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News: Ayala-Stevens; Gavin-Welborn; McPhilbin-Keane

READING, PA - On Saturday night January 19th former world title challenger Elvin Ayala (26-5-1, 12 KO’s) will take on Curtis Stevens (22-3, 16 KO’s) in a Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut in a bout to be televised by the NBC Sports Network.

For the thirty-one year old Ayala, this fight is a chance to get to the head of the line for a second world title opportunity.

It is also a “full circle” moment for Ayala as he is training in the place where he was born in Reading, Pennsylvania under the eye of trainer Marshall Kauffman.

“I was born in Reading but I have lived in New Haven, Connecticut for the better part of a decade.  So this is a homecoming in many ways as I get to train where I grew up and I am fighting so close to the place which is my adopted home”, said Ayala

But standing in front of him is noted “Chin Checker”, Curtis “Showtime” Stevens

“Stevens is a strong, durable and has skills.  This is a fight I need to prove who I am.  This is a great fight for me and Stevens is well known”

Ayala is very excited about the exposure that the fight will have being on the popular NBC Sports Network “Fight Night” Series.

“This is great exposure that will help me on to bigger and better things”

Ayala has been on the biggest stages as he lost to IBF Middleweight champion Arthur Abraham In a bout where Ayala put up a valiant fight before being stopped just twenty-eight seconds before the final bell in round twelve.

“Stevens has been in with great fighters but I have been with the best and have wins over guys who are very decorated.  I respect all fighters but I wasn’t ready to fight Abraham.  That fight did give me great experience.  Stevens is dangerous but he is not Abraham”

Ayala is referencing his career ledger which shows wins over former world title challenger Larry Marks plus a draw with former Jr. Middleweight world champion Sergio Mora in a bout most people believe Ayala was the winner.

Ayala has won six straight with half of those coming via knockout and he knows what a win on January 19th will do for him.

“A win will open a lot of doors.  The Middleweight division is one of the deepest divisions so a win will put me in the mix for one of the big names”

FRANKIE GAVIN BACK TO HIS BEST SAYS TRAINER TOM CHANEY

Frankie Gavin’s trainer Tom Chaney says that winning the British Welterweight title has put  a sparkle in his fighter and that he’ll shine on Friday 18th January at Walsall Town Hall when he defends against Jason Welborn.

Chaney, who took Gavin to two ABA titles, Commonwealth Gold and a World title in the amateurs, joined Gavin in the professional ranks as his trainer at the beginning of last year and helped the young star through personal problems that affected his form.

Since then the pair have racked up three wins together culminating last November when Gavin put on his best performance to date against Junior Witter to win the British title, outpointing the wiley veteran at London’s York Hall.

Unbeaten Birmingham ace Gavin is looking to start his 2013 campaign on a high against his West Midlands rival Welborn at a sold-out Walsall Town Hall, live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546), before targeting the Commonwealth and European titles.

“Frankie’s been looking great, he’s been in the gym every day over Christmas and New Year and all the hard work he’s put in will show on the night against Welborn,” Said Chaney.

“Winning the title to become British champion has definitely given him a big lift and that is rubbing off on everything he does in the gym, it’s given him a big confidence booster and he knows what he can go on to achieve,”

“We’ve had three fights together last year and Frankie’s been getting his old self back with every fight, he went through a difficult period but he’s through that now and he’ll just keep getting better and better.”

Even though Chaney is delighted with how Gavin’s preparations have gone and is confident of beating Welborn they are not underestimating him.

He added, “Welborn has a lot of heart, he hasn’t got a great deal of ability, but he makes up for it with heart and drive.  This is his dream to fight for the British title and he’ll give it everything he’s got,”

“You’ll see a lot more work from Frankie, more accuracy and speed and he’ll be punishing Welborn every time he misses,” 

“I think the fans will be in for a great night, the fight has all the makings of an old fashioned British title fight with plenty of action.”

Gavin v Welborn headlines a quality packed card promoted by Frank Warren, in association with Errol Johnson, that features the Vacant British Lightweight Championship between Walsall’s Martin Gethin and Hove’s Ben Murphy; the Vacant Midlands Area Cruiserweight Championship between Walsall’s Chris Keane and Bulwell’s Shane McPhilbin; plus Stourbridge welterweight Steven Pearce, Stafford middleweight Grant Cunningham, Cannock light-welterweight Dave Egan and Burton-on-Trent light-welter Tom Shaw.

The show will be live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546).  Join at www.boxnation.com

 Walsall’s Chris Keane hopes knowledge is power when he takes on Shane McPhilbin for the Midlands Cruiserweight title later this month.
 
The 26 year-old has sparred his opponent in the past and now, as he prepares for the first title of his professional career, aims to use that experience to his advantage.

“He’s a good kid,” he told www.uko-boxing.com . “I’ve spoken to him a lot and I like him.

“I’ve sparred him and I know he’s a decent fighter. Hopefully, from sparring, I’ll know enough about his style so that, come the fight, I can use that to my advantage.”

Keane versus McPhilbin is one of o trio of intriguing contests taking place at Walsall Town Hall in front of a sell-out crowd on Friday, 18th January.

Topping the bill is Brummie Frankie Gavin’s first British Welterweight title defence against Rowley Regis’ Jason Welborn whilst Walsall’s Martin Gethin also takes on Ben Murphy for the vacant British and Commonwealth Lightweight titles.

Keane is a former ABA Champion and is undefeated as a professional with a perfect 8-0 record. After sparring the likes of Michael Sprott, the former British and Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion, who defeated McPhilbin on the way to winning the 2009 Heavyweight version of Prizefighter, Keane is hoping that victory will be the start of a breakthrough year.
 
“It’s a big night for us all,” he added. “I’m from the Delves (an area of Walsall) so this fight is literally on my doorstep.

“I hope to catch people’s eye. All you can is your best but this could be a big year for me. I can’t look past McPhilbin though and I’ll be doing all I can to beat him and lift the Midlands Area title on the 18th.”

The fight takes place on promoter Frank Warren's first show of 2013 - in association with Midlands promoter Errol Johnson – at Walsall Town Hall on Friday, 18th January. The show is a sell-out but it is live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546). Subscribe at www.boxnation.com .

Walsall Town Hall Box Office - 0845 111 2900 – have started a waiting list should more tickets become available.

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