Scotty Cardle vs Craig Evans announced for May 30
Unbeaten pair Scotty Cardle and Craig Evans clash for the vacant British Lightweight crown on Matchroom Boxing’s bumper May 30 bill at The O2 in London
Cardle has been biding his time for a crack at the Lonsdale belt since landing the English title in September with a stunning first round stoppage of Kirk Goodings in Manchester and he will have to see off ambitious Welshman Evans if he wants to join his fellow Joe Gallagher-trained British title winners.
Kevin Mitchell challenges Jorge Linares for the WBC Lightweight title and Lee Selby is looking to rip the IBF World Featherweight title from Evgeny Gradovich while Joshua meets former World Heavyweight title challenger Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson on a bumper night for fight fans.
Promoter Eddie Hearn announced another great domestic dust-up yesterday as Dave Ryan defends his Commonwealth Light Welterweight title in a rematch against John Wayne Hibbert, and he’s delighted
“This show gets bigger and bigger,” said Hearn. “I’m delighted that Scotty will finally get his shot at the British title and he is a tough fight ahead on May 30. Scott has had the perfect education but now its crunch time with everything on the line. Craig will have plenty of support also via Lee Selby’s travelling Welsh fans – it sets up for a great domestic 50-50.”
Tickets are now on general sale for the bumper night of boxing at The O2 with tickets priced £40, £60, £80, £100 and £200 available from www.theO2.co.uk and on 0844 856 0202. The £400 VIP packages are exclusively available through www.matchroomboxing.com
Froch questions whether Ward can even make 168lb now
Carl Froch is sceptical that Andre Ward will come to the UK and rubbishes Ward's claims that he calls any shots about a potential rematch between them.
"I think Andre Ward has now realised that I do infact dictate everything." said a bullish Froch on national radio.
"He's got no TV coverage, he's not really boxed for three years - and guess what, I'm still world champion.
"I invited him over to fight me in Nottingham at the Forest City Ground, and he declined it and he's now saying he'd 'maybe' come to England, but is 'definitely' not coming to Nottingham. Now he's missing the boat there, that ship has started to sail because the window of opportunity to fight at Nottingham Forest City Ground is very tight, like all football clubs."
The Nottingham super middleweight champion has long coveted a big fight at the home of his beloved football team and was earlier linked to a meet there aganst veteran Bernard Hopkins, but the interest just wasn't there amongst Froch and his fans. However avenging a loss to Ward is something that Froch does fancy, but he feels like the 'negotiations' are all a ruse.
"He's just dragging it out now and I don't think he's gonna come (to England). I think he's all smoke and mirrors.
"Infact I don't even know if he can do super middleweight anymore, he won his medal at the Olympics at light heavyweight, he always struggles to do super middle and I don't know if you've seen the size of him lately, but he's like walking around at 200lb, so I think it's all hot air (by Ward)."
Froch talks Golovkin; Brook vs Khan VIDEO
Nottingham's super middleweight champion Carl 'the Cobra' Froch gives his take on Amir Khan vs Kell Brook, fighting Gennady Golovkin and possible retirement:-
Cold sores, bolognese and fights. Black Flash Promotions return
Small hall shows can be fraught affairs. Behind the scenes, the shows organisers sometimes lurch from crisis to crisis but admirably manage to keep the paying public totally unaware of the problems they are encountering and keep the action flowing. The show must go on despite missed weight limits, late arrivals and delayed doctors or – in last night’s case – a rogue cold sore.
With the latest Black Flash Promotions show already shorn of a couple of fights due to some late notice red tape, Zelfa Barrett’s initial opponent arrived at the venue, checked in with the doctor for his medical and was immediately ruled out with the contagious virus. It left the shows organisers with the grand total of two hours to find a suitable lightweight willing to take the fight.
Enter Barrett’s former opponent, Jamie Quinn.
Quinn was apparently sat at his kitchen table halfway through a plate of spaghetti bolognese when the call came. He put down his knife and fork, jumped in the car and drove a few miles around the M60 from Stockport to take on one of Britain’s most touted young fighters at Middleton Arena.
Harpurhey’s Barrett, now 4-0 (1), struggled to work Quinn out in January but used his jab and movement more last night. As expected given the circumstances, ‘The Brown Flash’ cruised to victory. He can put the entire evening down as one big learning experience but will be desperate to get back in action as soon as possible.
Quinn saved the show. Hopefully he was well paid and his next Italian meal will be in a good restaurant rather than his own kitchen.
Middleton’s Matty Ryan comfortably outpointed Viktor Drizlionoks at light middleweight. Drizlionoks first two fights and he was a tough, aggressive southpaw who gave Paul Riley fits and beat Scott Moonan. Maybe the relentless nature of life on the road as an opponent has sapped some of his ambition. He spent the entirety of last nights fight on the back foot as Ryan dominated every minute of the fight. Ryan stayed on top of Drizlionoks and got out of his usual slick boxing style as he looked to put him away with a couple of straight right hands and ate a couple in return. Ryan walked away with a 40-37 verdict and improves to 8-1(1).
When Sean Ben Mulligan, 2-0 and from Prestwich, remembered to bob and weave his way into range, he was able to get his shots off and boss Hull’s Paul O’Brien. When he switched off and came in straight up, O’Brien was able to catch him with some unusual looking right hands and make it in to a messy brawl. Welterweight Mulligan dictated the action though and deserved the 39-38 decision that came his way.
Salford’s Chris ‘Fat Boy’ Monaghan finally got his professional career off to a winning start with a 39-38 four round verdict over Aaron Robinson at light middleweight. Monaghan was due to make his debut on the previous Black Flash show but was pulled off at the last moment. This time, he was able to pull the 8oz gloves on and let his hands go. A come forward fighter, Monaghan attempted to walk Robinson down but also walked on to a few as he forgot his defences or pulled straight out from exchanges. He deserved to win and came out with a 39-38 victory.
Livefight talks to 4-0 Essex prospect Liam “The Hammer” Desmond
By Michael J Jones
LIVEFIGHT is always on the look at for young pros with potential to talk with and Essex prospect Liam “The Hammer” Desmond definitely fits that bill. The Essex new comer has just completed his first year punching for pay and has remained undefeated with four straight victories under his belt to date.
The Corrington middleweight’s wins have all come via points over four rounds and he is next in action on June 20 at the scene of all of his previous bouts against an opponent to be named.
“I like the Civic Hall because it’s a small-hall venue, is only five miles away and is always packed so there’s always a cracking atmosphere” the 21 year old tells Livefight about the scene of all four of his contests so far. “There’s no opponent lined up yet for June 20th but it’ll be another four rounder or possibly a six.”
The Essex middleweight, tall for his weight at 6’2”, actually made his pro debut after a spell away from boxing. As an amateur he would reach a junior ABA national final as well as lifting the Haringey cup and winning a Silver in a competition in Sweden but disappeared for a year after just a few fights at senior level.
“I got to the stage where my heart wasn’t really as into boxing as it should have been” admits “The Hammer”. “I started training again just to tick over and my hunger came back so when I was asked about turning pro I did. I’m really happy with the way my career has gone so far and it’s I’m enjoying it so much better than in the amateurs.”
The former West Ham ABC fighter has overcome sturdy tests so far in the form of Liam Griffiths, Dee Mitchell, Kieron Grey and the previously unbeaten Rob Brown. Livefight asks who has given Liam, who trains at The Fight Farm in Basildon, the most pressing night so far in his short career?
“Probably Dee Mitchell” he replies after a moment’s thought. “He’s obviously been around and has that experience. He was a lot shorter than me and was good at slipping punches so was hard to pin down. He also hit pretty hard so that was my toughest fight yet.”
“I’m happy with my progress so far, at the minute it’s all about learning that ring craft but ideally I’d like to be fighting for a Masters titles this year before maybe going for the Southern Area next year though it’s up to my team.”
What does the 4-0 prospect enjoy doing away from the ring?
“All I mostly do is work and train, sometimes I go out with my mates or spend time with my girlfriend. It’s tough at times but I’m hoping it’s worth it in the end as things pay off. I do follow boxing and can’t wait for the Mayweather Pacquiao fight (on May 2nd).”
How does Liam see the heavily-hyped super-fight going between the welterweight mega-stars?
“Mayweather has boxed a lot of strong people but I don’t believe he’s met anyone as fast and accurate as Pacquiao. Having said that maybe I’d lean still towards Mayweather but I just can’t wait to see it.”
“My favourite fighter of all time is probably Marco Antonio Barrera” he continues. “I remember my Dad telling me to watch him fight and I just love his style. It’s not like mine but good to watch; especially his fight against ‘Naz’ he just completely took apart a guy, who was so awkward, with ease.”
At 6’2” tall, Desmond is a towering middleweight, does he make weight comfortably?
“I actually might be 6’3” now because I think I’ve grown since (last being measured)” he reveals. “I’ve boxed down at light-middleweight and my last fight was as a middleweight. If I diet right I can do light-middle fairly easily but middleweight is not a problem either.”
“I’d just to like to thank all of my fans who have come to watch me since the start of my career, my team and also my sponsors Sealtite Sealants, Luminous Design, The Karis May Foundation and Grayers Graphics.”
To follow Liam on twitter https://twitter.com/liam_desmond
Donaire back with stoppage over Quigg opponent
Nonito Donaire Jr had his first fight back since his KO defeat to Nicholas Walters 2nd round TKO over Brazilian William Prado at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Philippines.
Donaire backed-up Prado to the ropes, wobbling him before unleashing a barrage of left hooks before the referee stepped in and halted proceedings.
If the name 'Prado' rings a bell, its because Britian's unbeaten super bantamweight Scott Quigg had him out of there in three rounds back in 2013.
Boxing fans have called for Quigg vs Donaire if the fight with Belfast's Carl Frampton cannot be made.
Quigg's promoter Eddie Hearn met with Team Frampton last week, but the silence since their meeting is deafening.
4-weight champion Donaire improves to 34-2 (22ko) whilst Prado slips to 22-5 and his second career stoppage loss.
Martin Murray talks potential move to 168, big fights and Lee-Quillin
Everybody knows about his fights with Felix Sturm, Sergio Martinez and Gennady Golovkin but, be it taking on bigger opponents just to get on to shows as a younger fighter or jumping into the then Wild West world of Prizefighter as a 9-0 novice pro, Martin Murray has never been shy about taking on high risk, high reward challenges.
With a creditable but ultimately unsuccessful challenge for Golovkin’s middleweight title a few weeks behind him, 32 year-old Murray is once again waiting for something to get his teeth into. When the phone rings and his promoter, Rodney Berman, puts the next offer to him there is no doubt that the answer will be “Yes”, the only question is whether Murray’s next run at a world title will take place at 160lbs or eight pounds up the scale at super middleweight.
“Super middle is a possibility,” Murray told Livefight. “Hopefully I can get the big fights at middleweight but it’s just whether I can get them or not. It’s whether I can get another opportunity at a world title at middleweight. I can stay at 160lbs but me and my team know that I’d make a better super middleweight – we’ve always said that – but we’ve had to stay at middle because our opportunities have been there. Now I think I’ve got a better chance of getting the bigger fights at super middleweight than I have middleweight.
“Look at Andy Lee. He’s got his fight next month [against Peter Quillin] that he’s gotta get through and then he has his mandatory with Billy Joe Saunders. That’s the WBO route. The WBC is obviously Miguel Cotto and he’s not gonna fight Golovkin and he’s not gonna fight me either. The WBA is Golovkin and you’ve got the IBF. Hopefully we’ll see what can get done with that. I’m with a good promotional company and I’ve got a great agent and I know they’ll get me some opportunities so I’m not completely banking on super middleweight but it’s just what comes up. I know I’d make a better super middleweight and I’d like to fight Golovkin again at that weight.
“I made the weight [for Golovkin] the best I ever have. I’ve never eaten as well. I was training in nice weather and doing a few more fat burners which was allowing me to eat more but we’ve thought it for a long while, me at middleweight….I’m not reaching my full potential. If I was at super middleweight I definitely would reach it. I’m big for a middleweight and it is hard. For me to be stronger and faster just takes that bit away from me. It just stops me from getting that career defining performance and just restricts me a little bit. If the opportunities are there at middleweight though, I’m gonna stay there. Let’s just see what happens.”
Murray has attracted criticism for less than thrilling victories over Sergey Khomitsky, Max Bursak and Domenico Spada but, if you’ve ever spoken to him, you’ll know that fights like that serve a purpose and nothing more for Murray. Not every fight will be a knockdown drag out war, Murray is really only fully stimulated by meaningful tests.
Old rival Matthew Macklin has been touted as a possible future opponent over the past couple of weeks but whilst he would love the fight for personal reasons Murray now seems more determined than ever to finally lift a world title, whichever weight it is at.
“I just want to be in big fights and I want to win a world title,” he says. “There’s no other middleweight on the planet apart from Golovkin who will beat me. I don’t care who they are. I know I’m the second best middleweight in the world but I’ve got nothing to show for it. You don’t get a belt for being the second best. I want to be a world champion. It’s as simple as that.
“The fights where I go in expected to win do nothing for me. That fight with Golovkin was tough but I loved the actual challenge of it. I loved being in there trying to overcome the challenge of Golovkin. They’re the only fights I want and the only fights I can get my teeth in to.
“I’m getting better and better. I’ve not reached my potential yet but it’s only the big fights that do it for me. I’ve done it the hard way but look at some people. Look at Quillin for example…….”
Ah, Andy Lee versus Quillin. Nobody will begrudge Lee jumping at the chance to earn a huge payday for defending his WBO belt against the talented but invisible former champion. It is a winnable fight and there is an agreement in place to accommodate mandatory challenger, Billy Joe Saunders. It is Quillins shifting and manoeuvring which leaves a bad taste. I know it is the modern way but – for me - world title belts are the embodiment of ultimate achievement in the sport, not negotiating tools. It’s fair to say that after running the gauntlet over the past few years, Murray isn’t exactly impressed by Quillin’s picking and choosing of opponents and titles.
“From what I gather he swerved the Matt Korobov fight beecause he was scared of him and he swerved Golovkin. Fair enough! If you are gonna swerve anybody you swerve Golovkin until the time’s right. But he was a world champion and could have easily had a unification fight with Golovkin. He then said he was giving up the belt, I think he put something up saying he was giving it up because his fans deserve to see him in the big fights or something like that. Andy Lee went out and did Korobov and now Quillin’s fighting Andy Lee for a belt that he gave up and didn’t have the balls to defend. That’s wrong in my opinion. You get people like that who get easy chance after easy chance. Everything is in their back yard and it’s all done for them. He’s had the world title fight, gave it up because he wanted to and then he’s got another world title fight at home.
“I was genuinely made up for Andy Lee when he won that title. He’s been here, there and everywhere too. Korobov was a dangerous fight and he did the job. I was really happy for him.
“People can get chances and get everything put on a plate for them and if they can get a world title surely I’m gonna get there?”
Official Kell Brook vs Jo Jo Dan weigh-in VIDEO
iFLTV present the official weigh in for Kell Brook vs Jo Jo Dan:-