Mayweather and Maidana go head to head VIDEO
iFLTV were on hand in Vegas to capture Floyd 'Money' Mayweather and Marcos 'El Chino' Maidana go head to head before their big fight Saturday night:
Kal Yafai and brother Gamal to fight on Leeds card
KAL YAFAI LANDS COMMONWEALTH TITLE SHOT IN LEEDS – BROTHER GAMAL DEBUTS ON CARD
Kal faces Yaqub Kareem for vacant Super Flyweight crown as Gamal makes bow in paid ranks on May 21
Kal Yafai will face Yaqub Kareem for the vacant Commonwealth Super Flyweight title on Wednesday May 21 at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, live on Sky Sports – with younger brother Gamal making his professional debut on the bill.
Yafai fights for his first pro title on the bill against the former champion from Nigeria, who won the belt in 2011 and came to England last April to defend it against Paul Butler. Yafai returned to action in October after a period out of the ring with an injured bicep, and claimed his seventh win inside the distance from ten pro contests in December – with his move into double figures in the paid ranks convincing the 24 year old that he was ready to chase his first honours as a pro.
“I’m very excited to fight for my first title,” said Yafai. “I’m no longer a prospect and I believe I am ready for the big titles, starting with the Commonwealth. Kareem has held the belt before and I know that it will be a tough fight, but I am confident of getting a win in style and building on that later in the year.”
Younger brother Gamal will begin life as a pro in the Super Bantamweight division, and brings with him great amateur pedigree. The 22 year old joined the GB development team at 16, won the ABAs at 17 and was promoted to the Team GB podium squad at 18 – and now he’s ready to make waves in the paid ranks.
“I have wanted to go pro for a long time and I cannot wait to get out there in the pros and show what I have got,” said Yafai, whose appearance is subject to the approval of his license from the British Boxing Board of Control. “It’s great to be making my debut on a brilliant bill like this and it’s going to be a special night for the family.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn says that this show kicks off a new era of big time boxing in Leeds, and with Gamal added to brother Kal in the Matchroom Boxing stable, he expects to make a similar move in their hometown of Birmingham later this year.
“I’m so excited to add Gamal to our roster of young British stars,” said Hearn. “Those who have seen him in action know that he’s a powerful and aggressive fighter and that’s the kind of boxer that fans want to see.
“Kal is ready to start stepping up into title fights now and if he can get his hands on the Commonwealth crown on May 21 in Leeds, I think we will have the chance to put on some special nights in Birmingham with these two boys.”
Josh Warrington defends his Commonwealth Featherweight title against Martin Lindsay in his hometown fresh from his win over Rendall Munroe in Manchester on April 19, and the 23 year old is delighted to be back in the ring so quickly in another big test.
“I’ve still got some Easter eggs at home I haven’t touched!” said Warrington. “I’ve been patient in my career so far so I am not going to turn down fights when they come along and this is a big fight for me.
“If I keep winning and beating good names, then I can really look to doing big things in Leeds, but I am not looking past Martin as I know that he’s a top class operator.”
Liverpool’s Stephen Smith has a huge fight on the bill against Fernando David Saucedo for the WBC Silver Super Featherweight title in a crunch eliminator clash, and after the fight was postponed from its scheduled March 15 date on Merseyside, Smith is chomping at the bit to finally face his foe.
“It’s been a lifetime coming for me,” said Smith. “I’ve watched so much of him that I’m sick of the sight of him to be honest, but I feel I am so ready for this now and I feel that a great performance puts me right on track for a World title shot.”
Gavin McDonnell also defends his British Super Bantamweight title against Josh Wale and Hull Lightweight star Tommy Coyle is in action on a crunch night in Yorkshire.
“It’s a massive night for all the fighters on the card,” said Hearn. “Josh has stepped up to the plate in his last two fights and does so again. Martin is a top, top Featherweight and a win over him will be a huge moment for Josh.
“Stephen has worked his socks off to get to this position and he can smell that World title fight. Saucedo is going to be Stephen’s toughest fight to date, he’s a canny operator with bags of experience and no shortage of ability, but I believe Stephen will do the business and move that step closer to his dream.”
Tickets are on sale now priced at £30, £40 and £60 available from the First Direct Arena on 0844 248 1585 and at www.firstdirectarena.com. VIP tickets priced at £120 are available exclusively from Matchroom Boxing on 01277 359900 and at www.matchroomboxing.com
Amir Khan: It was almost Guerrero not Collazo
iFLTV who are currently in Las Vegas, managed to grab a word with Britain's Amir Khan, ahead of his hugely anticipated 147lb Welterweight against Luis Collazo:
Brutal business: In Depth with Lamon Brewster
By Michael J Jones
In an era when American boxing fans are hungry for a new star in the heavyweight division to come forward, Livefight recently caught up with former WBO champion Lamon “Relentless” Brewster. Now nearing his 41st birthday, Brewster is just over four years removed from his last contest; an eight round stoppage loss to Robert Helenius in Germany.
After retiring with a 35-6 (30) record, the former big punching crowd-pleaser has ventured in several projects including a reality boxing show which he is hoping to be aired next year. The show will feature five former world heavyweight champions, including Lamon and Riddick Bowe, trying to raise the next heavyweight star from the amateur ranks.
There’s a lot of depth to the Indiana-born Brewster’s heavyweight journey but we start right at the beginning with his amateur career…
“I started boxing when I was seven-years-old” the former champion tells Livefight. “I won several amateur titles but probably my highest accomplishment was winning a Silver medal in the 1995 Pan American Games. I was a US champion, National champion and I also at one point beat the number two heavyweight in the world behind Felix Savon so I guess that made me the number two.”
It would be Cuban great Savon who would end Brewster’s Gold medal hopes in the final of the Pan American Games. The 6’2” puncher would also suffer the agonising frustration of missing out of the 1996 Olympic Games in Georgia after losing two agonising decisions in the trials to Nate Jones (more about him later) and DaVarryl Williamson.
Putting that disappointment quickly behind him, Brewster turned pro later the same year aged 23. He would stop his first eleven opponents inside of three rounds and by the start of 2000 had compiled a perfect 22-0 (19) record as he set his sights on the division’s big guns.
In May 2000, the undefeated puncher was matched with the menacing Cliff Etienne in Pittsburgh. After a wildly entertaining ten rounds, Etienne would raise his record to 16-0 as Brewster went down by the lop-sided scores of 99-91 (twice) and a slightly closer 98-92.
Lamon picks up the story when the fight is brought up some 14 years later…
“The first round of the fight was called the greatest first round of the decade between 2000 and 2010 and we went to war right from the start but I had an ACL* in my knee from that first round. I came out trying to kill him (laughs) I wanted to get the knockout but when I got injured it was all uphill for me. Etienne I believe could have been a much better fighter but one of those guys who got a little side-tracked with his success.”
*Anterior cruciate ligament.
Following his first defeat the future champion had to face a lengthy period on the side-lines following an operation to his damaged knee. It was this period which he insists is the direct reason for his second defeat to Charles Shufford just five months later.
“I was resting up my knee but it meant I put weight on. When my knee was healed I wanted to get back in the ring as soon as possible so I dropped weight too fast. I’d been listening to some body-builders I knew and I got my weight down quick but also depleted myself and felt weak.”
“Shufford I used to beat up in the amateurs so I knew I could beat him but he ran all through the fight. I felt like I had an 800lb weight on my belt; I couldn’t move to catch up with him.”
Brewster suffered another decision loss in the Detroit bout and subsequently took a year out. Almost exactly a year later he resurfaced to pound out club fighter Joey Guy in California. Four months later he got the chance for revenge against amateur rival Nate Jones, himself a decent 18-1-1 heavyweight prospect.
“Firstly, the only reason (Jones) beat me in the Olympic trial is that I was going through a messy divorce and my head wasn’t in the fight. I’d beaten him three times as an amateur but never showed up mentally for that fight. That’s why I said to him beforehand ‘you took my medal but you’re not taking my belt’….but I’m sorry how (our pro bout) ended.”
The grudge match went ahead for the vacant WBO NABO heavyweight title in Pennsylvania but quickly turned into a mismatch as Brewster landed some heavy shots to have Jones in serious trouble. Jones bravely lasted into the third before getting rescued following another heavy attack on the ropes. He later suffered brain damage and was forced to retire at just 29-years-old.
“I kept hitting him with hard shots but the problem was he just wouldn’t fall” explains Lamon with sadness in his voice. “There were many times I had him on the ropes and I kept looking to the referee (John Carroll) but all he did was keep looking back at me; he just wouldn’t stop it.”
Brewster resumed his own career, reeling off three more knockout victories. The good form earned him a high ranking with the WBO though his title shot would be slow coming following Corrie Sanders' decision to vacate his belt to fight Vitali Klitschko for the WBC version.
Brewster is still angry with how the situation was handled to this day…
“After Corrie Sanders knocked out Wladimir (Klitschko) I spent over a year as the WBO number one contender. Sanders didn’t want to fight me and vacated so then they say I have to face Wladimir for the vacant title. While all of that was going on Wladimir is fighting every three months while I’m just sitting there doing nothing. I shouldn’t have had to face (Wladimir) I should have just been made champion.”
To add to the heavyweight contender’s troubles, long-time trainer Bill Slayton would pass away in 2003 after a long illness. Slayton, who also guided Ken Norton earlier in his coaching career, passed away at 81-years-old after being Brewster’s head coach since his pro debut seven years earlier.
The Brewster-Klitschko contest was made for April 2004 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas. Since the Corrie Sanders shocker, Klitschko had begun training with the legendary Emanuel Steward and was installed as the pre-fight favourite for the WBO title bout.
I ask the now-retired former heavyweight how he approached the fight after it was made?
“I knew Wladimir had stamina problems before the fight” Lamon replies. “We didn’t go in there and try and blast him out like Sanders did. I don’t like saying any fighter was lucky but I think Sanders did get a little lucky to land that good shot early. It’s about the art of boxing; hitting and not getting hit. I wanted to drag Wladimir into the deep water and sink him.”
Brewster reveals some of the tactics he worked on for his most famous victory of his career.
“I was watching guys like Roberto Duran and Julio Cesar Chavez; these guys would give the first three rounds up to be able to wear you down later. That’s what I said I was going to do; force Wladimir to fight for every second of the fight. He wants to keep out of range but I forced him to fight and kept hammering his body.
Klitschko dominated early, peppering the five inches-shorter Brewster with his long jab. He banked the first three rounds clearly and when he dropped his co-challenger in the fourth it seemed the contest was nearing its conclusion.
“I’d worked on stepping into range but I made the mistake (in the fourth round) of just leaning in and he caught me. At that precise moment I had two options; be smart and take a knee or be a tough guy and risk undoing all of my work in the fight. As I decided to take a knee he was stepping in to hit me again. I took the knee to make sure I’d definitely recover from the first shot and it proved the right decision.”
Klitschko missed his chance. The fifth round started and suddenly and dramatically the Ukrainian favourite was to unravel. As Klitschko set himself to jab he appeared all of a sudden tired and lethargic. Brewster pounced and in an instant the bull was punishing the matador with ferocious abandon.
Wladimir would fall twice in the round as Brewster defied the odds to become the WBO champion.
“I’d seen in his fight with Ray Mercer he had no stamina” adds Lamon who dedicated his victory to the recently passed Bill Slayton. “Mercer just basically kept coming forward and jabbing. Now, Klitschko stopped him in the sixth but by just using those tactics, Mercer messed up (Klitschko’s) face and had him exhausted. I was watching after the fight and Wladimir was so tired. That’s when I knew I could beat him.”
There would be some unfortunate accusations from Klitschko following his third defeat. Evidently bitter and frustrated by his failure to beat the unfancied Brewster, Wladimir even suggested there was foul play involved in his latest reverse.
It must have been more than a little irritating to walk through hell to win a world championship only to be called a cheat?
“It was just sour grapes I think. I know I didn’t cheat and I felt (the accusations) took a little of the glory from my win. I still say to this day if a guy can do what I did and employ the tactics I did that is still the way to beat Wladimr Klitschko. At least now he admits he lost fair and square and that he just punched himself out.”
Five months after the Klitschko success, the new champion would make the first defence of his new title against former sparring partner and friend Kali Meehan. While Meehan brought an eye-catching record of 29-1 to the table, many expected the hard-punching champion to score an early victory. Australia’s Meehan had been beaten in just 30 seconds a few years earlier by Mike Tyson slayer Danny Williams and many questioned his punch resistance.
The Las Vegas contest proved to be one of Brewster’s hardest fights as he edged a thrilling split decision as Meehan put in the performance of his life. Lamon however is clinical to what the problem was for him on the night.
“To this day I apologise to anyone in boxing about my performance as I made a mistake that night. He didn’t raise his game or fight any better than I thought it was just he was prepared for fighting for the world heavyweight title while I fought like I was fighting a friend.”
“He was just ferocious in there and it was only when I realised I was losing I could start giving 100% just as Kali was. I never thought I would have as much trouble with Kali but he was vicious that night.”
Eight months after his struggle with Meehan, Brewster would make his second defence this time in Chicago. His opponent would be talented but erratic Pole Andrew Golota. After his razor-thin decision in his last defence, many wondered if Golota could upset the odds and become the new champion. Those thoughts were to be proved incorrect after just 52 seconds of the short-lived fight.
“Andrew Golota made just one mistake against me” says Lamon who scored three knock-downs in the brief drubbing. No fighter has ever been able to stand toe-to-toe with me. If he had tried to box and move, use his jab, he may have had more success and we wouldn’t be having this conversation now. For some reason he thought he could stand right in front of me…”
Brewster lets the sentence trails off but adds with a chuckle, “I’ve had street fights where I’ve knocked a guy out so hard I’ve dropped the guy standing next to him!”
To put the win in some perspective, in the previous year Golota had pushed both IBF holder Chris Byrd and WBA ruler John Ruiz in other heavyweight title chances. Many thought he beat both champions but he proved no match for the WBO titlist.
The Golota defence was followed later in the year with a come-from-behind stoppage of respected Luan Krasniqi in Germany as Brewster made his third successful title defence. In April 2005, the WBO champion would face Belarus challenger Siarhei Liakhovich in Cleveland. Liakhovich was 22-1 and had only lost to Maurice Harris. He was decent but the champion was the big favourite to retain.
Like when we discussed the Kali Meehan fight I suggest maybe his opponent raised their game for their world title challenge but again the former champion has his own explanation. In the opening exchanges, Brewster suffered a detached retina and struggled to see his opponent for the remainder of the fight.
Despite his injury, Brewster would go the full twelve rounds though the scorecards of 117-110, 115-112 and 115-113 all went against him as Liakhovich was crowned the new champion.
“That man could never have beaten me” says Lamon sternly. “He did not raise his game I tore my eye in the very first round and was blind from then on. I kept thinking he was close to me but when I swung he was no where near me.”
“People seemed to think a lot of that fight but I couldn’t see the man the whole fight and the pain…the pain felt like an ice pick had been lodged into my eye and was being forced further into my head.”
After suffering his first defeat in nearly six years, Brewster was forced out of the ring for over a year following an eye operation and follow up procedures. It was at the end of the healing process when he received an unexpected offer from team Klitschko.
“Two years I was the champion and Wladimir never mentioned me. I lost my title, then I was in and out of hospital for a year. I spent nine months straight spending literally eighteen hours a day lying with my face down trying to let my eye heal. I was on every pain relief you can imagine and the second I was coming out of hospital was when (Klitschko’s people) approached me.”
“They said about fighting a rematch, I said ‘sure I’ll fight a rematch I just need a tune up first’; they actually paid me not to take a tune up. Wladimir was that scared he didn’t want to take any chance. It left me with four months from lying in hospital to getting ready from bottom to top...just a mountain of a task and virtually impossible.”
In July 2007 the two men faced each other again in Germany for the Ukrainian’s IBF and IBO belts. The fight started much the same as the first with Klitschko working behind the jab and Brewster looking to put some pressure on but there was to be no miracle comeback this time. After six rounds of punishment the former champion was pulled out.
“Did I feel like I should have pulled out beforehand?” says Lamon to my question. “Sure I felt like pulling out but I tell you this; I got more money for that fight than for any when I had the title. I didn’t know whether I’d ever get that chance again so I had to go through with it.”
After another year out the ring the former champion would embark on a comeback in the summer of 2008. Danny Batchelder was dispatched in a NABA title bout in Ohio before British contender Michael Sprott was out-scored in Germany. All seemed to be finally going to plan again for the man known as “Relentless”.
“I fought Batchelder and there was a lot of rust to shed but I got the win and felt I was on my way back into contention.”
In comeback fight number three, Brewster would face Germany-based Nigerian Gbenga Oloukan back in Germany. After eight close rounds he would go down unanimously on the cards to the ten-years-younger Oloukan.
“I wasn’t surprised (at the decision), it’s just people can interpret a fight differently. I was just trying to get some rounds in so I wasn’t looking for a knockout. He was a better boxer than me but I put the pressure on and thought I won.”
Four months later Brewster had his third consecutive bout in Germany. In what would prove his final outing as a pro fighter, he faced 10-0 Robert Helenius in a non-title fight. In a sad finale to his fine career, Brewster was halted in the eighth round by the 6’6” Swede.
Discussion of the defeat unfortunately opens an ugly can of worms…
“That fight wasn’t straight forward” Lamon says, a hint of bitterness creeping into his words. “Something was on his gloves and I don’t know to this day what it was. Every round he came out and for around thirty seconds I was blinded; it didn’t matter whether he was hitting me or not. Then after that I'd be able to see again.”
“When a fighter is hurt they usually say they’ve seen stars but it was like I was suffering blackouts. I couldn’t see and in the eighth he just jumped on me and the referee stopped it. I was so frustrated I immediately quit boxing. I’ve always been a clean fighter and couldn’t believe what had happened.”
The Helenius debacle was far from over though…
“After the fight I had lacerations to my eyes. My doctor said to me it was unlike anything he’d ever seen in forty years. My eyelid, iris and cornea all had damage. It was like someone had cut me with a razor...I ended up losing vision in my left eye because of that fight.”
The former champion tried to take legal action but unbelievably hit a brick wall before any move could even begin.
“First they tried to say I’d done it to myself. Now why in the world would anyone do that to themselves? In the end they said to return to Germany and then try and sue the biggest promoter in Germany like that was going to happen.”
“They didn’t even pay for my surgery.”
Brewster to this day still can’t see out of his left eye this despite many corrective operations and consultations with doctors and surgeons all over the US. It’s a stark reminder of how brutal and cruel the boxing business can be.
To present day and the former heavyweight champion is still keeping busy and in demand. He is currently trying to get his reality show onto the TV. Fellow former champions Riddick Bowe, Ray Mercer, Chris Byrd (who is also Lamon’s cousin) and (not technically a former world heavyweight champion) James Toney are all to be involved.
Each former boxing star will take an area of the US to find the best amateur heavyweight from there. The young fighters will then battle it out before a lead fighter will emerge from each area to take part in a final tournament in Las Vegas. The winner can then turn pro as the next American heavyweight hope.
“It’s going to be a terrific show” enthuses the 40-year-old former champion. “When have you ever seen five former heavyweight champions together like this? It’s going to be funny and entertaining and whoever is the winner we are all going to help and support him in his pro campaign.”
The reality show currently awaits sponsors for financial backing. The champions are also to be featured on a new brand of cigars with the proceeds to go on boxing equipment for underprivileged gyms. Big-hearted Lamon explains-
“We’re going to be on Payne Mason cigars. They’ll be hand woven cigars with all of our signatures on them. They’re good cigars and going to be like collectors items. All the money will then be used to buy boxing equipment for young fighters.”
The former world heavyweight champion is also set to appear at the Charity boxing event the “Tulsa Celebrity fight night” next April promoted by Chico Sherwood. The event will feature dozens of boxing legends with proceeds to go to Make-a-wish.
As our interview nears its conclusion I ask who does Lamon rate of the current US heavyweight contenders?
“Deontay Wilder is the best around” he answers. “He’s going to be the next great American heavyweight champion. He’s big, got skill, hits hard and fights smart. Mark Breland trains him he’s just got to stay on the road he’s on to fulfil his potential and become champion.”
Last Saturday Wladimir Klitschko knocked out Australian challenger Alex Leapai in five rounds to retain his world heavyweight championships.
After sharing a ring twice with Wladimir Klitschko I ask what are his thoughts on a man who has remained undefeated since his destruction at Brewster’s fists ten years ago. Lamon takes a second before praising his great rival…
“I have a lot of respect for Wladimir. He’s a good fighter and good for boxing. You don’t hear of him getting drunk or going to jail so that’s good for the sport. He doesn’t like taking chances in fights but that’s just his way. He’ll go for the KO once your hurt but otherwise stays behind his jab.”
Was beating “Dr Steelhammer” the proudest moment of his career?
“Yes that and the Golota fight. Beating Wladimir after having worked so hard to do so and winning the title that was a very proud moment. When I knocked out Andrew Golota it was the fastest knockout ever in a world heavyweight title fight (at 52 seconds). That’s something I’m also very proud of.”
Livefight would like to thank Chico Sherwood for setting up the interview.
Big Daddy Brown - I want Chisora, Fury and then Klitschko in that order
Promoter Ricky Hatton talks about the wins produced by his stable of fighters last night at the Ponds Forge Arena in Sheffield.
"I don't think Lucas is the most gifted boxer, but with that kind of power - he's always going to have a chance" said the promoter of his Australian heavyweight banger, Big Daddy Lucas Browne.
35-year old Browne laid out his plans from the ring apron last night - to raid the British heavyweight division as soon as possible before moving on to world honours.
The 6'4 unit has bludgeoned 18 of his 20 victims inside the distance since he turned professional just five years ago. Last night's fifth round stoppage win over Eric Martel Bahoeli marks his fourth visit to these shores and each one resulted in a knockout.
He has dispatched Paul Butlin, Hastings Rasani and Richard Towers in a combined ten rounds between them.
Tyson Fury and Derek Chisora rematch on July 26th at the Manchester MEN arena, and you can bet Lucas Browne will be watching that one over breakfast in Sydney.
Danny Cassius Connor slams “over-pricing” rivals ahead of title fight
By Michael J Jones
Tomorrow night at York Hall, Bethnal Green, Hackbridge light-welterweight Danny Cassius Connor begins his 2014 campaign in a bout for the British Masters International Gold title. While the 27-year-old has endured one of his best training camps ahead of the clash, the 10-8-1 Contender has also had to endure the frustration of waiting to find out his opponent.
The London-based former Southern Area champion alleges that several ranked fighters have refused to face him by pricing themselves out of contention. Speaking exclusively to Livefight a few days ago, Connor pulled no punches when discussing his next ring appearance.
“I was supposed to fighting for the Masters International Gold title but I’m not sure if that will go ahead now” Danny reveals over the phone. “We’ve really struggled to find an opponent after many guys turned it down. People just want too much money; this isn’t a big show on Sky they should be more realistic.”
“For this fight I’ve grafted my b***ocks off yet the money people are after I’d have to shift 200 tickets just to earn anything! It’s a load of bulls**t, I wanted a good title fight yet I might end up fighting some journeyman.”
Despite his understandable frustration of finding an opponent, Connor is full of praise for his camp under head coach Alec Wilkey. After overcoming a bout of food poisoning at the start of his training camp, the former Prizefighter finalist has had top-quality gym work and sparring as he explains.
“Training has gone brilliant, I’ve been sparring Frank Monkhouse, Tommy Williams (who's also on tomorrow's bill), (former Prizefighter opponent) Charlie Rice...it’s been a good bunch of lads to work with. I can’t fault my camp at all, me and Alec have been working on loads of different things and I’ve put 100% in.”
Danny turned pro in February 2010, not scoring a win in his first five contests. He admirably soldiered on and between 2011 and 2013 went 8-1, picking up both the British Masters and Southern Area titles. He holds two victories for the latter belt over fellow contender Chris Evangelou after entering the first bout as the clear underdog.
In July last year Connor entered the light-welterweight Prizefighter and proved the ‘live underdog’ as expected by those in the know, out-scoring Charlie Rice and Ryan Taylor on his march to the final. Although he was to be stopped in two rounds by Welsh star Chris Jenkins after injuring his ear, Connor had proved his patchy record was more than misleading.
The plucky Hackbridge fighter would end 2013 by dropping a close decision to lose his Southern Area title to Tony Owen before being defeated in his ten-round rubber match with old foe Tyler Goodjohn. All fighters react differently to defeats but Danny insists his recent setbacks have been little more than learning experiences.
“The Jenkins loss in Prizefighter I think had a lot to do with the (tournament) format so fair enough, Tony Owen I thought I beat if I’m honest and I learned a lot from that and the Tyler Goodjohn fight.”
“I left things too late in the Owen fight and learned to get things done early in the fight. There were even things during both fights I picked up on. Those defeats haven’t put me back much and this year I know will be a big year for me.”
Are there any particular fights or titles he will be chasing?
“Well I’ve given up calling out (11-0 Carshalton prospect) Ricky Boylan, he’s not interested and has made it clear he isn’t interested so there’s no point talking about him anymore. I think he knows what would happen if we fought. After this fight my plan is to drop down to lightweight and fight for the Southern Area title or any other meaningful belt. I’d fight the winner of Floyd Moore and Adam Dingsdale no problem. What ever fight which will get me back on top.”
Note: Moore is set to defend his Southern Area lightweight title vs Dingsdale in the near future.
Early in his career, Connor would drop a six-round decision to Tyler Goodjohn. Two years later the pair would meet for the British Masters welterweight title with this time Danny prevailing by 96-95. In the two rival’s third bout last October, Goodjohn would take a clear 98-93 decision.
It’s therefore somewhat of a surprise that the two have been sparring together recently…isn’t Danny sick of the sight of him by now I quip?
“You know what I like Tyler and was absolutely gutted when he lost recently to Tyrone Nurse. I’d love to fight (Goodjohn) again, we’re evenly matched and it’s always a good hard fight. Even at lightweight I’d move back up to fight him again.”
“We could box four or five times and be like a domestic Marquez vs Pacquiao! Obviously at a lower level but we could meet a few times more it’d always be a good fight between us.”
Connor signs off with a final battle cry…
“There’s loads of young fighters out there happy to just face journeymen but that’s not me I want tough competitive fights. I’m coming back with a bang this year and chasing titles and I don’t care who I fight I’ll face anyone to get back on track.”
Willie Limmond vs Curtis Woodhouse | Glasgow June 27
Willie Limond will defend his Commonwealth Light Welterweight title against British champion Curtis Woodhouse on a huge night of boxing headlined by Ricky Burns at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow on Friday June 27, live on Sky Sports.
Limond welcomes Woodhouse into his backyard with both titles on the line for the evergreen duo, who claimed their titles in style.
Limond landed the Commonwealth crown in January 2013 with a first round KO triumph over Eddie Doyle in Glasgow and made his first defence in the city in June with a points win over Mitch Prince.
Woodhouse found himself in the last chance saloon in February when he challenged Darren Hamilton for the British belt in Hull, but the former Birmingham City footballer pulled off the biggest win of his career to rip the title from Hamilton on a split-decision.
For Limond, it’s a third tilt at landing the coveted Lord Lonsdale belt having fallen short in clashes with Alex Arthur and Anthony Crolla, and the 35 year old says he’ll be doing everything he can to make it third time lucky.
“I’m thrilled to be getting the opportunity to fight for the British title again,” said Limond. “I have boxed poorly in my first two attempts and lost to the better men in Alex and Anthony, but I didn’t turn up on either occasion and failed to do myself justice. I feel like I have something to prove and I will train like an animal to get into the best shape possible for June 27.
“I don’t know Curtis personally, but I like the way he goes about his business. He’s completely dedicated and he comes to fight, and that means this is going to be a great night for the fans.
“Since all the rumours have started about Curtis and me fighting I have had so many requests for tickets – I think I could sell 1,000 just from my front door. It’s going to be a fantastic atmosphere in Glasgow and we’ll serve up a fight that those watching will love.”
Woodhouse was set to retire after his win over Hamilton, but the 34 year old gets the chance to add the Commonwealth title to his British belt, and believes he will handle the hometown fans in June.
“It’s a real honour to be going to Scotland to put my British title on the line against Willie and challenge for his Commonwealth crown,” said Woodhouse.
“Willie is a fighter who I have a lot of respect for. He’s been there, seen it and done it, and I hope to give the Scottish fans a night they won’t forget. The fans up there always really get behind their own fighters but by the end of the fight I hope to earn their respect.
“This is a proper 50/50 fight. Willie and I deserve respect for putting both our belts on the line; its winner takes all and may the best man win!”
“I'm over the moon to make this fight for our big Glasgow show on June 27,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Many witnessed Curtis' Cinderella story when he captured the British title in Hull and now he has the chance to add the Commonwealth strap to his trophy cabinet but he has a tough ask in Willie Limond's back yard.”
An announcement on the rest of the bill and ticket information will be released soon.
Kid Galahad fights for Commonwealth title May 10th
KID GALAHAD IS OUT TO CLAIM THE COMMONWEALTH
CROWN WITH 'BAZZMATAZZ' IN SHEFFIELD
London (24 April) Kid Galahad will challenge Fred 'The General' Mundraby for the vacant Commonwealth super bantamweight title at Ponds Forge Arena, Sheffield, on May 10th, live on Channel 5.
“Mundraby is a game opponent and he's coming to win, but it doesn’t matter what he does it’s not going to be enough to beat me,” Galahad said.
The 24-year-old undefeated champion, Galahad, claimed the European crown by recording the 16th win of his unblemished record, that includes eight knockouts, with a 12 round masterclass over former Spanish champion Sergio Prado.
The Ingle trained star, Galahad, who is also an unbeaten former British and WBC International champion, will have to be on form when he faces ‘The General’ Mundraby.
The 26-year-old Australian is their national super bantamweight champion and boasts an impressive 15 wins with seven knockouts.
Fighting out of Cairns, Queensland, Mundraby fights in the UK for the first time in his career and is focussed on defeating Galahad and claiming the title.
“It will be an awesome feeling to have another belt to add to my collection,” Mundraby said.
“Also, it's another step closer to a World Title fight - I will make my people proud and honouring God."
However, Galahad, who has won four of his last five contests by knockout, is adamant he isn't overlooking his latest opponent and is unwavering in his preparations.
"I'm not looking past this kid, I know he will be coming with a game-plan and he'll be confident, but when I enter that ring I know what I need to do and I know I can push myself to do whatever it takes to win," Galahad said.
"I want to win this belt for everyone that comes and supports me, it means everything to me and I appreciate all of them.
"This is another belt for my collection and it's another step to where I want to be and that's in the big fights at world level."
The newly crowned European super bantamweight champion, Galahad, is chasing a world title and is out to show why domestic rival and WBA champion Scott Quigg will want “no part” of him.
“I’m going to show exactly why Carl Frampton vacated his European title rather than fight me and why Quigg and his promoter daren’t even mention me in the same sentence, me personally I know they want no part of me."
Also scheduled to fight on the show is undefeated heavyweight sensation Hughie Lewis Fury as he looks to extend his perfect record to 14 straight wins. Joining them will also be a whole host of local talent, including Sheffield's Dave Howe, Callum Hancock, Tom Mcassey and Ryan Hardy, Barnsley's Lee Noble, Rotherham's Karl Bell and Chatteris fighter Jordan Gill.
Unreserved tickets for May 10th are priced at £35 and ringside from £100 and are available to purchase from today by calling 0114 223 3777.