BOXXER announced updates to the event headlined by Liam Smith (33-3-1, 20 KO’s) and Chris Eubank Jr (32-3, 23 KO’s), with a new addition to the card confirmed plus a new date for the event at the AO Arena Manchester.
Middleweight sensation Ben ‘The Surgeon’ Whittaker considers ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed one of his greatest inspirations and paid tribute to his idol in style on Saturday night with a blend of skills and showboating.
The young talent won a silver medallist at the 2020 Olympics and is widely-tipped by boxing insiders to become a world champion in the professional ranks. In July, Manchester fans will have their first chance to witness him in person.
The event - headlined by the rematch between bitter rivals Liam Smith and Chris Eubank Jr. - also has a new date, moving to Saturday, July 1st.
The date change comes after Smith received medical advice to adjust his training camp for a two-week period in order to allow the healing of a minor injury which had begun flaring up.
With Eubank Jr consenting to the move, the two rivals will now return to the AO Manchester Arena in July, almost five months to the day from the four-round January firefight which took place in front of a sold-out crowd in the same venue - joined by a large television audience watching on pay-per-view - and ended with Smith winning by stoppage in the first minute of the fourth round.
Determined to avenge the defeat and square the record between them, Eubank Jr activated the contracted rematch clause to set up a summer showdown.
Explaining his request, Smith commented, “It’s just an old injury niggle flaring up but I want to take the time to let it heal up so that I can enter the ring at 100% on fight night, because a 100% Liam Smith beats Chris Eubank Jr every day of the week and twice on Sunday.”
The co-headline bout remains in place, with former middleweight world champion Savannah ‘The Silent Assassin’ Marshall (12-1, 10 KO’s) challenging undisputed world super-middleweight champion Franchon Crews-Dezurn (8-1, 2 KO’s) for her four belts and undisputed champion status.
Having won a new belt in each of her three fights in 2022 unified world light-middleweight champion Natasha ‘Miss GB’ Jonas (13-2-1, 8 KO’s) will lay them all on the line in Manchester, with her challenger to be announced in the coming days.
Jonas - a member of the 2012 Team GB Olympic squad - won the WBO world title in February last year, captured the WBC belt in September and added the IBF belt to her collection in November.
British super-middleweight champion Mark ‘Kid Dynamite’ Heffron (29-2-1, 23 KOs) - a Champs Camp stablemate of Jonas under the tutelage of two-time trainer of the year, Joe Gallagher - will defend the prestigious Lonsdale Belt against Zak Chelli (13-1-1, 6 KOs) in a certain crowd-pleaser.
Chelli goes into the title challenge off the back of a career-best performance against American standout Anthony Sims Jr earlier this year. Having recently been mandated for the British title, the Londoner will now be hoping to cause a mighty upset in the North West when he stands toe-to-toe with Oldham native Heffron.
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