News October 2017

Wood, Colquhoun, and Grieve headline Neil Marsh show in Wigan


Professional boxing returns to Wigan on Saturday December 2, with a Neil Marsh dinner show at the DW Stadium that will feature a host of North West-based fighters.

Top of the bill sees popular Liverpool super-welterweight Joe Wood continuing his ring education in his first six rounder whilst ‘Big’ John Gillies, the fast rising scouse cruiser, is also in action – this time over four. Blackburn super-welter, Kurt Grieve, will also feature.

Two pro debutants will also appear; Southport’s Jake Barton, and Warrington’s former amateur star Courtney Chadwick.

The show also sees the return of Liverpool’s exciting former Central Area welterweight challenger, Andy ‘Chico’ Colquhoun.

The former Sefton ABC fighter was last out in March when, in a bloody battle for the belt formerly held by the likes of fellow scousers Tony Brown, Joey Frost and Joey Singleton, he drew over 10 with city rival Adam Ismail.

Looking ahead to the bill, promoter Marsh said: “I am delighted to be back at the DW following the terrific, and well-supported, show we held here in December last year. That was a great night and this one is developing into a real cracker too, with a mix of local talent and emerging prospects in action. Joe Wood is very popular and always gives his all, ‘Big’ John Gillies is rapidly rising through the rankings and is always value for money whilst Andy is never in a dull fight is he?”

On the rest of the card, Marsh is equally effusive. “We’ve got great hopes for Kurt, Jack and Courtney who was a top amateur with Phoenix Fire ABC in Warrington before turning over.”

“A couple of these lads will be fighting for titles in 2018,” added Marsh, “if not on the night itself as we are working towards having a possible title on the show, so it will be good to see their continuing development ahead of what we hope will be a busy and successful year ahead.”

Tickets, priced at £40, £70 with a three course meal and £100 VIP, are available from the boxers via twitter.

Ricky Hatton Our Fight Part 2 Giuseppe Lauri


By Michael J Jones

LIVEFIGHT CONTINUES our series about the men who fought Ricky Hatton. This time we spoke to Italian Giuseppe “The End” Lauri who fought “The Hitman” on September 23rd 2000 at York Hall. On the line was the WBO and WBA InterContinental titles though, more importantly, it was another step up for the streaking Hatton who brought a perfect 20-0 (16) record to the ring that night.

Lauri, three years older than the Manchester prospect at 24, also had a good record of 19-1 (14) and had lost his only bout via split-decision. Both fighters were stocky types at 5’7” but little was known about the Hungarian-based Italian when he made the trip over to London to take on the future two-weight world champion.

The Fight

The two men started the fight fast with Hatton zeroing in on the ribs of Lauri and the Italian boxing on the move. Ricky was guilty of being over-eager in the first few rounds and Lauri had plenty of success with booming right-hands and some neat and quick combination punches.

“I honestly had no idea who Ricky Hatton was before the fight” Giuseppe, now 41-years-old, tells Livefight. “I got the call to box him a month-and-a half in advance and I was very motivated by the news. I first met him on the day of the weigh in (Lauri requiring a return trip to the scales to make weight) but the thing which I wish I’d have known was his taste of punching the body.”

“If I’d have realised, I would have prepared differently and been more attentive to his shots (downstairs).”

By the third it was apparent that Lauri was no slouch, and also, he had not come to lose. As Hatton would wade in looking to over-power the shaven-headed Lauri, the quicker Italian would power in a lead-right and follow up with sharp jabs. The lead hand of the visitor drew blood from the nose of the favourite who seemed to feel some of the counters coming his way.

“Hatton was very good and strong physically, but technically, he was not superior to me and I felt I was ahead on points and also that I hurt him on a few occasions. The referee was too hasty to stop the fight when he did.”

The Manchester bruiser started the fifth fast, but the Italian continued to match fire with fire. Things changed dramatically one minute into the deciding round. With Lauri’s punch out-put suddenly decreasing he tried to catch a breather with his back on the ropes but Ricky broke free to pound his tiring opponent relentlessly.

Three big left hooks forced Giuseppe to reel as referee Bartolome Torralba waved the fight off at 1:56 of the round.

“The referee was wrong when he halted the fight” argues Lauri seventeen years later. “I was still standing and in the lead and could have continued but it was still a wonderful experience. It was a pleasure to fight against a champion like Ricky Hatton and after the fight we had a few beers together.”

A while after facing Hatton, Lauri would also cross swords with “The Hitman’s nemesis Junior Witter who also stopped him. I ask who his money would have been on if the two men had fought around that time having fought both?

“Hatton was very good at pushing you back and hitting the body but Witter was much faster and was awkward…I really would not like to say who would have won in their best form.”

Amazingly, Lauri, at 41 and a veteran of 75 fights, is still active to this day. After the Hatton fight, Lauri would win the Italian title as well as the EBU and IBF Inter-Continental belts. Now a staggering 56-19 (34) he last fought in March, scoring a stoppage win in Germany.

“I always say ‘this is my last fight’ but I cannot stop!” laughs Giuseppe who has been a pro for nearly twenty years. “It feels like there’s no risk anymore and I feel I can still do it and I still enjoy it.”

Parting shots

At the ref’s final instructions there was a short, intense, nose-to-nose stare down between the two men.

Ricky’s younger brother Matthew made his pro debut with a points victory on the undercard.

The referee had a busy night as the Italian’s tendency to duck his head low, along with Hatton’s habit of pushing the head to step across for the body shot, made head clashes and wrestling a regular feature.

Livefight scored the first four rounds dead even at 38 points each. The first belonged to Hatton, Lauri nicked the next two while Hatton edged a tough fourth.

Road warrior Lauri has boxed in the UK on five occasions and has also boxed in Canada, Germany, Finland and Belgium in his long career.

Lauri has his own boxing gym based in Hungary to pass his vast experience on to the young fighters coming through.

In his next bout just a month later, Hatton would claim the British title with a decision over Jon Thaxton. That contest was featured in Part 1 of our series.

Ricky Hatton ‘Our Fight’ Part 1 Jon Thaxton


By Michael J Jones

RICKY HATTON was, and is, one of the most celebrated boxers to ever fight out of UK shores. The Manchester ace was the premier light-welterweight in the world for some four years but in truth probably peaked before he toppled Kostya Tszyu on that memorable night in Manchester in 2005.

The “Hitman” retired for good in 2012 after a one-off return bout ended in defeat to Vyacheslav Senchenko. Hatton’s record stood at a final 45-3 (32) and he had only ever been defeated by Senchenko, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Now a pro trainer with a small stable of good-quality fighters and as popular with fight fans as he was in his exciting prime, Hatton appears destined for the Boxing Hall of Fame (eligible next year) after a hugely successful fifteen-year career.

Here, Livefight talks to some of the men who fought Ricky Hatton at various stages of his career to give their thoughts on the time they shared in the ring with “The Hitman” starting with Norwich legend Jon Thaxton.

The Fight

The two men clashed on October 21st 2000 with the vacant British title up for grabs. While Hatton had looked sensational blasting out prospects, journeymen and lower-ranked fighters with high-octane body-punching, many wondered what would happen when he faced a more seasoned man of toughness and ambition.

Switch-hitting Jon Thaxton fitted the bill perfectly. The Ingle-trained contender had caused a stir a few years previous by knocking out Paul “Scrap Iron” Ryan in one round in a massive upset. Since the landmark victory, Thaxton had been matched tough in successive title bouts and only lost to Emanuel Augustus and, in his previous contest, Jason Rowland.

Entering the bout at 19-5 (9), the 26 year old Thaxton had been defeated controversially a year earlier in his first shot at the domestic belt. Despite flooring co-challenger Rowland and forging a points lead, Thaxton was ruled out by a cut to the forehead. Under the old UK rules, the cut fighter was ruled out by a TKO.

Thaxton was the clear underdog entering his bout with the fast-rising Hatton but came to the fight in incredible shape and ready to chin-check the Manchester ace. After cutting Hatton in the opening seconds of the contest, Thaxton looked on the verge of a memorable upset victory.

Referee Paul Thomas however let the contest continue and at the end of twelve bloody rounds it was Hatton who emerged victorious with a 117-113 card handed in by referee Thomas.

“I had about six weeks’ notice for the Hatton fight which was a long time for me” recalls “Jono” Thaxton some seventeen years later. “My thing was ‘I’m a fighter so I fight’ I took fights on a few hours’ notice, a few days’ notice; it didn’t matter to me I just wanted to fight.”

“I once boxed the world number one on 24 hours’ notice (Paul Ryan).”

“I remember everybody was raving about how good (Hatton) was but I was like ‘yes but who has he fought, who has punched him hard?’ I was confident and very ‘up’ for the fight and we worked a lot on taking those body shots. The good thing about (the Ingle gym) back then was the quality and variation of sparring so I had very good sparring ahead of the Hatton fight.”

“For the body punches I was doing 5000 sit-ups a day; 2000 in the morning, a thousand in training and another 2000 before bed. I said to myself he was not going to hurt me to the body.”

The fight began in a lively manner with both looking to get into range to unload but it was Thaxton who drew, literally, first blood. A short right-hook slammed into Hatton’s left eye to leave a crimson river flowing down his face with not even thirty seconds gone on the clock.

“I couldn’t believe it when he got the cut…I thought I’d won the fight there and then. The first round I felt like I’d won the lottery, the second I’d paid my mortgage and the third I was thinking who I’d be thanking in my post fight interview!”

While his fight with Rowland had seen Thaxton cruelly ruled out by his cut, Hatton was allowed to continue through twelve full rounds. Referee Paul Thomas was partly to thank while legendary cut-man Mick Williamson was also massively instrumental in Ricky being able to stay in the contest.

“Everyone afterwards said to me it should have been stopped but I hold no grudge. Mick Williamson did a brilliant job of keeping Ricky in the fight and Ricky changed tactics and managed to win with the cut.”

By the middle rounds, Hatton had largely forgotten his injured eye and was boxing cleverly, mixing his shots to head and body well. Thaxton was beaten to the punch and out-landed repeatedly though doggedly stayed competitive all the way through, shaking off some huge punches while giving regular reminders that he too could hit.

“We just went to war and left it all in the ring” smiles Jon, now 43-years-old and making his own progress as a pro trainer. “I don’t really remember if I really hurt Ricky, it was seventeen years ago and some days I can’t remember what I had for breakfast! It was a really good fight, very gruelling and I always tell people it was the best fight I was ever involved in.”

“One thing I do remember is sitting in the corner between one of the rounds and thinking ‘I’m loving this fight’. Both of us earned our money that night”

“People say to me ‘but you didn’t win’ but, listen, me and Ricky went to war and out of all my fights I can honestly say that one I couldn’t have given any more in there. I’m very proud of that fight, especially when you think what Ricky went on to achieve.”

At the final bell both men embraced warmly after thirty-six minutes of hellacious fury with both men rightly praised afterwards. Thaxton would offer his hand to the ref’ but it was Hatton’s night after coming through by far his toughest test to date with flying colours.

“Of course I knew I hadn’t won” chuckles the 43 year old. “I did that with every fight. The ref’ has just a second to decide who he has made the winner, if you jump to him and he makes a split-second mistake then you could get the win.”

The scorecard of 117-113 was a fair one though most had it a little wider to “The Hitman”. The Billy Graham-trained Hatton would seek the plastic surgeon once more following his gruelling win over Jon Thaxton before beginning his famous WBU title reign in his next fight which would ultimately lead to his success at the highest level.

The Hatton-Thaxton fight would be remembered for another reason. During the post-fight interview between the two battle-scarred combatants, Hatton’s chief protagonist Junior Witter would interrupt the respectful tones to call Hatton out to “destroy” him.

Ricky later said in his autobiography that incident was the final straw and vowed never to entertain a fight between him and his Yorkshire rival especially since he also showed disrespect to Thaxton (who was Witter’s then gym-mate).

“I remember thinking it was a bit wrong and disrespectful what Junior did but I also understood why he did it” says Jon slowly, clearly not wishing to fuel the long-dead rivalry between the two men. “It was wrong to do that just after the fight, but he really wanted to fight Hatton and he saw that as his breakthrough fight one which would have paid well and put him on the map.”

“He was on camera and decided he’d take that opportunity so I totally understand why he did that.”

For Thaxton, the Norwich puncher would continue to take every meaningful fight available and, five years later, would topple Lee Meager to finally become British champion at the age of 32. He would also capture the European belt before retiring in 2009 with a final tally of 34-11 (19).

The year after, Ricky Hatton was the guest speaker at a tribute evening to celebrate Thaxton’s seventeen-year pro career. He told all of the guests in attendance Thaxton was “one of the boxing’s good guys” while acknowledging his former opponent’s toughness and grit.

“Me and Ricky have only ever been respectful to each other since our fight. We had a torrid fight and at the end we both had a huge amount of respect for each other and that stayed with us both.”

“The only thing I never had in boxing was talent. That may sound a strange thing to say but in boxing you can’t have everything. I had fitness, toughness, conditioning, a great chin, good power but I never had that raw talent. I still did bloody well and I’m immensely proud of my career.”

“I’m a trainer now and I’ve learned a lot from Graham Everett and I can tell you I’ve learned far more about boxing since I retired. When I beat Lee Meager to become British champion there was one thing I had over him; experience. That was my best performance as everything seemed to come together on the night and I bamboozled him.
That was the best night of my life but Ricky Hatton was my best fight.”

Parting shots

This fight marked the first time Hatton would navigate beyond round six in his career. Many were stunned at the engine Ricky showed right up until the final bell.

Jon Thaxton broke “The Hitman’s” knockout streak when going the distance. Hatton had stopped his last seven in decent company.

In his next contest five months later, Hatton would begin his long reign as WBU 140lb champion. In his first defence he would crush Jason Rowland, the man who had denied Thaxton in his first British title shot.

A few fights after his defeat by Hatton, Jon Thaxton would move down to the lightweight division where he flourished to become British and European champion.

Jon Thaxton was well known for being a fitness fanatic but says he makes sure none of his fighters make the mistake of over-training.

The one man who beat Thaxton beyond any dispute was Irish hard-man Eamon Magee in 2002. “His trainers said to me years later he never trained and the only fight he ever did train for was ours…just my luck” smiles Jon when asked about his six-round stoppage defeat.

Also on the bill was Danny Williams’ incredible come-from-behind KO of Mark Potter. The Brixton puncher won the heavyweight contest despite injuring his right shoulder and having to box one-armed.

While the Sky Sports commentators praised both men’s’ respective performances, Jim Watt turned in an unflattering score of 119-109 for Ricky Hatton giving Thaxton just the first round and everything else to the victor.

UK's Answer to Rocky says "I'm not done yet" after explosive title victory


By Michael J Jones

BOXING OCCASIONALLY produces a thrill-a-minute fighter’s fighter. In world boxing in recent years we’ve had legendary sluggers such as the late Arturo Gatti, Micky Ward and Kelly Pavlik. Boxers who refused to play safe and put there substantial hearts’ on the line time-and-time again to roar and delight of the watching crowd.

In UK boxing circles a man who has repeatedly featured in fight-of-the year candidates over many years is Peterborough’s Cello “Dangerous” Renda. The 32 year old turned pro thirteen years ago with a blistering knock-out over a more-experienced, not to mention, far heavier opponent and the highs and lows have come thick and fast ever since.

Now 29-12-2 (13) the rangy super-middleweight is coming off arguably his finest victory to date in winning the Southern Area title against Leon McKenzie at York Hall.

Livefight wasn’t able to locate any footage of the fight, but we have heard via several sources that the crossroads battle was another pulsating affair before real-life Rocky Renda prevailed by KO.

McKenzie, a former pro footballer (who ironically at one time played for Peterborough Utd), was 8-1-1 entering the bout and got the better of the early rounds but eventually faded as Renda roared back to knock him out in round nine.

Speaking to Livefight a few days ago, Renda was evidently still buzzing from his heroics of last month and has promised his best could still be yet to come as he targets British title honours in the New year.

“I was absolutely made up to beat Leon McKenzie; especially after my last Southern Area title shot last December ended in a decision which many believed I had won (against then-unbeaten Alan Higgins). I can see how people could have had McKenzie ahead but I thought I was just a point down going into the ninth.”

“He was a lot tougher than I thought he’d be. In age he was 39 but in boxing terms having had just ten fights, he was far better than I had anticipated. He didn’t have the hardest punch, not the kind to stop you in your tracks but he had decent power and he hurt me a bit in the third when I was still cold and he caught me on the ropes.”

“I knew I’d have to win big being the away fighter and, even if I hadn’t have stopped him, I feel I would have definitely won rounds nine and ten to take the decision.”
“He was tough though I’ve still got sore ribs now from the fight!”

With the contest in the balance, Renda had a big eighth round which set up the finale in the penultimate session.

“I knew he was tiring and Jon Pegg (Renda’s trainer), said to me to ‘keep tight and not get ragged’. McKenzie was a southpaw and I kept throwing the left uppercut and straight right. I landed the straight right in the ninth and his legs buckled so I threw everything at him until it was over.”

As Renda celebrated the 29th victory of his pro career, McKenzie immediately announced his retirement from boxing. For the winner, there seems to be multiple opportunities on the horizon though Marcello is adamant he will not settle for anything but big fights for his immediate future.

“It’s been my dream all along to fight for the British title” the 32 year old tells Livefight. “I don’t just want to fight for the British I want to win it. I’ve boxed world title challengers, British champions, prospects and everyone. If you look at my resume and who I’ve fought, not many can compare so I’ve definitely earned my shot.”

A quick look at the current British super-middleweight ratings seas a wealth of talent though closer inspection reveals few men are actually in a realistic position to challenge for the British title as Renda is quick to reiterate.

“I’m about sixteenth which is fair enough but the top four (Callum Smith, George Groves, Chris Eubank Jr and Jamie Cox*), are in the ‘Super Six tournament’ so you can write them off straight away. Rocky Fielding, the current champion, I expect to vacate and fight for the European crown. Luke Blackledge is moving down to middleweight and Zach Parker has only had fourteen fights so he’ll probably want to gain more experience before challenging for the British.”

*Groves beat Cox on Saturday, this interview took place a few days previous.

“Darryll Williams is the English champion I’d face him no problem and John Ryder is still around that’s an option me and him for the vacant title. I’ll literally face anyone. If Fielding decides to stay as British champion I’d happily fight him but it’s all up to the board we’ll see what they decide.”

Renda has for much of his thirteen-year career been a real danger man of boxing but one thing he’s always struggled with is consistency as boxing politics and his over-eagerness to brawl have seen a few defeats occur at times when he was in previously good form.

For example, after hanging tough with Martin Murray in the final of Prizefighter back in 2008 and going on to knock out 13-0 Sam Horton in Manchester, the Peterborough puncher would suffer a pair of back-to-back defeats to Welsh veteran Paul Samuels (albeit in barn-stormers) in the latter stages of 2009.

A few years later Renda was on a four-bout winning streak when shockingly stopped in the first by supposed non-puncher Danny Butler. On form, Renda is fast of hand and carries power in either fist; especially in the early rounds. The tough Renda has a huge heart and deserves massive respect for continuing to thrive and find success despite all the set-backs and frustrations along the way.

“I am amazed to still be around now and everyone tells me, especially Jon Pegg, I should be very happy for the career I’ve had and what I’ve achieved and I think I’ve earned a lot of respect for doing things the way I’ve done. Nobody can ever say I’ve had it easy and I think it’s the best way of earning respect is taking the toughest fights available.”

“My last contest has taught me there’s still a lot left and, at 32, I’m still at my peak. I want my British title shot and I’m not going anywhere until I get one.”

“People don’t realise but when I’m doing a job on these kids it’s nearly always on a few weeks’ notice. With a full eight-week camp I seriously could give any fighter out there a hard night. Often in my career I win the fights I’m meant to lose and lose the fights I’m meant to win!”

I ask the crowd-pleaser about some of the highlights (and lows), of his roller-coaster career and he’s happy to talk me through them starting with the incredible three-round war with Murray nine years ago. Renda was floored in a torrid opener but came back to hurt Murray, then 11-0, several times before dropping the spoils by the narrowest of margins.

“Many people thought I’d won that and I honestly think since (our fight) only Gennedy Golovkin has hurt him more than I did” reasons Cello. “I think it should have been a draw really and I also think if it’s like that there should be another round to see clearly who the better man is.”

“Paul Samuels was one of the hardest punchers I ever faced and I just had the wrong mind-set. I only had four weeks’ notice for the first fight and was also having managerial problems but it’s no excuse I just fought the wrong fight.”

“It was exciting though and nobody will ever forget the double knock-down (when both landed simultaneous left hooks). The rematch I thought I won but the defeats ended up being a blessing in disguise as I might have stayed with my manager if I had won and in the end signed with Jon Pegg and been happy ever since.”

What about the Danny Butler upset loss a few years later?

“I was super confident going in, I made the weight wrong but otherwise camp had been good. He just caught me cold early with a shot on the top of the head. The same nearly happened with McKenzie where he made me stumble with a jab. I need to get hit usually to warm me up but Butler caught me and I lost my legs and that was that.”

Since the Butler fight, Renda has continued to operate in high quality contests. He made his second Prizefighter final two-and-a half years ago but, after blasting out Liam Conroy and out-scoring future British champion Jack Arnfield, he was himself stopped by Welshman Tom Doran.

Since then he has only lost that debatable decision to Higgins and, as said, looked better than ever in stopping McKenzie last time out.

“I’ve had things to deal with my whole career. My very first fight against Mark Ellwood, he was 30 I was 19, he’d won all seven fights, it was my debut. He was also a stone (14lbs) heavier than me. The board tried to scrap the fight but it went ahead and I knocked him out in two rounds.”

“The McKenzie fight I only got at late notice because of a ticket deal we had. They called me on four weeks’ notice wanting me to fight on their show but I only got paid by the tickets I sold. Thank God my fans made the trip I could have only made just a few hundred quid for a title fight.”

“Can you imagine asking someone to mow your lawn for you and then telling him he’s got to pay me to be able to mow my lawn?!”

“I’d just like to thank my trainers, all the people who support me and come to watch me, my wife who is fantastic and supports me all the way, my new sponsor Chris Larrington, Boxing Futures (a charity Cello works for), and also Vic’s Boxing club in Peterborough.”

Renda’s spectacular KO of Sam Horton from 2009

The Way of the Exploding Fist - Dodd beats Stalker


By @John_Evans79

There is a classic Japanese text called The Book of Five Rings. In it, a famed undefeated samurai called Miyamoto Musashi details techniques and strategies for defeating an opponent. He talks about throwing an opponent off guard, creating confusion and how technical flourishes are generally excessive. That all technique is simply a method of cutting down an opponent.

There is no mystical symbolism attached to the five famed rings depicted in the Olympic symbol - the rings merely represent the five continents - but they also epitomise the Olympic ideals we hold true; determination, sportsmanship and technical ability.

Tom Stalker’s reputation was formed by the five interlocked Olympic rings. His determination and sportsmanship have never been in doubt. The Liverpudlian enjoys the verbal back and forth that surrounds a fight these days but always gives his all and his character is highly spoken of in boxing circles. Stalker’s problem has been implementing the technical skills which earned him the role of Team GB Captain at the 2012 London Olympics.

Sean ‘Masher’ Dodd fights as if he has studied Musashi’s handbook forensically. Over the years, he has become adept at making the most of the his skillset to confuse and cut down fighters with far more technical pedigree and ability. To write Dodd off a a trier and brawler would be wrong. The 32 year old from Birkenhead has devised a way to implement arguably the most important strategy of all. He is able to force an opponent out of their own comfort zone and into his.

Last night at Liverpool’s Echo Arena, Stalker became Dodd’s latest victim. After a nip and tuck first third, Dodd simply took over. At first, Stalker found himself being drawn into exchanges but eventually he was forced on to the back foot and his reduced punch output allowed Dodd to gather momentum and keep rolling forward. Once Dodd had a foothold in the fight, he never looked like letting it slip from his grasp. Stalker fought as if he had badly damaged his left hand but according to Sky sources, he made no mention of the injury in the corner.

When Stalker (12-3-3, 2 KO’s) decided to pour his efforts into professional boxing rather than staying on the safe path to a respected position within the Team GB amateur set up, he wouldn’t have for one moment considered that he would be standing at a career crossroads less than five years later. The popular Scouser finds himself with a tough decision to make. At 33 years old, it is going to be difficult for him to find the opportunities he feels he deserves. Contrary to popular belief, the rangy Stalker is apparently a reasonably stiff puncher for a couple of rounds. Sadly, he has been unable to master a way of maintaining that threat once his opponent has worked out a way to take away his leverages.

For the wildly popular Dodd (15-2-1, 3 KO’s), the rise continues. Since stepping in at short notice to shock Gary Buckland in September 2015, he has exceeded expectations. Only two close and controversial fights with then British champion Scott Cardle scar his record. Dodd has already outpointed the European lightweight champion - Francesco Patera - but his focus must near settle squarely on claiming the Lonsdale belt currently held by Robbie Barrett.

Birkenhead’s own Bushido warrior may yet have a few more chapters to add to his own story.

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