Friday, January 27, 2012

Burns awarded WBO title

Ricky Burns has been declared the full WBO World Lightweight Champion after Mexican Manuel Marquez has moved up to the welterweight division. Scottish star Burns won the Interim title when he beat Michael Katsidis last November in his first fight at lightweight, with Marquez holding the full title while he decided his next move. This means that Burns will go into his title fight against former world champion Paulus Moses on March 10th at the Braehead Arena as the full champion."When I beat Katsidis I felt like a world champion anyway, but this makes it all real and I'm thrilled with the news that I'm now the official full world champion," said Burns."It's a great feeling, but now it's now back to reality and training hard for what will be a tough title defence against Moses in my Scottish homecoming on March 10," "For the last ten years I've been grafting away in my career, but in the last couple of years it has really taken off with me beating Martinez and then beating a great warrior like Katsidis to put me up with the best in the world," The 28-year-old joins WBO World Light-Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly as Britain's only two world champions, with Cleverly defending his title against American Tommy Karpency on February 25th at Cardiff's Motropoint Arena."Nathan's a great fighter and Britain has now got two world champions to be proud of who can fly the flag on the world stage." added Burns.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Harrison returns to the Ring

On 14th April 2012 at the Brentwood Centre Essex, former Olympic and European Champion and World title challenger Audley Harrison, makes his return to the ring when he faces the up and coming prospect Ali Adams in a 10 round Championship contest. Audley wants redemption for his performance against David Haye, where he has been the subject of mass criticism for his performance. Audley says he wants to come back and give it one last shot, but Ali Adams is determined to close the curtain on his career. Audley said ‘I’ve never been more disappointed in myself as I felt that night…anyone can lose, but I didn’t lose with dignity, so I was never going to retire on that performance.’After falling off the boxing radar when slipping to that famous defeat against Haye, many of the British boxing public will be looking to see whether or not Harrison deserves one last roll of the dice with Adams providing a very stern test. Audley said ‘I’ve been sitting on the shelf for 15months, so I’m grateful for this opportunity…with my right arm now healed, I’ll have too much for Ali Adams. I intend to show I still have a future in the game’. Promoter Steve Goodwin of Goodwin Promotions who has secured the staging of this exciting bout stated “Audley has a big name in boxing and beyond, as was seen with his success in “Strictly Come Dancing”. We will see whether his fighting days are over. Ali is hungry, fit and has tons of heart and believes this is his date with destiny, whilst for Audley it is his final chance; retirement beckons if Audley loses this bout…I’m so confident that Ali has his number; I’ve put my money where my mouth is and made this fight without TV. Adams may be somewhat of an unknown to the casual boxing fan, however the Iraqi-born heavyweight, who picked up his first title last time out in December, now looks to make the step up in class by fighting Harrison. Ali said “Audley is a joke. His fight with Haye was an embarrassment and he still wants to make a comeback. I will give him such a beating that Audley will see he does not belong in a boxing ring again.” The bill will be action packed including the return of Prizefighter Welterweight Champion Yassine “The showman” El Maachi in a 10 round title contest. The most exciting boxer in Africa and Ghanaian champion Richard Commey, who has 11 wins from 11 fights all by knockout, will make his first appearance in the UK. His advisor Michael Amoo-Bediako says “ We want to show the British public a future World Champion; in 12 months he will be ready for Ricky Burns”.

McIlroy's shot of the Year

Rory McIlroy’s sublime six iron to the tenth green during the final round of the US Open Championship has been voted by golf fans as The 2011 European Tour Shot of the Year. The Northern Irishman, who won his first Major Championship on that glorious Sunday afternoon at Congressional Country Club, dominated The European Tour Shot of the Month competitions in 2011, winning three monthly awards (June, July and December) out of 12. But it was that near-perfect, towering six iron from 216 yards on the par three tenth hole at Congressional which came to rest just a few inches from the hole that fans from My European Tour judged to be the outstanding shot of the 2011 season. “I thought that shot was probably the most important in the round because YE Yang had just stuck it in there close, so to follow that shot up with mine was pretty cool,” said McIlroy. “I had a big lead at that stage but there was always the chance that if I had hit it in the water or done something silly and YE had made his birdie then it would have put a bit of pressure on me. “As it turned out the six iron I hit in there worked out perfectly and I could afford to relax a bit on the back nine and try to take in as much of the experience of winning my first Major as I could. “By the time I reached the turn that Sunday, the amount of people surrounding that clubhouse area with the 10th tee box and green was just unbelievable. There was such a buzz around the place. When I stuck my six iron that close, and the roar that followed, it’s a feeling I will never forget. “Obviously I am delighted that shot has been voted The 2011 European Tour Shot of the Year – it is always special to win an award voted for by the general public and hopefully I can produce a few more of those in 2012!” With 30 per cent of the vote, McIlroy was the overwhelming winner of the Shot of the Year, with Miguel Angel Jiménez acquiring 21 per cent of the vote to take second place for his fearless second shot into the infamous par five 17th at Valderrama in the Andalucía Masters in October, a 250-yard five wood that left the Spaniard with only a ten-foot putt for eagle. McIlroy also took third place (with 12 per cent of the vote) for his December effort – that majestic bunker shot on the 72nd hole of the UBS Hong Kong Open that found the bottom of the cup and secured the 22 year old his third European Tour career victory. One of the lucky entrants who voted in the Shot of the Year competition on has won the sensational prize of a golf break for two people to two European Tour Destinations from the European Tour Properties Network portfolio, the London Golf Club and Le Golf National on the outskirts of Paris. The London Golf Club – host of the European Open from 2008-2009 – became the first European Tour Destination in the European Tour Properties portfolio in 2009, while Le Golf National has not only hosted the French Open 17 times, but will also welcome The Ryder Cup in 2018. The European Tour Shot of the Month Award is presented to the Tour Member for the shot judged by fans from My European Tour to be the most outstanding played during each calendar month on The European Tour International Schedule. The winning shots from each month are entered into The European Tour Shot of the Year Award. The full list of monthly winners in 2011 was: Paul Casey (January), Alvaro Quiros (February), David Horsey (March), Matteo Manassero (April), Luke Donald (May), Rory McIlroy (June, July and December), Thomas Björn (August), Michael Hoey (September), Miguel Angel Jiménez (October) and Martin Kaymer (November).

Friday, January 13, 2012

Justice is served for Khan

After a sound and fair analysis of the facts contained in the appeal filed by Golden Boy Promotions on behalf of Amir Khan with respect to the outcome of the December 10, 2011 World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) world title fight between Khan and Lamont Peterson, the WBA has ordered that an immediate rematch take place within 180 days. Washington DC's Peterson' split decision victory over England's Khan in Washington DC has been riddled with controversy as a result of a plethora of anomalies in connection with the bout including referee Joseph Cooper not counting a knockdown of Peterson and deducting two points from Khan for pushing (something for which points are almost never deducted), both of which ended up having a direct impact on the outcome of the fight; the ringside appearance of an unauthorized individual in Mustafa Ameen who apparently handled official scoring slips, seemingly communicated with fight officials throughout the fight and appeared to be photographed posing with a celebrating Team Peterson in the ring following the fight; and possible differences between the score sheet of the WBA and those of the IBF and the District of Columbia Boxing and Wrestling Commission. Acting under its authority pursuant to WBA Rule C.26, the WBA concluded that the bout's outcome was impacted by referee Joseph Cooper's questionable failure to credit Khan with a knock down in round one and his questionable decisions to deduct points from Khan in rounds seven and 12. As further cause to order the rematch, the WBA also pointed to Mr. Ameen's apparent intrusion into the scoring process as well as possible discrepancies between the score sheets of the two sanctioning organizations and the local athletic commission. In its resolution mandating the rematch, the WBA went out of its way to note that under normal circumstances it would not disturb the discretionary function of a referee, however, in this case, because of the multiple irregularities, it was necessary for it to order the rematch. "I'm pleased that justice has been done and the WBA has ordered an immediate rematch. All we ask as sportsmen is for a fair and level playing field when we compete," said Khan. "Lamont Peterson proved in our fight that he is a great competitor and I hope that a second bout will be just as exciting. I want to prove without doubt that I'm the best in the 140lb division by taking care of business in the rematch." "I am thrilled about the decision and hope that we can start negotiations and get the rematch done," said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. "Both Amir and Lamont are terrific young men and athletes who fought their hearts out in Washington last December. I am sure that fight fans from around the world applaud the WBA's decision since this will be one of the most anticipated fights of 2012."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Kell Brook targets Matthew Hatton

Kell Brook and Matthew Hatton will meet in the “War of the Roses” at the Motorpoint Arena Sheffield on March 17 – live on Sky Sports. The top two ranked Welterweights in Britain will clash in a classic Yorkshire versus Lancashire derby to lay to rest any debate on who is the best Welterweight in the land. The bigger picture for the fight though is the chance to fight for a World title later in 2012, and Brook, who is ranked in the top ten of all the governing bodies, is delighted to be facing Hatton in this hometown blockbuster. “This is a fight I’ve wanted for a long time and to get it at the Sheffield Arena means the world to me,” said Brook, 25. “When I first sat down with Eddie, he told me that his vision was a sell-out night at Sheffield Arena and now we’re here. It is a competitive division and we’re both trying to achieve the same goal, so I know that by putting him out of the equation, it gives me a clearer run at the title. I want people to stand up and take notice of me and these are the kind of nights that makes that happen. “We’ve been looking at fights here and in the US but this is the one that gives me the buzz. I know I’m comfortably the best Welterweight in Britain and I’m going to put in a devastating performance on March 17 to show the World just that.” The fight represents an impressive landmark for Hatton, who will fight for the 50th time as a pro when he faces Brook. The Manchester man has held the European and Commonwealth Welterweight titles and put in a brave performance against Saul Alvarez in Anaheim last March when they tussled for the vacant WBC Light Middleweight title. The 30 year-old returned to Welterweight action in August, winning the vacant IBF International title in Blackpool against Andrei Abramenka and with almost twice the number of fights under his belt, Hatton believes his experience of big fight nights will give him the edge in Sheffield. “This is a massive night and a massive fight but it's nothing new to me,” said Hatton. “It's my 50th contest and I'm very proud of that, so I want it to be a landmark and Kell is in the way of that, I don't want my 50th fight to be a loss. I've boxed class opposition in big arenas all over the world so experience will play a part in this fight. Fighting Kell in Sheffield isn't something that's going to keep me awake and it's only an hour down the road so I'll have good support there on the night. “It has irritated me a little bit that people regard Kell as the number one in Britain – I've been European champion and was undefeated at that level, it's like being told you are not even the best at School even though you are the best in Europe! “So finally one of us is going to be able to say that they are number one – people tell me that he is number one and I'm sure he gets people telling him that I am number one, so on March 17 we'll find out for sure.” Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn added: “This fight has taken it’s time to arrive but I couldn’t be happier that we have finally got it on. I’ve wanted this fight since we signed Kell, and I remember Ray Hatton telling me early last year to let this fight grow and he was right. It’s perfect timing for both fighters and a massive night for British boxing. I want to bring the glory days back to British boxing and you need fights and events that will capture the public’s imagination – this is just the start of what we want to do in 2012 and we’re going to get Sheffield jumping on March 17.” Hearn also revealed that British Middleweight star Darren Barker is likely to make his first appearance since fighting Sergio Martinez in October as the chief support on the night, and that Lee Purdy will face Adnan Amar for the English Welterweight title. Other names for the show will be confirmed in the next week.

Cleverly's third Title Defence

Promoter Frank Warren has planned a big year for Welsh star Nathan Cleverly that could include a title defence at Cardiff City's ground in the summer followed by a unification showdown in September. The WBO World Light-Heavyweight Champion from Cefn Fforest must first defends his title for the third time on Saturday 25th February at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena against American Tommy Karpency, live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546). Hall of Fame promoter Warren has staged spectacular outdoor shows with Naseem's Hamed world title fight against Steve Robinson at Cardiff Arms Park and more recently Joe Calzaghe's super-middleweight unification showdown against Mikkel Kessler at the Millennium Stadium. Warren said that former two-time WBC World Super-Middleweight Champion Carl Froch would be an ideal opponent for Cleverly at the famous Cardiff City Stadium. "I would like to see Nathan fight again in early June at Cardiff City's ground in a big open-air show and if Carl Froch wants to step up a weight and fight him then I'd take that fight in a heartbeat, he's made for Nathan," Said Warren. "Then I'd be looking for Nathan to have a unification fight hopefully in September against one of the other title holders," "I aim to bring big-time boxing shows back to Wales regularly again and Nathan is the man to spearhead that," "Karpency is a hard fight for Nathan, but it will bring out the best in him and it will be a sparkling homecoming on February 25th at the Motorpoint Arena and live on BoxNation," "He's only had a few fights as a world champion since winning the title and first I want to establish him in Wales so the fans get to see their new star in action again," "Nathan's fought around the country in the last few years and showed a lot of grit and determination in going to Liverpool last time out against Tony Bellew so now he deserves a homecoming fight," "With Nathan it's about the right time and the right moment, picking up the experience and confidence, winning and unifying titles as we go towards bigger things." Cleverly, who is relishing his first fight in Wales in over fours years, said, "I aim to reignite Welsh boxing again and bring back the glory days when Joe Calzaghe was fighting in the city and I want to keep it going for a good few years," "I remember when I was boxing on Joe's undercard's and the buzz in the city on fight day was amazing, this is what I want to bring back," "Hopefully, as well, it will open the door for the talented young fighters on the card like Craig Evans, Francis Robinson, Lewis Rees and Liam Williams and give them great exposure," "Frank's got big plans for me and to fight at Cardiff City's ground would be a dream. I'm still only 24 and time is on my side to achieve a lot of things. I know the big super-fights will come, I've just got to keep putting on good displays and we are progressively getting there," "In the meantime I can't be complacent by taking my eye off the ball and let Karpency upsets the plans," "I saw Karo Murat's fight against Karpency when I was preparing for my fight against Murat and I saw that he's a southpaw, tough, rugged and strong and he'll come to have a fight with me, but I'll break him down and look good doing it.