|17:15 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS FACEBOOK|
4 x 2 mins International Super-Welterweight contest
ELLIS HOPKINS 11st 0lbs 8oz v BORISLAVA GORANOVA 11st 2lbs 10oz
(Leicestershire, England) (Sofia, Bulgaria)
18:00 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS/DAZN
6 x 3 mins International Heavyweight contest
SOLOMON DACRES 15st 12lbs 11oz v MLADEN MANEV 16st 9lbs 0oz
(Birmingham, England) (Sofia, Bulgaria)
10 x 3 mins vacant English Super-Lightweight Title
DALTON SMITH 9st 13lbs 9oz v LEE APPLEYARD 9st 13lbs 11oz
(Sheffield, England) (Rotherham, England)
12 x 3 mins European Cruiserweight Title
TOMMY MCCARTHY 14st 3lbs 4oz v ALEXANDRU JUR 14st 2lbs 7oz
(Belfast, Northern Ireland) (Oradea, Romania)
12 x 3 mins European Super-Bantamweight Title
GAMAL YAFAI 8st 9lbs 10oz v JASON CUNNINGHAM 8st 9lbs 8oz
(Birmingham, England) (Doncaster, England)
12 x 3 mins vacant European Super-Middleweight Title
LERRONE RICHARDS 11st 12lbs 10oz v GIOVANNI DE CAROLIS 11st 13lbs 4oz
(New Malden, England) (Viterbo, Italy)
10 x 3 mins WBA International Light-Heavyweight Title
JOSHUA BUATSI 12st 6lbs 0oz v DANIEL BLENDA DOS SANTOS 12st 4lbs 12oz
(Croydon, England) (Pont-Sainte-Maxence, France)
|Sam Eggington believes a knockout or stoppage of former World Champion ‘King’ Carlos Molina will send a big statement to the middleweight division that he is ready to challenge for a World title next.|
The Birmingham puncher is fired up like never before as he heads into battle with the Mexican hardman, who has never been stopped in 50 fights, on Saturday 22nd May at the Coventry Skydome Arena, exclusively live and free on Channel 5.
With the Vacant WBC Silver Middleweight Championship on the line, Eggington aims to grab the title with both hands to ensure a high ranking in the WBC that will place him in prime position to challenge for a World title.
Iron-fisted Eggington knows that a devastating performance – similar to his six round brutal destruction of Ashley Theophane last December – will send a red warning to the elite 160 pound operators that he is hammering on the door.
It’s been a long-time coming for the British, Commonwealth, European and International Champion in his near decade in the sport, but Eggington can sense that his moment at ultimate glory is near.
The 27-year-old aims to do what former hard-hitting World Champions Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Mike Alvarado and Cornelius Bundrage couldn’t do and be the first man to stop the granite-chinned warrior from Patzcuaro, Michoacán de Ocampo.
Eggington said, “The plan is to stop him. That’s plan A, I want the stoppage without a doubt. Plan B, I’m trained and ready to go twelve with him if I need to. They are the two eventualities I’m prepared for. With the way I fight I can’t see this going the distance. He comes to fight also and he’ll come straight to me so that will be perfect,”
“I haven’t watched too much of Molina, I leave that to my trainer Jon Pegg and my team, I’ve watched maybe 20 or 30 seconds of him here or there during the camp. I’m not a fan of studying fights intently, I just like to go in and do the business on the night. All I know is that he’s a Mexican, he’s a former World Champion, he’s fought some very good names and he’s got a solid chin, that’s all I need to know to get me fired up and I’ve got to be at my very best,”
“It will be real statement to the other middleweight champions, without a doubt. You don’t get to 50 fights against the level Molina’s been in with and not get stopped for no reason. So I definitely hope to change that. I believe it sends a message to rest of division, but one things for sure it will definitely make me feel better knowing that I was the first. The World title is in my thoughts but the most important thought right now is that I have to beat Molina otherwise it won’t happen. Simple.”
|Presented by Hennessy Sports in association with William Hill, Infinitum, Numan, Everlast and King Carlos Promotions, Eggington v Molina will headline the exciting nine-fight card exclusively live and free-to-air across the UK and Ireland on Channel 5.|
Main event features Birmingham warrior Sam Eggington (29-7-0, 17 KO’s) against Mexico’s hard-as-nails Carlos Molina (37-11-2, 12 KO’s) for the Vacant WBC Silver Middleweight Championship.
Chief support features a cracking showdown between Birmingham’s Kaisee Benjamin (11-1-1, 2 KO’s) and Dumbarton’s Martin Harkin (13-1-0, 5 KO’s) in an Eliminator for the British Welterweight Championship (Subject to BBBofC approval).
Also on the card, Coventry sensation River Wilson-Bent (8-0-0, 4 KO’s) makes the first defence of his Midlands Area Middleweight title against Derby’s George Farrell (5-0-0, 1 KO).
Former British Light-Heavyweight Champion Shakan Pitters (14-1-0, 4 KO’s) has his first back against Bradford’s Jermaine Springer (7-2-0, 1 KO) in an eight-rounder since losing his title to Craig Richards last December.
County Monaghan super-lightweight dynamo Stephen ‘The Hitman’ McKenna (7-0-0, 7 KO’s) features in a six-rounder, but the undefeated red-hot 24-year-old prospect has not needed to go the distance yet with all his fights ending inside.
Birmingham middleweight bombshell Idris ‘The Bodybreaker’ Virgo (9-0-1, 1 KO) goes in over six-rounds.
Sevenoaks all-action super-welterweight Michael Hennessy Jr. (5-1-1) is in a six-rounder against Warminster’s Paul Cummings.
Irish super-welterweight ace Brett McGinty (1-0) follows up his thrilling pro debut last December when he features in a four-rounder against Islington’s Jordan Grannum.
Brighton heavyweight talent Tommy Welch (1-0-0, 1 KO), son of the former British, Commonwealth and World Heavyweight title challenger Scott, follow’s up his explosive debut last December when he stopped Matt Gordon in the second round and features in a four-round contest.
For further information go to www.hennessysports.com or social media: Facebook @HennessySports, Twitter @HennessySports and Instagram @hennessysports
|Eddie Hearn, Chairman of Matchroom Sport:|
“We’re back in Manchester, hopefully the final event behind closed doors. Last Saturday, I’m not getting bored of telling you 73,000 fans were in the unbelievable AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas for the huge Canelo vs. Billy Joe Saunders fight. This will be the last time we’re behind closed doors. It’s been fun, the bubbles have been great, they’ve thrown up some unbelievable upsets and great fights as well. We will keep the bubble moving forward, but you will be allowed out – so good news for the fighters!”
Joshua Buatsi – Croydon, England – 13-0, 11 KOs – defending his WBA International Light-Heavyweight Title against Daniel Blenda Dos Santos:
“I’m ready to fight. The thing is there may be a target on me Eddie, but I’m really from the bottom so the build-up is great but that’s not my mentality. I started from nothing as well, moved from Ghana to England, I’ve also come from nothing. I always tell people when I fight, I’ve got nothing to lose, I’m gaining everything and when I go in there the mentally is different. I’ll be there to fight to, I’m there to fight and protect the little that I have.
“I keep laughing when I say this, prior to a fight you say you’re willing to do anything, but when it was time in the ring when that happened, I had to show up for it and I felt I gave a good account and got the win. Saturday night I’ll be there to do whatever it takes to win because I’m in here to fight. We’ll see how it goes.
“I think if you ask anyone, and they don’t say it, they must be thinking differently. You’re Eddie Hearn right, you’re sitting here, and I think you feel like you’ve signed the best Light-Heavyweight in the country – that speak for itself. For the others, they’re doing well, I’m doing what I’m doing and hopefully one day we can all get in and fight to see. For now, my man next door is who I’ve got to deal with, that’s what I’m concentrating on.
“It’s been good having Virgil on board, amazing, I said I could have 100 coaches in my corner but when that bell rings it’s just you. Nevertheless, having this man here added to the team, we’ll see how to goes – it’ll be good.”
Virgil Hunter, trainer of Joshua Buatsi:
“I’m back here in the UK, a place I like to think of as home. I’ve been exposed to some of the UK’s greatest fighters that I’ve had a chance to meet as well as work with. Joshua Buatsi is no exception to that, I think he’s a major talent, I think he has a tremendous upside, I’m hoping I can do everything to cultivate that and turn him into a World Champion.
“I think Joshua will apply some of the thing we worked on and show Saturday night that he’s been a good student.
“Anytime that you have the opportunity to fight a medallist from the Olympics, that medal has a bullseye on his back. He’s going to get a hungry opponent, that opponent is going to be dead serious because he knows it can change the trajectory of his career. We don’t have much footage on Dos Santos, but we take him serious on what we have seen, that he is a good fighter and to be taken serious, that’s how we’re approaching the fight.”
Daniel Blenda Dos Santos – Pont-Sainte-Maxence, France – 15-0, 8 KOs – challenging Joshua Buatsi for his WBA International Light-Heavyweight Title:
“This is the opportunity of my life; we know Joshua is a great champion and for me it’s a great opportunity – I appreciate the chance of being here.
“Boxing saved my life, a guy like me is supposed to be in jail or dead. Thank God I had the opportunity to leave prison, make a real change in my life and become a professional fighter. I changed 100% of my life, my city, everything, now all this work and dedication I’m in this place right now. I have to enjoy the moment.
“I have to be the best version of myself to beat Joshua Buatsi. That’s what I’m going to try Saturday night.”
Lerrone Richards – New Malden, England – 14-0, 3 KOs – fighting Giovanni De Carolis for the vacant European Super-Middleweight Title:
“Like I’ve always said, I want to conquer Europe and being the European Champion has always been a big thing for me – ticking everyone single box. I won the British, Commonwealth, European is the next step and I’m very excited for this fight.
“He [Giovanni De Carolis] brings a lot of pedigree, he’s very experienced and a very good fighter. But this is a fight I believe I’m going win and win very well.
“This division is very sexy and I’m glad to be a part of it. I can’t wait to win this European Title and step on to bigger and better things.”
Giovanni De Carolis – Viterbo, Italy – 28-9-1, 13 KOs – fighting Lerrone Richards for the vacant European Super-Middleweight Title:
“I’m proud to represent my country here, I’m happy. Two years of inactivity for me is bad but this is the situation and for me there isn’t any problem. I’m ready for Saturday and I’m happy to fight.
“I am happy because when I fight out of my country my heart in the ring is stronger. I would like the people to see my boxing.”
Gamal Yafai – Brimingham, England – 18-1, 10 KOs – defending his European Super-Bantamweight Title against Jason Cunningham:
“I had a horrible two years, but it was good to go to Italy and win the European Title. It’s good to back home defending it in the UK.
“I thought to myself this isn’t the end of me, I knew I was going to come back, win the European Title and go onto big things. That’s what I plan on doing and we start on Saturday night.
“He wanted the opportunity and I’ll give him the opportunity. The best man will win and I’m by far the best man, I’ll show that on Saturday night.”
Jason Cunningham – Doncaster, England – 28-6, 6 KOs – challenging Gamal Yafai for the European Super-Bantamweight Title:
“Massive opportunity, another Yafai as well. Like I said, we were begging for the opportunity, I always stay ready. I kind of had an idea it was happening, I had to be prepared, be ready, I am. You’re going to see the best Jason Cunningham Saturday night, I’m ready for him and take that title.
“I got offered a few fights during the lockdown but I’m so glad I was patient because this is the opportunity I wanted. This is the biggest fight to date; this is my World Title fight. I’ve got all this experience, I’ve took my setbacks, I’ve come back, I’ve had plenty of success as well. They’ve all put me in good stead, there’s no starting again from here so everything is going into Saturday night. I’m very confident, I’ll be expecting the best Gamal Yafai but you should expect the best Jason Cunningham as well.”
Tommy McCarthy – Belfast, Northern Ireland – 17-2, 8 KOs – defending his European Cruiserweight Title against Alexandru Jur:
“I’ve been saying all week I’m expecting a tough test, as you say he’s got all the experience and boxed at the championship level for some time. He looks in good shape, it seems like he’s had a good camp and he seems like he wants to do his talking in the ring so I’m even more nervous.
“I was prepared for a tough fight but when I saw him [Bilal Laggoune] at the weigh-in he looked like he hadn’t trained properly so I kind of switched off a little bit. When it came to fight night, he was ready to go so he pushed me. There are no easy fights when you’re fighting for the European Title, at the time he was number seven in the world. It was a big win for me, a big confidence boost and I’m delighted I came out the winner.
“There’s so much potential for a massive future ahead of me, I need to put all of that in the back of my mind. James Tennyson, were from the same place, everything was set up for him to go onto bigger and better things but it didn’t go his way. That’s made me switch on even more, put anything past this out of my mind because this is going to be a tough fight on Saturday, and I can’t afford any slip ups.”
Alexandru Jur – Oradea, Romania – 19-4, 7 KO – challenging Tommy McCarthy for the European Cruiserweight Title:
“I’m already ready for the fight, I’m in good form. It’s a big opportunity for me.”
Dalton Smith – Sheffield, England – 7-0, 6 KOs – fighting Lee Appleyard for the vacant English Super-Lightweight Title:
“It’s starting to get exciting. When the fight fell through before I knew we were going to get it back on because it was a fight I wanted. It’s a fight I know I’m going to look good in, Lee and I have sparred before so I’m glad we could get it back on.
“When I win, I can turn round and say there’s no excuses, they’ve had a full camp. I’ve got a 100% prepared Lee Appleyard and that’s what I want – that’s what will bring the best out of me.
“People forgot the World Series of Boxing, even though it’s not championship rounds. I’ve been in there with tough guys – the Kazakhs and Russians. Experience for me is the championship rounds, I’m confident in that and I believe Lee will take me to those rounds and that’s what I need.
“When it comes to pressure, there’s no pressure for me in this fight because each fight I take will be a step up – there’s always going to be pressure there. There’s more pressure on Lee’s shoulders because where does he really go after this fight. This is his World Title shot, this is where he can push on.”
Lee Appleyard – Rotherham, England – 16-5-1, 5 KOs – fighting Dalton Smith for the vacant English Super-Lightweight Title:
“This is a massive opportunity, it’s a pleasure to share the ring with Dalton. He’s one of the biggest prospects but we took the fight on three weeks’ notice last time and believed we were going to win. We’ve had nine weeks now and we have no doubt.
“It’s a hard fight, everyone’s writing me off, the bookies are writing me off. There’s no pressure on me whatsoever, all the pressure is on Dalton, and we’ll see how he deals with it on the night. When the fight goes into the later rounds, that’s where I’ve been and what I known, and I’ll come into my own.
“When I boxed for the Commonwealth, that was only three and a half weeks’ notice and I think that made the difference on the results on the night because I didn’t have time to properly prepare. It was a bit of a blessing getting Covid, having nine weeks preparation and getting sponsors behind me.
“I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in and I’m coming to win on Saturday night, there’s no doubt about it, Dalton’s got a tough night ahead of him.
“You can’t buy experience, there’s nothing between us, he’s a respectful lad and I’m respectful to him. It’s a pleasure to share the ring with him but I know what doors this can open; I want those doors open and keep moving on – fighting for the British Title. Respect to Dalton for taking the fight, this probably wouldn’t be happening if we weren’t in the COVID situation. This is a cracking fight for the fans, they’re in for a treat.”
Solomon Dacres – Birmingham, England – Professional Debut – fighting Mladen Manev in a six round Heavyweight contest:
“It’s long overdue, I thought I was going to get out March 20th on the Okolie card. Long delays, I’ve been training overtime for the fight – I’ve had about three training camps worth of training just for this one fight. It’s all in the bank and I’m ready to let it all go Saturday.
“I don’t have to go too slowly; I can build myself up because I’ve got more experience so I can take little steps quicker than other fighters. Sam Jones and my coach will pick opponents where I’m being tested and improve all the time. We won’t go at a snail’s pace and look to pick things up in the next twelve months.
“All that experience, guys that have been then and done. Joshua, Joyce, Dubois, sparring those guys they’re 15/20 fights into their professional careers and well established. I’m sparring, gaining confidence, and knowing my own level. I haven’t had my first fight yet, but it gives you confidence seeing them fighting on big titles and gives me confidence knowing that I’m going to go forward and what I can do.
“It’s been a long time since there’s been a Heavyweight from Birmingham, and we haven’t never had a World Champion in the Heavyweight division. Hopefully I can emulate that and get the city behind me. We need to get that support in Birmingham and get behind me.”
Mladen Manev – Sofia, Bulgaria – 3-8, 3 KOs – fighting Solomon Dacres in a six round Heavyweight contest:
“I’m ready to fight, I’m ready for a boxing match Saturday. I feel very good to be here in Manchester, it’s a nice city. I’m ready.”
Ellis Hopkins – Leicestershire, England – Professional Debut – fighting Borislava Goranova in a four round Super-Welterweight contest:
“It’s a massive time to come into female boxing, the last few years female boxing has gone from strength to strength and I’m excited to be a part of it and make my debut this weekend.
“Everyone looks up to Katie Taylor, you can’t get better than that, she’s won everything and done everything. The likes of Terry Harper and Natasha Jonas, they’re all big inspirations as well.
“I can box, I can fight, so whatever happens on the night happens on the night, we’ll see.”
Borislava Goranova – Sofia, Bulgaria – 11-64-4 – fighting Ellis Hopkins in a four round Super-Welterweight contest:
“I’m happy to see Ellis, I’m happy to be here and I feel strong. I’ll show you my boxing on Saturday night.”
|After a whirlwind few days where young Heavyweight superstar Daniel Dubois has been unexpectedly thrust back into the media spotlight, ‘Dynamite’ has now said it is “time to move on”.|
Daniel was last seen in the ring on November 28 when he suffered a horrific eye injury at the hands of Joe Joyce.
In the wake of that shock defeat internet trolls, and even some within boxing, were keen to put the boot in on Dubois by questioning his decision to take a knee and end the bout.
One such figure was Billy Joe Saunders, who was vociferous in his criticism of the 23-year-old mild-mannered bruiser.
Those remarks would come back to bite Bill, who would fall to Canelo Alvarez after suffering a very similar injury.
Daniel says he understands why the fans and press alike have jumped on this ironic twist of fate but has insisted it is time to move on.
The ever-classy Dubois said: “I understand why everyone has wanted to make comparisons between me and Billy, but it’s time to move on now.
”Saunders is currently awaiting treatment at a hospital in Dallas and Dubois says it’s time to give him space to recover and regroup.
“Billy has had his injury, people have said what they’ve had to say but now it’s time to let him rest, heal and be with his family.
“It’s important for me to move on too. I’ve got a fight on June 5th with Bogdan Dinu that I need to get ready for.
”The Heavyweight collision with Romania’s Bogdan Dinu will be Dubois’ first taste of action since suffering his injury and he is keen to put the memories of that fateful night behind him.
“Over six months of frustrations are ready to come out. You are going to see the best version of Daniel Dubois in that ring on June 5th. I will beat Bogdan Dinu up and knock him out.
”Some may have expected young ‘Dynamite’ to have taken an easier fight for his return, but Dubois was keen to jump back in the mix and take on #2 ranked WBA Heavyweight Dinu with the WBA Interim title on the line.
“Dinu is a decent test. He does some things very well. He has fast hands and can move. He’s ranked #2 for a reason, and he’ll see this as a chance to get a title.”
Whilst Dubois is keen to move on from both the events of this past weekend in Texas and his own defeat in November last year, he understands that the only way to truly do that is deliver something spectacular in the ring.
At just 23-years-old, he will be looking to add a 15th career KO to his record and improve to 16-1 as a professional.
Dubois is fully aware of the question marks that surround him after the nature of his last defeat and he is confident he has all the answers.“I need to do what I do, show people why they called me ‘Dynamite’ in the first place” Dubois said, “It’ll be a devastating performance, I promise you. A huge knockout to put myself back on the map.”
‘BACK STRONGER: DUBOIS vs DINU’ IS LIVE ON BT SPORT 1 HD ON SATURDAY JUNE 5th
Hassan Mwakinyo Vs Brendon Denes Title Clash Headlines Rumble in Dar 2 Live on Plus TV/FITE TV May 28th.
Tanzania’s World Boxing Federation (WBF) Intercontinental Super Welterweight Champion Hassan Mwakinyo (18-2-0) will be back in Championship action in front of a home crowd on the 28th May 2021, when he faces Zimbabwe’s unbeaten Brendon Dene 8-0-0 for the WBC Africa (African Boxing Union) title at the Next Door Arena in Dar es Salaam on the Global Boxing Stars, The Jackson Group and Epic Sports & Entertainment co-promoted Rumble In Dar Second Edition.
Back in 2018 Mwakinyo shocked the boxing world when he sensationally stopped Great Britain’s highly ranked Sam Eggington in just one minute of the second round on the undercard of the Amir Khan vs Samuel Vargas at the Arena Birmingham.
Mwakinyo’s victory over Eggington made the headlines across the world, as the British fighter was was the reigning IBO Continental Champion. Despite the loss Eggington went on to become crowned the IBF World Champion the following year.
Since that sensational victory over Eggington Mwakinyo has won six times, four of these wins coming by way of stoppage, and secured Championship honours; The Universal Boxing Union (UBU) International, following a second round stoppage of fellow Tanzanian Joseph Sinkala and more recently the World Boxing Federation (WBF) Intercontinental crown, with a unanimous points decision over Democratic Republic of Congo’s Bebe Rico Tshibangu.
In November 2020 Mwakinyo successfully defended his WBF crown against Jose Carlos Paz, stopping the Argentinian in four rounds.
“Hassan, has so much potential and is probably one of the biggest secrets In the super welterweight division.
“He destroyed Sam Eggerton in the UK, and should have been a lot more highly rated after that fight. It’s now Hassan’s time and I’m excited to be promoting such a world class talent from Tanzania” said Scott Patrick Farrell, CEO Global Boxing Stars.
Rumble in Dar 2, headlined by Tanzania’s Hassan Mwakinyo (18-2-0) versus Zimbabwe’s Brendon Denes (8-0-0) for the World Boxing Council (WBC) African Boxing Union Super Welterweight Championship.
The co-main event features Nigeria’s Olanrewaju Durodola (34-8-0) versus Tanzania’s Shaban Jongo (8-1-2) for the World Boxing Council (WBC) Africa Boxing Union Cruiserweight Championship.
The stellar undercard features closely matched international fights:
8 Round Heavyweight Contest: Switzerland based Kenyan Collins Omondi (5-0-0) versus Zimbabwe’s Elvis Moyo (9-6-2)
6 Round Heavyweight Contest: Ukraine’s Ihor Shavadzutskyi (5-0-0) versus Uganda’s Shafik Kiwanuka (3-0-0)
8 Round Lightweight Contest: Tanzania’s Ibrahim Class (25-6-0) versus TBA
8 Round Super Welterweight Contest: Bulgaria’s Yosif Panov (18-3-0) versus Tanzania’s Nicolaus Mdoe (10-5-1)
4 Round Heavyweight Contest: Bulgaria’s Pencho Tsevtkov (4-0-0) versus Zimbabwe’s Simon Madhanire (1-2-1)
8 Round Super Welterweight Contest: Zambia’s Lolita Muzeya (16-0-0) versus TBA
4 Round Lightweight Contest: Bulgaria’s Joana Nwamerue (3-0-0) versus Zimbabwe’s Netsai Vaina Bondayi (2-3-1)
6 Round Heavyweight Contest: South Africa’s Ardi Ndembo (2-0-0) versus Malawi’s Alick Gogodo (4-5-0)
The second edition of the Rumble in Dar series, in association with the Tanzania Tourist Board #VisitTanzania, KCB Bank, Onomo Hotels, Urban Soul Apparel (Botswana) and M Bet, takes place at the Next Door Arena on Friday 28th May 2021 and will be broadcast live across Sub-Saharan Africa exclusively by Plus TV, which is available exclusively on DSTV channel number 294 in more than 30 African countries as well as syndicated globally to linear and digital channels (check local channel listings) and on-line on FITE.
McAllister Vs Djarbeng and Goyat Vs Annan Co-Headlines Let Battle Commence IV on the 29th May – Live on FITE
Globally broadcast pro boxing series LET BATTLE COMMENCE, in association with ACREO, Bounty Competitions, Empire Pro Tape and Go Sports & Entertainment, latest edition will be co-headlined byseries promoter – six time, five division World Champion Lee Mcallister, who will be in action against Richmond Djarbeng and World Boxing Council (WBC) Asia Welterweight Champion Neeraj Goyat who will face Tackie Annan.
LET BATTLE COMMENCE IV, is the fourth instalment of the all action series that was developed to provide professional boxing competition created for TV during the global pandemic in 2020.
The inaugural LET BATTLE COMMENCE event, that took place behind closed doors at the Northern Hotel in Aberdeen on Saturday 18th July 2020, was headlined by longtime WBO Featherweight King Scott Harrison versus PBC International Champion Paul Peers. The main support featured the professional debut of ten time Kickboxing World Champion Caitlin Foran.
LET BATTLE COMMENCE II, took place on Friday 4th September 2020 and was headlined by PBC & WBU International Champion Nathan Beattie versus UK based Nicaraguan Julio Bendana. The undercard featured no less than three female contests, including two of the UK’s top female amateur boxers, Hollie Towl and Eleanor Coulson, making their professional debuts, this event also took place behind closed doors in Aberdeen.
The third edition, LET BATTLE COMMENCE – THE LIONESSES, that took place on Saturday 24th April 2021 entered the record books as the first all Female professional boxing event to take place in the United Kingdom – The Lionesses was headed by a rematch between Nicola Hopewell and Tasha Boyes and the undercard featured some sensational contests, Hollie Towl versus Cara MacLochlainn and Estelle Scott versus Kirsty Biswas being the two that battled for Fight of the Night honours.
Joining the much lauded duo McAllister and Goyat on the 29th May 2021 LET BATTLE COMMENCE IV are;
PBC/WBU International Super Lightweight Champion Nathan Beattie, who will go toe to toe with Dundalk, Ireland’s Michael Kelly, rising unbeaten Featherweight prospect Kevin Traynor will face debuting Levi Lee, stylish unbeaten Heavyweight prospect Craig Dick takes on Tomas Vaicickas, local Heavyweight Liam Allan makes his second professional outing against Belfast’s Darren Burns, former amateur star Angelica Finch, whowill making her second pro outing, is pitted against Carly Mackenzie whilst Indian Featherweight Sukhdeep Singh makes his professional debut against fellow debutant Wesley Gray.
LET BATTLE COMMENCE IV, in association with ACREO, Bounty Competitions, Empire Pro Tape and Go Sports & Entertainment, is co-headlined by Lee Mcallister versus Richmond Djabeng and Neeraj Goyat versus Tackie Annan will take place behind closed doors at the Northern Hotel, Aberdeen on the 29th May 2021 and will be broadcast live on FITE as well as further linear and digital channels globally (please check local listings)
|Unbeaten Brit has total faith in his skills against Canelo|
|Billy Joe Saunders says he has the boxing brain to dethrone pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez in their blockbuster Super-Middleweight unification battle on Saturday night (May 8), live worldwide on DAZN and distributed by TV Azteca in Mexico and Latin America.|
LIMITED TICKETS REMAIN ON SALE AT SEATGEEK.COM
Unbeaten Briton Saunders (30-0 18 KOs) puts his WBO strap on the line for the third time against the Mexican star and is aiming to add the WBC and WBA Super belts held by the Mexican sensation.
Saunders has been widely regarded as having the ring smarts to be the man to hand Canelo a first defeat in eight years and be the man to take the next step to being undisputed at 168lbs – and the 31 year old says fighting Canelo on Cinco de Mayo weekend holds no fear.
“This fight is all about the brain,” said Saunders. “Not about power, muscle or skill, it’s the brain and the game plan, and being able to execute that game plan.
“I brush opinions off because I know what goes through my head and my mind, and what I have done in my career is through the will and want to win, and the day I lose that, I won’t put a pair of gloves on again.
“I can only control what I am in control of and that myself, not what is outside the ring. It’s going to be a great fight it’s one I’ve wanted for years and it’s finally landed. There’s a lot at stake for both of us. Would I like my fans there? Yes. Would I like UK media there? Yes. If the fight was moved to the Mexican border I wouldn’t care.
“I have my own way of approaching the fight and Canelo will have too, he’s done this nearly 60 times. I’ll get in there as the best that I can be and that’s all I can control.
“I’ve been the underdog before, I’ve been the away fighter before, it’s not a new position, but I’m just in with a better opponent this time.
“If I go in there and I win, I’m not going to run and say never again, I’ll fight him again, I’ll fight anyone, anywhere, it doesn’t bother me. It’s good for boxing sometimes when the underdogs come through, and I don’t just mean me here, because it puts the sport on a higher platform to be watched.
“I’m at the top of the tree where I’ve done it all as an amateur, I’ve had 30 fights, I’m unbeaten, won every title coming through, two-weight World champion – I can sit back at night and say I’m top of the pile fighting the pound-for-pound king.”
Alvarez and Saunders clash on a huge night of action in Texas with a stacked undercard in support of the mammoth main event, with Elwin Soto (18-1 12 KOs) defending his WBO World Light-Flyweight title against Katsunari Takayama (32-8 12 KOs).
Kieron Conway (16-1-1 3 KOs) defends his WBA Intercontinental Super-Welterweight title against Souleymane Cissokho (12-0 8 KOs), Eddy Reynoso trained Cuban Heavyweight Frank Sanchez (17-0 13 KOs) meets Nagy Aguilera (21-10 14 KOs), Mexican-American talent Marc Castro (2-0 2 KOs) fights on his third Canelo undercard, Castro’s old amateur foe Keyshawn Davis (2-0 2 KOs) faces Jose Antonio Meza (6-4 1 KO) over six rounds and it’s a family affair on the night with Keyshawn’s brother Kelvin Davis (1-0 1 KO) fights for the second time in the paid ranks, with Mexican Welterweight Christian Alan Gomez Duran (19-2-1 17 KOs) celebrating Cinco De Mayo weekend over eight rounds against an opponent to be named soon.
Review by Gianluca Di Caro
Photographs courtesy of Alistair Campbell.
On Saturday 24th April History was made when six time, five division World Champion and Promoter Lee Mcallister promoted the first ever all female professional boxing event, titled LET BATTLE COMMENCE – THE LIONESSES, to take place in the United Kingdom. The event, which took place behind closed doors at the Northern Hotel in Aberdeen and was broadcast live and free to view on FITE TV as well as globally on numerous linear and digital channels.
Back in September last year, when McAllister originally announced the history making event, which then was due to be co-headlined by WIBA Minimum Weight World Champion Denise Castle and returning MBC International Champion Marianne Marston it went viral, female fighters and boxing fans around the world retweeting and sharing the social media posts.
However within weeks of making the announcement fate dealt the Aberdeen Assassin a massive blow, as both the British and Scottish Government announced that the countries would go into full lockdown for the entire month of November.
McAllister set a new date was for January 2021 but just three weeks prior to the new date the UK once again went into lockdown. Frustratingly McAllister had to reschedule the date once more, this time to the 24th April 2021.
Early in April it looked like the event may have to be rescheduled again, as it was clear that, due to the pandemic, travel restrictions were introduced, a number of the overseas boxers contracted to fight would not be able to travel to the UK.
It wasn’t just ‘away’ fighters affected, such as the proposed opponents of the co-headline fighters Castle and Marston, but also Ellie Coulson, Hollie Towl, Sophie Varley and Jaime Bates’ opponents Ester Konecna, Angela Cannizzaro, Ivette Garcia and Jane Kavulani respectively, but also ‘home’ fighter Swiss based World Boxing Council (WBC) Muay Thai World Champion Natacha De Almeida, who was due to make her Professional Boxing Debut was unable to travel due to local restrictions.
Undaunted McAllister decided to continue with a reduced card of just six fights featuring UK based fighters only, well that was until just a week before showtime, when Manchester based Sophie Varley and Nicola Hopewell’s opponent Juliette Winter, who had been preparing for the fight in France, both had to pull out.
If that wasn’t enough for McAllister to contend with, just the day before the event Ellie Coulson’s replacement opponent Sarah Smith pulled out.
Frantic phone calls by McAllister and others already in Aberdeen including matchmaker Giles Carter, eventually paid off and a new opponent secured for the highly talented Coulson, but the new line-up was dramatically different from the original one planned for last year, as now the event featured only five fights and no big names or title fights to head up the card.
As Tasha Boyes’ original fight against Sophie Varley was off and Juliette Winter couldn’t get back from France McAllister decided that the planned future rematch between Hopewell (2-0-0) and Boyes (0-2-0) would be bought forward and headline, Coulson (1-0-0) would now face pro boxing debutante Becky Jameson, a Glasgow based pro BKB fighter. Hollie Towl would face Belfast’s Cara MacLochlainn, a former Kick Boxing star and Irish Amateur Champion making her pro boxing debut, debuting Angelica Finch would now face Jaime Bates (1-3-0) and the original match-up between two former elite Amateur stars Estelle Scott and Kirsty Biswas remained the same.
The aforementioned former amateur stars Scott and Biswas was the opening fight of the night, and boy oh boy was it a close fought all action affair.
Right from the off both protagonists went at it hammer and tongs, letting rip with big shots to body and head throughout, the round reminded me of the wickedly intense first round war between Graham Earl and Michael Katsidis back in 2007.
As with the first stanza both returned to Gladiatorial ways and continued to battle at close range in both the second and third rounds and whilst the action slowed a little in the fourth the action was just as intense, just now the big bombs were flying.
The pace of the action clearly affected Biswas more than Scott, as the Middlesbrough based warrior slowed considerably, which opened the door for South Shields based Scott to take control and dominate the proceedings in style, backing Biswas up on occasions and letting rip with big flurries of shots.
At the end of the fifth Biswas looked very drained, so much so that on returning to the corner her coach voiced his concerns and following a short discussion with Biswas summoned referee Carla Fox and retired his charge in the corner.
Wow, that was one helluva battle, the battling Scott and Biswas threw down the gauntlet to the others competing on the night, and sure as eggs is eggs they did.
Next up see Worksop’s Ellie Coulson (1-0-0) face very, very late replacement Becky Jameson.
Coulson, a three time national finalist and England amateur boxing national youth middleweight champion, wasn’t fazed one iota facing a bigger fighter from a different pro discipline, she calmly picked her shots each time Jameson came into range.
Jameson is a plucky as they come, clearly outclassed by the elite former Amateur star she kept coming forward wanting to make a fight of it, but at a cost, Jameson was sent down just under a minute into the fight and after that Coulson’s class shone through.
The Worksop lass landing big shots to Jameson’s head each time she came forward, when I say big shots I mean seriously solid straight rights that sent Jameson’s head back. As the fight went past the ninety second point Coulson landed yet another Exocet that rocked the Glaswegian to the core, Referee Carla Fox was clearly concerned at the amount of powerful shots Jameson had taken in the first ninety seconds or so and stepped in and waived the fight off on the one minute and forty two second mark.
Jameson was game taking the fight at such late notice, no question about that, she came to fight BUT Coulson is a seriously class act, personally think even after only two pro fights she’s definitely one of the best Female fighters in the Super Welterweight/Middleweight divisions worldwide and it’s just a matter of time before everyone in the division will begin avoiding her.
Third fight of the night pitted the sensational teenage former five time National Amateur Champion Hollie Towl (1-0-0) against the seriously tough former Kick Boxing star and Irish Amateur Champion from Belfast Cara MacLochlainn, who was making her professional boxing debut.
Initially both protagonists began cautiously feeling out the other and then the fight just exploded into action and when I say action, wow what a round, these two Warriors exchanged blow after blow. it was pure poetry in motion. As the round progressed Towl’s class began to shine through, as she started creating openings before firing scintillatingly fast and hard body shots at the torso of her Irish opponent.
Round two started similarly to the first, however Towl shifted up a gear and started targeting the body of the ‘Belfast Bomber’ and landing wickedly vicious shots MacLochlainn is one talented and tough cookie as not only did she just shake off the shots but would fire her own Exocets in return.
Round three was a WAR, both Warriors went in hard and fast, once again Towl shifted up another gear and began landing massive bodyshops, this time though MacLochlainn appeared to be struggling coping with the onslaught, at around midway through the second half of the round Towl landed a massive shot that sent the MacLochlainn reeling across the ring, I honestly thought the fight was over as it seemed her legs had gone, but somehow the tough Irishwoman managed to make it to the end of the round.
MacLochlainn looked drained when she came out for the fourth, which only encouraged Towl to come in hard and fast and land even more body shots, seemingly at will.
After such a hard round I was surprised when MacLochlainn came out looking ready to go to war again in the fifth, she put up a good fight but again Towl landed some incredible shots throughout the round.
The sixth and final round mirrored the second to a degree, without doubt Towl won the round with her incredible skill, but MacLochlainn kept the teenager honest and made a great fight of it.
No surprise that referee Carla Fox’s scorecard showed Towl as victor, by a 59-55 points margin, but plaudits to MacLochlainn she went the distance, a big surprise considering the amount of vicious body-shots she absorbed in the fight.
Quite rightly Towl-MacLochlainn was declared Fight of the Night and Hollie Towl the Fighter of the Night. The quietly spoken Towl seemed surprised when Sportanarium Radio’s Trevor Lake announced the accolade before presenting her with the Sportanarium ‘Fighter of the Night’ Belt.
Next up was Boston, Lincolnshire’s former three time ABA Champion Angelica Finch, who was making her Professional debut, against York’s former PBC international Champion Jaime Bates (1-3-0).
This was looking to be a sensational match-up in the first minute or so as both protagonists approach virtually mirrored the other, literally as Finch was fighting in a southpaw stance and Bates boxes orthodox.
Just as the action was really warming up, Referee Carla Fox signalled Finch into the neutral corner where the doctor awaited to check a bad cut sustained shortly before.
The doctor advised the contest be waived off and as such the result was declared as Referee Stops Contest (RSC) on the one minute and forty two second mark of the first round.
Following the result Finch’s corner requested a review of the result, as they believe the cut came from an accidental clash of heads just before the final exchanges of the shortened contest. Their request has been submitted to the British & Irish Boxing Authority competition panel to review and ascertain if the result should stand as is.
Regardless of the result of the review, Finch vs Bates II is being discussed between the teams and promoter with the anticipated rematch coming in the very near future – I for one can’t wait for that as this fight had all the hallmarks of being a classic Battle Royale.
Time for the main event – Nicola Hopewell versus Tasha Boyes II.
Back in September last year Hopewell vs Boyes took place on LET BATTLE COMMENCE II – here’s my write-up on the first meeting between them.
OK, now were onto the fight I was really waiting for, Worksop’s Professional Boxing Council (PBC) International Silver Champion Nicola Hopewell versus York’s Tasha Boyes.
I’ve been particularly looking forward to this contest since hearing about Tasha Boyes performance against Maria Cecchi in Italy a few weeks ago, which had earned high praise from the Italian media and I know just how good Nicola is, as was lucky enough to be ringside when she beat Ghana’s Anita Addy to lift the PBC crown back on March 7th.
This fight had all the makings of being a classic, and the way it started out it surely would have been, Hopewell came out hard and fast and let rip with fast double handed combinations, which coincidently is how I had anticipated Boyes would approach things!
Boyes is as savvy as they come and soon began to use her height and reach advantage to get back in contention, but Hopewell’s magnificent ringcraft and oodles of talent soon put an end to that and as the round was heading to its conclusion backed Boyes up and began letting rip with a barrage of shots, somehow Boyes managed to find a way out but only a temporary respite as Hopewell went in for the kill and let rip once more to send Boyes to the canvas.
Boyes must have landed awkwardly on her arm and aggravated the training injury she sustained in the week, as when she rose to her feet she was holding her arm and clearly in a lot of pain, her coach Giles Carter was so concerned he summoned Referee Graeme Beauly and retired her in the corner at the end of the round.
Have to admit that was a disappointing end to the highly anticipated contest, but there is some good news for Boyes as Hopewell has agreed to a rematch, I for one am really looking forward to that.
OK, the scene is set so now let’s get to Saturday night’s Hopewell-Boyes II showdown.
Right from the opening bell both fighters moved to centre ring, initially just feeling out the other but seconds later Boyes moved in and let rip with a straight left followed by a left-right combination, Hopewell responds with a big right to kick off the proceedings. What an absolutely fantastic highly technical, all action first round.
Thoroughly enjoyed the first stanza, however the second was even better as Hopewell shifted up a gear and used her fantastic ring craft to circumnavigate Boyes’ superior reach to land some seriously awesome shots.
Don’t get me wrong Boyes landed some first class shots too but Hopewell’s class and experience really shone through, especially in the second half of the round, culminating in a scintillating powerful body-shot that sent Boyes to the canvas. Boyes surprisingly raised to her feet before the count reached its conclusion, but clearly was still in a lot of distress, so much so that Referee Carla Fox didn’t hesitate to waive the fight off on the one minute forty two second mark of the second round.
Some nine years after amateur Female boxing hit the headlines at the London 2012 Olympics, finally the first female professional event took place in the UK, interestingly LET BATTLE COMMENCE – LIONESSES was not only the first all female pro boxing event in the UK, but I believe is also the first event to be officiated by female official in the main roles – these were; Supervisor/Official Recorder Alejandra Ramirez, Referee Carla Fox and Chief inspector Jennie Boyle.
The entire event is still available free to view on FITE.TV (go to replays)
My final words on this historic event is that it was a great show, one that goes to prove you really don’t always need big names or Championship fights, even for a televised event, especially when the fights are as good as these were.
Ebanie Bridges Sends Message Of Support to Nicola Hopewell, Who Headlines Historic All Female Pro Boxing Event This Saturday – Watch Live and Free on FITE TV.
Just over a week after her spirited challenge against Shannon Courtney for the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Bantamweight World Crown, Australia’s Ebanie Bridges took time out of her busy schedule to spend some time with her good friend Professional Boxing Council (PBC) International Super Flyweight Champion Nicola Hopewell, ahead of Nicola’s headlining LET BATTLE COMMENCE – THE LIONESSES the first all female professional boxing event to take place in the United Kingdom this coming Saturday, 24th April.
Over the three day visit Ebanie was ringside supporting Nicola during her final training session at the XBox Boxing Academy in Worksop, after which the dynamic duo headed to York to meet with indie Rockband Skylights.
Wednesday’s schedule was just as busy as Ebanie and Nicola headed to Liverpool, where they visited The Inclusive Hub, an organisation that provide boxing based training for people with behavioural needs, Down’s syndrome, ADHD, Autism etc.
Later in the day they met up with Natasha Jonas and chatted over coffee about Ebanie’s fight against Shannon Courtney as well as Nicola’s upcoming fight this Saturday and Natasha’s upcoming WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO unified title fight against Katie Taylor on the 1st May.
Yesterday Ebanie and Nicola travelled to Leeds as the Aussie bruiser wanted to visit Elland Road, the home of the Premiership club Leeds United.
Earlier today Ebanie headed to London ahead of her scheduled appearance on Soccer AM tomorrow and Nicola headed up to Aberdeen ahead of her headlining the Lee Mcallister promoted LET BATTLE COMMENCE – THE LIONESSES, in association with Thomson Dairies, Bounty Competitions, RDX, Empire Pro Tape and Go Sports & Entertainment that will take place behind closed doors at the Northern Hotel in Aberdeen on Saturday 24th April 2021 and will be broadcast live and free to view on FITE TV as well as further linear and digital channels globally (please check local listings)
But before she headed south Ebanie took the time to video a message of support not only to her friend Nicola, but also to LET BATTLE COMMENCE – THE LIONESSES promoter Assassin Boxing Promotion and Management as well as Nicola’s Xbox gym mates Hollie Towl and Eleanor Coulson who are also taking part in the historic event.
LET BATTLE COMMENCE – THE LIONESSES, in association with Thomson Dairies, Bounty Competitions, RDX, Empire Pro Tape and Go Sports & Entertainment that will take place in the United Kingdom from 7:30pm in the UK, 2:30pm EST /11:30am PST in USA, on Saturday 24th April 2021 and will be broadcast live and free to view on FITE TV, AVO NETWORK, SPORTS CHANNEL NETWORK, SOWETO TV, PPV LIVE, as well as further linear and digital channels globally (please check local listings)
Sportanarium Interviews Hopewell, Towl and Finch Ahead of 24th April Historic UK First Female Pro Event – watch Live & Free on FITE TV
Sportanarium Radio’s Trevor Lake interviews Nicola Hopewell, Hollie Towl and Angelica Finch ahead of them competing on the Historic first all female professional boxing event to take place in the United Kingdom – LET BATTLE COMMENCE – THE LIONESSES, in association with Thomson Dairies, Bounty Competitions, RDX, Empire Pro Tape and Go Sports & Entertainment that will take place behind closed doors at the Northern Hotel in Aberdeen on Saturday 24th April 2021 and will be broadcast live and free to view on FITE TV as well as further linear and digital channels globally (please check local listings)
Nicola Hopewell is a development national champion and regional and National amateur England boxing flyweight champion with multiple box cup titles. On the 24th April Nicola Hopewell will be making her third Professional outing and faces a tough test against Sheffield’s Juliette Winter
Hollie Towl is a 5 time ABA national champion! At three different weights won back to back over five years !! A huge accolade and unprecedented! Hollie is also a national England boxing youth lightweight champion and multiple box cup including Irish titles. Hollie Towl, who will be making her second appearance in the LET BATTLE COMMENCE series, faces former Kick Boxing rising star Cara MacLochlainn who makes her Professional Boxing debut on the event.
Former GB squad member and three-time ABA champion Angelica Finch, who will box at Featherweight. Angelica Finch has a tough professional boxing debut as she takes on Shrewsbury’s former PBC International Silver Super Bantamweight Champion Jaime Bates
Also featuring on LET BATTLE COMMENCE – THE LIONESSES, in association with Thomson Dairies, Bounty Competitions, RDX, Empire Pro Tape and Go Sports & Entertainment are;
Ellie Coulson is a three time national finalist and England boxing national youth middleweight champion with again multiple box cup titles. Ellie Coulson will also be making her second appearance in the series, this time she faces Ester Konecna from the Czech Republic.
Former Elite Amateur, South Shields’ Estelle Scott, will make her professional debut against fellow pro debutant Kirsty Biswas from Middlesbrough.
Manchester’s former PBC International Silver Super Bantamweight Champion Sophie Varley, who now competes at Super Flyweight, will face Natasha Boyes.
LET BATTLE COMMENCE – THE LIONESSES, in association with Thomson Dairies, Bounty Competitions, RDX, Empire Pro Tape and Go Sports & Entertainment that will take place in the United Kingdom from 7:30pm in the UK, 2:30pm EST /11:30am PST in USA, on Saturday 24th April 2021 and will be broadcast live and free to view on FITE TV, AVO NETWORK, SPORTS CHANNEL NETWORK, SOWETO TV, PPV LIVE, as well as further linear and digital channels globally (please check local listings)