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News: Maurice Weber; Carter-Morris; Lionhearts; Crolla

Maurice Weber: “I’ll Become Felix’ First World Champ!”

The German-born Weber is already a national hero in his native country Tunisia: “It would be a dream-come-true to fight for a world title over there.”

German-based light middleweight prospect Maurice Weber has a clear vision on his future in professional boxing. Promoted by his good friend Felix Sturm, the 31-years old, once-beaten fighter wants to get to the top of the 154 pound division: “My goal is to become champion of the world. The first one in the Sturm Box-Promotion stable. I want to make Felix, my fans, friends and family proud. And I believe I can do it, I believe I can hang in there with the best fighters in my class.”

The past, however, has not always been bright for the smart and outspoken Weber. He suffered his first and only career loss in 2008, a disputed decision to Frederic Serre, fighting with a seriously injured right hand that almost cost him his career. Doctors told Weber that “I would never fight again”. But he never gave up and ultimately was able to comeback three years later on the undercard of Felix Sturm’s title defense against Michael Murray. He is 5-0 with 2 KOs since the injury and is looking forward to bigger, better things. “I’m not afraid of anyone and I believe I’ll get my chance to prove this to the world.”

But there is more to the story of Maurice Weber. While known to the boxing fans in Germany, he is immensely popular and considered a national hero in Tunisia, his native country. “It’s true”, Weber says, laughing. “When I’m there, I get so many media requests and fans ask me for pictures and autographs. It’s remarkable and I’m really proud of it. Boxing is only now getting back to the attention of the Tunisian public. And I’m, quite frankly, the face of it. It’s an honor. Some guys over there even told me that I am, popularity wise of course, the Franz Beckenbauer of Tunisian boxing.” His upcoming fights will be broadcasted on national television, guaranteeing a big TV audience. “They always televised by bouts on tape-delay or had highlights of them in the news shows. It’s huge that they’ll be shown live from now on.”

Weber went on a PR trip to Tunisia recently. A trip, that earned him an article in German BILD, the newspaper with the widest-circulation in Europe. “Fighting for the world title in Tunisia would be a one-of-a-kind event and a dream-come-true for me”, said Weber. “But I have two hearts in my chest – Germany and Tunisia. And I want to make my fans in both countries and all over the world happy.”

Joe Gallagher: "Crolla can silence Merseyside"

TRAINER Joe Gallagher believes Anthony Crolla can shock Merseyside this weekend.

The Mancunian lightweight meets Derry Mathews at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Saturday in what is a rematch of last year's domestic fight of the year.

And Gallagher believes his charge will not only gain revenge but will also leave the 11,000 capacity venue silenced.

He explained: "We were at the David Price fight when he lost to Tony Thompson there and the place just went quiet. I said to Anthony, 'listen to that, that's what you can do by beating Derry Mathews'.

"Derry has got his whole city behind him in his fight but that doesn't bother Crolla. He knows what job he has to do and it's up to him to show he can go away from home again and beat a man on his own turf like he did against John Watson.

"I don't think Derry had any pressure on him last time. This time he has. It's in a big arena and I think it's the first time he'll be fighting in front of so many people.

"That can do one of two things; it can either make him raise his game or make him choke under the pressure. Crolla doesn't have that pressure."

Another thing which Gallagher believes can play a factor in this fight is Crolla's growing maturity.

When the pair clashed in Oldham last April, Crolla suffered a career first knockdown and was cut badly over his left eye. This, Gallagher believes, forced his charge into veering away from the game plan and it’s a mistake he's learned from the hard way.

"The referee kept stopping things to look at Crolla's eye and that put a bit of panic in him. He thought it was stick or bust," Gallagher said.

"Derry Mathews, in contrast, had that bit more experience and knew how to hold on and get through. He'd been down before against Choi and numerous fighters but it was new to Crolla and I think he'll be better for the experience."

He added: "This time it's going be another good fight, probably the fight of the night, but it's going to be a different result."

5th April sees the debut of exciting heavyweight AJ Carter - aka 'Mr Carter' - on Goodwin Promotions' Eurosport-televised show 'It's Banjo Time' at Grays, Essex.

Carter takes on the experienced Paul Morris over four three-minute rounds.

25 year-old Carter has been described as a “mini Mike Tyson” by manager Derek Williams who has signed a promotional deal with Steve Goodwin for his heavyweight protégé.

AJ is trained by his father and former pro Carlton Warren and has sparred David Haye, George Groves and more recently Ian Lewison and Dillian Whyte in preparation for his debut.

AJ only had five amateur fights so he is realistic in his expectations. “The next four years are about building my career and developing experience. I don’t expect to be in major fights until 2017.”

The Carter-Morris fight is one of nine bouts on the card.

Middleweight Lee ‘Banjo’ Markham takes on the tough 'Pocklington Rocket 'Harry Matthews for the British Masters middleweight title at his hometown venue of Grays Civic Hall. Markham has won seven from eight contests and has been very impressive since signing with Goodwin with two stoppages over two previously unbeaten fighters and winning all three of his fights under the GP banner by stoppage.

Chester livewire Chris Goodwin, who has won 16 from 19 fights, takes on Irishman Oisin Fagan for the International Masters lightweight title. Veteran Fagan, 39, (26-8) at the age of 39 has mixed in world class company against the likes of Amir Khan and Paul Spadafora and he'll still be a stiff test for Goodwin.

Menay 'The Emperor' Edwards aims to break into the world's top 80 as he takes on world-ranked number 77, Latvian Arturs Kulikauskis.

'The Tornado' Tyler Goodjohn came close to winning his first title in 2012 when he lost a close decision to now Southern Area champion Danny Connor. Tyler looks to make amends as he takes on Dave 'Dezzy' O’Connor from Plymouth for the British Masters light-welterweight strap.

Exciting Middleweight prospect Jimmy Coyle takes on Jay Morris.

Light-middleweight Billy Cayzer has his first fight since losing his unbeaten professional record against Bulgarian champion Stillian Kostov and takes on Brummie Dee Mitchell. The by now traditional bumper Goodwin card is completed by middleweight Miley Cash v Dan Blackwell and super-middleweight Mike Evans v Robert Studzinski.

Tickets are sold out but you can catch the action live on Eurosport on 5th April between 8pm and 10pm.

BRITISH LIONHEARTS TAKE A LEAD TO MEXICO BUT FACE AN UPHILL STRUGGLE TO QUALIFY FOR THE SEMI-FINALS OF THE WORLD SERIES OF BOXING

THE BRITISH LIONHEARTS will face a strong Mexico Guerreros line-up when the two teams meet in the second leg of their World Series of Boxing quarter-final this Friday (29 March 2013) in Mexico City.

Despite leading 4-1 from the first leg, the Lionhearts face a stiff test to reach the semi-finals as the match will be held at an altitude of 2,420 metres (7,940ft) against a Mexican team featuring three of the top-ranked boxers in the competition.

Middleweight, Marvin Cabrera, and bantamweight, Elias Emigdio, are ranked second in their respective weight categories in this season of World Series Boxing and Gerardo Bisbal is the number three ranked heavyweight.

The Lionhearts team features 2010 Commonwealth Games Champion, Sean McGoldrick, who has three wins from four away bouts in the World Series Boxing and fellow GB Boxing squad member, lightweight, Sam Maxwell.  They will compete alongside international selections Kaupo Arro at middleweight, light-heavyweight, Babacar Kamara, and heavyweight, Uaine Fa.

“The team has been in Mexico City for over a week now in a bid to acclimatize however there is no doubt that boxing at nearly 8,000 feet is going to make this an extremely tough assignment for the Lionhearts,” explained Matt Archibald, General Manager of the British Lionhearts.

“The boxers that competed in the home leg did very well to give the team a good lead but as we have seen throughout the competition, the away matches are very tough in the World Series of Boxing so there is still a long way to go in this tie.”

The permutations for the second leg mean the Guerreros will progress to the semi-finals if they win 5-0.  A 4-1 victory for the Mexico team will lead to a box-off at light heavyweight.  Any other score will see the Lionhearts progress into the semis.

The match can be watched live at http://www.youtube.com/user/WorldSeriesBoxing from 03.00 in the morning on Saturday 30 March 2013.

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