WBA Super-Middleweight Champion Mikkel Kessler will get the most competitive sparring of his career prior to his May 25 showdown with IBF Champion Carl Froch. The Viking Warrior will train with no less than three unbeaten youngsters in his Copenhagen gym this week: WBO Light Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly (26-0, 12 KOs), WBO #1 super middleweight contender George Groves (18-0, 14 KOs) and WBC Youth Light Heavyweight Champion Erik Skoglund (16-0, 9 KOs). Together, they have amassed a perfect record of 60 wins, zero losses and 35 KOs. Kessler´s KO record also stands at 35, along with 46 wins and just two defeats.
“It´s great to have them in Copenhagen,” Kessler said. “This is the best preparation I could have asked for. To have three guys like that – a world champion, a youth world champion and a top-ranked contender – is probably as good as it gets in terms of sparring. They are young, hungry and unbeaten and they will push me to the limit. That´s exactly the kind of warm-up I need to beat Carl Froch again.”
Said promoter Kalle Sauerland: “Mikkel is the kind of fighter who always wants to test himself against the very best, no matter whether it´s training or the actual fight. Cleverly, Groves and Skoglund – the fact that he wants to get it on with them in training really shows you what the Viking Warrior is all about. When push comes to shove on May 25, the fighter with the better preparation will prevail, and that´s just another reason why Mikkel will leave the ring victorious.”
JAZZA DICKENS: "THE BIG NAMES AT SUPER-BANTAM WILL HAVE TO FIGHT ME EVENTUALLY"
FAST-RISING Liverpool super-bantamweight James "Jazza" Dickens says he isn't too bothered about not being able to defend his English title on May 24 as he's got the opportunity to win another belt.
Manager Steve Wood has searched high and low for a suitable opponent for the St George's belt but could not find anyone willing to step up to the plate.
Instead Dickens will face tough Welshman Dai Davies for the vacant British Masters crown and he's viewing it as a chance to showcase the development he's made in recent weeks in front of a sell-out crowd at the Olympia.
"I'm happy to be fighting ten rounds for a title in front of my own people," Jazza said.
"There's a lots of ups and downs in boxing so I'm just happy to be able to get in there and fight. Getting in the ring gives me a buzz and it doesn't matter what type of fight it is.
"I wasn't really happy with my performance last time so I want to show people what I've been working on in the gym.
"I know I've still got a lot of things to learn. In my fight with Jon Fernandez I think I went a bit hook happy and that fight taught me a lot of things.
"If Fernandez hadn't have got up when I knocked him down, I'd probably just be the same boxer, but because he did I know what things I have to improve on and I was in the gym straightaway afterwards
"Now I can't wait to box in Liverpool again and show them how I've come on."
Like all young fighters, Dickens looks at the people above him in the British rankings and dreams of proving his mettle against them.
But he's a realist and accepts that he cannot think too far ahead when he has Davies to get past first.
"I've watched Davies before and I know he's a good opponent. He's not someone to be overlooked and he'll give me a real fight," Jazza said.
"Obviously boxers like Scott Quigg, Carl Frampton, Kid Galahad and Rendall Munroe are all people I want to fight, but at the minute I think they're looking at other things and have their own agendas.
"Good luck to them, but someday fights with them will have to happen. I just have to keep winning."
DONCASTER’S McDONNELL RARING TO GO AHEAD OF WORLD TITLE BID
Doncaster’s Jamie McDonnell will soon walk to the ring for the biggest fight of his life.
On Saturday May 11, the former European bantamweight king will challenge Mexico’s Julio Ceja for the vacant IBF world title, in front of thousands of fans in his hometown’s Keepmoat Stadium.
With 22 KOs from 24 wins, unbeaten Ceja brings a formidable record to the contest but McDonnell, with just two defeats in 23 bouts, is hoping he’ll have too much ring craft for the South American and will become Doncaster’s first ever world boxing champ.
With less than a week to go, Dennis Hobson Promotions caught up with Jamie to get his final thoughts before first bell:
How are you feeling mentally and physically with just days until fight night?
I feel fantastic. Everything’s gone spot on. I’m just looking forward to it now. I’m just tapering off the training, getting the weight down and building my mind ready for the fight.
It’s the biggest fight of your life, are there any extra nerves at this stage?
Not really. There are a few nerves there but it’s a buzz more than owt. It’s in front of my own fans in my hometown; there will be a few nerves there on the night but they’re the nerves you need.
Are you looking forward to seeing Julio for the first time this week ahead of the fight?
Yes. You get a judge of what they’re all about. You can go on the Internet, Boxrec and that, to see what size they are but that might have been [registered] three or four years ago.
So you get an eye about what they really look like, are they looking drained or whatever. So I’m looking forward to seeing him.
You opponent, Julio Ceja, has said that you haven’t fought a credible opponent and he’s looking to KO you. What are your thoughts on that?
Well, he’s going to think that isn’t he? He’s had kids chucked at him that he’s dusted off, so he’s going to come into the fight with that mentality.
I’ve been tested; I know I’ve been tested. I’ve been in some really tough fights. I’ll let him say what he wants. It’s what happens on the night. If he’s going to start talking trash then he’s got to back it up on the night, and let’s see him do it.
Many people feel your styles will mesh to create a really exciting fight? Is that how you see it?
Definitely. I believe I’m going to look good in this fight. This kid’s game and he comes to fight, that’s what they’re like these Mexicans, they want to come and knock your head off. We’ve worked on a game plan and hopefully we’ll look good doing that game plan.
Obviously I want to put a show on. Do whatever it takes to win. If it takes a boring fight, picking shots and moving then that’s what I’ll do, but obviously there are going to be times when I’m going to have to get stuck in.
It’s definitely going to get exciting with this kid coming to fight, but you don’t want to be sitting in there trading with a kid with a record like that. So you’ve got to use your brain and hopefully it all goes well on the night and our game plan comes to good use and we’ll dust him.
It’s a huge sporting event; there will be thousands of people in the Keepmoat cheering for you. How will you feel when it’s time to walk to the ring?
You just focus. You’re looking to concentrate on what you’ve got to do; just get the win.
It’s just a buzz when you walk to the ring. You don’t really remember much, but I’ll be buzzing and raring to go. I’ll be thinking ‘this is my night’; it’s a good feeling.
Dennis Hobson Promotions presents ‘Making History’ featuring Jamie McDonnell versus Julio Ceja for the vacant IBF world bantamweight title at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium on May 11.
The undercard for the show will include Stuart Hall and Sergio Perales contesting the IBF inter-continental bantamweight title; Dronfield’s Lewis Taylor defending his International Masters (Bronze) middleweight title against Jason Ball; Doncaster’s Jason Cunningham fighting for the English flyweight title; Doncaster heavyweights Dave ‘The White Rhino’ Allen and Carl Spencer; and Sheffield’s Jamie Sampson.
For ticket information visit www.dennishobson.com or call the ticket hotline on 0844 324 5590.
New York, NY- Next Wednesday, May 15, DiBella Entertainment returns to BB King Blues Club in NYC for the latest edition of its Broadway Boxing series. Moving into the main event slot, in what was already a stacked card, will be WBA and WBC #8-rated middleweight contender "Irish" Andy Lee (29-2, 20KO's) as he takes on Daryl Cunningham (28-4, 11KO's) in a 10-round middleweight contest.
As already announced, the fast-rising undefeated middleweight Lamar Russ (12-0, 7KO's), fellow undefeated middleweight prospect Delen Parsley (10-0, 3KO's) and heavyweight contender Tor Hamer (19-2, 12KO's) will appear on the card. All three bouts are scheduled for eight rounds.
The bout against Cunningham will be the former Olympian Lee's second since his DBE defeat to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in his first crack at the middleweight world championship last summer. In the fight versus Chavez, Lee got off to a great start and was ahead on all three judges' scorecards before being stopped on his feet in the seventh frame.
After the defeat, Lee suffered another huge loss, when his longtime trainer and mentor Emanuel Steward suddenly passed away on October 25, 2012, after his short battle with diverticulitis and colon cancer. It was a hard few months for the 28-year-old Lee, but he has since regrouped, moving his camp to the U.K. to train under the watchful eye of Adam Booth. Lee got back into the winning column with a 10-round decision over Anthony Fitzgerald (13-3) on February 9,in Ireland, and now has his sites set on moving himself back into title contention, but he must first get by the durable Cunningham.
"I'm very much looking forward to this fight. Having lived in New York for two years, I know first hand what a great fight town it is. The New York fight fans are a very knowledgeable crowd and I intend on putting on a first class performance for them. I want to thank my promoter Lou DiBella for giving me this chance to showcase my skills as I look to rebuild myself into title contention"
A complete list of the card, including opponents for Russ, Parsley and Hamer will be announced tomorrow.
Tickets for the event are priced at $125, $100, $75 and $55 for general admission. Tables are also available for purchase for this event with VIP Tables going for $1000 per table (5 seats at $200 per seat), Ringside Tables for $500 a table (5 seats at $100) and $375 tables (5 seats at $75). Tickets are available for purchase by calling the DiBella Entertainment office at (212) 947-2577.
The card is promoted by DiBella Entertainment (DBE) and sponsored by Manfredi Auto Group, Newlio.com, and Everlast. The event will be broadcast on SNY tape-delayed. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. ET with the first bout scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.