Hopkins vs Shumenov stream of weigh in VIDEO
Bernard Hopkins vs Beibut Shumenov, stream of their public weigh in from yesterday ahead of their potentially history-making clash tonight on Showtime in America, and Boxnation in the UK:
Liam Hanrahan tells Livefight that he's ready for a taste of the big time.
“Yeah, I enjoyed it. It was a bit different to Bowlers!” Liam Hanrahan told Livefight after weighing in for tonight’s fight with Antonio Horvatic, (3-3, 2 KO’s). After building his reputation on Dave Coldwell’s successful shows at Bowlers Arena, Hanrahan got his first taste of the big fight atmosphere as he stood on the scales in front of a few hundred people at Manchester Central yesterday.
Tonight’s fight at Manchester’s Phones 4u Arena isn’t a litmus test – the exciting super bantamweight is still a few fights away from having to prove anything - but it is a useful taster of what he can expect should his career progress the way his promoter, Dave Coldwell, is predicting.
“To be honest, I don’t really get nervous. I’m buzzing. I’m fighting on a top bill at the Manchester Arena on the Britain’s biggest promoter’s show. I was saying to my wife earlier when we were out walking the dogs, if someone had told me 18 months ago when I made my debut on an undercard at Bowlers that my career would have gone how it has, I’d have thought ‘Yeah, right. We’ll see.’
“It’s gone better than I could have imagined. Everything’s been perfect so far.”
Since turning professional, the former talented amateur has displayed that one asset that can separate a fighter from the pack in the lower weight divisions: knockout power. So far, four of Hanrahan’s six opponents have failed to hear the final bell and at least two of those stoppages have been highlight reel stuff. Hanrahan’s preparation has been aided by some sparring sessions with Scott Quigg, who defends one of the WBA’s super bantamweight belts against South Africa’s Tshifhiwa Munyai tonight.
“I’m surprised [at how his power seems to have transferred from the amateur game] but I put that down to the work I do with my trainer, Scott Lawton. It’s a completely different game to the amateurs. You’ve got the time over six rounds and there are smaller gloves and no headguards. I’ve grown up myself a lot too and I’ve been doing a lot of strength work.
“It’s an honour to be asked by a world champion to spar him. I did alright. We did a good, steady eight rounds sparring and I held my own considering I’m only 6-0 and he’s had 29 fights. You only learn from those kind of spars.”
Hanrahan entered the sport with a noisy fan base but as time has passed, his travelling band of followers has become larger and louder. The group have a saying, “We don’t turn up, we take over” and although the cavernous Phones 4u Arena will prove a bit harder to fill with sound than the more intimate Bowlers Arena, the Macclesfield massive will give it a good go. Hanrahan has also noticed other fighters benefit from using their walkout music to build an identity and, after running a couple of polls amongst his supporters, has settled on a permanent tune.
“I blank all the crowd out and just concentrate on what’s in front of me and stick to the gameplan. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what venue you’re in or what kind of crowd you’re in front of. Put all that to the back of your mind while you’re fighting and then take all that in afterwards, hopefully when your arms in the air.
“I’ve got a mad lot coming on the Saturday. I’ve done 260 tickets and I’ve still got people asking for them. I’m sticking with “Cum On Feel The Noize”. My fans came up with a song a few fights ago and I’ve always said that I wanted a song that’s mine. “Cum On Feel The Noize” is mine. Everyone associates Deacon Blue to Derry Mathews and Blue Moon to Ricky Hatton but we won’t go there, I’m a Red!”
Rendall Munroe: I’m not washed up. I can still fight for a world title
Rendall Munroe has vowed to silence his critics tomorrow night when he challenges Josh Warrington for the Commonwealth featherweight title in Manchester.
After his recent loss to rising star Lee Selby in February, the 33 year-old says people have questioned his credibility as a boxer and perhaps maybe it’s time to call it a day.
Munroe (28-4-1, 11 KO’s) has had an impressive career at super-bantamweight after claiming the Commonwealth title, European title and fighting Japan’s former pound-for-pound world champion, Toshiaki Nishioka, in his homeland.
However, Leicester’s “Boxing Binman” strongly believes he has much more to give to the sport and is keen to start another cycle of success by earning another Commonwelath belt at the Phones 4U Arena.
“A lot of people are thinking that I’m washed up,” Munroe said.
“A lot of people are thinking Rendall’s had his time now but is he in it for the real reasons? People are saying I’m only in it for the money. I’m not in it for the money because I have a job and I work hard. If I want money, I just go to work like everybody else. I love the sport and at the end of the day, I believe what happened in the Selby fight was wrong. But I’ve brushed it off, come back and I’m going to show everyone on Saturday night that I’ve still got it.”
Selby defeated Munroe after the referee stopped the fight in the sixth round as Munroe was barraged by lighting quick punches.
Munroe feels that he should have been allowed to carry on because he was landing with more punches as the fight went on.
“All respect to Selby, his movement was far better than we expected,” he said.
“He was winning the early rounds but it’s a 12-round championship fight. For me, Selby was slowing down from the fourth round onwards. Anybody watching the fight that night could see from the first three rounds I wasn’t catching him. I knew what I was doing though because I started to catch him more in rounds four and five. I don’t worry about that now because it’s time to move on.”
Since the Selby fight, Munroe went straight back into the gym and he reckons that his strength and his fitness can help him climb back on top of the pile and maybe fight for another world title.
“I’m a 110 percent fitness freak. I push my limits and do everything my trainer Jason Shinfield asks and I’m ready.
“I still believe I’m good enough to fight for a world title. When I was there at super-bantam, the only world champion that would fight me was pound-for-pound Toshiaki Nishioka. What can you do about it? You don’t worry about it, you just get on the plane to Japan and do what you can. I lost but I made myself a name even from the loss. That’s done now but the past is the past and now it’s time to think about the future.”
But first things first, Josh Warrington is 16-0 after knocking out Samir Mouneimne in the final round to win the Commonwealth title. Munroe has experience on his side but he says he will treat Warrington with respect like all his other previous 33 opponents.
“I’m a respectable guy because we are all in that ring for the same thing. We all want to be the best, we all want to be champions and Warrington went out there for the Commonwealth belt and won.
“Warrington is going to come with a good engine, really fit but I’m ready for this. We are going to win the Commonwealth title on Saturday and start from there again.”
Anthony Crolla tells Livefight : I expect to get John out of there.
Manchester fight fans have been waiting a long time for a night like this. A night where a battle between two men will be as big as the city’s football rivalry between Manchester United and Manchester City. Red versus Blue, Skill versus Will and a long-term friendship put on hold to fight for a big prize.
Two months ago, John Murray called out his former training partner Anthony Crolla via Manchester Evening News claiming he was still the number one fighter in the city despite a lengthy absence.
Murray has vowed to claim Anthony Crolla’s WBO intercontinental lightweight title in devastating fashion by promising to knock him out on Saturday night at the Phones 4U Arena.
At Thursday’s final press conference, Murray said: “I’m vicious, I’m violent and I’m ready to knock Anthony Crolla out.”
However, Crolla wasn’t surprised at those strong words and the 27 year-old said that he has seen a variety of ways to win this fight but promises it will be an explosive display on Saturday night.
“I don’t expect any different from him because I’m trying to do the same,” he said.
“Me and John are both rarely in a bad fight. I see a number of ways where I can win this fight. I see one way for John to win but I can outbox him and win on points, I can catch him early or I will stop him late on. All in all, I expect to get John out of there.
“ John’s trying to take what I’ve got and what I’ve worked so hard for. I’m going to stop him from doing that. Friendship will be put aside on Saturday night because it’s business and nothing personal.
“We’re both very proud Mancs and we’re going to give the city what they want.”
One advantage people might say Crolla has in this fight is that he is trained by Joe Gallagher, who has previously trained Murray in the past. The question in this fight will be what has Murray learned since splitting from Gallagher? Has he got any new tricks up his sleeve?
However, after spending years training alongside Murray, Crolla believes the 29 year-old former British and European champion will be an example of an old saying Murray used to repeat.
“John says he’s gone away and learnt new things but one of John’s sayings is, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” I know that because he’s been a mate for a very long time. It’s two and a half years since me and John sparred but I’m a different fighter and I’m improving all the time.
“I do think he will try a few new things but I think my skills are the best and they will see me home without a doubt.
“We’ve got great respect for each other as fighters and I think that will only grow after this fight.”
This fight will provide a great atmosphere inside the Phones 4U Arena with thousands of Manchester fight fans in full voice after both fighters received great coverage across the city.
Crolla and Murray have both been on the pitches of their beloved Manchester sides before kick off and the city is covered in Red versus Blue posters.
Crolla says he could not ask for a better build up in any of his fights and guarantees that both sets of fans will be rewarded for their support tomorrow night.
“It doesn’t get any better than that. Being on the pitch of the team you’ve supported since as long as I can remember,” he said.
“It’s fantastic and it’s what you need before a Manchester derby. There’s all kinds of ingredients that have been added to a great dish because we’re mates, we’ve trained together and the Red versus Blue tag is a great spice to be added.”
Froch vs Groves has another world title fight added
Jamie McDonnell will face Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat for the vacant WBA Bantamweight title at Wembley Stadium connected by EE on May 31 live on Sky Sports Box Office in association with Betway.
McDonnell faces the Thai star on the undercard of Carl Froch’s blockbuster rematch for the WBA and IBF World Super Middleweight titles against George Groves.
The former IBF champion from Doncaster won his first World title on May 11 on home turf at the Keepmoat Stadium against Julio Ceja and will bid to regain World champion status against the 30 year old former PABA champion who has racked up 52 wins with 34 inside the distance.
McDonnell has boxed twice since beating Ceja with a pair of wins in eight-round clashes in November and December, and the 28 year old says he cannot wait to get the chance to box for a World title once again on an historic night in London.
“I am so excited to be fighting for a World title on the biggest boxing show in British history,” said McDonnell. “I’m honoured to be a part of it and especially to be fighting to become a World champion again, I am absolutely flying with this news and it’s going to be a great boost in training.
“It’s been a full year since I last fought for a World title and it’s been tough to be honest. I had a little taste of being a World champion, I loved it and it made me want it even more. Reaching the top of the world changes your life and I want to feel that again.
“I don’t know much about Na Rachawat and I will leave that to the team. His record says he can bang a bit and he is a come-forward fighter who is game, so it will be an entertaining fight as that suits me. I’m expecting to win and win well.”
“I’m delighted to deliver this opportunity for Jamie on a huge night for British boxing,” said Hearn. “It’s going to be a tough night for Jamie but no one deserves a shot more in the division and I’m excited about watching him win his World title back.”
McDonnell’s clash with Na Rachawat joins a top-class undercard on May 31 with James DeGale MBE facing Brandon Gonzales in a final eliminator for the IBF crown contested by Froch and Groves while Olympic Heavyweight sensation Anthony Joshua faces a step-up in his sixth pro fight.
A further allocation of tickets will be released on sale soon and fans can register for updates at www.MatchroomBoxing.com
Quigg vs Munyai weigh in VIDEO
iFLTV were in Manchester today to film the official weigh-in between WBA champion Scott Quigg and challenger Tsuifiwa Munyai:-
Crolla vs Murray weigh in VIDEO
iFLTV were in Manchester today to film the official weigh-in between Anthony Crolla and John Murray:-
Eddie Hearn tells Livefight "I’m confident that Crolla’s going to stop John Murray"
Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn talks to LiveFight about Scott Quigg’s latest world title defence and the local rivalry between Anthony Crolla and John Murray this Saturday in Manchester. Hearn also reveals build-up news for Froch-Groves and talks about an exciting end to the season involving two new cruiserweights.
LF: Eddie, I’m sure you’re feeling fresh from your fundraising efforts at the London Marathon but back to business now. We have Scott Quigg at the top of the bill defending his title against Munyai but the one everyone’s talking about is Crolla v Murray. How do you see that one going?
EH: I’m confident that Crolla’s going to win and stop John Murray. It’s a great fight. It’s a pick-em fight. Nothing would surprise me. Both of these guys need to win badly to progress to where they want to be. It’s a Manchester derby so the atmosphere is going to be incredible.
LF: We all seen what Terence Crawford did to Ricky Burns and Crolla holds the intercontinental belt for the WBO. If Crolla comes through this test, how far away do you think he is from a fight like that?
Crawford’s at the top level but this fight is about a chance to put you in position for one of the world belts and of course, there is the possibility of Ricky Burns facing the winner of this fight. I think the most important aspect of this fight is that the loser faces a much darker future. There’s a lot on the line and a lot of high stakes in this fight. That’s what makes a great fight and creates atmospheres.
LF: From a promoter’s point of view, when undercards fall apart with fighters dropping out like Cermeno and replacements such as Munyai coming in, how do you deal with that?
Cermeno was difficult because we only got a heads up of what was happening two weeks before the fight after having issues with his visa. You have to think on your feet because a plan you’ve put in place is not going as planned. We had Joshua and Campbell on the bill but we had to replace them with Callum Smith and Sam Eggington late on. This is nothing new in boxing because you get injuries all the time. Joshua hurt his hand and Luke Campbell’s father is very ill so he had to take a break. As long as the main fights stay in place, which they have, everything’s great and I’m looking forward to a good night on Saturday.
LF: What has AJ done to his hand exactly? What have the doctors advised him to do?
He’s got a small fracture to his hand. They’ve asked him to stop punching for three weeks. To be honest with you, he could have fought but we have to listen to the doctors. It’s not a case of pulling him off to be on the Wembley show. It’s like a race car when you say it’s not right to drive and we have to make a few changes so the appropriate action is just not to drive it. We have a precious talent in Joshua. He’s not a journeyman otherwise he would be in Manchester on Saturday but he’s not. Joshua is willing to fight anyone 100 percent but this is a special talent so we have to make sure we do what’s best for him.
LF: Going to the top of the bill, Scott Quigg faces Munyai. What makes Munyai the perfect replacement to step in for Cermeno?
I’ve seen him a lot. I remember him knocking out Martin Power twice and Lee Haskins as well. He’s a very good fighter. He’s credible, dangerous, he’s world-rated and a former IBO champion so personally, I think it’s more difficult than Cermeno. I think he will have more ambition than Cermeno. It’s a tough fight and great for the super-bantamweight division because the general public don’t know anyone outside of Rigondeaux, Santa Cruz, Martinez, Quigg and Frampton. People will look at this fight and say, “who’s he? Is he any good?” Well, the answer is yes.
LF: Can you see Frampton beating Santa Cruz in the future lining up another British world title unification fight?
EH: It would be fantastic but I feel that Frampton won’t get that fight. I hope he does but if he doesn’t we’re ready. I’d love to make it because it’s one that everyone wants to see.
LF: Looking towards the big one of Froch versus Groves on May 31, what have we got in store for the build up next?
EH: We were supposed to have a press conference in Manchester this week but because of the extra ticket allocation, we’ve decided to do it a week on Monday. Then, they’re going head-to-head on Ringside again on May Day (May 1) which is going to be interesting. Not long to go now, it’s 6 weeks on Saturday and the interest is building so can’t wait for this fight.
LF: And you’ve signed James DeGale on the undercard to face the winner, which could lead to another eagerly-anticipated British rematch if Groves wins so there’s lots to look forward to…
It couldn’t have been set up more perfectly with James DeGale in a final eliminator to face the winner. It’s a great show with more fighters to be announced soon and it’s shaping up nicely with Joshua confirmed as well. Froch-Groves is a tough one to call so anything can happen. The winner will face whoever wins out of James DeGale and Brandon Gonzalez, which is also a very tough fight but the bill is going to do great for British boxing all round.
LF: What have you got planned for near the end of the season in June and July?
EH: On June 27, we will be in Scotland for the return of Ricky Burns and July 12, we will be in Liverpool.
LF: Obviously Bellew will be at the top so after his impressive display against Brudov, how will you be moving him forward in the cruiserweight division? How close is he to a rematch with Cleverly, since you’ve signed him?
EH: One more fight in July and then he’ll rematch with Nathan Cleverly.