Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sexton Holds Back the Years

Commonwealth heavyweight champion Sam Sexton has vowed to show no respect to his elders - and knock out "grandad" Martin Rogan on November 6. And the Norwich puncher says that after he has dealt with the Belfast favourite he'll turn his attention to the other old men of the domestic scene, Danny Williams and Audley Harrison. But first he must get past Rogan, whom he meets in an explosive rematch at the Odyssey Arena, Belfast, following their controversial first fight. Sexton, 25, insists that age will be key to victory when he goes for win number two."Martin keeps going on about how he feels like Peter Pan, but you've got to go with youth in this fight," said Sexton. "I made Rogan look like an old man the first time I met him and he hasn't stopped moaning like one since. "Let's face it, he's nearly 40 and once I've dealt with him the best thing for him to do will be retire and go to the park and feed the pigeons. "I'll run rings around him in Belfast and he won't be able to keep up. "I usually like to show respect to people who are older to me, but Rogan's been doing my head in with all his griping about the first fight, so I can't wait to shut him up. This time I'll make sure he can't say a word by knocking him out."Sexton was ahead on the scorecards in his first clash with Rogan when the fight was stopped because of the Irishman's badly swollen eye. This time there is even more on the line because the winner is in line for a shot at Danny Williams' British title - and the Commonwealth Champion insists it will be him. "For years the domestic scene has been dominated by fighters in their 30s, but right now there's a new generation coming through and I'm leading the pack," said Sexton. "In boxing terms, Martin is a grandad and he'll need his pipe and slippers after I've given him a beating. After I've sent him packing I'll finish off Williams once and for all, and then shut up Audley as well." Tickets, priced at £25 (tier), £30 (tier), £40 (central tier), £60 (floor), £100 (floor) and £150 (ringside) are available from: Odyssey Arena Box Office
02890 739 074 Ticketmaster 0844 277 4455 Frank Warren Promotions 01992 550 888

Sexton and Rogan in Title Quest

The winner of Sam Sexton's Commonwealth heavyweight title fight with Martin Rogan will be in line for a crack at the British title. The pair meet in Belfast on November 6 at the Odyssey Arena in a highly-anticipated rematch. And the British Boxing Board of Control has announced that whoever emerges victorious will be mandatory challenger for the British title. It was widely expected that the title would become vacant following champion Danny Williams' loss in the recent Prizefighter tournament. But there is no indication that Williams will retire despite the set back, and the Board have decided not to strip him. However, given his recent form, both Sexton and Rogan will be confident of beating him. Belfast hero Rogan said, "I'd love to get a shot at Danny and take that British title off him. I saw him on Prizefighter and after that performance I know I could knock him out," Norwich puncher Sexton said, "I'm focused on Rogan, but a fight against Williams is a golden carrot for me. I want the British title to add to my Commonwealth crown and I'm going to finish off Rogan to get to Williams." Despite being a former world title challenger and a long-term British champion, Williams appears to be well and truly on the slide.Sexton and Rogan go at it again on November 6 following their controversial first fight. Norfolk's Sexton won it in the eighth round when he forced Rogan to retire with a badly swollen eye, but had been out on his feet earlier in the session. Tickets, priced at £25 (tier), £30 (tier), £40 (central tier), £60 (floor), £100 (floor) and £150 (ringside) are available from: Odyssey Arena Box Office 02890 739 074 Ticketmaster 0844 277 4455 Frank Warren Promotions 01992 550 888

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Woods and Mickelson in Shanghai Showdown

Tiger Woods will aim to continue his remarkable record in the World Golf Championships arena when he and World Number Two Phil Mickelson headline an impressive American challenge for the WGC – HSBC Champions at the Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai from November 6-9. The World Number One has enjoyed a decade of dominance in WGC events, claiming an astonishing 16 individual WGC titles in total. His first triumph came in the WGC – NEC Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Ohio in August 1999, while his most recent success came a mere two months ago at the same venue in the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational.While next month sees the HSBC Champions elevated to a WGC event for the first time, it is a tournament Woods has not won in the past. Therefore, the chance to put that particular statistic right, while at the same time extending his own WGC record, is a challenge he admitted he will relish. “I played in the HSBC Champions in 2005 and 2006 and I look forward to returning to Shanghai in November,” he said. “It is an event that symbolises the amazing progress of golf in Asia and its new WGC status underlines how firmly China has established its place on the global golf calendar.” One man, however, who knows exactly what it takes to win the HSBC Champions is Phil Mickelson, who did just that in November 2007 when he emerged triumphant from a thrilling play-off at Sheshan against Englishmen Ross Fisher and Lee Westwood. The left-hander finished in a tie for eighth place in the last HSBC Champions in November 2008 but has already experienced success in the WGC arena this year, bravely overcoming a spell of heat exhaustion and dehydration at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Florida in March, to hold off the challenge of fellow American Nick Watney on the final day to win the WGC – CA Championship. “After The Open Championship, it is hard to think of a bigger and better tournament held outside America,” he said. “This tournament already had everything in place and deserves to be part of the WGC series. It has always attracted strong fields and so has a great reputation worldwide and I am really looking forward to trying to reclaim my title.” Watney, along with fellow US PGA Tour winners in 2009 – Brian Gay, Jerry Kelly and Sean O’Hair – will make the trip to Shanghai as will Stewart Cink, who memorably pipped Tom Watson for The Open at Turnberry in July. “I am really excited to be going to China for the first time,” said Cink, who already has a WGC title in his locker in the shape of the 2004 WGC – NEC (now Bridgestone) Invitational. “Anywhere the best players in the world are gathered together, you don’t want to miss out and I think it’s fantastic for world golf that China will be hosting the WGC – HSBC Champions.” The WGC – HSBC Champions will feature an increased prize fund of US$7 million and will bring together tournament winners from all over the globe as well as the best players from the International Federation of PGA Tours. Not surprisingly, Tiger Woods’ haul of 16 WGC individual titles is a record, those 16 victories coming in just 30 starts. Seven wins have come in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational (formerly the WGC-NEC Invitational), six have come in the WGC-CA Championship (formerly the WGC-American Express Championship) and three have come in the WGC-Accenture Match Play. Phil Mickelson’s victory in the HSBC Champions in November 2007 was his first title success outside of the United States since he won the 1993 Tournoi Perrier Paris on the European Challenge Tour.

Friday, October 09, 2009

England celebrate Olympic's Rugby Sevens

England's Ollie Phillips and Maggie Alphonsi welcome Rugby Sevens Olympics inclusion ENGLAND'S RUGBY SEVENS players today welcomed the sport's inclusion in the 2016 Olympics.An overwhelming vote (81 in favour, eight against) for inclusion by the International Olympic Committee members in Copenhagen means that the world's top men and women rugby players will have the opportunity to compete for an Olympic Gold medal in Rio de Janeiro.England Sevens captain and IRB World Sevens Player of the Year Ollie Phillips said: "It's fabulous news and I was doing cartwheels round my flat. As someone who has been involved in Sevens for a number of years and seen how the World Sevens Series has grown, for it now to be an Olympic sport is amazing. It's the pinnacle of sport, to be an Olympian - I just hope that my legs will be up to it in 2016 when I'm 32!"England Women's Sevens player Maggie Alphonsi said: "For Sevens rugby to be part of the 2016 Olympics is fantastic. All the world's very best athletes want to compete in the Olympics, and for rugby players that isn't any different. Now we have our chance. The Olympics represents excellence and being the best that you can be. It is the world's greatest sporting stage, and one of the very few events that has the ability to touch every nation. "Sevens rugby fits perfectly with the ethos of the Olympic Games. It's a competitive, skilful, an exciting game to watch and it has already shown it has the ability to reach out to new audiences across the world through the Rugby World Cup Sevens. All the England Women Sevens players are delighted with the decision by the IOC."Rob Andrew, the Rugby Football Union's Elite Rugby Director, said: "Sevens will be an invaluable addition to the Olympic Games. As proved in the Commonwealth Games, the IRB Sevens World Series and through its own Rugby World Cup, it is a thrilling spectacle that captivates the fans. "Sevens also forms a key part of the development of many players. Current England squad members like Tom Croft and Ugo Monye have benefitted from playing international sevens and always speak highly of it. "The thought of joining with the other home unions to make a Team GB is very exciting and on behalf of the RFU and the Elite Rugby department I am delighted that sevens rugby for men and women has been included."

Welsh welcome the Olympic's Rugby Sevens

The Welsh Rugby Union has welcomed today's decision to introduce Rugby Sevens into the Olympic Games from 2016 as a major boost for sport in Wales.The International Olympic Committee today met in Copenhagen and voted overwhelmingly in favour of including Sevens at the Rio De Janeiro games.It means that Wales' top men and women Rugby Sevens players will now be able to compete for places in UK squads which compete to bring the gold medals back to Britain.The WRU's Head of Rugby Performance and Development, Joe Lydon, said: "This is an important day in Welsh rugby history and certainly delivers a major boost to our Rugby Sevens ambitions."We are currently the world champions and this will ensure our players can focus on achieving on that new prize of an Olympic medal."The exposure Rugby Sevens will get from inclusion in the Olympics will draw many new people into the sport and that has clear benefits for the whole of Welsh rugby."We have an excellent international pathway structure in place here in Wales and now there is this new prize to compete for."A lot of people from Wales have striven particularly hard for this day, but I would like to single out the late Colin Hillman who worked tirelessly for Sevens rugby and would have been delighted at the decision taken today."The WRU Group Chief Executive, Roger Lewis, said: "This is an historic day for world rugby and the game here in Wales."We have already decided to focus hard on the Sevens game because it is such an key component of our elite structures."We are the world champions and within our new Participation Agreement with the four Regions Sevens Rugby is recognised as a priority for our best young players."In Wales we have the talent to compete with the best at Sevens and the lure of involvement in the 2016 Rio games will focus many of our youngsters on achieving the Olympic dream through rugby."The WRU Chairman, David Pickering, added:"The decision to include Rugby Sevens in the Olympics will help grow our game around the world."As more nations take up the rugby with serious ambition it will clearly benefit nations like Wales where the game is our national sport."Sevens is a fast and exciting sport which newcomers will quickly be able to appreciate and that appeal will draw more support into the fifteen a side game as well."Wales head coach Warren Gatland, added: "Rugby will remember this day as the moment the development of the sport took a great leap forward on the World stage."Rugby has a proud tradition and many important competitions are contested around the globe in an already thriving sporting calendar, but the Olympic games is the biggest sporting event on the planet and will represent another level for the Sevens game."A new breed of supporters and future players will be able to sample the delights of rugby union and the development of the game will be boosted in the American, African, Asian, Oceanic markets, as well as the more traditional heartlands, ensuring that our sport continues to grow from strength to strength. "The rugby world is not just excited by the prospect of competing in the Olympics, but also by the prospect of seeing what kind of impact a Great Britain rugby team intent on Olympic gold can make on the biggest stage of them all." Paul John, coach of the world champions Wales, now expects a huge impetus to hit the sport."The Americas, Chinas and Russias of the world will now see that it is an Olympic sport which will give the sport a huge boost," he said before adding the 2016 Olympics in Rio offers Welsh players the chance of reaching the pinnacle of their careers."This year there has been a huge investment in sevens since winning the World Cup. The Welsh Rugby Union realise the importance of getting a core of players within Wales taking part throughout the season, which means in six years time they could have the possibility of becoming British Lions, which is a huge incentive."John believes Sevens got the nod ahead of the other sports after the Olympic committee witnessed Wales winning the World Cup in Dubai earlier this year."The Olympic committee came over to Dubai and saw both the men's and women's competitions. If you look at the quarter-finals on, you had teams from Great Britain, Fiji, Argentina and so on - teams from virtually all of the continents were there. All sides are capable of beating each other and the sport is tremendously popular overseas. Whether it is in Adelaide, Wellington or Dubai, the support is phenomenal. Kenya have a huge travelling support second to none and the sport is just growing and growing. So the Olympic committee must have been impressed with what they saw on and off the pitch."

Golf returns to the Olympic Games

After an absence of more than a century, golf will return as an Olympic sport in 2016 and 2020, along with rugby sevens, following their approval by the International Olympic Committee membership during the IOC’s 121st Session. They will be part of the Olympic Programme in Rio de Janeiro, which last week was selected as the host city for 2016 Games by the IOC. Golf was last an Olympic sport at the 1904 Games in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, when the United States and Canada were the only two competing countries. “We are elated that the IOC membership has accepted golf as an Olympic sport, and look forward to seeing the world’s best golfers compete for gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro,” said Ty Votaw, Executive Director of the International Golf Federation Olympic Golf Committee, which has coordinated golf’s Olympic bid. “We thank the IOC for its support, and also congratulate rugby sevens for its inclusion in the 2016 Games.” Votaw and Peter Dawson, chief executive of The R&A and joint secretary of the International Golf Federation, were accompanied by professionals Padraig Harrington of Ireland, Michelle Wie of the United States and Suzann Pettersen of Norway, as well as 16-year-old (British) Amateur Champion Matteo Manassero of Italy, for a final presentation to the IOC prior to the vote. “We are extremely grateful that Padraig, Michelle, Suzann and Matteo were able to join us to help communicate the genuine interest world-class players of all ages share in golf becoming an Olympic sport,” Dawson said. Golf and rugby sevens were recommended for the Olympic Programme by the IOC Executive Board in August following an extensive review process involving seven sports that were vying to be added to the 2016 Olympic Games. Although they emerged as the finalists, both sports still required final approval today by a majority of votes cast by the members of the IOC. “In addition to those golfers who will have an opportunity to compete as Olympic athletes, we are excited for the national golf federations that will reap the benefits from today’s decision in terms of growth and support within their countries,” Dawson said. “This is a very significant day for golf.” Leading up to today’s final vote, golf and rugby sevens emerged from a year-long evaluation that included formal presentations by the seven sports, the submission of a Detailed Questionnaire and responses to questions raised by both the IOC Programme Commission and the IOC Executive Board. The IOC Executive Board announced its recommendation of two sports following a meeting in Berlin, Germany on August 13. “We strongly believed that golf deserved to be added to the Olympic Programme and felt that we presented a compelling case to the IOC,” Votaw said. “We have received unprecedented support from international golf organisations throughout this process, as well as from the world’s top-ranked men and women players, which was critical to our success. We also stressed the universal nature of golf, with 60 million people playing the sport in more than 120 countries.” Based on player feedback, the IGF has proposed a format of 72-hole individual stroke play for both men and women. In case of a tie for either first, second or third place, a three-hole playoff is recommended to determine the medal winner(s). The IGF also has recommended an Olympic field of 60 players for each of the men's and women's competition, using the Official World Golf Rankings as a method of determining eligibility. The top-15 world-ranked players would be eligible for the Olympics, regardless of the number of players from a given country. Beyond the top-15, players would be eligible based on the world rankings, with a maximum of two eligible players from each country that does not already have two or more players among the top-15. Current world rankings from both the men’s and women’s games show that at least 30 countries would be represented in both the men’s and women’s competitions, from all continents, under this proposal.

O' Grady backs Golf in the Olympics

George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, today welcomed the decision of the International Olympic Committee to admit golf into the Olympic Games in 2016 and 2020, and recognised the importance of the worldwide support that contributed to the dream becoming reality. The final vote on golf’s inclusion to the Olympic Programme – the sport was part of the Games in 1900 and 1904 – was announced this afternoon at the 121st International Olympic Committee session in Copenhagen, Denmark, at which O’Grady was in attendance as a member of the International Golf Federation along with Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A and joint secretary of the IGF, and Ty Votaw, Executive Director of the IGF Olympic Golf Committee. O’Grady said: “This is a proud and historic day for our sport. For golf to be associated again with the Olympic Games is a perfect fit in terms of honour and integrity, pride and passion, sportsmanship and goodwill. It is a positive decision which we warmly welcome. “We respond on behalf of the many international bodies, federations, individuals and indeed players who encouraged The European Tour to take a leadership position in securing the Olympic Dream for golfers of today and tomorrow worldwide. “They all share with us the desire to grow and galvanise the game globally and they instilled in us the confidence to persevere with our quest. The European Tour has a history of supporting and developing the game throughout the world and providing a platform for players from all countries to cultivate their careers. We also have a responsibility to reflect the views of all the countries where we are invited to play and indeed from where players come to compete on The European Tour. “The Olympics provide a special dream for the athletes of today and tomorrow and now golf can share in that dream. The Olympics will bring a new dimension to our sport; they will bring greater exposure and recognition; and they will bring millions of new faces into the game. “Golf is global and we are convinced that this decision will amplify awareness and additional progress in those countries where golf is still in its infancy. “We now look forward to golf taking place in the city of Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Many great golfers from South America have gained fame playing the game, including the great Roberto de Vicenzo, the winner of The 1967 Open Championship. In recent years The European Tour has been honoured to have among its membership Angel Cabrera, the US Open Champion in 2007 and Masters Champion this year, and the likes of Eduardo Romero, Vicente Fernandez, Ricardo Gonzalez and the Brazilians Jamie Gonzalez, winner of the Tournament Players’ Championship in 1984, Priscillo Diniz, twice a winner on the European Senior Tour, and Alexandre Rocha. “Of course, The European Tour is no stranger to Brazil. The Brazil Sao Paulo 500 Years Open, won by Padraig Harrington and Darren Fichardt in 2000 and 2001 respectively, and the Brazil Rio de Janeiro 500 Years Open, won by Roger Chapman in 2000, were played on The European Tour International Schedule. “History will determine how momentous the decision is for golf, and where the Olympics will sit in terms of the Major Championships. What we do know is that being part of the Olympic Games in 2016 will create an enthralling new challenge for the players and one which, as emphasised by other sports, will bring gold and glory for the winners, honour to all that participate and fulfilment to everyone involved. “We congratulate and thank the International Olympic Committee for taking this positive decision and we look forward to working with them in the future.” Throughout the process the International Golf Federation, the recognised International Federation for the sport of golf in the Olympic Movement, has underlined the unprecedented support by international golf organisations, including a commitment by those who conduct Major Championships, to adjust their summer schedules to ensure their respective tournaments will not conflict or compete with the Olympic golf competition, as well as the resounding support of golf’s top-ranked male and female players. O’Grady added: “The support of the players has been paramount to the success of the process. Many players gave their time to provide their support with Colin Montgomerie taking part in the presentation to the IOC executive board in Lausanne in June and Padraig Harrington participating in the final presentation before the International Olympic Committee here in Copenhagen.”

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Cleverly Boxes Clever

Nathan Cleverly hopes to be bidding for two vacant titles this year - the European light-heavyweight crown and the post of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambrdige University! One of Britain's most prestigious academic positions recently became open after world famous super-physicist Stephen Hawking stood down. The job has previously been held by Sir Isaac Newton - who discovered gravity - and Charles Babbage, the man credited with inventing the first computer. But Cleverly, 22, cheekily reckons he is an ideal candidate after successfully combining a career in the sweetest science with a four-year Maths degree at Cardiff University.The Welsh brain-box defends his British and Commonwealth light-heavyweight titles against Courtney Fry at Bethnal Green's York Hall on Friday night live on Sky Sports. And if he emerges victorious, promoter Frank Warren has promised him a crack at the European light-heavyweight crown on December 5 in Newcastle. But despite the pressure ahead of the Fry fight, Cleverly has loftier things on his mind. "British, Commonwealth, European champion...and Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambrdige University definitely has a nice ring to it," said Cleverly. "I've got my application ready, and I'm looking forward to hearing back from the boffins at Cambridge. "I may only be 22, but I'm pretty good on gravity because my opponents seem to hit the floor soon after getting in the ring with me. "My career is accelerating nicely too, and before too long I'm going to become an unstoppable force with an incredible power to weight ratio. "Even if I don't get the post at Cambridge, I'm quite happy to go up there and take part in a few experiments to show just how hard I can hit.

Saunders to face Spitko at York Hall

2008 Olympian Billy Joe Saunders has vowed to tame the man known as Pitbull when he makes his London debut at York Hall on Friday night. Saunders takes on prospect-killer Alex Spitko, who has already scalped four unbeaten fighters, live on Sky Sports. The Mansfield-based Latvian has taken on a string of big names in his pro career, and has earned himself the nickname Pitbull. But Saunders has promised a dogged performance - and reckons his opponent's bark will be worse than his bite. "Spitko looks a dangerous fighter and he's mixed in good company," said the 20-year-old. "He'll be coming to knock me out because I'm getting the big build up and I went to the Olympics. "I really hope that he does come with that attitude because it will bring out the best in me. "I've looked at his record and he has beaten four prospects, two of them in the first round, so I can't take him lightly at all. "But I've stopped my first three opponents and I'm looking for another KO victory on Friday night." Saunders turned professional earlier this year, and has won each of his fights in the second round, including his last outing, in Manchester in July. "I just want to keep busy and it's great to be fighting so soon again," said the Hatfield traveler. "I've always dreamed about fighting at York Hall as a professional, and it's fantastic to be getting an opportunity to do so. I don't think the fans will be going home disappointed." But Spitko, 23, warned him: "I love exposing prospects and I'm coming to take away Billy Joe's unbeaten record." Saunders' fight against Spitko will form part of the undercard to Nathan Cleverly's British and Commonwealth light-heavyweight title defence against Courtney Fry.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Froch's Date of Destiny with Dirrell

Carl “The Cobra” Froch says he’s primed and ready to hand unbeaten American star Andre Dirrell his first ever defeat when they meet in Group Stage 1 of the Super Six World Boxing Classic on October 17th. Froch’s WBC World Super Middleweight title will be up for grabs when the two men clash at the Trent FM Arena in Nottingham with new satellite channel Primetime set to broadcast the event live on pay per view in the UK and Ireland as part of a Super Six tournament double header from Nottingham and Berlin. While Froch will be looking to ruin Dirrell’s perfect record in his native Nottingham Arthur Abraham will also be on home soil in Berlin as he opens his Super Six tournament campaign in a clash of former World Middleweight Champions with American Jermain Taylor. It all adds up to a knockout night for fight fans and Froch is promising to live up to his growing reputation as one of the sports most exciting fighters. “I’ve proven I can get in the trenches and emerge on top,” said Froch. “He hasn’t been in that deep yet so let’s see what happens when he finds himself in that kind of fight.” Like Dirrell the 32-year-old Champion also boasts a perfect record having won all 25 of his pro fights with 20 of those wins coming inside the distance and he’s predicting another short night. “I believe I’ll knock him out, the sooner the better as far as I’m concerned. I’ve studied him and I think he has a number of flaws that I can exploit. My record proves I can punch and I just need one opportunity to finish a fight be it in the first round or the last round.” Primetime will broadcast the opening night of the Super Six tournament live from 9.30pm on Saturday, October 17th on Sky channel 480 with Arthur Abraham and Jermain Taylor exploding onto viewers screens in the first of the Super Six bouts live from Germany. Then it’s over to Nottingham as Froch and Dirrell put their undefeated records on the line in a WBC World Super Middleweight title clash.Primetime will build up to the event by screening Froch’s previous two world title fights, his twelve round thriller with Jean Pascal to win the WBC title and his sensational final round KO over Jermain Taylor in the U.S. in April. The fights will be broadcast from 7-10pm on Primetime each night leading up to the Super Six tournament double header on October 17th at 9:30 on the night. To purchase this Primetime event call: 0871 200 4444 (+448702 416 666 from the Republic of Ireland) or see The event costs £12.95 until 24hrs before the fight and £14.95 on the night. Tickets for Froch V Dirrell are available from the Trent FM Arena, Nottingham Box Office priced £30, £45, £125 and £400. To purchase tickets call the Box Office on 08444 124 624 or visit Tickets are also available from Ticketline on 0844 888 4402 or via Doors open at the Trent FM Arena from 7:30pm on the night with an action packed undercard getting underway at 8:30pm ahead of the main event which will start shortly after 2am. For more information on the Super Six World Boxing Classic including exclusive videos, photography, expert analysis from Al Bernstein and Steve Farhood, and much more please visit or visit About SUPER SIX WORLD BOXING CLASSIC. The inaugural Super Six World Boxing Classic is a ground-breaking, six-fighter tournament from SHOWTIME Sports® featuring the class of the super middleweight (168-pound) division. The field is comprised of world renowned fighters with a staggering combined record of 161-4-1 with 117 knockouts: former IBF middleweight champion “King” Arthur Abraham of Germany; U.S. Olympic medalist Andre “The Matrix” Dirrell of Flint, Mich.; WBC super middleweight champion Carl “The Cobra” Froch of England; WBA 168-pound champion Mikkel “Viking Warrior” Kessler of Denmark; former undisputed 160-pound world champion Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor of Little Rock, Ark.; and U.S. Olympic gold medalist Andre “S.O.G.” Ward of Oakland, Calif. All bouts in the Super Six World Boxing Classic will be contested under the Unified Rules of Boxing. Each boxer fights three bouts against different opponents in the field in the points-based Group Stage of competition (Win – 2 pts with a 1-pt bonus for KO/TKO; Loss – 0 pts; Draw – 1 pt.). After the Group Stage, the four fighters with the highest point totals will advance to the single-elimination Semi-Finals. The winners of the Semi-Final bouts will advance to the Finals and fight for the inaugural Super Six World Boxing Classic trophy.

Noren notches up August Ace

Alexander Noren has won The European Tour Shot of the Month for August, capping a fantastic summer in which he won his maiden European Tour title. The highly rated Swede was on the 18th fairway on the final day of the KLM Open and despite a tricky pin position finished the tournament in stunning fashion, firing an accurate approach which spun back into the hole for an eagle two. It was not enough to win Noren the title in Holland – he finished tied tenth on nine under - but he did not have to wait long as two weeks later he was celebrating his first European Tour victory, at the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre in the Swiss Alps. Second place in the Shot of the Month competition went to Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiménez for his superb approach to the 18th green on the final day of the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational. Jiménez’s line to the green was blocked by an overhanging tree but, undeterred, he produced a masterful draw which left the ball a few feet from the pin and he tapped in for a birdie to share sixth place. In third place was Swede Peter Hedblom for his majestic approach from the rough on the seventh hole at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles which was the catalyst for his one shot victory over compatriot Martin Erlandsson. The spectacular effort ended up on the lip of the cup and sparked a run of four consecutive birdies en route to a five under par 67.
Winners of the Shot of the Month in 2009 are: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland (January and March), Paul Casey of England (February and May) and Argentina’s Angel Cabrera (April), Rafa Echenique (June) and Ricardo Gonzalez (July). The European Tour Shot of the Month is awarded to the Tour Member for the shot judged to be the best played each month on The European Tour International Schedule. At the end of the season, the winning shot from each month will be nominated for the Shot of the Year Award.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Moore and Rhodes Title Eliminator

THE winner of next month's domestic battle of the year between Jamie Moore and Ryan Rhodes will be on the verge of a world title. Not only have will Moore's European light-middleweight title be on the line, but the WBC has granted the fight eliminator status for Sergio Martinez's world crown. It adds even more spice to the mouth-watering all southpaw clash which takes place at Bolton Arena on Friday 23rd October. Salford's Moore (32-3) is ranked third and Rhodes (42-4) seventh in the organisation's latest rankings for WBC champion 154lb Sergio Martinez's crown.
Moore's manager Steve Wood and co-promoter Frank Maloney hope that if Moore wins he will get a straight shot at the Argentinian or at a final eliminator against mandatory contender Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Maloney said: "I have lobbied the WBC and it is great that they are getting behind British boxing. "If Jamie wins he will go to the WBC convention in Jeju, Korea in early November and try and get him the fight he dreams of. "This fight is already potentially the domestic fight of the year, but this great news from the WBC makes it even bigger. No wonder tickets are flying out of the door." The Frank Maloney promoted show will be one the biggest in Britain this year with FIVE title fights at the 4000 capacity arena. In the chief support the bill a battle of little big men sees St Helens Gary Davies (9-2-1) risks his British bantamweight title against Ian Napa (18-7). The pair were due to clash this week, but Davies who won the crown against Matthew Edmonds in April sustained a calf injury. A third title sees Burnley star Stuart McFadyen (12-1-1) challenge Doncaster's Jamie McDonnell (11-2-1) for the vacant English super-flyweight title.

Khan defends against Salita in Newcastle

Amir Khan will make the first defence of his world title against Dmitriy Salita at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle on Saturday 5th December promoter Frank Warren confirmed today. Khan, who won the WBA light-welterweight belt in July with a punch-perfect performance over Andreas Kotelnik, faces a hard first defence against the new star of American boxing. Salita, the mandatory challenger for Khan's title, was born in Odessa, Ukraine, and moved with his family to Brooklyn, New York, when he was nine years old. He is an observant Jew and strictly follows Jewish law so if he fights on a Saturday then it must begin after sundown, the end of the sabbath. He famously said, "Anyone who wants a good whuppin' from me is just going to have to wait until sundown." This will be Khan's first fight in Newcastle and Warren has taken his biggest stars to the big-fight city in the past including Nigel Benn, Joe Calzaghe, Naseem Hamed and Ricky Hatton. Warren said, "For Amir's first defence this is a very tough fight for him and he's taking on a fighter that the American media are really building up at the moment," "Salita's got a great record, he's unbeaten and carries a big punch and of course he will pose a threat to Amir, but Amir's a world class fighter and has to deal with these challengers," "I've promoted a lot of shows in Newcastle with all the big names like Naz, Calzaghe, Hatton and Benn and I'm delighted to bring Amir to the city for the first time," "The public there are big sports fans and love the big events and it's great to bring them a fight like Khan v Salita."

Friday, October 02, 2009

Monty's countdown to Ryder Cup 2010

Ryder Cup Captain, Colin Montgomerie, checked today’s date in his diary – October 1 – and couldn’t resist letting his mind wander ahead 365 days from now. For on the very same morning next year, The 2010 Ryder Cup will get under way amid a frenzy of excitement at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales. No-one feels the sense of anticipation more than the 46 year old Scot, who will lead Europe against Corey Pavin’s United States side at The Twenty Ten Course by declaring: “The countdown is on.” Montgomerie, who played in eight Ryder Cups, is currently competing in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in his native Scotland, while at The Celtic Manor Resort, City of Newport, the notable date in the diary was being marked with an eagerly expectant ceremony on the first tee of The Twenty Ten Course. He said: “This is a massive, massive deal for Wales and I am so honoured to be able to take a Team there and to captain them in the quest of regaining The Ryder Cup. We have a golden opportunity, so it is our responsibility to go down to Wales in a professional manner and win the Cup back. “When Wales was successful with its bid to host The Ryder Cup it seemed such a long time away but now, here, it is only a year away which shows how amazingly quickly time goes by. “I guarantee this next year will fly by, too, now that the qualifying process has begun and my Team is starting to gather points. I know it has only been a few weeks now but the qualification has begun and we now look forward to the whole Ryder Cup experience taking place. “It will be great to see all the players fighting for automatic qualification over the next 12 months and those who don’t make it, of course, will have to try and impress me in other ways, so it is exciting for me, exciting for The Celtic Manor Resort and exciting for Wales. To mark the start of the 365 day countdown to the greatest team contest in golf, representatives from Ryder Cup Wales, The Celtic Manor Resort and their partners in this global event gathered at the purpose-built Twenty Ten Course at The Celtic Manor Resort, City of Newport, which provides Wales with an unrivalled opportunity to showcase itself on a global stage. Standing on the first tee of The Twenty Ten Course, where Europe will launch their bid to regain The Ryder Cup from the United States, were Richard Hills, Europe’s Ryder Cup Director; John Jermine, Chairman, Ryder Cup Wales; Dylan Matthews, Chief Executive, The Celtic Manor Resort; Jim McKenzie, Director of Golf Courses, The Celtic Manor Resort; Andrew Davies AM, Minister for Finance and Public Service Delivery and Cllr Matthew Evans, Leader of Newport City Council. Of course, the atmosphere ahead of the first tee shot on Friday, October 1 next year will be palpably different from the calm and tranquillity of today’s photo call, but the sense of excitement is growing in Wales, especially now that a nine-year wait to host The Ryder Cup is just 365 days away. George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, added: “It has been an inspiring journey to bring The Ryder Cup to Wales and we would like to congratulate Sir Terry Matthews on the realisation of his vision and the determination of the Rt Hon Rhodri Morgan and his colleagues for their outstanding achievements to date. We wish everyone well for the final 365 days.” Explaining the on-going work to stage the event, Ryder Cup Director, Richard Hills, said: “We continue to be extremely impressed by the huge commitment being made by everyone at The Celtic Manor Resort. Sir Terry’s vision gave birth to a dream, and seeing that dream move towards reality is a joy for all involved. There is only one year to go now and we know that all of Wales will have good reason to feel very proud when The 2010 Ryder Cup begins on October 1 next year.” Meanwhile, the new £2 million twin-suspension bridge over the River Usk, the final major piece of construction for The 2010 Ryder Cup, is closer to linking The Twenty Ten Course to the purpose-built practice facility on the other side of the river. The 120-metre long, 4.2-metre wide, cable stayed bridge is due to connect to both river banks this weekend with reinforcement works on course to be completed by the end of the year.

Cabrera-Bello is September's Shot Maker

Spaniard Rafael Cabrera-Bello has been named The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month for September after his stunning final round 60 at the Austrian Golf Open which helped clinch his first European Tour victory. The 25 year old Challenge Tour graduate, who will receive a jeroboam of Moët & Chandon champagne along with an engraved alms dish in recognition of his achievement, joined an exclusive group of players to win a European Tour event after carding a 60 on the final day, namely Ian Woosnam, who did so at the Monte Carlo Open in 1990, and Jamie Spence, who repeated the feat at the 1992 European Masters. Cabrera-Bello began the last round at Fontana Golf Club eight shots behind leader Benn Barham, but powered his way to the top of the leaderboard with an incredible 11 birdies and even had a 30 foot putt at the last for a 59, which would have been the lowest score ever recorded in European Tour history. The round also created and equalled a number of 2009 European Tour records, being the lowest score, lowest final 36 and 54 hole totals of 126 and 193 respectively, equal lowest 18 holes in relation to par, equal lowest 72 hole winning total of 264, lowest final round by a winner and largest final round comeback of the season. “It is a huge honour to win this award,” he said. “It is a pleasure to see my name there alongside many great players that have won this award in the past and it gives me a lot of motivation and confidence for the future. This is the culmination of many years of hard work. I feel very proud and it is very rewarding for what has been the best month of my career. I had been struggling a bit recently so to flip the coin like this so quickly is fantastic.” Cabrera-Bello, the 14th first-time winner of the season, fought off strong competition for the award, in particular from another first time winner, Alex Noren of Sweden, who captured the Omega European Masters in Switzerland. But the weight of the judging panel, which comprised members of the Association of Golf Writers in addition to commentators from television and radio, came down in favour of the Spaniard. Other players to be commended by the panel were James Kingston of South Africa, the Mercedes-Benz Championship winner, and England’s Chris Wood, who won four and a half points from a possible five at The Vivendi Trophy with Seve Ballesteros under the superb captaincy of Paul McGinley. Cabrera-Bello joins Rory McIlroy (January), Geoff Ogilvy (February), Søren Kjeldsen (March), Angel Cabrera (April), Shane Lowry (May), Nick Dougherty (June), Martin Kaymer (July) and Lee Westwood (August) as a winner of The 2009 Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month Award. The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year will be selected following the Dubai World Championship at the Earth Course, Jumeirah Golf Estates, from November 19-22, 2009, where the winner of The Race to Dubai will be confirmed.

Portugal Masters attracts star-studded field

The Portugal Masters field is shaping up to be the strongest in the tournament’s history with a host of European Tour stars being lured to the Oceânico Victoria Golf Course on the Algarve from October 15 – 18. Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Ross Fisher have all confirmed their places in the event, which was developed by the Portuguese government and is part of its National Tourism Strategy. Turismo de Portugal has helped build the Portugal Masters into a world-class tournament, and its partnership with The European Tour has also brought the Estoril Open de Portugal to the International Schedule, in addition to Senior and Challenge Tour events. Only five events will remain at the conclusion of the Portugal Masters before The European Tour’s top 60 players head to the Dubai World Championship for the season’s lucrative finale, and the competition is sure to be intense as a high quality field battle it out for the €500,000 winner’s share of the €3million prize fund. As well as McIlory, Westwood and Fisher, respectively third, fourth and sixth in The Race to Dubai before this week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, Søren Kjeldsen, Oliver Wilson and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño will be playing at Oceânico Victoria. Europe’s reigning Number One, Robert Karlsson, will continue his comeback from a serious eye injury which sidelined him for four months this season. Two-time US Open winner Retief Goosen is another star name who will be descending on Vilamoura, joining defending champion Alvaro Quiros, three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington, former Open Champions Ben Curtis and Paul Lawrie and 2003 US PGA Championship winner Shaun Micheel. Graeme McDowell, whose impressive partnership with McIlroy helped Great Britain and Ireland retain the Vivendi Trophy with Seve Ballesteros last weekend, is also in the field, as are Justin Rose, Jeev Milkha Singh and Rafael Cabrera-Bello, who was named Golfer of the Month for September following his victory in the Austrian Golf Open, where he shot a stunning 60 in the final round. Many players will also have The 2010 Ryder Cup at the back of their mind as well as their Race to Dubai ranking, as the battle to be part of Colin Montgomerie’s European Team to take on Corey Pavin’s Americans at The Celtic Manor Resort next year gathers momentum. Chris Wood will be keen to carry his good form to Oceânico Victoria, having won four and a half points from five at the Vivendi Trophy, under the superb captaincy of Paul McGinley, who will also be present in Portugal.

Groves joins Maloney's Stable

GEORGE GROVES has signed a promotional deal with Frank Maloney, and will box at Seaburn Centre, Sunderland on Friday 16th October. The super-middleweight sensation, 21, will continue to be managed by Hayemaker Promotions and trained by Adam Booth. Maloney believes he now has the three best super-middleweight prospects in the country on his books, Olympic bronze medallist Tony Jeffries (3-0), Travis Dickinson (3-0) and Groves (4-0). All three will be in action on the Sunderland bill and inside 18 months they could be boxing each other for major titles.Maloney said: "I am delighted to have signed a promotional deal with George who is one of the world's best young prospects. "Down the line there could be a rivalry between himself, Tony and Travis to match the 1990s competition between Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank and Michael Watson. "Obviously there has to be a lot of discussion with George and his management team Adam Booth and David Haye, but a match against Travis is the obvious one. "There is some unfinished business from their amateur days and George won't mind me saying there is a score to settle." As an amateur Groves won two ABA middleweight titles, gold at the EU championships and was an accomplished kick boxer. Heading the talent bursting Sunderland bill is a British super-bantamweight title defence by Jason Booth (33-5) who faces Hartlepool's former European champion Michael Hunter. Booth, 31, will be having his 17th major title contest and making the second defence of the championship he won against Mark Moran in April.

Rogan's Fairytale Fight

Belfast heavyweight Martin Rogan says he feels like Peter Pan and has vowed to be Captain Hook when he meets Sam Sexton next month. Rogan will take on Sexton at Belfast's Odyssey Arena on November 6 in an eagerly anticipated Commonwealth Heavyweight Title rematch.Sexton won the first fight in controversial circumstances when he halted Rogan on a swollen-eye stoppage in the eighth round in May. It was the 38 year-old's first defeat - but he says despite giving away more than a decade to Sexton, he feels younger than ever in training. "I'm like Peter Pan the moment," said Rogan. "Training is going so well that if someone told me I could fly I would believe them. "I've definitely found the secret to eternal youth because I'm fitter and stronger now than I was when I was 21. "I'm still more than a month away from fight night, but if I had to go 20 rounds with Sexton tomorrow night, I could do. "I'm in the shape of my life and Sexton is going to be in a big trouble next month. "He was puffing and panting in our first fight after six rounds, so imagine what he's going to be like against a fitter, hungrier fighter." Rogan vowed to stop Sexton on November 6 - and do to so early. "I'm preparing for war, and while I feel like Peter Pan in training camp, I'm going to be Captain Hook at the Odyssey - Sexton's going down in a blitz and I'll be looking to take him out early doors," added the fiery Irishman. Tickets, priced at £25 (tier), £30 (tier), £40 (central tier), £60 (floor), £100 (floor) and £150 (ringside) are available from: Odyssey Arena Box Office 02890 739 074 Ticketmaster 0844 277 4455 Frank Warren Promotions 01992 550 888

Brook calls on friend Naseem Hamed

New British Boxing Writers' Young Boxer of the Year Kell Brook says he'll be seeking advice from a former winner - Naseem Hamed. Sheffield's Brook defends his British welterweight title at the Liverpool Echo Arena on October 30 against Michael Jennings. The hot shot has already won the Lonsdale belt outright, but is looking to notch another win against his closest British rival in a mouthwatering War of the Roses clash. And he says he'll be taking a few tips from Naz ahead of his next fight. Unbeaten Brook, who is in the middle of a hot KO streak, has been compared to Hamed ever since he turned professional as a teenager. Like The Prince, Brook is trained by Brendan Ingle, and a combination of unorthodox style and stunning power have made him a firm favourite with fans. "Naseem was always my hero when I was growing up, and to be compared to him is very flattering," said Brook. "I'm always looking for ways to improve, and I know getting advice from Hamed will help me go to the next level. "Everyone keeps telling me that I am good enough to win a world title, but if I hear it from the mouth of a legend like that then it will really boost my confidence." The 23-year-old, who makes the fourth defence of his British welterweight title against Jennings, has vowed to go all the way to world glory - just like Hamed. "I've got the power, I've got the skill and I've got the desire," he said. "Jenning is a stepping stone to greater things. "It reminds me a bit of when Hamed fought Steve Robinson. Everyone said that Naz was to young and would get exposed by the more experienced fighter.
"But he went in there and blasted out Robinson and I'll do the same to Jennings. I'm winning this fight by knockout and no one will stop me." Tickets priced at £30 (Tier), £40 (Tier), £50 (Tier), £100 (Floor), £150 (Floor) and £200 (Ringside) are available from: Liverpool Echo Arena
0844 8000 400 Ticketmaster 0844 847 2500
Frank Warren Promotions 01992 550 888

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Brook is Boxing Writers Choice

Welterweight hotshot Kell Brook has landed the prestigious Boxing Writers' YoungBoxer of the Award.The undefeated British champion pipped Welsh star Nathan Cleverly by just onevote in the closest ballot in the award's 57-year history.Sheffield talent Brook, who boxes out of the famous Brendan Ingle gym, makes thefourth defence of his Lonsdale belt against Michael Jennings in a Britishblockbuster showdown at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on October 30th.Previous winners include Ken Buchanan, John H Stracey, Barry McGuigan, NigelBenn, Naseem Hamed, Joe Calzaghe, Scott Harrison and Amir Khan.Brook said, "It's a great honour that the boxing writers have nominated meas their choice of Young Boxer of the Year,""To have my name next to the greats of British boxing is fantastic and Iaim to prove that the boxing writers were right in their choice by going on towin a world title.The 23-year-old made the Lonsdale his property with three quick-fire defences ofthe title in only six rounds of boxing.He added, "I'm looking forward to my fight against Jennings next month andtraining is going great, so it could be another quick night.""Jennings is a quality fighter though and he may extend me further that myprevious opponents, but I'm relishing the challenge."Brook will be presented with the Geoffrey Simpson award at the Writers' Club'sannual dinner next month in London.Tickets priced at £30 (Tier), £40 (Tier), £50 (Tier), £100 (Floor), £150 (Floor)and £200 (Ringside) are available from:Liverpool Echo Arena0844 8000 400 Ticketmaster0844 847 2500
Frank Warren Promotions01992 550 888