Anthony Farnell talks Paul Butler, Joe Murray and Matty Fagan
Anthony Farnell has been a busy man. The Manchester based trainer had three fighters appearing on the recent BoxNation bill at Wembley and, following a marathon bill which began at 4pm and ended after midnight, Farnell and his team made the trip back north with a 3-0 record and a new belt in tow.
Matty Fagan got proceedings underway with a four round decision over Kristian Laight. Last November, the light welterweight from Ellesmere Port got dragged into a war with Francis Maina on his debut but Farnell was pleased to report that the 25 year old used his boxing skills this time to comprehensively outscore Laight and move to 2-0.
“Do you know what? He boxed superb,” Farnell told Livefight. “Obviously, in his first fight he got caught a few times and was in a massive war and there was a big crowd there and it got to him a little bit but I’ve not seen anyone deal with Kristian that well for ages. Kristian told me that he thought he was superb. I like Tom Stalker [who faced Laight recently] but Matty did a better job.
“He’s really coming on and he’s enjoying it. That’s the main thing. If you enjoy work, you want to put a lot into it don’t you?”
Featherweight Joe Murray, 13-0 (5), had his first outing since joining up with Farnell and recorded an eight round decision [78-76] over Dai Davies. Having recently signed with Frank Warren, it was 26 year old Murray’s first appearance for 14 months and Farnell was happy that Murray was able to shake off the ring rust and show flashes of the ability that still marks him down as one of Britain’s most promising fighters.
“Dai Davies is a tough nut! Joe hadn’t boxed in 14 months and I thought the scorecard was a bit bad. I’d say he maybe lost one round,” said Farnell. “Dai didn’t really let any shots go. I think it was the second or third round when Joe caught him with a right hand counter and he nearly touched down, his legs were all over the show. After that, he kept his chin down and hands high and didn’t really throw much. It’s hard to stop somebody like that. Sometimes Joe was trying too hard to stop him. When he wobbled him he wasn’t trying, it was just a counter.
“With not boxing for so long, Joe was trying to put on too much of a show. I thought it was a good performance. He was still dead sharp and still showed fast hands. When he hurt him, he loaded up a bit and Dai Davies is a tough guy who’s been in with some good lads and knows how to survive.
“Joe was supposed to come in at 9st 3lb and came in at 9st 2lb so his weight’s really good.”
Paul Butler, 11-0 (6), enhanced his growing reputation still further with a dominating performance to rip away Yaqub Kareem’s Commonwealth super flyweight title and add it to his British belt. Butler, 24, quickly worked out what his unknown Nigerian opponent had to offer and eventually ended matters in the fifth round. It was Butler’s third straight stoppage victory and Farnell was delighted with how Butler coped with the pressure of expectation and the difficulty of facing an opponent that they knew absolutely nothing about.
“I was so, so pleased. We hadn’t seen anything of him but knew he was gonna be a puncher by his record [seven knockouts in ten victories],” Farnell said. “He started letting his right hand go in the first couple of rounds and you could see he was very powerful. He caught Paul with one shot which you couldn’t really see clearly but if you look closely on the tape you’ll see it, it was a good uppercut. Paul felt it but you wouldn’t have known it, he disguised it.
“I thought he boxed superb. It was one of the best performances I’ve seen for a long time. We had nothing on that lad and I thought the way he took him apart was wicked. The African team kept saying they were gonna win and his minder was saying to Butler that they’d win. Paul isn’t cocky but just laughed at them and said ‘we’ll see’
“He’s coming on so well. He’s punching very, very hard and in the fights he’s transferring it. I don’t want him to start thinking he can blast people out. I’m always saying to him not to even think about power, think about your speed. It’s the punches you don’t see coming that knock you out and that’s down to speed. He punches very hard but that’s when he’s loose and that’s when the power comes.”
Some observers have claimed that Butler needs to face somebody capable of standing up to his power and posing him some problems for a few rounds. Farnell agrees but isn’t desperate for that work to be done under the lights on a Saturday night. Given the right training partners experience can be gained in the gym and the pair have been making plans for a particularly demanding working holiday
“We thought this was gonna be a twelve round fight. I know people say he needs to go ten or twelve rounds but if he can win every fight in the first round, I’d want him to do that!” laughs ‘Arnie’. “You have less wear and tear on your body that way. I don’t want him to have hard twelve round fights but sometimes you’ve got to have them. As long as you’re prepared for it and have long sparring sessions with top class guys. We’re going over to Mexico because he’s been asked to go over to Marco Antonio Barrera’s gym. We’ll have to pay ourselves but it’ll be a great experience.
“He’s a great lad and his feet are on the ground. He doesn’t think he’s the bee’s knees. If I ask him to do something in the gym, he does it. He wants to learn all the time.”
Murray doubts he'll get Martinez rematch
Martin Murray doesn't feel he'll get another shot at Sergio Martinez despite giving the Argentinian southpaw the fight of his life on Saturday night.
The St Helens man dropped the world's number one middleweight and seemed to dominate the second half of the contest in front of 40,000 vociferous fans in Buenos Aires, but failed to get the decision.
Murray would like an immediate rematch, but accepts that is unlikely despite Martinez himself managing to secure a return with Paul Williams after losing a similarly contentious verdict back in late 2009.
"I'd love the chance to fight Martinez again, but there's no way I'll get the opportunity," Murray, 30, said.
"Martinez is amongst the top five pound-for-pound fighters in the world and I had him down twice, bossed him and lost a very close debatable decision in his own backyard so I think I've proven I belong at world level.
"I'm obviously gutted that I'm not taking that belt home with me but I'm happy and proud that I can leave Argentina with my head held high knowing that I represented St. Helens and Great Britain.
"If it was fair scoring then I would have got the decision but it was always going to be an uphill battle in Argentina and I knew that when I accepted the fight."
He added: "I just want to say a massive thank you to my family, friends and team. I'm so lucky to have these people around me, especially Oliver Harrison who's just an amazing trainer, and I know that one day I'll get them that world title that they all deserve.
"Also, a big thank you to Sergio Martinez, his team and the people of Argentina. From day one we were all treated so well and really looked after."
Mayweather aims to bring a "big event" to UK
Floyd Mayweather is planning to have a British fight inside the next 18 months.
That fight could even be an open air stadium defence of his WBC welterweight title against Amir Khan.
Bolton’s Khan is ranked number two contender for the unbeaten American superstar’s title.
Mayweather, 36, bids for 44th career win in Las Vegas on Saturday night when he puts his crown on the line against California’s Robert Guerrero, live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546).
His adviser Leonard Ellerbe said: “Floyd cannot wait until we can come over there and give the UK fans a big, big fight.
"Floyd has a tremendous fan base in the UK and we're looking at working on something now where he's going to come over there.
"Ever since the Ricky Hatton fight back in 2007, UK fans have been very loyal to Floyd and he definitely acknowledges that and he wants to bring a big, big event to the UK.
"There's definitely a very strong possibility that Floyd will fight in the UK. We'll see how this thing plays out, his focus is Saturday night and then we'll go from there.
"But we're definitely going to bring a big, big event to the UK.”
Mayweather plans to start the build-up to a major British fight with a tour later this year where he’ll meet fans and make high profile TV appearances.
Ellerbe told Bunce’s Boxing Hour on BoxNation: “He won’t be over for a fight initially, but we're going to come over there and do some stuff.
"I'm talking with a couple people now and they're giving me some options, and Floyd will definitely be coming to the UK.
“The UK are his biggest and best fans. He has tremendous love affair for the UK fans.”
Mayweather v Guerrero is live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 347/Virgin Ch. 546) with coverage starting on Sunday morning from 1.30am. Join at www.boxnation.com
Lucas Browne not getting carried away after Toney win
Lucas "Big Daddy" Browne moved a few more rungs up the heavyweight ladder by defeating legendary American veteran James Toney in Melbourne on Sunday.
Browne, 34, controlled the contest from the first bell until the last and was rewarded with a wide unanimous decision as well as the WBF title.
It's a win which underlines the big punching Aussie's potential for the top and even impressed his newest fan – Hollywood actor Ewan McGregor.
But Browne isn't getting too excited just yet.
He said: "I wasn't really pleased overall with my performance. I won and I'm very happy, but there's more work that needs to be done.
"Toney was slick and avoided my right hand, but had no answer to my nice crisp jab, which left him with 30 stitches in his mouth to sort out."
Browne added: "It was nice to have such a great turn out including Ewan McGregor in support."
While he himself might not be getting too carried away after Sunday's victory, Browne's manager and trainer Matt Clark believes it's a performance which will make heavyweights around the world sit up and take notice.
"I'm delighted about his performance," Clark said. "Lucas showed he's able to box comfortably over twelve rounds and demonstrated that he isn't just a slugger. We knew that, but perhaps some boxing fans didn't.
"Toney was looking for Lucas's right hand, but Lucas managed to feed him the jab almost at will.
"He learned plenty by traveling the distance with a veteran. I know Ricky Hatton is ecstatic about the result and we're ready to discuss Lucas's options moving forward."
Scott Cardle talks to Livefight
“I’m still smiling,” Scott Cardle told Livefight recently. “They had to take the belt from me but I’m just thinking about it and smiling.” A week removed from his ten round decision over Maxi Hughes, the new Central Area lightweight champion was still ecstatic at having given a glimpse of just what he is capable of.
Having mainly spent his year long career fighting on lengthy Matchroom undercards and having his fights featured in the ‘also on tonight’s bill’ segment on Sky Sports live boxing shows, Cardle’s first shot at a professional title was screened live and given a prime position on the recent Brian Rose – Joachim Alcine show. The 23 year old grabbed his opportunity with both hands.
Cardle, now 11-0 (2), can take extra satisfaction from the fact that the victory was so hard earned. The man from Lytham St Annes may have been fighting in front of his home crowd in Blackpool but this wasn’t a case of a promoter serving up a title on a silver platter. Hughes entered the fight with an unbeaten record and the same hopes and dreams as the Joe Gallagher trained Cardle. Rather than worrying about risking his unbeaten record, Cardle was happy to have the chance to showcase his skills against an opponent who came to win rather than survive.
“Obviously I did show a bit of class at the end of the fight but I’ve always said that as soon as I fought anyone with class I’d step my game up and that’s what I did,” Cardle said. “I’ve got so much more to offer so it was just a little sneak preview of it.
“There was me Matty Askin and Brian Rose [on the bill], the hometown boys! I was very pleased with the atmosphere and support that I bought from Lytham and Glasgow. That’s my plan now. I want to start bringing a good following now and get a few people on the bandwagon.
“I want to keep on upping my game and exciting people.”
It was a night of firsts for Cardle. It was the first time the former Team GB star had fought beyond eight rounds and Hughes was his first opponent who actually grew in ambition as the fight progressed. Cardle has suffered minor cuts in fights before but a seventh round clash of heads opened up a bad gash over his right eye and ‘Scotty’ was forced to fight both a hard charging rival and the worry of the seriousness of the cut. That’s quite a checklist of issues to overcome on one night and Cardle can now put a big tick next to each of them.
“It seemed to be everyone’s fight of the night and everyone was excited about it,” he said. “I could have easily lost my head and got frustrated by little things like the cut but I knew I had to stay composed. I knew I had to keep my cool and stick to the game plan and that’s what I did. I felt like I won it comfortably because of that.
“As you could see, I wasn’t really breathing hard at any point in the fight. I was twelve round fit and trained for twelve rounds. I knew I was doing ten but I wanted at least two rounds extra in the bank. I felt brilliant. Obviously, there are other parts of my game I need to show still but at the minute I’m happy with my first proper professional performance.”
Over the past two years, a lot of talk has centred about Britain’s talented group of lightweights but while Ricky Burns, Derry Mathews, Gavin Rees, Anthony Crolla and Kevin Mitchell go about their work a new, exciting set of 135lbers are emerging. Over the next 18 months Cardle can expect to be contesting the major domestic titles with the likes of Tommy Coyle, Terry Flanaghan, Liam Shinkwin, Craig Evans and Hughes.
“I don’t wanna be rushing into things but there’s no looking back now. I don’t wanna be going back to the journeymen type of fights,” Cardle reveals. “I’ve had a good chat with Eddie [Hearn] and he said we’ve gotta pick our fights sensibly and that’s what I intend to do. I’m in no rush. I’m 23 years old and I’d like to think I’ve got a bright future ahead.
“Obviously I’ve had, well, I wouldn’t say a dispute with Tommy Coyle but he’s offered me the fight already a while back and that was for the Tony Bellew bill in March. We wanted that fight but Eddie’s picking my fights sensibly and he’ll know when I’m ready for fights of that type but I’m in the league of them now though. No doubt there will be a lot of people that want to fight me because I’m a Matchroom fighter and I’m gonna be shown on Sky a lot. There will be a few calling me out but at the end of the day I’m gonna be sensible about it and let the man in charge deal with that.”
Follow Scott on twitter - @ScottyCardle
Danny Garcia talks from changing room after Judah fight
Ellie talks to Danny Garcia after his hard-fought and entertaining fight with Zab Judah at the Barclay's centre at the weekend.
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Hatton says Murray should be world champion
Ricky Hatton says he cannot understand how Martin Murray didn't emerge victorious against Sergio Martinez at the weekend.
Murray blocked most of the Argentinian's southpaw's best punches in the early rounds before taking over the second half of the contest in front of more than 40,000 fans in Buenos Aires.
The Englishman scored a knockdown in the eighth round and had the Martinez over again in the tenth only to see it ruled a slip.
Despite this, and punch stats leaning in Murray's favour, all three judges posted scores of 115-112 for the home boxer.
"I think Martin should be the middleweight champion of the world," a dejected Hatton said.
"It was a good competitive fight but there was only one winner for me.
"When you go into the lion's den you have to rip the title from the champion and although he couldn't finish as strong as he we would have liked, Martin was the aggressor.
"He also scored a knockdown and it should have been two in my opinion.
"I think if one good thing did come out of the fight, it's that we now know that Martin is the best middleweight in Britain as his performance against Martinez eclipsed Macklin and Barker's by a long a way."
Another Hatton Promotions star, Gary Buckland, is flying home from South America disappointed as his WBC International Silver super-featherweight title fight Fernando David Saucedo was cancelled at the last minute.
A number of fans stormed the ring following the Martinez-Murray bout, rendering it unfit to host another fight.
Mikkel Kessler does the Harlem Shake
Mikkel Kessler knocks an imitation Carl Froch out of the ring to promote "Warriors Collide" on May 25th at the London 02 arena.
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