Flanagan stops Cruz. Verdejo next? Marquez praises 'Turbo'
Terry Flanagan successfully defended his WBO lightweight title by stopping Orlando Cruz in eight one sided rounds in Cardiff last night. The win was Flanagan’s fourth successful defence of his belt.
Next up could be a mandatory defence of his title against rising Puerto Rican star, Felix Verdejo, 22-0 (15 KO’s). Indeed, the pair may have already met had Top Rank promoted Verdejo not sustained serious injuries in a motorcycle crash earlier this year. Verdejo’s trainer and manager, Ricky Marquez, used last night’s fight as a scouting mission and was impressed with what he saw.
“I think Flanagan is a great undefeated champion with 32 -0 record.” Marquez told Livefight. “We know it will be a very tough fight, but to become a great champion you have to beat a great champion and that's what we wanna do. Cruz only fought the first two rounds. After Flanagan hit him, he was just trying to survive.
“Felix is already working hard in the gym, completely recovered and more focused than ever.”
The major stumbling block will be figuring out where the bout takes place. With Frank Warren always keen to secure home advantage for his fighter and Verdejo’s team seemingly unwilling to travel, both teams may need to prepare themselves for a battle of purse bids.
“We would love to visit England, but not to fight,” Marquez said.
Katie Taylor gets Polish pro debut opponent
Katie Taylor will face Karina Kopinska on her pro debut at The SSE Arena, Wembley in London on Saturday November 26, live on Sky Sports.
Taylor makes her hotly anticipated bow in the paid ranks after turning over following her glittering career as Ireland’s most decorated amateur boxer.
The 30 year old’s 15 year career garnering five World titles, six European titles and Olympic gold at the London 2012 games where she was her nation’s flagbearer.
The first obstacle in the way of Taylor’s path to World titles and beyond is Kopinska, the 27 year old Pole entering her 25th pro bout, promising to provide an early examination of Taylor having taken the WBC Super-Featherweight champion Eva Wahlstrom the distance and will be boxing for the second time in London. Taylor will be looking to kick-off with a commanding win as she then heads to the Manchester Arena on December 10 on the undercard of the IBF World Heavyweight title defence of fellow Olympic gold medal star Anthony Joshua MBE.
Taylor’s clash with Kopinska is part of a huge night of action as Tommy Coyle and John Wayne Hibbert clash in a must-win Super-Lightweight battle.
Ohara Davies challenges WBC Silver Super-Lightweight champion Andrea Scarpa, Martin J. Ward defends his British Super-Featherweight title, Reece Bellotti is meets Ian Bailey in an eliminator for the English Featherweight crown, Conor Benn fights for the sixth time in the paid ranks and fellow unbeaten youngsters Jake Ball, Craig Richards and Ted Cheeseman look to end 2016 with a bang.
Tickets for November 26 are on general sale priced £40, £60 and £100 available from www.ssearena.co.uk or by calling 0844 815 0815. £150 VIP tickets are available exclusively via www.matchroomboxing.com
Face value tickets for November 26 are also be available from http://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets/ . StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua.
Martin Murray, Jamie McDonnell weights from Monte Carlo
Live on Sky Sports 2 8pm local time (7pm UK time)
WBA Continental Super-Middleweight Championship
Martin Murray (167.7lbs) vs Nuhu Lawal (165.5lbs)
WBA World Bantamweight Championship
Jamie McDonnell (118lbs) vs Liborio Solis (117.7lbs)
Followed by at approximately 10:15 Local Time (9:15 UK time)
WBA Inter-Continental Heavyweight Championship
Luis Ortiz (239.5lbs) vs Malik Scott (246.4lbs)
WBA World Super Featherweight Championship
Jason Sosa (128.8lbs) vs Stephen Smith (130lbs)
BT Sport join forces with Boxnation
-From 2017, Frank Warren will promote 20 UK events a year, Live on BT Sport
-The 20 UK events will also be shown Live on BoxNation
-From 2017, BoxNation will be included in BT Sport’s pack of channels and available to all BT Sport customers
-Frank Warren will promote a further 10 events, in the UK per year, Live and Exclusive on BoxNation
-BoxNation customers can still look forward to over 30 events per year from around the World, including output deals with the biggest Promoters in the USA, Top Rank and Golden Boy.
-A total of 30 live televised boxing events will see Frank Warren as Europe’s most active Promoter
Deal will mark the start of a new era for Boxing in the UK
Hall of Fame Promoter Frank Warren and his pioneering boxing channel BoxNation have signed a multi-year deal with the multimedia and telecommunications giant, BT.
The landmark deal will see Warren promote 20 premium live boxing events a year that will be simulcast on BT Sport and BoxNation.
The ground-breaking deal will see a further ten events per year, including top tier pay-per-view events and other high-quality domestic shows broadcast, exclusively on BoxNation.
A total of 30 live televised boxing events per year will see Frank Warren cement his place as Europe’s most active Promoter.
BoxNation, the UK’s first and only dedicated boxing channel, will be now be included in BT Sport’s pack of channels and made available to all new and existing BT Sport customers as part of their subscription.
The pioneering deal offers Frank Warren, BT, EE and BoxNation the chance to work collectively in expanding the popularity and customer reach of boxing in the UK.
With BoxNation being added to the BT channel pack, all BT Sport and BoxNation customers will now be able to enjoy the very best international and domestic live fights, classic fight footage from Warren’s 40 year archive, award-winning documentaries, originally produced content, weekly magazine shows and interviews with current and former fighters.
The Channel of Champions, BoxNation, is currently available on major platforms including Sky, Freeview, Virgin, TalkTalk, online and apps, for just £12 a month showing the very best live fights both internationally and domestically, as well as non-stop 24-hour quality boxing programming.
Since its launch in 2011, BoxNation has grown to become one of the of the World’s major boxing broadcasters. The channel has consistently showcased the very best live fights from at home and around the world led predominantly by Frank Warren’s UK promoted events and complimented by premium international events from overseas suppliers including Top Rank, Golden Boy, Showtime and HBO.
BoxNation has shown some of the biggest fight nights in recent history, including Haye v Chisora, Mayweather v Canelo, Saunders v Eubank, Khan v Canelo and many, many more.
BT and EE’s mobile customers will also be able to watch on the BT Sport App, and this will mean Frank Warren’s events are able to reach an unrivalled audience in the UK.
In addition to the huge distribution growth this new partnership will deliver, Frank Warren and BoxNation are set to propel their business to a new level after this monster deal with the largest multimedia and telecommunications company in the UK.
This ground-breaking deal, combined with BoxNation’s existing PPV functionality, is set to give the channel the ability to deliver the very biggest and globally significant boxing events and stars to the UK.
Delia Bushell, managing director BT TV and BT Sport said: “BT’s mission has always been to make top tier sport available to more people, offering unbeatable value.”
“Our expanding list of sports rights will now include BoxNation and access to boxing world title fights on BT Sport channels, all included in the price of the BT Sport subscription. We are taking the fight to our rivals in 2017 and we’ll be in great shape.”
Frank Warren, Hall of Fame Promoter and Chairman of BoxNation said: “I’m delighted that I have signed a deal to bring boxing to BT Sport. This is the beginning of a new era for the sport in this country and I am delighted to be working exclusively with a broadcast and telecommunications powerhouse in BT.
Iconic fight nights have the ability capture the imagination of the public, and I am looking forward to building some fantastic events with BT Sport.
"This long-term deal will give BT Sport customers access to BoxNation and my talented stable of fighters and we are delighted to be giving BoxNation, a channel we have worked so hard to build, the vast distribution it deserves.
"I am looking forward to doing what I do best, building boxing stars and promoting memorable events. 30 events a year across both BT Sport and BoxNation will allow me to give my fighters the contests and exposure to become household names.
"This deal is the beginning of a new era not just for me, but for British Boxing and I cannot wait to get started. Roll on 2017!”
George Warren, CEO of BoxNation said: "We are delighted to sign this ground-breaking deal with multimedia and telecommunications giant BT. Since the inception of the channel five years ago we have worked diligently to grow the business by consistently staging and televising the best domestic and international fights.
“With BT Sport, we now have the platform to take the channel to new levels and to continue growing BoxNation and the sport of boxing in the UK.
“We look forward to delivering BT an excellent schedule of events that will get the pulses racing.”
Details of an unmissable first quarter schedule of live action that BT Sport’s and BoxNation’s customers can look forward to, will be announced in the near future.
*This deal currently does not include Virgin Media Customers
Luis Ortiz: I will rule the heavyweight division in 2017
Luis Ortiz says he’ll rule the Heavyweight division in 2017 as he prepares to take on Malik Scott in Monte-Carlo on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports in the UK and on HBO in the US.
Ortiz is one of the most feared fighters on the planet and has blasted away 22 of his 25 opponents inside the distance, with the vicious Cuban’s last two outings underlining his fearsome reputation as dismissed Bryant Jennings in seven rounds to land the interim WBA crown in December and then destroyed Tony Thompson in six rounds in March.
‘King Kong’ is hunting down World honours and makes his European debut against Scott his first fight under the Matchroom banner and the 37 year old monster revealed his excitement at his upcoming schedule.
The Heavyweight division was thrown wide open when Tyson Fury ended the long-standing reign of lineal champion Wladimir Klitschko in Germany in November 2015. A slated rematch between the pair failed to happen though and with Fury now out of commission as he deals with personal issues outside the ring, the throne sits vacant waiting for a new king to emerge – and Ortiz believes he’s the man to beat the likes of Anthony Joshua MBE, Deontay Wilder and Klitschko and rule the world.
“I want to fight the very best and I want to be the Heavyweight champion of the world,” said Ortiz. “I’m willing to fight anyone, any champion, any place, any time. I’m ready for anyone: Joshua, Wilder, Klitschko. I know I can beat all of them.
“I feel I have been at my peak for many years now. I have simply been late arriving on the US Heavyweight boxing scene. I have been fighting since I was in elementary school. Boxing is a very, very deep passion of mine.
“Now, it is a way to give my family a better future, and I tell you, no one will stand in my way of accomplishing this. In my eyes, I am the Heavyweight champion of the world and if anyone, any other champion, is willing to challenge me, to face me, I can and will prove it.
“I do have a lot of respect for the Heavyweight champions. They have accomplished a lot and have sacrificed a lot to be where they are. They do deserve recognition. I just want the chance to beat them and be [seen by all as] the next true Heavyweight champion.
“I think Fury was able to shake up the Heavyweight division and because of him, the division is now one of the most exciting divisions to watch! I just want to get the opportunity to face him, or Wilder, to prove I am a champion as well.”
Scott’s clash with Ortiz is part of a huge night of action in Monte-Carlo as WBA World Bantamweight king Jamie McDonnell defends his crown against Liberio Solis. It’s the fifth defence for the Doncaster ace, who followed his stoppage win over Javier Chacon with a pair of impressive wins over Tomoki Kameda in Texas last year and stopped Fernando Vargas in nine rounds at The O2 in London this April.
Stephen Smith has a second World title crack, challenging WBA Super-Featherweight kingpin Jason Sosa. Smith travelled to Connecticut to meet IBF ruler Jose Pedraza in April in his first outing for a World belt, and recovered from that points loss with a commanding win over Daniel Brizuela in his hometown of Liverpool a month later. Puerto Rican-American Sosa defends his strap for the first time having ripped the crown from Javier Fortuna in Beijing in June.
Martin Murray is targeting World title action in 2017 but faces a stiff test in the shape of former interim WBA Middleweight champion Dmitry Chudinov.
Preston’s Mick Hall promises redemption in Wigan
Area title fight the chance for once troubled star to showcase talent
Preston middleweight, Mick Hall, has revealed his forthcoming contest for the Central Area title in Wigan in December is his last chance to redeem himself.
Hall, who has lost just once in 15 paid outings, faces current belt holder, Barnsley’s Matthew Mallin, on 10 December at the DW Stadium. Here, the revitalised 30-year old has promised a standout performance to prove - not only to himself, but also his family and friends - that he has what it takes to reach the top in a sport were the lack of discipline he has shown in the past can often be severely punished
The former Prizefighter quarter-finalist admitted that, despite still winning, he had only been ‘playing’ at the sport in recent years and hadn’t come close to fulfilling his full potential. Following a change of management, to Neil Marsh, a shift in focus and a renewed belief in his own ability however, Hall has shown better form of late. December, he says, will be proof of that improvement.
He said, “The Central Area title may not mean that much to some, but for me, it’s my world title and I’m not going to waste the chance of winning it and moving my career on towards were it should really be.”
In a brutally honest assessment of both his own ability and actions, Hall also revealed a strong sense that he had squandered his talent, alienating many in the process.
He said: “It’s no secret I’ve had problems outside the ring. I’ve been stupid with drugs and drink and, to a certain extent, I’ve wasted a year or two really. When I turned over a lot of people believed in me and thought I’d go far but, even though I’ve only lost the once [to hot prospect and Blackpool rival Jack Arnfield in February 2015] I feel I should have done more. I was given a lot of chances by a lot of people but I didn’t step up - the Central Area belt is my last chance to show everyone I’ve changed. I’m not going to turn that down. Since the fight was announced I’ve been focussed on it 100%. It sounds mad but I never really did that before.”
“Since working with Alan [Levene – his trainer] , everyone at his gym and all his contacts, including Dr George Wilson at Liverpool John Moores University [a leading sports scientist] I’ve found a new focus. I love training now. I love going the gym. Everyone works hard, really hard. I can see the improvements I’m making day after day. I feel stronger, fitter and I’m hitting harder than ever. I feel like a new man I really do. This chance that Neil has given me? To fight for my first title? I’m not going to waste it. I’m looking forward to it and, once I’ve won it, I’ll look forward to, and plan for, bigger and better fights in future.”
A decent amateur who was unlucky enough to meet the likes of Liam Smith and Hosea Burton in the regional ABAs, Hall turned pro in November 2009 but had only six fights in his first three years as a professional. Two in the next two years slowed his momentum but five wins from his next six outings, despite his problems outside the ring and including that split decision loss to Arnfield (now the WBA International middleweight champion), showed he retained a level of natural ability - an ability that Levene believes he has helped galvanise.
A former pro who faced problems of his own outside the ring during his own professional career in the 1990s, Levene said: “Mick has always had great potential. Everyone knew it but, even though he was still winning, he just didn’t transfer this into actions outside the ring where, if you want to do anything as a pro, you have to be professional and disciplined at all times. I’ve been there myself though. I know what it’s like. I’ve been able to use my own experiences, plus his undoubted ability, to help Mick regain the confidence and optimism he once had and focus it on winning what will be a great belt for him. With Neil’s backing I’m convinced Mick can win and move onto even bigger titles in the next six months.”
Hall will appear on a DW Stadium bill that will also feature Liverpool’s world ranked Robbie Davies jnr., Liverpool’s Joe Wood, Blackpool heavyweight Bill Hodgson and Kirkham’s Adam Little v Sunderland’s Glen Foot in an eliminator for the British super lightweight title.