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News: Oliver Flodin, Stephon Young, Bare Fist Boxing

Oliver Flodin (2-0) will face Daniel Pilc (3-2-1, 1 KO) in a six-round middleweight contest on April 21 in Sundsvall on the undercard of the European Union heavyweight showdown between Swedish rivals Otto Wallin and Adrian Granat.
 
Flodin, a standout amateur and Team Sauerland’s latest Swedish signing, has secured two victories since joining the professional ranks last year.
 
The fighter from Jonkoping scored a unanimous decision over Richard Hegyi on his debut in Stockholm before picking up another one-sided points win over Pavel Hryshkavets at the Sport and Congress Center in Schwerin.
 
So far all of Flodin’s opponents have had winning records, which is often not the case for a fighter starting their professional career, but the 22 year-old says he is happy to continue this trend in order to aid his development.
 
“I’m really looking forward to fighting in Sundsvall,” said Flodin. “I’ve had a bit of a break since my last fight so it will feel good to get back in the ring and back in fight mode. I’m really excited, and I hope the fans are ready for a good show and a big KO.
 
“I’ve been happy with my first two opponents. Fighting someone who is not on a good level doesn’t give me a chance to develop as a fighter so I’m happy to face tough opponents that I have to be at my best to beat. 
 
“I’ve not seen too much of Daniel Pilc yet but he has a decent record and I’m sure he will give me a good fight. My coaches and I will now have time to analyse what kind of fighter he is and what we need to do to win.
 
“I’ve already had three sparing camps with different fighters, and last week we had some really good sparing in Gothenburg. Before my fight with Pilc on April 21, I will have had over 100 rounds of good sparring so I will be well prepared.”
 
Flodin versus Pilc in the latest addition to the Nordic Fight Night on April 21 at the Gärdehov in Sundsvall. Otto Wallin and Adrian Granat meet in a Swedish super fight for the European Union Heavyweight title, while female star Mikaela Laurén meets undefeated German Verena Kaiser for the IBO Female World Super Welterweight strap.
 
Tickets are available online via www.ticketmaster.se or by calling 077-170 70 70.

flodin

Asif Vali has been involved in professional boxing for many years but is urging fight fans to give the bare fist variety of the sport a chance.

The former manager of Amir Khan has teamed up with the ‘Bare Fist Boxing Association’ for a show this Saturday (March 17) at the Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester (Longbridge Rd, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester, M17 1SN), with eight bouts scheduled to take place, including two ‘title’ fights.

Asif, who has helped stage huge world title fight shows in the UK and America, acknowledges many people will have a negative impression of bare fist boxing.  The Bolton-based fight figure insists the sport often gets painted in a bad light but says he is pushing for proper regulation, and is positive there are exciting times ahead for the activity.

“Bare fist boxing is obviously where professional boxing originated, and it’s never gone away,” explained Vali.  “There have been a number of very well-attended shows taking place up and down the country, and the ‘Bare Fist Boxing Association’ has formed off the back of that.

“People get the wrong idea about these shows.  They think it’s just knuckle to knuckle but it’s not and the fighters actually wear hand wraps.  Because the sport, like white collar boxing, isn’t regulated, the British Boxing Board of Control won’t accept it, but I’m hoping that very soon it will become regulated because we want to make it as safe as possible.  Boxing is on the up, but there are plenty of people who are never going to make it as pros.  So why don’t we regulate white collar boxing and bare fist boxing for the competitors involved?

“All the fighters on this show will have a medical prior to fight-night, they are given checks during their training, and the rounds they box are shorter than in professional boxing.  For this particular show, we’ve done everything to make it run as much like a professional boxing show as possible.  There’ll be the lights, the ring entrances, the ring girls, the only thing they haven’t got is gloves!

“The sport is growing and the shows are really popular.  Spectators like bare fist boxing because it’s shorter than professional boxing, it usually ends quicker, and also because the referee, who’s closest to the action, makes the decision about who wins.  I really think it could end up as big as boxing and the sport will continue to improve as more shows are put on.

“The venue for Saturday, Bowlers, holds 2000 people so you can see there are exciting times ahead, and I actually believe that bare fist boxing helps raise the profile of all combat sports, including professional boxing.  For, this show, tickets are just £30 on the door or from the boxers direct, people can come along, see what the sport is all about, and are guaranteed a good night.”

Perennial 118-lb contender Stephon "Showstopper" Young is finishing up his 13-week training camp in Miami while wondering if his opponent knows what he's truly in for next week.
 
On Friday, March 23, in the Hard Rock Event Center at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., WBA #4-rated Young (17-0-3, 7 KOs) from St. Louis will face WBA #5 Reymart "GenSan Assassin" Gaballo (18-0, 16 KOs) from General Santos City, Philippines, in a 12-round battle for the WBA Interim World Bantamweight Championship.
 
Young vs. Gaballo headlines promoter Kris Lawrence and The Heavyweight Factory's "Rumble at the Rock," an 11-bout night of world-class professional boxing. In the 10-round co-main, former WBA Super World Bantamweight Champion Juan Carlos Payano (19-1, 9 KOs) takes on "Magic" Mike Plania (14-0, 7 KOs) from General Santos City, Philippines.
 
Tickets are priced at $255, $130, $80 and $55. All seats are reserved and available at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.myhrl.com, www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone: 1-800-745-3000. Additional fees may apply.
 
29-year-old southpaw Young says that while Gaballo obviously has some strength to have such a high KO percentage, he is too green to be in the ring with a fighter at his level and experience.
 
"To be honest, I take nothing from him, but they should have stepped him up with a different opponent first and not thrown him in with a guy like me," said Young. "I feel he's not ready yet and that will show next Friday. He should have had two or three more fights, but I feel like just because it's for a title, they are rushing toward it. It's a good opportunity for him, but they're not thinking enough about what's going to happen to him. I will be bringing everything I've got that night."
 
Young, who still lives in St. Louis but travels to Miami for camp, says coming up the hard way in boxing and then meeting up with his current team will make all the difference next Friday.
 
"When I turned pro, I didn't get signed right off the bat with a big-time promoter," he said. "I went and fought in people's backyards and proved myself. I was given nothing, but I knew my time would come. I stayed focused and continued to train. I've been with my coach, Herman Caicedo, now for two years and I'm a totally different fighter. I want to thank my team, my promoter Kris Lawrence and The Heavyweight Factory for giving me this opportunity, my manager Henry Rivalta for always believing in me and my coach Herman Caicedo for getting me in the best shape I've ever been."
 
For Young, lifting the belt over his head next Friday will be a dream come true.
 
"Winning this fight means everything. It's a big accomplishment and nothing can keep me from my dreams. On March 23, I will be champion."
 
"Rumble at the Rock" is proudly sponsored by Armero Tequila. Special guests expected that evening include former heavyweight champions Riddick "Big Daddy" Bowe and Evander "The Real Deal" Holyfield. On fight night, Hard Rock Event Center will open its doors at 6 p.m. with the first bout starting at 7 p.m. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is located at 1 Seminole Way in Hollywood, Florida.

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