Burns: There’s so much more to come from me

6 October 2016 St Enoch Shopping Centre Glasgow, Scotland  Ricky Burns prepares for WBA title defence against Kiryl Relikh  Picture shows l-r Ricky Burns ( WBA World Boxing Champion) and KirylRelikh at the Weigh-in  in Glasgow

‘Rickster’ targeting huge fights as he defends WBA Super-Lightweight crown

Ricky Burns says there’s plenty more big fights in his as he defends his WBA World Super-Lightweight title against dangerous mandatory challenger Kiryl Relikh at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow tomorrow night, live on Sky Sports.

Burns destroyed Michele Di Rocco in the same arena in May to land the title and become Scotland’s first three-weight World champion.

The ‘Rickster’ knows that blockbuster clashes lay in wait if he can see off big-punching Relikh, who boasts 19 KOs from his 21 wins. The 32 year old has been linked with a clash with brash American Adrien Broner but the Coatbridge ace will entertain thoughts of glamour nights in Las Vegas once the job is done against his Ricky Hatton-trained foe.

“I don’t think that being a three-weight World champion will sink in until I hang them up, and I am a long way from that,” said Burns, who weighed 9st 13lbs 2oz, with Relikh making 10st at the third attempt today.

“If I was training and I didn’t feel like I was up for it or I wanted it anymore, I just wouldn’t do it, but I think I’ve proved that I’ve still got plenty to give. A lot of people put a lot of work in for the fight, getting up at the crack of dawn to run up the steps at Leigh-on-Sea, blood, sweat and tears, so I was happy for the whole team.

“The atmosphere was incredible in May and I will never forget it. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. The plan was to box for the first part and then stick it on him after the halfway stage as he seems to tire, but I couldn’t miss him with the jab and the right hand.

“Things are really clicking with Tony Sims and that showed on the night. I caught him with a body shot in the second round and saw him wince from it, and a few times he was wobbled by right hands. Tony said to stick to the plan though and take him deep but I couldn’t miss him and he was taking a lot of clean shots. He was pretty flat-footed and just looking for big swings.

“I’m just one of the lads in the gym, we all work really hard and Tony puts in the same work with me as he does the other boys. Sometimes they call me the old man in the gym, but I just remind them of the three World titles when they do!

“Against Di Rocco I had a point to prove to myself and to those who doubted me. I was at the point that people were saying I was finished and I should pack it in, he’s got nowhere to go, everyone is entitled to their opinion but sometimes they should keep it to themselves.

“I don’t like looking back over what’s happened in the last couple of years, but it was hard coming through it and it was a tough ride, but that win was the start of a fresh chapter. I’ve never been the type to say I am going to do this or that, I just go one fight at a time and that’s what I’ll always do.

“Broner called me out at Super-Featherweight, Lightweight and now at Super-Lightweight. There was talk about it for this fight amongst others, but get the job done against Relikh and we can make that fight.

“I’m more than prepared to go to America for that fight. People say it’s a risky fight and more so going over there for it, but I wouldn’t take it if I didn’t think I could win. I know it’s a hard fight but I am more than confident I can beat him anywhere, and if it happens I’ll be really up for it.

“I think I’ve always been on the tip of his tongue because it’s been meant to happen a few times. I fought for the title that he lost on the scales, he’s been in a bit of bother but seems to be back in the gym and has sorted all that out, so I get this win and that fight should go ahead.

“Eddie and Tony only want the biggest fights for me and that’s great. I’ll fight anyone and if they happen to be big names in America or big names we bring to Glasgow, then that’s great. You can only take it one fight at a time and it’s great to be back in here and fighting a dangerous mandatory.

“Fighting in Vegas is something that I’ve always wanted to do but I’m not one for looking past the job in front of me.”

Burns’ clash with Relikh is part of a huge night of action in Glasgow with two mouth-watering British title clashes as Scotty Cardle defends his Lightweight belt against Kevin Hooper and Brixton rivals Dillian Whyte and Ian Lewison battle for the vacant Heavyweight strap, and there’s action for Joe Ham, Lewis Paulin, Stewart Burt, Scott McCormack and Ross Murray.

Tickets are on general sale now with tickets in the £40-£100 bracket available from the SSE Hydro website http://www.thessehydro.com/ and on 0844 395 4000 and 0800 952 0110 (accessible). VIP tickets at £200 are exclusively available at www.matchroomboxing.com

The money from all tickets sold from midnight tonight (Wednesday October 5) to midnight on Thursday will go to the family of Mike Towell, who sadly lost his life boxing in Glasgow last week.

Face value tickets for Burns vs. Relikh are also be available from http://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets/ . StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua.

Ogogo and Cunningham clash for WBC International strap in Birmingham

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Olympian faces local favourite for first pro title on October 22

Anthony Ogogo will fight for his first pro title when he clashes with Craig Cunningham for the vacant WBC International Middleweight title at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on October 22, live on Sky Sports.

Ogogo’s first shot at professional hardware comes after returning to action with three successive wins following a difficult time with injuries that had previously stunted his promising career in the paid ranks.

The London 2012 Olympic bronze medal hero has blown away his three opponents inside three rounds since his return in May, and the 27 year old is preparing for an exciting clash with another man in great form.

Cunningham successfully defended his Midlands Area Middleweight title in a six round toe-to-toe war against Ryan Aston in May and then dropped down to add the Super-Welterweight strap by seeing off tough Jason Welborn over ten rounds.

Those wins extended the 28 year old’s streak to five since his sole loss to former WBC International champion Tom Doran, and the Oldbury man will be confident to crash the Lowestoft man’s party, but for Ogogo, he says it’s time for his hard work to pay off and land his first belt.

“I’m delighted that this fight has now been confirmed and am incredibly excited to be fighting for my first title on such a great card in Birmingham live on Sky Sports,” said Ogogo.

“I’m feeling fitter and stronger than I ever have done before and am looking forward to getting in the ring on fight night and doing the business.

“I am fiercely ambitious and determined to reach the very top of this sport but know that I can’t look beyond Cunningham. He is a good fighter with a good record but I am completely focused on what I need to do to win that belt.

“I would like to thank Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Sport for having me on the show as well as my promoters Team Sauerland and Golden Boy Promotions for helping make this fight happen. I now can’t wait to get out there in front of what will be an amazing Birmingham crowd and show the world what I can do.”

“This is a great opportunity for Anthony to claim his first major title as a professional,” said Nisse Sauerland. “He has come back from injury, and with three great victories, has proven he is ready to compete at international level. I believe we are still yet to see the best of Anthony, and as the level of opposition improves, so too will his performances, and I’m confident this will be his first of many titles.”

“Anthony is so talented; after recovering from his injuries, it was only a matter of time before he got a title shot,” said Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO, Oscar De La Hoya.  “We are fully confident that Anthony will bring home the WBC International Championship on October 22 and look forward to working with him as he continues his march up the Middleweight ladder.”

Ogogo and Cunningham’s clash is part of a huge night of action in Birmingham topped by a fierce local derby between Frankie Gavin and Sam Eggington for the vacant WBC International Welterweight title.

A host of Birmingham boxers are in title action as Gamal Yafai defends his Commonwealth Super-Bantamweight title against Sean Davis, Marcus Ffrench and Robbie Barrett meet for the vacant English Super-Flyweight title, Don Broadhurst and Louis Norman fight for the vacant English Super-Flyweight title and the vacant Midlands Area Super-Lightweight crown is up for grabs between Jordan Cooke and Andy Keates.

Former World title challenger Brian Rose is in action alongside Cori Gibbs, Sam Bowen, Ryan Kelly, Joe Sherriff and Lennox Clarke.

Tickets are on general sale priced at £40, £60 and £100 and are available from http://www.barclaycardarena.co.uk/whats-on/matchroom-boxing. VIP tickets priced at £150 are exclusively available from www.matchroomboxing.com

Face value tickets for October 22 are also be available from http://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets/ . StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua.

32Red.com back huge Glasgow and Liverpool World title nights

THE ONLY WAY IS ESSEX RICKY BURNS TRAINING, HAINAULT ,ESSEX PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG FORMER WORLD LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPION RICKY BURNS TRAINS AT HIS NEW ESSEX GYM

Burns and Bellew defend their crowns in the next fortnight

Matchroom Boxing are delighted to announce that online gaming giants 32Red.com are backing the World title blockbusters for Ricky Burns and Tony Bellew in the next fortnight, both live on Sky Sports.

Burns and Bellew won the belts they defend this month in one glorious weekend in May, where Burns became a three-weight World champion by dominating Michele Di Rocco in his eighth round stoppage win for the vacant WBA Super-Lightweight crown at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on Saturday and then the following day at Goodison Park, Bellew climbed off the canvas in the first round to brutally KO Ilunga Makubu in the third to become WBC Cruiserweight king.

Scottish hero Burns puts his belt on the line this Friday against dangerous unbeaten mandatory challenger Kiryl Relikh, the Ricky Hatton trained Belarussian who has 19 KOs from his 21 wins, and a pair of tasty British title fights as Lightweight king Scotty Cardle defends his belt against Kevin Hooper and Brixton rivals Dillian Whyte and Ian Lewison battle for the vacant Heavyweight strap.

Merseyside main man Bellew puts his strap on the line on Saturday October 15 against brash American BJ Flores who is in his second World title fight. There’s a great card in support as Luke Campbell MBE defends his WBC Silver Lightweight title against local favourite Derry Mathews and Belfast star Ryan Burnett defending his British Bantamweight title against Liverpool’s Ryan Farrag.

“I am delighted that 32Red.com are on board for these two huge nights for British boxing,” said Eddie Hearn. “That weekend in May will live long in the memory as two special nights as Ricky cemented his place in the record books as an all-time great and Tony achieved a fairy tale win at the home of his beloved Everton FC, and now they are looking to build on those wins with successful defences on two cards packed with great fights.”

“We are delighted to be partnering with Matchroom Boxing and to be sponsoring the next two World Title fights in Glasgow featuring Ricky Burns and Liverpool featuring Tony Bellew,” said Matt Booth, Chief Commercial Officer at 32Red. “British boxing is at an all-time high and to associate the 32Red brand with these great nights is very exciting for us.”

Tickets for Burns vs. Relikh are on sale now with tickets in the £40-£100 bracket available from the SSE Hydro website http://www.thessehydro.com/ and on 0844 395 4000 and 0800 952 0110 (accessible). VIP tickets at £200 are exclusively available at www.matchroomboxing.com

Tickets for Bellew vs. Flores are on sale via www.echoarena.com or by calling 0844 8000 400 priced at £40, £60, £80, £100 and £150. VIP tickets will be available exclusively from www.matchroomboxing.com

Face value tickets for both bills are also be available from http://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets/ . StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua.

BRILLIANT CLEVERLY BECOMES WBA LIGHT-HEAVYWEIGHT KING

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Welshman forces champ Braehmer to retire after six rounds in Germany

Nathan Cleverly became a two-time World Light-Heavyweight champion after forcing champion Juergen Braehmer to retire halfway through their clash for the WBA crown in Neubrandenburg in Germany, live on Sky Sports.

Cleverly said his pre-fight plan ‘worked perfectly’ as he drew the 37 year old into his type of fight and forcing him to tire, and the German failed to emerge after the sixth – a round dominated by the Welshman targeting the Braehmer body time and again – with Braehmer citing an elbow injury.

“First and foremost my condolences go out to the family and friends of Mike Towell who tragically lost his life – god bless,” said Cleverly.

“This was my destiny tonight – he didn’t want to fight me five years ago and now we’ve finally got it on and I felt I would have too much for him.

“If he wants the rematch as per the contract, he can have it. I don’t know that he’ll want it, he’s 38 now and it would only go the same way, a Nathan Cleverly stoppage, but this time in Wales.

“I wanted to break him u in the first half of the fight and that’s what was happening. I felt him wince and wheeze in the sixth round when I was hitting him to the body and there was little coming back – the fight was only going one way.

“When I boxed Fonfara, I had a busted nose, my ear was gone, and I carried on – the full 12. Braehmer pulled out in the 7th because I broke him, injury or no injury. It’s a 12 round fight – you fight the whole fight.

“We knew it was going to be tough, he’s so experienced and I knew that I needed to take a few, to get him to work with me and try to keep pace with me, and he couldn’t. We thought he would punch himself out, I got my range in the sixth and I knew he would fold. It was nip and tuck at the start because of my plan. I had to let him tire, he didn’t like the body shots and I would have thrown them all night long, there was no denying me tonight.

“I’m so grateful to be World champion again. I worked so hard after losing my belt in my sixth fight and now I’m a two-time champion. I was so young first time around and maybe it was too early for me at 24. I had six defences and lost it in devastating fashion against a pound-for-pound elite guy in Sergey Kovalev, and since then this has been my goal and I’ve made it. I’m so proud for my country. We all have highs and lows in boxing and right now I’m just on cloud nine.”

Calzaghe backs Cleverly to dethrone WBA World Champion Braehmer

Jürgen Brähmer vs. Nathan Cleverly - Pressekonferenz zum Boxkampf (am 1. Oktober im Jahnsportforum Neubrandenburg) im Hamburger Club an der Alster am 26.09.2016. Foto: v.l. Jürgen Brähmer und Nathan Cleverly  Boxen PK Boxer Profiboxer Halbschwergewicht Halbkoerer Copyright by Public Address Presseagentur,  Parkallee 18 , 20144 HH Tel.: 040/ 4504030 Verwendung für Werbezwecke und Weitergabe an Dritte untersagt. Public Address kann keine Schadenersatzforderungen übernehmen, die aus der Veröffentlichung dieses Bildes entstehen könnten.   Der Abdruck dieses Bildes ist honorarpflichtig. Bankverbindung: Hamburger Sparkasse IBAN: DE55200505501282122926 BIC: HASPDEHHXXX.

Welsh legend says fellow countryman will rule the world again in Germany

Joe Calzaghe is backing his countryman Nathan Cleverly (29-3, 15 KOs) to dethrone WBA World Light Heavyweight Champion Juergen Braehmer (48-2, 35 KOs) on Saturday night at the Jahnsportforum in Neubrandenburg, Germany.

The legendary two-weight World Champion, who held WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, WBO and Ring magazine titles during his undefeated forty-six-fight career, believes Cleverly ‘speed’ and ‘work rate’ will prove too much for the German veteran.

‘’This is a great opportunity for Nathan,’’ he said. ‘’Braehmer is a good boxer, but if Nathan fights an intelligent fight, and uses his hand speed and work rate, I definitely fancy him to win.

‘’If I was facing Braehmer, I would have done what I always did. I would have used my speed and my boxing ability, and I think I would have won comfortably.

‘’Nathan is a different kind of fighter, but if he plays to his strengths, I’m sure he can get the job done. He’s come back down to light heavyweight, he had a good fight against Fonfara, and now he’s ready to get back into the World title mix.

‘’He’s away, fighting in Germany, so he will need to start fast and dominate the rounds, as any 50-50 rounds will go to the home fighter, but I still fancy him to do it. We saw Enzo Maccarinelli giving Braehmer some trouble at home before his eye started to swell.’’

Calzaghe, who enjoyed some memorable nights overseas, most notably his 2008 Stateside victories over Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr, is also the last British boxer to have won a World title fight in Germany against German opposition.

In 2005, the ‘Italian Dragon’ defended his WBO World title against mandatory challenger Mario Veit at the Volkswagenhalle in Braunschweig.

‘’That’s another one for the record books,’’ he says. ‘’Hopefully Nathan can be the man to break that record and bring the World title home.

‘’It was a different type of fight for me. Mario Veit was my mandatory challenger. I had already knocked him out in the first round in Cardiff, and then he won about twelve on the bounce and got himself back into the mandatory position.

‘’I always knew I was going to knock him out again, and he went six-rounds the second time, but as I said it was a different situation for me. I came to Germany as the favourite, I dominated from the start and the crowd was pretty subdued. I expect that to be different for Nathan. He has to go over there and take the title from the Champion.’’

Whyte and Lewison separated at fiery press conference

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Brixton Heavyweights light the blue touch paper for Brit battle

Dillian Whyte and Ian Lewison nearly came to blows at their press conference for their clash for the vacant British Heavyweight title at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on Friday October 7, live on Sky Sports.

Whyte and Lewison met in central London and sparks flew straight away between the big-hitting Brixton rivals.

After both men confidently predicted devastating KO wins over their local rival, the jibes became personal and security had to separate the pair.

As the tempers cooled and a tense head-to-head pictures were taken without issue, both men stakes they claims to the title.

Whyte fights for the Lord Lonsdale belt in December in a pulsating battle with Anthony Joshua MBE at The O2, while for Lewison, it’s a first crack at the coveted strap on the back of his impressive KO win in China in June.

“We’re going to go at it – I really want to beat him up because he talks rubbish,” said Whyte. “I used to think one of these days I’m going to bash his head in, so it’s not long until I tuck him in.

“Ian has been around for years. He could’ve been someone, people used to talk about him. I beat him up when I was

“He likes eating more than he likes training. His whole team know what time it is – the know what’s going to happen on the night when I am all over him and laughing as I finish him off, we’re going to need a crane to pick him.

“He’s going to run out and try to swing, so it’s up to me what happens in the fight – whether I engage or whether I box him.”

“It’s going to be carnage,” said Lewison. “After the fight he’s going to look bad, and I’m going to KO him inside four rounds.

“It’s a big opportunity for me with a big fight on TV. I thought England wasn’t into public executions anymore? I’m not looking for points, they are for supermarkets. I’m going to KO him, that’s what I am looking for.

“Whether we’re friends or not is irrelevant, we’re in there to do a job and that’s win the belt. He’s got a big profile and that means I can get my name out there and get the big fights with a win.”

Whyte and Lewison clash on a huge bill in Glasgow as three-weight World champion Ricky Burns defends his WBA World Super-Lightweight title against big-hitting mandatory challenger Kiryl Relikh.

Scotty Cardle defends his British Lightweight title against Kevin Hooper and there’s action for Joe Ham, Lewis Paulin, Stewart Burt, Scott McCormack and Ross Murray.

Tickets go on general sale at midday on Friday September 2, with tickets in the £40-£100 bracket available from the SSE Hydro website http://www.thessehydro.com/ and on 0844 395 4000 and 0800 952 0110 (accessible). VIP tickets at £200 are exclusively available at www.matchroomboxing.com

CLEVERLY: THIS IS MY DESTINY

Jürgen Brähmer vs. Nathan Cleverly - Pressekonferenz zum Boxkampf (am 1. Oktober im Jahnsportforum Neubrandenburg) im Hamburger Club an der Alster am 26.09.2016. Foto: v.l. Jürgen Brähmer und Nathan Cleverly  Boxen PK Boxer Profiboxer Halbschwergewicht Halbkoerer Copyright by Public Address Presseagentur,  Parkallee 18 , 20144 HH Tel.: 040/ 4504030 Verwendung für Werbezwecke und Weitergabe an Dritte untersagt. Public Address kann keine Schadenersatzforderungen übernehmen, die aus der Veröffentlichung dieses Bildes entstehen könnten.   Der Abdruck dieses Bildes ist honorarpflichtig. Bankverbindung: Hamburger Sparkasse IBAN: DE55200505501282122926 BIC: HASPDEHHXXX.

Welshman believes he’ll rule the world again against Braehmer

Nathan Cleverly believes it is his ‘destiny’ to beat Juergen Braehmer and be crowned WBA World Light Heavyweight Champion on Saturday night at the Jahnsportforum in Neubrandenburg, Germany, live on Sky Sports.

Cleverly was scheduled to meet Braehmer for the WBO title in 2011, but with only days to go before the Welshman’s first World title challenge, Braehmer withdrew, leaving Cleverly to fight Aleksy Kuziemski for the vacant belt.

“I was in the car on my way to London when I got the call saying Braehmer hadn’t arrived and the fight was off,” recalls Cleverly. “It was a crazy situation, and the scramble was on to find a replacement opponent in just two days.”

Cleverly would defeat Kuziemski and go on to defend the WBO World title on four occasions before dropping the belt to Russian powerhouse Sergey Kovalev, but despite achieving his ultimate ambition that night at The O2 in London, the 29 year-old admits that Braehmer’s withdrawal amounted to a bittersweet victory.

“It did take the shine off my World title win,” he said. “I wanted to rip that title off Braehmer. He was the World Champion and I wanted to win the belt from him. Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way, and although ultimately, I achieved my dream of becoming World Champion, it was a bit unsatisfactory.”

Five years on, Cleverly will finally get his chance to meet Braehmer for the World title, in a fight the boxer from Caerphilly believes he is destined to win.

“This fight has been five years in the making, and with everything that has happened, I just feel it’s my destiny now,” he says.

“Braehmer has had a great career, and I respect him for that, but there comes a time when the older Champion has to move aside and make way for the younger lion to come through. I was confident of beating him five years ago, but I feel even more confident now. It’s my time, and that belt is mine for the taking.”

If Cleverly can overcome his long-standing rival, he will become a two-time World Champion, a feat he hopes will kick-start a successful second phase in his career.

“It’s all about getting that belt and becoming a two-time World Champion,” he says. “That’s all I care about. It’s an opportunity for me to live that dream again. I did it once as 24 year-old, and here I am as a 29 year-old ready to relive it.

“I just want the opportunity to get my hands on that belt and to fulfil my ultimate potential. I don’t feel we’ve seen the best of what I can offer, and getting my hands on that belt will allow me to showcase what I can really do, and make this second phase of my career the best yet.”

Tickets for the WBA World Light Heavyweight Championship contest between Juergen Braehmer and Nathan Cleverly will be available online via www.tickethall.de and www.eventim.de or by calling +49 (0)1806-570044.

Crolla: I want to keep this crazy ride going

TWO WORLDS COLLIDE WEIGH IN RADISSON HOTEL,MANCHESTER PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG WBA,WBC AND RING MAGAZINE LIGHTWEIGHT TITLES WBA CHAMP ANTHONY CROLLA AND WBC CHAMP JORGE LINARES WEIGH IN BEFORE THEY CLASH IN THEIR UNIFICATION BOUT AT THE MANCHESTER ARENA ON SATURDAY 24TH SEPTEMBER

PIC COURTESY OF;LAWRENCE LUSTIG

‘Million Dollar’ says he needs another career-best performance against Linares

Anthony Crolla wants to continue his incredible run of wins going and defeat Jorge Linares as they clash in a Lightweight unification blockbuster at the Manchester Arena tomorrow night, live on Sky Sports.

Crolla puts his WBA crown on the line for the second time against the three-weight great, who brings his WBC Diamond strap to the UK. The vacant Ring magazine title is the third prize on offer to the winner, offering Crolla the chance to become the first English Lightweight to win that belt.

With Crolla bettering his last performances in each of his three World title fights – a draw against Darleys Perez followed by KO wins in the rematch and against Ismael Barroso – ‘Million Dollar’ knows that he has to raise his level once again and he’s ready to prove that he is the elite man in the 135lbs division.

“I never stopped believing but it’s been a mad ride,” said Crolla, who today scaled 9st 8lbs 5oz, three ounces more than Linares. “If someone had said a few years ago that this night was going to happen, I might not have believed them, it’s a ride I’ve enjoyed every minute of.

“I have to pull out another career-best performance again. Anything less is not going to be enough. He’s the best fighter that I’ve shared the ring with and you only have to look at his record to know the level he’s operated at for a long time and see how big a task it is. I bring something different to the table that he’s seen before and I believe I’ll have too much for him.

“Winning the Ring belt is one of the ultimate prizes in the sport, not many Brits have done that and it’s only right that I am fighting a great fighter for it. I’m humbled and blessed by both fighting Jorge and fighting for the Ring belt, but that’s not the end of my ambitions, I’ll be happy when I have the belt on my mantelpiece and then get back in the gym and go on and do more great things.

“I’m just so proud that I’ve been able to pay the fans back for their incredible support I’ve received. I’m not the kind of fighter that will run his mouth at press conferences or call people out, but I will happily fight anyone. You can’t want it more than me, no-one does. I’m still taken aback by it all really, I’m just a normal lad that trains hard, but things are going well and the harder you train, the luckier you get.

“There’s a lot more talented lads than me. But my will to win matches anyone’s. I think I’m improving as a fighter as well. I rarely come out really banged up now. Nine times out of 10 in any sport, the team or person with the best defence wins. But a lot of it comes down to my will and how I prepare for a fight. I train very hard and my engine has always been good.”

Crolla’s clash with Linares is part of a huge night of action in Manchester as John Ryder defends his WBA International Middleweight title against Jack Arnfield.

Callum Johnson lands his first title action against Willbeforce Shihepo for the Commonwealth Light-Heavyweight title, unbeaten Light-Heavyweight Hosea Burton will be in title action Conor Benn tastes his fifth night of action in the paid ranks.

Tickets are on sale now priced at £40, £60, £80, £100 and £150 and available from the Manchester Arena at www.manchester-arena.com or by calling 0844 847 8000. VIPs tickets are exclusively available through www.matchroomboxing.com priced at £250.

Face value tickets for September 24 will also be available from http://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets/ . StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua.

BUTLER: “I BELIEVE ALL OF THE BANTAMWEIGHT WORLD TITLE HOLDERS ARE THERE FOR THE BEATING; ESPECIALLY HASKINS!”

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Ellesmere Port star Paul Butler makes his highly-anticipated ring return when he fights over ten rounds against an opponent to be confirmed on the action-packed Motorpoint Arena Cardiff show on Saturday 22 October, live and exclusive on BoxNation.

Butler, 21-1 12 KO’s, recently teamed up with Ring Magazine Trainer of the Year Joe Gallagher at Gallagher’s Gym in Bolton alongside Queensberry Promotions stable mate Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith. The naturally gifted Butler is confident he can win another world title at Bantamweight and is patiently waiting in the wings for his next opportunity.

“I’m really looking forward to working alongside Joe,” said Butler. “We’ve already been working on a few little things in the gym that will improve me. He’s a great professional and has watched all of my previous fights to pinpoint areas in which I can improve.

“Just being around the lads in the gym and seeing the big fights that they’re involved in is good to be around and it gives you a real push. I’ve known most of the guys in the gym since I was an amateur. Working alongside them and watching them train is good, you pick up new things such as different shot selections every day.”

‘The Baby-Faced Assassin’ was last in the ring in March when he stopped Mexico’s Sebastain Sanchez in nine to pick up the vacant WBO International Super-Flyweight title. Now the former IBF World Bantamweight Champion is looking forward to stepping out under the bright lights again.

“It has been a frustrating few months for me but that’s boxing for you. I’m buzzing to get back out and I can’t wait to get back in there and put a show on and push on towards another world title at bantamweight. I believe all of the Bantamweight world title holders are there for the beating; especially Haskins.

“I’m just eager to get out there, get a win and push on for another world title. I’d box for a world title on the 22nd October if I was given the opportunity. I don’t get ring rust or anything like that. I believe I’ll have one or two fights and then I’ll be back in there for a world title fight.”

Top of the bill sees Welsh hero Liam Williams make the second defence of his British Super-Welterweight belt against undefeated mandatory London challenger Ahmet Patterson in another potential fight of the year contender.

Penge ace Bradley Skeete makes a mandatory defence of his British Welterweight crown against Manchester’s Shayne Singleton. Thomas Stalker and Blackwood’s Craig Evans lock horns for a third time, with the Liverpudlian’s WBO European Lightweight strap at stake.

Elsewhere, Swindon KO king Jamie Cox makes his long-awaited return in an eight round Super-Middleweight Contest, Ilford demolition man Anthony Yarde looks to continue his red-hot KO streak after emphatically announcing himself in the U.S. with another first round KO, Leicester super-puncher Lyon Woodstock looks to go 8-0, rising Swansea Super-Flyweight starlet Jay Harris looks to impress on home soil again and Croydon Super-Lightweight prospect Nathaniel Wilson goes in search of his fourth professional win.

Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.co.uk and www.eventim.co.uk from £70.

Hatton backs Crolla to make history in Manchester

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‘Hitman’ believes ‘Million Dollar’ will see off Linares threat

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Ricky Hatton has backed Anthony Crolla to become the first Englishman to win the Ring Magazine Lightweight title in his unification blockbuster with Jorge Linares at the Manchester Arena on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports.

Hatton landed the Super-Welterweight strap in the same arena in April 2006 when he forced Kostya Tszyu to quit after 11 thrilling rounds.

The ‘Hitman’ will be ringside on Saturday night where Crolla aims to become Britain’s 18th Ring magazine king and join Scottish legends Ken Buchanan and Jim Watt as winners of the prestigious strap in the 135lbs division.

Hatton’s fighting days are as memorable for his fanatical supports as his achievements in the ring, and the Manchester legend is delighted to see Crolla’s support growing as his remarkable story continues.

“Where Anthony has come from is a great example,” said Hatton. “It’s not where you start in boxing, it’s where you finish. He lost a six rounder early in his career and to Derry Mathews later on, everyone wrote him off and to achieve what he has is test of his character. I’m very proud of him.

“Anthony is lovely kid, some say he is too nice to be a boxer but there is a mean streak there. He has developed in to a good all round fighter, he has a very exciting style and is brutal body puncher.

“I know he can do the business against Jorge Linares and I’ll be beaming with pride to see him lift that Ring Magazine belt.

“My proudest achievement was my fan base in my career above everything. Anthony has an amazing following now and it’s great to see a fellow Mancunian being such a big draw in our city

“I became the first Brit to win the Ring Magazine fighter of the year award. Which was a huge honour. I won the Ring Magazine belt 10 years ago and it is the accolade that proves you are the best in your weight division, it is the ultimate achievement. It looks like the belt from the Rocky movies and its very old school which adds to the glamour of it.”

“There’s only one Ricky Hatton and there will only ever be one,” said Crolla. “If I can get a bit of the support and success that Ricky had I’ll be over the moon. The crowds at the Perez and Barroso fights were unbelievable and I am sure it’s going to be rocking on Saturday too.

“I’m just so proud that I’ve been able to pay the fans back for their incredible support I’ve received. I’m not the kind of fighter that will run his mouth at press conferences or call people out, but I will happily fight anyone. You can’t want it more than me, no-one does. I’m still taken aback by it all really, I’m just a normal lad that trains hard, but things are going well and the harder you train, the luckier you get.”

Crolla’s clash Linares with is part of a huge night of action in Manchester as John Ryder defends his WBA International Middleweight title against Jack Arnfield.

Callum Johnson lands his first title action against Willbeforce Shihepo for the Commonwealth Light-Heavyweight title, unbeaten Light-Heavyweight Hosea Burton will be in title action Conor Benn tastes his fifth night of action in the paid ranks.

Tickets are on sale now priced at £40, £60, £80, £100 and £150 and available from the Manchester Arena at www.manchester-arena.com or by calling 0844 847 8000. VIPs tickets are exclusively available through www.matchroomboxing.com priced at £250.

Face value tickets for September 24 will also be available from http://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets/ . StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua.

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