News April 2007

Murray unsurprised at ‘joker’ Khan’s knock-back


photo coutesy of Action Images

Hennessy Sports promoted John Murray is not surprised that his British lightweight rival Amir Khan rejected an offer to fight him this Saturday on potentially the biggest event in boxing history, despite the Olympic Silver medalist’s false claim that he ‘played’ with him in sparring.

Undefeated Manchester star Murray, 22, will have his 21st professional fight on the undercard of the highly anticipated showdown between Oscar de la Hoya, his US co-promoter, and Floyd Mayweather at the MGM Grand.

Murray's team-mate John O'Donnell, the English Welterweight champion, will also feature. ‘The Golden One,’ who has strong Irish heritage, boxes Mexico’s Christian Solano over ten rounds.

The opponent for Murray, who impressed US fight fans after impressively outpointing Johnny Walker on the Lacy-Reid undercard in Florida in 2005, is set to be announced shortly.

The history making WBC World Youth Lightweight champion would have liked to have seen Khan in the opposite corner, particularly after his recent comments in the press, but he rejected the opportunity to make his US debut. Instead Khan faces Commonwealth champion Willie Limmond later this summer.

“I think Khan’s a complete joker,” said Murray. “He makes all these claims and then won’t back them up. I’m still waiting for an answer. When and where was this spar meant to have happened? It’s a fairy tale.

“If he thinks he can play with me, he may as well prove it. If you listened to him it would be a mismatch, but that shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t reckon he’s fought a live opponent yet.

“His next fight looks like another easy touch to me. He knows I'm a tougher fighter than Willie Limmond. He has fought once in almost a year and a half, is really a super-featherweight and doesn't hit hard. Amir is too big for Limmond.

"I’m not surprised he didn’t want to fight me over here, or anywhere else for that matter. I believe he’s all talk. My promoter Mick Hennessy has told them that we want the fight and that it can happen further down the line, all he has do is step up to the plate.

“In the meantime I’m going to continue a proper apprenticeship. I’m doing things the right way, where as other lightweight prospects in Britain are just fighting fringe fighters who are there in front of them to be bashed up.”

Murray has been training in the same Los Angeles gym that Oscar de la Hoya has been using since arriving in America. The Golden Boy Promotions and Hennessy Sports teams relocate to Vegas tonight.

“This is what prospects should be doing," said Murray, who is soaking up the atmosphere in America. "The experience I will be getting by boxing on such a big show will stand me in good stead for the future. I'm only 22 and there aren't many fighters who have got this experience at this point in their careers.

"There aren't many other fighters from Britain fighting over here full stop. John and I want to show the world there are two great British fighters coming through.”

“The media attention will be massive for this event. So we will be looking to put on a great performance and shine in front of everyone. We have both been on fire in the gym.

"There will be a bit of nerves in there but that will make me better on the night. I've fought in America before and the occasion brought the best out of me. It made me sharp and I'm going to want to knock my opponent out on May 5th.”

HAYE: Debut's in style

BY 60%H2O


London's hard-hitting European cruiserweight champion David Haye made an impressive debut at heavyweight at Wembley Arena on Friday night with a first round stoppage of world ranked Polish former IBC heavyweight champion Tomasz Bonin.

On paper it looked like David Haye could be in for a long night with the rugged Pole whose record of 37 wins and 1 loss,looked impressive.

But from the first bell Haye's class shown through.Haye's first punch was a ramrod left jab that shook Bonin's head back, then with less than a minute on the clock, Haye connected with pin point accuracy and landed a jab and straight right combo to the Pole's chin that sunk him to the canvas.

Bonin got to his feet immediately but you always felt from there on in that resistance would be futile.Haye pounced on him again letting go with flurries of punches that got a little untidy when Bonin was bundled to the ground, but a no count was given by referee Ian John-Lewis as it was deemed a push.Then,in virtually identical fashion to the first jab/ straight right combo,Bonin was caught flush on his chin again and down he went.Ian John-Lewis gave the mandatory 8 count as Bonin was again quickly to his feet.

The end was now in sight and Haye threw bombs from all angles which had Bonin on the canvas again,only this time the referee had seen enough and he waved it off at 1 minute and 45 seconds of round 1.Haye raised his hands aloft to the rapturous delight of the London crowd,who had just seen their man increase his record to 19 wins(18 ko's) and 1 loss.

Haye,who was hoping for the fight to last a few rounds said afterwards " To be honest I was looking for a long fight,I trained for 12 hard rounds but unfortunately I let the right hand go."

Next on Haye's agenda should be the french world number 1 cruiserweight, WBA and WBC champion Joea-Marc Mormeck,whose recent win over O'neill Bell put him firmly at the top of the Cruiserweight rankings.

Haye is mandatory challenger to the Frenchman and said"when I do fight at cruiserweight,I don't think I'll be as effective as I was tonight,but even at 70% I still think that's good enough to win a world title against Jean Marc Mormeck.

After being asked about the Mormeck fight happeneing,Frank Maloney,David Haye's promotor said"It will happen ,I think it'll happen before September,funnily enough tonight when I was talking to Adam Booth(Haye's manager)we had the Spikey haired man from America phone us and tried to negotiate here and there,I said lets wait til after this fight and see how David does ,cause if he does good it means a few more noughts at the end of negotiations"

There are still some unanswered questions with regard to Haye's punch resistance,but for the time being until he gets in the ring with somebody that can actually stand up to his power,speed and accuracy the future is looking very rosey indeed for David Haye.

KESSLER ** Livefight exclusive **

By Livefight

Over the weekend i had the opportunity to get a few questions to the kingpin at 168lb, the current, undefeated & reigning WBC Super Middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler.

Kessler - WBC champion

We all know Mikkel is a fine champion and perhaps the biggest threat to Joe Calzaghe's legacy at present, but i was keen to find out some of the more basic facts about Mikkel, with some short quickfire questions, the response was very interesting, especially with regards the lack of amateur support, which affected his decision to go Pro so young :-

Mikkel, of all the boxers you have seen, whom do you most respect or admire for their achievements?

" Well, i would say that i have no particular favourite - but i certainly think that De La Hoya & Sugar Ray are very good professionals "

At what particular age did you find yourself getting into boxing and how?

"I was 13 years old and my mother took me."

Beating Mudine

If you wasn't planning to be a boxer, what other career did you
originally pursue ?

"I actually started as a mechanic, but my training took over my life, and after i got to european champion aged only 16 as a youth-boxer, i stopped the mechanic course! "

Your mother is from Salisbury, do you come over to see relatives
sometimes? or do they visit you ?

" I have a brother called Mark. He lives in England and I visited him there and he has also been here several times. "

Apart from boxing, do you enjoy any other sports (like football?)

" Well i see some football and formula 1 - but most of all i enjoy motorbikes and cars, but i don't really follow stuff in tv... i'd rather do it my self ! "

What kind of following and support is given to amateur boxing in
your country? do they get scholarships etc

"Well I boxed a few fights for the national team, but boxing is a small sport in DK. they would't give me any help, therefore i had to turn pro at the early age of 19."

Kessler with a fan

Oscar De La Hoya V Floyd Mayweather - who do you think might win
that fight?

"I really hope De La Hoya, but think Mayweather."

Would you ever consider moving up to Light Heavyweight ?

"No... only if i have to chase the others"

Apart from Joe Calzgaghe - which American fighter would you like
to fight if you had the opportunity ?

"Hopkins..or Jermaine Taylor"

Of all the current fighters today, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto,
David Haye etc - who do you most rate (Apart from Floyd Mayweather!) ?

"Myself ofcourse ! ha ha..... or perhaps Jermaine Taylor"

Thank you very much Mikkel - LiveFight and your British fans here wish you every success and hope the fight with Calzaghe becomes real in 2007.

Mikkel Kessler's offical website HERE

Gatti V Gomez

IBF Welterweight Champion Kermit Cintron to defend crown against IBF #7 ranked contender Walter Matthysse

Live fight Forum - discuss this fight HERE

Gatti V Gomez, plus Cintron on double header

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (April 27, 2007) – Boxing’s most exciting fighter, Arturo Gatti, returns to the ring on Saturday, July 14 when he challenges rugged brawler Alfonso Gomez of “The Contender” in a 10 round bout from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, it was announced today by Main Events CEO Kathy Duva. IBF Welterweight Champion Kermit Cintron will defend his crown against IBF #7 ranked contender and mandatory challenger Walter Matthysse in a 12 round co-feature bout. Caesars Atlantic City will host the welterweight doubleheader.

Main Events is promoting the evening of boxing, in association with The Tournament of Contenders, LLC and Caesars Atlantic City.

“Main Events is excited about returning to ‘The House That Gatti Built’ –Boardwalk Hall,” said Main Events CEO Kathy Duva. “Fans know they are guaranteed to see a great fight when Arturo steps into the ring, and with Kermit Cintron in the co-feature they know they will get more than their money’s worth.”

“Alphonso Gomez set the tone in the first season of The Contender by challenging Peter Manfredo in the first fight of the season,” said Jeff Wald, an Executive Producer of The Contender and boxing promoter. “He surprised everybody by winning that fight. Alphonso was the fan favorite for the first season of The Contender. In spite of his lovable boyish charm and respectful polite demeanor beats the heart of a true warrior. Gomez only knows one way to fight, keep attacking, go forward. He admires and respects Arturo Gatti and wants to have the fans respect him in the same way.”

Gatti (40-8, 31 KOs) is a two-time world champion who is responsible for several of the top non-heavyweight live gates in the history of Atlantic City, NJ. The

34-year-old Jersey City, NJ, resident by way of Montreal, Canada, fought an epic trilogy against the man who is now serving as his trainer, Micky Ward. In a recent poll asking fans to select boxing’s greatest trilogies, Gatti-Ward ranked second only Ali-Frazier.

Gomez (16-3-2, 7 KO’s) has won four of his last five bouts. The 26-year-old Whittier, CA resident by way of Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico has not lost a bout since September 23, 2004, when he surrendered a decision to Peter Manfredo in the opening season of “The Contender” series (L 7). The bruising Mexican veteran has won his last three bouts by knockout. In his last bout on March 30, 2007, as part of “The Contender Challenge: UK vs. USA” competition, Gomez traveled to Newcastle, England to batter Martin Concepcion and earn a seventh-round stoppage (TKO 7).

Cintron (27-1, 25 KO’s) captured the vacant IBF Welterweight Championship in his last bout on Oct 28, 2006, when he dismantled Mark Suarez (TKO 6). The 27-year-old Reading, PA resident by way of Carolina, Puerto Rico, has won his last three bouts since losing to Antonio Margarito on April 23, 2005, in an unsuccessful bid to win the WBO Welterweight crown. Cintron has stopped seven opponents in the first round and 13 opponents within the first two rounds. The welterweight bomber is ranked #7 by The Ring magazine.

Matthysse (26-1, 25 KO’s) has stopped 18 opponents within the first two rounds. The 28-year-old Trelew, Chubut resident by way of Esperanza, Santa Fe is the mandatory challenger for the IBF Welterweight Championship. In his last bout on Oct 20, 2006, Matthysse stopped Jorge Dario David Gomez Perez in two rounds (TKO 2).

HBO’s “World Championship Boxing” series will broadcast the doubleheader

leave comment HERE

John O'Donnell to fight Solano

Hennessy Sports promoted John O'Donnell will face Mexican Christian Solano on the Oscar de la Hoya-Floyd Mayweather undercard at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on May 5th.

The Shepherds Bush welterweight competes alongside his Hennessy Sports teammate John Murray on arguably the biggest promotion in boxing history. The ‘Golden Pair’ will both box over ten rounds.

Solano, who has stopped 14 of his 19 victims, competed over that distance last time out when he dropped a decision to the highly rated Julio Cesar Chavez Junior, a 21-year-old welterweight like O’Donnell. Of JC Junior’s last seven opponents; he is the only one to hear the final bell.

Junior Olympic Gold Medallist O'Donnell, who has strong Irish heritage, won the English Title in his last contest by out-pointing fellow unbeaten prospect Stuart Elwell in standout fashion.

The 21-year, whose gown bears the ancient Irish symbol for gold and ancient Irish wording for ‘The Golden One’, will be looking to impress again next week in front of the world’s media.

"Everyone’s attention is going to be on this event,” said O’Donnell, who was “The Sun’s” pick for the fighter to watch in 2007. “It’s my chance to shine. It’s a big opportunity for me to show people what I can do. Fighting someone like Solano will help me do that.

"He is a tough Mexican, who took Julio Chavez Junior ten rounds a division up. It could be a good comparison because I would love to fight Chavez in the US. He is my age and weight and even though he has had a lot more fights than me, (31 in total), I would love it right now. I know I can take him apart in style.

“Solano is an excellent test for me. I need to be winning these if I am to achieve what I want to achieve. Hopefully I can do a number on him and people will sit up and take notice of what I am all about.

“I’m going to show the American’s what a world-class British prospect really looks like. Amir Khan went out on HBO a couple of weeks back, but from what I’m hearing he didn’t go down too well. It was a bad mismatch.

“I sparred him a few years ago when we were the same weight and I wiped the floor with him. Unlike his accusations about John Murray, that spar actually did happen. There were plenty of witnesses to see it. I know that I am in a different league to Khan and people will start to realise that shortly.”

O’Donnell added: "There will be a few nerves on the night I'm sure. This is the biggest boxing show I can remember, so I'm bound to get a bit nervous, but I will be able to work that to my advantage.

"I won the English title recently and want to make a statement in the States with this fight before getting a crack at the British Title against either Anderson or Magee this year.

“The British Boxing Board of Control need to put me in a final eliminator because I'm ready and would beat any of the top British fighters right now.

‘Golden Pair’ promoter Mick Hennessy is confident that both O’Donnell and his teammate John Murray will fully demonstrate their exciting potential on the marquee event.

"Not many get the chance to fight in the US at such a young age,” he said. “It's a massive stage and it can be a daunting experience, but that's why I put these two forward. They are perfect for this job. They are special talents and will rise to the occasion.

"John Murray has impressed abroad before, (in Canada and Florida), and we know John O'Donnell will more than handle the occasion. He is so composed for his age. I think long-term they both have the potential to go all the way and could be boxing in the States frequently. They both have styles that can become a hit with the US fans.”

Solano's Record :- W 19 (14 ko's) | L 11 | D 4 | Total 34

Expect O'Donnell to outpoint the 6'1 Welterweight on the Cinco De Mayo card.

Robin Reid - targets Froch

Robin's record mission
Stuart Brennan
26/ 4/2007

ROBIN Reid has a new lease of life - and he has his sights firmly set on ending the unbeaten record of British and Commonwealth champion Carl Froch.

Reid made a surprise return to the ring last month as part of the Contenders' event, in which a team from the hit US boxing reality TV show took on a team of British fighters.

And the 36-year-old has lined up an eliminator against another comeback boxer, Bristol's Glenn Catley who, like Reid, is a former WBC super-middleweight champion.

Reid was out of action for 19 months after suffering the first stoppage of his career, to big-hitting American Jeff Lacy in Florida in 2005, and many assumed that he had quietly slipped into retirement.

But he is back with a three-fight deal with his original promoter Frank Warren and says he still has a point to prove: "I am hoping Froch is still the champion, and still has his unbeaten record by the end of this year, because I want to be the first to demolish him."

Reid, who won a bronze medal at the 1992 Olympics, turning pro with Collyhurst trainer Brian Hughes and then lifting the WBC belt in 1997, says there is plenty left in the tank.

"People asked me if I was going to quit after Lacy, and I am not the type who just carries on boxing for the sake of it," said Reid, who has supplemented his boxing income with male modelling down the years.

"I have done all right money-wise, but I just know that it is still there within me.


"I knew exactly why, after the Lacy fight, things had gone pear-shaped, and boxing politics had a lot to do with it without going into details.

"But I knew that I didn't get beaten because I had nothing left. I wanted another chance and if I then found there was nothing left, I would call it quits ."

Reid eased past Jesse Brinkley in the Contender fight, but says he felt enough in that contest to encourage him.

"I was probably expecting too much of myself after nearly two years out. Brinkley was no mug and I was trying to knock him out early doors. I ended up winning it easily on points.

"After two years inactive it wasn't too bad, and I just want to build some momentum, with two or three fights then the British title."

There were fears that the four-round hammering by Lacy might have left mental scars on Reid, but he claims it has had the opposite effect.

"I was trying too hard against Brinkley early on because subconsciously I wanted to show everyone that what happened against Lacy was a fluke, a bad day at the office caused by all kinds of things going on in my life," he said.

"Once I settled down I was enjoying it."

The scheduled eliminator with Catley is an intriguing one.

The squat Bristol fighter, was out of the ring for nearly four years after losing to Danilo Haussler in a challenge for the European title in 2003.

But the former British and WBC champion returned late last year to stop Hussain Osman in three rounds in his comeback, and then he overwhelmed Sergey Kharchenko inside five in February.

Manchester Evening News story HERE

John Murray & John O'Donnell land in USA!

The ‘Golden Pair’ flew in to Los Angeles - the home of de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions - with their promoter Mick Hennessy and trainers Robert McCracken, (O’Donnell), and Joe Gallagher, (Murray).

They are currently based in Old Pasadena and have set up training camp in the gym de la Hoya will be using when he arrives from Puerto Rico. Preparations for their appearance on arguably the biggest card in boxing history will be finalised in Vegas itself after they relocate with the Golden Boy team early next week.

“This is an incredible experience,” said Junior Olympic Gold Medallist O’Donnell yesterday. “I’ve always been confident that I will get to box in America and appear on big shows later in my career, but I didn’t expect the chance to come this early.

“It’s given me a real taste for it - being part of this setup is unbelievable. LA is a great place and we are getting the best treatment. I’m really looking forward to Vegas and travelling over there with the Hennessy Sports and Golden Boy teams.”

O’Donnell’s appearance on this bill is a natural fit. The eye-catching southpaw, who has only just turned 21 and has strong Irish ancestry, has earned the nickname ‘The Golden One’ after a stellar amateur career and rapid progression as a professional that has already seen him claim the English welterweight title.

It is a lofty moniker, but one his team feels he can more than live up to. Whenever O’Donnell - whose gown bears the ancient Irish symbol for gold and ancient Irish wording for ‘The Golden One’ - boxes in the States, he will be co-promoted by de la Hoya and Hennessy.

As will John Murray, the other half of the ‘Golden Pair’. The history making WBC Youth Champion and current Boxing Writers’ Young Boxer of the Year will also box over ten rounds on the marquee event, which appropriately now features the best young talent in Europe.

“Everyone’s attention is going to be on this show, including the worldwide media,” said Murray. “This is a big chance for me to show people what I can do. It can really open the door to the big time if I put on a good performance. That’s exactly what I’m going to do.

“I want to see my own name up in lights as the main event in Vegas one day and this is a step towards that. I know that if I deliver the goods in the ring, Mick and Golden Boy can bring me over here for the big ones. I have got the perfect team around me.”

Hennessy sees the appearance of Britain’s ‘Golden Pair’ on the show as just the latest development in a relationship that is set to rapidly develop.

"We have got some big plans for the future with Golden Boy Promotions,” he said. “They have a fantastic team and there are a lot of things we can work on together, in both America and the UK.

The development of young talent is one of them.

“This is an incredible opportunity for John O’Donnell and John Murray to showcase their talents to the worldwide media and I am confident they will make the most of it.

“This is the biggest stage of all and they are perfect to be representing this side of the pond. They are made for TV fighters and have a style that I know the American’s will appreciate.

“Murray, an excellent pressure fighter, has already proved that; they really took to him when he boxed in Florida two years ago. He has a no-nonsense, never-say-die, gritty approach and doesn’t stop coming forward. That kind of style always goes down well over here.

“It is O’Donnell’s US debut and I know he’s going to make a big impact. He is a brilliant box fighter who can mix it up any which way. He has the quickest hands in the business. I know the Americans are going to love his six, seven, eight punch machine gun combinations.”

Calzaghe kicks up St(ink) !

JOE CALZAGHE could give up his WBO world super- middleweight crown rather than face Denis Inkin.

Calzaghe has ruled his division since taking the title 10 years ago and made a record-breaking 20 successful defences during his reign.

But the Welsh southpaw, 35, is ready to give it all up to pursue the big-name fights he craves.

Russian Inkin is the mandatory WBO challenger and officials are attempting to push through a showdown.

Calzaghe said: “I do not need Inkin. I’ve only two or three fights left and I want big names like Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones or, preferably, Mikkel Kessler.

“I don’t want to waste six months preparing to face a mandatory challenger I’d beat easily.”

Calzaghe will have a scan tomorrow on the wrist he broke against Peter Manfredo Jr to determine when he can step back in the ring.

Promoter Frank Warren is trying to arrange a clash with reigning WBA and WBC champ Kessler.

Warren said: “I’m in negotiations and hope to finalise something soon.”

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