Johnston Brown

19 Fights to Shape 2019 on a Domestic and International Level

After another successful year of boxing in 2018 there is a sense of optimism for the year ahead among boxing fans that 2019 might just be the year that the top fighters finally step up and fight each other.

Here is a run-down of 19 fights that would shape 2019 into a great year domestically and internationally:

Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21KOs) vs Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39Kos): 

Heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua taking on WBC champion Deontay Wilder is the biggest fight in boxing now. With all the shenanigans that went on last year this fight lost a bit of sparkle as disgruntled fans started to lose faith. Surely both sides can let bygones be bygones and finally allow this titanic battle to commence for the right to be recognized as the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World.

Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21KOs) vs Tyson Fury (27-0-1, 19KOs):

If undisputed can’t be delivered, then the next big fight in the Heavyweight division is AJ verses Tyson Fury. This would be the biggest Heavyweight fight in Britain since Lennox Lewis beat Frank Bruno in 1993. There is even a case to be made that this fight is bigger than that and would in fact be ranked higher than any other British fight in history! A huge claim indeed but this really is a fight of epic proportions and should be the signed this year if all else fails.

Tyson Fury (27-0-1, 19KOs) vs Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39Kos) – REMATCH:

After the first controversial matchup between Fury and Wilder a rematch should probably take president over any other. If both feel it necessary to tango again then the winner will be in pole position to face Joshua at the back end of the year.

Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21KOs) vs Dillian Whyte (25-1, 18KOs):

If Fury and Wilder do choose a rematch as their first option, then that leaves the unified world champion without a dance partner. In an ideal world the obvious choice would be Dillian Whyte. Wembley is booked and ready to go for the third encounter between two guys that have had a turbulent history. Ideally Joshua-Whyte and Wilder-Fury 2 in the first half of the year with the winners fighting each other at the end of the year for boxing’s biggest prize, although rematch agreements could end up scarpering this master plan.

Daniel Dubois (9-0, 8KOs) vs Nathan Gorman (15-0, 11KOs):

On the domestic scene a fight between two up and coming Heavyweights Dubois and Gorman is starting to heat up. They have understandably been kept apart by Frank Warren but it’s inevitable that sooner or later they will collide so why not this year?

Dmitry Bivol (15-0, 11KOs) vs Artur Beterbiev (13-0, 13KOs):

The WBA Light Heavyweight champion Bivol is a clear talent but is missing that signature fight that he craves. His Russian compatriot and IBF title holder Beterbiev was one of the most avoided fighters in 2018. There is no better time for both guys to establish themselves as the divisions Numero uno. How about from Russia with Love in Moscow?

Joshua Buatsi (9-0, 7KOs) vs Anthony Yarde (17-0, 16KOs):

Here’s another domestic tear-up that will give you the giddies. Olympic bronze medalist in 2016 ‘JB’ has looked impressive with every fight in the pros but needs a tasty and significant opponent. ‘The Beast’ as Yarde likes to be known opted against the big fights turning down Kovalev and Beterbiev last year. If Yarde wants to prove himself then Buatsi would be the perfect fit.

Callum Johnson (17-1, 12KOs) vs Joshua Buatsi (9-0, 7KOs):

Buatsi expressed his desire to fight Yarde last year but the BBBofC are reportedly ready to sanction British Champion Callum ‘The One’ Johnson against Buatsi. If the rumour is correct and the Scottish puncher decides to defend his title, then hold on to your hats fight fans as this one could be an absolute banger!

Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1, 34KOs) vs Saul Alverez (51-1-2, 35KOs) 3:

Many will question if a trilogy between ‘Triple G’ and Canelo is worth stomaching again. Certainly not if they produce another 12-rounds like the 24 we have already witnessed but more to do with the obscene judging. If they do decide to do it again then let’s just hope that this fight isn’t over shadowed with controversy.

Callum Smith (25-0, 18KOs) vs Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1, 34KOs):

If Golovkin he is made to wait, then why not take a step up in the 168-pound division and take on WBA Super Middleweight Champion and Muhammed Ali Trophy winner Callum Smith. The pull of a 50,000 strong Anfield, Liverpool crowd would be appealing for the summer. Triple G has already proven that he is willing to come to England, where as Canelo would demand Vegas.

Billy Joe Saunders (27-0, 13KOs) vs Daniel Jacobs (35-2, 29KOs):

In 2017 Saunders produced a superb performance against David Lemieux on December 16 which should have been the catalyst to push on last year. Instead, a failed drugs test and loss of the WBO Middleweight title has left the 29-year-old in no man’s land. If anyone could give Saunders a lifeline, it would be someone like Jacobs who is keen to prove he is the number one challenger to Triple G and Canelo.

Jarret Hurd (23-0, 16KOs) vs Jaime Munguia (31-0, 26KOs):

WBA ‘Super’ Light Middleweight champ Hurd and WBO holder Munguia were both impressive last year. Many would argue the two best at 154-pounds so what about a unification? Come fight night this would look more like a super middleweight showdown but who cares as this has the markings of a real barnstormer of a bout.

Anthony Fowler (9-0, 8KOs) vs Ted Cheeseman (15-0, 9KOs):

Both Light Middleweights had good years in 2018 and have since been engaged in a social media spat. Londoner Cheeseman has been in the pro game for 2-years longer, but Fowler is the more decorated amateur which makes this an even-steven fight. The Liverpudlian needs to get past Scott Fitzgerald in March first but if he is successful then how about a summer showdown against the British Champion. The ‘Big Cheese’ is a massive Millwall fan so why not headline at The Den in front of 20-15 thousand?

Johnny Garton (23-1-1, 10KOs) vs Conor Benn (13-0, 9KOs):

From one Millwall fan to another, British Welterweight Champion Garton who was in one of the fights of the year in 2018 against Gary Corcoran. ‘The Pexican’ is in fine form since his solitary defeat to Sam Eggington back in 2014 and has shot up the rakings. Josh Kelly was a name that has been mentioned but for pure excitement why not Essex-boy Conor Benn? This would be a contender for domestic fight of the year in a 2019 bloodbath, if it was to happen. Make this a co-main event with Cheeseman-Fowler and we have a brilliant night of boxing, mark my words.

Terrence Crawford (34-0, 25KOs) vs Errol Spence Jr (24-0, 21KOs):

What an unbelievable fight this would be and one that would generate as much money as it would publicity. WBO Welterweight champion Crawford is many boxing observers pound-for-pound number one or at least in the top 3. Spence Jr had a quiet year for a fighter of his standards but starts off 2019 against world-class operator Mikey Garcia in March. This fight should happen at the end of the year but the murmurs of “let it marinade” might put this on ice for another year.

Amir Khan (33-4, 20KOs) vs Kell Brook (38-2, 26KOs):

This will not be the first time this fight has cropped up on many fans wish list, but we are always let down and made to wait. Optimism was in the air when Khan signed with Eddie Hearn but once again we are still no closer to getting what the British public want. Rumor has it that the 32-year-old will fight Crawford instead of Brook early this year. Hearn has since snapped up the signature of former British Light Middleweight World champion Liam Smith with maybe a fight with Brook in-mind. Khan-Brook may still happen later in the year otherwise this fight is dead in the water, that is if it isn’t already.

Vasiliy Lomachenko (12-1, 9KOs) vs Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30KOs):

Ever heard of a saying, “Chance will be a fine thing”? Well, that expression couldn’t be any more fitting when dreaming of Loma and Garcia sharing the same ring at Lightweight. It would be an absolute pleasure watching these two technicians work inside the squared circle. Outside of the Heavyweights this epic bout would be the next big thing. The Ukrainian is running out of opponents to face but you can’t blame Garcia for wanting to challenge himself against not only a guy who is 2-weights above but also against an excellent fighter in Spence Jr. If the current WBC Champion can pull off an upset at 147-pounds, then he may never come back down to 135 leaving all hopes of a fight with Loma in shatters. Where chances are fine there is always hope as “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible”?

Josh Warrington (28-0, 6KOs) vs Oscar Valdez (24-0, 19KOs):

There is a number of excellent fighters in the Featherweight division with three world class talents in Valdez, Santa Cruz and Russell Jr but a new star was born last year in Warrington. For a long time Frampton, Quigg and Selby were considered to be Britain’s best but after a super 2018 the ‘Leeds Warrior’ has jumped into the number one spot in the U.K. Warrington would be a tough out for all three of the top guys but imagine the new IBF champion squaring off against the Mexican. Both will want to engage in a toe to toe battle making this one a little more appetising.

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-4-1, 41KOs) vs Jerwin Ancajas (30-1-2, 20KOs):

WBC Super Flyweight holder Rungvisai against the IBF Champion Ancajas would be a terrific battle of the little men. With 85 fights and 61 knockouts between them this would be a terrific unification fight that has all the ingredients needed to be one of the fights of the year.

Other fights that just miss the list;

Gervonta Davis vs Miguel Berchelt, Santa Cruz vs Russell Jr, Eleider Alvarez vs Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Oleksandr Usyk against any of the top Heavyweights.

Of course these are just my opinions with many more other fights that would also make this year a great one. Boxing is booming right now and we already have the World Boxing Super Series, semifinals to look forward to which could top the lot!

Happy New Year Boxing Fans!

Jordan Smith signs with JE Promotions

Maidstone’s newest professional boxer Jordan Smith has put pen to paper to sign a three-year management contract with Joe Elfidh of JE Promotions.

The 21-year-old middleweight joins fellow Maidstone welterweight Lenny Fuller, unbeaten in four fights, and will be trained by Lee Page at the Invicta Gym in Sheerness.

The 160-pounder has been very active on many of the local unlicensed boxing shows, winning eight of his 12 fights, and has turned down the chance to fight for titles to turn pro instead.

Smith said, “I boxed on WBU, UKBC, KBO shows, MBC charity shows and more. I actually had two title shots coming up but pulled out of them both to turn professional with JE Promotions instead.”

Smith experienced his first fight aged 16 when previously boxing for amateur clubs Westry ABC and Brompton ABC but left boxing for a short time to concentrate on another dangerous sport – motorbike racing on Grass track and Speedway.

Since deciding on turning over, the youngster has experienced a baptism of fire sparring with undefeated Lenny Fuller.

“Yeah, he’s a tough kid,” laughed Smith. “There’s no point lying about that! Hes got a bright future ahead of him, and sparring with him has shown me the skill level in the pros is on a much higher level, I mean it’s a completely differentgame, but I’ve got good trainer and good team around me, so I’ve got this, no worries.

“This is exactly where I wanted to get to and when I got the opportunity, I snatched it up. I got enough of a following from the unlicensed and some sponsors helping me out in CGMO Groundworks; W.C & R.A Caudwell; Decals Lab and Shady Custom Tattoos.

JE Promotions have an event coming up on February 23 at Mote Park, which stablemate Fuller is scheduled to fight on, but Smith will most likely make his pro bow on the next Maidstone show in May.

Manager Joe Elfidh commented on his newest signing, “He messaged me on Facebook, so I met with him and told him how the pro game works. He was really keen, so I asked Lee Page to have a look at him, who has done good work with Lenny Fuller, and he told me that he’s a good kid and, at just 21, he’ll only improve. Lee had him training for just a couple of weeks and he turned up on time every day, handled himself in sparring and showed dedication.

He lost a couple in the unlicensed but now he’s with an established trainer and a good team with Lenny Fuller as a regular sparring partner, so I’ve got high hopes for this kid.”

Follow JE Promotions on Twitter: @JE_Promotions

For tickets to the next show, visit JE Promotions’ FB Page or call 07883 943 994

JE Promotions would like to thank Kent Trade FramesCampbell NutritionSwerve CityBasement159RoofDec1ClickPrint Shiatsu Shane Tierney Photography LakingPainting & Decorating Protect and Patrol Invicta Gym and PR Manager Tim Rickson

2018 – End of Year Awards

2018 has delivered another exhilarating year of boxing and there have been several moments that will be etched into the history of this fantastic sport. Being an Englishman I will give you my picks for Fighter of the Year, Fight of the Year, Round of the Year, knockout of the Year and Promoter of the Year on the British and International scene.

BRITISH FIGHTER OF THE YEAR

Shortlist

Super Middleweight John Ryder surprised many in May when he knocked out Jamie Cox in the second round on the Bellew-Haye undercard. The Londoner then went on to headline at the Copper Box Arena in London and defeat Andrey Sirotkin in a WBA final eliminator.

Cruiserweight Lawrence Okolie picked-up Commonwealth and British titles with wins over Isaac Chamberlain in February, Luke Watkins in June and Matty Askin in September. Granted two of the three fights were absolute stinkers but the 26-year-old has now established himself as the number one Cruiserweight in Britain.

Liverpudlian Callum Smith won the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) semi-final against late replacement Nieky Holzken in February before becoming the WBA Super Middleweight Champion and Muhammed Ali Trophy winner in September. ‘Mundo’ stopped former champion George Groves in the seventh-round in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Dillian Whyte has had three very impressive wins this year. A brutal knockout of Lucas Browne in March was followed by a unanimous decision victory over Joseph Parker in the summer. The Londoner finished off the year with another stunning knockout of Dereck Chisora.

Unified Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua added the WBO version to his collection of world titles with a comprehensive points victory over Joseph Parker in Cardiff before becoming the first man to stop Russian Alexander Povetkin in front of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium.

It would be wrong of me not to mention Tyson Fury who only returned to the ring 6-months ago when he defeated Sefer Seferi in June and then Francesco Pianeta in August. The self-proclaimed ‘Gypsy King’ picked himself up off the canvas twice and hold Deontay Wilder to a very controversial draw. Because the big man only got a draw he just misses out on the award so yet another controversial loss.

Winner

Excellent achievements by all six contenders but my British Fighter of the Year must go to the IBF World Featherweight Champion Josh Warrington. ‘The Leeds Warrior’ has quite simply had a brilliant year and has not only cemented himself as the best in Britain but also one of the world’s best. Victories over Lee Selby at his beloved Elland Road, Leeds in May was followed by an outstanding performance against Irishman Carl Frampton. A terrific 2019 will be in store for the 28-year-old as he takes on the next chapter of his career against the likes of Oscar Valdez, Leo Santa Cruz or Gary Russell Jr.

INTERNATIONAL FIGHTER OF THE YEAR

Shortlist

Before I run down my shortlist special mentions must go to Heavyweight Michael Hunter and Terrence Crawford. Hunter had a terrific year defeating Iago Kiladze, Martin Bakole and Alexander Ustinov while Crawford won the WBO title off Jeff Horn and stopped Jose Benavidez Jr in the twelfth and final round with a wonderful uppercut.

Super Lightweight Regis Prograis has fought three times this year with a two-round destruction of Julius Indongo in March followed by a TKO win over Juan Jose Velasco. It was his impressive win over Terry Flanagan in the quarter-finals of the WBSS that put the icing on the cake of great year.

Japanese sensation Naoya Inoue became a three-weight world champion in May when he stopped former WBA Bantamweight Champion Jamie McDonnell in round-one before brutally knocking out Juan Carlos Payano in less than 2-minutes which gets my vote for Knockout of the Year. ‘Monster’ really is a superstar and his mouth-watering WBSS semi-final against Emmanuel Rodriguez is not one to be missed in 2019.

From one superstar to another Vasiliy Lomachenko who is either number one or two in most people’s pound-for-pound list. The Ukrainian produced a fine performance against Jorge Linares stopping the Venezuelan in the tenth with a wonderful body shot. Many were critical of his victory over Jose Pedraza in December but once again ‘Hi-Tech’ outclassed his opponent even if he wasn’t at his usual dominate self.

WBO World Super Lightweight champion Maurice Hooker has had a brilliant year with impressive victories over two undefeated fighters in Terry Flanagan and Alex Saucedo. The man from Dallas, Texas captured the vacant title when he outpointed Flanagan in Manchester before rising off the canvas to stop Saucedo in the seventh round and retrain his strap.

Winner

Without question the International Fighter of the Year can only go to one man and that is of course Oleksandr Usyk. The Ukrainian became the undisputed Cruiserweight champion and first ever Muhammad Ali trophy winner after victories against Mairis Briedis in Latvia and Murat Gassiev in Russia. The 31-year-old finished off 2018 with another comprehensive victory on foreign soil when he brutally knocked out Tony Bellew in the eighth round to cement his place as one of the best pound-for-pounders in the world.

BRITISH FIGHT OF THE YEAR

Shortlist

Tommy Langford vs Jason Welborn 1&2 – The British Middleweight title seems to bring the best out of our boxers and these 24-rounds exemplified this in the ‘Battle of the Baggies’. Their first encounter was not televised in May, but it was one hell of a fight. Langford was down in the second and cut in the third while Welborn suffered a perforated eardrum, check out YouTube for 12 excellent rounds. The second installment was just as good as the first with Langford hitting the canvas on two separate occasions but somehow managed to restore his senses and make the final bell. Both fights went Welborn’s way by split decision.

Dillian Whyte vs Dereck Chisora 2 – After the barnstormer of a fight in 2016 it was only right that these two got to tango again. The rematch was just as good as the first but this time there was no doubt who won. With ‘Delboy’ up on two of the judges’ scorecards going into the eleventh, Whyte dipped and threw his trademark left hook that put a concussive end to the bout.

Josh Warrington vs Lee Selby – The British boxing boom flexed its muscles with another football stadium bout but this time at Elland Road, Leeds United. Selby decided to take a risk against underdog Josh Warrington only to be outclassed and outfought over twelve relentless rounds of boxing. The home-crowd favorite and Leeds United fanatic produced a dominant display to capture the IBF World Featherweight title.

Johnny Garton vs Gary Corcoran – Another British title on the line – this time in the Welterweight division – Garton and Corcoran produced a bloody, throw-back encounter that would have made the grim reaper wince. It was the man from Peckham in South-East London, known as ‘The Pexican’ for his love of Mexican fighters, that got the stoppage in the eleventh-round.

Winner

Josh Warrington vs Carl Frampton – ‘The Leeds Warrior’ should think about changing his nickname to ‘Underdog’ because once again he produced the goods in another classic encounter but this time in Manchester against Irishman Frampton. From the moment that first bell rang the 28-year-old Yorkshireman was relentless with his pressure but clever with his work. Frampton was soundly beaten but he played a major part in this highly entertaining match-up that gets my vote for British Fight of the Year.

INTERNATIONAL FIGHT OF THE YEAR

2017 was one of the best years of boxing in 20 years but 2018 may well have surpassed that with so many excellent fights. Before I divulge my shortlist and winner I must make notable references to a list of fights that had me on the edge of my seat this year:

George Groves defeating Chris Eubank Jr; Deontay Wilder’s win over Luis Ortiz; Oscar Valdez against Scott Quigg; Jarrett Hurd’s win over Erislandy Lara; Isaac Dogboe against Jessie Magdaleno which gets my Upset of the Year, Adonis Stevenson and Badou Jack produced a classic draw; Terrence Crawford was victorious in two very good fights against Jeff Horn and Jose Benavidez Jr; Shawn Porter won the vacant WBC title against Danny Garcia; Callum Smith against George Groves; Anthony Joshua becoming the first man to stop Alexander Povetkin; Oleksandr Usyk’s clinical destruction of Tony Bellew and lastly Alex Saucedo’s win over Leonardo Zappavigna before his loss to Maurice Hooker.

Shortlist

Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker – Some may raise an eyebrow at this pick as the fight itself was a bit of a drab affair but this fight held huge significantance in the Heavyweight division. Two undefeated fighters battling it out to become the unified heavyweight champion in front of thousands in attendance and millions watching around the world. Another big night for Matchroom Boxing, spearheaded by Eddie Hearn who gets my Promoter of the Year award. Granted it never quite lived up to its billing but nevertheless it was a fascinating watch.

Saul Alverez vs Gennady Golovkin 2 – A fight that will be remembered for many years to come as two of the best in the world produced another epic night in Las Vegas. Once again judging cast a shadow over what was a great example of what this noble sport is all about. The highest level of boxing was produced by both men and that must not be forgotten.

Dillian Whyte vs Joseph Parker – Parker may look back on 2018 as a year to forget but the fact he appears on this shortlist twice shows the fine margins of this sport. Whyte-Parker was gripping from start to finish especially in those last 2-rounds where Parker almost won by stoppage. Everyone talks about Joshua, Fury and Wilder but do not overlook these two guys who will add extra vigour to a once again booming heavyweight division.

Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder – Many will choose this fight as their Fight/ Event of the year but for me it only gets Round of the Year. It really was edge of your seat viewing for the full twelve rounds but without the last round drama it would have been a Fury victory by split decision. Amazing last round that will never be forgotten.

Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Jorge Linares – One of the most beautiful sights in boxing this year came in the tenth-round of this epic encounter. The way Loma targeted the head before landing a devastating shot to Linares’ body was poetry in motion. The rest of the fight wasn’t bad either.

Murat Gassiev vs Yuniel Dorticos – This WBSS Cruiserweight Semi-Final served up a ‘Sochi Stunner’. It was a close fight right up until the stoppage in a memorable twelfth round. Dorticos seemed to be impenetrable as he ate every shot the Russian threw at him. Eventually the Cuban-native succumbed to Gassiev‘s power in the final round and after being knocked down twice he was halted with seconds to spare as he fell a third time.

WINNER

Miguel Berchelt vs Miguel Roman – Being a fan of an old fashioned slugfest the ‘Battle of the Miguel’s’ is a fight I could watch over and over again which makes this my Fight of the Year. It was non-stop action from start to finish but in the end the class came through as Berchelt stopped Roman in round-nine. Quite simply a ‘Marvellous Mexican-war’

What another year of boxing! If we continue in this direction we will have another outstanding year in 2019!

JE Promotions reveal ‘Unleashed’ card in Maidstone

JE Promotions announce exciting nine-fight card in Maidstone, Kent, England.

English title contender Grant Dennis leads the line-up on February 23 at Mote Park, Maidstone, alongside six unbeaten prospects.

Former Southern Area middleweight champion Grant ‘Go-Getter’ Dennis (12-1) returns to the ring eager to get back to title contention after the 35-year-old from Chatham suffered his sole career defeat in December 2017 when he lost on points to Elliott Matthews (19-0-1) for the English middleweight championship at the York Hall, a fight that he still feels he was hard done by on the scorecards.

Middleweight Grant ‘Go-Getter’ Dennis (12-1, 2KOs) on the comeback trail

Despite calling for the rematch, it hasn’t materialised and neither have any other title fights since, so the frustrated fighter took out his anger on fellow English title contender Harry Matthews (15-32-2) with a first-round knockout within the first minute of their October 13 meeting at the York Hall. Dennis registered just the second KO of his career having only fought three weeks prior at The Brentwood Centre, notching up a points win over Nicaraguan Miguel Aguilar (11-48-1).

The Kent puncher spent the first half of the year nursing an injury but managed to squeeze in two victories to finish 2018 on and will take the momentum into the New Year, desperate to force a mandatory position for a major title, especially now he is ranked just outside of the top 10 in Britain.

Also on the bill, ‘The Main Man’ from Maidstone Lenny Fuller raced to 4-0 in a short space of time between his May debut and his last fight in November.

The 24-year-old middleweight has won all four contests on points and plans to continue his busy schedule into 2019, starting with his fifth pro contest in February.

Former Team GB member Luke Gibb improved his record to 4-1 with his first fight back since his sole career defeat last February when challenging for the British Challenge belt against Lewis Ritson sparring partner Jordan “Baby J” Ellison (9-12).

The Bexleyheath boxer became only the second person to ever drop Blackburn’s Naheem Chaudry (0-28) when a short uppercut landed heavily in the fourth and final round of their October 6 four-round fight.

‘Gibbo’s’ pressure-fighting, skill and aggression make for exciting spectacles and the size of his fan base reflects the excitement he brings. He will be looking to get back in contention for British Challenge belt in early 2019.

Unbeaten super-featherweight prospect Jack Raines (5-0), 26 from Sittingbourne, is knocking on the door for a Southern Area title shot, which will next be contested on March 9 at York Hall between unbeaten Londoner Liam Dillon (8-0) and former challenger David Birmingham (8-3). Raines, trained by John Cole in Longfield, Kent, will have his eye on the winner of that clash.

Welterweight Danny Barrett (1-0), 26 from Stoke in Kent, defeated Slovakian opponent, Rudolf Durica (1-20), on his debut on May 12 on the JE Promotions’ ‘Young Guns’ card at Mote Hall, Maidstone.

A Haringey Box Cup gold medallist, who began his combat journey as a kick-boxer, is trained by Paul Wiffen in Rochester.

Three-time Southern Area title Martin Hillman (11-6) has experienced heartbreak in his last four title fights – three for the Southern Area strap and one for the British Challenge belt – but has unwavering ambitions to finally become an Area champion in 2019.

He registered a win last October to bounce back from his latest defeat to Southern Area super-bantamweight champion Duane Winters (9-1), where a single point denied him the chance to cause an upset from the away corner.

Light-heavyweight Paul ‘Bomber’ Brown (3-0), 29 from Margate, has won every round of his professional career so far with wins over Chessington’s Richard Harrison (3-31) last October, Darren Snow (5-23-1) in May and Scott Hillman (0-24) on his debut in February.

The southpaw, who was an ABA Southern Counties champion, will take part in another four-rounder on the anniversary of his pro bow.

Featherweight Jack Budge also increased his record 3-0 in his second appearance under the JE Promotions banner, having had his debut under Chris Sanigar in 2016 when working as an apprentice jockey in Lambourn, Berkshire.

The 24-year-old featherweight from Hoo benefitted from sparring with British flyweight champ Andrew Selby, Commonwealth super-bantamweight titlist Ashley Lane before returning home to Kent to sign with JE Promotions.

Super-middleweight Danny ‘The Real Deal’ Shannon (3-7-1) fights out of the home corner for the first time in his four-and-a-half-year career in his bid to win British Challenge belt in 2019.

The 27-year-old from Chatham was JE Promotions’ first ever signing way back in 2014 and now trains with Ray Askew and Sam Latham at the Invicta Gym in Sheerness.

Joe Elfidh commented on his ninth event at Mote Park, “The shows are getting bigger and better, and lads are all improving on their records. This is all about matching them in good fights to set them up for title fights in 2019. Most of the boxers are either at title level already or just need a test to get them in contention. 2019 is going to be a big year for JE Promotions and this show in February will be the one to kick it all off!”

Follow JE Promotions on Twitter: @JE_Promotions

For tickets to the next show, visit JE Promotions’ FB Page or call 07883 943 994

JE Promotions would like to thank Kent Trade FramesCampbell NutritionSwerve CityBasement159RoofDec1ClickPrintShiatsu ShaneTierney PhotographyLaking Painting & DecoratingInvicta Gym and PR Manager Tim Rickson

Fury-Wilder: Not a Classic but Gripping Nevertheless

They say we make better judgments with the benefit of time and reflection so just how good was the fight between Tyson Fury (27-0-1, 19Kos) and Deontay Wilder 40-0-1, 39KOs) and how has this fight impacted on the landscape Heavyweight boxing?

At first sight and with emotions high sometimes our views can be obscured by others, especially from television pundits, journalists and comments on social media from other respected ex-professionals.

One thing that the majority can agree on is the outrageous scorecard of 115-111 in Wilder’s favour that Mexican judge Alejandro Rochin handed in at the end of the fight. Even with the two knockdowns and a few close rounds going the American’s way it’s still hard to fathom a scorecard that wide? Of course, this isn’t the first time a big fight has ended in controversy and it won’t be the last.

Trouble is once again boxing has come under scrutiny after shameful judging with a wider audience watching on in attendance. To keep the integrity of this great noble art intact and the new fans interested then boxing’s hierarchy will need to be proactive by investing time and resources into re-educating judges for future bouts.

Granted scoring fights are subjective to the eyes of the beholder but Alejandro Rochin’s scorecard was dreadful and he should be demoted back to the lower level fights until he can prove his worth again or quite simply relieved of his duties. On the other hand, Englishmen Phil Edwards who scored the fight a draw can make a decent argument, although even that card was hard to understand.

So, what of the fight itself? Some have gone as far as calling it a classic, one for the ages or even the greatest fight in recent history. A little farfetched to call it a classic but grippling, edge of your seat stuff. Not really a top-quality contest but the action was super to watch, especially the last round.

For the most part it was an eight rounded dominate display from a very good Tyson Fury but definitely not the best Fury. It was better than the drab encounter most of us predicted so maybe in hindsight that’s why it’s been given a little more over-hype due to the surprise.

With the WWE style last round recovery from the self-proclaimed ‘Gypsy King’ when we all thought he was finished, to then complete the round so dominantly was nothing short of great poetic boxing drama that may well have saved the show. A round to remember that’s for sure.

Up until that crazy last round it was always absorbing viewing, but it wasn’t this amazing even fight that some want to make us believe. After watching the fight, a second and third time that is clear to see.

So where does that leave Wilder and Fury in the Heavyweight division? To say they should now be considered the two best in the division is nothing short of ludicrous. The ‘Bronze Bomber’ was outclassed by a fighter that wasn’t even at his best so what does that say about Wilder? If they do go ahead with the rematch – which is what should happen – then an improved and fitter Fury does the same but next time he won’t get caught.

Is Fury a level above everyone in the division because he is more than likely to defeat Wilder by a landslide if they tango again? Or is Wilder overrated with power just as big as the next hard hitting Heavyweight? The temptation is to go with the latter.

Everybody knows you’re as good as your last fight and let’s face it Wilder was nothing short of awful. If anyone is going to beat the main man with all the other belts, then that man will be Tyson Fury. That being said, Anthony Joshua is 22-0 with 21 knockouts, is younger and improving in every fight.

Where was Wilder in his 22nd fight? Defeating Jesse Oltmanns in 2012 and still fighting 8-rounders after turning pro in 2008.

In Fury’s 22nd fight he beat Joey Abell in 2014 after also turning pro in 2008. But the Manchester native was still a young man and had picked-up the British and Commonwealth titles in 2011 after defeating an undefeated Dereck Chisora.

What Anthony Joshua has achieved in five-years is in complete contrast to what Wilder and Fury did at that stage in their careers.

In 22-fights he is already a unified champion beating a poor Charles Martin to win the IBF strap, stopping Wladimir Klitschko to win the IBO & WBA Super titles & added the WBO version against Joseph Parker earlier this year. And all that was achieved via the domestic route with wins against Dillian Whyte for the British title and Gary Cornish for the Commonwealth.

None of these records actually mean much right now but it does show that he dodges knowone and his ability has got him to this high level a lot quicker. It will also be a huge asset and leave him better prepared for when the next big fight comes knocking.

Since the Wilder-Fury fight there has been an ugly rumour circling on social media that Big Josh has dropped down the food chain. Once again the public are being fed the kool-aid here as numbers do not lie. Joshua is the number one in Heavyweight boxing right now but Fury and Wilder have definitely increased their stock and closed the gap. The second fight will do better numbers but Joshua will continue to sell-out our national stadium even if he fought the local piss-head.

If Tyson Fury can stay mentally strong outside of the ring then he should come through the second fight against Wilder. Joshua will have to settle for another domestic tear-up with Dillian Whyte, take on the Cruiserweight king Usyk or find an alternative.

However this drama unfolds we must remember that the Heavyweight Division seems to be entering another golden age that we have missed for so long. Bring it on!!

Trio of Guildford City Gym fighters added to December 15 card

Nick Webb, Rohan Date and George Lamport all representing Guildford City Gym on December 15.

British Warrior Boxing’s festive fight card, titled ‘Christmas Carnage’, on December 15 at the York Hall features a trinity of talent from Guildford City Gym – heavyweight Nick Webb (13-1); unbeaten Irishman Rohan Date (6-0-1, 5KOs); and 21-year-old George Lamport (6-0).

Chertsey heavyweight Nick Webb (13-1), 31, blasted his way back from defeat to David Allen (13-4-2) at the O2 Arena last August with a conclusive second-round demolition of dangerman Dorian Darch (12-7-1) on September 29 at Bracknell Leisure Centre.

Webb vs Darch

He rushes back to the ring yet again, looking to get a second ‘learning fight’ in, in what is a planned rebuild process to get back to title contention – his sole career loss to Allen was a British title eliminator.

He said, “Looking to get back in the title mix next year so looking to get some rounds in. We’re looking at opponents now, hopefully I’ll get someone that’s durable and don’t get stopped much, the kind of guy that can go the rounds.”

Undefeated Irishman Rohan Date (6-0-1, 5KOs), who resides in Dubai, has his eighth pro bout, which he had hoped would be an eight-rounder so he could challenge for the BUI or Irish welterweight title next year.

Rohan on the punchbag

Instead, the seven-time Irish national amateur champion will be pitted in a six-rounder against an opponent yet to be confirmed.

In his last outing the 25-year-old defeated Dutch national champion Innocent Anyanwu (25-38-3, 15KOs) via a second-round stoppage on October 27 in Southsea to bring his record up to seven bouts unbeaten with five KOs, one result ending in a draw with fellow unbeaten super-lightweight Wes Smith (3-0-1) from Cornwall.

Date was a standout amateur and won the World Golden Gloves in 2013.

Farnborough super-welterweight George Lamport (6-0), 21-years-old, will look to build upon his first ever stoppage win last September.

George Lamport in action

Lamport stopped unbeaten Reading-based Austrian Konrad Stempstowski (8-0) in the fourth-round of their scheduled six-rounder.

The Guildford City Gym teammates enjoy close working relationships, they all fought together on September 29 in Bracknall, each one walking away with a KO win, and they share the card again on December 15, hoping for similar success.

Report by Tim Rickson.

For more information, please contact: @TimRickson

Will Usyk be the Real Deal at Heavyweight?

Undisputed Cruiserweight King Oleksandr Usyk (16-0, 12KOs) has signalled his intentions to relinquish all his titles and move up to the heavyweight division but can the slick southpaw make an impact?

There have been some Cruiserweights that have made the transition to Heavyweight but very few are successful. David Haye was the last fighter to make the move up and win a World title but the greatest of them all was Evander Holyfield. The American is universally recognized as the greatest fighter in the history of the cruiserweight division and was the first boxer to unify all the straps in 1988.

The WBO version wasn’t considered as significant in the 1980’s so Usyk now holds the record of becoming the first boxer in history to hold all four major world championships at once after his win over Murat Gassiev in Russia.

It took the Ukrainian only 15-fights to achieve this amazing feat which was three fights fewer then Holyfield. You could argue that Holyfield was 6-years younger and faced tougher opposition but that is because we have the benefit of perspective on where those fighters stood over the course of history.

Holyfield defeated Hall of Famer Dwight Muhammad Qawi (twice) winning the WBA title in their second bout, Olympic Gold medallist Henry Tilman, former champions Ricky Parkey & Ossie ‘Jaws’ Ocasio and Carlos DeLeon to unify the Division.

Over time we will reflect on what Usyk has achieved in the Cruiserweight Division and have a better understanding. Russian Gassiev is only 25-years-old and has a lot of good years ahead of him and Marco Huck will already go down as one of the best at 200 lbs. Krzysztof Glowacki and Mairis Briedis are former world champions who may well retain a title next year and Tony Bellew is also a former WBC champion himself.

One thing that Usyk does have over Holyfield is an ability to fight overseas and defeat the best his division had to offer which cannot and should not be sniffed at. Winning and retaining World titles in Poland, America, Germany, Latvia, Russia and England is a fantastic accomplishment that is very rare in the business today.

We can study and compare records from yesteryear against the current crop of fighters we have today until the sun comes up but unfortunately, we will always produce different theories and answers. Therefore, boxing fans cannot make accurate judgments on a fighter’s career until time has passed.

One thing we do know for sure is heavyweights in the late 80’s and early 90’s were a lot smaller than today’s. So, without discrediting what a legend like Holyfield did the transition from the 200 lb division to fight as a heavyweight was easier back then. It took the 6’ 2” Holyfield just 2-years to become the first man in history to become undisputed champion in two weight classes, which would be nothing short of incredible if Usyk was to follow suite.

For the 31-year-old to repeat such a feat he would need to bide his time like Holyfield did. Let’s face it who would have thought that ‘Busta’ Douglas would have knocked out Mike Tyson to pick up all the titles? Credit to team Holyfield for managing to secure the opportunity to become unified champ against James Douglas rather than Mike Tyson.

A similar opening may come for Usyk to pick up a World title, like for instance if Anthony Joshua was unable to fulfil one his mandatory obligations he would be stripped by one of the governing bodies. If such a situation was to arise Usyk needs to be able to take full advantage.

In the meantime, fights against the smaller opponents of the division like American Bryant Jennings or Marco Huck who has once again moved back into the heavyweight division rather than call it a day on his career. But if Team Usyk are feeling confident then Russian Alexander Povetkin would be ideal preparation. Not only is Povetkin the perfect size and height, he would also be a very credible opponent. With Eddie Hearn now involved in guiding Usyk’s career a victory over the 39-year-old would probably catapult the Ukrainian into a position to fight in a title eliminator.

Further down the line fights against New Zealander Joseph Parker or Englishman Dillian Whyte could set-up a possible clash with Anthony Joshua if victorious. The other champion Deontay Wilder is indeed considered smaller in weight then these guys but his 6’ 7” frame would present a problem that Usyk has never faced before.

If the man from Kiev is adamant on moving through the division at a fast pace then he would need to make sure he is careful about how much weight he carries. Usyk does have an excellent team behind him that do have advanced knowledge in sports science, so they will know what assets he will lose with the extra weight gain. The last thing Team Usyk would want to do is take away his ability to move around the ring as freely as he does.

Mental strength is clearly another one of Usyk’s prized assets so making sure he doesn’t feel sluggish physically will keep his brain sharpe. The Cruiserweight King seems to enjoy figuring out a way to win when faced with problem solving and that strength alone will cause enormous problems for the monsters of the division.

Usyk will now go down in history along side Holyfield at Cruiserweight but the chances of him coming close to what Holyfield achieved at Heavyweight is very unlikely. Not because he’s not good enough but more because of father-time. At 31, he can still achieve great things but he will have to be moved along quickly which could end up being his downfall.

After researching the current crop of Heavyweights that are champions, contenders or future prospects here is a list of their average weight in their last 5 professional fights and thei recorded height;

200-230 pounds

Oleksandr Usyk:        200 lbs                  6’ 2”

Marco Huck:                220 lbs                   6’ 2”

Alexander Povetkin:    225 lbs                   6’ 2”

Deontay Wilder:           225 lbs                  6’ 7”

Bryant Jennings:          228 lbs                  6’ 3”

230-250 pounds

Otto Wallin:                   231 lbs                  6’ 5”

Hughie Fury:                 234 lbs                  6’ 6”

Daniel Dubois:              238 lbs                  6’ 6”

Tony Yoka:                    240 lbs                  6’ 7”

Luiz Ortiz:                     241 lbs                  6’ 4”

Carlos Takam:              242 lbs                  6’ 1”

Joseph Parker:             249 lbs                  6’ 3”

Charles Martin:             247 lbs                  6’ 5”

Kubrat Pulev:                249 lbs                  6’ 4”

Anthony Joshua:           248 lbs                  6’ 6”

250-270 pounds

Dillian Whyte:               253 lbs                  6’ 4”

Dereck Chisora:            253 lbs                  6’ 1”

Nathan Gorman            253 lbs                  6’ 3”

Joe Joyce:                    254 lbs                  6’ 6”

Adam Kownacki:           257 lbs                  6’ 3”

Dominic Breazeale       257 lbs                  6’ 7”

Tyson Fury:                   261 lbs                  6’ 9”

300 + pounds

Jarrell Miller:                 300 lbs                  6’ 4”

Usyk shatters the Bellew fairytale

Oleksandr Usyk (16-0, 12KOs) shattered the Tony Bellew (30-3-1, 20KOs) fairytale with a thunderous left hand in the eighth round in Manchester to retain his Undisputed crown and cement his place as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the World today. 

It was always going to be a mammoth task for the Merseysider who acquitted himself well in the early exchanges.

Before the stoppage two of the three judges at ringside had ‘The Bomber’ up on the scorecards with the other having it even but in the end it was Usyk’s class that prevailed.

It was a cagey first round that was difficult to score as neither fighter really landed anything of notice.

In a much better second it was Bellew who found his range quicker, tagging the Ukrainian to the head and body with pot shots. Usyk did up his game after Bellew antagonised him with a minute left in the round.

With the fight starting to hot up the champ forced Bellew back from a distance for much of the third round although, it was the home fighter that kept catching Usyk with right handed pot shots.

Early in the fourth it was the Ukrainian maestro who was beginning to find his range and caught Bellew with a big left hand that made him dip his knees. Bellew spent most of the round with his back agaisnt the ropes but did connect with his trademark left hook that forced Usyk to retreat.

Once again it was the slick southpaw from Kiev who was on the front foot for most of the fifth but was getting countered by Bellew a little to often. Midway through the round a fast left handed warning shot from the Cruiserweight King landed on Bellews chin. The challenger did end the round strongly with a few right hands while continuing to counter the Usyk jab.

The sixth was going pretty much the same way as the fifth until Usyk landed a big left hand right on the bell that wobbled Bellew.

Usyk sensed blood in the seventh as Bellew was clearly still a bit dazed from the last round and starting to feel the pace of the fight. The 31-year-old was slowly creeping through the gears and getting better while Bellew was heading the other way.

In the eighth and final round Usyk showed his class with some beautiful footwork and shots from different angles. Bellew was trying to load up with big shots to find some space but he could not stop the Ukrainian from coming forward.

Every jab and left cross was hitting the target with Bellew in all sorts of trouble. An initial left hand buzzed Bellew before a right hand jab set-up a looping left cross which put the Liverpudlian out for the count.

Unfortunately for Bellew he was unable to prove the doubters wrong again but Oleksandr Usyk is a special talent that ended the night with a wonderful finish.

There is absolutely no shame in defeat to Usyk but Bellew needed to throw more then pot shots if he was ever going to put a real dent in Usyk’s arsenal.

Tony Bellew deserves a lot of credit for not only taking the fight against a World class operator but also for causing Usyk problems in the earlier rounds. If this really is his last fight and he does retire then he can look back on a successful career were he achieved more than he ever thought possible.

Good Luck Bellew and enjoy your Birthday cake milkshake with your son in retirement!

Seconds out…

Usyk vs Bellew: Breakdown and Predictions

This Saturday night at the Manchester Arena Undisputed Cruiserweight World Champion Oleksandr Usyk (15-0, 11KOs) puts all his titles on the line against the WBC ‘emeritus’ Champion Tony Bellew (30-2-1, 20KOs).

Ukrainian Usyk is considered by many as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world right now after picking up every major Cruiserweight world title and becoming the first ever winner of the Muhammad Ali Trophy.

A few eye brows were raised when Usyk called out Englishman Bellew after producing a master class performance against Murat Gassiev in the final of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) earlier in the year.

Bellew has never been one to turn down opportunities like this and decided to come out of retirement for one last hurrah. The Merseysider is coming off the back of two career best victories against David Haye in the Heavyweight division so is confident he has all the tools to overcome the very talented Usyk.

Once again, the 35-year-old will go into the fight as the underdog like he was against knockout artist Ilunga Makabu and Haye twice. Bellew thrives off adversity and has an incredible desire to prove everybody wrong which does make him dangerous but Usyk is a formidable challenge that just might be a step to far.

Olympic gold medallist Usyk may only be 15-fights into his professional career but had an impressive amateur record winning every major honour possible. The Kiev maestro has an excellent combined opponent record of 325-62-8, since turning pro 5-years ago.

What makes the 31-year-old unique is his ability to win major World titles against tough opposition in their own backyards. Usyk won the WBO strap in Poland against undefeated Krzysztof Glowacki before retaining his title against Michael Hunter in the US and Marco Huck in Germany. He then added the WBC title against Mairis Briedis in Latvia and finally became the first boxer in history to hold all four major world championships at Cruiserweight with a win over Gassiev in Russia. Be rest assured that Usyk will not freeze on another big night on his travels to England, the county where he picked up his gold medal in 2012.

If this fight was run through Alex Pierpaoli’s ‘Title Bout Computer Game’ 100 times, then Usyk would win 90% of the time but this isn’t a game this is for real and when it comes to the crunch Bellew continues to defy the odds.

It’s incredible to think that 5-years ago to the month, Bellew was stopped for the first time in his career at 175lbs against Adonis Stevenson while Usyk was making his pro debut. Since then ‘The Bomber’ has moved up to Cruiserweight, avenged his first pro loss to Nathan Cleverly and won the WBC strap.

In an eleven-year career Bellew has raked up a combined opponent record of 604-317-29. The extra pounds in the higher divisions clearly suites the Evertonian who is currently 8-0 at Cruiser and 2-0 at Heavyweight.

Usyk is a slick southpaw that will look to work behind his right-hand jab before throwing shots from different angles to the head and body. The Champ has excellent footwork which makes him elusive but not impossible to hit so it’s important that Bellew doesn’t allow him to establish a rhythm behind his 4-inch reach advantage, otherwise it could be a long and painful night for the Englishman.

Against Gassiev the Ukrainian was almost untouchable and barely gave away a minute, let alone a round. The Russian was unfairly criticised in that final who was dealt a boxing clinic in front of his home crowd. A mirror performance will undoubtedly see Usyk win comfortably against Bellew.

Trainer David Coldwell and Bellew will have studied Usyk’s bouts but the one fight that can give them confidence is the WBSS semi-final against Briedis. The Latvian was able to demonstrate a blueprint that Bellew could follow in Manchester.

Coldwell was a former fighter that came out of the late great Brenden Ingle gym and was a switch-hitter himself as a fighter so has the knowledge of figuring out how to close the gap on Usyk’s southpaw style. Even Bellew admitted that he would not entertain a fight with a southpaw before he linked up with Coldwell. Briedis manged to overcome the awkward style by tagging Usyk with combos to the head and body. Bellew must combine a mixture of shots by varying his line of attack.

One of Bellew’s prized assets is the left hook so landing counter shots would allow the big scouser to set up his honey-punch which he will be hoping he can land flush on the whiskers of Usyk. The most effective way to beat a guy like Usyk is variation with counter punches and Bellew does have enough ring craft to find his range and establish his own rhythm.

The only way I can see Bellew winning this fight is if he can catch Usyk early enough to disrupt his rhythm, but the chances are slim. When Usyk is in the mood like he was against Gassiev it’s difficult to give the Everton-mad football fan a chance of glory. If Bellew faces a Briedis version and does get close enough to off-load that ‘dirty’ left-hook, then he has more of a chance. These guys are going to be 200lb plus by the time they enter the ring on Saturday, so one shot can change the whole complexion of the fight.

There is absolutely no doubt that this is a mammoth task for Bellew. A victory against Uysk would go down as one of the greatest upsets by a British fighter since Ricky Hatton’s win over Kostya Tszyu, which of course was also in Manchester.

I am a fan of Bellew and I hope he can prove everyone wrong again, but I can only see one winner in the Manchester Arena this Weekend and that man will be Oleksandr Usyk by a unanimous decision.

I will leave you with a quote by Dereck Trotter: “He who dares wins, he who hesitates….don’t”. Bonjour!

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