London - Hennessy Sports would like to wish both Chris Eubank Jr and Hughie Fury very happy birthdays today, as well as announce that both fighters will appear on the Tyson Fury vs David Haye undercard.
After their stoppage wins at the Magna Centre, Rotherham, on the undercard to Kid Galahadís sensational British title knockout win over Jazza Dickens, the hot middleweight sensation and young heavyweight star will be back in action in just 10 days time.
Eubank Jr, who turned 24 today, took apart and stopped the tough Bulgarian Alexey Ribchev inside three rounds in Rotherham and will be looking for a repeat performance in Manchester.
The stoppage extended his perfect record to 11 wins with six knockouts, while Hughie, who turned 19 today, took on former British cruiserweight champion Shane McPhilbin to record his ninth straight win and sixth stoppage since his professional debut in March.
Watch both Eubank Jr and Hughie weigh-in at the official Fury vs. Haye weigh-in, Friday, September 27, inside the Phones 4 U Arena, Manchester - open to the general public.
There is a limited amount of free tickets released through the Phones 4 U Arena Box Office and also eventim.co.uk, which carry a booking fee of £2.50 per transaction up to four tickets and are on sale now.
The weigh-in itself will commence at 12.30pm (doors open at 11.30am) and every boxer scheduled to appear on the Fury vs. Haye fight card will tip the scales.
Of course, due to the expected high demand, fans are urged to snap up their tickets as soon as possible for this event.
FIGHTS IN WATFORD ON 5TH OCTOBER
Fresh from his two round destruction of Tom Dallas to win the Southern Area Heavyweight title, Lewison is keeping busy as he fights again in just over two weeks at the Watford Colosseum at the Goodwin Promotions ďBoys are Back in townĒ show.
Manager Steve Goodwin immediately contacted the British Boxing Board of control to get Lewison made mandatory for John McDermottís English title which has now gone out to purse bids with the fight to take place by the end of 2013.
ďI donít want to sit and wait for McDermott. I want to keep busy and I am ready to lay another one out on 8th October. Then McDermott will be knocked out inside four rounds and then David Priceís British title will be my target.Ē
ďI am delighted how my career has turned round under Steve Goodwin. I promised him over a year ago that I would do for hi m what Lennox Lewis did for Frank Maloney and I intend to fulfil my promiseĒ
Ian has an International contest on an action packed show which brings professional boxing back to Watford for the first time in four years. Two other heavyweights feature on the bill with Hatfieldís Tom ďnot soĒ Little having his first fight since signing with the Goodwinís and exciting heavyweight prospect AJ Carter looking for this third successive win.
ďThe Boys and Back in TownĒ is aptly names as the show is headlined by two local lads Liam and Miles Shinkwin who both have 6 round International contests.
St Albans Welterweight Danny Murphy features and the show sees the debut of the exciting ďLionheartĒ Dave Leo at Featherweight.
Tickets can be bought from any of the boxers or from www.goodwinpromotions.co.uk or by calling 01525 851150
JOHN RYDER: ĎITíS NOT ABOUT MONEY, ITíS ABOUT HAVING BELTS ON YOUR MANTLE PIECE!í
After a solid three year apprenticeship, Islington middleweight John ĎThe Gorillaí Ryder is ready to be unleashed from his cage.
The ridiculously strong southpaw has mauled all 15 pro foes thus far, but will brute force and unbridled aggression be suffice now that he enters major championship class?
Weíll find out this Saturday when the 25-year-old squares off against fellow unbeaten starlet Billy Joe Saunders at the Copper Box Arena. With both principalís star in the ascent, experts are dubbing this the most keenly anticipated British middleweight clash for 20 years.
Remaining tickets, priced at £40, £50, £70 and £120 are available from the Eventim Box Office on 0844 249 1000 or www.eventim.co.uk
Watch the whole ĎRock the Boxí card - which also features Dereck Chisoraís challenge for the vacant European heavyweight crown plus civil wars between Billy Joe Saunders and John Ryder and Liam Walsh against Joe Murray Ė live and exclusive on BoxNation, the Channel of Champions, from 7pm on Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546.† Join at www.boxnation.com
Last weekend boxing writer Glynn Evans caught up with the amiable challenger to reflect on his career and contemplate the biggest night of his career as a prizefighter.
Were you a little scrapper yourself growing up on the streets of north London? At what age did you first become interested in boxing?
I had my share of little Ďtear upsí growing up in Islington but no more than any other kid. I didnít like bullies so always stuck up for the little guy which led to me getting into a few scrapes.
From the age of about 12, dad took me to work with him on the building sites on Saturday mornings, lugging bricks. I think that built the foundation of my strength at an early age.
Iíve been interested in boxing as far back as I can remember. As a young kid, maybe seven or eight, I loved watching the likes of Naz, Benn and Eubank in their big fights on ITV.
What do you recall of your amateur career?
I first began boxing training at the Finchley Amateur Boxing Club at the age of 12 but I didnít actually have my first bout until after Iíd moved to the Angel gym, aged 15. The coaches there were (ex pros) Colin Lake and Ivor ĎThe Engineí Jones.
All told, I won 30 of my 35 amateur fights and I won a London Youth title plus senior National Novice titles in Class A and Class B. I once boxed for London against The Army over in Hereford but I never got selected to box for England.
The biggest name I boxed in the amateurs was George Groves in the North -West London Divs. George was the defending ABA senior champion at the time. I gave him quite a good fight but was a bit young and overawed by the occasion and showed George too much respect. He beat me on points.
Iíve no regrets about not starting earlier or turning pro as soon as I did. Some stay amateur too long then find it hard to make the transition. My style was always going to suit the pros better.
What are the origins of your ĎThe Gorillaí nickname?
Around the age of 17, 18, I used to spar a lot of (Team GB coach) Robert McCrackenís boys when he was working with Mick Hennessy. Rob said I had the strength of a baby gorilla and it just stuck. Everybody used to call it me tongue in cheek and now I canít get rid of it!
Youíre trained by former British super-featherweight champion Colin Lake and managed by Tony Sims, who also coaches IBF middleweight champion Darren Barker; two well respected boxing men. How have they been instrumental in developing your career?
Colin is as fiery as I am so we drive each other mad but together we get the work done. We use the Angel gym a couple of nights and also Tonyís gym, The Gator, over in Hainault. Colinís excellent both on the fitness and technical sides. Heís really strong on head movement and breathing correctly to remain relaxed and conserve energy.
Because Tony is also a trainer, many mistakenly assume he coaches me. He doesnít. Heís just my manager. Heís in charge of making my matches. Obviously heís been in the game a long time and is very well connected. Heís done a great job of stepping me up at the right time.
After a relatively gentle introduction to the pros youíve really stepped up your level of competition over the past 18 months.
Last year, Huddersfieldís Alastair Warren (8-1) and Castlefordís Luke Robinson (8-2-1) were both outscored over eight rounds. Hungarian southpaw Sandor Micsko was iced in two and Belfastís ex Commonwealth Games gold medallist Eamonn OíKane was worn down over eight in a British eliminator.
Earlier this year, you schooled Zimbabweís former Commonwealth welter challenger Farai Musiyiwa over eight. In what areas do you feel youíve developed?
Iíve definitely improved my boxing skills lately. Earlier in my career I was just intent on hurting the opponent as quickly as possible and getting them out of there. Now Iím far more relaxed and sit down on my shots better. Though my last fight only lasted two rounds (a clinical stoppage of French journeyman Yoann Bloyer in Hull in July) I showed that Iím now developing a really good jab.
Ex Prizefighter champion OíKane had been calling you out on Twitter. It was only after you demolished him that the cognoscenti really started to consider you as future championship material.
Thatís right. Eamonn had been calling me out for about 12 months and I was happy to oblige. He now says it was only cos he took it at short notice!
I was aware of the pedigree he had and I knew heíd be tough so, early doors, I tucked up and rolled. He could hurt you when he connected but I proved a bit quicker and sharper. I was surprised I stopped him. You can usually sense whether a stoppage is on in the first few rounds but he seemed solid. Then he just folded.
Youíve still to travel past round eight yet could be required to travel the full 12 round championship trip against Saunders. How have you catered for that in preparation?
Look, itís not going to be a worry. Iíve been sparring 12 rounds straight off against good fighters since I was 17 years old. Iíve done lots of good long runs and Iíve had top quality sparring against the likes of James DeGale, Ryan Toms and some good amateur lads. Theyíve all got different styles. The distance wonít be a problem, if it gets that far.
Prep has gone really well. After that fight in Hull in July, I took one week off so this is a continuation of the fitness that I achieved for that fight. Iíll have had a good ten to eleven weeks. No excuses.
Darren Barkerís recent world title win must have given the whole gym a boost.
Oh definitely. We all really look up to Darren because we see how hard he trains and we know what heís been through both as a boxer and in his personal life. He had to really dig deep to get up when (Daniel) Geale dumped him with that body shot in round six. If that canít motivate you, nothing can.
Darren and I have sparred together loads for a number of years now. Above all, heís got a fantastic boxing brain. Heís always one step ahead. I swear he knows what Iím going to do before I do! And people really underestimate his power. Over the past 18 months, heís developed a real nastiness. In sparring he really puts the shots in, wants to hurt you.
Your title challenge marks the debut boxing promotion at the futuristic Copper Box Arena that was used for handball at the 2012 London Olympics. Does that add something to the occasion for you?
Definitely. It was brilliant having the Olympics in my home town and itís great to know that the fantastic facilities shanít be going to waste.
Thereís so many other great fighters on the card such as Dereck Chisora and Frankie Gavin yet itís Billy Joe and me who are headlining. Fantastic!
Georgie Kean, another Islington boy who I often see about, is making his pro debut and heís a big ticket seller. Iíll be bringing 3-400 (fans) of my own. Itís going to be a great occasion.
Whatís your assessment of champion Saunders?
A very good all rounder fighter whoís got lightening quick hands. I donít believe heís shown his very best yet because of the quality of his opposition. Without giving our gameplan away, Iíve seen things that I think I can capitalise on.
Saunders brings a far superior amateur pedigree and much greater professional experience. Understandably, he has been installed as a clear betting favourite. What do you feel you bring to counter balance that?
Strength, fitness, underestimated skills and a clever brain. Above all, I never give up. I can be nine rounds down but Iíll still be trying to knock you out until that last bell sounds.
Like Billy Joe, youíre unbeaten, youíre southpaw and youíre a Gooner. You also both share an indifference to rival middleweight contender Chris Eubank Jnr. What is it about him that gets under your skin?
Some of the others have major Twitter wars with him but I donít waste my time. We sparred once, a year or so ago, and as weíre in the same weight division, itís inevitable that people pair our names.
Heís got talent but he needs to get out of his dadís shadow and develop his own style. If he just tries to mimic his dad heís going to come unstuck. Chris Snr was unique, a one off.
You and Saunders are both exciting talents who like to please the crowd. Can the fans expect a war?
I think this fight will bring everything mixed into one; skill, power, war! I think weíll start at a high pace but that it will become more tactical in the mid rounds. I expect it to go the full 12 rounds. Iím sure heís been training very hard as well.
Why do you feel it will be your hand that is raised at the end?
Iím really confident and really motivated. I honestly believe that Iím fitter and stronger. Becoming British champion is what Iíve always dreamed of. I feel Iíve been ready for a British title shot for a while and Iím happy that itís come against a champion thatís as accomplished as Billy Joe Saunders.
For me, boxing isnít about money. Itís about my name going down as champion and having belts on the mantle piece. No one remembers what your pay cheques were, after youíve retired!
FRANKIE GAVIN: ďBARNES WAS TALENTED BUT HEíS NOT ANY MORE!Ē
Brilliant British welterweight champion Frankie Gavin endeavours to complete his domestic apprenticeship on Saturday evening then vault to the world stage where he believes his prodigious talent is best suited.
The 27-year-old Brummie southpaw, still Englandís only ever world amateur champion, can secure the Lonsdale Belt outright if he dispatches Manchesterís former two-weight national champion David Barnes in the third defence of his crown at the Copper Box Arena on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Unbeaten in 16 with 12 stoppages and currently in the best form of his life, the champ was bristling with confidence when boxing writer Glynn Evans cornered him on Monday evening.
Remaining tickets, priced at £40, £50, £70 and £120 are available from the Eventim Box Office on 0844 249 1000 or www.eventim.co.uk
Watch the whole ĎRock the Boxí card - which also features Dereck Chisoraís challenge for the vacant European heavyweight crown plus civil wars between Billy Joe Saunders and John Ryder and Liam Walsh against Joe Murray Ė live and exclusive on BoxNation, the Channel of Champions, from 7pm on Sky Ch.437/Virgin Ch.546.† Join at www.boxnation.com
Do you consider your seventh round demolition of Denton Vassell, to capture the Commonwealth title in June, the best performance of your professional career to date?
Not really. It was a pretty straight forward job, to be honest. In camp, we all predicted that Iíd beat Denton as comfortably as I did because his style was tailor made for my counter punching. I was particularly pleased with my accuracy, mind. Almost every shot I threw landed.
Beforehand, a lot was made of how big and powerful Denton was, and whether Iíd be able to cope with that. But, skills aside, I was just as strong and powerful. Iíve long outgrown light-welter. Trust me, I have to work hard to make welterweight now. Iíll certainly be bigger than David Barnes in the ring on Saturday night and Iím predicting another good performance.
After periods of inactivity, youíve got only a 12 week turn around between the Vassell and Barnes fights. How will that aid you?
Obviously, it helps me to stay sharp. Frank (Warren) keeps me busy and Iím confident that Iíll keep delivering top performances.
Iíve had loads of quality sparring in between the fights.† Again, Iíve used Tommy Langford, whoís unbeaten in five as a pro at middleweight plus (one time British Masters middleweight champion) Terry Carruthers; two big, strong lads. Iíve also been working with a top amateur lightweight, a switcher whoís won 60 of 63 bouts. Heís keeping me very sharp.
Youíve been a revelation since returning to Brum and re-uniting with Tom Chaney your ex amateur coach at Hall Green ABC. Why do you work so well together?
Itís partly that Iím back home and close to my kids which helps keep my head right.
Tom knows me better than anybody. He knows what my strengths and weaknesses are Ė we work a lot on both Ė but he also knows what makes me click as a person. Sometimes I need to be told ĎWhatís whatí for my own good, and Tomís never been afraid to do that. He knows how to talk to me and always gives reasons and clear explanations as to why he wants me to try something, why itíll benefit me.
Contrary to what some have written, Iíve always really loved training. Thatís never been an issue. Iíve always been super fit. But previously I tended to focus on the boxing related stuff; the bags, pads and sparring.
Tomís got me on the circuits which has given me a lot more physical strength, something Iíll need as I advance above British level and into world class. Right now, Iím the strongest Iíve ever been and I know Iíve got the power to hurt every opponent. I just donít need to go looking for it.
Britainís boxing squad for the 2008 Beijing Olympics was one of itís strongest ever. James DeGale, Tony Jeffries and David Price all returned with medals. The squad also included talents such as Joe Murray, Bradley Saunders, Billy Joe Saunders and yourself.
How much rivalry exists between you to establish who is top dog in the pros?
Not much, from my part. I wish all of them the very best. We were a tight group, very good friends. I really hope that David Price can get his career right back on track after his recent setbacks because he was like an older brother to us all.
Billy Joe and myself will both be looking to grab the headlines on Saturday night but we probably get on better now as pros, having fought on so many shows together. I know he genuinely wants me to win, just as I want him to. Weíre all different weights. Thereís no rivalry.
Presently most would have you third in line in the list of domestic welterweights, behind Kell Brook and Amir Khan. How far do you think you are from a clash with either of those? Given the choice, which would you prefer to face first?
Itís really up to them when we meet. Iíd certainly be ready for either for my December date. Brook hasnít beaten anybody better than I have. Matt Hatton and Michael Jennings are no better than Junior Witter and Denton Vassell. Youíd certainly fancy Denton to beat everybody Brook has beaten.
Besides, I think Kell Ďkillsí himself to make 10.7. Iím super fit and Iíd make him work for everything he gets. I also take a shot well so I donít think his power would worry me unduly.
Out of preference, Iíd prefer to fight Khan first because thereíd be a lot more money involved. History shows that it only takes one shot to change a fight with Amir. He was beating (Danny) Garcia comfortably until he got Ďdoneí by one shot and was dominating Julio Diaz until he got dropped. Diaz is a relative non puncher and certainly not a big welter.
Everyone built Breidis Prescott up to be some kind of murderous puncher after he wiped Khan out but that was five years ago and, in 11 fights since, Prescottís lost five and only scored two stoppages, both against nobodies.
Victory on Saturday evening will earn you the coveted Lord Lonsdale Belt for keeps. How big a motivation is that?
Previously, it wasnít a big thing for me. I was more focussed on simply maintaining my unbeaten record but now Iím just one win away, itís suddenly become a huge factor.
When you first win it, you get to keep it for a few weeks so that you can have photos done, then you return it to the Board. But after that, you just get to see your Belt on the night then the Board take it back again so itíll be great to have it for good.
Iíll not be keeping it at home, mind. I might stick it up in my mateís office.
Challenger David Barnes, a former four time national schoolboy champion and two-weight British title holder in pros was, like yourself, once considered the ĎNext Best Thingí before incurring a few hiccups. Do you respect his talent?
He was very talented, not any more. Did you see his last two fights? He was getting pushed back by journeymen who Iíd have blown away. If they could hit him, I will. Iíd have been embarrassed by those performances yet he was quite chuffed afterwards. Look, anyone can have a bad round but you donít have bad fights.
Last time, he was scheduled to fight Craig Watson in an eliminator so he canít complain he wasnít in shape and took (opponent) William Warburton lightly.
Barnes ainít a bad counter puncher and he slows the pace well. But he brags that heís going to knock me out yet his record certainly doesnít suggest heís capable of doing that. Whenís the last time he stopped or even dropped someone? He certainly doesnít hit harder than Vassell.
Youíre a pretty chilled individual away from boxing but, not for the first time, youíve become involved in a bit of a Twitter war with your opponent. Do you need a bit of needle to help you get your fight face on?
No, no. Iíd much rather everything was respectful. But Barnes has been giving it to me on the sites for nothing so I just say: ĎSee you on the night.í
Barnes tweets that heís my friend. He ainít my friend?! I think Iíve met him once and said ĎHelloí.
Why do you win?
Cos he ainít what he was. Unlike him, Iím unbeaten. He got stopped by Joshua Okine whoís nothing special and Jimmy Vincent got robbed blind against him when they fought for the vacant British title.
Iíve got the youth and just as much experience. Unlike me, he came up short when he challenged for both the Commonwealth and InterContinental Belts.....and he definitely ainít won the Irish title (laughs)!
I canít see anyway heís going to beat me.
Tags: Billy Joe Saunders , Chris Eubank Jr. , John Ryder , Hughie Fury