26 year-old Joe Mullender takes on a task many think he is not ready for on Saturday when he tackles former Southern Area champion Gary Boulden over eight rounds as co-chief support on the Goodwin Promotions show 'Trail of Destruction' at York Hall.
Mullender, who has been sparring Steve O’Meara among others, is fully aware of the test ahead. “I have seen everyone on Twitter say they think Boulden will beat me. I only had 15 amateur fights and this is my fifth as a pro. I don’t want to be hanging around in this business with marking time fights.
"Let me tell you, Boulden will never have been put under so much pressure in his boxing career. He will need the heart of a lion in this contest. I am prepared to accept whatever punishment he dishes out as I will get to him and break him down."
Mullender is looking for this contest to propel him to a Southern Area title shot next. “Once I beat a former Area champion I hope the Area Council will put me forward for a shot at the title."
This 50/50 fight is the type of bout that promoter Steve Goodwin wants on his shows.
The bill is headlined by another even clash with Menay Edwards boxing JJ Ojuederie for the vacant Southern Area cruiserweight title.
'The Rematch' features former British title challenger Michael Lomax against former Commonwealth champion Bradley Pryce over eight rounds. Pryce won their first encounter in Wales and Lomax wants revenge. This is another pick 'em fight.
The undercard features the debut of former professional footballer Leon McKenzie who competes at super-middleweight and the debut of two exciting prospects in heavyweight Dominic Akinlade and light-welterweight 'Showstar' Sohail Ahmad, who has been working with Yassine el Maachi.
There are also many other fights on the undercard.
The Edwards v Ojuederie : Mullender v Boulden and Lomax v Pryce clashes are all 50/50 fights where picking the winner isn't easy. This is what the Goodwin shows are about - bringing top quality fights where you do not know who is going to win, value for money and excitement.
Tickets are available at £100 VIP Reserved ringside (including free private bar) £60 reserved ringside and £35 unreserved
Boxing commences at 6pm
Tickets at www.goodwinpromotions.co.uk or 01525 851150
As a visiting boxer, Mexican Mario Briones will enjoy the rare advantage of being naturally acclimatized to high altitude when he fights South Africa's Evans Mbamba for the vacant World Boxing Federation (WBF) junior featherweight title at Graceland, Secunda, on Saturday night.
Briones, who arrived in South Africa earlier this week, said on Wednesday that his training venue in Mexico is at a far higher altitude than Johannesburg.
"It's one concern (high altitude) that I don't have to bother about," said Briones. "I've been here for two days and I'm feeling very comfortable after one intensive training session.
"I've been in the ring with far more experienced and stronger fighters than Mbamba and I'm expecting him to come at me from the opening round. I know he is a pressure fighter but this is my first attempt at a world title, and not going to miss out.
"My mind is made up: I'm leaving the ring with the world title belt."
Both 27-year-old Briones (24-18KO-3-1) and 32-year-old Mbamba (18-9KO-3-0) were given a clean bill of health at Tuesday's pre-medical at Graceland where they were marginally over the 55.3-kilogram limit.
The other feature bout on Saturday's 'Chesanyama Bill' is the world title contest between South Africa's Gabisile Tshabalala and Australia's Shannon O'Connell for the vacant WBF female featherweight title.
The 30-year-old O'Connell (7-4KO-2 -0), who arrived in the country over the weekend with her South African-born trainer Philip Holiday in tow, will be having a second crack at a world title. Two months she lost a points decision in South Korea for the WBA title. The 23-year-old Tshabalala is undefeated after 9 bouts, one of which ended in a draw, and she is the reigning SA super bantamweight champion.
Holiday, the celebrated former junior middleweight world champion, said O'Connell was well equipped to win the title.
"She has excellent ring skills and power to boot," said Holiday. "She enjoys the best of both worlds and she's good to go toe to toe. She doesn't only rely on power but she can box too.
"I'm expecting that there will be some crowd support for Shannon because quite a few of my fans have been to our training sessions here at Graceland."
O'Connell said she did not have the benefit of viewing footage of her opponent's fights but she was well prepared.
"We have heard that she is tough and aggressive but I’m not too worried what she brings because I'll be ready for anything," said O'Connell. "Over past few weeks I had some great sparring with some of the best girls Australia has in the amateur and pro ranks.
"I am very lucky that I have Phil (Holiday) to lead my team. He has more experience than I could ask for and he's a great coach and person.
"It's exciting to be fighting for a world title in his home country while representing mine at the same time."
Both ladies passed the pre-medicals with flying colours and both camps expect to enter the ring on Saturday at the top of the weight limit of 57-kilograms.
The official weigh-in for all the boxers on Saturday's bill will be on Friday, starting at 11.30am, at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park.
Barthelemy Calling out Champion Mendez and All Other Top Super Featherweights
Undefeated super featherweight Rances "Kid Blast" Barthelemy (19-0, 12 KOs) scored a second round KO over Fahsai Sakkreerin (39-4-1, 21 KOs) in an IBF eliminator for the #1 ranking on Friday night at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A right to the midsection finished Sakkreerin at 1:26.
Fresh off his sensational one-punch KO 2 of Thailand's Fahsai "Mountain Boy" Sakkreerin in an IBF eliminator for a mandatory title shot, Cuba's now #1-rated super featherweight Rances "Kid Blast" Barthelemy (19-0, 12 KOs) is calling out his next opponent.
"Why wait for your mandatory to get it on? Let's do this now!" said Barthelemy to current champion Argenis Mendez. "Instead of fighting a guy I beat, come take care of business with your top challenger."
Mendez is currently scheduled to face former Barthelemy foe Arash Usmanee in August, but Barthelemy feels the champion should forget about taking an easier fight and focus on what champions do: defend against the best possible opponent.
Barthelemy, who crushed Sakkreerin with a single body shot at 1:26 of the second round says a fight against him would be much more lucrative and exciting.
"We can do this in New York or wherever you want. You live in New York, bring your Dominican community out and I'll bring my Cuban brothers and sisters and let's have an old-fashioned showdown right in the Big Apple."
Barthelemy's co-promoter, Leon Margules of Warrior's Boxing (along with Bad Dog Productions), says he's hoping to convince Mendez to avoid the politicking and prove himself a true champion without first taking a warm-up against the crude Usmanee.
"My guy deserves the fight," he said. "Why defend against a guy who lost his last fight? Jump right in and let's see what you've got. Given the ethnic rivalry aspect, it's a bigger and more lucrative fight to face my guy. It's good business and good for boxing."
Margules says if Mendez insists on the Usmanee fight, then he is sending out an invitation to any of the 130-lb champions or top contenders: Rances Barthelemy is looking for you. Call me and let's make a big fight."
Carlsbad, Calif. – 2XU, the leader in high performance compression apparel, has re-signed 11-time National Boxing Champion, London 2012 Olympian and all-time USA Boxing lightweight record holder, Jose ‘The Future’ Ramírez.
Ramírez (3-0, 2 KOs), of Avenal, Calif., returns the ring, This Saturday! June 29, at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, OK. He’ll be facing Christopher Williams, (1-1), of Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, in a four-round lightweight battle. This bout will open Top Rank's “Solo Boxeo Tecate” fight card and will be televised on UniMás, beginning at 11:00 p.m. ET.
The widely celebrated phenomenon and lightweight boxing prodigy will once again train, compete and recover in the brand’s Compression gear. "2XU Compression flat out works. I never train without it, and it keeps me in top shape and championship form,” states Ramírez.
With a focus on optimizing athletic performance in the elite category where physical demands and stakes are high, 2XU Compression is driven by a goal of equipping athletes, like Ramírez, to be more prepared, competition-ready and capable than their opposition.
“It’s a great for us to once again count Jose among our stable of athletes,” says 2XU’s director of marketing Fred Hernandez. “Our brand promise is to multiply human performance through our products and it speaks volumes when elite athletes such as Jose choose to train and compete in 2XU Compression!”
“We are excited about a renewed relationship with the 2XU family and look forward to our multi-year commitment with the best Compression gear on the market,” said Rick Mirigian, agent and co-manager for Ramírez.
"Jose has done things that have never been seen before in boxing history. He’s shattered records that have stood for decades,” touted Mirigian, “The world has fallen in love with Jose outside of the ring as well. He is an amazing person with an inspirational life story that is second to none.”
“Jose is a wonderful young man and athlete for the brand to be associated with,” according to Bob Arum, CEO of Top Rank.
2XU plans to utilize Ramírez’s image in advertising, point of purchase materials, catalogs, websites, and sales collateral. The brand will also feature Jose in its in-store marketing at national retailers such as Dick’s Sporting Goods and Sport Chalet as well as online with e-retailers Amazon and Eastbay.
As an additional component of this partnership, Jose will work with 2XU and his sponsors to develop unique experiences to be awarded to lucky winners via various brand contests and sweepstakes. Ramírez is also slated to make appearances at 2XU retail events and Performance Center grand openings among other company activities throughout the year.
With a relentless commitment to engineering world-class products which deliver tangible benefits to the wearer, 2XU sets the benchmark in high performance apparel. Ongoing testing, research and consultation with professional sporting bodies and athletes are integral to the brand’s winning formula.
For more information on 2XU and 2XU Compression including updates on its growing list of sponsored athletes and teams, visit www.2xu.com or follow the brand on Facebook and Twitter at www.facebook.com/2XUNorthAmerica and www.twitter.com/2XU_USA respectively.
To learn more about Jose Ramírez, please visit www.thefuturechamp.com or like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Joseramirezboxing or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RAMIREZBOXING .