News September 2017

HUGE looking Tyson fury has fans wondering one question


By @Livefight

Is Tyson Fury pregnant?

No we kid, but clearly from the picture - things are going south fast for the unbeaten heavyweight.

Aged just 29, the bald and extremely rotund Tyson Fury has boxing fans wondering if he will ever return back to the sport.

The self-proclaimed 'King of the Gypsies' has often weighed into contests at an eye-watering 19 stone, which if we examine alongside his height of 6'9" is still heavy.

But you'd have to surmise that today he is circa 25-27 stone or 350lb - and has clearly not paid any attention to his diet or fitness since his victory over Wladimir Klitschko, which will already be two years passed this November.

Carrying such mass will do untold damage to his joints and back, with who knows what impact it will have when trying to trim back down.

But the reason for his enforced absence from the sport still lays with the UK Anti-Doping, who are prolonging the outcome of their investigation into the former heavyweight champion's alleged use of performance enhancing drugs.

BBBofC general secretary Robert Smith confirmed that no verdict has been reached in the "complex case" and admits a final ruling could take a "long time".

"All these legal cases take time and obviously it's a matter of now getting all the parties together, and obviously they are dealing with legal representatives, barristers etc and it's difficult to get dates. It's quite common." he concluded.

With his boxing career in a legal stalemate, Fury has clearly fell fowl to the mental demons that have dogged for him for a while. The combination of legal representatives draining his only true payday and not knowing his future, is clearly leading him down a road to reckless abandonment.

His fans can only hope he gets his career (and diet) on the road sooner rather than later.

Parker keeps title but loses momentum


By @John_Evans79

There is an common adage in boxing that to be certain of victory, a challenger needs to rip the title away from a champion. It’s an adage I have never understood, preferring to believe that as soon as the first bell rings, any title becomes vacant. Whoever wins the fight also takes home the belt.

For nine rounds of last night’s fight between Joseph Parker and Hughie Fury, a portion of the richest prize in sport hung tantalisingly within the grasp of both men but neither was willing to reach out and grab it. Of all the divisions in boxing, the heavyweight class is where the rewards on offer far outweigh the risks required.

With Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder set to defend their respective titles before the end of 2017 and seemingly on a collision course, Parker and Fury found themselves fighting in the perfect conditions. The duo are a way away from competing with the division’s elite, but an impressive showing last night would have provided some much needed momentum to a run towards an eventual unification clash with the winner. An impressive victory would have been an important staging post in either fighters development.

As it was, the evening must ultimately be seen as a wasted opportunity for both.

Fury (20-1, 10 KO’s) will wake up this morning feeling like the victim of an injustice and it would be easy to understand his frustration. He left the ring with barely a mark on him and spent most of the fight with Parker at arms length. The WBO heavyweight title was so close that he could almost touch it but instead Fury, 23, touched Parker with the jab and touched Parker with the right hand.

Allowing the plodding Parker to creep an inch or two further into range before unloading his shots and spinning or sliding away would have involved adding an extra element of risk to the foundations of a solid gameplan, but it would have also added weight to his punches and opened up more opportunities to land the right uppercut, which ultimately proved to be Fury’s most dangerous weapon. Instead, Fury chose to stay safe. Time and again, some impressive footwork put Fury in perfect position to make Parker pay for some woefully inaccurate potshots but he consistently resisted the temptation and reverted back to range and his jab.

Parker (24-0, 18 KO’s) can count himself fortunate to be returning to New Zealand with his heavyweight title. For the most part he was made to look terribly slow and predictable. His reticence in committing himself to any sustained pressure was puzzling over the first third of the fight and infuriating as the contest progressed. To the 25 year old’s credit, once the realisation dawned on him that the judges scorecards posed a far more serious threat to him than Fury’s punches, he upped his workrate and did just about enough over the final third of the fight to earn a two point victory on my card. I scored the fight 115-113 in Parker’s favour but was left with the impression that Fury could have coasted to victory had he been just a fraction more aggressive.

Rocky Young got the scoring about right with his 114-114 but he was over ruled by Terry O’Connor and John Madfis, who each scored the fight 118-110 for Parker. Following last weekend’s farcical scorecards in Las Vegas, the energy to attempt to fathom how professional judges can return such ridiculous scorecards has evaporated.

Parker remains undefeated and clings on to his WBO heavyweight belt despite his third consecutive unconvincing display. Fury must return with a little more menace in his movement.

Sam Sexton vows to crush Cornish in memory of late mother


By Michael J Jones

NORWICH HEAVYWEIGHT Sam Sexton finds himself in the fistic last-chance saloon on October 6th. The long-time heavyweight contender will face rangy Scot Gary Cornish in Edinburgh with the vacant British title up for grabs and Sexton knows it’s a case of “now or never” to fulfil his dream of becoming the domestic ruler.

Sexton, now 33-years-old and 23-3 (9), turned pro twelve years ago and can boast of being a former Prizefighter, Southern Area and Commonwealth champion but the British belt has always eluded him. After failed attempts in 2010 and 2012 (to Dereck Chisora and David Price respectively), Sexton is aiming to make it a case of 'third time lucky' as he faces “The Highlander” on away turf.

Sexton’s biggest moment of glory came eight years ago when, as a hefty underdog, he upset Irishman Martin Rogan to become Commonwealth champion. Rogan had entered the bout off a superb winning run which included wins over Audley Harrison and Matt Skelton (the latter to become an unlikely Commonwealth champion), but proved no match for the more skilful and quicker Sexton though the ending was controversial.

Sexton appeared ahead with Rogan’s eye swollen shut come the eighth when the Irishman had his best spell of the fight; backing Sexton up and hurting him with a cluster of heavy shots. Just moments later, Sexton was punching back when the fight was stopped on account of “Rogie’s” eye damage.

To show it was no fluke, Sexton then travelled back to Belfast to stop Rogan again six months later.

Nothing in boxing is straight forward though and the Norfolk puncher would lose his Commonwealth belt next time out against old foe “Del Boy” Chisora. The Price bout would follow two years later as Sexton was left in the heavyweight wilderness.

Since the Price contest five years ago, Sexton has won all eight fights with three by way of knock-out. He impressed last time out with an early dismissal of tough Welshman Hari Miles. Although not known primarily as a big puncher, Sexton landed a hard right-hand early in the second to conclude matters surprisingly quickly.

Fourteen months later and Sexton will be giving away home advantage, age, height and reach to Cornish but clearly has the edge in experience. The self-styled “Highlander” brings a fine 24-1 (12) record to the table but closer inspection reveals, aside from Joshua, the opposition has been largely unexceptional.

“Training has gone very good and I’m going to be bigger and stronger for this fight and heavier than I’ve been” Sexton tells Livefight last week. “I’ve changed my regime around to add muscle and there’s no injury issues this time (the fight was postponed from a few months ago due to a Sexton hand injury).”

“I’ve not really seen much of Cornish if I’m honest” Sam says of his October 6th co-challenger. His fight with Anthony Joshua was obviously too short-lived to judge him on. He’s a tall and rangy lad and I know he’ll be confident but he’s not fought the guys I have and I’m very confident.”

“It’s in Edinburgh in his backyard but I don’t see that as added pressure on me, if anything, there’s more pressure on him to beat me with his own fans watching so it’s no advantage or disadvantage either way. I’m not going in hell bent on stopping him (so it doesn’t go to the cards), I don’t see it like that but I believe I will beat Gary Cornish comfortably and if it does go the full route I’ll be well in front.”

“I’ve had a frustrating career at times and it hasn’t gone smoothly but I’m fully focussed on this fight and becoming British title and my view is, if I can’t beat Gary Cornish, I’m finished and will walk away.”

The 6’2” Sexton also has some heart-breaking insight into what has affected much of his twelve-year boxing career…

“My mum Mandy sadly passed away last year. She was ill a long time with a brain aneurysm. She was diagnosed when I was 19; even before I turned pro. When her health ever dipped we had to rally around her and one of those times was ahead of the rematch with Dereck Chisora.”

Chisora held an early-career stoppage over Sexton and the two men would rematch some two years later with “Del Boy” defending his British title while attempting to claim the Norwich man’s Commonwealth strap.

“Before the Chisora rematch I’d not boxed for a while and mum had been in hospital for six months. All through the build-up for that fight it was touch and go with mum so I was there every day. I spoke to the hospital staff to ask if I could use the hospital gym to train and they agreed.”

“I ended up doing most of my training in that gym and sleeping most nights in my car.”

Unsurprisingly, the emotionally strained and under-conditioned Sexton appeared lethargic for much of the bout before being stopped in the ninth.

“I said to my trainer Graham Everett, I wasn’t right for the fight. He put it to the board of control and they said if I pulled out I’d be stripped of my Commonwealth belt. It sounds silly now and, looking back, I should have just vacated.”

“I did rock him though, (Chisora) told me afterwards when I caught him I could have just blew on him and he’d have gone over but I couldn’t see it. Everyone could see he was ‘gone’ but me!”

Back to present day and during my research I can’t help noticing numerous negative comments from some of Sexton’s domestic heavyweight rivals. The chief tormentor appears to be Brixton’s Dillian Whyte who has posted several youtube videos taunting his 33 year old rival.

“I’ve been looking for a big fight for a while now while I’ve just been keeping busy fighting on my own shows. I called a few people out but I really don’t think Dillian Whyte ever wanted to fight me. There was one time I pulled out of a local show with a hand injury and within days I’d been offered the Whyte fight.”

“It was blatantly obvious I wouldn’t take it and (Whyte’s team) only offered it then to look good when I turned it down. It’s the usual shit that goes on in boxing. He has done everything to avoid fighting me and then he started pushing for Dave Allen to fight me. I understand it (Whyte) sees me as a low-reward risk simple as.”

“When I took the Martin Rogan fight years ago people thought I was crazy but even before it was made I said to Graham (Everett) I fancied the fight and knew I could beat him. I have always felt exactly the same about Dillian Whyte.”

“I spent time with him in the Klitschko camp years ago, I saw him spar and got a feel for what he could do and what things he didn’t like. I’d be very confident if it was ever made put it that way.”

Final word on the Gary Cornish fight?

“There’s been many setbacks in my career but this is the best I’ve felt physically and mentally for a long time. There’s no distractions this time and I’m looking forward to the fight. I’ve got my head stuck in this time and I’m going to become British champion for mum.”

Sam Sexton vs Gary Cornish goes ahead at the Meadowbank Sports Centre, Edinburgh on Friday October 6th. Chief support with be the exciting British cruiserweight clash which pits newly-crowned champion Matty Askin making his first defence against tough Scot Stephen “Monster” Simmons. The show will be screening live and exclusive on Boxnation.

Sam Sexton would like to thank his team, his supporters and also his sponsors; KAJA Steel services Ltd, B & F Gas services Anglia, Branks Gym, Aspire Property services, Nicholls Meat of Great Yarmouth and

Kelly Pavlik breaks down GGG vs Canelo, talks tactics and how he would have fared against both


By Michael J Jones

NEXT SATURDAY sees the biggest fight in the middleweight division for years as long-time ruler Gennedy Golovkin faces Mexican star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for the undisputed championship of the world. The fascinating contest takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and many are predicting not only a good fight but a sure-fire slugfest between two guys who like to do damage.

One keen observer for the September 16 bout will be former middleweight king Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik. The now-retired 35-year-old gave his thoughts to Livefight this week and, unsurprisingly, is just as excited as everyone else at the prospect of two heavy-hitting 160lb machines, with a combined record of 86-1-1 (67), colliding in what should be artistic violence of the highest level.

Both men are known to detest chess-match-type fights and prefer to meet an opponent head on where they can unload their full arsenal often with devastating effect. With the bookies, the 35 year old Golovkin is the slight favourite but the majority of boxing folk and fans appear to be siding with the eight-years-younger “Canelo” after “Triple G’s” last fight six months ago.

On that night, against then-WBA champion Daniel Jacobs, Golovkin appeared sluggish for much of the fight before posting a close unanimous decision. Golovkin did score a flash knock-down to floor the Brooklyn puncher but for large parts couldn’t pin down the surprisingly mobile “Miracle Man”.

Although he retained his belts unanimously, many point to the fight as a suggestion of Golovkin’s imminent decline.

“I gave the fight to Golovkin but chiefly because of the knock-down” Kelly Pavlik tells Livefight from his home in Ohio. “Without that it could have easily been a draw and, really, if they had given the fight to Jacobs I wouldn’t have been mad as it was a close fight.”

“I think the reason for (Jacobs’ good performance) was that the ‘fight or flight’ kicked in and his nerves actually helped him a lot. He fought scared for most of the fight and I feel in the later rounds he could see Golovkin was tiring and the extra weight he put on after the weigh-in helped him also.”

“People were talking afterwards about Golovkin slowing and I did see some things which backed that theory up. He’s 35 now and, up until recently in boxing, that was an age where a fighter is considered past his prime. Golovkin isn’t a spring chicken and even a baseball player is considered past his best at that age.”

“In ‘GGG’s’ last two fights he’s looked muscle weary even early in the fight. You can see him shaking his arms out repeatedly. Also, he’s looked very tired after only four or five rounds and at times had no snap on his punches which is unusual for a fighter at his level and could be a sign that age is catching up with him.”

How does the former champion rate “Canelo” Alvarez who has for many years split opinion with fight fans, some call him one of the best of his era while others question many of his early opponent’s credentials and the fact that Floyd Mayweather handled him comfortably four years ago.

“I go on boxing forums and I see people are saying things like ‘Canelo gets hit too much’ and ‘Alvarez has no defence’ and then they tell me I don’t know about boxing (laughs). But all I see is that ‘Canelo’ is a hell of a fighter…a solid all-round great fighter. People talk about Golovkin being the master tactician but, if anything, I feel Alvarez has the edge in that department.”

Livefight asks “The Ghost” what could develop tactically between the two feared combatants come Saturday night?

“In boxing anything can happen so I don’t want to out-and-out pick a winner. I’m looking forward to the fight as everyone else is but in fights like this game-plans can go quickly out of the window once the punches start flowing.”

“Golovkin isn’t flashy, slick or very fast but is very good at getting himself into position and making the right moves at the right time. Having said that I’ve never seen him against anyone who is very fast like Alvarez is.”

“There’s a couple of things which could play a big factor on the night” continues Kelly. “I think if ‘Canelo’ can get beyond the fourth or fifth round, his chances of winning improve significantly. The other thing is the age difference (Alvarez the eight-years-younger man at 27). Alvarez has had more fights but many of his early ones were not ‘wear-and-tear’ type of fights not like his recent ones.”

“Golovkin being a little past his best may play a factor but he’s got that power which can alter a course of a fight at any stage. Canelo could come out trying to work to a plan and get caught, it may not knock him out but it might change the way he boxes. Golovkin has the power to change things up at any point of the contest.”

Golovkin has been a feared middleweight champion for some seven years. In that time few have been able to be even vaguely competitive against the Kazak puncher. His record stands at 37-0 (33) and Jacobs was the first man to ever navigate twelve rounds with “GGG”. Jacobs was also the first man to take Golovkin the distance for nine years.

How would have a peak Kelly Pavlik fared against Gennedy Golovkin prime-for-prime?

“Man that’s a question I get asked a lot” chuckles Pavlik. “Personally, it would have been a fight I would have liked and reminds me of when I was meant to fight Arthur Abraham. The fight never happened as they would only make it in Germany when I was the linear, and unified champion (Abraham was the IBF counter-part to Pavlik’s WBC and WBO straps).”

“People who know boxing know I would have been a tough fight for Golovkin. Firstly, there’s my size (at 6’3”), and the fact I always had a high punch output; even later in fights. Also the power I had, if Golovkin would have slowed against me late on and I was throwing numerous power punches well….”

“Many forget but Edison Miranda was a feared puncher when I boxed him and probably a harder single-shot puncher than Golovkin. Listen, all-round fighter it’s Golovkin, but pure power Miranda hit harder. Against Miranda, I took his punches, backed him up and knocked him out in seven rounds so I stopped him pretty early.”

“I would have given ‘GGG’ fits and problems and definitely something different to anybody he has faced in his career.”

Same question but for a fantasy Pavlik-Alvarez bout?

“People will point to the fact that I was defeated by Sergio Martinez that I was beaten by a smaller man but that fight is misleading. There’s no reason for me to use excuses now I’m retired for good but making 160 for that fight was the deciding thing.
I’ve been around boxing a long time, in my own camps and other people’s camps and I’ve never seen a struggle like I had to make weight for that fight.”

“If some of my team would have been filmed doing what they were doing before that fight they may have been arrested (laughs). I was ahead in the fight until the ninth and then I hit a wall and that was that, so for me, the only reason I lost to Martinez is that the weight took a lot out of me.”

“Also, let’s be fair, Martinez is a completely different fighter to Alvarez in that he’s a mover and a southpaw so you can’t really compare the two anyway.”

“Alvarez I don’t think would have hit me with anything I hadn’t seen before and I’d have been a lot bigger than him also (Pavlik would have towered over the 5’9” Alvarez at 6’3). Because ‘Canelo’ doesn’t move like Martinez I don’t think I would have had to go looking for him. It would have been a fun fight for the fans while it lasted but I think I would have gotten to Alvarez in four or five rounds.”

Final thoughts on the big fight?

“I’m really looking forward to it and, like I said, anything could happen on the night. I’m not going to pick a winner right now but if I had to I’d lean towards ‘Canelo’.”

Since retiring in 2012 with a superb 40-2 (34) record and the distinction of being the undisputed middleweight champion between 2007 and 2010, Pavlik has kept his hand in the business helping out the young fighters in Ohio. He has plans to open his own gym one day but is currently busy with several interests including hosting a radio show.

“My show is called ‘The Punchline with Kelly Pavlik and James Dominguez’ it airs every week on Tuesday and is available on Youtube and Itunes. We also broadcast on Facebook Live every Tuesday 6pm ET. It’s a great show we talk about boxing and other things and have great guests.”

“We’ve been having fun with it while finding our feet and it just keeps getting better and better.”

“I do want to open my own gym but I don’t want to rush the process and right now I’m too busy to give it my full attention. Many guys make the mistake that you can just throw a gym together and I don’t want to do that. When I open my gym it will be the real deal.”

Many thanks to Kelly Pavlik and James Dominguez for this interview.

To watch the latest episode of ‘The Punchline’ with hosts Kelly Pavlik and James Dominguez click on the link below.

The ‘best fight in boxing’ takes place Saturday, Sept. 16 when two-division world champion and current lineal middleweight world champ Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) squares off against WBC/WBA/IBF/IBO middleweight world champion Gennady "GGG" Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs). The battle for middleweight supremacy happens live on HBO Pay-Per-View at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Matty Askin positive he’ll Mangle The Monster “No Way he’s going the distance”


By Michael J Jones

LAST MAY IN Cardiff it came as no huge surprise that Blackpool’s Matty Askin stopped Craig Kennedy in six to be crowned British cruiserweight champion. What took many off-guard was the one-sided nature of the bout. While many saw the fight as a pick-em’ affair beforehand, Askin had other ideas, flooring Kennedy early, rocking him several times before concluding the one-sided beat-down in the sixth.

Welshman Kennedy was 16-0 coming in and also had home advantage but was destroyed in a clinical display which underlines the victor’s claims of being the number one cruiserweight in the UK.

“People don’t see what goes on behind the scenes and the work that gets put in” Matty Askin tells Livefight a few days ago. “Look at the last two years at my results; I’ve not just been winning fights I’ve been beating them hands down. My confidence is high with my improvement and it’s time people started realising there’s a gulf in class between me and Tony Bellew compared to the others.”

“I deserve more credit than I’ve been getting.”

Askin’s last defeat was a close decision to Ovill McKenzie back in 2015, since then he has gone unbeaten in six (one technical draw) with four inside schedule. Under the tutelage of Mike and Dave Jennings, Askin’s old bad habits have been largely ironed out and he’s never looked as good as reiterated in his last contest.

Did the heavy-handed 28 year old expect to be so dominant against Kennedy?

“To be honest, he had been busier when we had sparred and that wasn’t the case in our fight. It’s the power that does it, if I catch anyone clean with my right-hand it takes all of their confidence away. They ship one and you can almost see them thinking ‘what the hell was that?’ I think my fight with Kennedy could have been a tough night but all of his confidence drained away when he felt my power.”

Next up for the domestic ruler is a trip up to Scotland on October 6th to take on Stephen “Monster” Simmons in Edinburgh. It is a decent test for the 6’4” champion’s first defence. Simmons is 17-2, comes to fight and has only been beaten by Jon-Lewis Dickinson and Germany’s Noel Gevor.

“Simmons is a busy fighter, he’ll try to plod forward and drag me into his kind of fight” reasons “The Assassin” of his October 6th challenger. “He looked small when we first met but I don’t expect him to be that small come the fight. His style will give me something to think about but, with him taking a lot of punches and my power I think there’s only one outcome.”

“I’m still improving and, honestly, I can do things now I couldn’t when I was younger. I’m busier now, faster and don’t rush my shots. There’s still things to work on and improve on which I do day in, day out and that’s down to me.”

If he prevails against Simmons, Askin will need only two more defences of the British title to make the belt his outright. Is that his intention for the immediate future?

“I don’t know yet….listen it’s a lovely belt and I’d like to own it to keep but I’ve also got bills to pay and if I get offered silly money for another belt I’ll take that offer. My priority is providing for my family, I’m in love with the game again now and it’s time to get serious.”

“I’ve had offers for fights but always on short notice. At this stage of my career, I don’t just want to feature in big fights I want to win them and there’s no way I’m taking on these guys on three weeks’ notice.”

“My view is, if I keep winning they’ll eventually make me an offer where I get fair notice and can win the title that is on the line.”

Is there any concern regarding travelling to Simmons’ backyard for his British title defence next month?*

“No because there’s no way this is going the distance I’m knocking him spark out.”

*I asked the same question to Matty before the Kennedy fight in Cardiff and it drew a similar response.

“If you look at Simmons’ fight with Jon-Lewis Dickinson (who also holds an early career win over Matty), Dickinson wasn’t doing anything special; he just let (Simmons) come to him and kept throwing a simple one-two. To me, Simmons is made for me, as he rushes in I’ll be catching him on the way.”

“Dickinson out-boxed him and even Wadi Camacho did for long spells until (Simmons stopped him). The key is not to let him fight his fight.”

Final word from the champ….

“Training has gone really well and I couldn’t have asked for better and I’m ready to go. I hope everyone turns out to see the fight because I’m knocking out Simmons and then staying the weekend up in Edinburgh and we’ll all have a cracking weekend.”

Matty Askin would like to thank his team, all of his supporters and also his sponsors; Ma Kellys Blackpool, The Gentlemans Lounge, Stephen Pye Tree Services, Churchside FP and A&P Autos, Blackpool.

Askin’s brutal display last time

Joe Wood eager to make breakthrough in Liverpool


Joe Wood honed his skills in the working men’s clubs and sports centres of amateur boxing and satisfied his urge to fight in the nightclubs of the unlicensed circuit. On September 16th, the 25 year old super welterweight will leave his changing room and walk out into Liverpool’s cavernous Echo Arena.

Don’t expect Wood to get carried away by the occasion, however. The ‘Rydal Psycho’ is simply concentrating on treating the fans who have bought tickets for the World Boxing Super Series quarter final between Callum Smith and Erik Skogland to his own unique mix of aggressive counterpunching.

“I’m made up about getting on this show. Absolutely made up,” Wood (6-1, 3 KO’s) said, “I haven’t really thought about the occasion to be honest. I’ll just relax the best I can and see what happens when I come to it. I find that the more you think about something the bigger situation it becomes. It’s easier to take each day as it comes, get the training right and make sure that I’m confident in my preparation.

“I’m always exciting. I’m always in good fights. I’m a box fighter and I like to throw in fours and fives and keep a high workrate. I like to take the centre of the ring and be authoritative. I like to be the boss.

“I could always punch a bit and I was always strong. I’d end up smothering my work, especially in the amateurs where it was all fast paced. Once I settled down and worked on my counters and coming over the top I started hurting people. Now I’m just tweaking things. What’s that Bruce Lee term? Be like water. You have to be able to adapt to your opponent.”

Wood may like to be the aggressor but he is also a thinking fighter. The ability to think through a problem and come up with a solution isn’t limited to combat scenarios. Wood also holds a Masters degree in Exercise Physiology.

“I use the exercise physiology in my own training and also do personal training. I had an internship with Wigan Warriors under 19s so I spent a year there. I eventually got some sponsorship for my boxing and the next thing I know I’m doing something that I have to go to school for,” he laughed.

The qualifications will come in handy when Wood has to plan for a life away from boxing but at the moment he is fully focused on accomplishing his goals in the ring. The competitive fire he took into his amateur and unlicensed bouts has been stoked by the success of some old rivals.

“I just want to see how far I can go with the boxing. You’re only young once and I want to give it a bash. Especially when you’re sat there watching kids you used to box in the amateurs winning all sorts and you think to yourself, ‘I could have done that.’

“I don’t wanna be a ‘Coulda’. I see kids who were on the same club shows as me and getting to the same level of the ABA’s as I did winning allsorts [as professionals]. Kids you’d see in the ABA’s every year and think they weren’t great but then never get matched up with them.

“That’s what boxing is about. It’s a mental game. I just try and relax and take things as they come. I’ve usually seen my opponent but I never take that for granted. Sometimes people can have an awkward timing on their shots or they have a jab that looks lazy on the TV but suddenly it’s landing on you.

“I just want a title out of boxing. Any form of title. I just want to see how far I can get. I’ll aim for the area title and if I can get that, I’ll look for the British. If I can get that I’ll look at the European title. If I can get that I’ll look at Commonwealth and world honours. I try not to sit here and think that I’m going to be a world champion. Everybody does that.”

Wood will be sharing the biggest stage of his career with promotional stablemate Zach Parker (12-0, 9 KO’s). The unbeaten super middleweight from Derbyshire takes on the well respected and highly ranked Luke Blackledge and Wood is confident that Marsh has chosen the perfect time and opponent for Parker to announce himself on the domestic scene.

“I think Zach can win that fight. I’ve not seen much of Blackledge but I know he’s only been beaten by top kids. Zach is talented. He’s a bit of a banger and he switches a bit and he’s slick. If he wins this he’s right up there. This is his gatekeeper fight.

“Neil’s brilliant at what he does, He’s a top manager. I always say to him that the manager should manager, the trainers should coach and the boxer should box. I like to stay as far away from the business side of the sport as possible. It’s not my job to be calling people out or saying I wanna fight somebody on Twitter. I hate Twitter! I’d love a step up and every boxer dreams of winning a Gatti-Ward type fight but I know Neil is a very good manager so I just let him get on with my career.”

Joe Wood fights on the Sauerland Event promoted World Boxing Super Series card featuring Callum Smith v Erik Skogland at Liverpool’s Echo Arena on September 16th. The show will be televised on ITV 4 and will feature an exciting super middleweight clash between Derbyshire’s Zach Parker and Darwen’s Luke Blackledge. Blackpool’s Adam Little will also appear. Tickets are on sale now priced £35, £40, £60, £80, £100, £150, £200 and £350 (VIP) via Liverpool Echo Arena or from Joe on 07815565864.

Under the radar danger Zach Parker ready for Blackledge


Under the radar danger Zach Parker is primed to show the boxing public just what they have been missing . Unbeaten Parker (12-0, 9 KO’s) fights the tough and talented Luke Blackledge (23-4-2, 8 KO’s) on the undercard of the World Boxing Super Series showdown between Callum Smith and Erik Skogland in Liverpool on September 16th and is prepared to announce himself on the super middleweight scene.

“My style is that of a boxer-puncher. I can box, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty stuff, I can get in there and punch as well,” 23 year old Parker said. “Hopefully there will be fireworks and a knockout on September 16th.

“I think it’ll help a little bit that I’ve been off the radar so far. Obviously, I want all the exposure I can get but seeing as nobody has really seen me yet, they have no idea of what to expect so it could well work to my advantage.

“Luke might have underestimated me. I think he’s tried to look into me a little bit but we’ll just have to see how it goes on the night. I already have my tactics ready for the night and I know what I want to try and do so hopefully it all goes well.”

Parker’s name may not yet be familiar to boxing fans but he has been causing ripples on the continent. Recent high profile sparring trips to Europe have boosted his self confidence and ensured that some of the divisions top men are fully aware of his capabilities.

“I went across to spar Erik Skogland recently. It was good sparring to be fair. He’s getting ready for the fight with Callum Smith and I feel like I’m up in that category already after the sparring to be honest. I also went over to Germany to spar the WBA world super middleweight champion Tyrone Zeuge. I was meant to do six rounds with him and then two more eight round sessions. I did six and then they said they didn’t want to do any more. I think Zeuge is just a little bit too small for the weight to be honest.

“I reckon Callum will beat Skogland but it’ll be a hard fight for him. I think it’ll be hard fight for a couple of rounds but then maybe Callum will wear him down.”

Before Parker can think about taking on the likes of Skogland and Zeuge for real, he must beat Blackledge. To do that, he will have to overcome the toughest opponent of his career and deal with his first real taste of a big fight atmosphere. He will be sharing the occasion with his stablemates Adam Little and Joe Wood but Parker is focused purely on his own success.

“I’ve boxed in the Echo Arena once before as an amateur. I boxed Joshua Buatsi in the quarter finals of the ABA’s so I roughly know what it’s like. Obviously, this is a big occasion but big occasions don’t really phase me. I’m in there to do one thing and that’s to do the business on the other lad.

“I’m thinking about Luke Blackledge and that’s it. Nothing else comes into my mind. It’s purely two men in one ring. Nobody can jump in the ring for either of us. Hopefully it’s a good fight.”

“It’s good exposure for us all. I need to say thanks to Team Sauerland and ITV for putting me on the show. Thanks to my manager Neil Marsh and trainer Errol Johnson too.

“I can’t wait to get in there on September 16th and put on a good show for everybody.”

Zach Parker and Luke Blackledge fight on the Sauerland Event promoted World Boxing Super Series card featuring Callum Smith v Erik Skogland at Liverpool’s Echo Arena on September 16th. The show will be televised on ITV 4 and Liverpool’s Joe Wood and Blackpool’s Adam Little will also appear. Tickets are on sale now priced £35, £40, £60, £80, £100, £150, £200 and £350 (VIP) via Liverpool Echo Arena or from Zach on 07739418967.

Little ready to grasp golden opportunity


Adam Little is ready to grasp a golden opportunity. The 26 year old Kirkham resident takes on the unbeaten Darren Surtees (7-0, 5 KO’s) on the undercard of the World Boxing Super Series quarter final fight between Callum Smith and Erik Skogland and Little is relishing the opportunity to entertain the watching millions.

“I think it’s going to be a good entertaining fight. Judging by Surtees’ record he can certainly punch a bit and he’s got an entertaining style himself,” Little (17-2, 5 KO’s) said. “He comes forward throwing plenty of punches and certainly looks to make a fight. I’m not shy either so I’ll be getting in there to do exactly the same.

“I’m maybe two or three levels above the guys that he has been fighting. He’s taken a plunge which is fair enough. I’ve said this to people before. There isn’t enough of that in boxing. People are into protecting their records and staying unbeaten. It’s a very hard fight for him. I know what they are looking for and expecting to happen and I also know it isn’t going to happen.

“I’ve switched trainers from Alan Levene and I’m now working with the Jennings brothers [Michael and Dave in Chorley] and it’s going well so far.”

Little has long been touted as a fighter with real title potential but his career reached a tipping point following a decision defeat to Sunderland’s Glenn Foot last December. A disappointing performance forced him to face some uncomfortable questions but rather than shy away from them, Little decided to face them and find some answers.

“I thought my performance against Foot was terrible. I won’t lie, I watched the fight back and although it was close I thought I lost. I had to do some serious thinking and it took me a long time to decide what I wanted to do wth my career. I decided that I really want it and that boxing is a passion for me.

“I want to be successful. I don’t know what level that success will come at but I do know that my talent and the way people talk about me isn’t showing in my performances. To me, that isn’t success. When I get it right - which I believe I will in the next fight - and when I’m 100% there will be a big shock. I can beat anybody in this country at light welterweight. I’ve just got to get it right.”

Little’s clash with Surtees marks his return to big time boxing. It is six years since he last fought on an arena show but as much as he is looking forward to appearing on such a grand stage, he is more concerned with doing himself justice and producing the level of performance which will ensure he remains a major player on the domestic scene.

“Being part of the Callum Smith - Erik Skogland undercard is great. It’s a great platform for me to fight on. Hopefully the fight will be televised because it’s a fifty-fifty fight in theory. He’s unbeaten and has a big knockout percentage. He’s up for it from the statements he’s been making and he’s from Glenn Foot’s camp himself. That’s good. I’m happy about that. I know precisely what tactics he’s going to come in with and I know what they're anticipating from me. I get it. I look at that Glenn Foot fight and I could see how to beat me. It’s going to be different though. I’m looking forward to seeing the shock and panic on their faces. I think it’s going to be fun.”

Little gets to share the spotlight with his stablemate Zach Parker who takes on the experienced Luke Blackledge. Little sees an intriguing fight in prospect.

“Luke’s got the experience and he’s fought the higher calibre of fighter but Zach is the young fighter coming through. I think it’s going to be an interesting fight. I’m looking forward to it.”

Adam Little and Darren Surtees fight on the Sauerland Event promoted World Boxing Super Series card featuring Callum Smith v Erik Skogland at Liverpool’s Echo Arena on September 16th. The show will be televised on ITV 4 and will feature an exciting super middleweight clash between Derbyshire’s Zach Parker and Darwen’s Luke Blackledge. Liverpool’s Joe Wood will also appear. Tickets are on sale now priced £35, £40, £60, £80, £100, £150, £200 and £350 (VIP) via Liverpool Echo Arena or from Adam on 07585771305.

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