Jai Opetaia ready to announce himself on the world stage

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Undefeated cruiserweight prospect Jai Opetaia 18-0 (14) will face the toughest test of his career when he takes on former world title challenger Mark ‘Bam Bam’ Flanagan 24-7 (17) at the Hordern Pavilion I Sydney, Australia on Saturday night.

The bout will headline the first fight card under the new National Boxing Series.

“Flanagan’s always been at the top of the tree,” the 24-year-old Opetaia told NBN News. “When I first turned pro he was the cruiserweight that you had to beat to prove yourself to be the best in Australia.

“I’ve been trying to get this fight for a couple of years, but he’s had a couple of world title shots in that time.”

Flanagan, 29, went 12 rounds with WBA champion Denis Lebedev in Russia two years ago and was stopped on his feet by Arsen Goulamirian in nine rounds in France in October last year.

“I’m at the age where I’m still improving so much every day,” continued Opetaia.

“These other guys, like my opponent, are sort of maintaining but I’m improving every fight. I’m excited for this fight and I reckon it will be another step up.”

The talented southpaw has recently signed on with promoter Dean Lonergan who guided Jeff Horn to world championship glory with his victory over future Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao.

“I want to work with people who we know can win world titles, so we’re going to give Jai the platform so he’ll have numerous fights over the next 12 months,” said Lonergan.

“Jai is only about four or five fights from a world title fight and certainly would be in contention for that.

“In a perfect world, it would be nice to go to the Central Coast Stadium in Gosford.”

While Opetaia is  keen to fight for a world title, he insists he isn’t looking beyond Flanagan.

“That’s like a dream since I was a kid, to bring a world title back to my hometown,” Opetaia said.

“But I’ve got to get this job done first, I’ve got to keep working hard and then it will all happen.”

Elton Dharry insists he can upset Andrew Moloney

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

Follow Anthony Cocks on: Twitter | Facebook
KO Boxing Forum

WBA number five super flyweight Elton Dharry 24-5-1 (14) is confident of springing the upset when he meets WBA number one contender Andrew ‘The Monster’ Moloney 20-0 (13) at Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne, Australia tonight.

The 33-year-old Guyana-native will battle the undefeated Australian for the vacant WBA interim 115-pound title.

“I’ve trained and worked hard a really long time, so, for me, it doesn’t matter where this fight is being held,” Dharry said.

“Traveling here wasn’t a problem. This is for a world title and that’s what I want. I do recognize it as my biggest fight, but I’m treating it as just another fight, and he’s just another opponent to me. That’s how I see it.

“I came here because I believe I can win this fight. It’s the reason I travelled 30-plus hours to get here.

“I don’t predict my fights; I just go in the ring prepared for whatever style. I’m going to do whatever it takes to win.

“His style doesn’t really mean anything to me. I’m here to win!”

Dharry’s professional career got off to an inauspicious start, going 3-5-1 in his first eight fights, but he has remained undefeated for the past 10 years.

Moloney, 28, knocked out Miguel Gonzalez in eight rounds Chile in March in a WBA world title eliminator.

“I’ve watched a few of his fights a few times with my trainer,” Moloney told SportingNews.

“He’s experienced and hasn’t lost in 10 years, but I’ve got a good understanding of what he’s going to bring.

“I believe I’ve got what it takes to beat and I’m confident I’ll do that.”

Rob Diaz of Havoc Boxing Promotions is confident Dharry can overcome the talented Moloney.

“We’re extremely excited about this opportunity,” he said.

“Elton’s head trainer, Martin Gonzalez, has put together a masterful plan. We have no doubt Elton will execute and bring the championship back to Brooklyn.”

John Joe Nevin: “I’m Coming To Hunt The World Champions Down!”

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Irish ace John Joe Nevin scoffs at suggestions that he is being pitched into a world class assignment without the appropriate professional seasoning.

In 13 paid outings so far, the super-skilled 2012 Olympic finalist and 2013 European amateur gold medallist is yet to feature beyond eight rounds.

However, at London’s York Hall this Saturday (16 November), Nevin has been cast against Nicaragua’s seriously nasty Freddy Fonseca, a proven world grade operator who has conceded just four times in 32 starts and sent 18 opponents down before the scorecards were required.

The pair collide over 10 rounds for the WBA International Super-Featherweight Championship with the victor assured a world ranking. The salivating showdown will be screened live and exclusive in the U.K on free-to-air Channel Five.

‘I’m not remotely worried. After being told I’d never boxing again, I’m enjoying these new challenges. I’ll be walking my way to the world title!’ quipped the Mullingar traveller who was told he might never box again after both his legs were broken in an out-of-ring altercation in April 2014.

‘You have to remember all my experience from the WSB (World Series of Boxing). I had 11 bouts (9 wins) boxing for Paris United, then the London Lionhearts; without head guards, wearing eight-ounce gloves in five round fights against elite opposition with professional style scoring. They were proper, aggressive scraps. They more than compensate.

‘On November 16th, U.K fans will see the skills of a genuine contender who’s coming to hunt the world champions down. After nailing the WBA International title I’ll chase a world title straight after. I’d only be interested in the European belt and the like if it guarantees getting me closer to a world title.

‘(Reigning IBF Champion) Tevin Farmer would be my preferred choice. He’s from Philly where I was based for the start of my pro career (under promoter Tom Moran’s GreenBlood organisation). When we were on the same bill, I sold a lot more tickets than Farmer ever did. They weren’t boxing fans who attended, they were John Joe Nevin fans.

‘Farmer beat two Irish guys already, Jono Carroll and James Tennyson, so I’d like to avenge that for Irishmen everywhere. I’d willingly fight Tevin in his home town but before MY fans. He’s pretty slick too but he’s not got what I’ve got.’

But if he’s to force that grudge match, nifty, nimble Nevin knows he must cast a spell over the formidable Fonseca in London on Saturday week in what is easily the stiffest assignment of his five and a half year pro career.

‘This kid’s no journeyman. He’ll not go into hiding. He’ll really go for it,’ acknowledges the man from County Westmeath.

‘Fonseca brings this big, big left hand. He knows he can punch but I’m confident I can frustrate him then walk him onto stuff. And I hit very hard. My record shows just the four kayos but it’s very hard to knock a man out when he’s running away. It’s just about timing the right punch.

‘An impressive win will stick me into the world top 15 and then I’ll not be too far away.’

Promoted by Mick Hennessy in association with Infinitum, Channel 5 and Priority Promotions, Dilmaghani v Fonseca will be televised exclusively live in the UK on free-to-air Channel 5 and 5Spike.

Headline attraction on the card features Alex Dilmaghani versus Francisco Fonseca for the Vacant IBO Super-Featherweight Championship. Chief support sees an exciting clash between Irish star John Joe Nevin v Freddy Fonseca for the WBA International Super-Featherweight Championship. A packed and top quality undercard also features: Fast rising Sevenoaks middleweight talent Michael Hennessy Jnr; Stockwell welterweight Samuel Antwi; Welsh super-featherweight Rhys Edwards; Chelsea Lightweight Connor Marsden; two London based Romanians: super-welterweight Flavius Biea and heavyweight Lucian Atani; Basildon super-lightweight Lewis Smith; Islington middleweight Billy Underwood; Luton super-lightweight Jahid Munim and Islington featherweight Alizara Ghadiri.

Tickets are available from MyFightTickets:

Kyotoro Fujimoto Holds Press Conference With Panda Ahead Of Daniel Dubois Bout

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Japanese Heavyweight Kyotaro Fujimoto today unveiled his secret weapon for defeating Daniel Dubois on December 21st: a panda.

At a press conference in Tokyo’s famous Korakuen Hall, Fujimoto declared the bear was key to getting him ready to tackle his “scary” opponent.
With his trademark multi-colour hair, and equally impressive suit, Fujimoto stunned the room when he said: “My opponent is a giant of a man. He seems as big and strong as a bear. It’s a little scary to fight a bear, so I’ve brought in a panda as a sparring partner.”

Introducing his unorthodox training partner to the assembled media, Fujimoto finished the remainder of the press conference with his bamboo-loving friend at his side.

Fujimoto, a 33 year old Heavyweight with an impressive 21-1 record and a #12 ranking with the WBA, confessed to being impressed with what he’d seen of Daniel Dubois in the ring.

He said: “I watched some of his fights… my impression is that he boxes very skilfully”

Daniel ‘Dynamite’ Dubois, at just 22, is widely regarded as the most exciting prospect in Heavyweight boxing and at 13-0 with 12 KO’s represents a huge challenge to the Asian boxer.

Fujimoto accepts the deck is stacked in Daniel’s favour, but believes the fight is a milestone moment in his life and one that could change it for the better.

“It’s been a long road getting here so I’m really excited to finally make it to the big stage. Winning this fight is going to change my life, and I want to change my life.”

On the line in this epic match-up will be Daniel Dubois’ WBO International Heavyweight Title and also the WBC Silver Title.

The WBC’s Silver championship was formerly held by Dillian Whyte and is seen as a key stepping stone to a shot at a World title.

When asked about Dubois and promoter Frank Warren’s plans to make him a World Champion Fujimoto said: “They think they’re going to win, of course. They think they’re bringing me over as an easy win, but that’s not the case. I’m ready to take on the world.”

Channelling the spirit of Sylvester Stallone’s famous character, he went on to insist that on December 21st at the Copper Box Arena he could battle to an unlikely Rocky Balboa-style win.

“I’m going to go over there and fight with the spirit of Rocky. This is my big chance to show what I’m made of. I’m going to do my best to make this my Christmas present.

If I win, it’s going to change my life.”

With less than 6 weeks to go until what’s being called ‘The Fight Before Christmas’ Fujimoto, and the panda, had better to get to work if they plan to turn that dream into reality.


Several images from the press conference are available here

Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions are heading to the Copper Box Arena to stage a bumper night of boxing on December 21st.

Unbeaten Heavyweight sensation Daniel Dubois (13-0) looks to continue his path of destruction against Japan’s Kyotaro Fujimoto (21-1). The WBC Silver Heavyweight championship and the WBO International Heavyweight belts will be on the line.

Light Heavyweight prospect and Love Island star Tommy Fury (2-0) makes his long awaited return to the boxing ring after winning the hearts of the nation on the popular ITV reality television show over the summer.

Tickets from £40 are now on sale via Seetickets and will be available via Ticketmaster shortly

Ticket prices:

£250 – Hospitality
£150 – Floor
£100 – Floor
£75 – Floor
£50 – Lower Tier
£40 – Upper Tier

Family Affair For Davies As he Aims For Six Of The Best

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Liam Davies wants to make it six of the best and resume a title chase with his father in the corner for the first time as a pro.

Unbeaten Davies has been in imperious form over his five flawless victories from five pro bouts and has yet to even lose a round, with two TKOs already on the board.

He next features on BCB Promotions’ offering in the Stadium Suite at the Banks’s Stadium, Walsall Football Club, on Saturday December 7. The bill is titled ‘Battle at the Banks’s.’

It was hoped the 23-year-old would challenge for the vacant Midlands super bantamweight title on the show, with Brett Fidoe lined up as a co-challenger.

That hasn’t materialised, so a six-round affair is once more in the offing having ended early against Jose Aguilar last time out.

Davies rolled over him in the fourth round, with Aguilar failing to answer the count of 10 after going down from a crunching body shot.

He’d previously taken out Pablo Narvaez in two, with most of his other opponents visiting the floor but managing to see the final bell.

Edward Bjorklund and Stefan Slavchev climbed off the canvas and clung on against Davies, who debuted with a points whitewash over Khvicha Gigolashvili last December.

The hot prospect from Shropshire, who hails from Donnington in Telford, is a second generation fighter as the son of ex-pro Tristan Davies, a former area boss himself.

They worked together with great success over Davies’ stellar amateur career, where he racked up exactly 100 contests, with 78 wins.

Coming through the ranks at dad’s Donnington Boxing Club, he enjoyed national success, as a 2010 ABA Schoolboys winner, and went on to represent England at youth level.

Their reunion awaits when they head into battle once again, with a tinge of disappointment a Midlands prize isn’t on the line.

Liam said: “I thought it would be Fidoe for the Midlands, I’m not sure if it was the board (British Boxing Board of Control) who wouldn’t pass it, but maybe that will happen next year.

“By the end of January or the start of February, I’ll be ready to go for a title. It didn’t happen this time, but I’m being patient.

“It’s not been a bad year, this is my sixth fight in 12 months and my fifth of 2019, so I can’t really complain as I’ve been kept fairly busy.

“I’ve trained hard, so I’m ready for whatever comes in there. I always want to look good and be in the fight of the night, so I can show people that I’m no fluke.

“It wouldn’t be such a bad thing to do the distance, the last time was scheduled for six but I’d never pass up on a TKO.

“That was a good result, he hadn’t been stopped for quite a few (first time in 14 bouts) so for him to be counted out shows what I can do.

“I’m a big and strong kid at super bantam and I do the weight right, I could even make bantam if I wanted to, for the right opportunity.

“This is a big night for me, it’s the first time I’ve had my dad in my corner, as a pro, and that will give me a boost.

“He knows how to bring out the dog in me, boxing wise, and it’s great that we can make these memories together. It means a lot to us.”

The main event at Walsall FC will see the also vacant Midlands featherweight title contested, over 10 rounds, between James Beech Jr and Luke Jones.

Unbeaten Beech, from Bloxwich, is on a quest to become a two-weight area champion with his 12th straight pro win, after 11 victories from 11 pro fights with two TKOs.

Beech, another second generation boxer as the son of local favourite Jimmy Beech is a graduate of Pleck Boxing Club, who he represented 80 times with 50 wins.

Jones, of Chasetown in Staffordshire, has two losses but has also recorded six successes from his nine pro outings, all on points.

He’s completed the duration on all but one occasion, with a technical draw against Alec Bazza ending after one round, as both men were badly cut by a clash of heads.

Another on the under-card is Troi Coleman, from Burntwood in Staffordshire, who is 5-0 as a super middleweight with a series of points victories, since switching sports from kickboxing.

‘The Hawk,’ who still trains out of the Platinum gym in his hometown, has seen off Lewis van Poetsch, Darryl Sharp, Kevin McCauley, Scott Hillman and Owen Jobburn.

Cole Johnson, of Stoke-on-Trent, seeks his fifth paid success, after recording four points victories starting with his debut last year.

The lightweight hopeful hasn’t conceded a round so far as a pro and has a good grounding, having previously become a national titleist himself as an amateur.

Johnson claimed England Senior Development honours in 2017, representing Orme Boxing Club, and wants to build a path towards further accolades.

Southpaw Lauren Johnson, from nearby Willenhall, will lace on the gloves for the first time in nearly 18 months and is going up a weight to super welter.

‘The Black Widow’ returns after claiming the eight-round British Challenge strap in her previous outing, by making it a hat-trick of paid points results.

Dudley’s Ruben Campbell will be looking to have his hand raised for the third time, as a pro, after outpointing Ibrar Riyaz and Matt ‘MJ’ Hall so far.

Another second generation fighter, Campbell is planning to campaign as a super lightweight, where his dad Ray ‘Raza’ Campbell featured in the early 1990s.

The show will start at 6pm and end by 9pm, where screens will then be used at the venue to broadcast the world title fight between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr.

Joshua attempts to regain his WBA ‘super,’ WBO, IBF and IBO belts from Ruiz in Saudi Arabia, who are three hours ahead of UK time.

Tickets for the bill in the Stadium Suite are on sale now, which are priced at £35 standard or £65 VIP with a hot fork buffet.

They are available by calling the BCB Box Office on 07493 582 261 or online here:

It will be £40 for entry on the door.

Smith: Anfield Disappears If I Lose To Ryder

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The article that you're about to read is an official announcement issued to Ring News 24 to publish as a press release.

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Callum Smith has admitted that his 2020 Anfield dream would disappear if he were to surrender his WBA World, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine Super-Middleweight titles to mandatory challenger John Ryder at the M&S Bank Arena Liverpool on Saturday November 23, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.

‘Mundo’ returns home to fight in his native Liverpool for the first time since outpointing Sweden’s Erik Skoglund in September 2017 knowing that a win over his fellow Brit Ryder is vital if he is to secure a mega-fight against the likes of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez or Billy Joe Saunders next summer.

“I want the big fights, I want the superstar names and the only chance of me getting them is by having a World title, so I’ve got to keep my belt for as long as I can,” said Smith. “John Ryder poses a big threat. He wants to take what I’ve worked so hard for. I worked hard to win my World title and I’ve got to work even harder to keep it now.

“I’m expecting a tough fight from John Ryder, he’s in good shape and it’s a big opportunity for him. I just think the best version of me beats any Super-Middleweight on the planet. With the way I’ve been performing in the gym, I think I’m going to put in a big performance. You’ve got to respect him because he’s in good form. He’s won fights where he was the underdog and he wasn’t supposed to win.

“He deserves a lot of respect. He hasn’t just been picked out of a hat, he earnt the mandatory position with good wins. I respect every fighter and John especially, but like I said before I think the best version of me beats any Super-Middleweight in the World and as long as I turn up and perform the way I know I can then I think I’ll be too much for him.”

Smith (26-0, KOs 19), rated as the No 1 fighter in the 168lbs division, will fight for the first time as World Champion on home turf after blowing away Hassan N’Dam in three rounds last time out on the Anthony Joshua-Andy Ruiz Jr undercard in New York in June.

Ambitious plans are in place for Smith to fight at the home of his beloved Liverpool FC in May next year, potentially a unification clash against fellow Matchroom man Billy Joe Saunders who successfully defended his WBO title in LA last week, but Smith isn’t getting carried away and insists his focus is firmly on Ryder next week.

“This fight is like every other fight in my career, they’ve always been must-win. I always wanted to be where I am now so any loss along the way would have derailed those plans. Now people are talking about 2020 and the massive names and the thought of Anfield. All of that disappears if I lose to John Ryder.

“It’s the same motivation that I’ve always had. I always want more and I’m always wanting to see what’s next. This fight is no different, a win over Ryder opens the door for possible huge fights in 2020. A loss to Ryder and they all disappear and I become a challenger again and I join the queue. It’s a must-win fight for me and that’s all I need. As long as I’ve got a World title I’m in a very good position.”

Smith vs. Ryder tops a huge night of action in Liverpool.

Craig Glover (10-2, 8 KOs) takes on Chris Billam-Smith (9-1, 8 KOs) for the vacant Commonwealth Cruiserweight title, Anthony Fowler (10-1, 8 KOs) meets Harry Scarff (8-0, 1 KO) for the WBA International Super-Welterweight title, James Tennyson (25-3, 21 KOs) and Craig Evans (20-2-2, 3 KOs) square-off in a final eliminator for the British Lightweight title, Tom Farrell (17-2, 5 KOs) clashes with Sean Dodd (16-5-1, 3 KOs) in a must-win encounter for both men, Liverpool Light-Heavyweight talent Thomas Whittaker-Hart (3-0, 1 KO) aims to end his first year as a pro in style and Liverpool Super-Lightweight Marcus Molloy (1-0) and Skelmersdale Welterweight Tom Aitchson (1-0) both go for their second win in the pro ranks.

Capital Showdown – Press Conference Quotes And Photos

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Katharina Thanderz (12-0, 2 KOs) came face-to-face with her opponent Danila Ramos (8-1, 1 KO) for the first time at a press conference today in Oslo ahead of their interim WBC World Super Featherweight title fight on Saturday night.

Thanderz, a former European and WBC International Champion, headlines a stacked card at the Ekeberghallen as she challenges for her first World title, while Norway’s number one male boxer Kai Robin Havnaa (15-0, 3 KOs) takes on Mariano Angel Gudino (13-3, 8 KOs) in a crunch cruiserweight clash.

“I feel great. I can’t wait until Saturday,” said Thanderz. “I’ve had a great camp with really hard training. Some days I was completely exhausted but that’s what you have to do to win a fight like this. I have lots of friends and family coming on Saturday so I’m really happy about that. I’m not sure what’s going to happen but I know that I’m going to give it all. This is a big chance for me to realize my dream and win my first World title.”

“I’m very happy to be here,” said Ramos. “Norway is beautiful and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen snow. I feel like I’m already the champ. I didn’t take my belt home to Brazil last time, but there is no way that’s happening again. I’m certain I will win. Come to the fight or watch on TV, I will put in a sensational performance and you will see a new champion on Saturday!”

“It’s a tough fight for both girls and both fighters are here to win,” said promoter Nisse Sauerland. “It’s a massive night for Norway. Boxing is growing sport over here. It’s been illegal for many years and there have been lots of restrictions, so I’m just happy to put on this great fight night. If Katharina wins then I think there will be a new Norwegian national hero and there will be some very big fights to be made, people like: Terri Harper, Eva Wahlstrom and other big names.”

“I’m happy to be here in Norway,” said Gudino, who comes in as a late replacement for Al Sands. “Havnaa is in trouble. He will see what it is like to fight a real warrior. I’ve come here to fight and I’ve come here to win. I’ve not come here for a holiday. I give the same importance to every fight I have. It doesn’t matter where it is or who it is against. I know Havnaa is a good fighter. He is a big opponent for me, but I’m ready for a war!”

“I can’t wait to get into the ring on Saturday night,” said Havnaa. “I’ve had a late change of opponent before so I’m used to this and I’m not going to let it affect me. My opponent looks fit and strong. I know he is coming here to fight and I will be prepared to face my best opponent yet. He’s says that he’s going to make it war so I’m expecting a war. Let’s go to war!”

“Kai’s had a late replacement. I gave him a list of three fighters and he’s picked the hardest one,” says Sauerland. “I really like his attitude and fingers crossed it doesn’t backfire. I expect a very good, tough fight. It’s going to be a great crowd and we are building something special here in Norway.

“The name Havnaa is synonymous with boxing in Norway. It’s a huge name here. His dad was a World Champion and now Kai is following in his footsteps and emulating his success. He’s the biggest star in boxing in Norway at the moment. He’s taking over and now he needs to produce the goods in the ring.”

Katharina Thanderz headlines a huge show at the historic Ekeberghallen as she faces Danila Ramos for the interim WBC Female World Super Featherweight crown, while Kai Robin Havnaa looks to bolster his World title claim in a crunch cruiserweight clash with Mariano Angel Gudino, and top talents Kevin Melhus, Alexander Hagen, Bernard Torres and Kent Erik Baadstad complete an action-packed card in the Norwegian capital.

Tickets are available online via All the action will be available to watch live across Viasat 4, Viasport + and Viaplay in Norway.


McGregor Rules Out Defeat At Tense Presser

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Commonwealth champion Lee McGregor (7-0, 6 KOs) and British bantamweight king Kash Farooq (13-0, 6 KOs) bring their belts to the table on the #MTKFightNight at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena – live on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and on iFL TV worldwide.

The unification clash tops the bill, Kieran Smith (15-0, 7 KOs) defends his WBC International Silver title against fellow-unbeaten super-welterweight Vincenzo Bevilacqua (16-0), Tommy Philbin (12-0, 4 KOs) takes on dangerous Slovakian Nicolas Holcapfel (11-1, 9 KOs) and Paddy Donovan, Mark McKeown, Pierce O’Leary and Craig Morgan star on the undercard.

As they draw closer to slots on a colossal stage, challenges were laid down at an intense final press conference.

Here’s what they had to say…

MARK McKEOWN: “I believe this is what I was born to do and I’m really looking forward to making my debut on such a big stage.

“It’s great to see Scottish boxing on a high with Josh Taylor’s win and now this bill and I’m excited to be part of it.”

ANDY LEE: “We’re happy to be here in Scotland and we’d like to thank MTK Global and Top Rank. We’re looking forward the fight.

“Paddy has much more to show on Saturday night.”

PADDY DONOVAN: “My opponent Danny Mendoza is tough and strong but technically, I’m better than him.

“We’re moving well and we’re moving fast but it’s one fight at time. Andy is my manager so whenever he wants to move, we move.”

TOMMY PHILBIN: “It’s going to be great. I had a long time out of the ring and came back with a six-rounder in May. I’m looking forward to getting back in there and everything’s good.

“Once I’m active, the wins will keep coming. Everybody has been great. I’ve gone through some bad stuff but everybody has been helping me. A lot of thanks to my Missus and my coach.”

KIERAN SMITH: “It’s a massive test. He’s 16-0 and he’s coming over here to try and upset the apple-cart but I can’t see him doing it.

“The big shots are coming around the corner in 2020 but my full focus is on this on Saturday night. I need to get past this and then move on to that. I’m hoping to steal the show.”

CRAIG DICKSON: “The simple thing with Kash is hard work. From the minute I started training him, you could see the dedication. I’ve been boxing a long time and never met anyone as disciplined. I believe it pays dividends on Saturday night.

“Kash is relaxed outside the ring but I can assure you once the bell goes, he’s a different animal. When that bell goes, he’ll stand face-to-face with Lee and he’ll come out the winner.”

GRANT SMITH: “Lee has always had fire in his belly. He’s worked hard. Believe me. All top fighters work hard and that’s why they reach the top. It’s a good for boxing this; not just Scotland.

“There are some very good fighters in our stable and they train day in day out together. I believe Lee will be the bigger man, the stronger man in there on the night and win.”

KASH FAROOQ: “We never knew we were going to meet each other but now our paths has crossed and here we are.

“I won the British title outright so all that’s motivating me is winning this fight. Who’s the best in Scotland? Who’s the best in Britain? I’ll block everything out on the night and I believe I’ll come out victorious.”

LEE McGREGOR: “You have to switch off the friends mentality but it’s easy for the both of us to do it because we know what’s at stake. The winner has got some life-changing opportunities. Defeat is simply not happening.

“I believe people are underestimating my boxing ability. I travelled the world as an amateur and beat some of the best in the world. I can box. I can also fight. If the going gets tough, I can dig really deep. We’ll see what happens but I’m prepared for deep waters on Saturday.”

Tune in to ESPN+ and iFL TV to watch a classic card on Saturday night.

Legendary coach Al Mitchell going from corner into HOF

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The article that you're about to read is an official announcement issued to Ring News 24 to publish as a press release.

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Legendary coach AL Mitchell will be honored for his more than 60 years of service in boxing on Friday night, December 13, when he’s inducted into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame, during a special Class of 2019 ceremony, at Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

The HOF reception is being held in conjunction with the 2020 Olympic Trials and 2019 National Championships Dec. 7-15, at Lake Charles Civic Center. The finals of the Olympic Trials will be held Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Hall of Fame broadcaster Al Bernstein from Showtime Sports will serve as the event’s emcee for the third year in a row.

In addition to Mitchell, the USA Boxing Alumni Association’s third HOF class also includes Olympic gold-medalists “Big” George Foreman, Mark Breland and “Smokin'” Joe Frazier, as well as another decorated coach, Ray Rodgers.

Sen. John McCain will be posthumously presented a special Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless work to protect boxers and elevate the sport.

Although he was 43-1 as an amateur boxer, Mitchell is better known for operating the N. Michigan University boxing program for decades, in addition to being head coach of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team, and technical advisor for the 2004 and 2012 U.S. Olympic squads. He was selected as the 1994 USA Boxing Coach of the Year and among the mind boggling 800-plus national amateur champions he has worked with are Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather and Vernon Forrest. He currently trains 2016 U.S. Olympian and world title contender Mikaela Mayer, who will be at the HOF induction ceremony supporting her coach.

“I’m very honored and happy to have USA Boxing put me in its Hall of Fame,” said Mitchell, who turned 76 this past Halloween. “I want to thank all the coaches who worked under me and all the young fighters I’ve worked with. I’m thankful that USA Boxing believed in me, putting 13 to 15 boxers in my program, and cream does rise to the top.”

Mitchell is particularly grateful that he’s going into the HOF as a member of this class, largely due to his friendship with another Philadelphia boxing icon, Joe Frazier.

“I’m really happy to be going in with Joe Frazier,” Mitchell explained. “We were both at the same gym in North Philadelphia. I know his son, Marvis, and daughter, Jackie. We go way back. I’m proud of our old gym. We came up with some great fighters like Benny Briscoe. Marvin Hagler’s first two losses were to Philly fighters (Willie Monroe and Bobby Watts). So many great coaches have come from Philadelphia, too.

“I didn’t turn pro because I was too small. It was all about welterweights, middleweights and heavyweights in Philadelphia back then. There were only eight weight classes. The only offer I had a was deal for $200 to go to California. It wasn’t worth it.

“I met Senator McCain once. He was a stout boxing man.”

Fortunately, Mitchell concentrated on coaching amateurs, many of the world-class boxers. He’s equally proud to have been chosen as head coach of the 1992 Team USA Olympic Team and the N. Michigan University program that allows elite boxers to train with him and receive a college education.

Mitchell proudly notes that Team USA was only supposed to win two medals in 1992 but ended up with a total of seven. “We had some sensational fighters on that team,” he remembered. “David Reid won a gold medal, (Floyd) Mayweather got robbed and won a bronze, (Antonio) Tarver won a bronze. (The other US bronze medalists that year were Terrance Cauthen, Daniel Santos, Rhoshi Wells and Nate Jones.) Back then I felt like James Bond, because I traveled so much with the Olympic teams. It took me around the world, and I got to see so many different countries.

“I’m so lucky to have the kids I train here (N. Michigan U.),” Mitchell remarked. “They’re good, love the sport, and keep getting better and better. I’ve also trained the Chinese National Team.”

Budding professional world title contender Mayer (12-0) was the first woman Mitchell trained and he’s still working her corner, training her at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she lives, and at N. Michigan U. She ranks among Mitchell’s all-time favorites to work with, joining the late Forrest, and as pair of Philadelphians, Reid and Zahir Raheem.

Mikaela Mayer (L) and Coach Al Mitchell

“Coach Al has given back to so many USA Boxing Alumni, both as athletes and human beings,” added Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Executive Director. “His service to Olympic-style amateur boxing has been incredibly inspiring, and we look forward to honoring him at our Hall of Fame event in December.”

Confirmed special guests include 1988 Olympic gold medalist Andrew Maynard, three-time National AAU Coach of the Year (1972-76-77) Joe Clough, 1984 Olympic gold medalist Frank Tate and his brother Thomas, 1972 Olympian Tim Dement, 2002 National Golden Gloves champion Jaidon Codringtion, 1980 Olympic Qualifier Jackie Beard, 1981 Junior Olympics Glen Modicue, four-time National champion Eric Kelly, 1988 Eastern Olympic Qualifier champion John Scully, Obie Beard, Mark Lanton and the Stephens brothers – Donald, Anthony and Jerry.


Created to champion a lifelong, mutually beneficial relations between USA Boxing and its alumni, –boxers, officials, coaches and boxing fans — The Alumni Association connects generations of champions, inspiring and giving back to USA Boxing’s future boxing champions, in and out of the ring.

The USA Boxing Alumni Association is open to anyone who has a love for boxing and would like to stay connected with amateur boxing. Members are granted access to a wide variety of special events host by the Alumni Association, including the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception.

To join the Alumni Association, simply register at for a $40.00 per year membership fee. New members will receive a T-shirt, keychain and e-wallet.

CLASS OF 2017: The charter class was headed by Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield, in addition to veteran coaches Roosevelt Sanders and Tom Coulter.

CLASS OF 2018: U.S. Olympic Team medalists and world (professional) champions Roy Jones, Jr., Andre Ward and Claressa Shields, as well as former USA Boxing National Director of Coaching Emanuel Steward and veteran USA Boxing official Tom Cleary.

Twitter: @USABoxing, @USABoxingAlumni
Instagram: @USABoxing
Facebook: /USABoxing

IBF Convention 2020 Announcement

Press Release

The article that you're about to read is an official announcement issued to Ring News 24 to publish as a press release.

KO Boxing Forum

The IBF’s 37th Annual Convention will take place at The Westin in Long Beach, California from May 19 – May 23, 2020. “We are glad to once again have the opportunity to take our convention to California in celebration of our 37th year,” stated IBF President Daryl Peoples. “The California boxing community is deeply rooted in the sport. We are optimistic that this convention will be well attended and successful for us,” added Peoples.

Long Beach boasts both the ambiance of a sophisticated urban center and the charm of a seaside community. Located 20 miles south of Los Angeles, it offers visitors a dynamic range of attractions, shopping, recreational activities, art and culture, restaurants and nightly entertainment that make it an ideal destination for our convention.

The IBF team have preparations well underway for making this an outstanding convention. Aside from the informative meetings and seminars, the attendees can look forward to the always anticipated Meet the Champions Cocktail and the Annual Awards Gala. “As always, our goal is to plan a productive, informative and entertaining convention for all who attend,” noted Mr. Peoples.

Anyone who is interested in attending the convention may do so. All the details regarding registration for the event will be announced in the near future and published on the organization’s website,

Tyson Fury planning six week training camp for Deontay Wilder rematch

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

Follow Anthony Cocks on: Twitter | Facebook
KO Boxing Forum

Tyson Fury claims he won’t start training camp for his rematch with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder until six weeks before their February 22 bout.

Wilder is scheduled to face Luis Ortiz in a rematch on November 23, while Fury has been recovering since suffering some nasty cuts that required 40 stitches in his hard-fought points win over Otto Wallin in September.

“I’m nowhere near camp,” Fury told BT Sport.

Fury has confirmed he expects to be fully healed by December 15 but he will enjoy a quiet Christmas with his family before heading into camp.

“I think we’re going to Barbados, I’m not sure,” he joked. “Wherever my dad wants to take us, that’s where we’re going.”

Wilder, who fought Fury to a draw in Los Angeles last December, recently claimed the Brit was running from him.

The comments didn’t sit well with the self-styled ‘Gypsy King’, who replied in a video directed at his rival.

“This is a message to address Deontay Wilder’s recent comments on how I don’t want to fight him,” Fury said.

“Oh, how afraid of him I am.

“If I was afraid of you, I wouldn’t have fought you after having three years out of the ring and beaten you in your own country, but you had to rob me and give me a draw.

“I don’t know why on Earth you think I’m bothered about you. Just get through your fight with Ortiz, do your own thing and stop using my name for relevance.

“You should be on 20 per cent (for our rematch), but you’re not and I’m giving you a fair share because I’m a fair man.

“I don’t ask for anything in this world, I work hard for everything.

“The thing is with you Wilder, crack on with your own business and I’ll see you February 22 to finish what I started. This time you’re going to get smashed, you big bum dosser.”

Anthony Joshua must imitate Lennox Lewis’ style to defeat Andy Ruiz Jr, says David Haye

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

Follow Anthony Cocks on: Twitter | Facebook
KO Boxing Forum

David Haye has urged Anthony Joshua to mimic the style of Lennox Lewis when he rematches Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia on December 7.

Haye cited Lewis’ wins over Samoan knockout artist David Tua in 2000 and Mike Tyson two years later as the blueprint Joshua needs to apply if he wants to regain the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight championships.

Lewis scored a wide points win over Tua and knocked out Tyson in eight frames.

“He should look at how Lennox Lewis beat a knockout specialist like David Tua in 2000,” Haye told the Times.

“He nullified him. It was the same when he beat Mike Tyson.

“Lennox didn’t engage him up close. It is not the most entertaining style but it’s very effective.”

All the pressure will be on Joshua to avenge his shock defeat to Ruiz Jr back in June when he was stopped in seven rounds by the prohibitive underdog.

Joshua and Lewis have a rocky relationship, with ‘AJ’ recently calling the retired heavyweight champion ‘a clown’ after being accused of ‘chasing the money’ and calling for trainer Rob McCracken to be fired following the defeat to Ruiz Jr.

“I don’t really say that much, but if you keep on poking me and poking me into a corner then I am going to bark and bite back,” Joshua said at the time.

“I am not a confrontational type of person, I keep myself to myself, but if you keep prodding me then I am going to spark back one of these days.

“Lennox was not a clown for his boxing, the man is a beast for his boxing, we have his photos all over my gym.

“When we talk about boxing, I respect that but when we sit around the table as men I only talk about wanting to appreciate the younger generation but I feel when it comes to me he’s different.

“He seemed to be saying ‘Anthony is dodging someone, he’s this or that’ and I just wondered why he is always attacking me, rather than reaching out and helping me, when I needed it.”

Dereck Chisora facing retirement if he fights Oleksandr Usyk

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

Follow Anthony Cocks on: Twitter | Facebook
KO Boxing Forum

Heavyweight gatekeeper Dereck Chisora 32-9 (23) will be retired by Oleksandr Usyk 17-0 (13) if the two end up fighting.

That’s the word from David Higgins, the manager of former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker 26-2 (20).

Chisora was scheduled to face Parker last month but the Kiwi was forced to withdraw from the bout after falling ill following a spider bite. The 35-year-old veteran would go on to stop late replacement David Price in four rounds.

This week it was revealed that the British heavyweight would be targeting Usyk, with Chisora’s manager David Haye saying the fight “makes sense”.

Not surprisingly, Higgins disagrees.

“Don’t play games with Chisora’s head, don’t play games for two years with the British public, don’t play games with Eddie Hearn, who has always done right by everyone. Stick to your word both of you and give the fans what they want,” Higgins told Sky Sports.

“Stop running away, trying to take another option because you think there might be a little bit more money. Chisora would probably lose to Usyk. He might make a little bit more money, but that’s like a retirement fight. When you take a fight you know you’re going to lose, for a bit more money, you’re basically saying ‘I’m retiring.’

“My message is – if Chisora and Haye choose to go with Usyk, they are putting up a white flag. Chisora is saying ‘I’m finished with boxing and I just want to take the money.’

“But if Chisora is serious, he’ll deliver what he’s been crowing about. He’ll fight Parker. He says he can beat Parker, then he can fight Usyk anyway.

“I think the fans are smart enough to see through Haye’s manoeuvring, his rhetoric, his Machiavellian posturing, and I feel a bit sorry for Eddie Hearn in all of this, because he’s putting on the big shows that people want to see.”

Parker is expected to return to the ring in February or March and is keen to reschedule the Chisora bout.

“If Parker wants to fight Chisora he will,” said Higgins. “He’s willing, ready, able and he’s now even more keen to knock him out than he was before.

“If Haye and politics get in the way, and if Chisora wants to go and take a loss to Usyk, which he would, then Parker will fight someone else, and it will be whoever is put in front of him.”

Deontay Wilder promises to beat down Luis Ortiz after dirty fighter comments

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

Follow Anthony Cocks on: Twitter | Facebook
KO Boxing Forum

WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘The Bronze Bomber’ Wilder 41-0-1 (40) has promised to deliver a beatdown to Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz 31-1 (26) after the challenger labelled him a dirty fighter ahead of their rematch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 23.

Ortiz claim their first fight in March last year – which he eventually lost by 10th round stoppage – was marred by illegal tactics from the champion.

“You know I have never heard of that, so I think that he is being sarcastic. Only thing that’s criminal is me hitting people with the right hand and almost killing them. That’s the only thing I can go with,” Wilder said during a media conference call.

“As far as in the ring I don’t know what can be criticized. I would love to know myself to be honest.

“I want to know that because if it’s something to tear me down or something like that, then that will make me even more motivated towards Ortiz if he’s trying to try to tear me down after I have blessed him twice.

“I would love to know what he meant by that. That could be good for raising my blood and make me want to even more hurt him more than what I want to do now… So I need that clarified or I’m going to take this the wrong way and I’m really going to want to beat him down.”

In the first fight Wilder was badly buzzed in the seventh round before regrouping to score a late-round stoppage.

“The seventh round was an amazing time for me. It allowed me to see what I’m really made of. It allowed the world to see what type of champion and a true champion that they have in America and he has been here,” he said.

“With that seventh round being under the conditions that I was under, I was very proud of myself to be able to handle those situations. To be able to go into the fire like that for one, plus just taking the fight going in to the fire like that with a flu. You know proper protocol is to cancel that and wait to a later date until you are healthy.

“But being me, I’m a hard-headed. I always do things that many boxers don’t do and I think that’s part of wanting my legacy to be different from the rest. I don’t want the same old, I want to be different. That’s why I do the things that I do.”

Luis Ortiz labels Deontay Wilder a dirty fighter, wants all-Latin unification with Andy Ruiz Jr

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

Follow Anthony Cocks on: Twitter | Facebook
KO Boxing Forum

Heavyweight contender Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz 31-1 (26) has labelled WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘The Bronze Bomber’ Wilder 41-01 (40) a dirty fighter ahead of their rematch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 23.

The 40-year-old Cuban said the first fight, which he eventually lost by 10th round stoppage, was marred by Wilder’s illegal tactics.

“I don’t necessarily see anything that could have been done differently on my part. I think that some of the things that Wilder did and the antics that Wilder does could be dealt with differently this time around, the illegal things,” Ortiz said in a conference call with the media.

“Blows that he throws with the inside of his fists, punching down from the top of the head down and all kinds of craziness that he does, which makes it very difficult to get settled in any fight and quite frankly should be illegal and borderline criminal.

You absolutely never know what Wilder is going to do as far as how he approaches his fights. But one thing for sure is that both mentally and physically I’m at my best and prepared. So he can bring whatever he is going to bring. No problem.”

In the first fight in March last year, Ortiz almost sprang the upset when he had Wilder hurt in the seventh round.

“As soon as I made the connection and hurt him and I saw him where he was and I knew I was going to finish him and that the fight was over basically,” he said. “I haven’t had any other situation like that where I hadn’t gotten a knockout in a scenario like that. So it’s just a matter of putting some punches together and winning this fight.

“I don’t really remember which punch it was. It’s just like a flash it was probably the right hook that did the damage but after that I can’t remember what was doing more damage or not.”

Ortiz insisted the fight against Wilder isn’t personal and that his primary motivation is to avenge his loss and gain a world championship belt.

“I have absolutely nothing personal towards Deontay,” he said. “I respect him as a man, father, human being and that’s got nothing to do with nothing. It’s all about being a world champion, coronating myself that night on the 23rd, achieving my goal since I was 10 years old.

The prospect of an all-Latin heavyweight unification fight with Andy Ruiz Jr – providing he successfully defends his IBF, WBA and WBO championships against Anthony Joshua next month – is of great interest to Ortiz.

“I would be ecstatic to have a unification battle period and even more ecstatic if it were between two Latin fighters,” he said. “As far as Ruiz winning or not, I’m not 100% sure on which way it goes but I would like to see him come out the victor once again.”


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