SAM EVANS believe he’ll progress past the “journeyman level” and move onto title opportunities in Walsall this Friday night.
The 21-year-old returns to the Black Country in what will be his ninth outing in little over 18 months as a professional.
Having watched stablemates Nathan Gorman and Reuben Arrowsmith recently contest championships, he’s keen to be the latest fighter of Ricky Hatton’s stable to get a shot at a belt.
However, he must first pass a tricky six round test against Plymouth’s battle-hardened Christian Hoskin Gomez at the Banks’s Stadium.
“I’m 100 per cent focused on this fight and hopefully we can sit down afterwards and talk about what’s next. I want maybe an eight rounder and then it’ll be onto titles,” Evans said.
“I think I’m ready to go past the journeyman level now and I hope Ricky and the team can get me some kind of title shot before the end of the summer.
“Not that I’m calling Hoskin Gomez a journeyman. He’s more than that. He’s rough and tumble and comes to fight. I give him full respect.
“I’ve seen him fight a few times close up. He’s tough, he’s game, and likes to put on the pressure. It’s a good match up for me. I think his style suits me to a tee and it’ll make a great fight and I’ll come out on top.
“I enjoy the close up battles. I like going to war. I think it’s the perfect fight to move me to the next level.”
Friday’s event is entitled ‘Next Chapter’ and features Walsall duo, super lightweight, Luke Paddock, and bantamweight debutant, Humza Ali, along with Stoke cruiserweight, Luke Caci, Swadlincote super lightweight, Connor Parker, Wolverhampton bantamweight, Kyle Williams, and West Bromwich welterweight, Tommy Loach.
Perennial Jr. Middleweight contender Delvin Rodriguez, (29-8-4, 16KO’s) Danbury, CT takes on upset minded Courtney Pennington, (10-4-1, 5KO’s) in a 10 round Jr. Middleweight matchup on Thursday, May 11th, at The Mohegan Sun Arena. Pennington earned the right to fight Rodriguez by securing two huge back to back upset victories over highly regarded favorites. The event, part of the exciting “Slugfest at the Sun” promises to be another action-packed lineup of professional boxing promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing
PARK CITY, Kansas (May 1, 2017) – 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Nico Hernandez returns to the ring on Saturday, June 17, at home in Wichita for his second professional fight. In his professional debut on March 25th, Hernandez turned in an impressive performance, entertaining nearly 3,200 passionate Kansas fans as he defeated Patrick Gutierrez in the fourth round of the main event.
The 21-year-old Hernandez displayed tremendous poise and a few tweaks to his amateur style, adding a devastating body attack, in addition to effectively switching from his orthodox stance to southpaw at times.
“I feel that there will be even more people there this fight than at my pro debut,” Hernandez said. “I live only a 10 to 15-minute drive from Hartman Arena, north of Wichita.
“I worked hard on body punching for my pro debut. I didn’t do that in the amateurs (no scoring points) and I’m getting use to switching to southpaw. Both were in our game plan and successful in my firsts fight. I’m excited to get right back in the ring, especially at home. Our plan is to fight every two to three months and have a total of four fights this year.”
“KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire” is a presentation of KO Night Boxing LLC.
“Gutierrez was the perfect opponent for Nico’s pro debut,” commented John Andersen, who promotes Hernandez as well as the June 17th show. “He was tough but now it’s time to step it up a little against a 2-0 opponent with two knockouts. Nico is starting to climb the ladder to get him where we want him to go. We need to move him quicker than an average fighter, largely due to his amateur background, and he’ll probably have only one more sixround bout after this before moving him up to eight.
“I thought he looked a little nervous in his pro debut at the start, but that’s expected for a fighter making his pro debut at home in front of nearly 3,200 people, and after that he was great. We couldn’t have asked for anything more and he did get in some rounds that will be helpful.
“This fight will be close to where Nico lives. Nico really connects to kids in the community, often speaking at local schools, and this is the perfect opportunity for parents to bring their children to watch him fight on a weekend night.
“We’re calling this show, ‘Rapid Fire,’ primarily because of Nico’s exciting style, firing crisp combinations in rapid succession, in addition to his activity level as he comes right back to fight so quickly.”
Hernandez’ father and head trainer, Lewis Hernandez, believes fans will see a more improved, well-rounded fighter in this fight. “Nico showed his body punching and he switched around a little to fight left-handed,” he explained, “which weren’t part of his boxing style in the amateurs. Fans will see the fighter Nico really is but this fight he’ll get back to boxing more. I told him that he needed to go to the body as a professional fighter but that each punch doesn’t have to be as hard. Sometimes I need to remind him of that because he’s a fighter at heart.
“I knew he’d be okay in his pro debut (nerves-wise) because he gets going as the fight goes on. When he hurts his opponent, he comes on even stronger. I just tell him to box and be himself. He’s always well-conditioned so he can go rounds without a problem. I want him to be fast and elusive to take away his opponents’ body and then, in later rounds, go back to boxing. He fought at 115-pounds but he’ll be back to 112 for this fight. Nico was strong at 115 and he’ll be very strong at flyweight.”
A 29-year-old native of Mexico who fights out of Markesan, Wisconsin, Rodriguez (2-0, 2 KOs) has two first-round knockouts in a pair of pro fights. Rodriguez is trained by four-time world title challenger Angel Manfredy, whose invaluable experience from fighting Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Stevie Johnston and Diego Corrales certainly aids his fighter. Manfredy (43-8-1, 32 KOs) had statement victories over Arturo Gatti, Julio Diaz and Ivan Robinson, among the more notables.
Scott Quigg’s showdown with Viorel Simion on the undercard of the Anthony Joshua and Wladamir Klitschko unified heavyweight world title bout has been ordered as an IBF World Featherweight eliminator on Saturday night at Wembley Stadium
Quigg returns to the UK to fight for the first time under new trainer Freddie Roach, and his clash with the Romanian now takes on even more importance following the IBF’s move.
Simion is ranked at number four in the IBF, one place ahead of the Bury ace, and the winner would take the two spot, and if Selby’s mandatory challenger Jonathan Barros is unavailable to fight the Welshman, then Saturday’s winner will meet Selby next.
“It’s a great opportunity for Scott and with the uncertainty over Jonathan Barros it’s very likely that the winner in Saturday will have to fight Lee Selby next,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “It’s a fight Scott is targeting and one he would jump at so Saturday’s win now becomes even more vital.”
Quigg’s clash with Simion 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, Luke Campbell MBE and Darleys Perez clash for the number one spot in the WBA, Irish sensation Katie Taylor faces Nina Meinke for the WBA Inter-Continental Lightweight title and World title eliminator and Team GB Rio Olympians Lawrence Okolie, Joe Cordina and Josh Kelly will draw lots to see who kicks off the historic night.
Kubrat Pulev (24-1, 13 KOs) and Kevin Johnson (30-7-1, 14 KOs) came face-to-face at a press conference today at the Hotel Marinela in Sofia ahead of their WBA Intercontinental Heavyweight title clash on Friday night at the Arena Armeec.
Pulev makes the first defence of the WBA strap he claimed with a third-round stoppage victory over former World Champion Samuel Peter in December, and also risks his IBF mandatory position, which would see him in line to face the winner of Saturday’s World title showdown between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko.
Johnson, the former World title challenger from New Jersey, USA, insists he is not there to make up the numbers, and is also targeting a second shot at World honours as he looks to upset the Bulgarian hero in front of his home fans.
‘’Kevin Johnson is a good boxer who will give everything, but he will not succeed,’’ said Pulev. ‘’My goal is to become World Champion. I know a loss will set me back a long way, but I’m confident in my abilities. My opponent is an experienced fighter, who will be difficult to break down, but we’ve prepared for that. On Friday, I want to put on another great show for the Bulgarian people, and then I want my shot at the World title.’’
‘’If Pulev thinks he’s in for an easy night, he’s got another thing coming,’’ said Johnson. ‘’I’m no Samuel Peter. I’m not here to lie down and collect a cheuque, I’m here to cause an upset. I’m going to take this boy to school and show the Bulgarians what a Jersey boy can do. I’m going to give him an ass whopping on Friday, the likes of which nobody has seen before. We’ve both been through the same obstacles and we’ve both fought for World titles before, but only one of us is going to get that second shot, and that’s going to me.’’
Having taken in the sights of Sofia, Johnson also revealed he plans to leave Bulgaria with two souvenirs. ‘’The women here are very beautiful,’’ he said. ‘’And I’m looking to get married. On Saturday, I’m going to be leaving with a new belt and a new wife!’’
Said promoter Nisse Sauerland: ‘’It’s a great weekend for heavyweight boxing. Kubrat is mandatory challenger to face the winner of Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko for the IBF World title. Either they fight him or they vacate the belt. He’s fought hard to get back into this position, and he’s risking it all in this fight against a rejuvenated Kevin Johnson. Kevin also knows what’s at stake and what a win would mean for his career. Both men have been training hard, and are ready to give it their all in the ring on Friday night.’’
Blockbuster Fights at Barclays Center, Olympian Charles Conwell’s Debut and the Crowning of New Interim World Champion Avtandil Khurtsidze in the UK
New York, NY (4/25/17) – It was an eventful weekend for DiBella Entertainment (DBE) that spanned two continents, and saw the beginning of one career and a career-best victory for another. In addition to promoting the Showtime Championship Boxing event, headlined by Shawn Porter vs. Andre Berto at Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, NY, DBE saw one of its fighters, 2016 United States Olympian Charles Conwell, make his pro debut and begin his journey toward a world title, while another, Avtandil Khurtsidze, capture the interim WBO world middleweight championship across the pond in Leicester, England.
Avtandil Khurtsidze (33-2-2, 22 KOs), who hails from Kutaisi, Georgia, but now lives in Brooklyn, traveled to England to face Tommy Langford (18-1, 6 KOs) in a 12-round affair. The contest ended early in the fifth round when Khurtsidze, who stalked his opponent mercilessly, landed a left hook that sent the previously unbeaten Langford to the canvas. He would not recover and Khurtsidze was crowned the interim WBO world middleweight champion. He is now first in line to challenge Billy Joe Saunders (24-0, 12 KOs) for the WBO world middleweight title in July.
“Whether you call him ‘Mini Tyson,’ ‘Homicide,’ or ‘Suicide,’ Avtandil Khurtsidze is a man with bad intentions by any name,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “He put British boxing on notice by knocking out Tommy Langford. I look forward to working with Frank Warren so that he can deliver the same message to Billy Joe Saunders.”
Stateside, in Miami, OK, one of DiBella Entertainment’s newest prospects Charles Conwell made his long awaited debut, sensationally ending his first professional bout inside of a minute with a knockout win versus Jeremiah Page, of Andover, KS. The super welterweight, who inked a co-promotional pact with DiBella Entertainment and Holden Productions in March, ended the bout with a barrage of punches that left Page on the canvas and unable to continue.
“In 41 seconds, Charles Conwell sent the world a clear message that he won’t have any trouble adjusting from the amateur to professional ranks,” said DiBella. “Tony Holden and I hope to have him back in the ring in May and plan to make him one of the most active young prospects in boxing.”
Conwell’s half-brother, and fellow DBE stable mate, Isaiah Steen (7-0, 6 KOs) finished his super middleweight contest in four rounds, knocking down his foe three times en route to a stoppage. Also on the card, Cleveland’s Yuandale Evans (19-1, 14 KOs) was crowned the WBA-NABA-US junior lightweight champion, earning a unanimous decision over Billel Dib (21-2, 10 KOs).
CHRIS BLANEY says he “loved every minute” of his tussle with Christian Hoskin Gomez on Saturday night.The unbeaten Irishman defeated the Spanish-born Devon man 58-56 on Frank Warren’s City of Champions card in Leicester.
Stepping up to six rounds for the first time, Blaney, who is trained by Ricky Hatton, was forced to dig deep against a foe who never took a backwards step.“We knew exactly what he was going to bring and we prepared for it,” Blaney, now 6-0 (3 KOs), said.“He just came forwards and he was always in my face. It was a good learning experience, probably my toughest to date, and I loved every minute of it.
“Ricky told me afterwards that I hurt Hoskin Gomez a few times, but he disguised it well and I didn’t really notice it.“In the last round he spat out his gumshield so I think I was getting to him. Looking back, I think that maybe if I’d have had a round or two more I might have gotten him out of there.“It was my first six rounder and I think it went well. The last three rounds were probably my best so I think I’ll get better and show even more when I get into longer fights.”Blaney will return to action in Dublin this June.
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