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UK News: Scotty Cardle, Tyrone Nurse, Lyon Woodstock

Scotty Cardle can have the Lord Lonsdale belt for keeps on Saturday – and wants to put Robbie Barrett to the sword before targeting European honours as he defends his belt at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, live on Sky Sports.

Cardle has defended his Lightweight strap on three occasions with two wins and a draw, so victory on Saturday will mean the 27 year old will need to find space on his mantelpiece for the prestigious prize.

The draw means Cardle has had to take Barrett on to keep the strap, but he’s happy to add one more domestic victim to his list and wants to do so in style to show he’s ready for the big guns.

“Winning the Lonsdale belt outright is something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m over the moon to be able to get the chance to do it in Glasgow, it’s something special,” said Cardle.

“I thought that I had done it with my last fight but obviously that wasn’t the case. It’s no big deal, it’s another fight for me to secure that belt.

“I don’t feel like I am standing still with my career but I want to get this done and dusted, get that belt for keeps and then I can move on and look to the European title – but my mind is totally focused on Robbie.

“This is my last defence and i want to go out with a bang. I need to prove that I’m above British level and prove that my aspirations at a higher level are achievable.

“I’m never look past any fight especially one that means so much to me, but I’m not satisfied just with this level. Don’t get me wrong, I’m honoured to be British champion and I’ll be so proud to hold the title for good, but I’ll be looking further as soon as I can and that next step in my eyes is the European title. I don’t want to hang around and get the Commonwealth title or anything like that.”

Cardle’s desire to make a base in Glasgow means that he’s looking to secure some big fights here. Edis Tatli holds the European title but has yet to fight outside Finland, so Cardle accepts that he may have to travel to challenge for that belt, and he’s open to a third bout with Dodd and hopes a fight with London 2012 gold medalist Luke Campbell MBE can be built into a huge clash.

“There are big fights out there at Lightweight and I am ready to step up and take them on,” said Cardle. “I’d love to fight for the European title. Tatli is very upright and strong, he’s built big for a Lightweight but his style is straightforward, he throws straight shots and he’s a bit robotic, but he’s got power and it would be a good fight. I don’t think he’s boxed outside Finland so it could be an away day for me but that’s not a problem because I boxed all over the world as an amateur.

“Sean Dodd III? It could happen, I’d never rule it out - but I want it to happen up here. We’ve boxed in Liverpool twice so if we do it again, it’s got to be in Glasgow. He’s gone down the WBC route and now he’s fighting for the Commonwealth so he’s in a good position. People want to see the third one and if we’re both successful then we can do it again.

“Luke is in a big fight at Wembley and he’s past the British stage now which is credit to him. That also means that if we do fight one day, it will probably be for something even bigger which would be great.”

Cardle’s clash with Barrett is part of a huge night of action in Glasgow where hometown legend Ricky Burns aims to unify the Super-Lightweight division against IBF and IBO champion Julius Indongo.

Charlie Edwards and Iain Butcher clash for the vacant Super-Flyweight title, Rio Olympian Josh Kelly makes his pro debut, his Team GB teammate Lawrence Okolie boxes for the second time in the pros, Charlie Flynn fights for his first pro title as he faces Ryan Collins for the Celtic Lightweight title and Joe Ham takes on Scott McCormack for the Scottish Super-Bantamweight title.

Tickets for April 15 are on general sale priced £40, £60 and £100 from www.thessehydro.com and £200 VIP exclusively at www.matchroomboxing.com

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Long standing British Super-Lightweight king Tyrone Nurse believes that 2017 will be the year that elevates him from a champion into a star, writes Glynn Evans.

After nine months away, the 27 year old Huddersfield skilster finally gets to debut for new promoter Frank Warren - and before BT Sport and BoxNation TV cameras – when he defends for the third time against Malmesbury toughman Joe Hughes on a talent stacked bill at Leicester Arena on Saturday week.

‘It’ll be very exciting to get back out again. I’m in my tenth year as a pro now but I’ve never really had a promoter behind me before,’ says the lean and lithe 5ft 11in Yorkshireman who is trained and managed by his father and ex-pro Chris Aston.

‘Hughes is strong and game but I’ll be looking to do a job on him. I want to put a show on for the fans and look classy while I’m about it.’

The slick and savvy Tyke has conceded just twice – a 2012 Prizefighter sprint to Adil Anwar and a 12 round majority to Derby’s Dave Ryan in a 2014 Commonwealth title tilt – during a 37 fight pro career that began shortly after his 18th birthday in March 2008.

However, he has mysteriously been ostracised from any world rankings, a matter influential Hall of Fame promoter Warren shall no doubt be keen to correct.

‘I’ve consistently been involved in the most entertaining fights on the bill over the last few years but, for too long, I was considered high risk, low reward,’ says Nurse who was last seen publically in June 2016, schooling Yorkshire rival Tommy Coyle in a British title defence.

Following some much needed R&R, he is itching to return to the fray.

He says: ‘I had a couple of niggles that needed clearing up so I’ve allowed my body to relax and used the time to regroup. I’ve also had a couple of family holidays to Gran Canaria and Menorca. It was nice to get away. You can put on a lump of weight and I got as high as 12st.

‘But I’m constantly in the gym and I’ve have had plenty of decent sparring. I’ve been able to work on a few things – no drastic changes – just tweaking with working at long, mid and close range, and experimenting with angles. You’ll see an improved version when I return.’

The champ with the old school skills is unbeaten in four British championship spats over the past 21 months and, following a tie with then unbeaten Welsh southpaw Chris Jenkins in July 2015, was eventually coronated after bossing the replay.

Towering Ty has subsequently retained against class operators Willie Limond and Tommy Coyle but, as neither was a designated mandatory challenger, Nurse won’t retain the coveted Lonsdale Belt if he makes a successful third defence against four time national junior champion Hughes.

‘I’ve feel I’ve been very unlucky,’ he claims and with some justification.

‘Chris Jenkins and I were the two leading contenders when we twice fought for the vacant title. Then Willie Limond was put on me because he’d voluntarily vacated the title previously and Tommy Coyle was a very credible challenger.

‘None of it’s been my doing. When Jack Catterall was my mandatory he withdrew to sort out changes to his training team and next in line, Ohara Davies, opted to fight Derry Mathews for more money.

‘It’d be nice to have the Belt outright so, while we expect the worse, perhaps the Board will surprise me on the night and let me take it home.

‘I’m now ready to kick on to the European and hopefully beyond. I’ve seen bits of the EBU champion Anthony Yigit and he’s got some nice moves but he’s very little! I’d jump at that opportunity if offered and I’d be confident. You’ve got to be in this game.

‘My best days are definitely still ahead of me. Eventually I’ll fill out and go up to welter. On my best day I’m an absolute box of tricks, more than capable of beating the world champions!’

The fight, of course, that all Britain is crying out for is a 140lb War of the Roses showdown with 18-0 crunch punching Chorley starlet Jack Catterall. And now that both are aligned under the Warren standard, the prospects of seeing the pair together in the same ring have amplified.

Nurse clearly has a high regard for the WBO’s number two ranked contender.

‘Jack’s a good fighter who I’ve been taking note of since he kayoed Carl Allen in his third fight,’ he concedes.

‘Shortly after, I went to his gym to spar (ex IBF Super-Feather boss) Argenis Mendez and he seemed a nice lad. He certainly keeps getting the job done. I enjoy watching him. Like me, he’s cool, calm and collected. I have to build him up cos it’ll make me look better when I beat him!

‘Could it happen this year? Never say never. But because Jack is highly rated with the WBO, we expect that he’ll plod that avenue while I’ll be keeping my hands and feet moving to progress myself.

‘Our styles would be an interesting mesh for the purists. In time, it’ll develop into a nice big fight, for a nice big belt and a nice big purse. We believe we know how to beat Jack. I’ll have a plan and deliver on the day.’

But before that financial blockbuster can materialise, the Nurse needs to take care of Wiltshire warrior Hughes in sparkling style on the elevated stage, come Saturday week.

‘I actually beat Joe in the 2007 Junior ABA semi final but that was just a three round sprint which means very little now,’ says the pleasant, plain speaking champ who enters with a 34-2-1 CV.

‘Stylewise, I think we’ll gel well. Joe’s strong and clearly takes a good shot – Catterall couldn’t shift him – and, as the opportunity is unexpected for him, he’ll no doubt give it 110%. But he’s always had this issue with his right hand (which is three inches shorter than his left due to Erb’s palsy) so he’s a bit predictable; jab-left hook, jab-left hook.

‘There’ll be times when I fence him, times when I need to pick shots in close. I never go in with the impression that I’ll score a stoppage, I always prepare for a gruelling 12 rounder but I win because I’m the better fighter in all departments.’

Birmingham's Tommy Langford faces 'mini Mike Tyson' Avtandil Khurtsidze for the WBO Interim Middleweight World Title in the evening's main event; local lad Jahmaine ‘Smasher’ Smyle (14-4-2, 6 KOs) makes the second defence of his English Super-Middleweight strap against unbeaten Londoner Darryl Williams (14-0, 6 KOs).

Slick South African Zolani Tete (24-3, 20 KOs) faces Arthur Villanueva in a final eliminator for the WBO World Bantamweight Championship; Lyon Woodstock Jr (8-0, 4 KOs) challenges for his first professional Title – the Midlands Area Super-Featherweight strap against Birmingham's Paul Holt and KO king Anthony Yarde (9-0, 8 KOs) will be looking to extend his unbeaten record into double figures against Welshman Nathan King.
Remaining tickets priced £40 are available from www.eventim.co.uk and 0844 249 1000.

Leicester lion Lyon Woodstock is hellbent on making boxing a staple fixture on the city’s hectic sporting calendar writes Glynn Evans.

The nucleur punching super-lightweight begins his quest when he trades ammo with useful Brummie southpaw Paul Holt in a scheduled 10 rounder for the Midland Area crown at Leicester Arena on Saturday week.

‘When (Leicester) City won the Prem, it was proper mad, a little Rocky story of its own,’ says the personable Ajmal ‘Hudge’ Butt coached starlet who has won eight straight.

‘This is also quite a big rugby city. Tigers are still one of the best teams and The Riders, our basketball team, are also doing exceptionally well.

‘There’s always been a big fighting culture in this city. Scrapping was certainly the norm around Beaumont Leys, the district where I grew up. Back in the day, if you couldn’t fight there, you were a prime target (to be bullied).

‘But the last time we had big time boxing in the city was when Chris Pyatt won and defended his (WBO) world middleweight title here about 24 years ago. It’s quicker to list the titles Chris didn’t win than those he did! Before that, you had Tony Sibson, a proper people’s champion who’s come to a few of my fights. They’re an inspiration to me today but, growing up, I had no local heroes to look up to.

‘‘Hudge’ and me always had this pact that we’d bring Big Time boxing back to the city. About 18 months back we met with the guy who runs the Arena where The Riders play and told them that we intended to use this as our ‘home ground’ for when I’m involved in title fights. We encouraged him to sort out links with Frank Warren. Now it’s here.

‘The venue is less than a 15 minute run from my house and I can’t wait. My job isn’t to sell tickets, it’s to beat people up but I’ve already shifted over 300 and lots don’t buy until the last week so I should have at least 400 plus you’ve the support of all the other Leicester fighters to count on. It’s going to be proper lively!’

But the Hackney born 23 year old insists that he’ll maintain a cool head in what is easily the toughest test and biggest occasion of his promising 22 month pro career.

‘People deal with emotions and situations differently,’ says ‘The King’, who is managed by Jason McClory and promoted by Frank Warren.

‘But because of my life experiences on Leicester’s roughest streets, I rarely get nervous. Fighting in the street there were no scales, no rules, no gloves, no referee, no doctor....In my head, the boxing ring is safe!

‘Besides, I’ve always been a showman, a performer. From the age of about 11, I used to perform in  King Arthur and Moby Dick at the Haymarket Theatre so I’m used to a crowd. I’ll really thrive off being centre stage.

‘I’ve been given a great space to show what I can do. This will really put me on the map with the boxing public.’

 A crippling body puncher, the 5ft 9in Leicester lacer is touted for major titles. Nevertheless, he stresses that his main motivation lies closer to home.

‘Primarily, I deliver to the Beaumont Leys Massive!’ insists Woodstock. 

‘The only reason I’m succeeding myself is due to the help of others; my coach, my manager, my promoter, my sponsors. Otherwise I’d just be another kid from this estate, getting into trouble.

‘So it’s only fit that I try to give back. I’m not self-centred. If I can help change a few lives, that would be amazing. That’s my inspiration. That’s all I want.’

Birmingham's Tommy Langford faces 'mini Mike Tyson' Avtandil Khurtsidze for the WBO Interim Middleweight World Title in the evening's main event; local lad Jahmaine ‘Smasher’ Smyle (14-4-2, 6 KOs) makes the second defence of his English Super-Middleweight strap against unbeaten Londoner Darryl Williams (14-0, 6 KOs).

Slick South African Zolani Tete (24-3, 20 KOs) faces Arthur Villanueva in a final eliminator for the WBO World Bantamweight Championship; Lyon Woodstock Jr (8-0, 4 KOs) challenges for his first professional Title – the Midlands Area Super-Featherweight strap against Birmingham's Paul Holt and KO king Anthony Yarde(9-0, 8 KOs) will be looking to extend his unbeaten record into double figures against Welshman Nathan King.
Remaining tickets priced £30 are available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk from 4.00pm today.

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