Enrico Koelling (16-1, 6 KOs) is eager to atone for his first career loss when he returns to action on April 25 at the Columbia Hall in Berlin. Andrej Maurer (5-1-1, 3 KOs) is the man he must overcome to get back to winning ways following his defeat to Mirco Ricci in February.
‘’My first loss as a professional hurt more than my departure from the Olympics,’’ said Koelling, who competed at the London 2012 tournament. ‘’Against Ricci, I have no excuse, I simply wasn’t good enough on the night.’’
While Koelling admits it was painful to lose his perfect record and WBA Intercontinental title to the Italian, the 25 year-old has been encouraged by the support he has received. ‘’My team have been great and I’m really grateful for the support everyone has shown me,'' said the talented young fighter. ''This has really helped me to come to terms with the loss and will help me come back stronger than ever.’’
Koelling short-term goal is clear – to defeat Maurer. After that the Berlin-boxer has set his sights on a rematch with Ricci: ‘’I know I can beat him and I want to prove that – only then will I be able to sleep at night!’’
To obtain the rematch and revive his career Koelling cannot afford to lose to Maurer. Coach Karsten Roewer has instructed his fighter not to underestimate the Russian. ‘’Enrico must not look past Maurer,’’ said Roewer. ‘’The boy will be coming to Berlin to win. Enrico must show his full potential in the ring or risk another setback.’’
Koelling joins an action-packed show at the Columbia Hall in Berlin. Tyron Zeuge (16-0, 10 KOs) tops the bill with an IBF International Super Middleweight Championship defence against former world title challenger Nikola Sjekloca (28-3, 8 KOs), while German stars Karo Murat (26-2-1, 16 KOs), Noel Gevor (16-0, 9 KOs) and Burak Sahin (6-0, 6 KOs) return alongside Polish cruiserweight Mateusz Masternak (34-2, 24 KOs). Tickets are available via tickethall.de.
Luke Campbell documentary airs on Sky Sports tonight
Go behind the scenes with the Gold medal hero from 10pm – and On Demand now
Luke Campbell MBE is the subject of a special Sky Sports documentary tonight at 10.15pm on Sky Sports 2 – Luke Campbell – ‘The Golden Boy’ – and is already available On Demand.
The ‘Golden Boy’ is the emotional and uplifting story of Olympic gold medallist Luke Campbell. A one hour documentary that charts Luke’s incredible ongoing journey. From a dyslexic 13 year old, struggling to win club bouts through to London 2012. The Hull hero making history as Britain’s most decorated ever amateur boxer. Then moving on to his new mission, to conquer the World as a professional.
Luke relives those incredible scenes when he returned home as the first ever Olympic medallist from Hull. And on to a new chapter – a new challenge, with a professional debut to remember.
After racing to 10 straight victories in the paid ranks, a glittering future looks mapped out for the Golden Boy.
A legacy already secured, the obsessive competitor must deal with the responsibilities of family life away from his sport. With two sons, the demands of an adoring city and the pain of a father battling cancer, Luke must negotiate the pressures of expectation.
Luke Campbell has inspired pride in the people of Hull. A new generation follow his lead but this is only the start. The final chapter is yet to be written but what a story there is to be told.
Luke Campbell – ‘The Golden Boy’ is on Sky Sports 2 tonight at 10.15pm and available now On Demand.
ETCHES VOWS TO COME BACK BETTER THAN EVER
ADAM ETCHES has a simple message to the army of fans who turned out in their hundreds to see him lose his unbeaten record last Saturday – “Make no mistake, I’ll be back, only better.”
Etches was felled in the fourth round of his clash with Sergey Khomitsky on Saturday at the Sheffield Arena, but the 24-year-old is absolutely convinced he will learn from his split second lapse in concentration and return to the ring both wiser and stronger.
"Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t part of the game plan, but it has certainly taught me a lesson which needed teaching," said Etches. "My unbeaten record is gone but I am not looking back, only forwards as there are some massive fights out there for me.
"I've learnt one golden rule in boxing which my manager Richard Poxon is always telling me, the object of the sport is to hit and not get hit back. I think I got too confident and that all I had to do was stand in front of a fighter, trade blows and I would always come out on top. Maybe that’s because I had knocked out 15 out of 18 opponents before Khomitsky.
"It's a tough lesson to lean but I’ve got to become a lot more difficult to hit, because otherwise I am a sitting target for any opponent. I’ve been told this countless times before by my team, but the penny has now well and truly dropped.
"I've got enough power to halt anybody, but I also have to become a lot more defensively savvy. That has got to change.”
Etches accepts that he was “naive” in being caught by Khomitsky.
“I should have never got myself into trouble, but I did and that’s all my fault. I think it was a case of being naive and not concentrating fully. I was told time and time again that I had to be careful with such a dangerous opponent but it didn’t sink in properly and I have to face the consequences. I have been through a difficult experience but it will do me good in the long term, I’m certain of it.”
‘Bomber’ Etches, who has recently become engaged to his girlfriend Danielle, says he felt he badly let down the hundreds of supporters who travelled to the Sheffield venue, only to watch him walk onto an overhand right by Khomitsky, just as it seemed he was bossing the fight.
"I’ve got to say a huge thanks to all those who came out to watch me and I'm so sorry I ruined your night, but I really feel this is the start of a new beginning for me," he stated.
“Also, all boxing referees have a tough job but I got hit harder by Khomitsky in the first round than the one that put me down and I would have got back up if the ref had allowed me to. He kept me down on the canvas and called the fight off straight away.
"I am not going to criticise Howard Foster in any way, but I was certain I would get up. I was ready to get up, but the fight was called off immediately. If I had got up and my legs were still bandy, then fine, it should have been stopped straight away, but I didn’t get the chance to get up, which makes me very frustrated. I’m gutted about it.
"Having said that, I got caught by a good, clean shot which I didn’t see coming and I clearly have to tighten up my defence otherwise my dream of becoming a world champion won’t happen. I got hit and in the end my job is not to get hit. I realise that only too well now.”
Etches is determined to shake off his first loss and will return to the ring immediately after a short break.
"I want to get on the canvas again straight away and start climbing the rankings so that one day I will meet Khomitsky again and this time I will put right what I got so wrong. I want him to stay unbeaten until he fights me again and the next time there will be no mistakes, no lapses of concentration. I was sloppy and improvements need to be made before I meet him again.
"I’ve got to make what happened work to my advantage and that’s what my focus is now on. I’ll be back a ten times better boxer than I was before. I know I have got the power to beat anyone in the division, but I also need to work on the oldest rule in boxing: don’t get hit."
Yafai to face Megrino for WBC Silver title on May 9
Flyweight star closes in on World title tilt
Kal Yafai will face Rey Megrino for the WBC Silver Flyweight title at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on May 9, live on Sky Sports.
Yafai is gunning for a World title shot at 112lbs after making a successful debut at the weight in Sheffield on Saturday night, and victory of Megrino will catapult him into the mix for the green and gold belt.
Philippines ace Megrino is ranked at number eight with the WBC and has been a feature in the top ten of the rankings since a famous third round stoppage of former WBC champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam for the International title in 2012.
“Now is the time for Kal to dive in at World level,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “The WBC Silver title is a huge one to collect on your way and Megrino will bring huge ambition. The atmosphere at the Barclaycard Arena will be fantastic – this is his breakout night on the World scene, victory here and we expect a World title shout within the next six to nine months.”
Yafai’s clash with Megrino is part of a huge night of action in Birmingham, as Frankie Gavin faces a crunch clash on home turf against Chris van Heerden for the South African’s IBF International Welterweight title
World-rated Middleweight Matthew Macklin boxes in Birmingham for the first time in almost five years as he looks to bounce back from defeat to Jorge Sebastian Heiland, unbeaten Super Flyweight sensation Kal Yafai will be in title action on the card and his brother Gamal will continue his rise in the pro ranks while all-action Stourbridge youngster Sam Eggington will be hoping for a major title bout on the bill should he beat Shayne Singleton in Hull on March 7.
Bob Ajisafe will face Daniel Wanyonyi for the vacant Commonwealth Light Heavyweight title at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on April 11, live on Sky Sports.
Ajisafe is on a roll after a hot 2014 where he picked up the British title against Dean Francis in March, and took out Leon Senior and Matty Clarkson inside five rounds to establish himself as one of the top dogs in the division in Britain.
Now the Leeds man is aiming to add the Commonwealth crown to his Lonsdale strap and move onto more top honours, but he’ll face stiff opposition in Wanyonyi, the 26 year old Kenyan who picked up the African title in June.
“This is a great chance for Ajisafe to pick up a major title in his first action of 2014,” said Hearn. “Wanyonyi is an exciting fighter who can really bang, but Bob will have huge support in his home city and is looking to make a statement in the division.”
Ajisafe’s clash with Wanyonyi is part of a massive night of action in Leeds, topped by local star Josh Warrington’s showdown with Dennis Tubieron for the vacant WBC International Featherweight title.
Chris Jenkins faces Tyrone Nurse for the vacant British Light Welterweight title, Martin J. Ward and Maxi Hughes lock horns in a British Lightweight title eliminator following their great first clash in December, Liverpool’s World-rated Super Middleweight Rocky Fielding continues his comeback from injury, Prizefighter champion Jono Carroll fights for the first time since winning the trophy in December and in his first contest under new promoter Hearn and Cruiserweight prospect Isaac Chamberlain fights for the second time in the paid ranks.
Limited tickets remain on sale for the show priced at £30 and £40 from the First Direct Arena on 0844 248 1585 and at www.firstdirectarena.com .
Anthony Nelson and Jamie Wilson clash for the vacant Commonwealth Super Flyweight title at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle on Saturday night live on Sky Sports – and both men believe victory will lead to more title bouts this year.
South Shields’ Nelson landed the English title at the end of 2014 against Terry Broadbent and is ready to make it two-in-two in title bouts, and despite only moving into double figures himself on Saturday in the paid ranks, Nelson holds the advantage in experience over Wilson, who fights for just the sixth time in the pros.
“I was over the moon to get this fight,” said Nelson. “I want to be moving on in my career and progressing and this is a perfect opportunity on a massive show. I couldn’t ask for more.
“It is a 12-round fight so I will soon get to know Jamie after a couple of rounds. I will go in there with my plan, stick to that and see what is happening after the first round or two.
“I would like to think it is an advantage that I have had more rounds in the pros. I think that I will be stronger than him in the later rounds as I am more experience; I have boxed two ten-rounders and he has only done eight rounds once. Having said that he will have been doing the work in the gym and will have been putting the training in, so I am not taking the fight lightly.
“A win tonight is massive. The opportunity in itself is probably the biggest fight that could have come my way at the minute. To win the Commonwealth title and to do it on such a big show, live on Sky Sports, puts you into the public eye.
“I have had nine fights and other than people in the north east, nobody knows about us because we have never had the media up here and we have never reached a wider audience. This gives us a platform to reach a wider audience and let the fight fans in Britain see us. I sell a lot of tickets in the area but hopefully tonight can help us attract a few more fans and some bigger fights.”
Dundee 23 year old Wilson has dismissed his lack of experience as a problem in the fight and says his last outing showed the fighter he can be.
Wilson boxed a fortnight ago on his home patch and gave himself a real confidence boost by landing his first stoppage win against Craig Derbyshire – and despite being on enemy territory tonight, he says there will be enough Scottish voices to roar him to victory.
“It is a massive opportunity, so I’m excited,” said Wilson. “I have had a look at Anthony Nelson’s record and he has a few names on there who I have fought as well, and I have seen a few clips of him. I am pretty confident.
“You can get an idea of his style and the size of him from the clips I have seen. I don’t like to look too much into it because every fight is different but it is good to have a look and see what you’re up against. He is quite tall for the weight and so I don’t know if he will struggle to boil down to make the weight.
“Being at my weight it is quite hard to get sparring partners, so I am used to sparring taller guys and maybe slightly heavier guys.
“I am strong for my weight. I have a long reach and I use my boxing skills well, but if it comes to a tear-up I am more than happy to get involved.
“I am unbeaten and that is always good for your confidence. There is nobody on Anthony’s record who has been better for me. A win tonight would open up doors to bigger things and hopefully bigger nights.
“Domestically I am up there with the top guys in the division. I think I am number six right now so I can be challenging for one and two with a win tonight.
“I got my first stoppage two weeks ago because I am starting to relax now and feel good in the ring. It was great to get that stoppage, especially with it being in Dundee, my home town. I knew through sparring that I had the power but now I am starting to relax in the ring and pick my shots better, the power is starting to show. Tonight has come at a perfect time.
“There is always going to be a hostile crowd in somebody else’s backyard but I will be using it to thrive off. There will be some Scottish fans down there too because Charlie Flynn is on the bill tonight and so is Stephen Simmons, hopefully they can get behind me as well and will come and watch me defend this title back home.”
Nelson and Wilson clash on a massive night of action in the north east as Anthony Joshua MBE makes his comeback against American Prizefighter finalist Jason Gavern.
Stephen Simmons defends his WBC International Silver Cruiserweight title against local favourite Jon-Lewis Dickinson, whose brother Travis is also in action. Jeff Saunders makes his pro debut and there’s a host of unbeaten local talent on the bill with unbeaten Cruiserweight Simon Vallily, Light Heavyweight Jordan King, plus a debut for Lewis Ritson and a second pro outing for Scotland’s Commonwealth gold medallist Charlie Flynn.
Liverpool’s World title chasing Featherweight Stephen Smith boxes on consecutive weekends and his Gallagher’s Gym mate Hosea Burton is also in action.
Tickets are on sale now priced £40, £60 and £100 from the Metro Radio Arena at www.metroradioarena.co.uk and on 0844 493 6666.