UK News: Flanagan-Mathews; Zolani Tete; James Tennyson

Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment visited The Finest Boxing Gym today to show their support for Manchester’s Lightweight King Terry Flanagan who makes the second defence of his world title against Scouse challenger Derry Mathews this Saturday at the Liverpool Echo Arena.

Sergeant Ryan Walton, coach of the ‘2 Lancs’ boxing team, and his comrades were treated to a scintillating display from the all-action Turbo before getting the chance to meet the champion up close and personal. Flanagan looked in fantastic shape ahead of his big night and Sergeant Walton was blown away by the speed of the Ancoats man.

“He looks incredibly fast and you can’t see a pound of fat on him. It’s fantastic to see a world class fighter training for a world title fight. After watching him in the ring today I’m confident that he’ll get the win on Saturday,” said Walton.

The 2nd Battalion specialises in dismounted close combat operations using light vehicles and foot. Walton and his Battalion enjoy an envious reputation for their sporting prowess and the life-long boxing fan hopes his team benefited from watching a true professional.

He said: “All of the lads have loved coming along to the gym today, everyone in the Battalion is massively into their boxing so it was a nice treat for them. Being a Manchester-based Regiment we’re obviously backing Terry to get the job done. I think we’ve all learned something today by watching his speed and movement.”


There is a long and proud tradition of boxing in the British Army. Sergeant Walton is a strong believer in the benefits of the noble art and says it instils a whole new level of discipline and determination in himself and his fellow soldiers.

He said: “I’ve enjoyed watching and participating in boxing all my life. I’ve been boxing with the Battalion since we set up the team around six months ago and we’re constantly improving and learning which is good to see,”

“We’re just establishing ourselves at the moment and I’m really pleased with the progress we’re making as a team. We do our own physical training every morning and then pad work and sparring in the afternoon so it’s great for the fitness!”

Flanagan, who is undefeated in all 29 of his professional fights, was delighted to host the 2nd Battalion. The 26 year-old was more than happy to spend time with the Lancaster troops posing for photographs and signing memorabilia.

He said: “They put their lives on the line protecting our country; they’re the real heroes. It was a real boost having them come along to watch me train today and I’m thankful for all of the support I’ve received from everyone.”

South African super-puncher Zolani Tete is loving life in Liverpool as he prepares to take on menacing Mexican Jose Santos Gonzalez for the Vacant IBF International Bantamweight title this Saturday, live and exclusive on BoxNation.

‘Last Born’ impressively announced himself on the world scene back in March last year with a devastating eighth round knockout of then unbeaten Ellesmere Port ace Paul Butler. His world-class performance left English fans mesmerised and demanding to see more. The 27 year-old is thrilled to be back in Liverpool and is promising to deliver another show-stopping performance on his return to the Echo Arena.

“I’m delighted to be back in this wonderful city. I love Liverpool and especially all my fans who have made me feel so welcome. After my fight against Paul Butler I started getting a lot of Tweets and Facebook messages from fans in Liverpool saying they were looking forward to watching me fight again. Now I’m here I promise to put on another entertaining fight for all of my new friends,” said Tete.

Tete, from Mdanstane in the Eastern Cape, is one of the most explosive punchers in the division with an incredible 18 knockouts in 22 wins. Boxing fans who attended Derry Mathews’ public workout on Monday were lucky enough to get an opportunity to meet the former IBF World Super-Flyweight Champion who was more than happy to sign gloves and pose for photos.

He said: “It’s great to get an opportunity to meet some of my fans. While I’m here I want to meet as many of them as I can because I didn’t really get the opportunity last time I fought here. It was nice to be able to talk boxing with them; they’re really knowledgeable and clearly love the sport. On Saturday I’m going to repay their support by showing them what I’m capable of.”

The clinical southpaw is no stranger to facing Mexicans, having stopped Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr with a spectacular tenth round knockout in November 2013. The powerful Bantamweight is expecting another tough night.

He said: “Jose is a strong fighter and he has my full respect. I think it’s going to be an amazing fight for the crowd while it lasts. Unfortunately for Jose he is standing in the way of bigger things for me so he’s going to fall just like the others. Mexicans are notoriously tough so I’m going to have to bring my A game to get past him.”

Touted as one of the best boxers to come out of Africa in recent years, Tete is determined to become a multi-weight world champion and is determined to get another shot at a world title in 2016.

“I believe this is going to be a big year for me. Frank Warren has got some big opportunities coming up for me. I’m looking forward to them and I want to be a world champion again. Hopefully if all goes well I’ll be fighting for a world title at some point this summer.”

Red-hot featherweight contender James Tennyson has today signed with top promoter Frank Warren.

The 22-year-old from from Belfast, Northern Ireland, put pen to paper at a press conference in London to announce the show on Saturday 30th April at the Copper Box Arena, London, where he will challenge British Champion Ryan Walsh for his title.

Known as ‘The Assassin’, hard-hitting Tennyson has amassed an impressive record of 16-1 with 13 knockouts since turning professional in September 2012 following a glittering amateur career that saw him win 92 out of 104 fights and multiple titles.

Under the guidance of manager and promoter Mark Dunlop, Tennyson has developed into an outstanding and exciting talent and now with the backing of Hall of Fame Promoter Warren, he’s ready to burst onto the big stage.

“I am honoured to have been hand-picked by Mr Warren to join his promotional company; I have grown up watching him create legends such as Naseem Hamed, Joe Calzaghe & Ricky Hatton. He has given me an unbelievable opportunity to make something great for myself and the people of Northern Ireland and I fully intend to grab it with both hands” Said Tennyson.

Dunlop, who will remain as Tennyson’s manager, is equally thrilled. He said: “While James is only 22 he totally lives the life, he is very dedicated and focused, blessed with a knock-out punch in each hand, natural stamina and possesses great all-round boxing skills. He has not from a famous boxing background so has got himself in this fabulous position through his own hard work ability and more importantly will. Tennyson is a beast, a monster his exciting style is made for TV and can go all the way.”

Promoter Frank Warren is delighted to welcome Tennyson to the team.  “James is an exciting talent and I’m thrilled that he’s signed with me.  His first fight will be on the Copper Box Arena and he’s got a very tough fight against the British champion Ryan Walsh which will be a cracking contest."

Tennyson captured the Irish title at super-featherweight in only his sixth fight, stopping Mickey Coveney in two rounds.  Moving down to featherweight, he then won the Celtic title on a seventh round disqualification.

Respected reporter Nicky Fullerton from the Belfast Newsletter described Tennyson as a product of the peace process in Northern Ireland coming from mixed religion parents and he’s adored by both sides of the community.  He always boxers with a Dove on his shorts in support of lasting peace in Northern Ireland.

With only one early career loss, Tennyson has gone eight fights unbeaten and his last four have ended in knockout inside in three rounds.

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