News January 2008

31.01.08 Guzman v Arthur, Warren wins bid

Alex Arthur has got his dream super-fight against Joan Guzman for the WBO World Super-Featherweight title.

Promoter Frank Warren won the purse bids today (Thursday 31 January) held at the WBO head office in Puerto Rico with a huge US $280,000 bid, beating Guzman's promoters Sycuan Ringside Promotions.

A date and venue for the fight will be announced shortly.

With Enzo Maccarinelli's explosive cruiserweight unification showdown against David Haye on March 8 and Joe Calzaghe's long awaited light-heavyweight scrap against Bernard Hopkins on April 19, Warren is delighted to add Arthur to the super-fight roster. He said, "This years is looking to be one of the best ever for British boxing in terms of big fights. With Maccarinelli v Haye and Calzaghe v Hopkins in the coming months and now Arthur v Guzman, it is a boxing fans dream. I have done the job of getting Alex the fight on home turf, now it is down to him to do the business in the ring - which I'm sure he will do. It's a big assignment but Alex is a class operator and will be thoroughly prepared on the night."

Edinburgh hot-shot Arthur, who holds the Interim title, has been gunning for a showdown against Guzman.

The hammer-fisted Dominican Republican is regarded as one the premier fighters in the 130lb division and Arthur is delighted that the fight will be in Scotland.

Arthur said, "Frank has done a fantastic job winning the purse bids and securing home advantage for me in this mega-fight against Guzman. With my pals Enzo and Joe involved in massive fights, it's great to join them with a big fight of my own. I'm really, really, excited by the challenge in front of me. It's a chance to prove what I have always believed - that I belong in world class company and will be world champion. It will be a hard task but I'm confident of winning and bringing another world title belt to Great Britain."

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28.01.08 St Clair talks about Amir Khan

Amir Khan will make the third defence of his Commonwealth lightweight title at the ExCel Arena on Saturday night against Gairy St Clair in arguably the toughest test of his career.

The 32-year-old challenger has never been stopped in a 46 fight career, and has even boxed up at light-welterweight, where he lost to world-champion-in-waiting Vivian Harris over 10 in 1999.

Deigo Corrales, who out-pointed St Clair in an IBF world super-featherweight title eliminator in 1998, is another noted puncher on his record.

Those defeats came shortly before St Clair left his native Guyana to start a new life and career in New South Wales, Australia, under the tutelage of colourful trainer Angelo Hyder and Kostya Tszyu’s former mentor, Johnny Lewis.

The partnership appears to have worked – St Clair scored a huge shock when he beat highly rated Cassius Baloyi in South Africa to win the IBF super-featherweight title in July 2006.

Just a few months before, St Clair had been devastated when Scott Harrison pulled out of a proposed WBO featherweight title fight in Belfast, but it underlined that in boxing, you never know what’s around the corner.

But St Clair failed to capitalise on his shock victory – he returned to South Africa four months later and lost his title on a split decision to Malcolm Klassen, before Baloyi avenged his defeat with a wide 12-round points win in November 2007.

St Clair boxed a week later, beating Robert Oyan in New South Wales on points to extend his record to 39-5-2 (17).

Unlike St Clair, Khan has had the luxury of being able to pick the right fights at the right time, and hasn’t had to go on the road to earn a living.

Now 15-0, the 21-year-old has moved swiftly up the world rankings since turning professional in the summer of 2005 amid huge expectation following his Olympic silver medal at the age of 17.

Khan hasn’t disappointed.

He won the Commonwealth title in just his 12th fight, and in his last outing, defeated former British, Commonwealth and WBU champion Graham Earl in just 72 seconds.

He’s now rated number four by the WBO, and was supposed to challenge number two Martin Kristjansen tonight, before he was ruled out with ‘flu. St Clair looks a tougher opponent.

The only blip on Khan’s record a visit to the canvas against Willie Limond when he first challenged for the Commonwealth strap, but he claims to have learned from the set back and now operates with a much tighter defence.

Question marks remain over his chin, but he punches hard enough and quickly enough to have a chance against anyone.

He also showed good powers of recovery against Limond.

With 12 early victories, Khan will be the heavier-handed of the two, and he claims to be punching much harder recently after teaming up with a new nutritionist Phil Richards.

That doesn’t bode well for St Clair, who goes by the nickname of Superman and might need a super-human effort to walk away with the Commonwealth title.

The challenge has talked a good fight in the build up, and has promised to meet fire with fire in what should be a noisy and atmospheric ExCel Arena.

But so many of Khan’s opponents believe they will be able to provide a decent challenge until dazzled by his hand-speed and punch picking.

If St Clair can get through the early exchanges, then he may well last the distance in what could be a good learning fight for Khan, but I pick the champion to stop him late on.

27.01.08 Povetkin gets Wlad shot

Alexander Povetkin clinched a unanimous points decision over previously unbeaten Eddie Chambers in Berlin to become the next mandatory challenger to IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.

During 12 action-filled rounds just a few miles from Checkpoint Charlie, the Russian star threw - and landed - more punches than his American opponent.

His dominance was mirrored by the scorecards, with the judges ruling it 119-109, 117-111 and 116-112 in the favour of the 2004 Olympic gold medal-winner.

Povetkin can now start to look forward to a possible clash against Klitschko.

He said: "I haven't had any time to think about it. It would be a huge honour to fight him.

"The only thing I know is that I will be prepared even better. I have been bothered by a few colds during the preparation but will never step in the ring again when I am not 100% fit."

discuss in FORUM HERE

26.01.08 Calzaghe interview on Hopkins fight

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26.01.08 Calzaghe v Hopkins live and official

Joe Calzaghe will tackle Bernard Hopkins at the Thomas and Mack Centre in Las Vegas on April 19, it was confirmed today at a London press conference.

Joe Calzaghe

The fight will take place at light-heavyweight and will be screened by HBO in America and Setanta Sports in the UK.

One of boxing's worst kept secrets, the fight will see The Ring Magazine's prestigious light-heavyweight title, currently held by Hopkins, up for grabs.

Calzaghe, 44-0 (32), will make his debut both in America and at 175 pounds having unified the super-middleweight division by adding Mikkel Kessler's WBA/WBC titles to his own WBO crown in November last year.

The 35-year-old clashed with Hopkins at the weigh-in for Hatton/Mayweather in December, and a series of challenges have been issued by each boxer since.

Hopkins, who turned 43 last week, is a former undisputed middleweight world champion with an impressive 48-4-1 (32) record.

After debuting at light-heavyweight in 2006, he has beaten both Antonio Tarver and Winky Wright, although his fight against the latter was made at 170 pounds.

"This is a dream come true," said Calzaghe, who has patiently chased a fight with Hopkins for the best part of a decade.

"People always ask me 'When are you going to America?' and now they've got their answer. I won't be taking Hopkins lightly, but I believe I have the tools to beat him."

Promoter Frank Warren, who will promote the fight in partnership with Hopkins' handlers, Golden Boy Promotions, added: "It's taken a lot of hard work but I'm delighted that we have a deal.

"I've always wanted Joe to fight Hopkins, because I believe he has the beating of him.

"We've seen in the past how many British fight fans have gone to America to see fights involving our guys, and I'm sure people will go in their thousands again."

discuss in FORUM HERE

25.01.08 Calzaghe feels sorry for Haye

Speaking with The Sun, WBO/WBC/WBA super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe is tipping his stablemate, WBO cruiserweight champ Enzo Maccarinelli (28-1, 21KOs), to do a lot of damage when unifies with WBC/WBA champion David Haye (20-1, 19Kos) at London's O2 Arena on March 8.

"I'm feeling sorry for David Haye," Calzaghe said. "I think he's going to be in a lot of trouble. Enzo's looking amazingly strong and powerful — and he's got speed as well."

Calzaghe plans to spar with the much bigger Maccarinelli in order to prepare for his April 12 showodown with Bernard Hopkins.

"I've just got back in the gym so I'm not going to get back into the ring with him straight away," Calzaghe said. "We have entertaining sparring but he doesn't go to knock me out and vica versa. We never go to war — we spar for speed. It's the same when I spar with light-middleweights. You spar for speed, timing and movement."

discuss in FORUM HERE

25.01.08 Warren talks about Hopkins video

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23.01.11 Hatton's next fight

Ricky Hatton has played down a summer comeback clash with Oscar De La Hoya.

De La Hoya was keen to face Hatton in England and talks between the two sides took place before the Hitman's defeat to Floyd Mayweather.

However Hatton claims the contest is a non-starter because he doesn't plan to fight above light-welterweight again.

"I hope to fight again towards the end of May," said Hatton. "But my natural fighting weight is light-welter, and a De La Hoya fight would have to be between welter and light-middle."

Hatton, 29, also appeared to rule out a clash with bitter domestic rival and WBC light-welterweight champion Junior Witter.

"I never say never, but I don't want to give Junior Witter the biggest pay-day of his life," said Hatton. "I still have the motivation to box. I owe it to my fans, my family and myself."

discuss in FORUM HERE

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