Promoter Dennis Hobson starts the New Year on a high, with his first show of 2018 involving a British and English title fight, as well as being broadcast live on Freesports TV (Sky channel 424 and via Freeview/Youview on channel 95).
At Sheffield’s Ponds Forge Arena this Friday, February 2, Barnsley’s Josh Wale will make the second defence of his British bantamweight crown when he faces Lincolnshire’s Bobby Jenkinson. Also on the card, local man Loua Nassa will attempt to win the vacant English super-flyweight belt against Guernsey’s Brad Watson.
Hobson teamed up with free-to-air channel Freesports TV in October last year, when Commonwealth middleweight champion Sam Sheedy lost his title to fellow Sheffield fighter Liam Cameron in eight action-packed rounds. The feedback after the event from boxing fans and Freesports TV viewers was incredible, and Dennis says the bar has been set high for future events.
“We’ve set our standard now after the Cameron and Sheedy fight. So, I’m really looking forward to this show because we’ve got two very competitive title fights. The two headline bouts are both very tight, and in terms of value for money, they are top draw. They should both be cracking contests and if they are even nearly as good as Sheedy versus Cameron, then they’ll be great entertainment. You can rarely watch top quality boxing these days unless you pay a subscription, so having a British and English title fight on free-to-air TV is a real coup for fight fans.”
A pro since 2006, Wale’s childhood ambition was always to win the Lonsdale Belt, with the 29-year-old finally achieving his dream in July last year. With just nine defeats in 36 outings, ‘The Outlaw’ is renowned as an entertaining, all-action fighter and will give everything at the Ponds Forge Arena to ensure that opponent Jenkinson, 11-3-1 (2), doesn’t shatter his fairy tale story.
‘Glamour Boy’ Watson has it all to prove when he steps in against Nassa. The Channel Islander hasn’t fought since November 2016 and, although he has only lost twice in 12 contests, both those defeats came in his last two fights. Undefeated Steel City man Nassa, 10-0, will have the crowd behind him – as well as his four fighting siblings – and will believe victory over Watson could be the launchpad for major fights this coming year.
“Josh Wale will never be in a dull fight because he doesn’t know how to take a backwards step,” stated Hobson. “There’s guaranteed action and drama in that fight, Jenkinson is coming to cause an upset, and this fight won’t fail to entertain everyone watching on TV and in the arena.
“I also think the English title fight will be a cracker between two very hungry kids in Loua Nassa and Brad Watson. They both have something to prove; it’s the first time a kid from Guernsey has fought for an English title, and Loua is part of a family of five fighting brothers, who are all graduates and very intelligent. So, there are some great stories there, and this is a real value-for-money show. There are 18 million homes in the UK that can watch this show for free, hopefully we’ll have a great audience, and that will continue to grow as we start moving forward.
“For this coming year, I want to do some Scottish shows with Iain Wilson, and in the Northeast with Phil Jeffries and Dave Garside, because they are putting some cracking shows on up there. And in London we’ll be working with ‘Mo’ Prior from Warrior Boxing. So, we’re hoping to go up and down the country in 2018 and put shows on, with the plan being a show a month. It’s all growing and developing as we speak, but for this first show of 2018 I’m working with Stefy Bull, and it should be an absolute belter and get the year off to a bang.”
Dennis Hobson Promotions presents Josh Wale defending his British bantamweight title against Bobby Jenkinson, and Loua Nassa and Brad Watson contesting the vacant English super-flyweight title, at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge Arena on February 2.
For ticket information call 0114 243 4443.
The show will be broadcast live on Freesports TV. For more information visit www.freesports.tv
Rising female star, Elena Gradinar of Saint Petersburg, Russia, will compete for the first championship belt of her professional career when she takes on former world champion Olivia "The Predator" Gerula for the IBF Intercontinental Featherweight Championship.
The 10-round Gradinar vs. Gerula battle will take place on Saturday, March 24, at the Energia Sport Hall in Narva, Estonia.
The undefeated 27-year-old Gradinar (8-0, 2 KOs) went 73-8 as an amateur, winning numerous national and international amateur tournaments. Gradinar has also attained the designation of Sport Master of Russia.
A well-respected and accomplished professional, Gerula, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, is the former WBC World Female Super Featherweight Champion and made two successful defenses. She has also held the well-respected WIBA World Championship.
"I am very glad to fight for IBF Intercontinental belt against former WBC World Champion Olivia Gerula," said Gradinar. "We will bring for boxing fans a dramatic and exiting clash between us. I am very proud that I will represent my country Russia and I hope that IBF Intercontinental belt will find residence in the glorious Russian city of St. Petersburg!"
"I am very excited about what's to come. I look forward to visiting Estonia and soaking up some of its culture while proudly representing Canada," said Olivia Gerula. "I know Elena has an impressive amateur record and an undefeated professional record, but I don't believe she has ever been in the ring with a fighter of my quality and experience, so I expect to shake things up."
Gerula's co-promoter Dmitriy Salita, along with Russian-based Alexander Nevskiy Promotion Group, says the Gerula fight will prove a lot about Gradinar's transition to the professional ranks.
"This will be the toughest test of Elena's young career," said Salita. "Olivia Gerula has fought and beaten many top-level female fighters in the division. I am looking forward to a great fight and, with a victory, the continued development of our future world champion."
Colorado Springs, Colo. - USA Boxing announced today the three cities that will host the 2018 USA vs. Ireland Northeast Boxing Tour.
Boston, Manchester and Springfield will welcome two of the world’s top amateur boxing teams for friendly duals. Each city will showcase up to 12 bouts, that will all be live streamed, free of charge, on USA Boxing’s website.
The tour will kick off March 12 at Boston’s Royale Entertainment Complex, followed by matchups on March 15 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass. Manchester will close out the duals on March 21 at The Manchester Downtown Hotel. Boxing will begin at 7:00 p.m. EST in all three cities, and tickets will be made available for purchase in the coming weeks.
The American delegation will be led by Head Coach Billy Walsh (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who represented Ireland at the 1988 Olympics before becoming the head of the Irish boxing program for over 10 years.
Headlining Team USA’s roster will be 2017 World Championship bronze medalist Troy Isley (Alexandria, Va.). USA Boxing’s team will also include a number of up and comers including 2016 Youth World Champion Marc Castro (Fresno, Calif.), who is making his highly anticipated international elite debut this year.
Other American’s include 2016 Youth World Champion and 2017 Elite Continental Championships silver medalist Delante Johnson (Cleveland, Ohio), 2017 USA Boxing Heavyweight National Champion Jared Anderson (Toledo, Ohio) and 2016 Youth World Championship bronze medalist and 2017 USA Boxing Super Heavyweight National Champion Richard Torrez (Tulare, Calif.). A full roster for each city will be released closer to the start of the tour.
The Irish team, who will be under the guidance of former world champion and head coach Bernard Dunne, will announce their boxers at the conclusion of their National Championships in February.
All boxers and bouts are subject to change.
USA vs. Ireland Schedule
March 12: Royale Entertainment Complex, Boston, Mass.
March 15: MassMutual Center, Springfield, Mass.
March 21: The Manchester Downtown Hotel, Manchester, N.H.