Photos: Flanagan, Petrov Putting in Work – With Tyson Fury

Former Heavyweight Champion of the World Tyson Fury came out to support his fellow Mancunian Terry Flanagan at Frank Warren’s open workouts at The Printworks earlier this evening. Flanagan makes the fifth defence of his WBO Lightweight World Title against dangerous Russian Petr Petrov at the Manchester Arena this Saturday, live on BT Sport and BoxNation.

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Fury, the former linear, WBA Super, WBO, IBO and Ring Magazine World Heavyweight Champion, watched on as local hero Flanagan was put through his paces by trainer Steve Maylett in front of hundreds of Manchester fight fans.

terry-flanagan (1)Undefeated Flanagan, 32-0 13 KO’s, looked in fantastic shape ahead of the toughest fight of his career and treated fans to a scintillating display of speed and power. The proud owner of the longest undefeated record in British boxing was delighted to see Fury showing his support and backed the man who dethroned long-reigning Heavyweight icon Wladimir Klitschko way back in 2015 to win his belts back.

“It was brilliant seeing big Tyson here showing me some support,” said Turbo. “We are both Manchester lads and want to make our city proud. He shocked the sporting World by beating Klitschko in Germany and I plan on shocking the World by beating Vasyl Lomachenko after I deal with Petrov on Saturday.

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“Like everyone in boxing, I can’t wait to see Tyson back in the ring where he belongs. He is a man of the people and always puts a smile on your face. I’m backing him to win all of his belts back and reclaim his place as the best Heavyweight on the planet.

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“I’m over the moon with the turnout today. It’s great seeing so many young fans taking an interest in the sport and backing one of their own! There’s a massive buzz around the city and seeing all these fans here today has given me a massive boost.”

 

 

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Terry Flanagan vs. Petr Petrov tops an unmissable evening of action at the Manchester Arena; Super-Welterweight rivals Liam Smith and Liam Williams clash for the WBO Interim World Title; double Olympic Gold Medallist and women’s boxing icon Nicola Adams OBE fights for the first time as a professional and former Team GB Heavyweight monster Daniel Dubois makes his highly-anticipated professional debut along with a talent packed undercard.

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www.boxingscene.com/photos-flanagan-petrov-putting-work-with-tyson-fury–115333?print_friendly=1

Smith-Williams is now for the WBO interim jr middleweight title

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The World Boxing Organisation today sanctioned the bout between Liam Smith and Liam Williams for the WBO interim super-welterweight world title. Smith and Williams’ showdown will take place at the Manchester Arena on Saturday April 8th, broadcast live on BT Sport and BoxNation.

Promoter Frank Warren: “I am delighted to have delivered this opportunity for these two outstanding fighters. This fight has all the ingredients to be a fight the year contender and now, with the added prize of the interim belt, there is more than just pride on the line for both.

“It is well documented that Canelo has plans to step up in weight and that could well see the winner of this becoming a recognized world champion. It’s a great all-domestic clash that I don’t think will go the distance – they are going to come out swinging and it will be exciting while it lasts.”

Liam Smith: “I’m delighted that Frank (Warren) has delivered this opportunity,” said Smith. “I’d like to thank my management team and the WBO President Francisco ‘Paco’ Varcarcel for keeping faith in me. I said I would be a world champion again in 2017 and this is my opportunity. The winner of this is a world champion in waiting. I don’t think Canelo has any intention of defending the 154lbs world title.

This is a win-win situation for me. If I beat Liam Williams I’ll be in an unbelievable position again. If Canelo decides to defend his belt I think I could do a million times better against him in a rematch. It was well publicized that I had the worst training camp of my career heading into that fight. He’s a world class fighter and I want to test myself against elite fighters. If not, there are huge fights against the likes of Miguel Cotto out there for me. First and foremost I have to beat Liam Williams on April 8th.”

Liam Williams: “This is a massive opportunity for me,” said Williams. “It is a huge fight and a brilliant chance for me to propel my name to the top of the sport. This is going to be a proper fight and I’m delighted that Frank keeps on delivering these opportunities for me. There are some huge fights out there for me if I deliver on April 8th. I was already massively motivated for the Smith fight but this has given me another big boost. I’ve been working towards an opportunity like this all of my career and I’ll be bringing that belt back to Wales with me.

www. fightnews.com/Boxing/smith-williams-now-wbo-interim-jr-middleweight-title-398662#more-398662

Flanagan, Petrov quotes and photo

unnamed-7-1-600x400 Photo: Karen Priestley –

WBO Lightweight Champion of the World Terry Flanagan and his latest challenger Petr Petrov came face-to-face at a press conference today at the home of Premier League giants Manchester City ahead of their showdown at the Manchester Arena on Saturday 8th April, live on BT Sport and BoxNation.

Undefeated Flanagan, a City fanatic and season ticket holder at the Etihad Stadium, is gearing up for the fifth defence of his WBO strap and insisted no corners will be cut in his preparation for former World Title challenger Petrov.

“If I’m not 100% against Petrov I could slip up,” said Flanagan. “If I’m not on my game he’s a potential banana skin and I won’t get those big unification fights later on in the year. First and foremost I need to get in the gym and do the hard work. Me at my best beats him at his best. 

“He’s been at World level for years now and he’s right up there. He’s got four losses on his record but they were all against good fighters. Petr is a seasoned fighter but on the night I can adapt and deal with whatever he brings.

“Personally I don’t think you’ve seen the best of me yet. There’s still a lot more to come from me and I’m looking forward to showing people what I can do on April 8th. I still think I’m boxing within myself. I’ve never been behind in a fight so I’ve never had to show what I’m made of. You’ll see the best of me when I do go behind in a fight.

“My better nights are still to come, which says a lot a 32-0 and preparing to make my fifth World Title defence. Petrov is a great fighter, he can come at you and also box a bit. This is going to be a tough fight and your next fight is always your hardest fight. Every time I’ve boxed at arenas in Manchester I’ve come away with stoppage wins, I want to keep that up on April 8th.”

33-year-old Petrov (38-4-2, 19 KOs), a native of Russia who fights out of Spain, was stopped by Marcos Maidana in his previous attempt at a World Title back in 2011. Since dropping 12-round decision in 2013 to Dejan Zlaticanin, the WBO no.2 ranked danger man has won six fights in a row and says his experience gives him an edge over Flanagan.

“I’ve been waiting a very long time for another shot at a World Title,” said Petrov. “Finally it has come around and I think at the age of 33 this fight has come at the perfect time for me. I’m quicker and more agile than ever, I’m in the best form of my life.

“I’m stronger and I’m smarter than I was earlier in my career. That comes from training in America, it has made me a more intelligent fighter. Los Angeles is a great place for sparring, I’ve been sparring with southpaws from Japan, Russia and the United States in preparation for Terry. I understand how important sparring is and that’s what we’ll be paying attention to in the run up to the fight.

“I respect Terry as an undefeated World Champion, you have to. He is a very good boxer but I still think he has a lot to show. I’ve been around the block and fought a lot of different opponents. If I prepare well and execute my game plan I know I can beat him.”

Flanagan vs. Petrov tops a night of action at the Manchester Arena; Super-Welterweight rivals Liam Smith and Liam Williams clash in one of the most anticipated domestic dust-ups in recent times; slick South African Zolani Tete faces Arthur Villanueva in a final eliminator for the WBO World Bantamweight strap; double Olympic Gold Medallist and women’s boxing icon Nicola Adams OBE fights for the first time as a professional and former Team GB Heavyweight monster Daniel Dubois makes his highly-anticipated professional debut.

Elsewhere on the card former World Title challenger Jimmy Kelly takes on Bolton man Rick Godding in a tasty local tear-up; rising Super-Featherweight star Zelfa Barrett fights over six; Liverpool Super-Welterweight James Metcalf takes on Heywood’s Mark Thompson; undefeated Super-Lightweight Steven Lewis faces Andy Keates; Oldham Super-Middleweight Mark Heffron, Ellesmere Port Super-Welterweight Mason Cartwright, Manchester Cruiserweight Jordan Thompson and Super-Middleweight Anthony Leak complete a stacked card.

www.fightnews.com/Boxing/flanagan-petrov-quotes-photo-394021

I BACK BEEFY TO BRING HOME THE BACON

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By Frank Warren –

Liam Smith didn’t need asking twice when it was suggested that he might like to defend his title against a certain Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, live and exclusive on BoxNation.

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“Yeah, I’m having that,” he said. “That’s the fight I want – let’s get it on.” Well, it is on, the deal is done and dusted and it’s all happening in America on September 17.

The Mexican superstar detonated a bomb on the chin of Amir Khan last time out and now, of course, the question everyone will be asking is whether Beefy can avoid a similar unhappy landing.

He thinks he can – and so do I. Otherwise we wouldn’t take the match. I think he has a really good chance to beat Alvarez.

Obviously this is a tough fight against one of the world’s greatest boxers, but at this stage of his career he needs a challenge and Beefy certainly won’t duck a challenge.

What he has going for him is his self-belief, the fact that he is natural at the weight and he has a far stronger chin than Amir and is nowhere near as reckless. He is not going up two weights as Amir did, but I think he is one of the best young fighters around and is not in the least fazed about stepping into the ring with the great Canelo.

The worst thing that can happen for him is that he gets beat, but that would be by no means the end of the world for him, or other world title fights. Unlike Amir, he is not nearing the end of his career, he is young enough and resilient enough to come back.

However, I actually think he has the tools to do the job. He is a cannier fighter than Khan and, indeed, other super welterweights. He has stealth and style, along with a mean streak – and he can bang.

Unfortunately Amir didn’t carry the punch power at the weight but, this time, against another Brit, I think Canelo will have his hands full and will discover that Smith’s style has often been likened to that of a Mexican.

Against Canelo you need to be able to put it on him and we know he can be taken the distance, as Matthew Hatton will confirm. What’s more, Liam is a good body puncher and he always seems to rise to the occasion, the better the opponent.

He’ll revel in the atmosphere, believe me, and you never know, the way he rifles in his shots like a smiling assassin, he might just enjoy the last laugh too.

You can see that action live on BoxNation on September 17th.

www.frankwarren.com/i-back-beefy-to-bring-home-the-bacon/

 

Tyson Fury withdraws from heavyweight world title rematch with Wladimir Klitschko after suffering ankle injury during training

35A0C3A000000578-3658488-Peter_Fury_also_tweeted_this_picture_showing_Tyson_s_bruised_ank-a-65_1466777413529 Peter Fury also tweeted this picture showing Tyson’s bruised ankle, suffered during training 

 

  • Tyson Fury has postponed his heavyweight world title rematch with Wladimir Klitschko scheduled for July 9 at the Manchester Arena
  • Defending champion has sprained his ankle during training in Lake District
  • Fury made the announcement via a short video on his Instagram account
  • His trainer Peter Fury posted pictures of his bruised and swollen ankle
  • Fury stunned Klitschko when he won on points in Dusseldorf in November 

Forests of quizzical eyebrows were raised when Tyson Fury pulled out of his world heavyweight title rematch with Wladimir Klitschko but his TV paymaster Frank Warren has confirmed the ankle injury is genuine and the fight will be rescheduled.

Suspicions initially ran deepest in the Austrian Tyrol where Klitschko has been training intensively for his bid to regain the championship belts which Manchester’s Gipsy King prised from him in a huge upset in Germany.

However, the man who dominated the heavyweight division for a decade has accepted the delay, saying: ‘Of course I am currently totally disappointed. I also feel sorry for my fans who were very excited. But this just means I’ll get my belts back a few weeks later.’

3387EED200000578-3658488-image-a-46_1466776743962 Photo by Getty Images / Tyson Fury has withdrawn from his world heavyweight championship rematch with Wladmir Klitschko

 

 

 

 

35A0BEC000000578-3658488-Fury_s_trainer_Peter_posted_a_Twitter_image_of_his_bruised_and_s-a-61_1466777268370 Fury’s trainer, Peter, posted a Twitter image of his bruised and swollen ankle

The new working date is October 29, again at the Manchester Arena.

Warren, despite his own disappointment at a cancellation so close to the fight date of July 9, reports that Fury has no option but to withdraw.

As Fury posted pictures of his bruised and swollen ankle on his Instagram site, Warren, head of the BoxNation subscription channel, said: ‘There is no way Tyson could have boxed in the next couple of weeks. He went over on the ankle while running. We’re all gutted this has happened. It has cost us a fortune but we will get it back on.’

Fury had ballooned up to more than three stones over his fighting weight before going into training and there have been reports that he broke camp briefly to attend a rave in Anglesea. Then he posed for selfies with fans in a pub there on Monday as he watched England’s European Championship match against Slovakia.

However, Fury, who was in prime condition at his training camp in Holland two weeks ago, told his supporters: ‘I got a little bad news for you all. Almost 10 days ago I was running in the Lake District and I went over and sprained my ankle. Been to hospital. Had X-rays and MRI scans.

3396BA3C00000578-3658488-image-a-62_1466777271594 Photo:  Kevin Quigley / Fury and Klitschko pictured at a press conference in Manchester to promote the upcoming fight

3396D82400000578-3658488-image-a-63_1466777302832 Photo:  Kevin Quigley / Fury goaded his opponent by removing his shirt and saying ‘you lost to a fat man’

100748E700000514-3658488-image-a-67_1466777586372 Photo:  Getty Images / Fury connects with his left hand during his win over Klitschko in Dusseldorf, Germany in November

‘Not broken but I was told to keep off it for six to seven weeks. Tried to train a bit but a second opinion was the same. So sorry to let all my fans down and apologies to everyone who’s booked the date.’

The postponement will not be helpful to Klitschko, given the strain of perfecting preparations at the age of 40.

But Fury’s promoter Mick Hennessy says: ‘There is no way we could let Tyson fight a man like Klitschko when anything less than 100 per cent fit. And we will rearrange the fight.’

There had also been rumours that tickets were not going well but Warren reports: ‘We had sold more than 17,000, which left only a couple of thousand remaining.’

Tickets already purchased will be honoured in October.

2EE54B2000000578-3658488-image-a-69_1466777644275  Photo:  Getty Images / The Ukrainian was left stunned after Fury won their first fight on a unanimous points decision

3595B09400000578-3658488-Klitschko_had_said_earlier_this_week_that_Fury_reminds_him_of_Hi-a-70_1466778581784 Klitschko had said earlier this week that Fury reminds him of Hitler due to his comments on Jewish people

3595B0B000000578-3658488-Normally_mild_mannered_Klitschko_s_Hitler_comparison_was_out_of_-a-71_1466778588267 Normally mild-mannered, Klitschko’s Hitler comparison was out of the ordinary and has clearly offended Fury

Klitschko’s manager, Bernd Boente, says: ‘This is unfortunate. Wladimir was in great form. But we will be ready to go to Manchester on the new date.’

Earlier in the day, Fury responded angrily to Klitschko likening him to Adolf Hitler. Klitschko made that stark comparison after reading Fury’s views on Jewish people.

As a member of the travelling community, Fury responded: ‘You recently said I’m like Hitler. Wladimir has no education in the matter. He does not realise Hitler killed hundreds of thousands of gypsies, if not millions.

‘A lot of my ancestors were mass-murdered by Hitler. To call me that is a very, very bad insult, friend. Let’s not forget that your people the Ukrainians were the guards in the death camps where my people were slaughtered. You stupid f****** Ukrainian p****.’

There was much hype and mutual promotional baiting before the November fight in Dusseldorf.

Now the bad blood is for real.

Fury v Klitschko will be televised live on BoxNation, most likely on Saturday, October 29. 

339E450800000578-3658488-Tyson_Fury_s_war_of_words_with_Wladimir_Klitschko_has_continued_-a-74_1466778596999 Photo:  Getty Images / Tyson Fury’s war of words with Wladimir Klitschko has continued ahead of their world heavyweight title bout
359FE36600000578-3658488-Fury_has_hit_out_at_Klitschko_once_again_on_Instagram_describing-a-73_1466778591200359FE36600000578-3658488-Fury_has_hit_out_at_Klitschko_once_again_on_Instagram_describing-a-73_1466778591200                                                 Fury has hit out at Klitschko once again on Instagram, describing him as a ‘stupid f****** Ukrainian p****’

www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/boxing/article-3658488/Tyson-Fury-withdraws-heavyweight-rematch-Vladimir-Klitschko-suffering-ankle-injury-training.html

 

Warren calls for Flanagan-Crolla unification clash

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Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren has issued a statement on making a potential unification clash between WBO lightweight world champion Terry Flanagan (30-0, 12 KOs) and WBA lightweight king Anthony Crolla (31-4-3, 13 KOs). “In simple terms, no barriers, no excuses, let’s get it done! The ball is now firmly in Team Crolla’s court. Flanagan is ready and I’m ready and our door is open,” stated Warren.

Quite simply, Flanagan v Crolla has to happen. when has there even been an opportunity to see two world champions from the same city, in fact the same school, attempt to unify their World titles?

Far too often, politics get in the way of making great events, now so more than ever before. During my 35 year career, I have co-promoted countless of events with major promoters in the UK and around the world, including Matchroom so I see no reason why this cannot happen again.

It seems the one stumbling block being flagged up by Matchroom Sport was the issue of the respective fighters rival broadcast platforms, Sky Sports, who televise Anthony Crolla’s fights and BoxNation, who televise Terry Flanagan. To get over this, as Terry’s exclusive Promoter, I am prepared to agree, subject to contract and the commercial terms offered by Sky, that Sky Sports Box Office, can have the exclusive UK broadcast rights to the event to make it happen.

This should ensure that the Sky Sports/BoxNation argument cannot be used as a smokescreen to prevent this fight from happening. I will not make counter offers to secure the event for BoxNation providing Sky Sports Box Office do not offer unreasonable terms.

I will agree to this if the following terms are accurately reflected in a contract:

    The Event is staged by Queensberry Promotions Ltd and Matchroom Sport Ltd, on an equal 50:50 basis. All decisions regarding the event, including pricing and costs, must be mutually agreed.
    The Event takes place in 2016 at the Manchester Arena.
    Manchester Arena’s official ticketing partner, Eventim, receive the sole and exclusive ticketing rights for the event. No secondary ticket agents are permitted to be a sponsor, associate or partner of the event, such as StubHub and the like.
    Each co-promoter is responsible for paying the purse of their respective boxers (i.e. Terry Flanagan to be paid by Queensberry Promotions and Anthony Crolla to be paid by Matchroom Sports) with an undercard to be mutually agreed.

This is an opportunity for both Terry and Anthony to earn career high purses, along with delivering a huge British unification clash for the fans. There is no reason why we cannot move forward on what are fair and reasonable terms for all involved and get this fight on, that is of course if they want it to.

Contrary to the opinion of a few people with their own agenda, no other fight for either fighter can deliver them the type of pay day and profile that is possible from this event. It has all the ingredients to be a special night and an historic one for Manchester. Two World Champions from the same City, same school and arguably the number 1 and 2 in the lightweight division putting it all on the line for local bragging rights. Add on top of that that one is a City fan and the other United. What more could you ask for?

Boxing fans have called for Promoters to put aside rivalries, egos and personal agendas and collaborate to deliver the best possible fights for the public. Here is the perfect opportunity to do this and I’m playing my part.

I am making this statement public to show boxing fans how serious I am about making this event happen. Neither the fighters, nor the public deserve to miss out on what will be a memorable night for British boxing.

In simple terms, no barriers, no excuses, let’s get it done! The ball is now firmly in Team Crolla’s court. Flanagan is ready and I’m ready and our door is open.

www.fightnews.com/Boxing/warren-calls-for-flanagan-crolla-unification-clash-337007

Vijinder Singh-Matiouze Royer Set For April 30 on BoxNation

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Indian boxing sensation Vijinder Singh faces the toughest test of his four fight career when he takes on experienced Frenchman Matiouze Royer on on Saturday 30 April at the Copper Box Arena, exclusively live on BoxNation.

Indian superstar Singh has made an explosive start to life in the paid ranks by blowing away his first four opponents inside three rounds.  Royer, 29, is Singh’s most experienced opponent to date and will proved a stern test for the big-hitting Indian.

The 6ft terror from Bayonne in South West France is a veteran of 44 fights with 14 KO’s and has tested himself against top super-middleweight talent including WBO European Champion Jamie Cox who he lost out to on points back in 2013.

Tattooed warrior Royer from France has racked up 250 gruelling rounds under his belt compared to Singh’s nine and has no fear fighting abroad taking bouts in Spain, Italy and Finland.

Royer has only been stopped twice in a career spanning over seven years and will be looking to spoil the party when he makes his second appearance on UK soil. Singh, 30, knows it is crucial that he wins at the Copper Box Arena and then again at Bolton in May before setting his eyes on a huge Indian homecoming in June.

Undefeated Singh claimed his fourth professional win at the Liverpool Echo Arena last month with a blistering fourth round stoppage of Hungarian Alexander Horvath. The Indian knockout merchant ended the contest in the third round with a crippling body shot and will be looking to claim another big KO win at the Copper Box Arena.

An excited Singh said: “I’m thrilled to be fighting on the same card as the WBO World Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders. Saunders is in the position that I want to be in one day, the middleweight champion of the world. It will be my first time fighting in the capital of England and I can’t wait to show the people of London my explosive power.”

He added: “2016 is shaping up to be a massive year for me. I have a busy few months ahead of me and will be looking to carry on my KO streak with another big performance against Royer. He’s an experienced fighter so I’ll need to be at my very best to overcome him. Once I’ve dealt with him I’ll be looking ahead to my next date in Bolton before gearing up for my massive homecoming in India this summer.”

www.boxingscene.com/vijinder-singh-matiouze-royer-set-april-30-on-boxnation–103377?print_friendly=1

Peter Fury’s training camp diary

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By Peter Fury –

Sparring began for real on Monday and it was great to see Tyson and Hughie get put through their paces by a number of quality heavyweights. For this particular camp we’ve got Kevin Johnson, the American heavyweight due to fight Anthony Joshua in April, as well as Marcin Rekowski, who is 15-1, and Sean ‘Sexy’ Turner from Dublin. It’s a nice mix of experience and youth. We’ve had Kevin twice in camp now and it’s always good to have him around. He’s a good lad, Kevin, and he’s the ultimate professional. He does his job properly. When he’s got the bit between his teeth and has a big fight coming up, you get good work out of him. He does what he needs to do and is ideal for what we need.

Not everybody is, though. The likes of Johnson come back to us because they like what they see, we’re fair with them and they want to return. The ones who don’t come back, however, are the ones who come over and don’t perform in sparring. They don’t give me what I want. Some of them come over and think they’re just getting an easy payday. They do the bare minimum and expect that to be enough. Then comes the reality check. We soon get rid of them.

Sparring, I believe, is majorly important to a fighter’s development. You have to have it because it helps detect any mistakes and flaws. You’ll quickly pick up on and work on mistakes if a boxer is being punished by a sparring partner every time he makes one. Sparring puts boxers under pressure. They’re getting punched back and they’re simulating a fight.

Also, when you have sparring partners they’re not used to, and you then rotate them – in and out – it’s a different ball game. It’s impossible for Tyson and Hughie to get accustomed to any one style. Just when they think they’ve sussed one of the sparring partners, he’ll jump out and another one will jump in. It teaches them to be adjustable and to develop not just one way of fighting but a variety of ways of fighting.

Typically, I’ll have a sparring partner do no more than one round at a time. Johnson, for example, will do a round and will then be replaced by Rekwoski. After Rekowski’s done a round, he’ll be replaced by Turner and so on. I find it keeps them fresh if I’m only giving them a round at a time. They know they can give their maximum effort for that one round and then refresh afterwards ready for the next round we need from them.

Tyson and Hughie, during these sessions, will simply work on what they’re being told. It’s almost as if the opponent in front of them doesn’t exist. They’ll just go through the motions and work on what they need to work on. They’ll work on their flaws. If we’re looking to work a certain style, they’ll practice that and make the mistakes in sparring rather than on fight night itself. They’re just working on their game plan. It’s not about getting the better of the sparring partner or beating them up. That doesn’t prove anything at this stage. They have no interest in that. They’re simply focused on working towards fight night.

All in all, I’ll look for Tyson and Hughie to spar five days a week and they’ll do ten rounds each. It’s enough.

For Hughie, in particular, this camp is vital. Hughie is in a big fight and he’s right up there now and ready to go in with the big boys. He’s always done full-on sparring, to be fair, so this is nothing new to him. The only things that have hampered Hughie in the past have been health issues.

But now he’s back to full strength and he’s going okay so far. So far, so good. He doesn’t have a problem being thrown into hard sparring. He can mix it with the best. He’s shown that in previous camps; anybody who has shared the ring with him knows how good Hughie Fury is…

***

Hughie Fury fights dangerman Andriy Rudenko over ten rounds on February 21 in Monte Carlo, televised by Channel 5. Meanwhile, Tyson Fury defends his WBO International heavyweight title against Christian Hammer on February 28 at the O2 Arena, live on BoxNation

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/peter-furys-training-camp-diary-278074#more-278074

Cleverly vs Kovalev: Fighters make weight for Cardiff main event

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Richard Maynard/Frank Warren Prom./By:  Scott Christ –

The weights were all good today in Cardiff, and Nathan Cleverly and Sergey Kovalev are ready to rumble.

Nathan Cleverly and Sergey Kovalev are set to go for tomorrow’s WBO light heavyweight title clash in Cardiff, Wales, which will be broadcast live on BoxNation and on tape delay in the United States by HBO.

Cleverly (26-0, 12 KO) weighed in at 174 pounds, with Kovalev (21-0-1, 19 KO) at 173, both under the 175-pound limit. This will be Cleverly’s fifth defense of the title, which he won in full in 2011. It’s the first world title shot for Kovalev, a Russian fighter who is now based in the United States and promoted by Main Events.

BLH will have live coverage tomorrow afternoon starting at 2:00 pm EDT, with the full BoxNation-televised card part. In the chief support bout, Gary Buckland will defend the British super featherweight title against Stephen Smith, with the fighters weighing in at 128 and 130 pounds, respectively. Also on the card, Ovill McKenzie (174) will face Enzo Maccarinelli (174) in a rematch for the Commonwealth light heavyweight title.

http://www.badlefthook.com/2013/8/16/4628176/cleverly-vs-kovalev-fighters-make-weight-for-cardiff-main-event

 

Cleverly: I win because I bring the better all round package. I expect to stop Kovalev midway to late

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For some time now, WBO light heavyweight king Nathan Cleverly has been putting himself on offer as the finest 175lb prizefighter on this planet. On Saturday evening, at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena in his native Wales the 26-year-old from Cefn Fforest finally gets his chance to convince others of the veracity of his claim when he makes a sixth defense of his belt against formidable Russian Sergey Kovalev (21-0-1, 19 KOs). When Cleverly spoke with boxing writer Glynn Evans, the champion was adamant that he was physically and psychologically primed to meet the challenge.

Reflecting on your comprehensive points win over mandatory challenger Robin Krasniqi in April, what aspects of the performance pleased you? And what were you not so happy with?

I think it was one on the most complete performances of my career. I’d give myself at least eight out of ten.At times I boxed very nicely, stuck to my game plan and avoided being reckless. Krasniqi was a decent challenger yet I got hit very little. But there’s still a few little things I need to brush up on. I hurt Krasniqi early on, saw his knees dip, but when I opened up, I threw speedy flurries when I might have been better served setting my feet and unloading with power shots. Other times, I left myself a little open to right hands because my left lead got a little lazy. To be fair, Krasniqi was very sharp but I’ll certainly need to correct that against a puncher like Kovalev.

It’s expected for world champions to talk of unification but you actually seem ready now. In what ways do you perceive that you’ve improved as a fighter since you first acquired the WBO (interim) belt two and a half years ago?

I believe my progress has been very satisfying. My last few fights have been particularly good learning experiences for a future on the top world stage. For a start, I’ve matured with age. I’m more controlled and focussed both in training and in the fight. My attitude is better. I’ve left behind that studenty lifestyle. Big fights beckon and people are gunning for me. Consequently, I’ve become a lot more serious about my boxing. I’m also fitter and I’ve now acquired my man strength. I can really feel that now when I’m in the ring. People go on about my supposed level of opposition but I’ve beaten Bellew who’s mandatory at the WBC. I’ve beaten Murat who’s now mandatory to Hopkins at the IBF. Now I’m facing Kovalev who’s rated second at the WBO after I’ve just dispensed with my mandatory (Krasniqi). I honestly feel I’m now ready for anyone in the division.

What motivates you most; scalps, belts or money?

Probably beating the big names. It depends who holds the belts. I badly want Bernard Hopkins. If his IBF belt was on the line that would be ideal but even if he was stripped I think I’d prefer that fight to a unifier with one of the other champions. But the other belts certainly interest me. I really want to unify all the titles and be recognised as the undisputed number one in the division. When that happens I’ll feel fulfilled, that my time in boxing is complete. If I achieve that, the financial security should follow automatically. Since I was a kid, I’ve worked really hard with the boxing so it’d be nice to reap the material rewards and know that all the graft was worthwhile.

Tony Bellew and Carl Froch have been mooted as potential future opponents. How do you think they’ll fare in their forthcoming world title fights with Adonis Stephenson and George Groves respectively?

I think Bellew beats Stephenson. He’s naturally a lot bigger. Adonis is just coming up from super-middle and is pretty short. Bellew should be able to outbox him. If he does win I’d certainly be interested in a rematch to unify the belts and establish myself as the main man in our division. I’ve already beat him comfortably enough in his home town and, I’ll do him again. Froch-Groves is a very interesting fight. George has the better skills and it wouldn’t surprise me if he starts cagily and frustrates Carl a bit. Carl might try too hard over the first half. But I’d still have Carl as favourite because of the momentum he’ll be bringing. He might just have a bit too much force, aggression and man strength down the stretch. I’d loved the Froch fight, but Carl’s a clever man. He knows I’m bigger, stronger, just as fit and far sharper. I don’t blame him for knocking me back.

Saturday’s fight coincides with your team Cardiff City’s return to the top flight of English soccer. Is that a good thing or bad thing for Nathan Cleverly?

It’s a good thing, definitely. For a start, their match away to West Ham will help occupy my mind on Saturday afternoon. Several of my last few fights have coincided with big City matches or Welsh rugby internationals and it breeds a feeling of togetherness in Wales; a team thing. It’s a big sporting weekend for the nation. Success breeds success. Thus far, touch wood, I’ve been a cog in some very successful sporting weekends for Wales. Hopefully that’ll continue come Saturday.

Saturday certainly represents your highest profile fight to date. HBO, BoxNation and First Channel (Russia) shall all broadcasting and a sizeable US media presence is also expected. Is it something you welcome or an unwanted distraction?

All the interest is good. It’s become a part of my job and I’ve learned to enjoy it more over time. As I’ve matured, I feel more in control, more relaxed about it. It’ll be good preparation for all the superfights I intend to have further down the line. All the hard training is done now. It’s time to relax. The last week is all fun and games. Us boxers can only do so many hours at the gym so we have a lot of free time on our hands. Fulfilling media obligations passes the time, fills spaces in my day.

The bookies have the fight pretty much ‘pick ‘em’. How important do you feel a boisterous Welsh crowd will prove in inspiring you, and unnerving Kovalev?

I don’t expect the home crowd will unduly affect Sergey too much because he comes across as a ‘no nonsense’ sort of character who just comes to fight. Don’t forget, he had a lot of international amateur experience. However, from my end, it’s always more comforting having the fans behind you. They’ll cheer every shot that lands, some that don’t, and it can have an influence. They also help to drive you on when it gets tough, particularly in the later stages. I’ve no doubt they will inspire me.

Enlighten us about your preparation. Have you needed to step up the intensity or experiment with anything new?

It’s gone really, really well and it’s a relief knowing that I’m going into such an important fight in such fantastic physical and mental health. Now it’s all about applying all that and executing my game plan under the spotlight and pressure of the big stage. For this camp, I’ve stayed local and stuck with the basics. My house and gym are close by and I got into a nice routine. For sparring, I’ve had Ovill McKenzie – a very dangerous puncher – plus a couple of strong powerful cruiserweights so nothing Kovalev brings should shock me unduly. One thing I’ve tweaked is I’ve heightened my attention to the tactics and game plan. It’s all been very specific whereas, previously, I’d just turn up and rely on my instincts on the night.

With 19 stoppages in 21 wins as a pro, Kovalev certainly arrives with a reputation as a formidable puncher. Will that make you more apprehensive than normal?

Not really, I don’t think. Knowing he’s so dangerous has certainly kept me on my toes in training but a bit of fear is great for motivation. Back in the amateurs, as a kid, I’d always seek out opponents with reputations for being bangers. I always wanted to prove myself and I always came out on top. When I started to become aware of the commotion building over Kovalev in the US, I said to Frank (Warren): ‘Go and get him for me.’ Knowing that he’s almost certainly going to come looking for me is a good thing; for me, for TV, for the fans at the venue. It’s going to be a proper fight. Him unloading will leave openings for me to exploit.

You appear to have a technical edge over Kovalev. However, you do like to get involved and excite the paying punters. Can you trust yourself to remain disciplined before a fanatical home crowd?

In preparation, we’ve focussed a lot on not going ‘gung ho’. However, now it’s up to me to prove I can stay calm and deliver on the night, under the roars. A few fights back, I might have struggled but now I believe I can keep my focus and do what’s right.

It’s a cracking, competitive match-up that’s split the trade on both sides of The Pond. How do you envisage the fight panning out and what gives you confidence that it’ll be your hand that get’s raised at the end?

I think it’s inevitable that there’ll be a lot of exchanges because we both like to let our hands go. It’s probable that we’ll both land frequently and it’ll be interesting to see how each of us react when the other lands. Will they withdraw into a shell or will they look to strike back? We both like to operate on the front foot so I doubt that this will be a cagey affair. I envisage an action packed, long fight. I’ll win because I bring the better all round package. Kovalev’s a banger who’s accurate and a decent boxer but, it terms of skill, speed, sharpness, fitness, speed chin, I beat this guy. I expect to stop him mid way to late.

And if you prevail, what do you hope that it will lead to?

Hopkins is definitely the way forward for me. An impressive victory on Saturday will open a heck of a lot of doors. Hopefully I’ll secure the US TV deal I need to make the biggest fights happen.

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/cleverly-i-win-because-i-bring-the-better-all-round-package-i-expect-to-stop-kovalev-midway-to-late-218897

Nathan Cleverly is Ready For War With Kovalev

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ABERBARGOED, WALES – Nathan Cleverly during a training session at Planet Fitness ahead of his fight with Sergey Kovalev on August 12, 2013 in Aberbargoed, Wales. Cleverly defends his WBO light heavyweight title against undefeated challenger Kovalev on Saturday night. BoxNation and HBO will televise the fight.

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http://www.boxingscene.com/photos-nathan-cleverly-ready-war-with-kovalev–68566

Photos: Cleverly Looks Dapper With Deadly Russian Agents

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CARDIFF, WALES – Nathan Cleverly, the WBO light heavyweight champion, poses alongside two deadly Russian agents at the Grosvenor Casino in Cardiff to promote his forthcoming fight against uneabten dangerous puncher Sergey Kovalev of Russia. Cleverly (26-0, 12KOs) will defend his title against Kovalev (21-0-1, 19KOs) on August 17th at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff. The match will be televised by HBO and BoxNation.

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http://www.boxingscene.com/photos-cleverly-looks-dapper-with-deadly-russian-agents–68014

Cleverly: Kovalev won’t be able to hit what he can’t see

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WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (26-0, 12 KOs) spoke to the press today about his showdown against Sergey Kovalev (21-0-1, 19 KOs) at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena. “August 17th can’t come quick enough for me,” said Cleverly. “Kovalev has built this reputation of fear for his devastating knockouts, which to anybody looks pretty impressive. When I saw the KOs it excited me and I said ‘I’ve got to have this guy.’ I’m actually looking forward to getting in the ring with him and seeing what he’s got. He’ll be looking to take my head clean off and I Iove that feeling of having the adrenalin surging around my body. I’ll have the fans watching in the arena and the viewers watching live on BoxNation in the UK and on HBO in America, it’s a lot of pressure, but I thrive off it and the better I’ll perform. He won’t be able to hit what he can’t see and I’ll be throwing five, six, seven punches to every one punch he throws. One things for sure this will be an exciting fight and I’ll have a new army of fans on both sides of the Atlantic after it.”

Cleverly defends his title for the sixth time against Kovalev.

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/cleverly-kovalev-wont-be-able-to-hit-what-he-cant-see-211666

Photos: Cleverly, Krasniqi Get Very Tense at Weigh-In

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WBO World Light-Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly weighed-in just under the limit at 12st 6 1/2lbs (174lbs) and mandatory challenger Robin Krasniqi came lighter at 12st 5lbs (173lbs) for their big fight tomorrow night at Wembley Arena.

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WBO European Lightweight Champion Liam Walsh hit the scales at 9st 8 1/2lbs (134 1/2lbs) with challenger and former two-time WBO World Featherweight Champion Scott Harrison coming in at 9st 8 1/2lbs (134 1/2lbs).

Dereck Chisora weighed in at 18st (252lbs) with his opponent in the ten-round international contest, Hector Alfredo Avila at 15st 8lbs (218lbs) .

Paul Butler was 8st 2 1/2lbs (114 1/2lbs) for his Commonwealth Super-Flyweight title challenge against the champion Yaqub Kareem who came in at 8st 2lbs (114lbs).

Cleverly v Krasniqi headlines a massive fight card, live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546) with coverage starting at 7pm.

http://www.boxingscene.com/photos-cleverly-krasniqi-get-very-tense-weigh—64596

Ricky Burns vs. Paulus Moses on Saturday on BoxNation

IN DEPTH WITH RICKY BURNS

Ricky Burns: ‘I’m Fed Up With Training and Waiting. Let’s Get the Fight On!’

With two world titles already on his CV, Coatbridge quiet man Ricky Burns is now primely placed to reap the material rewards of his labours.

But with a lucrative summer showdown against London rival Kevin Mitchell beckoning, and possible unification openings thereafter, this most unassuming of champions stresses to boxing writer Glynn Evans that there can be no room for complacency when he faces off with top grade Namibian Paulus Moses at Braehead Arena next Saturday.

The Scot makes the opening defence of his World Boxing Organization (WBO) World Lightweight crown live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546) from 7.30pm. Join at www.boxnation.tv

How do you reflect on your great win over Michael Katsidis for the WBO interim lightweight crown at Wembley last November? Do you agree it was the finest performance of your career?

It was definitely a good performance. Again, everybody had me wrote off beforehand and, again, I proved everybody wrong. It was definitely a tougher fight than when I won my (WBO) superfeather belt against Roman Martinez. Michael was exactly what we trained for; a tough, tough man and you could see at the end when I was interviewed how swollen my jaw was.

That said, it appeared a lot tougher when I watched the tape back than it had actually appeared when I was fighting the fight. I pretty much knew from the first round that I had the beating of him. The tactics were to stay on the jab and, when inevitably there were times when he managed to close the distance, to keep my hands up, counter, then use my legs to get me out of bother. It all worked perfectly. Again, I promise, there’s a lot more still to come.

It was your first championship start up at 135lbs. What difference did the added weight make during camp and on fight night?

I’d not have weighed much more inside the ring than I did when I boiled down to super-feather but it allowed training to go far more comfortably. I could train for tactics and technique not just to shed pounds. Straining to make weight definitely takes something out of you in the ring. I still looked massive for a lightweight.

Lightweight has been my natural weight for a lot longer than you’d realise. To be honest, I was surprised how long I continued at superfeather when I was fighting at Commonwealth level. We discussed lightweight a year before I won the super-feather world title. Every time it was ‘just one more fight’. However, the struggle I had making 130 for the Nicky Cook fight was absolutely ridiculous. Of course, it’s hard to walk away when you hold a world title but I knew after that it was definitely time to move up. When the opportunity to contest the ‘interim’ title at lightweight was offered, I jumped at it. A lifeline!

Your first defence against Paulus Moses on Saturday (10th) will be your first start in Scotland for 12 months. Given your last two showings at home were comparatively flat title defences over Andreas Evensen and Joseph Laryea, do you feel you owe Scottish fans a spectacular performance?

Obviously I’ll be hoping to look good for the home fans but you know I don’t ever like to talk myself up and put added pressure on myself. Getting the win is the be all and end all, for me. I understand there’s under 400 tickets left so we’re expecting a sell out. What I can say is that if I perform as well as I have been in sparring, I guarantee the fans will have a good night.

The South African is a former WBA champion who has only lost once in 29 pro fights and has 19 knockout wins on his slate. Yet you’ve accepted him as a voluntary challenger. Weren’t you tempted to take something a little less taxing?

No, I’ve always said since I started boxing at 12 that I’ll fight anyone at all. The only way to be the best, and to be considered the best by others, is to fight and beat the best around. This is a proper world title fight.

How has your preparation gone?

I’ll have had 10 or 11 weeks and six of that will have been hard sparring. There’s been a really good vibe in the gym. I’ve done a lot of rounds with Paul Appleby who’s got a big fight himself the same night (against Ireland’s Stephen Ormond) and I’ve also had Tommy Coyle, Tyrone Nurse, Patrick Liam Walsh up here before finishing off with Bradley Saunders last week. You get to a stage were you’re just fed up with training and waiting. You just want to get the fight on. That’s where I’m at.

What do you know of the 33 year old challenger?

I’m never one for studying tapes of my opponent. What happens on the night, happens. A fight’s a fight and I’ve always been good at sussing things out once we get started.

But Paulus’s record speaks for itself so I know he’s likely to give me a very good fight. He’s a former world champion, proven at very top class for quite a while and his only defeat (a sixth round knockout in the second defence of his WBA crown) was to Venezuela’s Miguel Acosta who is also a great fighter.

I’ve heard Moses is a good boxer who has a good jab but so have I. Obviously, from his record, he can bang – we’ve heard with the right hand – but I’ve been in with bangers before. Martinez and Katsidis were said to be bangers but I’ve always shown I can take a shot.

I think the first few rounds could be the key but I’m ready for anything and I’ll take each round as it comes.

Your very best performances have come as an underdog against Martinez and Katsidis yet you enter this as a 5-1 on favourite. Any chance you could be overlooking Moses in favour of the mooted mandatory summer showdown with Kevin Mitchell?

None at all. If I don’t win here, the Kevin Mitchell fight definitely isn’t going to happen. I’ve trained extremely hard for 12 rounds and I’m expecting a very tough fight. I have to get this one out of the way.

People need to realise, I just love fighting and the better the opponent, the more I love it. Most true, diehard boxing fans are aware exactly how big a challenge Paulus Moses represents. I’ve always maintained that only the very top opponents will bring out the very best in me and this is a perfect fight for me to prove that.

Prediction?

Ricky Burns wins a great fight; points if need be, knockout’s a bonus!

This is your first fight of 2012. What do you hope to have achieved by the end of the year?

I’m looking no further than this fight but obviously if I do get through it, the Kevin Mitchell fight should be straightforward to make as we’re both with Frank Warren. Kevin boxed very well last month so that could be a very tough fight in the summer. We’re the two best lightweights in the country and it’s the one most want to see.

You’ve been world champion for 18 months now. How are you growing into that status? You’re naturally shy. Are the commitments a bonus or a distraction?

I’m still doing my shift at the local sports store on the weekend. It breaks up my training nicely and all the staff and customers are ‘brand new’. That keeps me grounded.

I do whatever’s needed publicity wise then, a fortnight before a fight I completely lock myself away and I think people appreciate the need for that.

Otherwise, I try to go to as many functions and charity bashes as I can. It’s no big deal to me but often means a lot to others. My attitude’s the same it always was. I sort of enjoy the attention but I get embarrassed, really don’t see what all the fuss is about. After a fight, I do try to lock myself away for a couple of weeks to let the commotion die down.

You’re still only 28 but have been a pro for nearly 11 years now. How long do you intend continuing for and what are your remaining ambitions? Breaking America? Unification?

A boxing ring is a boxing ring and, if I keep winning, sure, I’d go to the States, particularly for unification. That would be exciting, an adventure.

I really, really love fighting so much. I’ve a good defence and, as long as I’m not getting hurt, I tell (trainer) Billy Nelson I’m going to continue until I’ve had 100 fights! Others think I’m nuts but, really, it’s all I want to do.

THE WBO LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP OF THE WORLD

RICKY BURNS v PAULUS MOSES

SATURDAY 10th MARCH, 2012

BRAEHEAD ARENA, GLASGOW

***LIVE ON BOXNATION (SKY CH. 456/VIRGIN CH. 546)***

 

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