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UK News: Amir Khan Update, Stalker, Patterson, Langford

BOLTON – Two-time world champion boxer Amir Khan is leading a joint Penny Appeal and Amir Khan Foundation convoy to distribute vital aid to refugees stranded on the island of Lesbos (Greece).

A UK-wide donation scheme has been set up by Penny Appeal and Amir Khan Foundation, allowing people to donate towards food, water, hygiene essentials and shelter.

People can also drop off other items like clothes, footwear, hygiene disposables and outdoor equipment at designated collection sites across the UK.

These items will then be driven to Greece by volunteers and then handed out by both teams, including Amir Khan.

Amir Khan said: “It’s heartbreaking to see images of children losing their lives as their families flee from devastating conflict.

“What’s even more disturbing is knowing that many more lives will be lost unless we provide urgent aid to these refugees who are stranded and in desperate need.

“We’re seeing stories of people in countries like Germany doing so much for refugees and I know people in the UK are just as generous and thoughtful. This convoy is a great way for everyone to do something to help.”

Adeem Younis, Chair of Trustees at Penny Appeal, added: “Everyday, refugees arrive on the shores of Europe after surviving a horrendous journey with nothing more than the clothes they are wearing.

“The items we can provide will make a real difference, giving people hope as they take the first step on the path towards safer lives.

“We’re delighted to be working with Amir Khan and his Foundation on this life-saving project and call on people across the UK to get involved.”

The convoy will be leaving on Tuesday 15th September from Bolton and collection centres have been set up around the UK for people to donate their items before the convoy departs on a four-day journey across Europe.

Drop-off points for donations have been set up in Bradford, Leeds, Manchester, Bolton and Luton, and volunteers will be there to accept items like footwear, clothing, hygiene and outdoor equipment until the evening of Sunday 13th September.

If people can’t get to any of the locations in time, then they can make financial donations online or over the phone, which will go on to provide food, hygiene and emergency shelter to those refugees stranded on the island of Lesbos (Greece).

At the age of 31, Team GB 2012 Olympic skipper Tom Stalker knows nothing other than a comprehensive victory will suffice when he squares off with ex international team mate Craig Evans for the vacant WBO European lightweight title on Frank Warren’s ‘World War III’ event at the Manchester Arena on October 10th.

‘The Captain’, formerly ranked number one amateur in the world after medalling at the European Seniors (twice), the Commonwealth Games and the World Seniors, has already stumbled twice in 12 pro gigs and knows he simply can’t afford another hiccup.

‘This is sink or swim and a must win,’ disclosed the chirpy Liverpudlian who is frequently accused of being simply too pleasant to prosper in the austere world of pro prizefighting.

He confided: ‘Lately, I’ve started seeing a sports psychologist because basically I’m too nice a guy. He’s helping to bring out the grit, the nasty side that I’ll need to succeed in the professional game.

‘In the past, I’ve been guilty of always giving everybody my time. I’d answer every phone, reply to every message. Lately, I’ve come off all the social media sites so I’ve no distractions. I want to put all my energy into my training, my tactics.’

Last time out, Stalker profligated a healthy early lead to draw with fellow Scouse southpaw Tommy Carus over eight rounds.

‘It was my own fault. I found it easy early on, thought I had it in the bag but Tommy kept pushing. I started to tire and I can’t explain that because I always train very hard,’ said Stalker.

‘I definitely thought I won it but he had a lot of fans screaming at ringside and I think that influenced the ref, who scored it.’

Nevertheless, the reformed joy rider from Huyton insists that, right now, his life couldn’t be more dandy since hooking up with Irish manager Daniel Kinahan at the MGM Gym Marbella 17 months ago.

Tom says: ‘My life has really changed for the better. We instantly developed a great energy together and I’ve had fabulous career opportunities.

‘Spain is where my long-term future lies. My two girls are in Spanish schools here and I’ve another baby due in November. Once I retire, I’d love to become involved in the coaching set up at the MGM Marbella. It’s becoming a real big force. If not that, I’d consider the GB set-up. I still love amateur boxing.’

The manner in which he was ragged about the ring in the later rounds with Carus has persuaded the 5ft 10in Stalker to strim down to 135lbs where he believes he’ll start to profit from physical advantages.

‘My mate Bradley Saunders makes 10 stone but enters the ring above 11stone whereas for my last three I’ve weighed around 9.12 and come into the ring around 10.4, 10.5. Realistically, I’ve the body of a lightweight, albeit a big one,’ disclosed Stalker

‘I was making light-welter without really dieting. ‘The Taff-inator’ (in house strength and conditioning coach at the MGM) has sorted out my nutrition. I’m on a stricter diet. Obviously lightweight is harder to make but I still expect to be in the ring about 10.5.’

The WBO European collision with Evans might ultimately lead to a world title challenge with Manchester’s Terry Flanagan.

‘I’m happy to pursue the WBO route. A win will not only bring the WBO European belt but also a top 15 world ranking. It’s a big carrot which will allow me to really push on,” He added.

The bang up with ex British title challenger Evans (14-1) has certainly split the trade and could prove the show stealer on a bill littered with quality 50-50 match-ups.

‘It’s another tough one and I’m really looking forward to it,’ says Stalker who didn’t start competing until he was 19 and therefore still has low mileage.

‘This is the level of fight I want to be in, fights where the fans genuinely aren’t sure who’ll win. Either way, no one will be able to say the winner hasn’t beaten anyone.

‘This is the first time as a pro I’ll have entered as the underdog. There’s less pressure and I get a chance to prove a lot of people wrong.

‘I know what Craig’s about from our time together on the GB squad. I was lightweight, he was down at feather so we didn’t spar. He’s a very good southpaw who gave Scotty Cardle a close fight for the British title. Our styles should gel to produce a top fight but I’m confident of winning.

‘Craig likes to wait a lot and he can be pretty cagey. He’s got a good jab and back hand but against Cardle he sat off too much. I intend to do the things that made me such a good amateur; slow it down, out box him, make my natural size advantage pay. I believe I’m better all round; bigger, stronger, more skilled.’

Tickets for World War III, featuring the WBO World Lightweight Championship Terry Flanagan v Diego Magdaleno and the Vacant WBO World Super-Welterweight Championship Liam Smith v John Thompson, are priced at £40, £75, £125, £200, £300 and £500* and available now from www.frankwarren.com , Manchester Arena on 0844 847 8000 and Eventim on www.eventim.co.uk and 0844 249 1000

The Channel Of Champions, BoxNation, will televise, live and exclusive on Sky 437/HD 490, Virgin 546 and Talk Talk 415. Subscribe at www.boxnation.com or watch online at Livesport.tv or via iPhone, iPad or Android.

South London talent Ahmet Patterson intends to prove he’s ready to compete at world level when he fights in a British Super-Welterweight championship eliminator at the SSE Arena, Wembley, on Saturday 26th September.

A former national junior champion and England amateur rep, the 27-year-old from East Dulwich has raced to 15-0 and is one of the hot talents to watch out for this season.

But ‘Pattycake’ intends to alert the trade of his considerable talent when he features in a riveting support contest on the undercard to Frank Buglioni’s WBA Super-Middleweight challenge to the Russian champion Fedor Chudinov.

Original opponent Danny Butler withdrew due to a viral infection and he awaits news of his new opponent shortly, but one man in his sights is Liverpool rival Liam Smith, who himself fights in a WBO World Super-Welterweight title challenge on Saturday 10th October in Manchester.

‘Of course I’m ready for the step up. I’ve been ready for a British title shot for more than a year. I’m in the game for big fights,’ says the Turkish-Cypriot descendant who is trained by Martin Bowers at the Peacock Gym in Canning Town.

‘Hopefully, victory on the 26th will lead to British and Commonwealth opportunities before the end of this year. Liam Smith is challenging for a world title next month but I’m ready for him right now, 100%.’

‘Fighting in London isn’t an issue either way. I went up to Sheffield to fight Chad Gaynor and I won well (fifth round stoppage); went into the ring smiling, left the ring smiling. It really doesn’t bother me. I enjoy boxing anywhere.

‘Size won’t be an issue either. I routinely spar far bigger guys and far smaller guys and I can adapt to anything because I like to think that I’m a good fighter. 

Priced at £40, £50, £75, £100 and £150* tickets are available from www.frankwarren.com , SSE Arena, Wembley on 0844 815 0815 and www.axs.com and Eventim on 0844 249 1000 and www.eventim.co.uk

Buglioni v Chudinov headlines ’Man vs. Machine’ with London hotshot Frank Buglioni challenging WBA World Super-Middleweight Champion Fedor Chudinov for his crown.

An action packed card also features top undefeated WBO European Super-Middleweight Champion Jamie Cox making the first defence of his title against Mariano Hilario; Cromer battler Ryan Walsh faces Hull’s Samir Mouneimne with the Vacant British Featherweight Title on the line; all-action Erith talent Lewis Pettitt challenges for the Vacant Commonwealth Super-Bantamweight Championship against Bobby Jenkinson; Penge hero Bradley Skeete defends his WBO European Welterweight crown against Heywood’s Mark Thompson; plus on the undercard Dublin lightweight Jamie Kavanagh; Canning Town lightweight Romeo Romaeo; Dagenham lightweight Ediz Hussein; Chingford super-featherweight Boy Jones Jnr, and Chelmsford super-featherweight Billy Long.

The Channel Of Champions, BoxNation, will televise, live and exclusive on Sky 437/HD 490, Virgin 546 and Talk Talk 415. Subscribe at www.boxnation.com   or watch online at Livesport.tv or via iPhone, iPad or Android.

*Tickets are subject to be booking fee.

WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Champion Tommy Langford will defend his title against Argentina’s Christian Fabian Rios on Saturday 3rd October at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall.

The red-hot talent returns to action in his first fight since capturing the title with a stunning four-round destruction of hard Mexican Julio Cesar Avalos in July.  Langford headlines the Frank Warren show in association with PJ Rowson, live and exclusive on BoxNation.

Undefeated Langford from Bideford in Devon, but now based in Birmingham, aims to be the first to stop the Argentine Champion who has won 20 out of 26 fights, but has only lost on points.  Langford has stopped his last two back-to-back opponents and the 26-year-old is developing into a powerful force in the 160lb talent-packed division.

“Rios is another challenge for me and I can’t wait to see what he brings,” Said Langford.

“From what I’ve seen of him he’s a southpaw, a good mover on his feet, he’ll present me with something new to figure out and I still aim to take him out before the end.  I’m very confident fighting against southpaws and my right hand is particularly effective against them,”

“I’ve been working on plenty of things with Tom Chaney so we’re continually improving with each fight.  The body punching is especially coming along.  I’ll look to break Rios down from the start and slow him up with some good hard body shots that will eventually expose his chin,”

“This is another good test for me to come through and make a big statement with a stoppage.  I need to be dominant from the start, stamp my authority and dictate the pace to get the result I want.”

Chief-support on the show is the Eliminator for the English Super-Welterweight Championship between Dudley's Ryan Aston and Aylesbury's Nathan Graham.  A top class undercard will feature a host of top up-and-coming talents, including Tipton super-middleweight Andrew Robinson; unbeaten Guisborough light-welterweight Josh Leather; Belfast super-welterweight Macaulay McGowan; Birmingham super-bantamweight Razza Hamza; Leicester super-featherweight Lyon Woodstock; Rowley Regis middleweight Tyler Denny; Dudley lightweight Les Byfield and the professional debut of Dudley flyweight Josh Miller. 

Tickets priced at £40, £60 & £100 are available from the Wolverhampton Civic Hall Box Office at www.wolvescivic.co.uk and 0870 320 7000.

The Channel Of Champions, BoxNation, will televise, live and exclusive on Sky 437/HD 490, Virgin 546 and Talk Talk 415. Subscribe at www.boxnation.com   or watch online at Livesport.tv or via iPhone, iPad or Android.

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