A focus on domestic affairs this week, headlined by Martin Murray’s battle with Gabriel Rosado at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Saturday…
Murray and Rosado within middleweight limit
Martin Murray comfortably completed his return to the middleweight division at Friday’s weigh-in before his crossroads fight with Philadelphia’s Gabriel Rosado at the Echo Arena.
Murray was 11st 5lbs 3oz on the scale, an ounce heavier than Rosado, and easily within the 11st 6lbs limit before their meeting in Liverpool, live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 7.30pm on Saturday.
The St. Helens fighter had spent his last three fights as a super-middleweight but has dropped back down to the division where he has vied for a world championship on four occasions.
Rocky Fielding (11st 13lbs) and John Ryder (11st 12lbs 8oz) also made weight inside the 12st limit ahead of their contest for the vacant British super-middleweight title.
Taylor to face Nina Meinke in a WBA World Lightweight title eliminator
Katie Taylor will face Nina Meinke in an eliminator for the WBA Lightweight title on April 29 at Wembley Stadium, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Irish amateur star Taylor has taken to the paid ranks in style since her debut in November, racing to 4-0 with two wins inside the distance and wowing crowds on huge fight nights in London and Manchester, and the 30-year-old will support Joshua for the second time in her blossoming pro career and can land her first pro title into the bargain with the WBA Inter-Continental strap up for grabs.
Meinke claimed her first silverware in her last fight when she blasted away Hasna Tukic in one round in March to pick up the IBF Youth Super-Featherweight title, and the 23-year-old German, trained by former world champion Sven Ottke, is no stranger to the UK having boxed out of the Westway ABC in Scarborough as a teenager.
Taylor’s addition to the blockbuster night sees her become the fourth Olympic gold medal winner on the card, joining fellow London 2012 winners Joshua and Luke Campbell, while Klitschko claimed gold in the Atlanta games in 1996. Campbell faces former World Lightweight champion Darleys Perez, who represented Columbia in the 2008 Beijing games, making it eight Olympians in total after Team GB’s Rio trio of Lawrence Okolie, Joe Cordina and Josh Kelly were added last week.
“It’s a massive fight for me on a massive night of boxing,” said Taylor. “I’ve only been a professional for five months and already been lucky enough to box on some huge events but Wembley Stadium on the Joshua – Klitschko card is going to be something else again.
“I’ve watched Meinke and she’s a very strong opponent. She’s unbeaten so it’s a step up for me and I’m sure she’ll be very confident. It’s obviously a massive opportunity for both of us being a world title eliminator and it’s my first scheduled 10 round fight so I’m relishing the challenge. I’ve been working very hard out here in Connecticut in training camp so I’ll be in great shape come fight night and I’m just really looking forward to it now and being part of such a historic event.”
“This is a huge step up for Katie on a massive night of boxing,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “No disrespect to her previous opponents but Meinke is on another level and has operated and been victorious on the big stage. In just four fights, Katie has established herself as the most exciting female fighter on the planet but now we get the chance to see if she is ready for the world stage.”
Taylor’s clash with Meinke is part of a historic night of action on the sold-out blockbuster battle between IBF king Joshua and former lineal world ruler Klitschko, with the WBA and IBO straps also up for grabs, while former World Super-Bantamweight king Scott Quigg continues his quest to become a two-weight champion by facing Viorel Simion at featherweight, Campbell and Perez clash for the number one spot in the WBA, and Okolie, Cordina and Kelly will draw lots to see who kicks off the historic night.
Dillian Whyte faces Mariusz Wach in a crunch Heavyweight clash at The O2 in London
Dillian Whyte returns to action in a crunch heavyweight clash with Mariusz Wach at The O2 in London on June 3, live on Sky Sports.
Whyte is back in the saddle after his epic battle with Dereck Chisora in December in Manchester, with the London pair going toe-to-toe over 12 exhilarating rounds that Whyte claimed via split decision.
‘The Bodysnatcher’ now steps up his pursuit of world honours in the capital against Wach, the Pole that took Wladimir Klitschko the distance for four world titles in 2012 and is ranked at number seven in the WBC and 14 in the IBF – and the 29 year old is planning to put in a performance that makes puts the world champions on red alert.
“I’m super excited to be headlining at The O2,” said Whyte. “I’ve being working hard to be a standalone headline fighter and to headline against someone of the stature of Mariusz Wach is great.
“He’s a good fighter. Tall and rangy and he throws a lot of body punches and uppercuts. He’s Polish so of course he’s going to be tough and bring that warrior spirit.
“He’s a tough guy so I’ll have to work hard. I believe I have what it takes, the resilience, tenacity, skills and heart to beat him. Possibly a stoppage if I apply the right game plan.
“He’ll come to fight, use his range. It is heavyweight boxing – you can’t guess what these fighters are thinking. You have to prepare for all outcomes.
“He’s challenged for a world title and he’s the man who gave Klitschko problems and put up a good fight against Alexander Povetkin too – two of the best fighters we’ve had in the past 10 years. It shows how tough he is. He just beat Erkan Teper as well so it’s a very tough test.
“After my last fight, I could have fought Chisora again but I want to move onwards and upwards and I believe this is a couple of levels above Chisora.
“I want to fight for a world title in the next year. I’m in a good position to be in with my rankings but I know that Wach is a dangerous customer and can ruin my dreams, so I have to be at my very best and take him out in style to prove I mean business at the top level.”
There’s a stacked card in support of Whyte’s clash with Wach, led by British Light-Heavyweight champion Frank Buglioni defending his title for the first time against Ricky Summers. Buglioni was set to defend his belt against the unbeaten Tipton man in Greenwich in March on the undercard of Tony Bellew’s epic win over David Haye, but injury forced him to postpone. Buglioni puts the belt on the line for the first time since ripping it from Hosea Burton in a dramatic 12th round stoppage win in Manchester in December.
A host of young London talents are set to appear on the bill in the form of Reece Bellotti, Ted Cheeseman, Isaac Chamberlain, Rio Olympian Lawrence Okolie, Craig Richards, Jake Ball and Danny Dignum.
Tickets go on sale to O2 Priority members at 4pm today (19th April) priced Tickets are priced £40, £60, £80, £120 and £250 VIP.
Tickets go on sale to Fight Pass members at 10am on Thursday 20th April via www.stubhub.co.uk
Anthony Fowler signs promotional contract with Matchroom Boxing
Liverpool ace to debut on Kell Brook Box Office blockbuster
Olympic captain Anthony Fowler has signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing.
Fowler led Team GB at the 2016 Rio games where he was the middleweight representative, and the 2014 Commonwealth gold medal man and six-time ABA champion will kick-off life in the paid ranks on the undercard of the monster welterweight battle between IBF World champion Kell Brook and his fearsome unbeaten mandatory Errol Spence at Bramall Lane in Sheffield on May 27, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
The Liverpool ace, cousin of Anfield legend Robbie, will train alongside Merseryside hero Tony Bellew under trainer Dave Coldwell, and he has already garnered a huge fan base on Merseyside, and the 26 year old can’t wait to get underway in the pros and Fowler is already targeting major titles.
“When I won Commonwealth gold that made my own name and then boxing in the Olympics and now turning pro, I really feel I can make a big impact in the city,” said Fowler.
“I think being British champion in 18 months is a good target for me. I’ve got good people around me that give me great advice and allow me to just train and prepare to fight while they take care of that. I trust them a lot and they will pick the route for me and choose the right fights at the right time, which I know is so important in boxing.
“I achieved everything I could do in the amateurs apart from getting a media at the Olympics. I waited for Rio because I wanted to go to the Olympics but I was also gaining experience fighting the best of the best. As a pro I think that’s going to show as there’s very few people in England that can live with me and it’s only the very elite in the world that beat me in the amateurs. So I think I am going to shine as a pro and my style is great for it.
“I’ve been knocking people out in the amateurs with big gloves on so I think in the pros that I’ll have more time to pick my shots and over the longer distance I’ll be able to take my time and look really good. As long as I keep my head down and live the life, I don’t see any reason why I won’t become a world champion.”
“I’m delighted to welcome the GB Olympic captain Anthony Fowler to the Matchroom Boxing team,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Anthony has had an incredible amateur career but I really believe that his style is perfect to achieve in the pro game and to entertain fight fans in the arenas and on Sky Sports. He comes from a great fighting city and with his links and family history to Liverpool football club we expect him to be a major star both in his home town and all around the country.”