Welterweight contender Bryant “Goodfella” Perrella improved to 16-2 with 13 knockouts after impressively defeating Breidis Prescott via unanimous decision.

The eight round fight aired Saturday, February 23 on FS2 as part of a Premier Boxing Champions card from the Minneapolis Armory in Minneapolis, MN.

Fighting for the first time since a gutsy majority decision defeat against Luis Collazo the 29-year-old spent time in Las Vegas training alongside some of the world’s top fighters. During a sparring session, He caught the eye of boxing legend Jesse Reid, who then joined Team Perrella.

The Fort Myers, FL native found an early home for jabs, straight left hands and crisp body shots. Perrella displayed excellent ring generalship throughout the fight while confidently showing Prescott it wouldn’t be his night. Prescott did land a few solid shots and knew he’d need a knockout to win in the later rounds but Perrella didn’t falter.

Scores were 79-73 twice and 78-74. “Mindset is everything in boxing,” Perrella said of his victory.

“I’ve got the right team around me and they’re helping me realize who I am as a fighter and what I’m able to do. The fighter you saw in there is the real me. The confidence, ring generalship, the swagger; that’s who Bryant Perrella truly is.”

With Reid joining head trainer Michael Nowling, Perrella’s plan is to return to the gym after a short rest and continue to sharpen his skills before the next fight.

“I’m always looking for tough challenges and am down to face anybody in the welterweight division. What you saw against Prescott is just a preview of who Bryant Perrella really is.”

Kai Robin Havnaa (13-0, 11 KOs) and Rad Rashid (16-4, 13 KOs) came face-to-face for the first time at a press conference today in Oslo ahead of their IBO International Cruiserweight title fight on Saturday at the SØR Amfi in Arendal.

Their championship clash will be the first time in over 40 years that a male boxer has contested an international title on Norwegian soil following Harald Skog’s WBA World Light Heavyweight title fight with Victor Galindez in 1976.

Havnaa says he is motivated by the chance to claim his first professional belt, and is looking forward to fighting in front of his home fans for the second time following his stoppage win over Daniel Vencl at the SØR Amfi last year.

“It’s amazing to be fighting for my first title,” said Havnaa. “I would like to thank my promoter Nisse Sauerland for working hard to make this possible. This is a huge opportunity for me, and I will give everything to make sure I take it.

“My training has gone well and I’m in great shape. I can’t wait to walk out in front of my supporters again. It was special feeling last time, and it’s going to be even better this time. Nothing will stop me from taking home the title.

“Rad Rashid is a good boxer, the toughest I have faced. I can see that he is serious and he has come here to win, but I believe I can beat him.”

A confident Rashid had just one message for Havnaa and the Norwegian media in attendance, stating: “I’m here to fight and I’m here to win.”

The rest of the talking was left to his manager Arjan Bajrami, who said: “Rad is not a man of words, he is a man of action. He has the heart of a lion, and he is going to stop your boy. Havnaa is going to learn the meaning of pain.”

“We’re delighted to be back in Norway,” said promoter Nisse Sauerland. “Rashid is a dangerous opponent, but someone Kai must overcome to continue his journey to the top.  Kai is already a hero in his hometown, but by winning this fight and claiming his first title, he can become a national hero in Norway.”

Kai Robin Havnaa tops the bill at the SØR Amfi in Arendal with a historic IBO International Cruiserweight title fight against Rad ‘Thunder’ Rashid.

Katharina Thanderz provides chief support with a super featherweight contest against Rachel Ball, Deniz Ilbay faces Jonathan Jose Eniz for the IBO Intercontinental title, Hadi Srour is back in the professional ring to meet Zoltan Szabo, and Kristiansand’s Jamshid Nazari takes on Ivica Gogosevic.

JOHNNY GARTON INSISTS that putting on the gloves for the first time had nothing to do with improving his prospects in the pecking order of Peckham, where he grew up and remains a man about town to this day.

The Pexican, as he is fondly known, did not venture into the local gym as a sporting route to escape a life of potential crime. His story is far more mundane - and familiar to many - in that he simply needed to shed some inches from his waistline.

However, Garton does admit to being something of a street urchin in his younger days and his fists weren't exactly unemployed, in a town where they breed them tough, before he took up punching for a living.

"It is known as a pretty tough town but, to be honest, I've lived there all my life so I don't know any different," explained the now 31-year-old, who defends his recently won British welterweight title for the first time against Chris Jenkins at the Royal Albert Hall on March 8. "To me it is just normal.

"I grew up on the Clifton Estate - which is just off the Queen's Road - and I loved it because there was loads of kids about and everybody knew each other. We were always playing up, getting into trouble and, obviously, having a tear-up every now and then.

"At the end of the day we all got along and it was only when we turned into teens that it got a bit hairy. We got into more trouble and started to get into fights with other estates."

In what could be described as an echo of the grown up Garton, the younger version would also always give a good account of himself when drawn into a scrap, although he admits he wasn't leader of the pack.

"Not really, I wasn't one of the hierarchy, but I think I had everyone’s respect because they knew if they did pick a fight, they would get a fight. Not many started on me so I didn't have to be fighting all the time."

The turning point for Garton - and his waistline - came when he was inspired to swap pints for punching and followed a friend into the local boxing gym. On starting work he wasn't just earning pounds, but also putting them on.

"It was just to lose weight," admitted the 23-1-1 British champ. "I started work when I was 15 on Saturdays as a mechanic and they put me on an apprenticeship when I finished school. So as soon as I finished work I was just going down the pub, eating a lot, drinking a lot...

"Then one of my mates said he was going to the gym to lose some weight and I went with him.

"I went a few times and some of the kids asked me to do some sparring and bashed the crap out of me, with me just being a kid off the street thinking I could fight everyone. Boxing is a totally different game and I kept going back trying to get the better of them.

"Slowly, after time, I noticed that people didn't want to spar me as much and it went from there."

Peckham is perhaps most famous for being the south east London setting of the comedy Only Fools and Horses, where the exploits of Del Boy and Rodders  charmed the nation for over 20 years.

Garton reports that the suits and swagger, along with the vocabulary, that characterised Del Boy didn't catch on in a big way on the real life streets and pubs of Peckham when he was growing up.

"Not really, it was more kids being as we call them, roadmen, people walking around with their hoods up or a hat on trying to keep their faces covered up or trying to be a tough man.

"There was a bit of the talk used, but not too much because Del Boy was just a bit before my era, so it was as the kids talk now and a bit more street."