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UK News: Croll Joins Prizefighter; Rodriguez; McGuigan

Anthony ‘Million Dollar’ Crolla has taken the final spot in the Betfair Prizefighter Lightweights line-up to complete a fantastic list of boxers in action live on Sky Sports on October 6 at Liverpool Olympia.

The Manchester man will be gunning for revenge against local favourite Derry Mathews who ripped his British title away from him in Oldham in April in a shock sixth round stoppage. The hotly tipped 25 year old from Manchester also has a score to settle with another high profile former British champ in the line-up, with Dewsbury’s ex-British super featherweight strap holder Gary Sykes defeating him in an eliminator for the title in May 2009.

Joining Crolla, Mathews and Sykes in the best line-up of boxers in the 26 editions of Matchroom Sport’s eight man, one night tournaments are Mathews’ fellow Liverpudlians Stephen Jennings, Terry Needham and the unbeaten Nathan Brough as the Merseysiders in the eight, while Heywood’s unbeaten Central Area champ ‘Vicious’ Kieran Farrell and Sykes’ Yorkshire compatriot Liam Patrick Walsh as the four men hoping to take the title and £32,000 winner’s cheque.

“Prizefighter is back with a bang with our strongest line-up ever,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “I never expected a dream line-up like this and Anthony’s inclusion is the icing on the cake. Ideally we would’ve loved to have this in a 5,000-seater arena but the fans will experience an atmosphere like never before in the Liverpool Olympia and this is a must see night of boxing on Sky Sports on October 6.”

On a bumper night of boxing on Merseyside, Rocky Fielding will challenge Wayne Reed for the Central Area super middleweight title. Fielding fights for his first title at the venue of his record breaking Prizefighter triumph in March 2011 when he became the Super Middleweight II champion and the first man to win Prizefighter with three KO wins. The 24 year old Merseysider takes on Sheffield’s Reid who has a score to settle with the venue after dropping a controversial split decision in his quarter-final with Joe Ainscough that same night. Reed, also 24, won the title on July 20 with a fifth round stoppage of Yorkshire’s Alistair Warren at Hillsborough.

An extremely limited number of tickets for ‘Rocky and the Betfair Prizefighters’ on Saturday October 6 at Liverpool Olympia are priced at priced £30 unreserved, £50 reserved floor seats and £100 VIP and are on sale now from Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900 and at www.matchroomboxing.com

Argentina's Marcelo Rodriguez has promised to embody the fighting spirit of Mayo native Admiral Brown when he travels to Ireland to challenge Henry Coyle for his WBF Light Middleweight title on August 17th. The two men clash at The Royal Theatre, Castlebar and Rodriquez is clearly aware of the connection between his native land and Mayo through Admiral William Brown, the Mayo native widely known as "the father of the Argentine Navy".

Brown was born in Foxford, Co. Mayo in 1777 and would go on to become a national hero in Argentina as a key figure in the War of Independence before further enhancing his reputation as the defender of Buenos Aires during the Cisplatine War. He died in 1857 and is buried in Buenos Aires. Statues and monuments to him are found throughout Argentina, and his name is honoured with several streets, squares and towns but his Irish roots are also commemorated in his native Foxford with a monument and the Admiral Brown Museum in the town.

Rodriquez is hoping to fit in a visit to the museum when he arrives in Mayo and believes it will inspire him to a win over the local champion. "I'm looking forward to this fight in Ireland because Argentina has such strong connections with Mayo," said Rodriquez. "It will be great to learn more about Admiral Brown's Irish roots and to visit the monument and the museum. The main souvenir I want to bring back to Argentina though is the WBF title belt!

"I've fought outside of Argentina many times including fights in Mexico, Germany, Australia, France and Uruguay so it is nothing new to me. I have watched some of Coyles fights and he seems to have a very similar style to me. We both like to stand in the middle of the ring and have a fight.This won't be a dancing competition, we will meet head on and deliver a great fight for the Irish fans but I am afraid they will not be so happy with the result!"

With 43 KO's from his 60 wins the experienced Rodriquez has a reputation of a heavy hitter and he believes his firepower will prove the difference at The Royal Theatre. "I hit hard with both hands, I know when you are fighting way from home that you can't expect any favours from the judges so every time I fight I go for the knockout because then you take the decision out of the judges hands and can decide matters with your own hands."

Prior to turning professional Rodriquez enjoyed an amateur rivalry with Sergio Martinez, the man currently recognised as the World's best middleweight and one of the best pound for pound boxers on the planet. "I fought Sergio in the amateurs and we both turned professional around the same time so I have always followed his career with great interest. He has gone on to achieve great things in the sport and is one of the best fighters in the world today. We have very different styles but he is an inspiration because for a long time he travelled the world like me fighting in different countries against the hometown guy and eventually he got the big fights and now he has achieved so much at an age when most people think fighters should have hung up their gloves."

Rodriquez will form part of a two man Argentine armada in Castlebar on August 17th with his compatriot Sergio Priotti set to take on Andy Murray in the Cavan man's first fight since an unsuccessful European title challenge last year.

Also on the undercard Irish based Cuban Alexei "The Hurricane" Collado faces World rated Ukrainian, Stanyslav Merdov with the former World Junior Champion looking to extend his perfect professional record. Merdov will undoubtedly prove his stiffest test to date having pushed boxing's longest reigning Word Champ, Chris John all the way in a challenge for his WBA Featherweight title last November.

A knee injury has forced Sligo's Stephen Reynolds to withdraw from his scheduled contest on the card but an intriguing replacement bout sees Mayo's former Irish Light Heavyweight Champ John Waldron take on Dublin's Brendan Fitzpatrick in a bout that both men will be desperate to win in a bid to get back on track following recent setbacks.

An all Connaught affair between Galway's Alan Donnellan and Roscommon's Darren Cruise will see the winner take a step closer to an Irish title fight. Cruise will be looking to bounce back from his quarter final defeat in the last Prizefighter event while Donnellan will be looking to get back to winning ways following his first defeat, a contentious points loss to Ciaran Healy in Belfast recently.

Rounding out the card is an all Mayo affair that will see two Ballyhaunis boxers punching for pay for the first time - against each other as welterweights Michael Waldron and Brandon Peake clash in their pro debuts.
 
Tickets for the August 17th event priced €40, €60 and €100 are available from the Royal Theatre Box Office on 0818 300 000, Ticketmaster.ie / 0818 719300 and the boxers on the bill.

Barry McGuigan Rallies The Troops For August 12th Boxers Football Tournament

There are few men in the sport of boxing more respected than Barry McGuigan - Rightly so as the former British, European and WBA featherweight World Champion is a true legend in his own life time.

During his relatively short eight year pro career Barry fought some thirty eight times, nine of which were title fights. Now a successful manager, promoter, boxing writer and pundit Barry’s life seems just a busy as it was back in the 1980’s, yet the man known in his fighting days as ‘The Clones Cyclone’ still found the time to talk about the upcoming 3rd Annual TRAD TKO Boxers and Celebrities Charity Football Tournament, in aid of the
Indee Rose Trust, that takes place on Sunday the 12th August.

“First of all I think it’s a magnanimous and generous of Johnny (TRAD TKO Supremo Johnny Eames) to organise this event every year, especially in the light of he has been suffering from cancer himself for the past year or so, just goes to show his personal determination and generosity. The Indee Rose tournament, as an event, is simply the biggest coming together of boxers that I know of, it’s a brilliant idea. It’s a great event, it’s very competitive yet it’s a great day out for everyone.

The great thing about boxing is you can come up to the guys, they’re very humble and always happy to give their time as well, they’re very special people.

Even those that have big fights coming up, they may not play but they still turn up to show their support and meet the fans, it’s lovely you know.

The generosity and humility in boxing always sets it apart from other sports, it’s a dangerous sport, a great sport and paradoxically Boxers are probably the most generous people in sport.

Last year the event raised over £20,000 for the Indee Rose Trust, which went to help bring some joy to the kids, who are suffering from brain and spinal tumours, with their wonderful care packages.

I know Johnny and all the boxers that take part will want to do even better this year.”

This year’s TRAD TKO Boxing Gym organised Boxers and Celebrities Football Tournament, in aid of the Indee Rose Trust, kicks off at 12:00pm at the Concord Rangers FC, Thames Road, Canvey Island, Essex on Sunday 12th August 2012.

Tickets for this very special event, priced: Standard: £10.00 and V.I.P. £20.00, are available on-line from www.tkoboxoffice.com or in person from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA

Children’s tickets, priced £5.00, will be available on the day.

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