Month: February 2015
Malta Boxing Commission’s Managing Director and Vice President, Gianluca Di Caro and World Kick Boxing and Karate Association (WKA) Scotland President Stewart Allan today announced that they have joined forces to sanction professional boxing events in Scotland.
The new venture will not only present opportunities for Scottish Professional boxers to be able to compete more, but also will enable fighters from the Kick Boxing world to compete both as professional Boxers and Kick Boxers.
Whilst the intention of this venture is to sanction pro boxing events in Scotland, it also opens the doors to the possibility of combined pro Boxing and Kick Boxing events, with the boxing sanctioned by the MBC and Kick Boxing sanctioned by the WKA, not just in Scotland but also at any event sanctioned by the MBC in Malta, the United Kingdom or Ireland.
On making the announcement Mr. Allan said.
“We are very excited to be working with the Malta Boxing Commission, it can only be good for the sport to bring such a progressive professional boxing organisation to Scotland.
To join those from the pro boxing world with those of the Kick Boxing world is an exciting prospect, up to now the powers to be in the UK were quite happy for our Champions to switch disciplines and compete as pro boxers.
Unfortunately it has always been at the expense of the fighter’s Kick Boxing career, that’s been because once they have switched to pro boxing they are no longer allowed to compete as a Kick Boxer.
That will change, under our joint venture with the Malta Boxing Commission our fighters will be licensed and compete as pro boxers, as well as continue to campaign as Kick Boxers under the WKA.
For our fighters this means so much, they want to compete in both sports and have so much to offer to both.
This new partnership isn’t just about our fighters being able to fight in both disciplines, we will be actively be looking to develop the pro boxing side in Scotland, give Scottish boxers the chance to be more active than they have been in the past, we want to build up the MBC to benefit fighters from both disciplines.
We also want to bring more genuine 50/50 fights to Scotland, we don’t want it to be an extension of the current scene, we want to bring the fans genuine exciting closely matched fights, each and every show.”
MBC’s Mr. Di Caro then added.
“I couldn’t agree more with Stewart, this is a seriously exciting development for the sport, one that will benefit fighters from both Boxing and Kick Boxing.
When Stewart approached us with the concept we were open to it straight away, not for the reason many people will think, but because we had already made the decision that should anyone that competes in another pugilistic art that also wants to pro box, should be allowed to do so.
This decision was made some time ago, in fact it was when thirteen time World Champion Marlon Hunt first approached us about pro boxing under our banner.
Marlon is one of the top competitors in the Kick Boxing world, how could we possibly tell him that he has to give up fighting on the Kick Boxing circuit if he pro boxes, I mean he has World titles in Kick Boxing, K1, Muay Thai, with us he can defend those titles as well as begin challenging for Championships in boxing also.
I have to say, since I’ve mentioned Marlon, that when he joined us we didn’t quite realise what an asset he would become, he is a great ambassador for the MBC, with the fans and boxer’s alike, so much so that early last year he was unanimously elected onto the MBC Executive Committee.
Now, not only do we have the chance to have more of the top Kick Boxers competing in the pro boxing, but also have the opportunity of Kick Boxing World Champions from around the world competing for Championship honours as pro boxers.
On the business side of things Stewart will be the Chairman of the new MBC Scottish Region, as well as join the Executive Committee of the Malta Boxing Commission.
Stewart has big plans for the new venture and to that end has already signed up a couple of Scottish promoters, one of whom plans to promote the first MBC Scotland sanctioned event quite soon, probably in April or May.
I for one am so proud to be involved in this exciting new venture, I honestly feel that this will prove to be one of the best things to happen to our sport in a long, long time.
What’s more it will provide the boxing fans with a whole new breed of genuinely outstanding World class fighters to get behind, as well as present opportunities for Scottish boxers to be more active, which can only be good for the sport.”
For further information on the Malta Boxing Commission please go to:
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.
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.
A 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.
Chief 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.
Prior 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.
The 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.
Khan 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.
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!
HILLYARD KOs VOSYKA TO SECURE WBU INTERNATIONAL CROWN
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.
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.
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.”
KHAN RETURNS IN STYLE – STOPS VOROS IN 65 SECONDS!
On Friday night, at the York Hall in London, sensational Super Flyweight prospect Tasif Khan made his long awaited return to the ring, following a two year sabbatical from the sport, and boy oh boy did he do it in style.
For his first outing, since beating Elemir Rafael in December 2012, Khan faced Richard Voros, a highly experienced boxer and kick-boxer from Hungary, in a four round Super Bantamweight contest.
Voros came out hard and fast as soon as the opening bell rang, forcing Khan to cover up, however it didn’t take the Bradford lad more than about ten seconds to wrestle control from the hard charging Hungarian.
Khan turned the tables on his more experienced opponent with a good strong jab, before letting rip with a sensationally fast double handed flurry.
With Voros now covering up Khan took full advantage to dance around his opponent, picking him off at will with super fast combinations.
The power and accuracy of Khan’s clinical shots really paid off and on around the thirty second mark Voros was sent to the canvas for the first time.
Right from the restart Khan continued to use his nifty footwork to full advantage, picking off Voros at will, with powerful shots to body and head, before sending the Hungarian to the canvas with a peach of a right hand.
Voros just about managed to beat the count, only to succumb to a huge barrage of punches from the Bradford lad, the Hungarian did the only thing he could – cover up – but the amount of vicious shots from Khan and no return from Voros left referee Ken Curtis no option but to step in, to save the Hungarian from an almost certain knockout, on the one minute and five second mark.
Speaking shortly after the fight Tasif said.
“I’m happy with result and they way the win came about.
I felt good, I felt strong, I was relaxed and so pleased to be back fighting again.
Had a real good turnout, had brilliant support from my family and friends, so many people travelled down from Bradford to support me.
Back to the actual fight, I felt good, I felt sharp, maybe could have been a little heavier and sharper on my shots, but that will come back the more I fight, the next few fights I’ll iron that out.
I knew he’d come out fast, I was expecting that to be honest, he’s naturally a bigger fighter, he’s really from a division or two bigger than me, he normally fights at Featherweight or Super Featherweight I think, but I was expecting them to use his size advantage and put the pressure on me.
I did expect that but not just how crude he was, he liked to use his head and hold a lot, just trying to make it a messy fight, there the type of fights that it is hard to look good in, but thankfully I caught him with a good shot and picked it up from there – it landed sweet.
I hope the fans enjoyed the fight as much as I did, the ones that couldn’t make it hopefully next time they’ll be there so we can get the numbers up even more so I can put myself and Bradford on the map.”