VIP Promotions kick off the new boxing season with a great card topped by a genuine ‘trade’ fight that sees Manchester’s Terry Flannigan make the first defence of his English super-featherweight title against Troy ‘Terrifying’ James on ‘This Means War’ at Bowler’s Arena on September 22.
Since turning pro in 2009, Flannigan has worked ferociously in the gym, been willing to travel away for tough sparring to learn his trade, and has steadily progressed into a bona-fide prospect. Unbeaten in 14, and after picking up the English crown in May, a crack at British honours lies tantalisingly over the horizon, but all that comes crashing down if the Mancunian, 23, isn’t able to overcome his toughest test to date – Coventry’s James.
Troy’s date with Flannigan is his big opportunity. Already the Midlands Area king after demolishing Barrington Brown in his last fight, if he can beat ‘Turbo’ Terry and lay claim to being England’s number one then he jumps the queue to higher honours. With just a single defeat in 14 bouts, and that coming in the Prizefighter format, James, 28, has been given time off from his day job as a plasterer to concentrate on training and will enter the ring supremely confident.
“What a way to start the new season! It’s tough times out there at the moment; people rightly want value for money, and that’s a priority for VIP Promotions,” stated promoter Steve Wood. “Boxing’s crying out for competitive fights and Flannigan versus James is a real 50-50 contest. I believe Terry can go further than the English title and he’s said that he’ll consider packing up if he loses to Troy, but this won’t be an easy fight. Troy’s record is almost identical to Terry’s and they’ve got similar results against common opponents. This will be a real battle but I’m confident Terry can do it.”
The undercard for ‘This Means War’ will feature a batch of ‘up and comers’ from across the North West and beyond, including Liverpool cruiserweight Louis Cuddy; Manchester prospects Jimmy Kelly, Matthew Ryan and Ryan ‘Dangerous’ Doyle; Manchester-American Adrian Gonzales; Wales’ undefeated Mark Evans, and debutants Callum Cook and Jack Catterall. Also appearing will be Ashton under Lyne’s Jon Kays who has won 14 from 17 and was in a real war last year in a losing attempt at the Commonwealth super-featherweight title against Cromer’s Liam Walsh.
“Alongside the bill-topper, there are also a lot of future stars appearing on this show,” said Wood. “The undercard’s absolutely packed with young talent, and the crowd will see all styles, from good boxers to real scrappers. We’ve also got Jon Kays on too, who is always entertaining. Fans of boxing will already know how good this show is, but I’d also urge anyone who’s never been before to come along. Make this your first boxing show; you’ll have a great time, and it won’t be your last!”
‘This Means War’ will be at the Bowler’s Arena on September 22. Tickets, priced at £30 (General) and £50 (Ringside), are available from all boxers or at www.vipbe.co.uk