Friday, February 19, 2010

Bellew in line for Title Shot

Tony Bellew has been given his first title opportunity by promoter Frank Warren on March 12 at the Liverpool Echo Arena. The Bomber will face unbeaten Ghanaian Atoli Moore in a challenge for the vacant Commonwealth light-heavyweight crown. Atoli, a 27-year-old from Accra, has an impressive 10-0 (6) record and comes to the ring as Ghana's light-heavyweight champion. But Bellew is confident of lifting the belt once held by fellow scouser and legend John Conteh. "It's fantastic to be given this chance," said Bellew. "I've always said that I've wanted to follow in Conteh's footsteps and win British, Commonwealth, European and world titles. "Hopefully this is just the start. "Moore is going to be a tough guy to beat. Africans have a reputation for being durable, but I don't think that he'll be able to stand up to my bombs." Bellew, 27, has a 12-0 record with eight stoppages, but Moore isn't intimidated. "I am coming to England to destroy this man and win the title," said the man known as the Deadly Spear. "He will be lucky to still be standing after three rounds in the ring with me."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Paul Smith meets local rival Tony Dodson

Paul Smith has told promoter Frank Warren not to prepare world title shots for just Kevin Mitchell and Nathan Cleverly. That's because the scouser is determined to join his fellow Brits in their charge to the top. Smith defends his British super-middleweight title against local rival Tony Dodson at the Liverpool Echo Arena on March 12 live on Sky Sports 1. It's his first fight since winning the Lonsdale belt in a thriller against Tony Quigley. And the 27-year-old says that a second victory against another Liverpudlian can take him a step close to a world title opportunity.
Currently number four with the WBO, Smith says he's been inspired by the exploits of Mitchell and Cleverly at the weekend. "British boxing is buzzing right now and I want to get in on the act," said Smith. "I watched Kevin and Nathan on Saturday night and they were a real inspiration. "They are ready to make a step up to the next level, but so am I. "Hopefully we can all be boxing for world titles before the end of the year and really get the sport going again. "I remember a few years ago when we had seven or eight world champions. "We've got three at the moment but everyone wants more and I think that is going to happen in the coming months and years. "I've told Frank not to forget about me when he's sorting out world title fights for Cleverly and Mitchell!" Smith, who has lost just one of his 29 fights, knows that his clash with Dodson could be the hardest of his career. "I'm not underestimating Dodson at all," he said. "He's a tough fighter and I have a lot of respect for what he can do between the ropes. "But I need to beat these guys if I want to win a Lonsdale belt outright. That's always been my ambition and hopefully I can do that and then move on to bigger and better things."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Big Fights Beckon for Cleverly and Mitchell

Nathan Cleverly and Kevin Mitchell have promised even bigger wins following their impressive championship victories at the weekend. Mitchell will probably take on Michael Katsidis in the summer for the WBO World Lightweight title, with his promoter Frank Warren poised to open negotiations with Katsidis' handlers Golden Boy Promotions. The Dagenham Destroyer, who easily crushed Ignacio Mendoza at the weekend, says his preference would be for a showdown with the Australian at Upton Park football ground, home of his beloved West Ham. But he also said he would be prepared to travel to the States to tackle Katsidis if that was what it took to get the fight on. "I'm ready to make the step up," said Mitchell. "Everything has come together nicely in my last few fights. It's taken me a couple of fights to grow into the lightweight division but I've carried my power up and all I want now is to fight for the world title." Cleverly captured the European light-heavyweight title against Antonio Brancalion at Wembley Arena, and he too has designs on a world title. The young Welshman takes his university finals in May, and may not fight before them, but if he doesn't he will make a defence of his European belt in June or July. "Boxing is just a hobby at the moment, I'm doing it part time because of my studies," said Cleverly. "When I graduate I will dedicate 100% of my time to it and you will see another 25% improvement from me. "It's been a whirlwind 18 months since I won the Commonwealth title. I'll reflect on what I've done and then I'll look to move on to bigger and better things. A couple of defences of my European belt would be good, but I don't want to stop there." Warren added: "I've been banging on about Mitchell and Cleverly for the last few months, and they showed what talent they have got on Saturday night. "I want to keep them busy and in big fights, and hopefully we can make an announcement very soon about where they are going to go next." Meanwhile Warren's two Olympians, Frankie Gavin and James DeGale, could find themselves fighting for titles sooner rather than later having scored impressive victories over Peter McDonagh and Matt Barr on Saturday.

Monday, February 08, 2010

DeGale set for Homecoming fight

James DeGale says fighting at home for the first time on Saturday means he'll get a perfect preparation - a cup of tea and an afternoon in front of the telly. DeGale, the 2008 Olympic middleweight champion, boxes at Wembley Arena on February 13, his first fight in London since his success in Beijing. For his five previous professional outings, DeGale has boxed up and down the country - but is now relishing his big home coming on Frank Warren's Night of the Champions. "I can't wait to show all my fans, friends and family just what I can do," said the 23-year-old. "And what's even better is that I can put my feet up in my own front room on the day of the fight. "The most stress I'll get will be making a cup of tea at home, and if I want to I can even walk to the venue!" Meanwhile DeGale, who is 5-0 as a professional, has revealed that he's been sparring HEAVYWEIGHTS in a bid to get in shape for opponent Matthew Barr. "I had a great training camp working with two of the country's best heavyweights, Danny Williams and John McDermott," said DeGale. "They've been hitting me with all they have got but I've taken their best shots and come firing back. It will definitely stand me in good stead on Saturday night and then as I move up in class." The super-middleweight added that he is targeting a title by the end of 2010, with the English, British and Commonwealth belts at 168 pounds firmly in his sights. "I'm looking for a big year, five or six fights and a title as well," said DeGale. "I'm ready to make that step up and start boxing over 10 and 12 rounds."

Friday, February 05, 2010

Start of European Senior Tour

The start of the 2010 European Senior Tour campaign has been further strengthened with the announcement of the inaugural Chang Thailand Senior Masters 2010 presented by ISPS from March 12-14, 2010. Royal Gems Golf & Sports Club, in Bangkok, will host the $400,000 event, continuing the Senior Tour’s developing links with the Far East a week after the second edition of The Aberdeen Brunei Senior Masters presented by The Stapleford Forum. Players will be keen to build some early season momentum following the exciting finale to the 2009 season which saw Sam Torrance edge past Ian Woosnam to win the battle of the Ryder Cup winning Captains in the Order of Merit. Both tournaments are part of the Senior Tour’s relationship with promoters WSM Sponsorship, which staged four tournaments on the 2009 Senior Tour Schedule.The Chang Thailand Senior Masters 2010 presented by ISPS will see some of Europe’s leading Senior players visit the Royal Gems Golf & Sports Club for the first time. This course is known as "The Crown Jewel" of Thailand's golf courses and is commonly recognised as one of the best courses in South East Asia. Charles Perring, Deputy Managing Director of the European Senior Tour, said: “This event will be a welcome addition to the Senior Tour’s early season schedule on the back of our second visit to Brunei.“We’d like to thank Royal Gems Golf & Sports Club and Lars Londal for helping to create this tournament which will showcase Thailand and Bangkok to an international television audience. “Our thanks must also go to WSM and ISPS for their ongoing support of the Senior Tour into 2010, which promises to be another fascinating season with Ian Woosnam trying to reclaim the John Jacobs Trophy back from Sam Torrance.” Andrew White, Chief Executive of WSM Sponsorship said “We have been working hard to ensure that two European Senior Tour events take place in Asia in 2010. The Aberdeen Brunei Senior Masters in 2009 was a great success and we very much wanted to build on that by staging two consecutive events to make the journey more worthwhile for the professional golfers. ”

Mendoza prepared to face Mitchell

Hitman Ignacio Mendoza has been taking tips from fellow countryman Breidis Prescott ahead of his clash with Kevin Mitchell. The Colombian, who is now based in Spain, tackles unbeaten Mitchell in a WBO Intercontinental lightweight title fight on February 13 at Wembley Arena on Frank Warren's Night of the Champions. And he has vowed to avenge the defeat Mitchell inflicted on Prescott back in December. "Mitchell dented my country's pride when he beat our national hero Breidis Prescott who destroyed Amir Khan," said 26-year-old Mendoza. "I will be out for revenge when we meet at Wembley and I will do to Mitchell what Breidis did to Khan," "Breidis said to me that he didn't perform as he should have against Mitchell and has told me of his weaknesses. "Prescott fought the wrong fight against Mitchell and tried to land one big punch and Mitchell outboxed him, but that won't happen with me. "I plan to rough him up a bit more and try and match him blow for blow and wear him down." Mendoza turned professional in his native Colombia in 2002 before moving to Spain, and he now has stopped 18 out of 34 opponents. And he says that victory over Mitchell will be a big break through in his professional career. "If I win then I can get a world title shot," he said. "I take a lot of heart from the what happened when Prescott fought Amir Khan. "Khan was supposed to be on the verge of a world title opportunity that night and Prescott was going to get knocked out, but looked what happened. I can do the same against Mitchell."

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Schwartzel named Golfer of the Month for January

South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel has been named as The European Tour Golfer of the Month for January after beginning 2010 in spectacular fashion by recording back-to-back victories in his homeland. Schwartzel, who receives a jeroboam of Moët & Chandon champagne and an engraved alms dish in recognition of his achievements, leapt to the top of The Race to Dubai Rankings by capturing the Africa Open in the second week of January and followed by that with success in the Joburg Open seven days later. The 25 year old finished one shot ahead of fellow countryman Thomas Aitken in the Africa Open with a 20 under par total of 272 at East London Golf Club, then returned to his home town of Johannesburg to claim the Joburg Open with a 23 under par score of 261 on this occasion. With a combined total of 43 under par for those two events, Schwartzel became the fourth South African golfer to win consecutive European Tour tournaments following in the footsteps of Ernie Els, Dale Hayes and Richard Sterne. Schwartzel, who saw off stiff competition from Germany’s Martin Kaymer, winner of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and Robert Karlsson, champion last week in the Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy, said: “Obviously, being named as The European Tour’s Player of the Month is a nice achievement to have. I am very pleased with the award, since you can never have enough trophies!” Following an opening round of 68 to share the early lead in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club today, Schwartzel added: “I couldn’t have asked for a much better start to 2010. At the end of last year I felt like I was starting to play really well but it just wasn’t happening for me. Then I came out after Christmas and all of a sudden things started happening.”

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Chisora to fight Baker

Derek Chisora will tackle Carl "The Fridge" Baker on February 13 at Wembley Arena in an eliminator for the British heavyweight title. Baker holds a win over Danny Williams, who pulled out of a clash with Chisora last week. Del Boy appears to be a man that few domestic heavyweights fancy facing, after English champion Tyson Fury headed to America rather than take on his UK rival. But Baker, who beat Williams in last year's Prizefighter tournament, has stepped up to the plate and is vowing to end Chisora's unbeaten record. However the Finchley hero, who will fight near his north London home, says that won't happen. "Baker's going to be tough, but I'm ready to knock him out and show I'm the best in Britain," stormed Chisora. "I'm disappointed that I won't be fighting for the British title against Williams, but my promoter Frank Warren has worked hard to make sure that this fight is an eliminator for the Lonsdale belt. "I'll get my hands on it later this year, and having to wait now will make it all the sweeter when I finally get to lift it. "I'm just glad that someone had the bottle to face me in the end. "Williams claimed he was injured, while Fury's got a big mouth but no guts to back it up. He's so scared of me I'm suprised he didn't go all the way to Australia. "Full respect to Baker for agreeing to the fight, but there's only one winner, and that's me." Baker, a 28-year-old southpaw from Sheffield who has previously won the British heavyweight title, insists that he will emerge victorious. "Chisora's an exciting young prospect but beating Williams had give me a massive confidence boost," he said. "I'm always in training, and although I've been given this fight at short notice, I'll be in great shape on the night. I'm not coming to London to make up the numbers. "It's always been my dream to win the British title and I'll be a step closer once I've knocked out Chisora."