Nathan Cleverly Eyes Victory On August 12th, With Joe Calzaghe by His Side
At last year’s TRAD TKO Boxing Gym’s Boxers & Celebrities Charity Football Tournament, in aid of the Indee Rose Trust, so many big names turned out to entertain the fans, amongst them a couple of chart toppers, a brace of Soap Opera stars but there can be no surprise that the biggest contingent was from the World of Boxing.
Boy oh boy, there were more stars than you could shake a stick at, including WBO Lightweight World Champion Ricky Burns and his upcoming title challenger WBO Inter-Continental Lightweight Champion Kevin Mitchell, British, Commonwealth, European and WBA International Super Bantamweight Champion Rendall Munroe, British Lightweight Champion Anthony Crolla, Commonwealth Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders and British Super Middleweight Champion Paul Smith to name but a very few.
The boxers were in relaxed mood, well sort of as it seemed that they were as determined to win a game of football as they are when they box. Without doubt each and every one of them was a true star in their own right, however one star shone just that little bit brighter - WBO Light Heavyweight World Champion Nathan Cleverly.
Just as Ricky Hatton the year before, Nathan was the perfect ambassador for the sport, he played in every game he could and his undoubted skill clearly contributed to the TRAD TKO All Stars Team making it all the way to the final, only to lose the penalty shoot out against TRAD TKO Clapton Rangers, and when he wasn’t on the pitch Nathan was busy signing autographs and posing for pictures with the fans.
Nathan, along with all those named above, plus many more, will be back again this year, but as he explains it will be with his own team, which includes another legendary World Champ. “We’re all looking forward to the day, I really enjoyed playing last year, as did all the fighters involved.
It was a great day, really enjoyed the game of football and it was a great cause. When I heard how much money we raised I knew it had been a real success.
I’m bringing my own team this year, the Welsh Warriors, I’m bringing everyone down this year, all my friends will be in the team, including Joe Calzaghe.
Last year I linked back up with Tony Oakey, he was my first real introduction to Championship boxing, he was my first twelve round fight. He was a real warrior so it was great to catch up.
This year Joe’ll be there, he’s a real legend of the sport, he was a big inspiration for me and of course he’s a good friend of mine as well.
With Joe and the other lads in the team I think we’ll be in with a good chance to win the tournament this year. Last year I was in the TRAD TKO All Stars team that made the final, but we lost on penalties. This year I think we could go all the way as we should be the bookies favourite.
We’re all looking forward to coming down to London and have another great day playing football, meeting the fans and raising much needed money for the Indee Rose Trust.”
This year’s TRAD TKO Boxing Gym organised Boxers and Celebrties Football Tournament, in aid of the Indee Rose Trust, kicks off at 12:00pm at the Concord Rangers FC, Thames Road, Canvey Island, Essex on Sunday 12th August 2012.
Tickets for this very special event, priced: Standard: £10.00 and V.I.P. £20.00, are available on-line from www.tkoboxoffice.com or in person from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA
Children’s tickets, priced £5.00, will be available on the day.
BURNS AND MITCHELL PUT FRIENDSHIP ASIDE FOR CLASSIC BATTLE
WBO World Lightweight Champion Ricky Burns and challenger Kevin Mitchell may be good friends, but that isn't stopping them promise to put on one of the most brutal fights in recent years.
The pair clash in the big domestic showdown on Saturday 22nd September at the SECC in Glasgow, live and exclusive on the home of TV boxing BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546).
Two-time and two-weight world champion Burns will put friendship aside and be ruthless in the fight, "Come fight night once we step into the ring the friendship is over, this is business time," he said.
Cockney scrapper Mitchell is looking to finally win the world title and is confident he can beat his friend, "You can't beat Ricky's personality, he's a lovely man and a mate of mine. We genuinely get on well and there won't be any trash talking. But once we get in the ring we fight, that's our job. I've wanted this fight for a long time now and Ricky has given me the chance. I'm determined to win it, but I know I'm in for a hard night's work.”
Here are some more boxers who have put fighting before friendship:
JOE CALZAGHE v RICHIE WOODHALL (WBO World Super-Middleweight title)
In the build up to their ‘Battle of Britain’ in December 2000, Joe Calzaghe and Richie Woodhall stopped off for a cup of tea at a motorway service station in-between press conferences. The fight was made harder as their fathers and trainers Enzo and Len were also good friends. That didn’t stop WBO World Super-Middleweight Champion Calzaghe putting on a vicious performance to stop Woodhall in the 10th round of an exciting battle at the Sheffield Arena.
PAUL SMITH v JAMES DeGALE (British Super-Middleweight title)
Then British Super-Middleweight Champion Paul Smith and challenger James DeGale had a tough meeting in December 2010 at the Liverpool Echo Arena. James was friends with Paul, but was best friends with his younger brother Stephen as they were in the England amateur squad and often stayed at each other's houses. DeGale said at the time “It is a nutty fight because of how close I am with his family and a horrible fight to take, but this is business." In the end friendship was put aside as the two went to war and DeGale stopped Smith in the ninth round to take the British title.
KEVIN MITCHELL v JOHN MURRAY (WBO Intercontinental Lightweight title)
Before Kevin Mitchell’s mouthwatering domestic lightweight clash with rival John Murray in July last year, he said that he and Murray were good mates from their amateur days and came close to fighting then. They eventually met as pros at the Liverpool Echo Arena with Mitchell putting on his best ever performance to stop the previously unbeaten Murray in the eighth round to win the WBO Intercontinental Lightweight title.
FRANKIE TAYLOR v PHIL LUNDGREN (British Featherweight title eliminator)
Frankie Taylor and Phil Lundgren were amateur team mates and also room mates for many years. They fought as professionals in March 1964 in an eliminator for the British Featherweight title at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Before they touched gloves in their fight, Taylor famously said to Lundgren, “Good luck Phil, you and I may be mates, but I'm going to kick the shit out out if you.” Taylor won on points over twelve rounds.
JAMEEL McCLINE v CHRIS BYRD (IBF World Heavyweight title)
Chris Byrd and Jameel McCline were very close friends, their wives were even closer and the two families often had dinners together and went away on holidays and weekends with their kids. Before the two clashed in November 2004, McCline said, “As far as the whole friendship thing, I really think he is like family, but I am tired of hearing about it. He has what I want, and I am going to get it.”. Byrd, then the IBF World Champion, added, “We couldn't get out of fighting each other. Either he would've gotten stripped of his position, or I would've been stripped of my title if we didn't fight. It's kind of crazy, but that's how it is." In the fight, McCline dropped Byrd in the second round, but Byrd clawed back to win on points.
Burns v Mitchell will be televised live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546). Join now at www.boxnation.com
Tickets, priced at £50, £75, £100, £150 and £200, are available from Eventim on 0844 249 1000 or online at eventim.co.uk and Ticket Soup on 0844 295 4000 or ticketSOUP.com