Archive for March, 2012

Kieran Farrell, right, has signed with David Coldwell

NEW Coldwell Boxing recruit “Vicious” Kieran Farrell says he’s not interested in battling for area honours and instead wants an English title shot in the autumn.

The lightweight penned a deal this week and has bouts lined up on May 11th in Birmingham and June 16 in Bolton.

The 21-year-old from Lancashire says he will eventually drop down to super-featherweight and knock on the door of domestic champions.

“At Central Area level you’re looking at journeyman fighters, and I don’t want to be facing them,” said Farrell (11-0).

“It could be Ben Jones (the current English champion) but there are a few other fights I’d like in time. British champion Gary Buckland is the man at the moment but, for me, Steven Foster is number one in the division. There’s Liam Walsh as well, but he’s suspect, he’s had a few hard fights.

“Dave Coldwell wants me to move down to super featherweight but I’d already chatted to my dad, brother and Leonard Gunning (from Boxing-Ireland.com) who had all suggested it. At 9st 4lbs, no one will be able to touch me.”

Gunning put Farrell in touch with his new promoter, after the fighter had parted ways with Hatton Promotions.

The Heywood boxer predicts a bright future under the Coldwell banner and said inactivity was one of the reasons he is no longer in the Hatton stable.

“Dave has put me on two shows already and they were the two I asked for, a six rounder and an eight-rounder” he added.

“I had previously signed with Hatton because I was starstruck, Ricky was my idol and I couldn’t have turned that down. I was meant to be fighting for a Central Area light-welterweight title at the start of the month, two opponents pulled out (including Jon Baguley) and then I refused to take a six-rounder. It was a big disappointment for me, because I have been fighting for titles every year of my career.

“I feel comfortable dropping down to 9st 4lbs and once I’ve won these next two fights, which are tune-ups, I’ll be looking to win national titles.

“I don’t mind who it is, I’ll fight whoever Dave puts in front of me.”

Undefeated light-heavyweight boxer Matty Clarkson has joined the Lonsdale stable ahead of his next fight against Jeff Evans on April 14.

 The 24-year-old Preston fighter aims to stretch his unbeaten start to his professional career when the two go toe to toe at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.

 The fight is on the undercard of the British light-heavyweight title clash between hometown favourite Tony Bellew and challenger Danny McIntosh.

 Clarkson said: “I’m looking forward to my fight against Evans and representing the Lonsdale brand. Lonsdale is renowned in the boxing world and it’s great the brand has chosen to support me.”

 Clarkson’s promoter David Coldwell said: “Matty is an exciting young boxer and a great new signing for us. He’s ready to show the boxing world that he can mix it with competitors like Evans.”

 Clarkson has won six and drawn one of his seven bouts to date.

SHANE McPhilbin says he got “ripped off” after losing his British Cruiserweight title in controversial circumstances on Friday.

The Bulwell man put challenger Enzo Maccarinelli on the canvas in the first round of their bout in Wolverhampton but the bell to mark the end of the round was rung 47 seconds too early.

Despite speculation that former world champion Maccarinelli may now retire, McPhilbin – whose record dropped to 8-3 following the defeat – is pressing for a re-match.

“I need a re-match – I deserve it. I gave Enzo a shot at my title, which I didn’t have to do,” said McPhilbin, who also floored Maccarinelli (35-5) in the third round before slipping to a wide points loss (115-111, 116-111, 115-110).

“I got ripped off. Someone cannot look at a clock properly. It’s the second time this has happened, because in the (Leon) Williams fight the round finished 21 seconds early.

“I heard a bell, then the referee said ‘box, box, box’ and I could have had Enzo again, but then the bell rang – again – and the round ended.

“I’ve backed down from no one and I deserve a re-match.”

RICHARD Towers believes fellow unbeaten boxer David Price will have far too much power for Sam Sexton in their forthcoming British title fight.

The Sheffield man extended his winning run to 13-0 with a fifth-round TKO against American Harold Sconiers at Ponds Forge on Saturday, with rumours suggesting his next fight will be a tilt at a title.

But, in the meantime, the Hatton Promotions fighter will be watching on keenly when Liverpool’s Price meets Sexton, from Norwich, at Aintree Racecourse on Saturday, May 19.

However, he fears  Sexton – whose only two defeats have come at the hands of world title challenger Dereck Chisora – will be brushed aside by the hyped and hungry Price.

“David Price will be too big and strong for Sam Sexton, and I think he will absolutely destroy  him,” said Towers.

“He’ll jab his head off before doing the same thing he did to John McDermott (Price won inside a round), although McDermott was in appalling condition for that fight. I’d sparred him before the fight was re-scheduled and we worked on John using his brain – but when he got in the ring, he didn’t do that.

“David seems to be doing well, but what people don’t understand is that in boxing you’ve got to learn to walk before you can run.

“Someone like Tyson Fury is just starting to run now, he’s proving himself. I’ve got a lot of time and respect for him and I think he’ll do well. Other boxers have to prove themselves.”

WEST HAM boxer Mickey Coveney is set to test the unbeaten record of Michael Walsh at York Hall on April 12.

Coveney, who dropped a unanimous eight-round points decision to Frenchman Daouda Sow on the undercard of Gavin Rees’ successful European lightweight title defence in Paris on Friday, has recently switched to Carl Greaves’ management and says the change has yielded benefits.

“I’m ready to fight,” said Coveney, whose record is 13-14 and will match up against the 8-0 super-bantamweight Walsh.

“I know Michael and his brothers, Ryan and Liam, well but at the end of the day it’s business. Michael is a good fighter and I’m happy to be on the show.

“I was getting to the point in my career where I was not boxing enough and I needed to do something. It seemed that even if I won a few fights, people weren’t interested – promoters would look at me, realise that I would come to fight and not want to throw their guys in at the deep end.

“Carl has got me two fights already (Sow and Walsh) so I’m happy with that. Me and my cousin run a painting business but since the start of the year we’ve had lots of jobs cancelled – which is another reason I wanted to get more fights.”

Although Coveney conceded that Sow was the better man in their eight-round contest at Gymnase Georges Racine, missing out on points 80-73, 79-73, 79-73, he felt he finished strongly.

“He wasn’t the best guy I’ve ever boxed, but he wasn’t bad,” said Coveney. “I had a good last round and hit him with a good shot but the decision was about right, to be honest.

Commonwealth champion Liam Walsh has conceded: “Scratching my head and arse could cost me a world title fight.”

Cromer’s likeable super-featherweight has not fought since a successful title defence against Paul Appleby in September – which many critics labelled the domestic fight of the year – and is desperate to put his hours upon hours in the gym to maximum use in the ring.

However, the Frank Warren fighter, who is one of Britain’s hottest prospects after claiming 12 victories from his opening 12 professional bouts, has been waiting on his next contest.

“I am going through a really frustrating time,” said Walsh. “I am 25 years of age and I need to be fighting as often as I can. At the moment I’m fighting every six months if I’m lucky.

“I have dreams of going on to become a European and one day world champion, but sitting around scratching my head and arse could cost me that.”

Walsh catapulted himself into the limelight after convincingly defeating Maxwell Awuku for what was a vacant commonwealth crown in October, 2010 – a coveted title he has since successfully defended twice against tough opponents.

“I took that Commonwealth title fight on three weeks’ notice,” continued Walsh. “I make sure I’m always in perfect shape for opportunities like that.

“You never know when a chance is going to come your way and I probably surprised a few by doing what I did.

“I need regular fights, even if they’re just eight-rounders. I need to keep busy otherwise my career could stagnate.

“I have a lot to offer and I want to be the best I can be.”

Walsh, who has a stunning 75 per cent knockout ratio, also hopes to seal a dream fight in his home county of Norfolk.

“I have a decent fan base and I would love to fight just down the road in Norwich,” he added. “I know I could sell tickets and that’s how money is made. Of course it’s not all about money but when you’re a professional it is still important. It’s only when you get to the very top when you start making real money in this sport.”

HOW often are boxers scared? Or intimidated? And when would they ever admit it?

For Hatton Promotions heavyweight Richard Towers, the key to extending his 12-0 record tomorrow is to embrace the nagging doubts, the worries, and to use them to his advantage.

The 32-year-old faces American Harold Sconiers at Ponds Forge in Sheffield, but it’s from another American – hall-of-famer Mike Tyson – that he’s been drawing inspiration.

“Obviously we’ve all got doubts, all boxers get nervous, they get negative thoughts running through their mind, but all you can do is reflect on what’s to come,” says Towers.

“Recently I watched a documentary about Mike Tyson, which really motivated me. When you are going through different things, all those negative things in your mind, you have to realise that the guy across the ring could take your life at any time.

“He has the option to do that, but you have to be the better man so that doesn’t happen. And I need to feel that edge, I need to feel like this guy is going to kick off.”

Sconiers (18-23-2) once took Razor Ruddock to a split decision but has lost three of his past four. That record matters little to Towers, who wants to elevate his status to that of Britain’s leading heavyweights.

He says he has been promised a title shot following this fight – although he opted not to ask  for any more details – but there is no chance of letting the 35-year-old Sconiers out of his sights.

“He is a very tricky fighter and I know he’s put down one of the American’s rising stars in Deontay Wilder (in winning, Wilder was put down once, Sconiers four times, in 2010). He’s a very dangerous and credible adversary.

“The thing is, I’ve got no worries that I didn’t do everything I possibly could to prepare for this fight. According to my trainers, they say I’m ready.

“The guy (Sconiers) is another pedestal, another stepping-stone for me. To get to the moon, you have to look up to the skies. I’ve not cut any corners in preparing for this fight.”

The show is headlined by Gary Buckland’s British super-featherweight title defence against Middlebrough’s Paul Truscott.

The two potential dates for Scott Quigg and Rendall Munroe’s eagerly-anticipated clash were announced today.

The two will go toe to toe for the super bantamweight interim WBA and British titles on either June 2 or 16 in what could prove to be one of the domestic fights of the year.

The Hatton Promotions stable-mates will battle it out at a venue to be decided – expected to be in the Manchester or the Midlands.

Hatton Promotions chief executive Ricky Hatton said: “The fight has been brewing since Rendall signed for us and we have got there.

“The winner will go on to mix with the world’s elite fighters and it won’t be the end for the loser.

 “It is possible he can fight Commonwealth champion Carl Frampton who is learning his trade and is a big prospect for the future.”

British champion Quigg, 23, is one of world boxing’s brightest prospects and unbeaten in 24 professional contests. The Bury hopeful won his British title last year forcing Jason Booth to quit on his stool and stopped Jamie Arthur in his first defence last month.

Rendall, 31, who has won 24 contests and lost just twice, is a former Commonwealth and European champion. The Leicester southpaw has already fought at the highest level, challenging Toshiaki Nishioka for the WBC crown in Tokyo back in October 2010 losing on points.

ALTHOUGH Sam Sexton is due to face one giant of the ring, his attention seems to have been drawn to another.

Sexton competes for the British heavyweight title against unbeaten David Price in less than two months’ time, a fight made after previous champion Tyson Fury vacated the championship.

And while the Liverpool boxer is in Sexton’s immediate sights for their May 19 showdown at Aintree Equestrian Centre, he’s reserved a few special words for the 6ft 9ins Fury – whose next fight is against Northern Irishman Martin Rogan, an opponent Sexton has defeated twice before.

“I cannot see why he would give up his titles to fight for an Irish title. Maybe he was scared that he couldn’t beat David Price,” said Sexton, whose only two losses in a 17-fight career have come against Fury victim Dereck Chisora, once in 2010 for the British title.

“Fury has not really fought anyone except Chisora but everyone knows that it wasn’t the same Chisora who fought me or Vitali Klitschko. I don’t know what was going on in Chisora’s head at the time.

“He’s had a couple of tough fights against people who shouldn’t have troubled him, so I don’t think (promoter) Mick Hennessey is too confident sin putting his fighter in against someone who will beat him. I don’t know why he didn’t take the Price fight. Maybe it’s politics.”

While Fury pursues his goals through a television deal with Channel 5, an opportunity has opened up for Norwich-based Sexton to catapult his career onto the next level with a title victory on the Frank Maloney-promoted show.

With home-city advantage and a perfect 12-0 record, Price will be expected to see off the gutsy threat of Sexton and continue his ascent towards the upper echelons of the heavyweight division.

But those expectations merely fuel the Norfolk man’s desire to defy the bookmakers’ odds.

“I wouldn’t say he’s been over-hyped, but he’s not fought anyone as a professional,” says Sexton.

“Everyone will say I need to worry about his size but he needs to worry about my movement. He’s not been in with anyone who can move as well as me or who is as quick as me.

“He is the favourite with the bookies but this is a fight I feel comfortable with. I went to Northern Ireland (against Martin Rogan) as a massive underdog. This fight won’t phase me.

“Whoever they want me to fight, I’ll fight. I want the British title and then I want to keep it. I like David Price but I will take more pleasure winning because I am expected to lose.”

Main story

THE journey to Carl Froch and Lucian Bute’s clash for the latter’s IBF super-middleweight title began in earnest today with a press call at the venue, the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham.

Froch will fight in the UK for the first time since his unconvincing split decision victory against Andre Dirrell in the Super Six, in October 2009.

Since that bout, Froch has collected plenty of air miles en route to clashes against highly-ranked Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham, Glen Johnson and, in the Super Six final, Andre Ward.

“Bute has not often fought out of his hometown so to put his title on the line in my backyard he’s either very confident or very stupid – I think he’s very confident and he’s the champion, so why not be confident,” said Froch (34-2), who could become a three-time world champion with victory in the May 26 contest.

Bute did not take part in the Super Six, preferring instead to clock up title defences in his adopted home country of Canada. To take the bout, he has given up familiar surroundings for a rather more hostile atmosphere at the Capital FM Arena.

“I’ve been criticised for not fighting away from home,” he said. “I remember when Joe Calzaghe fought away from home at the end of his career, he received the respect he deserved for doing that and that’s what I’m looking to do.”

Froch’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, tweeted earlier today that ticket sales had passed the 4,000 mark having been on sale only since 2pm.

Links

Richard Towers to face Harold Sconiers on the Gary Buckland v Paul Truscott fight this weekend

Martin Murray set for challenge to Julio Cesar Chavez Junior

Frank Maloney talks stepping away from the sport in three’ years time.

Danny Williams chases farewell title – although it is the UBO title…

Rendall Munroe was unhappy with some of the comments made by upcoming opponent Scott Quigg on Saturday’s War Of The Roses show. The Leicester fighter responded today with: “They don’t realise when they disrespect me I don’t shout off my mouth, I just train harder to hurt them more than I was going to before.” Here’s our story on Munroe v Quigg.

Challenger Rendall Munroe is champing at the bit ahead of his eagerly-anticipated British title fight against Scott Quigg later this year.

The two super-bantamweights are expected to battle it out in early June after the bout was made earlier this month.

Unbeaten champion Quigg (24-0) has caught the eye in recent fights and has been labelled as one for the future by many boxing fans.

But former world title challenger Munroe (24-2) is brimming with confidence ahead of training camp.

“I don’t disrespect any man who steps inside a ring but I honestly can’t see anything that Quigg has to offer that will be good enough to beat me,” said the 31-year-old.

“I am 110 per cent confident ahead of the fight. I expect it will be in early June and staged up north somewhere but none of those things really bother me because I will be ready.

“I guess people will say Quigg has youth on his side but I don’t look or fight like I’m approaching 32. I would challenge any 18-year-old to come and train with me because I eat and live right and put absolutely everything in when in the gym.”

Number one in the British rankings, Munroe is keen to continue to do what he has done throughout his career – prove a point.

“I’m number one in Britain but now want the British title around my waist. It’s all about proving a point for me. I love it. It motivates me.

“After that I want another chance at the world crown. I’ve got one opportunity in life and, as my dad always told me, I have to make the most of it. I aim to do that.”

ON a night when ability outshone durability, Sheffield’s Kell Brook thrust himself into world title contention with a commanding victory against Matthew Hatton.

A unanimous points decision (118-109, 119-108, 119-107) only told part of the story for the 25-year-old welterweight.

He and promoter Eddie Hearn can now approach potential opponent Amir Khan with the bargaining power earned not only by Brook’s outstanding in-ring performance, which earned enormous  credibility, but the flash with which he accomplished his mission in front of almost 10,000 people,  proving his marketability. The hometown crowd at the Motorpoint Arena were not disappointed, as Brook moved to 27-0 amid an electric atmosphere.

Following the fight, Hatton – whose nose was broken in the opening round – was gracious in defeat. The Manchester boxer has shared the ring with Saul Alvarez for the WBC light-middleweight title, but while his courage was never in question, neither was the overall result.

At best, Hatton could claim just one round. I felt he may have edged the third and looked decent in the fourth, but Brook’s far greater movement and punching accuracy reduced the former European Welterweight champion’s strategy to an increasing amount of holding, especially in the later rounds.

“I thought I was in control for the whole fight and I never really got out of first gear,” said Brook.

“Matthew is incredibly brave though and a gallant performer, I knew he was a tough guy going into this fight and he’s proved he’s got great heart and so much grit.”

The blood flowing from Hatton in the first was an omen of what was yet to come, as Brook’s precision plagued him throughout the evening.

Brook’s excellence was underlined in round nine when Hatton was dumped on his backside following a stunning left. While Matthew’s resilience and bravery maintained his challenge, the hometown fighter kept his discipline to complete a lopsided victory.

Hearn will now seek to elevate Brook to a status shared by a very elite tier of British fighters. Should Khan opt to avoid his closest domestic rival, there are rich prizes available in the United States. Having now answered all the doubters in the UK, Brook is in a position to ask questions of others.

LincBoxing caught up with football and boxing agent Jonathan Hope, who revealed that southern area super-featherweight champion Jamie Speight has agreed a deal with Vaughan Boxing.

Give us an idea of who you manage/promote and for how long you’ve been doing it?

At present I am currently focusing on Jamie Speight, I am building a stable very quickly but until I have contracts tied I’d like to stay discreet.

For how long have you been a boxing fan?

All my life I have followed boxing. I think it’s such a great sport and should be promoted in schools to encourage confidence and discipline.

Who are your favourite fighters?

Joe Calzaghe has to be the greatest British fighter ever. However, Anthony ‘Million Dollar’ Crolla is in my opinion the most exciting fighter of his weight at this time.

I am a massive Mike Tyson fan and believe he was the greatest of all time.

What plans do you have for Jamie Speight, how far do you think he can go?

Jamie is so dedicated; it’s unreal the work he puts in, he trains so hard that I believe he has three lungs. Jamie will be a world champion.

I have now agreed a deal with Stephen Vaughan to promote the fighter. VaughanBoxing.tv is a family club, which has been in business for years.  I was delighted to work with Stephen and the team.

Jamie will be promoted by Vaughan Promotions and we will all work together. We all hit it off straight away and we are all excited. I see a title fight in May for Jamie. That will be confirmed soon, though.

How do you know Anthony Crolla?

I met Anthony through Amir Khan at a show and since then we have been really close friends. He is my true confidant and I love the guy so much. He takes advice from me and we speak nearly every night.

His girlfriend loves our ‘bromance’ but anyone who knows Anthony will confirm he is probably the nicest lad ever. We are also in business projects together that we are developing and things look good. We are very close friends.

Do you think a meeting with Crolla and Ricky Burns will happen?

I hope so because Crolla will be a world champion. I watched Ricky Burns v Paulus Moses and I believe Crolla would out-score Burns. I’m not surprised the promoters couldn’t agree as I’m sure Frank Warren would want Burns to keep his title longer and avoiding Crolla is smart promotion.

What is your approach to boxing management/promotion?

Boxing is going the way it has always gone. Apart from the Chisora disgrace, it’s going well.

Management-wise, I keep in touch with my clients every day. I believe you need to be friends as well as a manager to keep a healthy relationship going. Fighters respect that and that’s what I offer.

As for promotion, I’ll leave that to Stephen Vaughan as he knows the ins and outs.

Do you have any plans to expand your stable?

Absolutely, I’m in talks with several big names and I believe it’s only a matter of time before they want to be apart of our outfit.

Would you consider promoting shows?

Not on my own, I’ll co-promote with Vaughan Boxing but that will be my limit for now. I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.

How can the sport of boxing improve?

By Crolla beating Burns in his own back yard and Jamie Speight becoming a world champion. These are non-biased opinions!

What is your involvement in other sports?

I have been a football agent for seven years now and have a massive stable of players – 54 to be exact – and each one I treat the same,  regardless of status. I have Premiership players to youth players. My website is www.milleniumfootballmanagement.co.uk and it’s worth a browse. I have some things on there but some I have to keep confidential. The site shows a little of what I do.

Ashley Theophane.

IT seems that Ashley Theophane is bored. Of Britain, that is, or at least of fighting the contenders gunning for his light-welterweight title, which he won against Lenny Daws last year.

Theophane, whose latest title defence is scheduled against Steve Williams, has fought across the world. In Germany, St Lucia and the United States. Different venues, experiences, influences.

A lure that continues to tempt him, even as champion of his home country. Those experiences helped him to forge a career, borne out of the transformation Theophane experienced following a spell in prison. He was released without conviction but the burning sense of purpose has led him to an enlightened and meaningful path which, he says, has focussed his energies once more on making America his home.

He’s driven by challenges and making a difference. A difference he cannot make at home, any more.

It’s not just a hopeful punt, either. Theophane has been training with the best – the very best, pound-for-pound – at Floyd Mayweather’s gym in Las Vegas. Any boxer, even if they were stubbornly – and stupidly – resistant, couldn’t fail to be showered in some of the magic dust that falls during the Mayweather experience.

And Theophane is no different.

“I’ve spent two weeks at Mayweather’s gym, watching the master at work,” says Theophane, suitably impressed by the “Pretty Boy’s” disciplined training regime.

“It has been inspiring to see what he does. I’ve picked up a few tips and I’ll be adding in trips to Vegas as part of my Stateside training camp from now on. I have worked with Roger Mayweather and Floyd assistant coach Nate Jones. I feel they can add to my game.

“I’ve been to Wildcard in Los Angeles and watched Pacman (Manny Pacquiao) train and spar. Floyd is definitely on another level to him.”

This is where Theophane wants to be – working with the best, listening, learning and raising his game. It seems as if Williams may be his final title defence before he abandons the domestic game for the richer prizes which may await him abroad. And that’s what we come back to. He just seems to be a little weary of fighting in the UK. The challenge is no longer there.

“Fighting domestic fighters is tough. They are motivated to fight me as I’m the biggest name they will probably ever face – but they are just another win to me,” he says.

“I’ve fought the best that the domestic division has had to offer. I fought a great British champion in Lenny Daws and I made that look like easy work.

“Jason Cook was due to fight in an eliminator with Nigel Wright and I fought him. Next up was supposed to be Nigel Wright, but unfortunately he failed a brain scan so Ben Murphy, the warrior he is, stepped in and gave a brilliant showing. Ben will never perform like that again in his life (following a shaky start, Theophane won by TKO in the 11th).

“I was his World Cup final, his world title shot. Everything went to plan in the Ben Murphy fight. I let him wear himself out and I knocked him out when he was tired.

“I expect knock outs in all my British title fights. Steve Williams is next but he will fall like all of them before. Look at his record (12-1) and mine (31-4). It is a mismatch and he will be knocked out.

“I have loved being British champion. I am very proud to be the king of Britain but the world beckons me and my supporters in America keep asking me when will I fight in the States again.

“I want to fight the best, be it Marcos Maidana, Lamont Peterson, Humberto Soto, Kendall Holt. I’m not bothered. I’ve fought WBC world number 16 and former world champion Demarcus Corley (a unanimous decision win in 2008) IBF world number 3 Delvin Rodriguez (a majority decision win in 2010) and WBC world number 4 Danny Garcia (split decision loss earlier that year) already. I shine in 50-50 fights and that is not available as British champion.”

The 31-year-old, among the more cerebral personalities on the boxing circuit, is not short of words either when the notion of a post-boxing future is raised. His is a clear vision for the future.

“I am interested in politics, finance and world affairs but I’d rather make a difference at the grass roots level,” he says.

“If that means me travelling the world promoting sport to the youth in schools, that is more what interests me. “Boxing can help young people with discipline, respect and how to eat and live healthily. Train hard and the fight is easy. Believe in yourself and anything is possible.

“I’ve never had people believe in my talent but that never bothered me, because I did. I went to America and fought some of the best fighters around. Not many British boxers do that. I am one of a few who compete and win abroad.”

Broadening horizons is something with which Theophane has had little difficulty. Should his achievements match his ambitions, we may yet see the start of something very special – but we’ll probably have to watch it from afar.

Kev Hooper defeats Yordan Vasilev.

INTERNATIONAL Masters lightweight champion Kev Hooper returns to the ring next month at the Barnsley Metrodome.

Unbeaten Hooper, from Grimsby, captured the title with a shut-out points victory against Bulgarian Yordan Vasilev in his home town last month. He will face an as-yet unnamed opponent at the event on April 27. It’s likely Hooper (11-0) will compete in a six-round contest.

Wale, from Barnsley, will also be involved on a six-round contest as he aims to improve his 14-3 record.

Tickets are £35 or £55 ringside with table service.

More details on the show will be posted on Monday.

SAM Sexton is determined to prove the pundits wrong – again – by claiming the British heavyweight title against David Price, according to trainer Graham Everett.

The much-heralded Price (12-0) faces the biggest test of his career against former Commonwealth champion Sexton when the two clash at Aintree on May 19.

Hometown boy Price knocked down a shell-shocked John McDermott three times en-route to victory in the first round of their British title eliminator at Liverpool’s Olympia in January, heightening interest in a clash against then-champion Tyson Fury.

Boxing politics intervened and Fury has since relinquished the title, leaving Norwich-based Sexton and Price to contest the vacant title.

But while on paper the bout is Price’s toughest to date, some bookmakers have made him 6-1 on to see off Everett’s charge, who has lost just twice in 17 fights, both to Dereck Chisora.

Everett insists Sexton thrives on those odds and brought up Sexton’s two victories against Martin Rogan as evidence of upsetting the form book.

“People expect Price to win but, to be honest, Sam is buzzing off that. That attitude is pushing us on,” he said.

“When we went to Belfast (for the first Rogan fight) we caused a huge shock. Even at the weigh-in we were getting invitations to the after-parties. People were talking about Rogan’s next fight.

“Let’s face it, Sam has never really had the silver spoon since turning professional. He’s not had that many fights – for reasons that I won’t go into, and we’re not happy about it – but this is a big opportunity.

“We’re going into the lion’s den, but you have to remember that this is Sam’s fourth championship fight. The pressure is all on David.”

Although a year younger, the 6ft 2ins Sexton is giving up six inches on his formidable opponent, an Olympic super-heavyweight bronze medallist.

But Price is unlikely to have faced anyone so far in his career with Sexton’s decent punching power, with Everett plotting a perfect strategy for the contest.

“David Price is fantastic and he hasn’t done anything wrong as a professional, although it was difficult to learn too much from the McDermott fight,” said Everett.

“It’s no huge secret that Sam will have to get inside Price’s long arms, we don’t want David using his leverage – without giving away too much of our strategy, of course.

“Let’s put it this way, Sam is not going to stand there and walk straight into Price.

“We’re not even contemplating defeat – we’re in this to win it. Sam has started hard training already. He’s at 17 stone now and he’ll be down to 16-and-a-half by fight time. He’ll be very sharp and fast.”

NEW southern area champion Jamie Speight has fired out a warning shot to the super-featherweight division: I’m coming after your titles.

Speight claimed the second belt of his career with a 97-95 points victory against Scott Moises on Saturday, and has put Britain’s foremost fighters on red alert.

English champion Ben Jones – who slipped to a painful TKO loss to Stephen Smith at The Troxy the night before Speight’s victory – is top of his list, but Commonwealth champion Liam Walsh remains on the Kingsteington man’s radar.

“After the fight, Moises’ camp asked for a rematch but for me that’s a sidestep or a step downwards,” said Speight, who claimed the International Masters light-welterweight title in 2010.

“I want an English title fight against Ben Jones or an English title eliminator. Liam Walsh is also out there, I’d love to fight him or maybe Gary Sykes, but I’ve told me manager (Jonathan Hope) that I’m willing to fight anybody.

“If it was up to me I would be back in a 10-week training programme now. Whatever happens, I want to be in 12-round contests – I don’t need to be dropping any lower than that.”

The 10-round contest against Moises at Plymouth’s Guildhall was a fiercely-fought affair, with Speight attempting to get inside the Aylsham man’s 6ft frame to land punishing body shots.

Although Moises and his team thought they had done enough for victory in the headlining event, Speight contends his opponent won only the opening two rounds.

“After that I loosened up,” said 23-year-old Speight, who moves to 11-2 with the victory, while Moises, 24, drops to 3-5.

“I left my hands low to draw the lead, picked my counters and landed body shots. Scott just wanted to keep it long, but after I caught him to the body it was easy for me. He definitely didn’t want to come close after that.

“After the fight I could see a lot of reddening on his ribs and had swelling under both eyes. I give him lots of credit because he came to win and came to fight, but 97-95 was just too close.

“It feels great to get a title again after the loss to Kev Hooper, and it’s all sbecause of my friends, family and my sponsor Steve Horn, who travelled down from Middlesbrough to support me.”

STRANGERS recognise him in the street, his friends have begun to call him “Rocky” and he’s defending his British championship against a former world titlist later this month.

Could life get any better for Shane McPhilbin?

The likeable 26-year-old (8-2), whose incredible final-round TKO win against Leon Williams propelled him to a cruiserweight title defence against Enzo Maccarinelli in Wolverhampton on March 23, could, of course, see all of his dreams disappear into the dust.

But why should McPhilbin even care? He’s preparing for the biggest fight of his career amid an unprecedented amount of interest. And he’s unfussed by the underdog tag, preferring instead to use it to his advantage.

“Only a few years ago I would have never thought I’d be standing in a ring with Enzo Maccarinelli – now, he’s coming after my title,” said McPhilbin.

“Since the Williams fight everywhere has been mental. Everyone will recognise me now and ask me about the fight. I look at them and think ‘who are you?’, people who don’t know me say ‘I hope you beat him’.

“I keep getting called Rocky all the time now, my life has actually changed a lot at the moment – I’m everyone’s best mate. It’s a good feeling.

“It’s the biggest fight of my life against one of my favourite boxers of all time and, although I am the champion, I have got nothing to lose. I’ll love the experience and I’ll enjoy it.”

There are likely to be few cross words ahead of the unlikely title fight, with former WBO Cruiserweight boss Maccarinelli focussed on re-building his career ahead of a mouth-watering potential all-Wales clash against Nathan Cleverly, the current WBO light-heavyweight titlist.

But while the Swansea fighter’s respectful approach ahead of the pair’s meeting has drawn effusive praise from McPhilbin, the Nottinghamshire man is keen to point out that any Maccarinelli loss would crush hopes of a comeback to the world level.

“Just the way Enzo goes about his business impresses me. He’s not cocky or arrogant, he does his training the right way and he’s an all-round fighter – he has plenty of skills,” said McPhilbin, managed by Newark-based promoter Carl Greaves.

“He seems like a genuine guy; I’ve heard him mentioning me in interviews and not once has he slated me.

“I know for sure that Maccarinelli wants to Cleverly but I know he will take our fight seriously. At one point Enzo was on top of the world; he’s had a few knock backs that he didn’t expect to get and he knows this is his last chance now.

“He wants to get back to world level but he knows he can get knocked back by me.

“I know people have been talking quite a bit about Maccarinelli fighting Nathan Cleverley but I just let them get on with it.

“If those people are looking past this fight and looking past me then ultimately it will be their downfall.

“I’ll go back onto the websites or read the papers to read what they say. A lot of them will change their tune after my fights. Before the Williams fight a lot of people had me knocked out before I’d even got to the ring.

“I’ll go out there against Maccarinelli to enjoy myself – I love people talking down about me because I love shocking people.

“I’m going to try to make it a war and give it all I’ve got.”

Rendall Munroe has promised to prove himself as the best in Great Britain before eyeing a second crack at a world title.

The 31-year-old super-bantamweight is expected to challenge unbeaten British champion Scott Quigg within the next few months.

Despite having already held English, Commonwealth and European belts during a glittering career, Munroe believes winning the coveted British crown will enhance his chances of landing another world title fight.

“People might think this fight is a step back for me but I want to prove I’m the best around,” said Munroe, who has recently gone full-time.

“I want to progress and move forward all the time. Scott Quigg is a tough fighter, but I feel I’m the best in Britain at this level.”

The WBA International champion battled admirably against WBC super bantamweight king Toshiaki Nishioka in Japan little over two years ago and, three fights and three wins later, is desperate for another shot at being the best on the planet.

“I went to Japan and gave my all,” continued Munroe. “I knew after about the fifth round that I wasn’t going to win the fight but I was determined not to get stopped and I didn’t.

“I am a hard trainer and never blow up in weight when I’m not preparing for a fight. This is why I feel I can win a world title some day. I turn 32 later this year but I’m learning all the time – getting better and better.

“I don’t drink, I don’t smoke. The only area I let myself down in is when I fancy a nibble on a biscuit. And I love my Caribbean food!”

Not only is Munroe known as the “Boxing Binman” but also as one of the nicest men in the sport.

After David Haye and Derick Chisora tarnished further the reputation of British boxing last month, Munroe insists he will never change his mild-mannered approach.

“Even my coach says I’m too nice sometimes, but why should I change? That’s just me,” said Munroe.

“I’m not the person to say I’m going to do this or I’m going to do that. I do my talking and prove my point in the ring – that’s how it should be.

“I respect every fighter I face because you have to have heart to step inside the ring. I just want to be known as a nice, respectable fighter who gives everything in the ring. If I win a world title in the process then that would be a dream come true.

“David Haye talked the talk against Wladimir Klitschko but didn’t back it up in the ring. Sometimes you can say things and then look a fool.

“I am privileged to be a professional boxer and I treat the sport and its fighters with respect.”

The Leicester fighter, who has won 24 of his 26 pro fights, is targeting another world title shot as soon as possible – so long as he can overcome Quigg.

“I just want to get back in there and get my hands on a world title belt. It means everything to me. I have a great girlfriend (Annaelisha) and two great sons (Tiela and Tierell) and I want to do it for them.

“I also want to do it for my fans who have been absolutely incredible throughout my career. I had more than 200 make the trip to Japan two years ago – that’s the other side of the world. It’s hardly a trip to Skegness is it?

“Even in my last fight (first round technical knockout win against Jose Saez on February 4) I had 40 odd fans who made the trip to Bolton through all the snow. They only had two minutes of action to watch and then they were on their way home again. It took them five hours to get home because of the bad weather.

“It’s the fans who have made me and that’s why I am the person I am. I feel humbled when I get any kind of attention. I want to win that world title for them as much as myself.”