Archive for May, 2012

CHRIS GOODWIN believes he can avenge his narrow points defeat to Carl Johanneson when the two meet again this weekend.

The Great Barrow lightweight faces the experienced Yorkshire-based fighter at Manchester’s Bowlers Exhibition Centre on Saturday.

Last time out, Goodwin slipped to just his second loss in 17 fights courtesy of a split decision (95-96, 97-95, 99-93).

But this time – in a fight billed as a final eliminator for the Commonwealth crown – he feels the outcome will be a different, enthused by the amount he has learned from the first contest.

“After the judges’ scoring – it was really close – I did deserve another chance,” Goodwin, 23, told LincBoxing.

“Different judges see things in different ways, so I’m 100 per cent made up to get the re-match.

“Getting beat was absolutely brilliant for me, because it got my head back into it, I got a few different things worked out.

“Last time, we knew it was going to be a tough fight just from having looked at Carl’s record. A lot of people thought I was going to get stopped.

“But I’ve got a lot more confidence going into this one. Even though I got beat, the things I learnt from the fight gave me a confidence boost.

“We’re obviously looking for the ten rounds but if things can be over sooner, then great. I am going to go in and box him. If the knockout comes it comes.”

The fight is set to be screened on Sky Sports.

Rising star Bradley Saunders will continue his world title crusade when he takes to the ring for his third professional fight in July.

The light-welterweight, who won gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, has already blown away vastly experienced pair Jason Nesbitt (9 wins, 139 losses, 3 draws) and Danny Dontchev (4 wins, 44 losses) with devastating third round and first round stoppages respectively.

And the 26-year-old, managed by Frank Warren, insists he has the ability to be crowned world champion within five years.

“I wouldn’t have bothered coming into the sport if I didn’t think I could be a world champion,” Saunders told Lincboxing.

“I think the light-welterweight class is wide open and I want to win everything.

“I want to start by winning an Area title, then English, British, Commonwealth and European. After that I will fancy a world title shot.

“I don’t necessarily want to jump or miss out on any of the belts. I want to say I have won them all.”

Durham-based Saunders, who was also crowned European Amateur champion in 2009, is yet to hear the name of his next opponent. But he hopes it is a step up in class from his first two bouts.

“I just want to showcase what I can do,” continued Saunders. “I just want to get in there and get the job done in the best possible style. If I can knock them out and send out a message to the rest of the division, then I will.

“I was devastated after beating my last opponent so early last month. But what can you do? I want rounds under my belt but also show what I can do.

“I just want to have a fight next time. I want someone to come and have a go.

“I want to be fighting as often as possible because I don’t intend to hang about at this level for very long.

“I want titles as soon as possible.”

British cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli has pulled out of next month’s defence of his title against Shane McPhilbin in Wolverhampton.

The bout on June 22 was an eagerly-anticipated rematch after the Welshman controversially snatched the title from McPhilbin in March.

Undefeated super-featherweight Liam Walsh is now expected to head the bill in what is likely to be a defence of his Commonwealth belt.

Reaction to follow.

He may have only been in the professional game a matter of months but Adam Kettleborough has already made a gigantic leap.

From winning his debut bout in front of 300 people at Grove Leisure Centre in Newark last month, the popular light-welterweight’s next fight will be staged at the Stadium of Light – home of Premier League outfit Sunderland FC.

However, the 25-year-old will have his work cut out on July 15 when he goes toe to toe with an unnamed opponent who boasts an unblemished record of four victories from four fights.

“I can’t explain how excited I am about this opportunity,” Kettleborough told Lincboxing.

“I am relishing the chance. It has just been confirmed and obviously I’m a bit anxious because it is a different situation for me to be in.

“My promoter Carl Greaves asked if I wanted to keep busy and I said yes. I never thought I’d be fighting somewhere as famous as the Stadium of Light this quickly.

“I haven’t been told the name of the opponent but anyone who wins four from four is pretty handy so I will have to be ready to give it everything.”

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Excited: Adam Kettleborough

After sealing a desperately hard-fought victory against Jatinder Johal in his debut, Kettleborough’s second scheduled fight in Sleaford earlier this month was cancelled after Northampton’s Jamie Spence pulled out of his Midlands Area title challenge against Amir Unsworth.

But the Newark-based scrapper insists he has kept himself ticking over in the gym.

As well as hill sprints with English light-middleweight title challenger Andrew Lowe, Kettleborough has been sparring consistently.

“I was disappointed to have my last fight cancelled but that is what happens in boxing sometimes,” added Kettleborough.

“I got back in the gym and I’m feeling good. I’ve been in the professional game only a short while, but I love it.

“Having to balance work, house and boxing can be a struggle at times, but the dream is to do so well at boxing that it’s no longer a struggle.”

Hard night: Lucian Bute
Picture: Chris Vaughan

CARL Froch may have defined a career on Saturday, in a pulsating, unexpected manner in front of  a delirious crowd.

The Nottingham boxer wrested the IBF super-middleweight crown from previously undefeated Lucian Bute, finishing his foe in the fifth round of a bout which will be considered one of the greatest fought on these shores in many years.

But Froch’s achievement in claiming his third world championship was eclipsed a bigger accomplishment.  Written off by the bookmakers, some pundits and sections of the press – and contemplating his own retirement should he have met failure on Saturday night – Froch produced arguably the finest performance of his career.

From the pivotal third round, when Froch’s power changed his opponent’s expression to grave doubt from quiet confidence, the home fighter pursued his adversary with almost overpowering zeal.

And in the final stanza, the truth emerged. A man considered by the majority as the hunted – he was to be swinging fruitlessly at thin air while his supposed more skilful opponent moved away with ease – finished with killer instinct. It was a surprising finish, an outstanding finish. It was better than performances against Pascal or Abraham, Froch’s finest moment.

“I came to this week with the pressure on me,“ said Froch. “I need to be in world-title fights. I showed what I can do when I’m focused. I still feel young, fresh and ready for more.”

After clambering away from the precipice of retirement, Froch holds all of the cards as regards his plans. Suggestions that Bute may opt out of the contracted re-match in Canda – or even quit the sport altogether – are surely premature. He showed plenty of class following the defeat and is now likely to take reasonable time contemplating his options.

Froch, meanwhile, can consider a re-match against Mikkel Kessler, attempting to avenge a narrow defeat in a fine showing in Denmark during the Super Six. Andre Ward, now standing alone as the division’s top talent, could lie in wait as the final test of Froch’s career.

Irrespective of his next move, Froch will now take his place as one of British boxing’s greats. And most pleasing for those who love the sport, he earned every bit of it.

Matt Hainy has promised a better work rate when he tackles Kreshnik Qato for the vacant English middleweight title on Saturday.

The 10-round showdown will take place at the ExCel Arena – the official London Olympic venue for all boxing events.

Wembley-based Qato (won 27, lost 8) who hails from Albania, is a former WBF middleweight champion.

The fight is expected to provide Hainy with his sternest test to date following nine victories and three defeats. He defeated Luke Robinson over 10 tough rounds to lift the vacant international masters belt in Whitwick last time out.

Hainy said: “My training was excellent for my last fight and it has been even better this time.

“My work rate will be better in this fight and I’m punching harder.”

The 30-year-old martial arts instructor has been sparring with Ryan Rhodes, who takes on Sergey Rabchenko for the European title later next month.

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Experienced: Kreshnik Qato

There is also the comeback of former IBO light middleweight title holder Richard Williams, who takes on William Joppy.

 

For ticket details, call Ticketmaster on 0844 847 1699.

Confident hot prospect Mitchell Smith will make his professional debut at York Hall, Bethnal Green this Friday.

The 19-year-old super-featherweight won last year’s 57kg ABA senior championships and is tipped to forge a successful career in the pro ranks.

Smith’s opponent is yet to be named but a large crowd is expected as Billy Joe Saunders’ Commonwealth middlweight title defence against Bradley Pryce headlines the event.

Harrow-based Smith, nicknamed the “Baby Faced Assassin” said: “My team wouldn’t let me, but I know I could fight for the British title tomorrow and win it.

“I am so ready to go.

“As a boxer I want to completely clean up – from winning the Harrow title to the world title.

“I can do anything and adapt to anyone. If I have got to fight, box, jab, switch, I’ll do it and win the fight.

“I’ve never been stopped or put down.

“Now I’m starting to put people over in sparring.”

Smith’s debut has already been cancelled on three occasions and the youngster is desperate to make up for lost time.

“I don’t want to blow my own trumpet but I can’t wait to get the ball rolling,” he continued. “I know I have the ability to go 12 rounds already.”

Smith, whose brother Jez, is a two-time national schoolboy champion and European bronze medallist, will compete in a four round contest on Friday.

He decided to turn professional after being snubbed by Team GB ahead of this year’s London Olympics.

“Basically, Team GB were very reluctant to let me fight for them,” added Smith. “I never got a fair slice of the cake.

“I went up to spar before the World Youth Games and was told I did brilliant.

“Everyone wants to fight at the Olympics and World Championships but I felt there was nothing more I could so so I turned over. I only had half a dozen senior bouts.

“I’ve worked with Carl Frampton, Lewis Pettitt and a few good amateurs – particularly in the West Ham gym.

“I’m just really happy in the gym.”

 

Promising Erick Ochieng retained his English light-middleweight title with a convincing points victory over Andrew Lowe at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham on Saturday night.

However, controversy surrounded the result as many at ringside believed the fight to have been much closer than the judges gave Lowe credit for.

Judge Terry O’Connor awarded the Stoke-based champion all 10 rounds, while Steve Gray and Howard John Foster scored the contest 99-91 and 98-92 respectively.

Ochieng has now won 10 of his professional fights, with one defeat.

Lowe, who tore apart Terry Maughan inside four rounds in his last fight, has now won 10, lost seven and drawn one.

Lowe’s manager Carl Greaves told Lincboxing: “He got beaten fair and square but the scorecards were not correct in my opinion.

“I thought Andrew won the last three rounds.”

Full reaction from the fight on Lincboxing later this week.

Johnny Nelson admits he is struggling to split Carl Froch and Lucian Bute ahead of tonight’s mouth-watering clash between the pair.

The former WBO cruiserweight champion has also likened the eagerly anticipated fight at Nottingham’s Captial FM Arena to the fierce battles between Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn in the 1990s.

“I just can’t split them to be honest,” Nelson told Lincboxing. “Last time I saw a fight as genuinely close as this was Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn. We all know what great fights they turned out to be.

“I can’t call it and few pundits can.”

Canadian Bute, who has won all 30 of his professional fights to date, goes into the 10th defence of his IBF super-middleweight title edging the betting.

But Nottingham’s Froch, who has won 28 of his 30 bouts with two losses, is determined to become a three-time world champion.

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Ready to rumble: Carl Froch (left) and Lucian Bute

A disappointing defeat last time out against American Andre Ward is a performance the 34-year-old is hoping to bounce back from in front of his own fans.

Sky Sports pundit Nelson, who held the WBO strap for more than seven years before injuries forced him to hang up his gloves, added: “It’s a massive fight – especially for Carl Froch in my opinion.

“With Carl, what you see is what you get. He is like a caveman and he loves to scrap.

“But I don’t think he can be drawn in to a brawl against someone as powerful as Lucian Bute.

“He needs to dominate and we will have to wait and see whether he can do that or not.

“I have seen them both in the gym this week and they are both in brilliant shape.

“It is a case of Froch’s experience against the power of Bute. I would say Bute is the favourite but I’m not sure he has come up against the elite boxers of this division.

“Froch will take him somewhere he has never been before and how Bute reacts to that is what is so interesting.

“It is going to be a great fight.”

Underdog: Carl Froch.
Picture: Chris Vaughan

Carl Froch will not head in to tomorrow’s IBF world super-middleweight title challenge against Lucian Bute as favourite, despite fighting in his home town of Nottingham.

Bookmakers Ladbrokes have made the travelling champion 8/15 favourite to retain his title, with former two-time world champion Froch 13/8.

“The odds suggest Froch’s going to need more on his side than just the home crowd if he’s got a chance of beating Bute,” said Jessica Bridge, of Ladbrokes.

SCOTT Moises has paid tribute to unbeaten John Quigley by labelling him the trickiest fighter he has competed against.

The Norfolk super-featherweight dropped a unanimous points decision to Quigley (7-0) at last weekend’s Aintree show, headlined by David Price’s impressive victory against Moises’ stable-mate Sam Sexton.

And during the six-round contest the 24-year-old (3-6) admitted he had been impressed by the style employed by the southpaw.

“He was clever and awkward, definitely the most awkward boxer I have faced” said Moises, who trains at Graham Everett’s Norwich gym.

“John was a lot faster than I thought he would be, although I knew how he would box and I didn’t change my game plan.

“I felt it was difficult to get my shots off. I jabbed well to the body but should have doubled up those jabs more.

“Graham told me afterwards that he was pleased with my performance and how I handled myself.

“The fight against Quigley was a bit cagey as both of us wanted to counter. It was a hands-down, drawing your opponent in-type of fight.

“But I know I need to get back to the gym and work on my sharpness, speed and putting together combinations.”

Moises, a software applications engineer in Norwich, is a regular traveller for his fights. Prior to his trip to face hometown boxer Quigley in Liverpool, he had taken on Jamie Speight in Plymouth on just a few days’ notice, and has also journeyed to Manchester and London for contests.

Everett has spoken of his frustration at not being able to secure a Norfolk venue for his fighters and that looks set to continue, with Moises prepared to clock up the miles again.

“Most of my fights are too far away for my colleagues at work to come along, so I’d hope to box closer to home,” said Moises.

“That would be nice but I would expect to be on the road again for my next fight.”

Lucian Bute insists he has left no stone unturned ahead of his IBF super-middleweight title defence against Carl Froch in Nottingham this weekend.

The 32-year-old Canadian will make the 10th defence of his crown against Nottingham’s boxing hero at the Capital FM Arena on Saturday evening.

Following 30 straight wins and an unblemished professional record Bute steps outside of his home country for only the sixth time.

On two other occasions, Bute fought in Romania, the country he was born, and three times in the United States.

Froch (28-2, 20 KOs)  promised an adventure into the unknown when enters the ring on Saturday night, but the defending champion remains unfazed by being away from home.

“I am  very happy to be here and very excited to be here in Nottingham,” said Bute.

“Two months ago I was here for the first press conference and then left for my training camp in Florida. I was there for seven weeks.

“It was a good training camp. And I’m very happy. I have worked very, very hard for this fight.

“I know it is not going to be an easy fight for me. But I came here to win. I’m a winner.”

Bute, who won bronze for Romania in the 1999 World Amateur Games, and his campe were at ease and confident at the pre-fight press conference in Nottingham on Wednesday.

Trainer Stephane Larouche promised Bute was ready to successfully defend his title.

He said: “We have had a seven-week camp and we spent one week up north in Sheffield. We were well treated there.

“We had a great time, great sparring and a great camp.

“Lucian has been  sparring with some great guys – seven people in total.

“It’s not easy to get ready for Carl Froch. You have to get ready for a war – for 12 rounds. There will be 36 minutes of war.

“Froch is a true warrior. He has been there and he has shown that. He’s got the will to win. He has heavy hands and a good chin.

“He has a good trainer, good crew and a good promoter.

“I believe this is the type of fight boxing needs and the champion is ready. He is ready to rumble.”

Andrew Lowe reckons it will be a case of brain over brawn in his quest to become English light-middleweight champion this weekend.

The popular Newark boxer has received a golden ticket to the big time with a shot at Erick Ochieng’s title at what will be a sold out Capital FM Arena in Nottingham on Saturday night.

The fight is on the undercard to Carl Froch’s mouth-watering IBF super-middleweight blockbuster against Lucian Bute and will be the first bout screened live on Sky Sports.

“I will have to use my boxing brain if I am going to win the fight,” said 32-year-old Lowe.

“I cannot rush in, or get sucked into his kind of fight. I have seen a few tapes of this guy and while he is decent he is also unorthodox and he throws lots of wild shots.

“I am confident because he has never gone beyond eight rounds.

“I have boxed for 10 rounds on two occasions so I know if it gets to the latter stages of the fight I will be in a good position.”

Lowe earned his shot after winning the vacant British Masters light-middleweight title with a brilliant fourth round stoppage against Terry Maughan in April.

Lowe’s record is a mixed bag. Despite winning 10, he has also lost six and drawn one.

The orthodox fighter is enjoying a new lease of life and is undefeated in his last three fights.

Following nine wins and one defeat to his name, the current champion will enter the ring as the favourite.

But Lowe insits he is in the best shape of his boxing life and that he will give everything to realise his dream.

“This is a massive opportunity for me and I’m going to give it everything in that ring,” added Lowe.

“I blew away Maughan in my last fight and the temptation is to do the same with this guy.

“But I probably need to think about it a bit more and just outbox him.

“I feel I’m in the best shape ever, boxing wise, and I’m looking forward to the fight. Obviously a few nerves have crept in because it means a lot to me. But I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing at all.”

As for the main event between Froch and Bute, Lowe struggled to predict the outcome.

“It’s going to be a great fight and who knows?” he said.

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Big chance: Andrew Lowe (right)

“I have been impressed with Bute in the build up, but I’m not sure if he’s been tested at the very highest level. It’s anyone’s fight.”

A focused Carl Froch has blasted Lucian Bute for believing he can successfully defend his IBF world super-middleweight crown in the Nottingham boxer’s hometown.

The pair will battle it out for the undefeated Canadian’s belt in front of a capacity 10,000 crowd at the Capital FM Arena on Saturday evening.

Victory for Froch, who has never lost on home soil during a glittering 10-year professional career, would seal his place with Britain’s all time elite by becoming a three-time world champion.

“I am half-insulted he (Bute) is coming over to Nottingham,” said Froch. “To come to my backyard where I have never been beat, and where I have no intention of being beat? I am really going to let him know what he is in for from round one through to round 12 if necessary.

“I really feel I am going to catch him early with something sweet. He’s been knocked out before as an amateur.

“It’s going to be hard for him and it’s going to be punishing.

“It’s going to be exciting and I want people to enjoy the show. That’s what I’m going to do. I am going to relax and do what I need to do to become the IBF champion of the world. A big thanks to Lucian Bute and his team for coming over but he has made a big mistake.”

Froch is aiming to bounce back from only the second defeat of his career against unbeaten WBC and WBA champion Andre Ward in December.

The 34-year-old admitted he was not at his best that night in Atlantic City but that the time was perfect to redeem himself.

“The Andre Ward fight was a bad night for me,” continued The Cobra. “This is the comeback for me after that bitterly disappointing night in Atlantic City.

“I have been on the road now for three years fighting away from home. Nothing has been comfortable and nothing has been easy. I have a really good feeling about this fight with it being in Nottingham.

“I have a fantastic fan base and that has been proved by the fact the arena is going to be sold out.

“The camp has gone excellent. No fighter is going to tell you a camp hasn’t gone well but it has gone very well.

“I feel fit, strong and I’m on the weight sooner than usual.

“My trainer Rob McCracken has told me lots of positive things about this fight and he is never wrong.”

Most boxing pundits are struggling to separate Froch with an opponent who has won all of his 30 professional fights.

The Romanian born southpaw boasts a mean left hand and 80 per cent knockout ratio.

The 32-year-old’s unanimous points victory over an albeit ageing Glen Johnson in November did at least prove he can overcome a big name in the super-middleweight division.

Despite his opponent’s unblemished record, Froch, who has won 28 fights and lost two, is oozing confidence.

“Over the last three years I have been through every emotion – the highs and the lows,” added Froch.

“I know what it’s like to taste defeat and it’s not nice. I’ve come back from a very close, dubious decision against Mikkel Kessler to put on a career best performance against Arthur Abraham.

“It wasn’t my night in Atlantic City.  I lost a very close fight against a top, top fighter and I’m going to put it right on Saturday night against Lucian Bute.

“If he thinks he can come to my city, my hometown, my fortress, he can think again.

Froch added: “I know what it’s like to fight against a crowd when I went to Denmark to fight Kessler. He is the David Beckham of Denmark.

“There was no respect for the Cobra out there, no respect, no love, nothing.

“I know how that feels and it doesn’t matter what kind of fighter you are, whether you are unbeaten or a champion.

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Confident: Carl Froch, who aims to become a three-time world champion with victory over Lucian Bute on Saturday night.
Picture: Chris Vaughan

“When you step into the arena and you’re doing your work and there is silence. Then your opponent is letting shots go and the crowd erupts. You feel the vibration through your chest.

“You can hear the noise of the crowd and it gives you such a lift as the home fighter.

“But it takes you down when you are under fire and trust me Bute is going to be under fire on Saturday night.”

Carl Froch, Eddie Hearn and Lucian Bute

Excited promoter Eddie Hearn has promised boxing fans an “incredible” fight when Carl Froch challenges Canadian Lucian Bute for his world title on Saturday night.

The Nottingham fighter bids to become one of Britain’s most successful-ever boxers by winning a world championship belt for the third time.

Undefeated IBF champion Bute boasts an incredible 80 per cent knockout ratio from 30 straight victories.

But his sternest test will come against Froch at the Capital FM Arena this weekend – a man who has never lost on home soil.

“This has been a long while coming and I can’t wait for Saturday night,” said Hearn.

“It’s very unusual for a fight of this magnitude to happen in the United Kingdom where a credible and impressive world champion will come into our own man’s backyard to defend his title.

“I liken this to Ricky Hatton and Kosta Tsyzu or Joe Calzaghe against Mikkel Kessler. Those fights have a common denomintor which we hope to see again on Saturday night.

“We are talking about two incredible fighters and two incredible athletes and they both deserve everything they get out of this sport.”

Former two-time WBC champion Froch is still licking his wounds from a disappointing unanimous points defeat against impregnable American Andre Ward in December.

Never one to shy away from fighting the very best the division has to offer, the 34-year-old will point to eye-catching wins against Glen Johnson, Arthur Abraham, Andre Dirrell, Jermain Taylor and Jean Pascal – all in a glittering last four years.

Only a controversial points loss to Mikkel Kessler in his native Denmark ruins that winning streak.

“I know that in life and in sport, you don’t get everything you deserve, but if anyone deserves anything it is Carl Froch becoming a three-time champion of the world,” continued Hearn.

“We know boxing doesn’t always happen like that but what I can promise is an incredible, incredible fight on Saturday night.

“Because Lucian is coming into Froch’s backyard, we don’t know how he is going to respond.

“We don’t know how Froch is going to respond in a packed out, sold out arena.”

Hearn also believes fighting in Nottingham could prove a crucial factor in the eventual outcome of what is expected to be a close bout.

“The atmosphere will be like none other we have seen in a British ring,” added Hearn.

“It’s going to be hostile, but potentially reasonably friendly. But the fans are in for a real treat because the fight sells itself.

“It’s a completely sold out arena. I think Froch will become one of Britain’s greatest ever fighters on Saturday night.”

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Excited: Eddie Hearn speaking at the Carl Froch v Lucian Bute press conference in Nottingham on Wednesday afternoon
Picture: Chris Vaughan

 

Determined Scotsman Michael Stupart hopes training in London will spark a dramatic change of fortune in the ring.

The 28-year-old featherweight is yet to win a contest since turning professional last year.

A draw against Dean Anderson in Walsall earlier this month slammed the breaks on four straight defeats and Stupart is now desperate to clinch his maiden victory.

Working in the construction industry, Stupart spends much of his time travelling up and down the country – making training difficult.

But Stupart is set to join the Peacock Gym in London and hopes to settle in a bid to improve his boxing record.

“It really is difficult balancing work with boxing sometimes,” said Supart. “I am currently based in Cumbria, but often go back to train in Scotland.

“Sometimes I am training all over the place. But I am determined to get a win as soon as I can and I am confident of doing that.

“I have been involved in some horrible decisions. I should have won my debut bout against Zak Smith and I certainly should have won in my last fight against Dean Anderson.

“Unfortunately you get quite a lot of that in boxing – but it doesn’t put me off. I just need to keep working hard and that win will come.”

“I am looking forward to getting involved at the Peacock Gym. It has a good reputation and I will learn a lot from it.

“It will be better sparring and training for me and there are some good people down there so hopefully that will make the difference.”

After controversially losing his debut, Stupart suffered two knockout defeats to Lewis Pettitt and highly rated Ryan Doyle.

He then improved with a points loss against undefeated Mark Evans.

Stupart added: “Ryan Doyle was probably the best fighter I have faced and I think he will go far.

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Michael Stupart (right) in action against Zak Smith

“But I need to focus on me and get this win under my belt. Winning breeds confidence and that’s what I need to do.”

Promoter Frank Maloney has tipped hot prospect David Price to be crowned world heavyweight champion.

The Liverpudlian’s impressive fourth round stoppage against Sam Sexton to lift the British and Commonwealth belts on Saturday evening has made boxing pundits stand up and take notice.

Maloney said: “People might have dismissed David’s comments when he said he would become world heavyweight champion by his 20th fight. That doesn’t look a bad prediction now.

“He could most probably earn his chance quickly, but it is about becoming world champion and having a long reign.”

Price, who stands at 6ft 8ins, and his team now have their sights set on a summer clash in the United States or a British title defence on home soil.

However, it is unlikely British boxing fans will get their wish of watching Price go toe to toe with fellow unbeaten prospect Tyson Fury.

Maloney added: “We know David has an impreccable amateur pedigree, but to do a job like he did against Sam in only his 13th professional fight was special.

“The only other person to beat Sexton was Dereck Chisora and I will let those who turned up at Aintree and watching on television decide who was the most impressive against him.

“There are some credible British opponents who would be decent opposition and there has been interest from America for a while.

“Whatever decision is made will be in David’s best interests and nobody else.”

 

Ready to rumble: Carl Froch (left) and Lucian Bute

The public weigh-in ahead of Carl Froch’s highly anticipated IBF super-middleweight world title fight against Lucian Bute will take place this Friday (2.45pm).

It will be held at Capital FM Arena in Nottingham before the pair do battle at the same venue on Saturday evening.

Nottingham-born Froch will go toe to toe with Bute with the aim of becoming a three-time world champion.

The Cobra will be fighting in his hometown for the first time in three years against the unbeaten Canadian – who is making the 10th defence of his title.

A limited number of tickets are still available for the event – priced between £60 and £150.

For further details, call 08444 124 624 or log on at http://www.capitalfmarena.com.

An adamant Amir Unsworth has ruled out any chance of long-term rival Jamie Spence fighting for his Midlands Area lightweight title again.

The two were set to battle it out for Unsworth’s belt in Sleaford this evening before Spence pulled out with a bout of flu.

The Northampton-based challenger, who has won nine and lost three from 12 contests, withdrew from a previous title bout between the two back in November.

“He bottled it as far as I’m concerned,” said an angry Unsworth. “I also had the flu in the build up to the fight but I was in no doubt that I wanted the fight. I knew what I had to do and I was ready for it.

“I was mentally geared up for winning the fight. As for Jamie Spence, once is fair enough, twice is a joke.

“I am not going to go through another 10-week training camp for him again. He has lost his chance to win my belt as far as I’m concerned.”

It was all set to be a memorable night for the Sleaford-based boxer. More than 200 of his fans were set to cheer him on and one of his closest friends, Steve Doolen, was set to parade his belt to the ring before the first bell.

Doolen lost a leg while serving his country in Afghanistan last year after stepping on an explosive device.

But after Spence pulled out, promoter Carl Greaves was forced to cancel the show.

Now, Unsworth is set to return to the army himself before hoping to land an English title shot in the summer.

“I have just had the best training camp ever and I know what level I’m at,” added Unsworth, who lost to Derry Matthews when fighting for the Liverpudlian’s English title last year. “I should be an English title contender and that is where I will be again.

“I have been sparring with light-welterweight Steve Williams and been doing really well.”Image

Despite losing his last two fights, Unsworth still boasts a decent record of 13 wins, five defeats and one draw.

Joe Calzaghe’s autobiography offers an enthralling insight into the mindset of a true champion.

The Welsh legend retired an undefeated king after 46 professional bouts at super-middleweight and light-heavyweight and this book proves to be another success story for him.

This is a story of Calzaghe’s hell-bent focus on proving the doubters wrong – from his humble beginnings in his hometown of Newbridge, to his career defining, blockbuster victory against Jeff Lacy in 2006.

Joe reflects on a career in which he was constantly having to contend with hand injuries. This explains why there were often average performances against mediocre opponents in the middle sector of his career.

There are some hilarious moments too – none other than when Joe describes the tense moment when former world cruiserweight champion Carl Thompson loses his temper with a teasing Naseem Hamed on a plane trip to America.

The charismatic Hamed is mentioned again following an airport

Joe Calzaghe

brawl with one of Joe’s greatest rivals early in his career, Chris Eubank.

Unfortunately, the book fails to go any further than Joe’s simple third round stoppage victory over Peter Manfredo in 2007 – therefore missing arguably some of his most eye-catching wins against Mikkel Kessler, Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones.

Similar to his tremendous winning record in the ring, there are occasions when Joe becomes repetitive during the book.

But this is certainly worth a read for any boxing fan.

Lincboxing rating: 7/10