Promoter, and former World Champion, Carl Greaves recently announced† that three weight World Champion Marco Antonio Barrera is to make a return visit to the UK next month. Now before you go getting too excited, or maybe you should, because itís not for yet another super fight, oh no this time itís for a much more up close and personal event with British boxing fans.
Yep youíve got it Carl is putting together another of his highly successful† ĎEvening Withí events and this time itís the legendary Mexican star that will be the centre of attraction at the Newark Showground, Newark, Nottinghamshire, on Friday, 9th of March 2012.
Barrera, a former two-time WBO super bantamweight, WBC, Lineal, The Ring & IBO Featherweight and WBC & IBF super featherweight champion, earned his legendary status following a trilogy of battles with another Mexican legend Erik Morales as well as his being the first to defeat Prince Naseem Hamed.
In his last bout, on 12th February 2011, Barrera beat Jose Arias, of the Dominican Republic by a second round TKO.
Whilst itís not clear whether that fight brings to a close Barreraís magnificent career, one thing is clear that Marco Antonio Barrera has earned the right to be known as one of the greatest boxers of his generation, something that makes this opportunity presented by Carl
Greaves, a canít miss one, especially as those attending will not only get the to meet and chat with Barrera but will also have the opportunity to be photographed with him.
Not just that though, those attending will also get to sit down at the dinner table with the great man himself, and other star guests, for a two course meal as well as further evening entertainment, in the form of a comedian.
Carl Greaves is really doing the fans proud yet again, especially as the cost of attending ĎAn Evening With Marco Antonio Barreraí is just £75 per person - Tickets available on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com
FRANK BUGLIONI Q&A
In the build up to this Fridayís sold-out show at the York Hall, Bethnal Green, boxing writer Glyn Evans has interviewed the fighters featuring on the undercard - starting today with unbeaten super-middleweight Frank Buglioni.
The Enfield puncher, whoís stopped two out of two inside the first round, takes on Navembyís Ryan Clark over four rounds, with Kevin Mitchellís return against Felix Lora headlining the show.
See the show live and exclusive on the New Undisputed Home of Boxing BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546) on Friday from 8pm on Friday 10th February
Name: Frank Buglioni
Family background: Iím the third of four children. The Italian is from my dadís side. I still live with my parents in Winchmore Hill, N21, north London. Iíve no kids yet.
Trade: I work as a building surveyor. I passed nine GCSEs, including six A grades plus the International Baccalaureate. I went to Westminster University to study surveying on day release for a couple of years but had to put it on hold when I got selected for the GB Olympic squad.
Nickname: Not got one as yet. In the amateurs it was ĎThe Bugí but the pronunciation wasnít right. Itís Boo-lee-own-ee, so I want to shed that.
What age did you become interested in boxing and why? I was about 13 or 14. In my early teens I was keen on all sports, football, tennis, swimming, athletics....and just joined the Waltham Forest ABC to get a bit fitter and stronger, more confident. I grew to love boxing so much I packed all the other sports in!
What do you recall of your amateur career? As I say, I started at Waltham Forest but after just three or four bouts I joined the Repton. (Head coach) Tony Burns oversaw everything but I was coached initially by Mark Wilkes, then later by Gary McCarthy and a geezer called Joe.
All told, I had over 60 amateur fights and only lost seven or eight. I mustíve stopped 50 to 60% of my amateur opponents. I won a junior novice competition then, at 18, I won the National Boys Clubs, Class C. I went in the senior ABAs twice, and stopped six of my eight opponents. In 2009 I lost to Kirk Garvey in the London final then, last year, I lost to John Dignam on a double count back in the English semis.
I didnít box for England until I was 19 but made ten or eleven (international) appearances and made it to the GB Olympic Podium Squad. I boxed for England at the Commonwealth Feds in India, where I lost in the final to Vijender Singh from India. He was the world number one but I broke his nose in round one and was close to stopping him. In a rematch later, they gave him a standing count of about 40! I also fought for England in Sweden, France, Ireland and Scotland. With the Repton, I boxed in Cyprus, Denmark and Norway. Great experiences.
I beat Hosea Burton in the GB box-offs. That Podium Squad was very intense, very professional. Weíd go to the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield from Monday to Thursday and train three times a day. Weíd only get four weeks off per year but I really learnt a lot. Sparring against squads from China, Kazakhstan, France, Germany really brought me on. It was a fantastic apprenticeship for the pros and I made some great friends, guys like Callum Smith, Tom Stalker and Warren Baister.
Why did you decide to turn pro when you did? I always knew in my heart of hearts that the amateurs didnít really suit my style. It was always going to be very hard to qualify for the Olympics and it started getting slightly harder for me to make 75kilos. I knew I needed an ABA title to seriously challenge Anthony Ogogo and, when I lost in the ABA semis to Dignam, I knew the dream was over. I wish Anthony all the best. Itíll be very tough to qualify for the Olympics but heís definitely got the tools and potential to medal if he makes it.
Tell us about your back up team: Iím managed by Frank Warren, promoted by Frank Warren Promotions and trained by Mark and Jimmy Tibbs...mostly Mark. Mark really knows his stuff, keeps up to the minute with all the strength and conditioning stuff, is very adaptable and has real enthusiasm. I always leave the gym feeling great.
Whatís your training schedule? Which parts do you most and least enjoy? Being at the four round stage of my career, Iím training all the time, rather than having a camp. Breaks would just waste valuable learning time and, right now, Iím learning so much.
I train five days a week, sometimes six. Iím up at six, drive to work then, from the site, go for a three to four mile run most mornings around the canals in Hackney. I work as a building surveyor from about eight till four then go to the TKO gym in Canning Town for a couple of hours straight after work.
Iíll start with a Ďstretch outí, then shadow box, either spar or go on the pads, do a couple on the bags, finish with some strength and conditioning,† then home about half seven.
I most enjoy sparring cos itís closest to the real thing but, lately, Iíve really got into the shadow boxing. Mark puts a great emphasis on that. My least favourite part, believe it or not, is the rest. If Mark gives me a day off, I get bored!
Describe your style? What are your best qualities? Iím definitely a come forward fighter but Iím trying to become a come forward counter-puncher, slipping and rolling as I come in.
My best qualities would be my dedication and strength of mind. Iíve always been able to punch. In my second amateur bout as a young teenager, I flattened some kid straight away with a right hand and I always like to win by stoppage. That way there can be no arguments and it makes it more entertaining for the crowd. Since going pro, my accuracy and punch picking have improved massively and Iím even more dangerous.
I like to win at all costs but with the least amount of damage. At the end of the day, it is a sport.
What specifically do you need to work on to fully optimise your potential as a fighter? Just to keep picking up experience really, from varied sparring and regular fights. Looking over my shoulder in the gym Iíve got Billy Joe Saunders and Kevin Mitchell to try and emulate. The skills they possess are unreal. Bill has tremendous head movement and Iím working at improving mine to avoid shots that could shorten my career. Iím also trying to master that Kevin Mitchell left uppercut!
What have you found to be the biggest difference between the pro and amateur codes? The size of the gloves. Theyíre much smaller which allows you to get your shots through easier and, when you land, they know about it! I badly bruised my hands after my first fight so, on Billy Joeís advice, Iíve since switched to Grant gloves which offer greater protection.
Who is the best opponent that youíve shared a ring with? That would be Carl Froch in sparring. Twice I did five rounds with him and you could hit him with a baseball bat and he wouldnít be hurt. Heís also far more elusive and has a greater variety of shots than youíd expect. Tough man.
All time favourite fighter: Oscar De La Hoya. His style was so refined. He had lovely combinations and could hit fast and hard.
All time favourite fight: The first Castillo-Corrales fight. Unbelievable, especially if, like me, you watched it not knowing the result.
Which current match would you most like to see made? Mayweather-Pacquiao, but it might be a fraction past its sell by date. Domestically, Iíd like to see Froch-Cleverly. That could be very interesting.
What is your routine on fight day? At the level Iím currently at, I donít weigh in till the afternoon of the fight so, given I canít eat, I try to expend as little energy as possible. After the weigh-in, Iíll have some nice healthy food that wonít bloat me too much but Iím not giving away any secrets. Then Iíll just relax in the changing rooms. Once Iím in the company of Mark (Tibbs) my nerves disappear. Iíll wrap my hands, loosen up and work on getting my frame of mind ready to fight. Half an hour before the fight, Iíll start getting a full sweat on.
Entrance music:† Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes
What are your ambitions as a boxer? Iím taking each fight as it comes and leave timescales to (matchmaker) Dean Powell but, if I can get enough rounds in, Iíd like a Southern Area fight by the beginning of 2013. Before I retire, Iíd love a British and Commonwealth belt and a chance at world honours.
How do you relax? Just chill with friends. I donít play any sports now because Iím always too shattered after training and the risk of injury is too great but I like to watch the very big events on tele. Iím always watching boxing.
Football team: Chelsea
Read: Fighting Fit, Boxing News and Boxing Monthly† plus fact based stuff, sports autobiographies.
Music: I like dance, hip-hop, rock....a bit of everything.
Films/TV: Iíll watch crime thrillers and gangster films plus Two and a Half Men.
Aspiration in life: Just to be successful.
Motto: The harder I train, the luckier I get!
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Tyrone Nurse believes victory in the sold-out Betfair Prizefighter Light-Welterweight II at Wolverhampton Civic Hall on Saturday 11 February will be the perfect start to a big year for his career.
The unbeaten Huddersfield man has clocked up 20 wins since turning pro in 2008 but as he fights in the 23rd edition of the eight-man, one night tournament live on Sky Sports 1, HD1 and in 3D, he feels that 2012 is the year to step up to title fights, starting with victory in Prizefighter.
ďWinning puts you up there, it puts you into title contention, and it opens more doors in the fact that you become more of a household name,Ē said Nurse. ďSo it helps with your tickets sales, which helps with your promotion, which helps with your promoters. It helps all aspects really.
ďI think itís the right time to take a chance now. At 22, even if I did lose in Prizefighter, which I donít plan on doing, it isnít going to set me back too far to be honest. The Light-Welterweights is a deep division and there are a lot of fighters in there and a lot of good fighters so it could be a big year.Ē
Nurse has benefitted from some top class sparring in the build-up to Saturday night, travelling up to Scotland to trade blows with WBO Lightweight champion Ricky Burns. The 22 year-old has
ďIíve sparred with Ricky Burns previously. I sparred with him before his title defence against Joseph Laryea in Scotland,Ē said Nurse. ďYouíd be surprised at the quality of the sparring, because of his style and how he is with his high work-rate itís as hard as most fights youíll find yourself in. But itís good and all that I can do is learn from it.
ďI am happy to travel for quality sparring and you earn that by winning titles. Itís no good saying: Ďget me him to sparí. When youíre 20-0 have you really earned that? Obviously if you win Prizefighter and then you have a title shot, thatís when you get someone in specifically, and you can afford them then too!Ē
Nurseís decision to step it up is not one born of frustration though. Trained by father and former pro Chris Aston, Nurse has been happy with his steady progression, remaining active and building an impressive fan-base.
ďIíve had between four or five fights a year since I turned pro at eighteen,Ē said Nurse. ďBut I knew it was going to be a long, steady process because I was so young at the time. I wasnít mature like a man so I just got busy on a lot of smaller shows.
ďI suppose constant ticking-over has been the plan, and we did get about a bit, boxing in London, Manchester and Sheffield. Recently weíve had a few closer to home and started to build a nice little fan base so we knew we had time so it made sense to keep busy, keep ticking over and keep learning.Ē
The Huddersfield lad will be up against English Welterweight title-holder Adil Anwar, another unbeaten star Dale Miles, former British champion Barry Morrison and major title challengers Young Mutley, Dean Harrison, Mark Lloyd and John Watson.
ďI canít wait. Iím really looking forward to it. Itís very exciting, the best line-up yet, on paper anyway,Ē said Nurse. ďIím not fussed who I draw any of them will do me. Maybe we could have a royal rumble. Get us all in there!ĒTags: British Boxing , Marco Antonio Barrera , Frank Buglioni