and has promised his fans that he will deliver.

Crolla had a January World title shot at Richar Abril cruelly taken from him when he was brutally attacked when interrupting burglars at his neighbour’s home in Chadderton in December, with the fractured skull and broken ankle destroying that fight.

It has been a gruelling road back from ‘Million Dollar’, but he returned to the gym and moulded himself into the best shape of his life ahead of his clash with the classy Colombian, and the 28 year old believes he will grab his destiny with both hands on Saturday night.

“I need a career-best performance on Saturday night to win,” said Crolla. “But the way I have prepared and the way I feel physically and mentally, I know I can bring that performance out of myself. It’s going to be an amazing atmosphere and those fans will drive me onto victory.

“Physically I am in the best shape of my life, without a shadow of a doubt. Fighters never say otherwise, but my camp has been brilliant. I’ve had no injuries or niggles, which is a relief after everything that happened. I’m in a brilliant place and ready to become World champion.

“Stylistically, Perez and Abril are very different and styles make fights. I think it will be a better fight to watch as our styles will gel well. Perez is a very good fighter, he’s got power in both hands and he’s a very good counter-puncher. I know I have to be switched on from the word go.

“Tactics are going to be important on Saturday night and with Joe Gallagher in my corner, I know he will have left no stone unturned in setting up the game plan.”

Crolla’s date with destiny against Perez is part of a huge night of World title action in Manchester as Crolla’s gym-mate Scott Quigg defends his WBA World Super Bantamweight title against Kiko Martinez.

There’s a pair of tasty tussles for vacant British titles as stylish duo Chris Jenkins and Tyrone Nurse lock horns for the Light Welterweight strap and big hitting pair Sam Eggington and Glenn Foot promise a war for the Welterweight crown.

St. Helens’ Martin Murray boxes at Super Middleweight for the second time in quick succession as he targets some huge domestic battles at 168lbs, and there’s a host of young talent on display in unbeaten Gallagher’s gym duo Hosea Burton and Marcus Morrison, while there are outings for Prizefighter Lightweight champion Jono Carroll, former Team GB starlet Charlie Edwards, Sedgefield’s Jeff Saunders, Middleton’s Liam Taylor and Chapel-en-le-Firth’s Jack Massey.

Terry Flanagan makes history with WBO lightweight crown

Californian suffers painful dislocation of shoulder in second round – handing victory to Mancunian

By

Terry Flanagan completed his dream of winning a world title when he defeated unbeaten knockout artist Jose Zapeda to claim the vacant World Boxing Organisation lightweight crown at the Manchester Velodrome.

But it did not play out as Flanagan had planned, as the Californian suffered a painful dislocation of his shoulder in the second round and was unable to continue.

Flanagan, who was boxing just a walk from his home in Ancoats, and was roared into the ring by vociferous local support, had prepared for the toughest test of his seven-year unbeaten career but the 26-year-old was gifted an early technical knockout victory. After a close first round, a clash between the pair in the second round saw Zapeda forced suddenly to withdraw in pain.

Flanagan fulfilled the ambition the former British lightweight champion had had sparked inside him after being ringside to witness Ricky Hatton win the world light-welterweight title against Kostya Tszyu just over 10 years ago. He was then a scrawny 15-year-old kid, who had sneaked his way into the arena without even having a ticket.

“I thought he’d just hurt [his shoulder]. But I had started to get my range, and I knew I was going to win that fight. I can’t believe it, it feels unreal to lift the world title,” said Flanagan, while Zapeda demanded a rematch.

Flanagan moved to 28-0, while Zapeda lost for the first time in 24 contests, having taken out 20 opponents by knockout. Remarkably, the victory made Flanagan the first Englishman to win a lightweight world title. Scotsmen Jim Watt and Ken Buchanan are the two standout lightweight champions remembered for their world-winning feats.

“Now I’m world champion I can start believing in myself,” added Flanagan, whose boxing hero Hatton was ringside to watch a fellow Mancunian enter into local boxing folklore.

Earlier, Liam Walsh, from Cromer, had dismantled Brazilian puncher Isisas Santos Sampaio in six rounds to claim the vacant WBO Intercontinental title with a devastating body shot.

Walsh, one of three brothers who box professionally, was frustrated early on in the bout by Sampaio’s negative tactics, but he switched from orthodox to southpaw in the fourth round and started to connect with his punches.

In the sixth round he landed a long left to Sampaio’s head and then with the same hand delivered a crunching body shot that left Sampaio rolling around in agony. The Brazilian was unable to make the count.

Walsh’s win sees him capture a fifth championship title and he will now enter the WBO top 10 rankings as he closes in a world title shot. Flanagan is now a potential opponent.

“Sampaio was a tough nut to crack, he wasn’t like I’d seen on video footage, from what I saw he was more aggressive and attacking, I was looking forward to seeing that but he didn’t show it,” said Walsh.

“Although it wasn’t my best performance, it was one of my best finishes and I’m really happy with the ending, it was a beautiful shot and I knew that he wasn’t going to get up from that one.

“I’ll sit down with my team and evaluate where we go next because I’ve got options at super-featherweight and lightweight. I think it would be a cracking fight between two undefeated British fighters – me and Flanagan.” It would be an intriguing contest, but the WBO is likely to order a rematch between Flanagan and Zapeda first

Carl Frampton admits he is already looking beyond Alejandro Gonzalez to St Patrick’s Day fight in New York

Carl Frampton fights Alejandro Gonzales Jnr in El Paso next week

The Northern Irishman is looking to expand his audience in the US

Scott Quigg remains a potential opponent in British grudge fight World super bantamweight champion wants fight in NYC

Carl Frampton wants to be a big hit in the United States and has already eyed a St Patrick’s Day bout in New York City.

The 28-year-old IBF world super bantamweight champion is set to defend his title against Alejandro Gonzalez Jnr in El Paso next weekend in his first fight away from the British Isles.

Belfast-born Frampton has a huge following in Northern Ireland but will now be looking to truly arrive on the international stage as the unbeaten champion, nicknamed the Jackal, wants to show American boxing fans what he can do.

Carl Frampton (left) has developed a fanatical following in Northern Ireland but wants a larger audience

Carl Frampton (left) has developed a fanatical following in Northern Ireland but wants a larger audience

Frampton hopes his prolific punching power can help make his fortune in America 

Frampton hopes his prolific punching power can help make his fortune in America

‘I’m looking forward to the fight,’ Frampton said.

‘It is giving me a chance to showcase my talents on terrestrial television in the US and the UK. It means a hell of a lot.

‘It is something me and my team have discussed – I’m pretty well known in the UK and Ireland but in the US, unless you’re a die-hard boxing fan you don’t know who Carl Frampton is, this is a chance for a lot of exposure. It is a big deal. It is great for me and for out new promotions team.’

Terry Flanagan will look to outclass and outlast Jose Zepeda

The city of Manchester, England, has long been a boxing hotbed and local fight fans have two intriguing lightweight world-title bouts coming their way. On July 18, Anthony Crolla will face Darleys Perez for the WBA title, but first, this Saturday, Terry Flanagan meets feared American puncher Jose Zepeda for the vacant WBO version.Flanagan (27-0, 10 knockouts) is a sophisticated southpaw with plenty of experience. In an age where fighters are frequently fast-tracked to the top level, this 27-year-old technician has undergone a lengthy six-year learning curve, capturing English and British titles en route to a solid world ranking.“I probably could have fought for a title sooner but everything happens for a reason and I’m happy that I have six years of pro experience behind me,” Flanagan said. “Everything will come together in this fight. I’ll be bringing a high work rate, good boxing skills and I’m also willing to mix it up when I have to.”In February, Flanagan faced what was arguably his toughest test in Irish pressure-fighter Stephen Ormond. The Manchester man built a commanding lead through eight rounds, but did encounter adversity in the form of his opponent’s skull. Ormond was penalized for persistent use of the head and then disqualified in the tenth for the same infraction.Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty

Flanagan recalled, “I was winning that fight comfortably and in the last couple of rounds Stephen knew I was getting stronger, and he was tiring a bit. I kept him frustrated, he couldn’t get off, and his game plan wasn’t working, whereas mine was. He was just looking for a way out and I was cruising to a decision win on all three scorecards.”

This victory validated Flanagan’s No. 1 ranking with the WBO and his shot at the vacant belt will be against a dangerous, unbeaten opponent who carries dynamite in his gloves.

“Jose Zepeda is strong, skilled and does carry power in that left hand,” agreed Flanagan. “Everyone he hits he knocks over, and he likes to switch quite a bit so we’ve been preparing for that too. The thing is, he’s not accustomed to being hit back, and when he has been he’s looked vulnerable.

“It’s going to be a very tough fight, but it’s one that I’m more than capable of winning.”

As with most prolific punchers who have never been tested, there are question marks hanging over Zepeda. Despite an ominous 23-0 (20 KOs) record, he has only been beyond six rounds once and the 26-year-old is also dropping down in weight from 140 pounds. Flanagan sees only opportunity.

He said, “We want to take Zepeda into the later rounds and see if he still carries the same firepower at lightweight. We need to be careful early but once we get past the midway point he is likely to lose the snap on his punches. When that happens we’ll be looking to outwork him and win the rounds big.”

After basking in the shadow of more popular British lightweights like Crolla, Ricky Burns, Kevin Mitchell and the emerging Luke Campbell, Flanagan is obsessed with making a real splash at 135 pounds and admitted that there is more on the line than just a world title.

“I would be the first English lightweight world champion and that will go down in history,” said Flanagan, his voice rising slightly. “That’s stuff my kids can talk about in years to come. This fight means everything to me because it’s all I’ve ever wanted.”

Tom Gray

Lomachenko could face Vetyeka or Selby in October or November

By Scott Gilfoid: WBO featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (4-1, 2 KOs) will be back in action in October or November against possibly former WBA featherweight champion Simpiwe Vetyeka (27-3, 16 KOs) or IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby (21-1, 8 KOs), according to Dan Rafael.

Egis Klimas, the manager for Lomachenko, would especially like to match Lomachenko up against the 28-year-old Selby, who stopped Evgeny Gradovich in the 8th round in their fight on May 30th. That was a cut stoppage, as Selby accidently bumped heads with Gradovich and opened up a big cut over his right eye.

Klimas says that Selby was pointing at him after his win over Gradovich, saying that he wants to fight Lomachenko. Klimas seems to have taken Selby seriously, not realizing that immediately after the fight, he started talking about wanting to defend his IBF title a couple of times before he looks to try and unify the featherweight titles.

“We’re looking at Vetyeka, a former champion, and maybe Selby in a unification fight,” Klimas said via ESPN.com. “Selby got a title from Gradovich and he was pointing to me after the fight saying he wants Lomachenko. We’ll see how strong his word is.”

I hope Klimas doesn’t hold his breath waiting for Selby to look to face Lomachenko, because I see that fight never happening. I literally don’t see Selby ever taking Lomachenko. I know Selby said he’d seek out the fight with Lomachenko after he slips in a couple of title defenses, but I don’t believe that for a second.

Selby is promoted by Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport, and he’s often very careful with the opposition he matches against his fighters. Lomachenko would likely destroy Selby, and I believe that Hearn has to know that after seeing how good Lomachenko is. He’d obliterate Selby without any problems whatsoever.

The 34-year-old Vetyeka is a definite possibility for Lomachenko. I’m not sure if it’s a great fight, but it’s definitely possible. Vetyeka has fought only once since losing to Nonito Donaire in May of 2014 after the fight was halted in the 5th round due to Donaire complaining that he couldn’t see out of a cut over his left eye.

Lomachenko is coming off of a 9th round stoppage win over Gamalier Rodriguez last May. Before that, he defeated Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo by a 12 round decision last year in November. Lomachenko’s biggest win of his career was a 12 round decision win over Gary Russell Jr. in June of last year to win the vacant WBO World featherweight title.

Mayweather to net between $220M to $230M for Pacquiao fight

Chris Williams: Welterweight star Floyd Mayweather Jr. will be netting from $220 million to $230 million for his 12 round decision win over Manny Pacquiao on May 2nd of this year in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to ESPN.com. This is pretty close to the $250 million that Mayweather is talking about making from the Pacquiao fight.

Mayweather says he’ll make all total over $500 million for 2015. He’s expected to make over $100 million for his next fight on September 12th, and he still has money coming to him for the Pacquiao fight. $500 million is a lot of green.

If Mayweather comes back in 2016 in search of his 50th victory, you can expect him to add another $100 million to $200 million depending on who he fights. If Mayweather fights Pacquiao again, but this time with a 70-30 split instead of the 60-40 split from last time, Mayweather could wind up with even more than $200 million, even if the fight brings in lower pay-per-view sales.

Pacquiao will be getting some good green as well in making $150 million for the Mayweather fight. Pacquiao would have gotten more if he’d agreed to fight Mayweather in 2010 when the two fighters first attempted to negotiate a fight. Pacquiao had a 50-50 deal back then, but he couldn’t agree to the random blood testing that Mayweather wanted in order to check for performance enhancing drugs.

As ESPN points out, Pacquiao’s green won’t be the same after his promoter Bob Arum and his company Top Rank take their cut of the loot. It’s unclear what Arum’s cut is for each fight of Pacquiao’s. I’d be very surprised if Pacquiao’s $150 is even half of that number after he winds up giving Arum, Top Rank, and trainer Freddie Roach their cut of the loot. Mayweather doesn’t have a promoter, so he cuts out the middle man. He stays has to pay his trainer, of course, but that’s his dad Floyd Mayweather Sr., so the green stays in the family so to speak.

The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight was tarnished slightly with the news that Pacquiao came into the fight with an injured right shoulder that he failed to inform the Nevada State Athletic Commission about until the day of the fight.

A lot of boxing fans didn’t take too kindly at finding out the news about Pacquiao’s injured shoulder until after the fight, because many fans wouldn’t have purchased the fight and wouldn’t come to the fight. Further, the gamblers likely would have changed their betting behavior if they knew that Pacquiao came into the fight with a shoulder problem.

With all the green that Mayweather has made during his career in his 14 PPV fights, he’s now a billion dollar earner. More specifically, his fights have made over $1.3 billion, according to ESPN.

If Mayweather can fight Pacquiao next year in a rematch, he could scoop up another huge wad of cash and drive up his career earnings through the roof. Getting the rematch negotiated could prove to be impossible because Arum is talking about wanting to get a bigger cut for Pacquiao than the 60-40 cut he received last time.

“The fact that he [Mayweather] won the fight, what does that mean? The two of them together created such a bonanza — numbers we’ve never seen before — and without Manny, who could Floyd create a bonanza like that with?” Arum said via Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. “And without Mayweather, who is Manny going to fight to create as much money? Maybe we should get more than the 40 percent. They need each other to create this kind of money.”

Scott Quigg is confident that a Carl Frampton clash could happen

SCOTT QUIGG believes that his long-awaited domestic dust-up with Carl Frampton could finally be on – if both win their next fights.

By Kevin Francis

Bury bruiser Quigg defends his WBA super-bantamweight title against Kiko Martinez at the Manchester Arena on July 18.

On the same night, Belfast’s IBF champion Frampton meets Alejandro Gonzalez Jr in Texas – and Quigg is hoping the two UK fighters can come out on top.

It will open the way for a fight that looked to be dead in the water after after Frampton turned down a £1.5m offer from Quigg’s camp.

Now, however, 26-year-old Quigg says a clash with Frampton could take place later this year, saying:”I now have renewed confidence. I feel that, once I’ve dealt with Kiko, we can sit down and get this fight finally done.

“Frampton’s team had to make that move to go over to the States because he has run out of options over here other than facing me.”

Quigg’s Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn is also increasingly confident that the fight can be made and said: “It’s a bout that makes sense.

“I just hope that straight after those two fights, they are on the same night, that we can get it made just like that.

“I have spoke to Al Haymon’s (Frampton’s advisor) people and they say they want to make the fight. It remains the biggest fight out there and it still remains the biggest pay day out there for both of them.

“The fight makes sense but both Quigg and Frampton have to win on July 18. It’s certainly a massive fight that really does make sense.”

SNUB: Carl Frampton turned down a £1.5m offer from Scott Quigg’s camp [GETTY]

“It’s a bout that makes sense”

Eddie Hearn

Quigg must, of course, overcome 30-year-old Martinez who lost his IBF belt to Frampton in Belfast last June.

It was the second time Frampton has gained a victory over the Spaniard after relieving him of the EBU title in February 2013.

Quigg, who is unbeaten in his 32 professional bouts, said: “The Martinez fight is one in which I want to go out and make a real statement.

“I’m confident that I can go out there and do a number on him. I have been preparing for what I expect Kiko to bring and I won’t be leaving anything to chance.

“Training has been going really well. I’m enjoying camp and the place I’m in at the moment is the best I’ve been in, both physically and mentally.”

He will certainly have to be at his best against Martinez who has finished 24 of his 32 victims inside the distance.

Quigg said: “Kiko’s experience, knowledge and ability has improved dramatically over the years and he’s become a much more intelligent fighter since winning a world title.

“He knows how and when to apply educated pressure rather than a fight like a headless chicken. I’m expecting him to come out all guns blazing from the first bell.

“I’m ready for that to happen but he will get a massive shock when I return fire. Kiko doesn’t like being backed up and that’s something I’m confident I can do throughout our fight.”

Quigg’s good friend Anthony Crolla also features on the Manchester Arena bill on his return from his life-threatening attack by burglars in December.

Crolla, 28, challenges 31-year-old Colombian Darleys Perez for the WBA lightweight title on action-packed bill.

It includes two British title fights with Sam Eggington facing Glenn Foot for the vacant welterweight belt and Chris Jenkins tackling Tyrone Nurse for the light-welterweight strap.

Golovkin: I’ll fight Froch in UK

Gennady Golovkin is prepared to step up to super-middleweight and come to London to make a fight with Carl Froch happen.

The WBA’s fearsome middleweight champion would have to move up a division to take on Froch, who is still contemplating whether to quit or carry on more than a year on from his second victory over George Groves.

The two Britons packed out Wembley Stadium for that fight, and the prospect of defending his unbeaten record in front of a hostile crowd is an incentive for Golovkin.

“Froch is a proven warrior in the ring with a big punch,” said the Kazakh, who has stopped all but three of his 33 opponents and was last taken the distance seven years ago.

“He filled Wembley in his last fight with George Groves and I have fought in some of the biggest arenas in the US, so it would be a huge worldwide event and a big test for me.

“I was in London a few months ago and the people there invited me to come over again, so yes – I would come to Britain.”

Golovkin also told The Sun he would be confident of victory, saying: “I think you’ll see a lot of action and a KO if the fight with Froch takes place.”

Froch’s friend and promoter Eddie Hearn last month told Sky Sports News HQ talks between the two camps were ongoing.