McIntosh ready to double Bellewís misery
Danny ready to take Tonyís title after Everton FA Cup hell
Danny McIntosh says he plans to rip Tony Bellewís British light heavyweight title away from him live on Sky Sports on Friday night (April 27) and add to the Everton mans FA Cup anguish.
Bellew defends the belt on home turf at the Liverpool Echo Arena against his challenger from Norwich and the duoís football allegiances have come to the fore ahead of the clash.
Lifelong Evertonian Bellew was gutted when his side lost the Merseyside derby at Wembley as Liverpool denied Tony and his beloved Toffees a second trip to London. McIntoshís Norwich City recently hosted Everton and twice came from behind to seal a draw, but Danny says that this time around, the spoils wonít shared and Bellew will have to deal with his title being taken back to East Anglia.
ďI donít think Tony would get so upset about Everton getting knocked out of the cup that heíd lose the fight,Ē said McIntosh. ďBut on the night Iím going to make sure it finishes with a Norwich win Ė thereís not going to be a draw this time.Ē
McIntosh withdrew from the original date of April 13 with a chest infection, but the former European and English champion insist he has shaken the illness off and is ready to take on the Bomber, whose only defeat was the slender points loss to Nathan Cleverly in the pairís WBO World title fight in October Ė and McIntosh says heís fighting fit and ready to inflict defeat number two on the 29 year old.
ďItís been a week or two since I had my virus and Iím feeling much better now,Ē said McIntosh. ďPreparation has gone well and Iím feeling good for the fight night. Iíve been training loads and not just to come back during my recovery, Iíve been in the gym loads. I think that may have contributed to being ill because I do train relatively hard.
ďThe decision (to delay the fight) was nothing to do with me; that was my trainer Dominic Ingleís call. I wouldíve fought. Iíd fight anytime, anywhere. Obviously thatís a silly thing to say, because I wouldnít be well to fight, but thereís no pressure from my end whatsoever. If he thinks thereís pressure from my end then he wrong.Ē
McIntosh has not fought since losing his European title to Eduard Gutknecht in Germany in May after claiming the belt four months earlier against Thierry Karl in France, and the 32 year old says he is in a much better frame of mind for this challenge after not being right for the clash in Germany.
ďI wasnít bothered when I lost my European title,Ē said McIntosh. ďI was going through a really bad stage in my life and I really wasnít bothered. One of my best mates had died. But my hunger has come back ten-fold and believe me, Tony had better watch out on the night because Danny Mac is not here for the taking at all.
ďItís been a long time since my last fight and I canít wait to get into the Echo Arena. Iíve trained so hard for this fight, and Iím sure Tony has as well. Iím sure youíre going to see two fighters 100 per cent up for it on the night. Youíll see him try to take my head off to no avail, trust me.
ďLosing doesnít enter my vocabulary when Iím in training like this. Iím a fighter; I donít go in the ring with the perception of loss and losing. Iím a winner, Iím a born winner. Iíve got a Superman mentality, I believe I can do anything. This fight is going to lead onto big, big things when I beat Tony better than Cleverly did. That was a very close fight; this fight is not going to be so close.
ďMy boxing game has gone through the roof. My fitness is always fairly good. But I feel like Iím a different person, for sure. Iíve fought a couple of fights at European level and I believe Iím on that level, easily. I wasnít 100 per cent in either of those fights at all.
ďI want the world. As a boxer, you enter the boxing game looking at all the glitz and glamour wanting to be a world champion. Iíve know that since I was a child, that I want to be successful and be the champion in whatever field Iím in. But I really believe I will be world champion and until I reach that goal no oneís going to stand in my way. You could say that Iím pretty old, but I think I can keep going until Iím 36 or 37 and still be in my prime, I donít think Iím even in my prime yet. I think with some hard work, grit and determination, and a will to succeed I can be the world champion I tell people I will be. I know pundits havenít got me down as the favourite, but we will see on the night.Ē
TICKETS FOR ĎTHE BIG BANGí CAN STILL BE PURCHASED AT WWW.COLDWELLBOXING.COM AND WWW.MATCHROOMBOXING.COM
Tickets are priced at £30, £40, £60 and £80 with VIP tickets at £150.
MATTHEW HALL: "IT'S GOING TO BE BLOODY AND BRUTAL"
On top form, marauding Manchester light-middle Matthew Hall is one of the most exhilarating fighters in Britain.
The hard hooking 5ft 7 1/2 in ex Commonwealth champion and former British and European title challenger has sent 16 victims for an early shower whilst amassing a 24-4 pro card.
But the bullet-headed 27 year old warmonger has proved vulnerable himself. †Three of his defeats have concluded with Hall on his back, making his contests unmissable entertainment.
Ahead of his mouth-watering British title final eliminator with Chislehurstís ex champion Sam Webb at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday, the Mancunian found time to discuss his helter-skelter career and future intentions with boxing writer Glynn Evans.
Hall v Webb will be televised live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546).
Your 10 year pro career has been a study of inconsistency. At your best, youíve smashed the likes of reigning European middleweight king Kerry Hope and Bradley Pryce (to collect the Commonwealth title), but have been bombed out yourself inside schedule by Martin Concepcion, Anthony Small and Lukas Konecny. Any explanation?
Yeh, I had problems with my breathing and that led to a few mental problems. Iíd be fighting when I knew my body werenít quite right but couldnít exactly put my finger on why. †I never cut corners in training, never messed a gym session or a run. At the gym, I knew I was training harder than anyone. I got very frustrated, continually letting myself down.
When I got dropped and stopped by the likes of Small and Konecny, it was purely down to fatigue. In prep for Konecny, I thought I could walk through walls and I felt very good in the first two rounds but, after that, nothing there.
Coming through as a young pro, I always felt I could walk through anyone but you canít beat nature. My body simply wouldnít allow me to do the things that I wanted to do anymore. I felt dead weak all the time. Iíd get very down and depressed. Thatís why I kept on retiring.
But recently, following tests, itís transpired that Iím allergic to certain foods that include glutton, wheat and dairy products. Were I to eat them, I can contract flu-like symptoms.
Now that the problem has been diagnosed and youíre sorted, would you covet a rematch with European champion Konecny?
Not just yet. Konecny was the best Iíve faced by a country mile. I was more tired than hurt when I was dropped and stopped (round six) but he had a water tight defence and was very accurate with every shot. I wonít embarrass myself by calling for a rematch now cos heís on the verge of a world title and Iíve got a British eliminator to take care of. First things first.
Having announced your retirement following the Konecny loss, why did you decide to give boxing another go?
I had an op on my nose that helped me with my breathing then the doctors diagnosed the allergy. As an athlete I knew I hadnít been 100%. Coming through, early doors, I always felt indestructible. I went unbeaten in my first 16 and most of the stoppages I had were proper knockouts. I really wasted them. I just needed to give it a true go when I know Iím firing on all cylinders.
In your first start back, you gave a shocking performance and were outpointed over six by Bulgarian journeyman Alexey Ribchev at the Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester yet within a month youíd outscored Paisleyís previously unbeaten Kris Carslaw over 10 in a British eliminator up in Motherwell. †How do you account for the turn around?
Against the Bulgarian, I weighed in at middleweight on the night and was having to hold my body back. To be honest, the guy was a goose and with another round, Iíd have stopped him but, that night, I was very, very poor. Boxingís 90% mental and I just werenít there.
I only had two and a half weeks to train for Carslaw but Iím a naturally fit kid and it was just a matter of sorting a few issues out and getting myself mentally prepared.
I was highly motivated for Carslaw. Boxingís my life, a sport I really love and Iím desperate to get at least a British title out of it. Iíd walk through walls for this sport. In my mind, Iíve massively underachieved to date.
The Matty Hall who showed up in Motherwell was a completely different fighter to the one who fought Ribchev. The Carslaw fight was very fast paced yet in the last round I still had tons of energy. Iíd not previously been past eight rounds yet I did the ten easily. Thatís the best Iíve felt physically in a fight since I stopped Kevin Phelan inside a round six years ago. With regards to my power and resistance, I feel a different man.
Following the loss to Small you left long term trainer Brian Hughes to join Arnie Farnellís gym. To what extent is Farnell responsible for getting you back on the right track?
Well, firstly I have to say that Brian was a great trainer but, because of his age and health, he got to the stage that he could no longer give me what he once could.
Obviously, I grew up around Arnie when he was a pro at Brianís gym. Like Brian, I know Arnieís got my best interests at heart and, in this game, you need that trust.
Arnieís the most dedicated trainer Iíve known. Thereís nowhere to hide in his gym. People who watched his career might find it hard to believe, because his heart always took over and heíd just have a fight, but Arnieís actually got a brilliant boxing brain. He knows the game inside out.
Thereís a real good buzz at the gym with Paul Butler and the Heffrons (Ronnie and Mark) though we all train at different times so Arnie can give us all as much one-to-one as possible. We have a good laugh. Unbelievably, Iím the old man of the gym....at just 27!
Whilst you were away another fighter from the north-west, Blackpoolís Brian Rose, has risen to the British light-middle title. Have your paths crossed?
Not really. I see him about but weíve never had a proper spar. Heís a real nice kid and Iím glad heís done well but this is a ruthless business and heís got something that I want. No disrespect to Brian but I think (making) weight killed Prince Arron the night Rose won his title. I actually think Sam Webb is a harder fight for me than Brian would be. I think Samís a better all rounder. Thatís just my honest opinion.
Victory against ex champion Webb will put you right back in the mix. How has your preparation gone?
Iím always training and running. The day I canít be arsed I retire. The games too hard and youíd get found out, embarrassed.
I had just a week off after Carslaw then was back in the gym right over Christmas and the New Year. We were initially due to fight in March but I had a tooth infection in January and needed that removed which caused a delay. I had to take two weeks off but I know Iím in the Last Chance Saloon so just canít afford to take any risks here.
Iíve just completed my last week of hard sparring with Ronnie Heffron, Adam Little and Rick Godding, and now Iím tapering down. Iím ready.
Whatís your assessment of opponent Sam Webb?
Nice kid, good operator. Iíve watched him a few times. He beat one of my best mates Thomas McDonagh (W10) so I know heís useful. But stylewise, I think he should really suit. Samís got a big heart, undoubtedly but heís shown vulnerability with his chin. Arron had him down and stopped him. He was decked and stopped on cuts by Alex Stoda, dropped and cut by Max Maxwell.
He knows whatíll be bringing; the old Matty Hall, better even than the one who stopped Kerry Hope and Bradley Pryce. I feel far stronger and Iím hitting far harder.
Why will you be able to beat him?
Talk is cheap and all questions will be answered on April 28th but I just donít think heíll be able to handle the pressure Iím going to bring. The way Iím feeling now, Iím a million percent confident. Iíve got a smile on my face again.
People forget that I can box. I won three national junior titles in the amateurs but attack is definitely my best defence. Itís going to be bloody and itís going to be brutal!
You seem like youíve been around forever but youíre still only 27. Provided you come through against Webb, what can you still achieve?
I definitely want a British title fight this year and, should I win that, thereís really not much difference between British and European level at the minute, once Konecny moves on for his world title fight.
In my head I shouldíve been British champion five years ago. Itís a good job I turned pro so young (18). Iíve had so many setbacks but, touch wood, it could still all come good for ĎEl Toritoí.
BUGLIONI: BRITAINíS NEXT SUPER-MIDDLEWEIGHT STAR IN THE MAKING†
Unbeaten super-middleweight sensation Frank Buglioni aims to follow in hero Joe Calzaghe's footsteps at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 28th April.
The fast rising star from Enfield, north London, has his fourth fight at the historic venue where Calzaghe won the British title in 1995 and features in a six-round contest with his opponent to be announced shortly.
Buglioni's promoter Frank Warren is staging the first professional championship boxing event at the Royal Albert Hall in 13 years, live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546).
So far Buglioni's had two back-to-back first round wins over Sabie Montieth in his debut and then Paul Morby, and in February he beat Ryan Clark over four rounds.
And like Calzaghe with his Italian ancestry, 23-year-old Buglioni has the talent and looks to become the next big star in the division which has produced some of Britain's best ever boxers.
"I'm very excited to be boxing on the show at the Royal Albert Hall where the biggest names in British boxing have all fought," said Buglioni.
"When I was a kid, Joe Calzaghe was a big hero of mine so to fight at the venue where he won the British title is a real honour and it was watching Joe's amazing fight with Jeff Lacy that made me decide to turn professional,"
"Itís only my fourth fight on Saturday so I'm a long way off fighting for the British title, but it's an ambition of mine to win the prestigious belt that the best in Britain have held."
The young talent has sparred with current European champion James DeGale and British and Commonwealth Champion George Groves and has trained with former WBC World Champion Carl Froch.
He added, "It's been a great experience to spar with James and George who are both top quality fighters and they each bring different strengths and qualities to the ring,"
"While I was in Sheffield I trained with Carl who was great to be around and learn from especially his attitude towards training which was an eye-opener,"
ďIíll find out who the opponent in the next day or so and then I canít wait for Saturday, Iíve got plenty of fans coming down to support me and itís going to be a great fight night at the Royal Albert Hall.Ē
Billy Joe Saundersí Vacant Commonwealth Middleweight title challenge against Tony Hill and Matthew Hallís Final Eliminator for the British Light-Middleweight against Sam Webb headline the show.
The undercard features some of the best talent in Britain including unbeaten welterweight Bradley Skeete; light-welterweight Bradley Saunders; welterweights Freddie Turner and Dean Byrne and light-heavyweight Andreas Evangelou.
Remaining tickets, priced at £40, £50, £75 and £100, are available from at Ticketmaster by phone (0844 844 0444), or online at www.frankwarren.tv and www.royalalberthall.com.†
Saunders v Hill and Hall v Webb is live and exclusive on Saturday 28th April on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546). †Join at www.boxnation.com
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