Ellesmere Port’s Matty Fagan makes his glittering professional debut on Friday 9th November at the Liverpool Olympia on the Queensberry Promotions show promoted in association with Stephen Vaughan.
Top of the bill sees an exciting derby showdown between Paul Butler and John Donnelly for the Vacant British Super-Flyweight Championship, plus a potentially explosive face-off between Commonwealth Light-Heavyweight Champion Ovill McKenzie and Enzo Maccarinelli.
An action packed undercard features brothers Liam and Paul Smith plus further fights to be added.
Butler v Donnelly is live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546). Join at www.boxnation.com
Name: Matty Fagan
Family background: I’ve got two younger sisters. Today, I live in Ellesmere Port with my girlfriend.
Trade: I used to work on the assembly line at Vauxhall Motors but now I’m a full-time boxer.
Nickname: I’ve not really got one yet. Because I’m quite elusive, some call me ‘The Artful Dodger’ so I might go with that.
What age did you become interested in boxing and why? Me dad is a big boxing fan. He had a few amateur bouts and he forced me to go when I was about ten. I didn’t like it. He’d be making me go on massive four mile runs when I was ten! About a year later, I started back up with my pals, began to enjoy it a lot more and stuck with it.
What do you recall of your amateur career? I stayed at the Vauxhall Motors club right through my amateur career. The company didn’t give the club anything so recently it was re-named the Wirral Community Police but it’s the same gym.
Peter Phelan coached me all the way through and was like a stepdad to all us kids who were at the gym four, five nights a week. Paul Butler (soon to challenge for the British super-flyweight title) was also at the club and we’ve become very good friends.
I had 85 amateur bouts and won 74 or 75. I won the Junior ABAs and did the NABC hat-trick, classes A, B and C. I also got beaten in the finals of the national schools, junior ABAs and NABCs. The highlight was definitely the third NABC win. After winning classes A and B, I got beat by a point against West Ham’s Luke Turner but then found out I was eligible to try again and, the following year, I got my third title, beating Junior Saeed, who had a big mouth!
As a senior I was blighted by hand injuries and, at one stage, I only had four bouts in three seasons. Stupidly, I refused to rest and get it fixed properly. Also, because of my job, I was struggling to get to the gym.
I went in the senior ABAs just once, last year, but after winning my first bout, and looking impressive doing it, I had to withdraw when the hand injury re-surfaced.
I won two junior Four Nations golds and one Four Nations silver but, despite either winning or getting to the final in nearly every national junior tournament every year, I didn’t get many chances to box for England. That’s a bit of a regret. I was once picked for a six nation meet in Sardinia but my passport never came through in time!
Why did you decide to turn pro when you did? I’d wanted to have a good run in the ABAs but when my hand went I knew I couldn’t squander another year. I saw Paul Butler doing well in the pros and his dad convinced me that hanging around for another four or five bouts the following year wasn’t going to develop me as a fighter. I’d been training over at ‘Arnie’ Farnell’s in Manchester for the ABAs and I think he was impressed by the effort that I put in. I was impressed with him on the pads so we agreed to team up for the pros.
Tell us about your back up team: I’m managed by George and Francis Warren, promoted by Queensberry Promotions and coached by Antony Farnell at ‘Arnie’s Gym’ in Manchester.
‘Arnie’s’ fantastic. He’s got such attention to detail, picks you up on every mistake and doesn’t let you cut any corners. I’ll be starting out boxing six (three minute) rounders which is a big step up from three in the amateurs. Already he’s got me doing six or eight rounds flat out on the pads and sometimes I think me arms are going to drop off.
He’s very good technically, the complete opposite to how he fought himself, and though I sometimes like to get involved in brawls, he always stresses that they shorten your career.
What’s your training schedule? Which parts do you most and least enjoy? I tend to do my running on the treadmill at my old amateur club three or four evenings a week.
I go the gym Monday to Friday. I pick Paul (Butler) up at half ten and we usually arrive at ‘Arnie’s’ gym just before 11.30. I’ll skip for 15 minutes, do a couple of rounds of shadow boxing, then stick the gloves on.
You never really know what ‘Arnie’s’ got in store for you. Sometimes he’ll give you a hard circuit before you do pads so that your arms are knackered and it’s a real struggle. But it replicates how you’ll feel in a hard fight.
Usually, I’ll do 12 rounds of punching, mixed between the pads and body bag with ‘Arnie’ and the heavy bag or bar-bag. The bar-bag routine is a ‘killer’. You alternate between punching the bag for a minute and vaulting over a gymnastics beam.
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays we do a weights-based strength circuit and on Tuesdays and Thursdays we’ll do a different circuit. Once that’s completed, I’m showered and gone. I usually get home around 3p.m.
My favourite part of training, like most fighters, is the sparring. Once you are of a certain fitness, it’s the closest to actual fighting. I did a lot with a lad called Henry Thomas but he’s drifted away of late plus I spar with some of the lads at the amateur club. I also do technical stuff with Butler, when we put the power away.
My least favourite thing is the Versaclimber machine. It’s really hard and occasionally I do it with an altitude mask on which makes it a nightmare.
Describe your style? What are your best qualities? I like to counter punch. I’m quick, sharp, clever and always thinking. I punch in bunches and don’t waste many. I started out as a brawler and stopped about twenty in the amateurs so I know there’s a bit of power there.
What specifically do you need to work on to fully optimise your potential as a fighter? I think I need to learn to really sit down on my punches. In the pros you’re not there to ‘tippy tap’. You’re there to hurt ‘em!
What have you found to be the biggest difference between the pro and amateur codes? Not that much other than what I’ve just said.
You can’t cut any corners because when you get to the very top level you can be kicking someone’s butt for seven or eight rounds then suddenly they just start to come on. Look at the difference in skill levels between Kell Brook and Carson Jones yet Jones really kicked on late and made the fight really close.
Against that, you can get Olympic gold medallists like Andre Ward who continue to box opponents’ heads off for the full 12 rounds.
Who is the best opponent that you’ve shared a ring with? I’d say it was a Spanish kid called Santiago Bustos who I boxed on a club show over in Magaluf. He’s a pro now. He was so strong and fit - I think was 20 and he was about 27. I couldn’t box him off so had to have this mad three round battle with him.
They called it a draw. I’m not sure he was the best but he was probably the toughest!
All time favourite fighter: Sugar Ray Leonard. He was really talented but could also fight and never shied away from the tough opponents. He fought ‘em all.
All time favourite fight: Corrales-Castillo I. That was awesome. How can a man take so many punches, so much punishment, especially so late in the fight, then still come back and win in the same round he’s been dropped?!
Which current match would you most like to see made? I’d love for Ricky Hatton to regain the WBA welter title from Paulie Malignaggi, then defend it against the winner of Kell Brook v Amir Khan!
What is your routine on fight day? Once I’m awake, I get up. I pack my bag early, sometimes the night before, then I’ll go out and do a few chores. After, I’ll just chill and watch tele all day. I don’t like to move. Once I’ve weighed in, I’ll load up on the carbs – pasta or rice – plus I’ll have some Jaffas and jellies.
If you don’t get nerves, you need to start worrying but I’m reasonably calm. At the changing rooms, I’ll usually let a few mates in. I used to do as little warming up as possible – save my energy – but now I realise the importance of being red hot when you get in there.
Entrance music: ‘You Can Call Me Al’ by Paul Simon. Class tune.
What are your ambitions as a boxer? Basically, I really hate working so, for me, being a professional boxer is a really great job and I just want to keep doing it for as long as I can and earn a good living so I don’t have to go back to work again.
I want to win a Lonsdale Belt outright at least. You never know how you’ll develop if you work really hard at it. Look at Scott Quigg. He only had a dozen amateur fights yet he’s on the brink of a world title in the next year or so.
How do you relax? On Wednesday and Thursday evenings I play midfield for teams in the 6 -a –side (football) leagues. I’ve also got a new racing bike and like to go out on that.
Football team: Man United. I buy me mate’s season ticket off him when he’s not using it and I went about eight times last season.
Read: I get me Boxing News every week and I’ve just started ‘Mi Vida Loco’ Johnny Tapia’s autobiography.
Music: Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. Old school!
Films/TV: I love me films. Stuff like Men of Honor, Saving Private Ryan. I like anything with Denzil Washington in. Top actor.
Aspiration in life: To make the absolute most of my career. To own my own house and get my mum out of her council house.
Motto: Train hard, fight easy
New York/St. Charles, Mo. - This Friday, October 12, in the main event on ShoBox: The New Generation, blue-chip prospect Jose "Sniper" Pedraza (10-0, 6KO's) looks to keep his unblemished record intact when he takes on Philadelphia's Tevin Farmer (7-3-1, 1KO) in an eight-round lightweight matchup.
In the televised co-feature, undefeated up-and-coming prospects Jonathan Cepeda (12-0, 11KO's) and Lamar Russ (10-0, 6KO's) will square off in an eight-round middleweight bout. SHOWTIME® will begin live coverage at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
Also featured on the ShoBox telecast will be highlights of former undisputed middleweight champion Jermain "Bad Intentions" Taylor (30-4-1, 18KO's) in his bout versus Raul Munoz (21-15-1, 16KO's), a 10-round middleweight matchup taking place earlier in the evening.
In his first ring appearance since winning the Prizefighter Tournament in the U.K. this past June, Tor Hamer (18-1, 11KO's) faces Dominque Alexander (23-14-1, 11KO's) in an eight-round heavyweight matchup. Hamer decisioned Marcelo Luiz Nascimento (16-3) in the first round of the tournament, before annihilating Tom Dallas (15-2), stopping him at just 29 seconds into very first round in the semi-final bout of the tournament. In his final matchup, Hamer decisioned tournament favorite and former world title challenger Kevin Johnson to win the trophy. Hamer is looking to cement himself as the elite American heavyweight in 2013, but first he must get by Alexander.
Hometown favorite Dannie Williams (21-2, 17KO's) will be looking to get back into the win column as he takes on Rynell Griffin (6-10-2, 2KO's). The bout is scheduled for eight rounds in the lightweight division. Williams is coming off a hard-fought decision loss to former NABF champion Hank Lundy on ESPN's "Friday Night Fights" back in March of this year. Williams started off well against Lundy, dropping him in the first frame, but eventually went on to lose a 10-round decision. Lundy is looking to get himself back under the bright lights of SHOWTIME® and would love a shot at "Sugar" Raymundo Beltran, who decisioned the aforementioned Lundy in his last bout.
Fellow hometown fighters Kevin Engel (19-6, 16KO's), Chris Rapa (6-0, 4KO's) Nick Reeder (3-0, 2KO's) and Jose Ponce (3-0, 3KO's) and will all see action on the undercard in separate bouts. Engel is scheduled to take on Shannon Miller (25-48-8, 18KO's) in a six-round light heavyweight matchup. Rapa, Reeder and Ponce are all scheduled to appear in four-round bouts. The heavy-handed Rapa, who has stopped all four of his knockout victims in the very first round, is scheduled to take on Zachariah Kelley (pro-debut) in a middleweight matchup. Heavyweight Reeder squares off against Keith Jackson (1-0-1, 1KO) and Ponce will face pro-debuting Quintell Thompson.
The event is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Rumble Time Promotions in association with Gary Shaw Productions and Universal Promotions. Tickets are priced at $100, $75 and $40, and can be purchased through the Ameristar Casino or by calling (314) 267-2204. Doors open at 5:30PM with the first bout scheduled for 6:00PM.
NEW YORK - On Saturday, November 17 boxing's most electrifying young star, Adrien "The Problem" Broner will step up in weight to challenge the hard-hitting WBC Lightweight World Champion Antonio DeMarco at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey in the main event of HBO World Championship Boxing®.
In the co-main event, two of the United States' top hopes for heavyweight world championship glory will clash when undefeated Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell takes on once-beaten Johnathon Banks in a 12-round bout for Mitchell's NABO heavyweight title. The fight was originally scheduled for July 14, but was rescheduled when Mitchell suffered a hand injury forcing him to withdraw from the original date.
"I'm not coming just to win this fight, I'm coming to knock DeMarco out," said Broner. "This fight is speed vs. power and it's going to be just another day in the ring for me. Going up in weight is going to be different and I know he can hit, but you can't hit what you can't see and I'm too fast and furious for him. Power is nothing if you can't connect; it's like moving a sack of rocks."
"This is another tough fight that has been presented to me and I'm going to do everything to keep my WBC title," said DeMarco. "Broner talks a big game but he's never been in the ring with a hungry Mexican fighter like me. I wanted this fight from the moment it was offered to me because I know I'll be the first person to beat Broner and put him in his place. When I put my hands on him, he'll regret his decision to move up to my division."
"It's taken a while, but I'm happy to finally be back in action and fighting a great opponent like Johnathon Banks," said Mitchell. "I love fighting in Atlantic City because I know my fans from Maryland and the D.C. area will be out in force cheering me on. I am going to give them all a great fight."
"I'm looking to steal the show on November 17" said Banks. "I'll prove what a true boxer at the highest level can do against a football player. The winner of our fight should be next in line for a title shot. I plan on making sure that winner is me."
"This is the perfect doubleheader the week before the Thanksgiving holiday because I guarantee that when it's over, you'll be thanking these four boxers for two great fights," said Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. "Broner vs. DeMarco is a great mix of styles and we'll see how Adrien handles the move up to lightweight against a hard and accurate puncher like DeMarco. The heavyweight fight between Mitchell and Banks should produce an American heavyweight ready to fight for a world title, and I can't wait to see who prevails."
"I applaud HBO for making this fight a reality because this is the type of fight that boxing fans around the world can appreciate," said New Jersey based promoter, Gary Shaw. "My fighter, world champion Antonio DeMarco, is a warrior and a proud champion who brings nothing but pure excitement to the ring. Broner has never face a fighter like DeMarco or his level of competition. For Antonio it's another fight in which the challenger talks about upsetting the champion, but DeMarco knows what he needs to do to retain his title."
"Atlantic City's reputation was built on hosting boxing's most talented and feared fighters competing in mega-championship bouts that are still talked about to this very day," said Don Marrandino, Eastern Division President for Caesars Entertainment. "Boardwalk Hall is synonymous with legendary names like De La Hoya, Hopkins, Gatti, Holyfield, Tyson, and on November 17th Broner, DeMarco, Mitchell and Banks will add to that traditional."
"Fight fans from coast-to-coast should circle November 17 on their calendars because we have a terrific night of boxing programming lined up," said Kery Davis, Senior Vice President, Programming, HBO Sports. "A lot of questions will get answered, including will Seth Mitchell continue to fast-track through the heavyweight division and can Adrien Broner move up in weight to the 135-pound division and capture a world title belt? The competition in Johnathon Banks and Antonio DeMarco, respectively, will be formidable and we look forward to an exciting night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City."
Broner vs. DeMarco, a 12-round fight for DeMarco's WBC Lightweight World Championship will take place Saturday, November 17 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Gary Shaw Productions, sponsored by Corona, AT&T and Caesars Atlantic City and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.
Tickets priced at, $200, $100, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes and service charges, go on sale on Thursday, October 11 at 12:00 p.m. ET and will be available for purchase at the Boardwalk Hall box office, by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 736-1420 or online at ticketmaster.com.
Unbeaten, charismatic and getting better with each fight, 23-year-old Adrien "The Problem" Broner (24-0, 20 KO's) has already won a world championship at 130 pounds, knocking out Vicente Martin Rodriguez in three rounds in November of 2011. He then defended his belt with a fourth round technical knockout victory over then undefeated of Eloy Perez in February and stopped Vicente Escobedo in July. Now, the Cincinnati phenom looks to close out an exciting year on November 17 when he will introduce his improved speed, power and dynamic style to the lightweight division staring with Antonio DeMarco
Despite Broner's fast start in the fight game, Tijuana southpaw Antonio DeMarco (28-2-1, 21 KO's) believes he will be the first man to solve "The Problem" in the ring. A professional for over eight years, the 26-year-old banger first won the WBC Interim Lightweight World Title in 2009, but lost the belt to Edwin Valero in 2010. Since then, he has looked unstoppable, winning the WBC crown in October of 2011 with an 11th round stoppage of Jorge "El Nino De Oro" Linares and then defending the title twice, knocking out Miguel Roman in five rounds and John Molina in just 44 seconds.
A former standout linebacker for Michigan State University, Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell (25-0-1, 19 KO's) found his true calling in the prize ring and he has quickly built a reputation as the kind of fighter that can reinvigorate the heavyweight division. The 30-year-old is soft spoken outside the ring, but a ferocious competitor between the ropes, and the Maryland resident has blasted through top contenders Timur Ibragimov and Chazz Witherspoon in a combined five rounds, with the latter bout showing that Mitchell not only has the power to succeed, but the heart as well.
Three-time national amateur champion Johnathon Banks (28-1-1, 18 KO's) has earned a PhD in the ring thanks to his work with Emanuel Steward and Wladimir Klitschko over the years and now he's ready to make his run for the heavyweight title. A professional since 2004, Banks' only loss came in a cruiserweight title fight against Tomasz Adamek in 2009 and after that fight, the 30-year-old from Detroit has put together an 8-0-1 record, the perfect way to lead into the biggest fight of his nine-year career.