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UK News: Ryan Rhodes Hurt; Burns-Moses; Jenkins-Hatton

RYAN RHODES OUT OF RABCHENKO FIGHT
 
RYAN RHODES has been forced to pull out of this month’s European light-middleweight title showdown against Sergey Rabchenko due to a back injury.
 
Undefeated Belarusian Rabchenko will now box a non-title eight rounder on the bill at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge Arena on Saturday March 24.
 
It is a bitter blow for Rabchenko (19-0) who has been preparing for the contest in Manchester at Hatton Health and Fitness.
 
Hatton Promotions Director of Boxing Richard Poxon hopes the battle of the stablemates can be re-scheduled for May or June.
 
Rabchenko, 26, said: “I have been told that Rhodes has a damaged back so what can I do about it?
 
“I just hope that when Hatton Promotions make the fight at a later date he doesn’t run away.
 
“If Rhodes pulls out for a second time then it will be because he knows that I will beat him. This time I forgive him, just about.
 
“For now I have to forget about this disappointment and make sure I impress the Sheffield fans. I plan on showing them that I would beat Rhodes even in his home city.”
 
In the main event of the card being televised live by Sky Sports, Gary Buckland’s risks his British super-featherweight title against Middlesbrough’s Paul Truscott.
 
Big ticket sellers Adam Etches and Scott Jenkins also box. Other hopefuls in action include unbeaten heavyweight Richard Towers, Carl Bell, Jason Cunningham and Jack Perry.
Boxing starts at 6.15pm and the remaining few tickets are priced at £35 general admission, £55 floor seating, £75 ringside and £100 VIP Ringside. You can buy by calling The Hatton Box Office 01925 755 222, Ticketmaster 0844 847 2500, Ticketline 0844 888 9991, any boxer on the bill or online www.hattonboxing.com

JENKINS GETS HELPING HAND FROM HATTON
 
SCOTT JENKINS has revealed he has had a one-to-one training session with Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton.
 
And the prospect hopes he will reap the benefits when he bids for his fourth professional win at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge Arena on Saturday March 24.
 
Jenkins, 21, boxes a four rounder against a selected opponent on the undercard of Gary Buckland’s British super-featherweight title defence against Paul Truscott.
 
The youngster who comes from the Steel City, but now lives near Chesterfield is trained by his work boss, Grant Smith and dad Lee.
 
Scott said: “I have been over to Ricky’s gym for one session where he took me on the body bag and gave me a hard circuit.
 
“I really enjoyed it and if I could get some sponsorship to help finance me I would love to go across to Manchester once or twice a week for a circuit.”
 
Jenkins is currently in bed at 7.30pm every evening and up at 5.30am to go for an early morning run.
 
After breakfast he works as a fitter for Grant Smith Kitchens from 7.30am-2pm. Then he and his boss knock off for gym work.
 
Unbeaten Scott who expects to sell 400 tickets for his contest added: “Grant is brilliant with me and like a second dad to me. I see more of him then my dad.
 
“He drives me all over the place for sparring and arranged work so we finish early.
 
“Grant is a bit of a Brendan Ingle type trainer and is brilliant at technical work. My dad likes getting me throwing uppercuts.
 
“I am getting the best of both worlds with them both looking after me and I feel I’m improving with each fight.”
 
Fellow ticket sellers Adam Etches is also in action on the Sky Sports televised card and other hopefuls boxing include unbeaten heavyweight Richard Towers, Belarusian sensation Sergey Rabchenko, Carl Bell, Jason Cunningham and Jack Perry.
Boxing starts at 6.15pm and the remaining few tickets are priced at £35 general admission, £55 floor seating, £75 ringside and £100 VIP Ringside. You can buy by calling The Hatton Box Office 01925 755 222, Ticketmaster 0844 847 2500, Ticketline 0844 888 9991, any boxer on the bill or online www.hattonboxing.com

Namibian ‘Man About Boxing’ Nestor  Tobias docked in the UK last Sunday brimming with belief that his charge Paulus Moses can reclaim a portion of the world lightweight pie when he goes up against WBO monarch Ricky Burns at the Braehead Arena on Saturday.

Once a decent pro middleweight who locked horns with the likes of Giovanni Pretorius, Adrian Dodson and Rudy Markussen during an 18 fight career in the 1990s, the man they call ‘Sunshine’ has trained, managed and occasionally promoted Moses since ‘The Hitman’s’ formative amateur days at the Nestor Sunshine Boxing and Fitness Academy back home in Katutura.

On Monday evening he spoke with boxing writer Glynn Evans about his man’s past, preparation and prospects.

Watch Burns v Moses live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546). Join at www.boxnation.tv

Nestor, you’ve been involved with challenger Paulus Moses since the beginning of his amateur career in 2000. What are Paulus’s qualities, firstly as a fighter, but also as a person?

Paulus’s best weapons are his jab and his speed plus his power in both punches (fists). While he is very aggressive in the ring, outside he is a very humble, hard working and disciplined family man.

Through his profession as a police officer, he knows the law and order of life and he respects everybody. He is a very good guy. Socially, he likes to listen to music and he loves expensive cars. He’s just bought a top of the range BM(W) to celebrate getting another world title fight so quickly.

Back home in Namibia, he is a huge superstar. Wherever he goes, into the schools, the small towns, the farms, the streets, everybody knows and loves him. Whenever he fights in Namibia he always sells out. Everybody back home wants to watch this fight and we are still hoping that a deal can be agreed for it to be televised live on the Namibian national channel. The country would come to a stand still.

Moses has fought overseas several times before, notably stopping Andriy Kudryavtsev in nine over in the Ukraine and capturing the WBA lightweight crown in Japan against Yusuki Kobari. How will he cope with the passionate sold-out Braehead crowd on Saturday night?

Paulus will enjoy the Scottish crowd very much. When he stopped Kudryavtsev in the Ukraine, there were over 10,000 in an open space but it did not disturb him. When they all cheer, they are not feeling the punch, only the opponent!

 Anyway, Paulus always believes the cheering is for both fighters and that it just shows that the crowd are really enjoying his fight. Japan was also very noisy but that just boosted Paulus’s performance. Even after he won the title from their champion, Kobari, the Japanese crowd all fell in love with him.

When Paulus surrendered his title, by sixth round knockout loss to Venezuela’s Miguel Acosta in Windhoek, Namibia in May 2010, it was the only loss of his 78 fight boxing life (amateur and pro). That was a major upset at the time. What went wrong?

All I can say is that Paulus had personal problems that night and was not himself inside the ring. His mind was not on the fight. The defeat stands as part of his record but for me, he remains undefeated. Acosta didn’t beat the real Paulus Moses. If people read anything into that fight then they are making a big mistake.

How has your preparation gone?

Perfectly.  We had already begun training for a fight scheduled for March20th when, on 12th January I think it was, we received a call from (matchmaker) Dean Powell offering the world title fight against Ricky Burns.

Paulus has been training in my gym back in Namibia and the training is very, very tough. We do our outwork in the morning, a 10 kilometre run plus our strength and conditioning, then in the afternoon we do two hours at the boxing gym.  It’s extremely hot in the gym and we have good sparring partners. We’ll be ready.

What do you know of Ricky Burns and why are you so confident that you can come to Scotland and take his title?

I’ve watched Ricky’s fights with Roman Martinez, the Ghanaian (Joseph Laryea) and Michael Katsidis. He works very hard, is very busy but I’ve seen nothing that I’ll not sleep well over. Paulus has more speed and is more mature in his boxing ability. Clearly he also has more punching power. It will be a good fight and we have trained for distance (12 rounds). Points or knockout, we will come out on top.

What are Paulus’s remaining ambitions in the sport? If he loses, given that he’s 33, could this be his last fight?

There is no talk of losing! He wants to make history by becoming the first Namibian to win world titles with two separate organisations, the WBO and the WBA. After we have defeated Ricky Burns everything will take care of itself, our promoter Don King will see to that. Paulus aims to become a ‘Super’ champion and unify all the titles before he retires.

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