Tag: World Boxing Union




On Friday night boxing fans from around the country made their annual pilgrimage to the York Hall in London for the first event in the Capital in 2015, the Shyam Batra promoted WBU Championship headed LEGENDS & PROSPECTS.

There may have only been five fights, following the loss of both Australian Pierre Karam, who failed to obtain a visa in time to compete for the WBU International Heavyweight title, and the UK’s very own Steven Bendall, whose opponent fell through at the last minute, but the fans, including those that travelled all the way down from Birmingham, to support Antonio Counihan, and Bradford, to support Tasif Khan, must have felt it was well worth it, as it was a truly memorable night of boxing.

Heading up the show was Nazeing, Essex’s George ‘Hit Hard’ Hillyard against a late replacement in the Czech Republic’s Michal Vosyka.

From the off it was Vosyka taking control of the proceedings, the Czech fighter stylishly dominated the early part of the opening round, working off his mighty left hand jab to keep Hillyard at a safe distance.

Hillyard, was more than content to bide his time as Vosyka moved around the ring flicking his jab at Hillyard as soon as he made any move to close the distance.

Don’t get me wrong Hillyard did land some shots early on, but it wasn’t until around the second minute mark that the Essex lad managed to make any real impact but when he did it was with one of his trademark right hand exocets, a fantastic shot that virtually stooped the Czech in his tracks.

In a flash Hillyard let rip at the disoriented Vosyka with a sensational double handed assault to send him down to the canvas.

Vosyka boxed beautifully in the opening minute or so of the second stanza, albeit a little more cautiously, his constant strong jabs and double handed flurries left Hillyard no option but to play the waiting game once more, looking for an opening so that he could let a big right hand go.

More of the same in the third, but as in the first Vosyka made the fatal error of giving Hillyard the opportunity to capitalize on an opening, Hillyard’s no slouch, he was in there like a flash, letting rip first with a big right and then a double handed barrage to send Vosyka to the canvas for the second time.

HillyardVosyka6851Vosyka was much, much more cautious in the fourth, he was also more open than previously, which provided Hillyard even more opportunities to punish him big time.

Hillyard backed Vosyka towards the corner before letting rip with powerful lefts and rights before letting rip with a lightning quick left to the body, Vosyka had no option but to take to one knee, in order to get his breath back.

The moment referee Mickey Vann finished count, Hillyard literally shot across the ring and let rip with a massive right hand to the head, as Vosyka reeled back, off balance and heading back to the canvas, Hillyard let rip with a massive right to the head, sending Vosyka down and out for the count.

Referee Mickey Vann was down at the side of the prone Vosyka in a flash, as was the ringside doctor and paramedics as a hush fell over the hallowed York Hall.
ShyamBatraGeorgeHillyardMarianneMarston6858A minute or so later the silence was shattered as a round of applause from the crowd rang out, as Vosyka was helped to his feet.

Once Vosyka was given the all clear by the ringside medical team, MC Steve Holdsworth made the official announcement, which was followed by the WBU International Championship belt being presented to a clearly elated Hillyard by WBU Ambassador Marianne Marston.

OzgulFecko6789Chief support see the stylish, unbeaten, Hackney based Turk Siar Ozgul step down a weight to Welter as well as undertake his first six rounder, against super tough competition in the form of Czech Republic’s Vladimir Fecko.

Right from the off Ozgul secured control of centre ring, utilizing his seriously strong jab to great effect, Fecko though was intent on wrestling control from the young Turk, which lead to some fantastic toe to toe action.

Both protagonists stepped up the pace in the second stanza, Ozgul really seemed to get into a flow, allowing himself to make some decent openings to test the mettle of the Czech lad, as he let rip with solid body shots.

More of the same in the next couple of rounds, but by round five Ozgul, who was well ahead on referee Ken Curtis’ scorecard, really went for it, what a round, Ozgul showcased his immense skills in fine style, picking off Fecko at every opportunity, from an array of angles.

Fecko, who was well aware to win he needed a knockout, came out hard and fast for the final round, Ozgul firmly stood his ground and what followed could only be described as a toe to toe battle royale ensued for virtually the whole round, much to the delight of the ~York Hall faithful.

After six sensational rounds of boxing referee Ken Curtis’ scorecard read a shut out 60-54 points victory for the younger Ozgul brother – although have to say Fecko made this fight what it was, yes Ozgul out-boxed him to secure each round but Fecko deserves praise for his performance also.

OzgulHorejsek6747Prior to the third bout of the event MC Steve Holdsworth introduced a special guest to MC the bout, none other that sixties super star singer and actor Jess Conrad OBE, who then announced that it would be Siar Ozgul’s older sibling, Onder, that would be next in action, against Czech Republic’s Karel Horejsek, in a four round Light Heavyweight contest.

Without doubt the fight of the night, younger sibling’s Siar fight was first class, but Onder’s was to another level altogether.

It was an out and out war, it was all action from start to finish, with neither protagonist being willing to concede any ground whatsoever.

For the full twelve minutes of ring time, these two just went hammer and tongs at each other and for large amount of the time they seemed tied to each other as they fought it out at close quarters.

Praise has to be lavished on both Ozgul and Horejsek for such a magnificent display of the pugilistic arts, unfortunately there has to be a winner and a loser and it came as no surprise to anyone that Referee Ken Curtis scored each round in favour of Ozgul, as virtually every punch he threw not only landed but were by far the most meaningful, however as I said you can’t take anything away from the Czech lad as he made this fight what it was, he really came with one intention, to win, just this time he was against one of the toughest Light Heavyweights around, well the Turkish fans don’t call Onder ‘Little’ Mike (a comparison in style with ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson) for nothing.

KhanVoros6698The second fight of the night see the return of Bradford’s Tasif Khan to the ring, following a two year sabbatical from the sport, where he faced Richard Voros, a highly experienced boxer and kick-boxer from Hungary, in a four round Super Bantamweight contest.

Voros sprung from his corner as soon as the opening bell rang and went straight on the attack, forcing Khan to cover up, however it didn’t take the Khan too long to turn things around, with a good strong jab, before letting rip with a scintillating double handed flurry, which forced the Hungarian to cover up.

With the bit between his teeth Khan took full advantage by letting rip with super fast combinations at will..

The power and accuracy of Khan’s shots paid dividends almost immediately and on around the thirty second mark Voros was unceremoniously sent to the canvas for the first time with a massive right.

KhanVoros6693Khan really started to get into a rhythm, so much so picking off Voros with powerful shots to body and head with impunity, albeit for only a short while as on just before the minute mark he let rip with another cracking right to send Voros to the canvas for a second time.

Voros made it to his feet, only to be subjected to another huge barrage of punches, which forced Voros to cover up in a vain hope of making it to the end of the round, no chance, Khan just kept up the barrage until referee Ken Curtis had seen enough and stepped in to save the Hungarian from any further damage on the sixty fifth second mark.

CounihanKis6670The opening bout of the night featured one of, if not, the top British young Lightweight prospects, Birmingham’s Antonio Counihan, in a six rounder, against Hungary’s David Kis.

Counihan, who came into the fight with an unbeaten in four pro outings record, put in another World class performance, yes this kid is that good, out-boxing Kis, a twenty-five fight veteran, with ease from start to the early finish.

Counihan controlled the bout from the start, in doing so showcased the skills that not only earned him a place on the England amateur squad but also the accolade of becoming the England team captain.

Rounds one and two were more like an exhibition by Counihan, seemingly picking off his more experienced opponent at ease, his punches were clinical and powerful to the extreme, so much so that Kis made a visit to the canvas in both the first and second round.

By midway through the third Counihan stepped up the pace a little, in doing so put Kis way outside his comfort zone that the Hungarian had no option but to just cover up and hope that he could make it to the end of the round, unfortunately for him unsuccessfully, as on the two minute and fifteen second mark Counihan landed a peach of a right hand to send Kis to the deck for the third and final time.

The Brummie youngster has really taken to the pro game in style, Kis is no walkover, by a longshot yet Counihan made it look far too easy and his record now stands at five bouts, five wins, four by stoppage finish.

These were great performances, not just from the home fighters, praise must go to all the opponents too, more so to the likes of Karel Horejsek and Vladimir Fecko, who really did bring their A game, but each of the opponents came and did their best, just Counihan, Khan, the Ozgul brothers and Hillyard were just plain sensational on the night.

If this is the standard of events we can expect in 2015, I for one can’t wait for the next – bring it on!


George Hillyard with promoter Shyam Batra (L) and WBU Ambassador, current MBC International Super Bantamweight Champion Marianne Marston - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

George Hillyard with promoter Shyam Batra (L) and WBU Ambassador, current MBC International Super Bantamweight Champion Marianne Marston – Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro


On Friday evening, at the York hall in Bethnal Green, London, Nazeing, Essex’s George Hillyard put in a sensational performance to beat Czech Republic’s Michal Vosyka, to secure the World Boxing Union (WBU) International Super Middleweight title.

Vosyka started fast, working off his strong left hand jab the Czech stylishly dominated the early part of the first round, easily keeping the big punching Hillyard at a safe distance.

Hillyard, seemed content to bide his time as the much taller Vosyka danced around flicking his jab at the Essex lad each time he made any move to close the distance between them.

Although he had managed to land a few shots, it wasn’t until around the second minute mark Hillyard managed to really break through and land one of his trademark rock solid right hand shots, which clearly shook Vosyka to the core.

GeorgeHillyardMichalVosyka6823Hillyard reacted incredibly quickly to capitalize on Vosyka’s disorientated state, letting rip with another double handed assault to send the Czech to the canvas.

In the second round Vosyka once again boxed beautifully, but little more cautiously, his creative boxing style was clearly frustrating Hillyard, who again was made to play the waiting game, just taking any opportunity that opened up to let rip.

More of the same in the third, but as in the first Vosyka made the fatal error of giving Hillyard an opening, which the Essex boy capitalized on in an instant, letting rip first with a big right and then a double handed barrage to send an off balance Vosyka to the canvas for the second time.

Coming out in the fourth Vosyka was way more cautious, which provided Hillyard even more opportunities to punish him, which he did in a big way after about thirty seconds or so.

Hillyard backed Vosyka to the ropes and just let rip with massive lefts and rights to both body and head before letting rip with a wicked bone crushing left to the body, no surprise Vosyka elected to take a knee, in order to gather a break from the never ending onslaught.

As referee Mickey Vann ended the mandatory eight count Hillyard shot across the ring and let rip with an almighty right hand, which sent Vosyka off balance and heading back to the canvas, Hillyard was taking no chances and followed in with an even heavier right to the side of the Czech’s head.

GeorgeHillyardMichalVosyka6851LRMickey Vann was straight to the prone Czech and in seconds so were Dr Rashid and his medical team.

After about a minute or so Vosyka was helped to a stool and a relieved York Hall crowd showed their appreciation with a round of applause.

After which they were even more vocal, when MC Steve Holdsworth made the official victory announcement, before World Boxing Union Ambassador and current MBC International Super Bantamweight Champion, Marianne Marston, presented Hillyard with the well earned spoils of victory, the WBU International Championship belt.

Following the bout the clearly overjoyed new Champion spoke briefly about the fight.
“I’m over the moon, really over the moon.

I’ve got just what I wanted, the WBU title, I’ve worked really hard to make sure I was ready for this fight, spent twelve weeks away from my family over Christmas and the New Year, now I can say it was worth it, it all paid off and I have the belt.

Personally from my point of view I didn’t really fight the way I know I can, respect to Michal (Vosyka) he bought the fight to me, really messed up my A Game Play.

When I hurt him in the first round, all I could do was look for that big shot all the time, yeah it worked out OK, but I feel I could have boxed him better.

Yeah, but now I’ve got the title, it doesn’t matter, this is what I wanted.

Word is my next fight is already lined up, word is if I win, which I have, my first defense will be against Michael Zerafa in Australia.

Obviously it’s not signed and sealed yet, as everything has to be agreed behind closed doors this week, soon as that’s all done, if it’s the right money yeah I’ll be going to Australia to fight Michael Zerafa.

I can’t thank the fans enough for their fantastic support, please keep supporting me as we move on to bigger and better things.

This WBU title has given me a right good kick up the backside, I promise I will be more than ready for my next fight too, I’m leaving nothing to chance, I’m back in the gym first thing Monday, no messing about, this is my belt and I aint going to let anyone take it from me.

I can’t thank the Malta Boxing Commission and the World Boxing Union enough, for giving me this opportunity to fulfill my dream of becoming a Champion.

The next couple of years are going to be really exciting now, we’re gonna go all the way, this is just what I needed, onwards and upwards.”

Please go online to www.wbuboxing.org or www.wbueurope.eu for additional information on upcoming WBU and WBU Europe sanctioned title fights.

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Pagliara-Robertson WBU Americas Title Fight In NYC This Coming Thursday – 22nd Jan.

PagliaraRobertsonPosterPagliara-Robertson WBU Americas Title Fight In NYC This Coming Thursday – 22nd Jan.


World Boxing Union (WBU) President Don Lewis today announced that Floriano Pagliara will challenge Antwan Robertson for the WBU Americas Featherweight Title, on the Dmitry Salita promoted Brooklyn Brawl event at the Webster Hall in Manhattan this coming Thursday, the 22nd January.


Marbach Germany born Italian Pagliara, a former IBF Mediterranean and Italian National Champion at Super Featherweight, relocated to America and now resides in Williamsburgh, Brooklyn.


Pagliara’s first Championship challenge, in September 2010 against New York’s Brian Millar for the WBF All Americas title ended as a majority draw, some ten months later the plucky Italian finally secured his first Championship accolade, when he conclusively beat Hungary’s Istvan Nagy for the IBF Mediterranean title.


It would be two years before Pagliara was back in Championship action, when he challenged Andrea Scarpa for the Italian Super Featherweight crown, however all didn’t go to plan, with Pagliara being stopped in the second round.


Six months later the Italian battler challenged Nicola Cipolletta for the newly vacant Italian title, this time Pagliara secured the title by unanimous points decision.


Pagliara went on to successfully defend the Italian title Angelo Ardito, by conclusive 98-92, 97-92, 96-93 points margin, however shortly after the verdict was overturned by the Italian Federation, disqualifying Pagliara and handing the laurels to Ardito by default.


In comparison Minnesota’s Robertson has only tasted Championship action once previously, when he unsuccessfully challenged Jonathan Perez for the Minnesota State Bantamweight title.


On confirming the title fight WBU President Don Lewis said.


“Dmitry (Salita)and his Star of David promotions team always puts on great events, with Floriano Pagliara taking on Antwan Robertson for the WBU Americas title headlining, this one looks set to be one of the best yet.


Floriano has a huge following in New York, he’s an exciting fighter that the fans love to watch, so should be a packed house too.


Don’t know too much about Antwan but have heard good things about him too, some say he’s a little like Junior Jones, if he is then this could well be an out and out war.


I wish both boxers the best for Thursday and may the best man win.”

Hillyard-Vosyka Title Clash Headlines At York Hall 30th January

HillyardVosykaPosterHillyard-Vosyka Title Clash Headlines At York Hall 30th January

With the Christmas and New Year celebrations well and truly behind us, it’s time to get back to the business of professional boxing.

For those in London the season starts a little earlier, than in most parts of the country – Friday, January 30th – when promoter Shyam Batra presents his first show of the new year, titled Legends & Prospects, at the York Hall in Bethnal Green.

Headlining the event sees Nazeing, Essex’s George ‘Hithard’ Hillyard challenging Czech Republic #1 ranked Super Welterweight Michal Vosyka, for the World Boxing Union (WBU) International Middleweight title.

Back in August Hillyard outpointed Ireland’s Tommy Tolan to earn the title shot, whilst his opponent Vosyka went one better in December, with a sensational second round knock-out victory over Czech #2 Michal Dufek.

Hillyard, who returned to the sport in March last year after a two year sabbatical from the sport, was clearly determined to make sure that he is a hundred percent ready for the challenge, by traveling to America in November for a twelve week camp at the famous Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, New York, in doing so forgoing Christmas celebrations with his family.

Support for Hillyard’s title challenge sees a number of the recently rebranded Champions TKO Boxing Gym’s young stars back in action at York Hall.

The main support bout for Hillyard-Vosyka sees one of the most exciting young Lightweight prospects, Solihull’s former England Amateur Captain Antonio Counihan, back in action in the Capital City once more.

With four top class victories under his belt, three by way of stoppage, Counihan has been shooting up the rankings, so much so that his management is already talking about a domestic title challenge for the highly likeable Brummie later in 2015.

Hackney based former Turkish Amateur star Siar Ozgul, steps up to a six rounder for the first time in his fledgling career.

With five excellent points victories under his belt already, Ozgul has garnered a huge following, due to his all action pressure style of boxing.

Talking of all action pressure fighters, Siar’s older brother Onder, tagged ‘Little Mike’ by the Turkish fans during his time in the World Series Of Boxing, due to his style being so similar to that of legendary Heavyweight Champ ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson, will also be in action on the 30th.

Fighting in the Light Heavyweight division Onder has secured three excellent victories, two by shut out points decisions and one by first round stoppage.

Making his most welcome return to the fray, following a two year sabbatical from the sport, is another of Champion TKO’s exciting young stars, Bradford’s hugely popular Bantamweight prospect Tasif Khan.

Another all action fighter, Khan has fought ten times, winning seven, drawing two and just the single loss, a very close 37-38 points loss to Stuart McFadyen back in July ’07 at Super Bantamweight.

Watch this space: It is expected that an announcement will be made shortly for a second title fight to co-headline the event, following Australia’s Pierre Karam failing to secure the required visa for him to face Czech Republic’s Tomas Mrazek for the WBU International Heavyweight Championship on the event.

Sanctioning for this event will be provided courtesy of the Malta Boxing Commission (MBC).

The Shyam Batra promoted ‘LEGENDS & PROSPECTS event, featuring George Hillyard versus Michal Vosyka WBU International Middleweight title clash, takes place at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London, on Friday, 30th January 2015.

Tickets, priced £30 (Standard Seated), £40 (Gallery) and £65 (Ringside) plus £2.50 booking fee – are available from any of the boxers taking part, on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com – or call the box office on 07960 850645 or 07836 365203.