Katsidis comes over for Coyle; Campbell meets Brizuela
CAMPBELL MEETS BRIZUELA AND COYLE GETS KATSIDIS ON OCTOBER 25
Hull duo play host to big names on huge night
Luke Campbell MBE takes on Daniel Brizuela and Tommy Coyle faces Michael Katsidis on a huge night for both men at the Ice Arena in Hull on October 25, live on Sky Sports.
Campbell boxes for his first title in his first 12-round fight, with the dangerous Brizuela standing in his way of landing the vacant WBA Inter-Continental Lightweight belt. The Argentine returns to the venue where he shared the ring with Coyle in a fight of the year contender in February, where both men hit the canvas four times before Coyle stopped Brizuela to defend his IBF International title.
Coyle defends that crown once again as Australian star Katsidis returns to Britain to tackle the rising Hull talent, and the former two-time WBO interim champion is looking for a repeat of his stoppage win over Kevin Mitchell.
“This is a big step-up for me but one I feel that I am ready for,” said Campbell, who boxes at Wembley Arena on September 20. “Brizuela’s fight with Coyle was unbelievable and I know I am in for a serious night’s work, but I’m 7-0 now and with more rounds under my belt in September, I’m confident I can land my first title.”
“It’s great to be fighting someone of Michael Katsidis’ calibre,” said Coyle. “There were many big names touted for this fight and I am delighted that it’s Michael I’ll be taking on. He’s been in with Mitchell and Ricky Burns over here and also shared the ring with Robert Guerrero and Juan Manuel Marquez, so to beat him will be a huge achievement and a great scalp to have on my record.”
“It is nice to be fighting in England again and I am very much looking forward to the fight with Tommy,” said Katsidis. “I have always enjoyed the passion of the fans and I feel at home when I fight there.
“I would like to thank Eddie Hearn and Brendon Smith for putting this fight together and I am working very hard in camp at present.
“I would also like to thank Tommy for putting his hand up to fight me, I have had a number of offers from the UK and I am happy to come to Hull for the fight.”
“It was a little over a year since that great night at Craven Park when we came to the city of Hull for the first time,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “We’ve had three fantastic nights but I strongly believe this will be the most entertaining and definitely the most important.
“Tommy Coyle, who now has a reputation of being in regular wars, fights perhaps one of the most World renowned warriors in Michael Katsidis, while for Olympic champion Luke Campbell, this is the acid test. Brizuela, who came back from an impressive win following his fight of the year with Tommy, is a huge step up for Luke and one we believe he is ready for. Victory for both men will set up the battle of Hull in 2015, which will be a defining sporting occasion for the city.”
Unbeaten Super Bantamweight Gavin McDonnell and rising star Gamal Yafai appear on the bill alongside a host of young local talent in Nathon Smith, Tom Knight, Charlie Payton and Connor Seymour.
Tickets are on sale now priced £40, £60 and £120 for VIPs and are available from Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900 and at www.matchroomboxing.com
Jason Gavern: “Wilder’s the real deal but Fury will be the next champ after Wlad"
By Michael J Jones
A good man admits when he is wrong and, upon beginning my interview with Florida heavyweight Jason Gavern, I had to confess I made the classic fight fan mistake before his appearance in the UK heavyweight Prizefighter tournament late last year; judging a fighter by the statistics alone.
Entering the York Hall event, Gavern sported a patchy 23-15-4 (11) record which included early defeats to the likes of Amir Mansour and Lucas Browne but many times in boxing sheer figures don’t do a man justice when gauging actual talent. The Orlando native, showing quick hands and a fair share of ring smarts, would ease past big Larry Olubamiwo before upsetting the favoured James “Lights Out” Toney to make it into the final where he would be edged out by Reading veteran Michael Sprott.
Since then, the 37-year-old Gavern has struggled to get fights off his impressive Prizefighter run. His only appearance since has been a fourth-round retirement defeat to undefeated puncher Deontay Wilder earlier this month; a bout he took on just six days notice.
A pro for eleven years now, the 6’2” Gavern was an accomplished amateur who was one of the world’s elite super-heavyweights of the early 2000’s. Upon turning pro though, the prospect was soon facing very tough opposition on a regular basis.
Although he’s lost a third of his total contests overall, the father of three has been good enough to record some decent victories too. His list of victims include upsetting several respected prospects and a few tough contenders such as Raphael Butler, Darnell “Ding-A-Ling Man” Wilson and Manuel Quezada. Many thought he also did enough to beat Jonathon Banks in a NABF title bout four years ago (though it was scored a draw).
Gavern has also through the years faced some of the world’s best fighters in dozens of training camps all over the globe, sharing camp with champions such as Wladimir Klitschko, Alexander Povetkin and Marco Huck to name but a few.
Now with an overall tally of 25-17-4 (11), Livefight caught up with the self-managed heavyweight contender to discuss his career and recent fight with Wilder which occurred on the undercard of the Brook-Porter bill in Carson.
LF) You recently boxed Deontay Wilder in Carson, you took the fight at short notice, what kind of shape were you in at the time of the call to face him?
JG) I wasn’t in training at all, I was actually on vacation in Pennsylvania with my family when I received a call to ask was I interested in the Wilder fight. I flew home immediately and trained for like three days. I felt I did pretty well considering I didn’t train at all for it. That’s what happens when you are a journeyman; you get that late call and that’s it.
Note: By completing a full four rounds with Wilder, Gavern has gone further than any of “The Bronze Bomber’s” previous 31 victims to date.
LF) The Wilder fight was your first contest in eight months; was that lay off due to not being able to get fights?
JG) Yes that’s how it works; when you have won a couple of times and looked pretty good (as Jason did in PF), nobody wants to fight you but when you lose then everyone wants to fight you. I’ve actually just signed with an advisor who’s hopefully going to get me more fights and keep me more active.
LF) A lot of fans and experts have split views on Deontay Wilder. What is your opinion of him as a fighter having recently shared a ring with him?
JG) Well he’s 32-0 with 32 knockouts, I know everybody talks down on him because he’s not done the rounds and not been tested but that’s just because he’s been knocking everyone out. It’s not his fault nobody can test him. I think he’s just what the heavyweight division needs; he’s got the size, the strength and the power. He’s a really good fighter and I rate him.
LF) You’ve obviously fought a vast array of prospects, champions and contenders; how does Wilder rank among the guys you have competed against in your career?
JG) He’s the WBC number one for a reason and he’s definitely up there with the better guys I’ve faced but I will say if I’d have had the chance to train for the fight it would have been a lot different. I’m not saying I would have won but I think I could have been a lot more competitive and gone the ten rounds.
Still, Wilder is a good fighter with a great team behind him. I sure wish I had a guy like Al Haymon supporting me. Wilder gets long camps, all his training expenses paid for and good money while guys like me don’t get those luxuries. If I had that I could show everyone what I could do against a top ten guy. So many of my losses have been on very short notice.
LF) Let’s talk now about Prizefighter last November. I was surprised at how capable a fighter you proved to be in there especially in those first two bouts vs Olubamiwo and Toney?
JG) I took that on only two weeks notice so didn’t really have much time to prepare which is a shame as I feel with more time I would have won the whole thing. I honestly wasn’t even in shape; I was about 60% at best. If I’d have had even a month to get used to that style of fight I know I would have won it all. It was a blessing to be there though and a great experience. To beat a Hall of Fame fighter like James Toney in the process was also great for me and the UK fans were the best.
Big Larry I dropped in the first but it wasn’t really a proper knock-down. I didn’t catch him with a solid punch he was more off-balance but I’d take the knock-down. I would have won either way, Larry was a strong guy but didn’t really use his size very well I think that’s something he needs to work on. He also got knocked out badly in his next fight after that (vs Jamie Hearn actually two fights later).
LF) A lot of people thought Toney would win easily in your semi-final match. Were you confident of the upset beforehand?
JG) The thing with Toney is I’ve been with him for years. Around 2006-2007 just when he was coming through as a heavyweight we would spar all the time. I knew his style well and even some of my tricks are ones I’d learned from him and you can’t argue with learning from one of the best in boxing.
The important thing for me in that fight was to pace myself and not put my foot on the gas to much early on. Even though I’d won my first fight comfortably it still took a little wind out of me for the second fight. It was a fan friendly fight (with Toney) in which the fans were well into it and I kind of fed off that (support).
LF) You would be edged out by former British champion Michael Sprott in the final. Were you just too fatigued for a mobile guy like Sprott after the previous two bouts?
JG) I felt he won the first and I won the second convincingly yet none of the judges gave me that round which I found hard to believe. The third round I hurt my elbow which needed surgery when I got home as I’d torn a tendon. Michael Sprott is one of the true gentlemen of boxing though, a great guy and a man I call a friend so if I was going to lose to anyone I would have wanted it to be him and it was an honour to lose to him.
LF) You’ve said in numerous interviews that you have taken many fights at late notice. How different do you think your record would be now if you’d have had a solid eight-week camp before every fight?
JG) Oh man so different…well my four draws were all wins just to start with. The Lucas Browne fight in Hong Kong (two years ago) was on a Ricky Hatton promoted card and I took that on three days notice so no surprise I lost that one. Mariusz Wach I took on four or five days notice and was sick with pneumonia, Alexander Ustinov I took on two weeks notice and he was 6’8” and 320lbs. I would have beaten Ustinov for sure as I was out-hustling him but I was never going to win a decision over there either way.
Oleg Maskaev I beat him in Russia but they gave it the other way. I had him down in the ninth and couldn’t believe it when he got up…he barely made it but I was too fatigued to finish the job. Believe me my record would look totally different if I’ve had been in shape every time.
LF) If I asked you to name one fight which showed the true Jason Gavern at his best which one would you pick?
JG) Jonathon Banks. I beat him hands down over in Germany and really showed what I could do but they gave it a draw. I feel if I was able to train properly I would be a top ten heavyweight easily but they just call me up at last minute. I have to pay all of my training expenses out of my own pocket so most of the time I’m just breaking even. I barely make much money out of boxing because the guys at the top make all of the money.
The turning point in my career was that Jonathon Banks fight. Before then I’d beaten a good fighter named Manuel Quezada for his WBC title*, then we trained for a month for the fight with Banks in Germany on a Klitschko bill. I won (in rounds) 10-2…maybe 9-3 yet they gave it a draw. For me a draw in Germany means I won but it’s all political. I was so disgusted after that decision I basically stopped caring and took fights mostly for the money. Politics spoil the whole sport of boxing.
*WBC Caribbean Boxing Federation title.
LF) You are 37-years-old now and a veteran of 46 pro fights; what more do you feel you have to offer at this stage of your career?
JG) I still feel very fresh for my age and I have no major injuries and can still talk and have my own teeth (laughs) so I feel I still can do something. I’m not going to say I can still be a world champion but I can still win some fights and break into the top ten or fifteen in the world but I just need someone to get behind me.
Right now I’m married, have three kids, my wife works full time and it’s hard. I’m not going to pay to travel to train unless I have a fight coming up. I haven’t been 100% for a fight for about four years yet I still do OK.
LF) Who do you see out of the young guys coming through as the next dominant champion when Wladimir walks away?
JG) Well first things first as long as Wladimir is around nobody will beat him. People say he’s boring but it’s just simply because he’s so dominant. Out of the rest…it’s tough but I think maybe Tyson Fury will be the next world champion. I’ve just been in camp with him and he really impressed me I think he’s a tremendous fighter.
LF) Would you face Fury if offered the fight?
JG) Sure I’d face him as it would be a good money fight for me but I really don’t think Fury would want it in the position he’s in just in case he got cut or hurt or something. I don’t think a guy like Fury would be interested but I’d fight any of these young guys coming through. I’d face Anthony Joshua, I was just in camp with him and he impressed me too.
LF) Joshua is currently sparring Wladimir Klitschko in camp what do you make of that?
JG) That’s good sparring for him the best he could ever get right now and invaluable experience for him. I think the age of 6’2”, 220lb heavyweights is over now, guys are 6’6” and 250 regularly now and Joshua fits into that category. He’s being brought along great by Eddie Hearn and Matchroom and he’s a strong, hungry kid. Sparring the best heavyweight in the world will only make him even better.
LF) Any final comments Jason before we conclude?
JG) I just want to give a big shout out to all of the UK fans and I hope to get back to the UK someday to fight again. Anyone can hit me up on Twitter or Facebook any time.
LF) Thank you Jason and all the best for your career.
JG) Thank you for taking the time to talk to me I appreciate it.
Boxnation to air Hopkins vs Kovalev fight in UK
BOXING legend Bernard Hopkins' sensational attempt to unify the light-heavyweight division, just two months shy of his 50th birthday, against the fearsome Sergey Kovalev will be shown live and exclusive on BoxNation.
'The Channel of Champions' is delighted to be screening one of the most eagerly anticipated fights of this year when current WBA and IBF champion Hopkins looks to add knockout artist Kovalev's WBO crown to his incredible list of accolades.
Taking place at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on November 8th, the mouthwatering clash joins some top fight action already lined up on BoxNation including Floyd Mayweather's rematch with Marcos Maidana next month.
Hopkins attempts, however, to unify the light-heavyweight division at nearly 50 years of age is unprecedented but in the unbeaten Kovalev he faces one of the hardest hitters around having amassed a chilling 23 knockouts from 25 fights.
"Everything I do at this point in my career affects my legacy," Hopkins said.
"I've set and broken many records, but becoming the oldest undisputed light-heavyweight world champion is the goal and Kovalev stands in the way of that goal. He's another young, hungry fighter and just like the ones that came before him, he will leave the ring beltless."
Kovalev is aware of the threat the wily Hopkins presents but can't wait to fulfil a lifelong ambition by sharing the ring with one of boxing's best ever.
"I respect Bernard Hopkins for taking this fight," said the 31-year-old Kovalev.
"When I came to America, it was dream to fight the best and now I am fighting, I have my chance. He says he is an alien. He punch, I punch, then we see who is going to go to Mars."
In April, Hopkins defeated Beibut Shumenov to win the WBA light heavyweight world championship, breaking his own record as the oldest fighter in history to win a world title, which he set in May of 2011 after defeating Jean Pascal at age 46.
Kovalev comes off of the third defence of his WBO World Llight-Heavyweight title, defeating Blake Caparello by TKO in his last outing.
Matchroom ink Josh Warrington to 5 fight deal
Josh Warrington has signed a five-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing as he aims to land the vacant European Featherweight title against Davide Diele at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on October 4, live on Sky Sports.
Warrington is on the brink of completing a dream year in the ring, landing the Commonwealth title as the underdog in Hull against Samir Mouniemne in November, defending it for the first time against Rendall Munroe in Manchester five months later before his breakout night in his hometown in May, where he comprehensively outpointed Martin Lindsay to add the British crown to his Commonwealth strap in front of a raucous crowd at the First Direct Arena.
The 23 year old claimed those two titles after Lee Selby had vacated them, as he has done with the European strap as he prepares for an IBF World title eliminator, and the Leeds star is aiming to build a fortress in Yorkshire and be the flag-bearer for boxing in the city.
“It’s been a brilliant year for me and I hope I can end it in style on October 4,” said Warrington. “It’s great to have signed the deal so that I know that there’s going to be more big nights in Leeds in the next year.
“I have already had orders for over 1,300 tickets and I reckon I might do 2,000 for this one. Against Lindsay it was pretty short notice and on a Wednesday night, so this time there’s plenty of time to promote the show and the fans can look forward to a great night out in the city. The atmosphere was incredible last time and I reckon we’ll top that for this one.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn expressed his delight at securing Warrington’s services and believes that the popular Leeds man has the chance to become a new fan favourite in British boxing.
“Josh is the biggest ticket seller in the country right now, and we have an opportunity to do something very big in Leeds,” said Hearn. “We dipped our toe in the water in May and now we’re diving in headfirst. It’s a huge opportunity for Josh and I think we could see one of the most memorable atmosphere in a British arena for some time.”
Warrington’s title clash is ably supported on the bill by a host of big name Brits. Former two-weight World champion Ricky Burns begins life at Light Welterweight on the card in a ten-round fight, Light Middleweight World title challenger Brian Rose faces Juan Manuel Bonanni, Liverpool’s unbeaten Super Middleweight sensation Callum Smith defends his WBC International title and Tyrone Nurse fights for the vacant Commonwealth Light Welterweight title, with opponents for the latter two fights and Burns announced soon.
Tickets are on sale now priced £30, £40 and £60 from the First Direct Arena on 0844 248 1585 and at www.firstdirectarena.com. VIP tickets priced at £120 are available exclusively from Matchroom Boxing on 01277 359900 and at www.matchroomboxing.com
Quigg gets Haskins conqueror Stephane Jamoye on Sept 13
Belgian gets second World title shot in Manchester
Scott Quigg will defend his WBA World Super Bantamweight title against Stephane Jamoye at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester on September 13, live on Sky Sports.
The former European Bantamweight champion has a fine recent record against British opposition, claiming the Euro strap with an eighth round KO against Lee Haskins in December 2012 in his native Belgium and then defended the belt against Ashley Sexton three months later.
Jamoye, 24, will be in his second World title fight this year having travelled to Osaka to face Japan’s Shinsuke Yamanaka for the WBC Bantamweight title and has mixed in World class company, dropping a controversial decision to current World champions Tomoki Kameda and Leo Santa Cruz earlier in his career.
Quigg’s clash with Jamoye tops an action-packed bill in Manchester, with Anthony Crolla defending his WBO Inter-Continental Lightweight title against Gamaliel Diaz and Olympic gold medal hero Anthony Joshua MBE hunting an eighth KO win in the Heavyweight division.
Scotty Cardle challenges Kirk Goddings for the English Lightweight title with the fight also an eliminator for the British belt, the first of two exciting eliminator contests for the coveted Lord Lonsdale strap as Welterweights Sam Eggington and Denton Vassell clash while local favourites Liam Hanrahan and Sam Hyde are joined by former Team GB star Gamal Yafai and Derbyshire’s Jack Massey.
Tickets are on sale now priced £30, £40, £60 and £100 via www.phones4uarena.co.uk or by calling 0844 847 8000. £150 VIP packages are exclusively available through www.MatchroomBoxing.com/tickets or by calling 01277 359 900.
George Groves to be shown by Sky Sports
Super middleweight George Groves has just been unveiled as a "Sky Sports Fighter" in a move brokered via Eddie Hearn and Matchroom boxing.
The Sauerland-promoted Hammersmith super middleweight makes his return to the ring on September 20th at Wembley Arena against EBU champion Christopher Rebrasse.
Many thought that his return to the sport would have been picked up by Boxnation, given their regular coverage of Sauerland shows from Germany. But it would seem Hearn has pulled the strings to bring him back to Sky.
George had been vocal about not signing with Eddie Hearn and his reasons for choosing to sign with the London-based German promotional outfit instead of Matchroom. However way you look at this though, it would seem that Hearn has managed a slice of George on these shores regardless.
Groves, defeated controversially and then by clean knockout in the 9th and 8th rounds respectively by IBF and WBA champion Carl Froch, is still just 26 years young.
Victory over the visiting Frenchman will see him in a position to hopefully challenge Anthony Dirrell for the WBC super middleweight title possibly later in the year or early next.
Dirrell relieved Sakio Bika of the title in California earlier this month on the undercard of Shawn Porter vs Kell Brook. The pair had already battled to a draw this time last year.
Thus the 29-year old Dirrell remains still undefeated with a 27-0-1 record with 22 of those wins coming by way of knockout.
Prior to the fight, Groves picked Dirrell to win and believes a fight between them both would be a prettier affair than the rough and tough Bika - and had this say of the fight at the time:
"I would say I would rather see Dirrell win simply because I know him a bit better and fighting him looks like more fun," he told Sky Sports.
"He's got that spitefulness, which I like. The family name carries weight on both sides of the Atlantic. Also, with a name like that, any fight is less likely to have it stopped with a cut or something."
WBU Champion Rock Blackwell Fights Against Hunger
The World Boxing Union light heavyweight champion, Rock Blackwell, fight's for a much greater cause then himself. He uses his fist as a vehicle to give back to the community, to inspire, and restore hope. The champ understands the importance of being more than just a boxer, but making a difference. After a hard day at training camp, the light-heavy weight took to the streets of Baltimore, MD and spent a few hours serving the general homeless population with food and supplies.
Blackwell was humbled by the experience. The WBU champion is truly passionate about helping those who are in need and bonded with the less fortunate. Rock served dinners consisting of chicken breast/wings, french fries, coleslaw, soda and bottled water. He also prepared around 30 care packages consisting of toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouth wash, and deodorant.
“There is so much more to come. I'm God's soldier and I want to restore love into our communities," Blackwell said. "As God continue to bless me, I will go as his instrument to heal the land.”
The less fortunate citizens of Baltimore embraced the light heavyweight champion and were hopefully inspired by his words of inspiration. Rock believes that greatness is in everyone, it just needs to be nurtured.
“What I do for the people are great reminders for other athletes that we are to be a light for Christ in any way possible. We want the way we exercise our talent to reflect Christ," he said.
With such big year ahead; Championships, television deals, appearances and more, Rock vows to see about the people and will do all he can to help those around him.
Klitschko injury postpones Pulev showdown
38-year old Wlad Klitsckho has cancelled next month's IBF title defense against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev after sustaining an injury whilst training.
“I am very disappointed the fight will not go ahead, I am in top form and had a great training camp.”
Originally planned for September the 6th in Hamburg, it will now be re-organised for later in the year.
Only 2 days ago Klitschko was quoted as saying “I don’t feel my age yet. As long as I am able to be the best and dominate my opponents there is no reason to quit.”