Tough Irish lightweight Stephen Ormond will headline Frank Warren’s 9th DebRA Fight Night on Friday 20th September, when the Dubliner challenges Hungarian Adam Mate for the Vacant WBO European Lightweight Championship.
This year's DebRA Fight Night will take place at the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, London with previous installments of the charity dinner show having helped raise a combined total of close to a million pounds since the event’s inception 9 years ago.
DebRA are well known for their fantastic work on behalf of people in the UK with the rare genetic skin blistering condition Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) and the financial support of the charity’s annual tie up with boxing has helped to provide the necessary financial footing to push their support of the dreadful condition forward.
In this year’s main event, Ormond’s challenge for the WBO European strap against the hard hitting Hungarian Mate - who replaces the original challenger Scott Harrison who pulled out injured - will give him the opportunity to obtain a lofty ranking with the WBO that the previous holder of the title, Liam Walsh, enjoyed.
The Irishman who has one sole loss in his 14 fight professional career, via a contentious decision to Paul Appleby, will be looking at the platform that the title provided Walsh, who secured a World title shot at WBO Lightweight Champion Ricky Burns before being ruled out by injury.
The event is also set to be a family affair as Ormond is trained by Pascal Collins, the brother of the Irish legend Steve - the former WBO World Super-Middleweight Champion - whose son Steve Jnr will also appears on the bill against Rolandas Cesna of Lithuania. The muscular Collins Jnr last appeared on the Chisora v Scott Wembley Arena bill, besting Paul Morris on points over 4 rounds in his second pro fight.
The undercard for the charity event also features fast rising Inverness heavyweight sensation Gary Cornish who take on Jiri Svacina of the Czech Republic in an 8 rounder; whilst former Commonwealth Games champion Simon Valily of Teeside takes part in his second pro cruiserweight contest against an opponent to be named.
The black-tie dinner is usually a sell-out, and attended by celebrities as well as some of boxing's biggest names.
Further information on table packages and sponsorship opportunities can be found at www.debra.org.uk
British and Commonwealth Welterweight Champion Frankie Gavin, who aims to secure his Lonsdale belt outright this Saturday (21 September) at The Copper Box Arena when he faces David Barnes, spoke today about rival Amir Khan’s chances in a potential showdown with the pound-for-pound number one fighter Floyd Mayweather Jnr., saying simply “he hasn’t really got any!”
Gavin, Britain’s only ever amateur world champion, was responding to media reports that Khan is a leading contender to become the next opponent for Mayweather, who made light work of his supposed number one threat, Canelo Alverez, last Saturday which was shown live on BoxNation in the UK.
Gavin continued, “Khan is an excellent fighter but Mayweather is definitely a step too far for him, as he is for anyone at the moment.”
The Birmingham star dazzled in his last performance against the previously unbeaten Denton Vassell and also made it clear that former World Champion Khan is very much on the agenda in what would be a salivating all-British showdown: “He’s hasn’t proved that that he’s even the best Welterweight in the UK yet, and until he does you have question how he can possibly get in there with the world’s best fighter and an all-time great. I know myself that Khan is their to be beaten and that I’ve got the skills that could expose him and I would love that fight. I’ve always said that I will fight anybody and if we met it would be absolutely huge in the UK.”
Gavin’s fight with David Barnes, in which he hopes to capture the Lonsdale belt for keeps, is seen in many quarters as Gavin’s last outing at domestic level as he continues his march towards a World title. The fight is a co-feature on Queensberry Promotions’ multi-title curtain raiser for the Olympic Park’s Copper Box Arena. The event headlined, by the huge British and Commonwealth title showdown between Billy Joe Saunders and John Ryder will mark the first of six confirmed shows that Frank Warren and Queensberry Promotions have set up for the next year.
Also on the bill Dereck Chisora has a second stab at European glory, after being robbed of the title against Robert Helanius two years ago. Chisora faces Edmund Gerber this time for the vacant EBU title. Paul Butler will be looking to continue to send shockwaves through the Super Flyweight division when he takes on Miguel Gonzalez for the Vacant WBO Intercontinental title, whilst someone will lose their unbeaten record when Liam Walsh faces Joe Murray for the IBF International and Commonwealth Super Featherweight Championships.
The exciting Mitchell Smith looks to capture the Vacant Southern Area title against Scott Moises, whilst the hugely popular Frank Buglioni will bring his army of fans to the venue for the first time as he looks to go 10-0.
Welterweight Bradley Skeete gets a chance to impress whilst top amateurs Georgie Kean and Josh Leather will make their professional bows on the bill.
Remaining tickets for the Copper Box Arena show are priced at:
£40 Upper Concourse
£50 Lower Seating Bowl
Unbeaten Super Featherweight Liam Walsh challenges Joe Murray for the vacant IBF International Super Featherweight Title at the Copper Box on Saturday 21st September in a fight where one of the two best emerging fighters at the weight is set to lose their unbeaten record.
Walsh spoke ahead of the showdown this Saturday which forms part of a multi-title card headlined by Billy Joe Saunders British and Commonwealth title clash with John Ryder at the curtain raiser for the Olympic Park venue, live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546).
Liam what do you know about Joe Murray?
I know a lot about him, I’ve been watching a lot of DVDs to prepare. He was an excellent amateur and has superb technical ability and he’s been ticking along nicely in the pro’s and starting to blossom. He’s probably seeing this as a bit of a coming out party for him but it won’t be I’m not going to lose my unbeaten record, he is.
Would you say he’s likely to be your toughest test to date?
Yeah, every fight is a tough test but I’d definitely say that he’s better technically than any boxer I’ve faced. Appleby was a good test, but in terms of technical ability this will be my toughest
What are your plans for the next 18 months should you get past Joe Murray, is a World title shot on the agenda?
Hopefully, of course I have to be at my best against Murray, it won’t be enough to just win against him, I have to win well and in style to keep that momentum going. After that I’ll sit down with Frank, George and Francis (Warren) and we’ll look at the next move, but I would jump at the chance to fight for a World title.
Last time out you beat former world champion Scott Harrison in a cracking fight at Wembley, and in 2011 you were the winner in the fight of the year against Paul Appleby, do you think we can expect something of similarly exciting this time around against Joe Murray?
Without a doubt, Murray is a hugely ambitious young fighter like myself and we’re both putting it on the line. Like me he has dreams and big ambitions to go all the way, it’s must win for both of us and I think you’ll see that in the way the fight plays out. Last time I fought someone similarly young and hungry, in Paul Appleby it turned out to be the fight of the year, so I think we can expect to see some fireworks again as the scenario is similar.
You were in line to face Ricky Burns last year before injury ruled you out of the clash, what have you made of his two last performances? And should you end up campaigning at lightweight where your highly ranked by the WBO would you fancy that fight in the future?
I’ve got to say it, but he’s been very lucky! I like Ricky and have got a lot of respect to him, but Gonzalez was getting the better of him for the whole of their fight before he swallowed, which was just shameful on his (Gonzalez) part! Against Beltran, I had a good bet that Beltran would win as he’s a world class fighter and always thought Ricky would struggle against him as he seemed a level above. Let’s be honest he clearly lost the fight, and I unjustifiably lost my bet!
In terms of facing him and making our cancelled fight happen, why not! I was absolutely devastated to have to pull out after my car crash, I feel I’ve got all the attributes to make life difficult for Burns. The Puerto Rican was slick and awkward and Burns just couldn’t deal with it and I feel like I could have given him similar problems. If the opportunity came up again I would be screaming from the rooftops for for that fight and a shot at the world title!
What’s it going to mean to you to fight at The Copper Box inside the Olympic Park after the legacy left by last year’s games?
I’m massively excited about fighting at the venue inside the Olympic Park, probably more so than I have to fight at any other venue in my career. All my fans and friends are absolutely buzzing as well to see boxing there for the first time, I’ve got to say I think its potentially the best venue of the lot, every seat in the house is fantastic value for money! I went there for the press conference for the first time and could feel the buzz, I just can’t wait for the bell to go as the atmosphere is going to be fantastic!
Finally what’s your prediction for the fight?
Simply a Liam Walsh win