UK News: Lonsdale-Hennessy; McCloskey-Corley, More

Belfast - Iconic British boxing brand Lonsdale has teamed up with leading boxing promoters Hennessy Sports to sponsor the next live Saturday night boxing show on Channel 5. Hennessy Sports impressive stable of young and up-and-coming boxers includes Tyson Fury, Kid Galahad & Chris Eubank Jnr. Fury will be headlining the next event titled ‘Unfinished Business’ on Saturday 14th April at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast fighting against Martin Rogan.

Competing boxers on the show will have the opportunity to wear Lonsdale’s latest range of contest gloves and apparel. The series will also be supported with ring promotion, social media and online link ups.
Lonsdale will also be providing personalised fight shorts for Former Commonwealth Welterweight Champion John O’Donnell to wear in his comeback fight on the undercard of the Belfast event.

According to Sunny Singh, Head of Sports Marketing for Lonsdale “We look forward to working with Hennessy Sports on their partnership with Channel 5 which now gives more fans the opportunity to watch and enjoy this great sport. This sponsorship excites us as boxers will be equipped with Lonsdale’s latest equipment and apparel, the tools they need to help them become champions!”

Paul McCloskey will face DeMarcus Corley on May 5 at the King’s Hall in Belfast live on Sky Sports – and the winner could land a shot at the WBC light welterweight crown.

The former WBO light welterweight World champion ranked 15 by the WBC replaces Julio Diaz as Dudey’s opponent after the Mexican raised concerns about making the 140-pound weight limit.

Corley won his world title in 2001 with a first round stoppage of Felix Flores and made two successful defences against Ener Julio and Randall Bailey before dropping a split decision to Zab Judah in July 2003.

The 37 year old took Floyd Mayweather Jr the distance in 2004 and faced Miguel Cotto the following year for his old title. Corley travelled to England to face Junior Witter for the WBC belt in 2006 and went the distance with Marcos Maidana for the WBA belt in 2010.

Corley proved he still has plenty to offer as he claimed the NABF light welterweight title against previously unbeaten New Yorker Gabriel Bracero in the Big Apple in January, and DiBella has predicted a possible route to a shot at the WBC belt through another of his fighters, New York-based Londoner Ajose Olusegun, who is hoping to face current champion Danny Garcia.

“Chop Chop is a former world champion and is coming off a great comeback win against an undefeated fighter,” said Di Bella. “He is eager to take a shot at McCloskey. If McCloskey were to defeat DeMarcus though, and after Ajose Olusegun wins the title from Danny Garcia, an Olusegun-McCloskey match-up would certainly be very attractive for all fight fans, particularly those in the U.K. and Ireland.”

McCloskey closes the curtain on Belfast’s biggest boxing bill against Corley following the all-Irish Betfair Prizefighter Middleweights and six-round outings for Martin Lindsay and Prizefighter Prospect Jamie Conlan, and the former unbeaten European champion says he’s happy to face anyone for a second World title shot after his tilt at Amir Khan ended in disappointment.

“I’ve always said that I would go through anyone to win a World title and that includes both Ajose and Danny Garcia,” said McCloskey. “Corley has been in with the very best in the business and is on a high after beating Bracero so it’s a good test for me.”

Limited tickets are available priced at £30 (unreserved) and £40 (reserved balcony or unreserved floor). Tickets priced at £60 (outer-ringside) and £100 (ringside) are also available, with all tickets on sale with Ticketmaster on 0844 277 4455 – UK/Northern Ireland customers, 0818 719 300 – Republic of Ireland customers and at

VIP packages priced £150 are available from Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900 and at

Paul McCloskey’s fans can also buy their tickets at the prices above from Eurospar Dungiven and any EuroXchange outlet.


By Glynn Evans

If the absence of Team GB’s Podium squad has diluted tomorrow’s senior ABA finals at the York Hall, Bethnal Green, fight buffs will at least be able to assess the talent pool likely to make an impact in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and 2016 Olympics in Rio.


The overdue return to three-three minute rounds has lately made the amateur code a far more edifying spectacle and, for the first time in the tournament’s rich 131 year history, every second of every bout shall be televised live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/ Virgin Ch. 546).

Bizarrely, the north can be expected to dominate in the earlier lighter categories, with the south pulling matters round later in the heavier divisions. Nevertheless, there are always upsets and this year should be no different. A big shout out to coach Sid Khan’s Earlsfield ABC in south London and  Wellington ABC in Teeside, who both boast three finalists; a remarkable achievement.

The pick of the action is likely to take place in the 57KG, 63.5KG and 91+KG classes.

In the featherweight final (57KG), the contrasting styles of Stowe’s Simon Corcoran and Meanwood’s slick, switcher Qais Ashfaq should mesh to produce a belter. The former, one of nine fighting brothers (several of whom have won national junior titles), has quick hands and a stout heart but may find Yorkshireman Ashfaq, a GB Development squad member, a fraction too slick. Either way, it’s likely to be close and hectic!

Another top drawer collision is anticipated at light-welter (63.5KG), when last year’s runner-up Louis Adolphe, the first Earlsfield finalist, confronts Scouse southpaw Robbie Davies (Knowsley Vale).

Davies, son of a 1976 Montreal Olympian of the same name, has eliminated touted Jeff Saunders (South Durham) and triple ABA champion Martin Stead of the Army during his passage to the final and I expect him to overcome the audaciously talented Londoner.....just!

However, it could be a case of best till last when super heavyweight titans Joe Joyce (Earlsfield) and Frazer Clarke (Burton) finally bring the marathon punchfest to a close.

Both combatants feature on the GB Development squad and have a combined mass of close to 40 stone! They have history with Joyce forcing the 2011 semi-finalist to retire (most reluctantly!) with a damaged eye after one round of their British championship decider last November. Clarke apparently is hellbent on atoning but I tentatively side with Joyce to repeat. A more confident call is that it won’t last the full distance!

London has delivered finalists in seven of the 13 divisions and three of the capital’s stronger claims for success could come at light-middle, light-heavy and cruiserweight.

Kelvin Fawaz, of Isola Akay MBE’s fabled All Stars outfit in Paddington, has generated attention this year with both his airborne ‘Superman’ launches and a string of explosive stoppage victories. A real handful at his best, the Nigeria raised prospect promises to be too lively for Louis Cunningham, a third finalist from Wellington.

In the 81KG category, 6ft 4in Earlsfield star Kirk Garvey, a GB championship winner at just 18 and multiple London senior champion, should finally get his hands on the coveted ABA trophy. He promises to have a bit too much stardust for Macclesfield’s decent Peter Bebbington, a semi-finalist at 75KG last year.

Likewise, defending 86KG champion Deion Jumah, a clever southpaw from the Dale Youth ABC that produced both James DeGale and George Groves, looks a good thing over South Durham’s tall and cagey Declan Fusco.

The north should enjoy success at heavyweight, however, where Corby’s Simon Barkley, a 2011 semi-finalist and 2010 national cruiserweight king might have too much strength and experience for Greg Bridet (Heart of Portsmouth), a 22 year old Southampton University student and reigning national Novice champion. 

Bridet’s clubmate Robbie Matthews, also 22, is embarking on his fourth senior campaign and reached the semis at lightweight last year after two aborted attempts at light-welter.  However, I fear he may again come up short against Wellington’s light footed counter puncher Josh Leather in the 60KG final.

Three youngsters certainly worthy of a butchers, are Jack Bateson, Tamuka Muchapodwa and Danny Dignum.

At just 17, highly feted light-fly (48KG) Bateson from the Burmanstoft club in Leeds could emerge as one of the youngest ever winners of a senior title. Reigning Commonwealth Games Youth champion and a member of the GB Development squad, the gifted Yorkie should have too much speed and class for West Ham’s Jack Malik in the evening’s opening contest.

Muchapodwa, from the Reading ABC, is mallet-fisted and will enter as a strong favourite to blaze through Lewis Ritson (Forest Hall ABC) at light-middle (71KG). A fierce hooker with a high output, expect the Berkshire hope to prove far too strong.

Keep an eye out for 20 year old Brentwood middleweight Dignum, the solitary Eastern Counties finalist. A classy southpaw, Danny will be eager to emulate his twin brother John who captured the 75KG title last year. Opponent Peter Martin, another from Wellington ABC, won the national CYP’s in 2010 but might struggle to negate Dignum’s blistering hand speed.

At flyweight (51KG), Bexley’s Joe McCulley has remarkably advanced to the national final without throwing a punch; benefactor of a chain of byes! Whether that makes him fresh or stale remains to be seen but I expect him to come second against Spennymoor’s decent Joel Spragg.

At 54KG, expect Middlesbrough switcher Joseph Maphosa, who eliminated Haroon Khan (brother of Amir and a Commonwealth Games medallist for Pakistan) in the quarter final, to fiddle his way past South Oxhey strongman Reece Bellotti in the bantam final (54KG).


Hot prospect Gary Corcoran will feature on Queensberry Promotions’ debut of the exciting new concept show BoxAcademy on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546) on Thursday 3rd May at The Troxy in London.

Corcoran, who’s racked up two wins so far over Billy Smith and Matt Seawright, goes in over four rounds at light-welterweight.

Boxing writer Glynn Evans talks to Corcoran about his background and career to date.

Name: Gary Corcoran

Weight: Light-welterweight

Born: West London

Age: 21

Family background: I’m from an Irish travelling family. We originate from Galway.  I’ve eight brothers and three sisters. I’m third in line. My Dad and several uncles boxed amateur over in Ireland and all of my brothers have boxed though a few have retired now. I’ve got plenty of sparring partners!

An older brother Billy ‘The Kid’ Corcoran was a former English super-featherweight champion who fought Carl Johanneson for the British title (stopped in four, July 2006). He’s retired now and collecting scrap. Another brother Eddie has had nine pro fights (eight wins) as a welterweight and my younger brother Simon is currently at the semi-final stage of the senior English ABAs at 57 kilos.

I live with my missus on a traveller’s site around Paddington but we’ve no kids yet.

Trade: I’m a full time pro.

Nickname: ‘Hellraiser’. I’ve had it since I was a kid.

What age did you become interested in boxing and why? I just followed my brothers up to the gym when I was about nine or ten. I liked a fight and was always terrorising all the other kids on the site or in school!

What do you recall of your amateur career? I only ever boxed for the Stowe amateur boxing club in Paddington. I was coached by Paul and Jeff Almond and I had my first bout at 12. All told, I had 50 fights and lost about 12. Sean McGoldrick, the (2010 Delhi) Commonwealth Games gold medallist from Wales was the last fella to beat me. Initially, I was too light for the competitions and, because of that, I never fought internationals either. Then, when I was about 17, I had a growth spurt.

I won the Golden Gloves twice and the Haringey Cup twice. Second time, I beat Ryan Taylor, a good kid. That was possibly my amateur highlight. I also beat (ex ABA champion and regular England rep) Martin Stead of the Army.

I went in the senior ABAs twice. In 2010, at lightweight, I lost a majority to Marlon Mellish (Times ABC) in the north-west (London) Divs final. Last year, up at light-welter, I lost in the London semis, again on a majority, to Louis Adolphe of Earlsfield. I give him a count and was up going into the last round but they gave it to him. I thought I was robbed.

To be honest, I should’ve won a lot more in the amateurs. My biggest regret is not winning the senior ABAs. I felt I was good enough to have won in 2011.

Why did you decide to turn pro when you did? Basically, I just got fed up with the amateurs. I actually wanted to turn pro the year before. The whole time I was giving opponents counts but not getting the decisions. I was never a tap, tap, tap, points scorer. When they reverted to three-three minute rounds it was way better for me.  I was supposed to go to the GB squad but, after that bad decision in the ABAs, I’d had enough.

Tell us about your back up team: I’m managed by Dean Powell, promoted by Frank Warren and coached by Mark Tibbs at the TKO gym in Canning Town. Mark’s dad, Jimmy, helps out as well. When I first went there, they already had good boxers like Kevin Mitchell and Billy Joe Saunders and the Tibbs’s suited me perfectly.

What’s your training schedule? Which parts do you most and least enjoy? I train six days a week. I usually run early in the morning, between six and eight, but sometimes I’ll run after training if we’ve got sparring planned.

I arrive at the TKO at 11 o’clock and usually train there for a couple of hours. I’ll start with six to eight rounds of shadow boxing, then I’ll do a bit of skipping, about six on the pads and a bit of groundwork. I’ll loosen off with some stretching.

If we’re sparring, I try to do six rounds. The more often you do it, the easier it gets. I’m far too strong for anyone in our gym at my weight and level ,so Mark has to bring in light-middle’s for me. Lately, I’ve been sparring Robert Lloyd-Taylor who won Prizefighter recently. I also spar Freddie Turner and Kevin Mitchell.

I used to do a bit of weights but it was making me too big and I didn’t really need them. I’m naturally a very strong kid.

Describe your style? What are your best qualities? I’m basically a brawler. I’m an orthodox body shotter. I prefer the fights to the boxing matches. At the TKO, no one my weight can stand and trade with me. I’m very strong and I just keep coming. I gave out a lot of standing counts in the amateurs.

What specifically do you need to work on to fully optimise your potential as a fighter? My technique. I need to improve working off my jab and moving my head and body to avoid shots.

What have you found to be the biggest difference between the pro and amateur codes? The pro game is definitely slower. I expect it to get even better for me as I move up the levels. The best bit is that you get to bash people up with smaller gloves.

Who is the best opponent that you’ve shared a ring with? Probably sparring Kevin Mitchell. He’s very good allround. I’ve also sparred six rounds with Billy Joe Saunders but obviously he’s much bigger than me. Six rounds with Bill was a very hard spar!

All time favourite fighter: Ricky Hatton. Love them body shots!

All time favourite fight: Barrera-Morales I. Toe to toe brawl.

Which current match would you most like to see made? Mayweather-Pacquiao but Mayweather beats him every day. You just can’t hit him.

What is your routine on fight day? S**ting myself on the toilet (laughs)! Nah, I won’t get up until 10 or 11 o’clock. I’ll have a bit of porridge for breakfast and, after that, I’ll just try to relax; play on the XBox or go out for a walk. I’ll have a few butterflies but I don’t get too nervous. I like to arrive at the venue nice and early so that I can sort everything out. I don’t really need to psych myself up in the dressing room. I’ll be buzzing already!

Entrance music:  So far it’s been ‘Hellraiser’ by Motorhead but I might change for next time.

What are your ambitions as a boxer? By the end of this year, I’d like to be at least eight fights unbeaten. I want to win everything. I’d particularly like a British title, because of the belt, then move up to European and world championships, just like everybody else.

How do you relax? Sleep all the time! I still play a lot of football on our site. We have a game every Friday. I also play on the games, FIFA, on line and on the Internet. I’ll also go for walks or go the cinema.

Football team: Newcastle United. Always supported them since I was younger.....because of (Alan) Shearer. They’ve let me down a lot but now they’re coming back a bit.

Read: Only The Sun newspaper, really.

Music: R ‘n’ B.

Films/TV: I like Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter movies. On TV, I mainly watch sports; a lot of soccer and boxing, particularly BoxNation and Ringside.

Aspiration in life: Just to live life properly. Have everything sorted.

Motto:  Fail To Prepare, Prepare To Fail!

The debut of BoxAcademy will be broadcast live on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546).

Ticts for BoxAcademy on 3rd May at The Troxy are priced at £35 and £50 and are available from the Queensberry Promotions Box Office on 01992 550 888 or

About BoxAcademy
Queensberry Promotions presents the first installment of a new concept show that will be televised Live and Exclusive on the UK’s new home of boxing, BoxNation.

BoxAcademy will be a monthly live show that is solely dedicated to showcasing the most exciting, young, up and coming domestic talent in tougher, more action packed fights,  designed to develop the young fighters at a faster rate to Championship level.

On one Thursday every month, BoxNation will switch the focus from its huge array of World, British and European title contests, and give the floor to  a host of former Olympians, amateur champions and unbeaten prospects, as the UK’s elite young talent is given the chance to be the main focus of the show in BoxAcademy.

BoxAcademy will visit the various regional hot-beds for young boxing talent around the country, visiting a different city each month.

BoxNation’s televised coverage of BoxAcademy events will be supplemented with an array of behind the scenes interviews, training footage and background stories, giving viewers the chance to get to properly know tomorrow’s champions.

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