STEFY BULL has admitted to being staggered by the drive and determination show by his charge Josh Wale ahead of the Barnsley puncher’s potentially historic clash with Brad Foster on March 8.
Wale has been a professional for over 12 years and has had to overcome his fair share of heart-breaking setbacks during that time.
But Bull, who co-trains Wale as well as promoting and managing him, says the Yorkshireman’s appetite for training is as great as ever.
“Josh’s dedication is amazing,” Bull stated. “At 30 years old, his commitment is as strong now as when he started boxing.
“It’s freaky that he’s still got that excitement for boxing. It’s like having a fresh 18 or 19-year-old prospect in the gym.
“After all the adversity and all the experiences he’s had, the fires is still there and burning brighter than ever. He wants to do a run faster than ever, go further and always spar better than his last spar.
“He wants to make history badly. He’s got the opportunity to be Barnsley’s first ever two-weight British champion and he’ll do everything he needs to get there.”
It would be easy to think that the opportunity to make history in his home town is providing the catalyst for his voracious training but father Mick Wale, who trains Josh alongside Bull, believes his commitment would be the same even if a fight of lower magnitude was upon him.
“Josh is the ultimate professional and it whether he’s fighting a six-rounder or for a British title, his work rate is second to none. He’s always been like that, ever since he first started boxing,” Mick said.
“There’s a lot of kids in boxing who start off giving it everything in every training session but few sustain it like Josh has. They do well for a period of time and then it fades away.
“Josh has had a lot of setbacks in his career. He’s been robbed of titles, suffered cuts and injuries and been written off by a few people. Yet, his head has never dropped. He’s still got the same passion and ambition now as he had when he first started at eight-year-old.
“What Josh’s career is about now is his legacy. Winning the British title at two different weights will cement that legacy.
“When people talk about him in 20 or 30 years time, they’ll say ‘Josh Wale won two British titles’ and who can say this is the end of his ambitions? If he wins this, we’ll defend it and then fight the Italian (Luca Rigoldi) for the European title.”
Wale v Foster is entitled ‘History in the Making’ and takes place at the Barnsley Metrodome on Friday March 8. The event has a stellar undercard including a WBC International lightweight clash between unbeaten female fighters Terri Harper and Nina Bradley, as well as Rotherham’s all-action Lee Appleyard against 12-0 stylist Kieran McLaren in an English title eliminator.
Also in action are former two-weight Commonwealth champion Jason Cunningham, Hull southpaw Connor Coghill and unbeaten prospects Dom Hunt, Jimmy Joe Flint and Levi Kinsiona.
Hard-punching welterweight prospect Derrieck Cuevas says he’s not bothered by the number of fans his upcoming opponent Ed “The Lion” Paredes of Pembroke Pines will have in-house for their showdown.
Cuevas (18-0-1, 14 KOs), originally from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, and now living in Miami, will face popular long-time Florida resident Paredes (38-7-1, 25 KOs) on Friday, March 1, in the 10-round main event of The Heavyweight Factory’s, in association with All Star Boxing, “Rumble at the Rock IV” at the Hard Rock Event Center at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., and live on Boxeo Telemundo.
“It doesn’t bother me,” said Cuevas of Paredes’ fan following. “At the end of the day, it’s only me and him, and they can’t fight for him. I look forward to giving him a world-class beating in front of all his fans.”
Cuevas, 24, is coming off an impressive, unanimous decision victory over respected gate keeper Breidis Prescott last November, but says Paredes represents his biggest fistic challenge. Paredes, 33, is a 14-year pro, who once held the WBC Caribbean Boxing Federation (CABOFE), WBO Latino Welterweight, WBA-NABA Welterweight and WBC Youth World Welterweight Championships.
“Paredes is the toughest fighter I’ve faced in my career. He’s a savvy veteran who has never been knocked out. But I’m coming to represent Puerto Rico and Puerto Rican boxing fans. Come March 1, I plan to be the first man to knock Ed Paredes out.”
Working hard to make that happen, Cuevas is working with trainer Jesse Robinson, a former Emanuel Steward protege.
“He’s been teaching me a lot of new things,” said Cuevas. “My explosivity and body punching will be really different for this fight. Jesse knows how to get the most out of a fighter’s strong points.
Director of Boxing for The Heavyweight Factory Henry Rivalta says Cuevas’ performance against Paredes will reveal a lot about the young prospect’s future in the sport.
“Paredes is someone only great fighters can get past,” said Rivalta. “He’s never been knocked out and he’s beaten lots of very good fighters. Plus, he’s coming in well-rested and free of injury. If Derrieck can look good against him, or be the first to knock him out, we will know he has a very bright future in professional boxing. This is truly a midterm exam for this up-and-coming fighter.”
Friday January 18th, LIVE from Madison Square Garden Matchroom boxing presented a triple world title event. The card would be headlined by two division world champion Demetrius Andrade making the first defense of his WBO middleweight title against tough Russian Challenger Artur Akavov. In the co-features Amanda Serrano and Eva Voraberger met for the vacant WBO female super flyweight world championship. The events third title bout was an IBF Super Bantamweight contest between TJ Doheny making the first defense of his belt against Ryohei Takahashi.
In the main event Demetrius Andrade would be given a tough battle from little known but world traveled Artur Akavov, This would be the second attempt at winning the WBO middleweight belt for Akavov, in 2016 he would lose a close decision to then WBO middleweight title holder Billy Joe Saunders.
The come forward pressure style of Akavov forced Andrade to use his entire skill set until a later rally by Andrade gained him a twelfth round TKO victory. With the win Andrade would improve to 27-0(17) while Artur Akavov now stands at 19-3 (8).
This win should set up a unification bout for Andrade with either either the divisions IBF title holder Daniel Jacobs or WBC and Ring title holder Canelo Alvarez. Either of those contest because all three fighters have contracts with DAZN, can and should be easily made.
In the evenings co-feature Amanda Serrano made history after dispatching multi-division world champion Eva Voraberger in under a round. The contest began with Serrano applying pressure on Voraberger who answered back with several counter shots of her own. As Voraberger began to come forward, Serrano landed a left hook to the liver of Voraberger ending the contest at thirty five seconds of round one.
With the win Amanda Serrano boxing’s only female fighter to win world titles in seven weight classes, improved to 36-1-1 (25). This would be the sixth loss for Eva Voraberger who now stands at 24-6 (11).
This victory should set up boxing’s first genuine female “Super Fight” between Amanda Serrano and unified lightweight champion Katie Taylor. That of course assuming Taylor the divisions WBA and IBF champion defeats WBO division champion Rose Volante when they meet in March.
When TJ Doheny stepped in against Ryohei Takahashi to defend his IBF Super Bantamweight world title, I don’t think he was expecting a tough outing. The light hitting but slick Japanese challenger though as with previous opponents he has lost to, frustrated Doheny for the majority of the night until finally being dispatched at 2:18 of the eleventh round. With the win TJ Doheny improved to 21-0 (15) while Ryohei Takahashi now stands at 16-4-1 (6).
In Under card action
Welterweight- Chris Algieri 23-3 (8) def. Daniel Gonzalez 17-1 (7) via UD 10.
Welterweight- Julian Sosa 13-0-1 (5) def. Dieumerci Nzau 11-7 (8) via TKO 4.
Heavyweight- Nkosi Solomon 1-1 def. Rodriguez Cade 2-4 (2) via UD 4.
Welterweight- Reshat Mati 3-0 (2) def. Benjamin Borteye 4-4 (4) via TKO 1.
Welterweight- Cornell Hines 4-0 (2) def. Farhad Fatulla 1-3 via MD 4.
Artur Mann (15-0, 8 KOs) challenges Kevin Lerena (21-1, 9 KOs) for the IBO World Cruiserweight title on March 16 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Mann, undefeated in fifteen professional contest, lands this dream World title shot following a unanimous points win over Alexey Zubov in Chicago, and is full of confidence as he travels to South Africa in search of World glory.
“This is the moment I’ve been working my whole life for,” says Mann. “Who would have thought a year ago that today we would be preparing for an IBO World title fight in Johannesburg. I can’t thank my promoter Team Sauerland and the Sauerland family enough that this dream could be realized so quickly. Thanks also to my management Daniel Todorovic and Marius Schulze.
“This is a huge opportunity, and one I will not miss. Kevin Lerena will certainly have a home advantage as the reigning champion and local hero, but I like a challenge, and I’m convinced I will bring the IBO belt home to Germany.”
Lerena claimed the IBO strap with a split decision win over Youri Kayembre Kalenga on September 9, 2017, and has since recorded two successful defences against Ukraine’s Dmytro Kucher and Roman Golovashchenko.
“I’m excited to be back in the square jungle against such a formidable opponent as Artur Mann,” he said. “The public can look forward to a fan friendly fight with no quarter asked or given. Whilst I respect Mann’s record, only one hand will be raised in victory – AND STILL – This is the year of Kevin Lerena !”
“Kevin Lerena vs. Artur Mann for the IBO Cruiserweight title at the Emperors Palace – an evenly matched and mouth watering fight between two outstanding boxers,” said Rodney Berman, for Golden Gloves. “Both can ill afford a loss at this stage of their careers with the cruiserweight division enjoying such popularity, which is in no small measure due to the World Boxing Super Series.
“We look forward to staging this main event in association with Team Sauerland with whom we have always enjoyed an excellent relationship.”
“We’re delighted to be working with Rodney Berman and Golden Gloves to deliver this spectacular cruiserweight Wold title showdown,” said Nisse Sauerland, for Team Sauerland. “This is a fantastic opportunity for Artur and one he must seize with both hands. I’m expecting a fan friendly contest, with both men leaving it all on the line. Germany is due a World Champion, and now Artur has the chance to write his name in the history books.”
Dmitry Bivol and World of Boxing have signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing USA and the Russian will defend his WBA World Light-Heavyweight title against Joe Smith Jr live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.
Bivol makes the fifth defense of his belt against Smith Jr after moving to 15-0 (11KOs) in November, with a comprehensive to a points win over former unified champion Jean Pascal in New Jersey. Bivol’s win over the Canadian was the latest impressive name on his growing CV, following a points triumph over Isaac Chilemba, a final round stoppage of Sullivan Barrera and a highlight real first round KO of Trent Broadhurst.
The Russian star will meet a stern test of his ambitions to unify the division in the shape of Smith Jr (24-2 20KOs) the Long Islander who famously stopped Bernard Hopkins in the Philadelphia legend’s last pro fight in December 2016 and destroyed Andrzej Fonfara inside the opening round of their clash in Chicago six months earlier.
Eddie Hearn presents Bivol vs. Smith Jr in association with World of Boxing and Star Boxing – and both fighters and their teams predict fireworks when the paid clash in March, with the date and venue to be confirmed at a press conference in New York this Friday.
“I am glad to finally meet Joe in the ring,” said Bivol. “I saw his fights against Fonfara and Hopkins live and always wanted to test my skills against him! Thank you to World of Boxing, Matchroom Boxing USA, and DAZN – I hope to put a great performance for everybody!
“Very happy to be working with Eddie Hearn, it’s a pleasure!” said World of Boxing’s Andrei Ryabinskiy. “We look forward to a great event together with Matchroom and DAZN.”
“Bivol was supposed to fight Joe back in November, it’s a very exciting fight,” said Bivol’s manager Vadim Kornilov. “Both Dmitry and Joe have a lot of power. I guess this fight was meant to happen and we look forward to a building relationship with Eddie Hearn and DAZN!”
“I am very excited for the opportunity to fight Bivol for the World championship,” said Smith Jr. “Everything I’ve worked for in and out of the gym was to better myself and become a World Champion. All the hard work and my determination will pay off come fight night.”
“Joe Smith Jr. is one of the hardest punching fighters out there,” said Smith’s promoter Star Boxing CEO Joe DeGuardia. “His exciting style and humble background has made him a real fan favorite. I am pleased he will be getting this opportunity to fight for the World Championship. Joe has been anxiously waiting for this opportunity and I look forward the fight.”
Kem Ljungquist (6-0, 4 KOs) must face a new test as he returns to the ring on Saturday, January 19 at the Struer Energi Park on the undercard of Dina Thorslund’s WBO World Super Bantamweight title defence against Alesia Graf.
The Danish heavyweight hope will now meet undefeated Boldizsar Balazs Czagler (2-0, 2 KOs) following the withdrawal of his scheduled opponent Dominik Musil, who has been ruled out after breaking his nose in sparring.
“These things happen in boxing,” says Ljungquist. “I have no problem preparing for a new opponent. I’ll be ready. He is unbeaten now, but not after Saturday!”
The 28 year-old was last in action at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, where he recorded a second-round stoppage win over Egypt’s Mourad Omar.
In preparation for his seventh professional bout, Ljungquist has been in Berlin sparring top German heavyweight Albon Pervizaj, who also fights in Struer.
“I had some really good sparring with Albon,” he says. “We did many rounds together, and his coach Ulli Wegner told me I was big a talent. He also pointed out some things I need to work on, but it would be strange if I was perfect at this stage of my career, and it’s nice to get praise from such a big name.
“I’ve had great preparations for this fight in general, so I’m really looking forward to giving the fans in Struer a good performance on Saturday night!”
Dina Thorslund tops the bill in Struer, defending her WBO Female World Super Bantamweight title against Alesia Graf, while former European Champion Dennis Ceylan rematches Jesus Sanchez for the EU Featherweight crown.
Oliver Flodin faces Abdul Khattab in a Scandinavian middleweight thriller, heavyweight hope Kem Ljungquist takes on Dominik Musil, Lolenga Mock continues his World title chase against Mateo Damian Veron, Mikkel Nielsen meets Bulgaria’s Angel Emilov, and Adam Bashanov faces Ivan Nikolov.
Promoter Dmitriy Salita congratulates undefeated Russian featherweight Elena Gradinar for being named “Prospect of the Year” for 2018 by respected women’s boxing body womenofboxing.com.
Gradinar (9-0, 2 KOs) is the number one IBF contender and mandatory challenger to world champion Jennifer Han. She started the year with a unanimous decision over Karina Kopinska and then moved into the mandatory spot and picked up the IBF Inter-Continental Female Featherweight Championship with a unanimous decision over Olivia Gerula.
Already designated a Sport Master of Russia in her homeland, the 28-year-old, from Saint Petersburg finds herself one win away from her first world championship.
“I am very grateful for this honor,” said a happy Gradinar. “I look forward to winning the IBF Featherweight World Title in my next fight and bringing respect to women’s boxing by fighting the best champions and top contenders.”
Gerula’s co-promoter Dmitriy Salita (along with Russian-based Alexander Nevskiy Promotion Group) says Gradinar is a key component to his highly successful efforts to revive the once-floundering sport of women’s boxing.
Salita was named Promoter of the Year for 2018 by womenofboxing.com.
“This is a very meaningful victory in a category that featured top names in Women’s Boxing,” said Salita. “This shows that our effort to expand women’s boxing throughout the world is paying off. Elena is going to have a great year.”
AUBURN, Mass. (January 14, 2019) – Former professional boxer “Irish” Chuck Shearnshas announced the founding of New England’s newest promotional company, Shearns Boxing Promotions.
Shearns will promoted his inaugural show at The Palladium in Worcester, MA, the same venue where he last fought nearly two years ago to the exact date, on Friday night, March 15. Full details about this event will soon be announced.
For the past two years, Shearns has worked with Rivera Entertainment Promotions, and he was co-promoter of Granite Chin Promotions, gaining invaluable experience in terms of the business of boxing. Now, he has decided to go out on his own, and he has more than the full support of his family. Collectively, they are Shearns Boxing Promotions.
“I have experience because I worked shows with my friends, Jose Antonio and A.J. Rivera and Chris Traietti. Also, having been a pro fighter, I understand what it’s like to sell tickets for purses. I also know what it’s like to get shortchanged by a promoter. Because of these factors, I decided that I was ready to go out on my own, starting a business with my family.”
In addition to his duties as the official promoter, Chuck is also a licensed matchmaker who will be responsible for contracts and commission relations. His wife, Karen, will use her accounting background to handle finances. His two daughters will also be heavily involved in the company. Kayla has a marketing degree and will serve as marketing and social media director, while Olivia will take care of event management and operations.
Although Shearns Boxing Promotions will concentrate on the Worcester market, it also plans to expand throughout New England.
“We’re going to feature quality, fan-friendly shows at reasonable prices to help keep New England boxers active and progressing their careers,” Shearns added. “There is a potentially active boxing scene in New England with many boxers who need to be showcased.”
Shearns is a pro-fighter promoter who, unlike some others, is open to working other promoters, many of whom are his friends. “We want to work with, not against, other promoters,” Shearns noted. “We want to see New England fighters step up and fight each other. Shearns Boxing Promotions will give them that platform. We’re all-in for the good of boxing and its overall health, especially here in Massachusetts.”
Mayweather Sparring Partner and Undefeated Canadian Southpaw on the Verge of a Boxing Breakthrough
Growing up in Northern Ontario, Canada, Cody “The Crippler” Crowley got tired of giving his all to hockey and still losing, mostly because his teammates didn’t all share his tireless work ethic.
“I’m busting my ass and we still lose because other guys on the team weren’t trying as hard,” said Crowley, “that’s when I decided to go all in with boxing. I realized as much as I put into boxing, that’s what I get out.”
Now the undefeated CPBC Canadian and International Super Welterweight Champion, as well as his own promoter, Crowley (16-0, 9 KOs) will defend his titles against former Canadian champion Stuart McLellan (25-2-3, 10 KOs) in the 12-round main event of “Homecoming IV- Bad Blood,” on Saturday, February 9, at the Memorial Centre in Peterborough.
“I used to tell my teachers I’m going to be a professional fighter and they would laugh and tell me to think about a real job,” recalls Crowley. The laughing stopped though, when he went on to win the Canadian Amateur Championship, three provincial championships and took bronze at the Commonwealth Games in 60 fights.
“After I graduated high school, I decided to go where the proper trainers and sparring partners are for me to advance, so I packed a bag and moved to Las Vegas.”
Crowley says at first no one was paying much attention to the unknown Canadian southpaw showing up at the gym every day. “I got there and started training and nobody saw anything in me at first,” he admits. “But when I was still there two months later, and they realized I wasn’t going anywhere, that’s when it all started to change.”
Crowley joined forces with Vegas-based trainer, and brother of former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman, Ibn Cason.
Cason, currently best known for his work with Rahman and former heavyweight champion Samuel Peter, says he immediately set about trying to polish the diamond he saw in his aggressive, but sometimes crude, protegee.
“Cody was like an octopus,” explained Cason. “He’s got a swarming style. He’s on you, no matter what, but I’ve been working on making him more of a thinking pressure fighter, like a Roberto Duran; not so crude in his approach. He’s still always going to be on you, but also, at the same time, he’s draining your energy and making you miss.”
“Growing up self-trained, the only thing I know is to bust my ass for all three minutes of every round,” said Crowley. “I’m a determined, scrappy, aggressive pressure fighter. But over the last two years, Ibn has really changed the way I think and move in the ring. I’m turning in to a smarter boxer. In my heart, I’ll always be a slugger, but Ibn has been adding new dimensions to my game.”
Other notable figures in Vegas soon began to take notice of the 25-year-old, dubbing him “White Lightning” in gym circles.
After a particularly impressive sparring session with an Olympic medallist, Crowley signed with a top promotional outfit in Vegas and won a couple fights for them.
But then, Crowley and Cason began the feel pressured to take fights they may not have been ready for.
“They started pushing very heavy opponents on us,” recalled Crowley. “With me not having as big of an amateur career as these guys and still working on refining my natural ability, we thought it was a little too far of a push. Why risk it? I really mean nothing to a big promotional company, so we made the decision to pull away from the big promoter and give me more time to master my craft before we start taking the ‘sink or swim’ fights.”
And so, soon after, Crowley’s CCC Promotions was born.
Crowley and Cason started putting on shows, and fighting and winning in the main events, back at the Memorial Centre in hometown Peterborough.
Fan reaction was strong from the start, but then the phone rang.And it all changed again.
“Floyd Mayweather’s people called and invited me to camp when he was training for the Manny Pacquiao fight and needed southpaw work. But then the first day of training camp, they told me to leave. I’m 5’ 9” so I was a little bit too tall they said.”
In true Cody Crowley style, however, the scrappy Canadian just kept showing up at Mayweather’s Vegas gym and working hard, even if no one was watching.
“They told me to go, but I kept showing up. About two or there weeks into camp, Floyd called to me and told me to get in the ring. We went about 12 rounds straight. He tried everything to hurt me, but I kept with him. Everything was cool after that. I had everybody’s respect. I started getting attention back home.”
Crowley also went on to help Mayweather prepare for his next super fight against Conor McGregor.
“My fan base started to grow exponentially when word got back about what I was doing in the States,” said Crowley.
A Cody Crowley fight in Peterborough quickly became the hottest ticket in the city, where sell-out crowds of electrified fans from every walk of life come to cheer on their homegrown hero. In fact, the mayor of Peterborough even gave Crowley the key to the city and declared a Cody Crowley day. Canadian media have even flown to Vegas to do a documentary on his exploits.
Crowley has gone on to work with countless world champions in Vegas.
“I’ve been hired personally by 16 or 17 world champions including Tim Bradley, Zab Judah, Jorge Linares, the list goes on and on. I’m not just a sparring partner. I am the real deal. There’s a reason why these guys want me.”
Undefeated now in 16 fights, with a Canadian super fight looming next month, Crowley now sits on the verge of a breakthrough into the world boxing scene… and it was all because of his tireless hard work and refusal to given in.
“I picked up and moved and left my family and friends and everything I know to chase my dream. Some people said I was crazy, but now they’re all starting to see. I’ve got all kinds of businesses behind me, tons of fans and a great team at City Athletic Boxing Gym in Vegas. It’s a unique situation and I can’t wait to see what happens next.”