Rob Hunt is ready to grasp the opportunity of a second shot at a British Masters Welterweight Title when he takes on Stourbridge’s Steven Pearce on Saturday (16th November).
The Staffordshire boxer has had to climb back into title contention after losing to Ben Lawler for the same belt in 2010 but is determined to make it count second time around.
Hunt takes on former Midlands Area Champion, Pearce, at Walsall Town Hall at the top of EJKO Promotions’ ‘Double Trouble 2 Show.
“I haven’t been as active as I’d like the last year or so and I’m ready to make up for lost time,” he told uko-boxing.com. "Pearce is a warrior. With my physique being tall and rangy, I get a lot of boxers coming at me. I'm used to it and I'm prepared for the same in this fight.
"It's going to be a reat night, I can't wait.”
The 28 year-old made an impressive return to the ring, also at Walsall Town Hall, in September having been inactive since bowing out of Prizefighter with a deep cut at the turn of the year.
He recorded a convincing points victory over Birmingham's Andrew Patterson, scoring a knockdown en route to a points win, and hopes to emulate that performance – and result – on Saturday.
"A lot of people say I could have stopped Patterson,” he added. “I felt fit and gained plenty of experience. I'm glad that turned out to be a six-rounder as it is great preparation for this ten round fight with Pearce.
"In the past, I used to panic and get a little nervous at times but it's gradually come together now and my mind has peaked.
"I'm definitely peaking as a boxer. I'm always learning but I feel I'm developing all the time. I’m ready for this.”
Tickets, priced at £30 and £60 Ringside, are available from Walsall Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900.
The other ‘top of the bill’ clash sees Cradley’s Chris Male takes on Coventry’s Troy James in a British Super Featherweight Title Eliminator.
Walsall’s Chris Keane takes on Jiri Svacina from Czech Republic as chief support to the two main contests.
West Bromwich welterweight prospect, Tom Stokes, takes on the evergreen Danny Donchev and ‘Tipton Slasher’ Lee Glover steps in with Igor Tsujev at super featherweight.
Halesowen super middleweight Lennox Clarke debuts against Congo-born Didier Blanch and fellow debutant, Tipton flyweight Ainsley Ratcliffe, steps in with Csaba Kovacs. The aftershow party will take place at The Pitch Sports Bar and Grill, Bridge Street, Walsall.
Salinas Set For Homecoming, WBF World Title Fight!
Jennifer “The Bolivian Queen” Salinas is set for the biggest fight of her career on November 16, as she takes on Columbia’s former World Champion Yolis Marrugo Franco for the vacant World Boxing Federation Womens World Super Bantamweight title at the 33.000 capacity Estadio Ramón Tahuichi Aguilera in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
With a Bolivian father and American mother, Salinas was born in the United States but moved to Santa Cruz as a young child. At fifteen years of age she returned to “The Land Of The Free”, and now holds a dual citizenship.
Salinas started boxing at age 19 in Grand Rapids, while working in a Mexican restaurant located next to a boxing gym. She turned out to be very talented, but had only eight amateur fights before turning pro due to lack of opponents in the unpaid ranks.
Now 31 years old, and a mother of four kids, she has compiled a professional record of 14-3 (4). In 2010 Salinas fought Mexican star Jackie Nava for a world championship, but lost the decision and took some time off from boxing before returning in July 2012.
Since coming back, Salinas has put together three convincing victories, and is ready to fight in Bolivia for the first time, and possibly fulfilling her dream of becoming world champion in front of her Bolivian family and friends.
Having set up training camp in Santa Cruz, Salinas is reportedly on top of her game and ready as can be, but she realises what a big occasion is in front of her, and the pressure her big homecoming fight brings, saying:
“I am nervous! I am nervous, even though I am training hard and will be well prepared for Franco, but some times I feel I am fighting for an entire country. I don’t want to disappoint anyone, and I don’t want to disappoint myself!”
In 37-year-old Yolis Marrugo Franco, 15-8-3 (7), Salinas will be facing a fighter who have seen it all and shared a ring with some of the best. While she was knocked out in one round in her 1998 pro debut, and boasted a very modest 3-5-3 record after eleven bouts, she has since rebounded well and proved to be a true world-class campaigner.
In 2004 Franco travelled to Argentina to beat Patricia Alejandra Quirico to become world super featherweight champion, a crown she never lost in the ring. In 2010 and 2011 she lost world championship fights against unbeaten opponents Yesica Patricia Marcos and Janeth Perez, before winning two non title bouts in Columbia last year.
With all her experience, Franco is in no way intimidated by the fact that she will be facing Salinas in front of a fanatical crowd cheering her opponent on:
“I do not care where the fight takes place”, said Franco in a recent interview. “In the ring we don’t win or lose due to who is rooting against us or who is cheering us on. It will only be the two of us, face to face, and I just hope the judges will be fair.”
While she is not worried about fighting in Bolivia, Franco is full of respect for Salinas but believes she has what it takes to finally win her second world title:
“Salinas is a good boxer. She has good movement, and punches well. But we have a plan and a way to counter her attacks, so I am full of confidence. I respect her, but I will definitely defeat her”
The Jennifer Salinas vs. Yolis Marrugo Franco WBF Womens World Super Bantamweight title fight on November 16 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia will be promoted by Pandora Promotions and Eventos Bolivia
Dappa’ Napa Backs Marston To Become WBU Europe Champion On Nov 30th
Former British and European Bantamweight Champion Ian ‘Dappa’ Napa may have retired from competitive action back in 2011, but the Hackney based battler can still be found in the gym on most days.
Ian dominated the domestic Bantamweight division throughout 2007/08, winning the Lonsdale belt outright before moving onto the European scene, where he beat Carmelo Ballone to capture the European crown in October 2008.
Losing the European title on his first defense, against Malik Bouziane, Ian went straight back into British title action, once again securing the Lonsdale belt with a majority points win over Gary Davies.
In 2010 Ian defended the newly won British crown, as well as challenging for the vacant Commonwealth title, against Jamie McDonnell.
After twelve sensational rounds once again Ian found himself without a title, due to a controversial split decision – Judge Richard James Davies scored the bout 115-114 for Ian, Judge Ian John-Lewis scored it 114-115 for McDonnell and surprisingly judge Dave Parris scored the bout 116-112 also for McDonnell.
Five months later Ian found himself challenging Stuey Hall for the newly vacated title, however Ian struggled with the weight and was forced to retire in the eighth round.
Ian moved up to Super Bantamweight, but after losing his one and only bout in the division, against Martin Ward, Ian decided to call it a day.
Even though he had retired from the ring, Ian continues to train regularly and has always been willing to pass on his hard earned knowledge, to other upcoming young boxers.
A few months ago, whilst training at the TRAD TKO Gym in Canning Town, Ian agreed to help Marianne Marston, who had been struggling to get quality sparring for an upcoming bout, Ian heard of the problems encountered by Marianne and stepped up to the plate.
Marianne won her fight, with a sixty seven second first round stoppage of Katalena Lazar, after doing so praised Ian for his exceptional sparring and help in her preparation.
When it was announced that Marianne would be fighting for the WBU Europe title on November 30th, Ian once again stepped in to be Marianne’s main sparring partner, much to Marianne’s delight.
Following their most recent sparring session, at the TRAD TKO, Ian spoke briefly about the sparring sessions.
“Yeah, Marianne’s been sparring really well, I sparred her for the fight before and the little things I told her then, she’s worked on them.
Improvements have been made there, so it’s about getting the game plan set now, besides that I think she’s ready, she’s got good power, good movement and is flowing.
I don’t know the girl Marianne is fighting, but she’s going to have her hands full.
Marianne’s got even better since last time I sparred her, she’s much more unpredictable.
From my experience, having fought at that level, it’s about applying yourself on the day, you know you can do it all in training, but it’s how you fight on the day, as long as Marianne is like she is in the gym, I don’t see any reason for her not to win the title.”
Marianne Marston versus Galina Gumliiska, for the vacant WBU Europe Super Bantamweight title, co-headlines the Dave Murphy Acourtier Events promoted WARZONE show at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London on Saturday 30th November 2013.
Tickets, priced £35 (Standard Seated) and £60 (Ringside) are available on-line at www.acourtier.com and www.tkoboxoffice.com alternatively in person from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town or Ringtone Gym in Euston.
For further information call – 07960 850645, 07809 499896 or 07557 641597