Monthly Archives: April 2009
20 April 2009 – Press Release
Norwich puncher Sam Sexton says he will ruin Martin Rogan’s homecoming on May 15 in Belfast.
Sexton will tackle Rogan for the Commonwealth heavyweight title at the Odyssey Arena on an action-packed card to be televised by Sky Sports.
And the Norwich puncher is vowing to derail Rogan’s world title dream following back-to-back victories over Audley Harrison and Matt Skelton.
“To beat someone like Rogan you have to show him no respect and go straight to him. I’m not planning on any fancy dan boxing, I’m just going to meet him head on and see what he’s got and if he can take what he dishes out,” said Sexton.
“I know I’m going to be in for a war and I’ll have to go into the trenches but that is what I relish.
“I know there will be a hostile crowd in Belfast, but as soon as I start landing then I’ll silence them.
“This fight is being billed as a big homecoming for Rogan after two hard fights on the road, but don’t expect me to be the fall guy. I feel sorry for all the Belfast fans who are turning up expecting a Rogan win, I just want them to know now that I’m coming to ruin his little party.
Sexton, still only 24, has shown plenty of promise in his 12 fights to date, winning 11 of them.
And like Rogan, he triumphed in a Prizefighter heavyweight tournament, pocketing 25,000 after winning three times in one night.
“That was a nice bit of cash,” said Sexton.
“But I know that if I beat Rogan then there will be even bigger sums on offer.
“Domestically, Martin is the man to beat at the moment, and if I knock him out then I’m going to be in line for some big pay days.”
23 April 2009 – By Padraig Hoare
Bantamweight Alexei Acosta is the best kept secret in world boxing.
That is according to promoter Gary Hyde, who runs his third professional boxing event of the year on Saturday night in the SilverSprings Moran Hotel, Cork. The Cuban sensation, who was four wins with four knockouts from his first four contests, will top the bill for the first time against Argentinian Sergio Victor Caruso (14-6-2, 3 KO).
Heavyweight Mike Perez was originally to top the bill, but a damaged shoulder in training has him sidelined for four to five months.
Acosta, who has just turned 21, has a glittering amateur background back in his native Cuba, with more than 200 victories. He became junior world champion in 2006, defeating US Olympic starlet Luis Yanez along the way, and was world cadet (Under 17) world champion before that. He has won national Cuban titles since he was barely in his teens.
“The Hurricane” defected from Cuba along with super-middleweight Luis Garcia in 2008 to join heavyweight Mike Perez in Cork after becoming disillusioned with the politics of Cuban boxing that kept him away from representing his country at the Beijing Olympics. Rathcooney-based businessman Hyde says Acosta was always on his radar after hearing special things.
Acosta has so far been eased into the professional ranks because of a niggling hand injury. It has meant that Mike Perez and Luis Garcia are the ones who have received all the plaudits from the media and boxing websites. That is all about to change, according to manager and promoter Gary Hyde. The hand has been given the clean bill of health, and Acosta is rearing to go, added Hyde.
Under the tutelage of Glenn McCrory, the former cruiserweight champion of the world and Sky Sports analyst, Acosta’s prowess has been enhanced even more.
“With Glenn’s experience, Alexei has been brought on so much. He was a terrific amateur, but he is now a world-class prospect. The movement, the power, the footwork, everything. Now he is injury-free, I knew it was time to step him up in class and show him off to the Cork public at the top of the card.”
Acosta will top a bill that also includes Luis Garcia, Cork’s Spike O’Sullivan and Limerick’s Jamie Power.
Light-middleweight Spike (8-0, 6 KOs) will face experienced Pole Marcin Piatkowski, who has a record of 19-14. He has only been knocked out six times in the 14 losses, and manager Paschal Collins said he also wanted to step his charge up.
“This guy has been in with some good names, and has campaigned a few times at middleweight and super-middle. His extra strength will give Spike something to think about, and that is the kind of test we are looking for at this stage. The world is Spike’s oyster, and every fight he has from now will provide an extra test. Spike has had the glowing endorsement of legendary Boston trainer Goody Petronellli, who guided Marvellous Marvin Hagler to the very top of the boxing world. That tells people they are seeing someone exceptionally talented.”
Glenn McCrory told Irish-boxing.com that he would not swap his three Cubans for any other prospects in the world.
“These guys have so much ability, it is frightening. They are still learning. but they are a pleasure to guide. The three of them are future world champions, of that I have no doubt. Luis Garcia has gained the headlines lately because of his natural ability and his dazzling performances. He has so much in the bag, and is improving every day. The only one that can stop him becoming world champion is himself.”
Garcia (4-0, 3 KO)faces Nestor Fabian Casanonova over eight rounds. Limerick’s thrill-a-minute light heavy Jamie Power rounds out the bill.
Fight fans will also have the opportunity to see the SilverSprings show through their computer screens. It is being broadcast on GoFightLive.tv for $5. Limited tickets for the dinner show are still available from Gary Hyde. The 100 ticket includes a four-course meal, along with four fights and a bar extension. Ring 087 2424898 for enquiries.
21 April 2009 – By Cormac Campbell
Opportunity knocks not once but twice this spring for east Belfast bantamweight Luke Wilton who gets the opportunity to impress two of the biggest promotional names in boxing in the space of three weeks.
Such fortune is at the opposite end of the spectrum to that endured by Wilton last December, when sporting a fledgling ledger of 3-0, he was cruelly stripped of his unbeaten record following a contensious four round points defeat to Usman Ahmed in Dublin. Aged just 20 years, he returns to action on April 25 on the undercard of Martin Lindsay and Paul Applebys mouthwatering British featherweight title at the Ulster Hall. All being well, Winky returns to action just three weeks later, on May 15, with a slot on the undercard of Martin Rogans Commonwealth heavyweight title defence against Sam Sexton at the Odyssey Arena.
That the Ulster Hall bill is promoted by David Haye for Setanta Sports and the Odyssey event promoted by Frank Warren for Sky Sports is an added bonus for Wilton, who is trained at Eastside Boxing Club by his father Alan.
Itll be the first time Ive boxed at the Ulster Hall, Wilton told
over the telephone.
Its one of the best places to box and Im looking forward to it as there is a lot of history behind it.
At the Bedford St venue, Wilton will face a familiar foe in Delroy Spencer, who, little over a year ago Wilton outpointed at the National Stadium in Dublin. Older and wiser, he is hopeful of going one better.
Ive fought Delroy before. I just boxed him. I didnt try for a stoppage, but this time Ill go for it.
Charged with developing Lukes skills is father and trainer Alan.
Hes very strict when it comes to boxing. If you are doing something wrong you will soon get a slap in the face.
What Wilton has in abundance is time. As such he refuses to talk of titles or fights with the bigger names on the domestic scene.
Ill take things slowly. I wouldnt like to rush. Im only 20. I have alot of time on my hands whereas the likes of Booth and Napa are in their 30s. My time will come.
What Wilton does want in the near future is a rematch with Ahmed, a man most ringside observors believed he defeated at DCU on the night of Darren Sutherlands debut.
Id very much like to avenge that result. I tried to get that fight for the Odyssey card so well see what comes of it.
Should the fight come off for the Odyssey, Wilton will have a small army of supporters in his corner hoping to cheer him to victory.
There will be a couple of hundred people at the Odyssey to support me Im sure. I had an allocation of 100 tickets and Ive already done 50 or 60 of them already and Ive only had them four or five days.
23 April 2009 – By Mark Doyle
The winner of Saturdays eagerly-awaited featherweight clash between Paul Appleby and Martin Lindsay at the Ulster Hall has been promised a world title shot.
Scottish sensation Appleby, who is just 21, will put his British title on the line against Belfast native Lindsay in a bout to be shown exclusively live on Setanta Sports.
The undefeated duo had both already acknowledged that this is a pivotal moment in their respective careers.
That has been underlined by the fact that, according to promoter Tommy Egan, IBF titleholder Cristobal Cruz has agreed to take on the victor.
I am authorised by Art Pelullo, President of Banner Promotions, Philadelphia PA, to offer the winner of the British featherweight title clash on Saturday a fight with IBF featherweight champion Cristobal Cruz, should he come unscathed from his next defence, Egan revealed.
I have already had talks with Applebys people, Tommy Gilmore and Matchroom, as well as Lindsays camp, John Rooney and Haymaker Promotions.
Furthermore, the fight could be held in either Glasgow or Belfast depending. Art Pelullo, Banner Promotions and I would be delighted to host other big world title fights in Ireland or Britain.
Granted, Cruz must come through his next defence victorious, but it is great motivation for both fighters ahead of their British title fight.
Both are very exciting young fighters and this would be a great opportunity for either.
21 April 2009 – By Darren Sutherland
In the first of his monthly columns exclusive to irish-boxing.com, Olympic silver medallist Darren Sutherland talks about his progress in the paid ranks.
My next fight is going to be on the 29th May but I dont know at this point exactly where. Its looking like it will be in the UK. Ill know for sure early next week, but I have a hunch that its going to be in London.
Im 27 this week and I cant believe it. I dont feel 27 at all. In my head and physically I still feel 21 or 22. I think I live a good life, so I can have a long career. I dont want to be a flash in the pan.
The manager and trainers job is to map the route out for you and Ive got to trust in their judgement and experience. All I can do is fight who is in front of me and ensure that I do a good job, because if I do a good job they will step me up at the right time.
Im very keen, but at the same time Im patient and even the guy I fought in my last fight even though I hit him some solid shots – he was still right there in front of me. So I am learning that there are a lot of strong, solid pros out there and I still have a lot to learn. I also hope to have a long career so there is no rush.
Brian (Lawrence) has been pretty impressed with me in the gym and after the next fight on the 29th he said he will start telling Frank (Maloney) to move me along to the next level. I want to get five or six fights under my belt and then step up the number of rounds. That is the main thing that would be holding me back from pushing for titles.
What we are doing now in training is putting the rounds in the bank for conditioning purposes and ensuring that I will have the stamina for ten rounds when the time comes to learn to pace myself.
Ill have another four fights between now and Christmas and I think after that Ill be ready after a year working in a pro environment Ill be ready for a ten rounder.
Already I am finding that I have a lot more time in the ring. In the fights, three minutes is a lot longer than the two minute rounds I fought in the amateurs. The fact that you have six rounds to start off with means you arent panicking about points, its more about round control. I did some sparring last week with Luis Garcia and I felt like I handled him pretty well. Ive also sparred with Southern Area super-middleweight champion Tony Salam hes had nine fights and eight wins. Hes a southpaw and I think I have handled that well also.
Its hard training. I love training hard but I do feel it is different to the amateurs. The sessions are pretty intense. But so far, so good.
20 April 2009 – Press Release
Unbeaten Irish light-welterweight sensation Dean ‘Irish Lightning’ Byrne fights for the first time in 2009 when he battles Mexican southpaw Jose Reynoso (10-2, 1 KO) in a scheduled eight-round bout May 1 at South Point Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Not only will Byrne be making his debut in the glitz and glitter of Las Vegas, the 24-year-old Dubliner will be fighting the night before the Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton showdown in the same city with Mannys trainer, Freddie Roach, also in his corner.
Working out at Roachs famed Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, where he has sparred with Pacquiao, Amir Khan and Juan Marquez, Byrne has found a home.
After having more than 200 amateur fights, including an Irish National title, Dean turned pro in Australia, where he captured the New South Wales State belt in only his fourth pro fight, and one fight later added the Australian crown in a 10-rounder. On his way from Australia to relocate in Boston, Dean stopped in Los Angeles and trained at Wild Card, where Roach took an instant liking to him.
“I couldnt have a better trainer,” Byrne said. “Im so proud hes my trainer. He says I got it and Im going to prove that to him and me. I really cant wait until this fight in Las Vegas and Im trained by Mannys trainer. Its going to be a weekend of celebration. Im not going to go out and jump on this guy (Reynoso).
I want to show everybody what I can do box. Im starting to bring it on hard. On fight night I wont be wearing headgear and big gloves. Its a different feeling with the 8-ounce gloves and no headgear. I cant wait to feel the power.
Byrne (10-0, 4 KOs), fighting out of Los Angeles by way of Dublin, was supposed to fight in an 8-round bout on March 16 in New York City that was cancelled. The former Australian and New Wales champion hasnt fought since defeating Francisco Rios Gil last December.
“Deans been doing great, Roach remarked. Hes learning to sit on his punches. For this fight hes mostly been sparring with Dennis Laurente (30-3-5, 16 KOs), who is fighting in a 10-rounder in Las Vegas on the same weekend. Deans a good prospect and working together with Dennis, a lefty, has been great for both of them. Deans going to get great exposure fighting in Las Vegas the night before Mannys fight with everybody in boxing in town. Dean told me hes going to shine and I know were ready to go.”
Byrnes manager, Steven Feder (Standing Eight Management) values Roach handling his prize prospect, Byrne. “I cant believe a year in this business and Im working with the best trainer in the world, Freddie Roach, Feder commented. “Hes as excited about working with a prospect like Dean as he is with the best fighter in the world, Manny. Freddie loves boxing and is still a student of the game. I handle the business side and let Freddie do his thing nobody does it better. Having Freddie in our corner is like being handed the Triple Crown winner, or like a 4-round handicap before the first rounds starts. Were light years ahead of where wed be right now without him.
“He really cares about his fighters. Its like a tough father-son relationship; he may kiss them on one cheek, slap them on the other, but I dont have to strategize with Freddie in our corner. The key is having a game plan because you dont want the fighter thinking too much in the ring. There are no guarantees, of course, but Dean is a great kid and a talented, promising prospect. As a manager, I dont want to be asking where my fighter is or if hes trained today. Deans only concern in life is boxing and hes always working hard in the gym. We expect big things from him.”
16 April 2009 – By Jonny Stapleton
Prodigal son Colman Barrett will be ready to fight the best boxing has to offer in as little as 18 months and will eventually fulfill his potential after making a return to professional fighting according to manager and trainer Keith Walker.
Barrett returns to the ring in his hometown Galway this Saturday night – April 18 – on a Southpaw-promoted show, and Walker believes its the first step to something big for the undefeated puncher.
There was much hype surrounding Barrett career when he stringed six straight wins together between 2003 and 2005. Now after a three-year sabbatical Walker believes the heavyweight can pick up were he left off.
He’s now ready to be unleashed back into the fight game, Walker explained.
We intend over the next five fights to be back in the real mix. Over the next 18 moths I believe he will be in the mix and could take on anyone.
We plan to make slow but confident progress. We are just focused on Saturday and Saturdays fight but the talent is there. We will keep Colman under wraps but will move forward steadily.
“Colman is in great shape, I have the injuries to prove he is eager to get back in the ring and is stronger than ever.
“He nearly broke my fingers working the pads yesterday and I bruises all over my body from working with him. My neck and shoulders are sore. Again, though, it will be a slow start but everyone is looking forward to it.
16 April 2009 – By Jonny Stapleton
He has boxed on the biggest stage in world sport, the Olympics, fought for numerous titles in a distinguished 250-fight amateur career and entered the squared circle 17 times as a paid professional, but Francie Barrett has never worked harder for a fight night than he has for this Saturdays Pro boxing night in Leisureland, Galway.
Nor has he been more nervous prior to a bout.
The former Olympic hero is making a welcome return to boxing this weekend. He will not, however, enter the ring but will instead don a well-pressed promoters suit rather than the gloves and shorts he is so accustomed too.
Barrett, a former Irish champion at both junior and senior level, makes his professional promoting debut as he co-promotes the Salthill-based show with Keith Walker under the new Southpaw Promotions banner.
And the 33-year-old retired fighter claims although he has enjoyed working outside of the gym he has found it more demanding than in-ring fight preparations.
This is the first show I have ever done and I wouldnt be able to do it with out Keith Walker, Barrett admitted.
I am really excited about it and happy with how things have gone so far. I am also nervous, in fact I am more nervous than I was before any fight I ever had. I have worked harder getting this show ready than any other fight too.
“I knew it was going to be hard work but it has been tough. With fighting you just have to worry about getting in shape and preparing for your opponent in this game you have to organise a venue, fighters, talk with the Boxing Union and lots more.
We know from his fighting days though that Barrett isnt afraid of hard work, and he seems to be dealing with the stress promoting prompts in the same manner he dealt with the bruises boxing brought.
And already it looks like he has helped organise a successful show.
Barretts involvement has ensured massive press interest – both local and national – and tickets for the show, which will be headlined by his undefeated cousin, Colman Barrett, have sold steadily.
There is a lot of interest in the show. We have been contacted by media all over the country,” he enthused.
“You cant pick up a paper or turn on a radio in the West without reading or hearing about it. Ticket sales are going well and it is going to be a great night.
“There is a good bit of excitement amongst boxing fans its great to have a show in Galway for local fans. We have worked hard to make it entertaining we have brilliant fights.
“We also have singers and some dancers but there will be some great fights. he added.
The Southpaw-promoted, Leisureland-hosted April 18 show will see John Waldron take on Danny Cousin, Colm Keane fight John Anthony, Carl Drake face Lee Murtagh, Gavin Prunty meet Ibrar Ryaz and Colman Barrett headline in a bout with Vlado Sabo.
16 April 2009 – By Mark Doyle
Brian Peters has rubbished Frank Maloneys claim that Bernard Dunne is afraid of Rendall Munroe.
Maloney is desperate to secure Munroe a shot at Dunnes WBA super-bantamweight title and has offered the Dubliner home advantage and either 180,000 or a share of the profits from the promotion to defend against the Leicester southpaw.
However, Dunne is not biting, prompting Maloney to declare that the champion is running scared.
Not so, though, according to Peters, who claims that both he and Dunne are more interested in going Stateside for their next outing.
Indeed, Peters has already revealed that his priority is a bout with the marquee name in the super-bantamweight division, Israel Vazquez, in Las Vegas.
“Frank Maloney is not the only person seeking Dunne. We are getting offers from all over the place, so nothing has been decided, Peters explained in the Irish Independent.
Besides Vazquez, which is a possibility in September, we have had offers from the people behind Cristobal Cruz, the Mexican who holds the IBF featherweight title, and the Canadian Steve Molitor.
“In any event, it is ridiculous to say that we are running away from Munroe. We are not. But maybe Munroe might be better establishing himself in America first and maybe pick up a title. As it is, he’s an unknown over there. The Americans are looking for big names and big draws.
“It is true that Frank Maloney keeps upping his offers so let him keep doing that.
Then we will know he’s going in the right direction and that he’s genuine. But let me make it clear once again, Bernard is not afraid of Munroe. Far from it.”
30 March 2009 – By Cormac Campbell
There has been something understated about the pro career of former amateur standout Martin Lindsay to date.
Boxing on the road in Britain, Italy and Canada may have secured an IBF Youth World Title and a British No 1 contender ranking but having contested just four bouts of an unbeaten 13 on home soil, 26-year-old Lindsay has been denied the mainstream kudous his gifts and performances so richly deserve. Good things come to those who wait and victory over British featherweight champion Paul Appleby at the Ulster Hall on April 25 would make all the waiting and travelling well worth it.
Not that victory is any way assured. After all, Appleby is a phenomenal talent. Himself unbeaten, the Scotsman appears to have the ability to go far on the international and maybe even world stage. A fact that makes the very happening of Lindsay v Appleby all the more mouthwatering.
This is the type of throwback fight that doesnt seem to happen any more. A year down the line it is not inconceivable that both boxers could be contesting greater honours in a bigger arena. Yet for the second fight on the spin, the Mac man has taken an unnecessary risk to get where he wants to go.
When I first went to meet David Haye I told him I wanted to move quickly and take the big fights, Lindsay told irish-boxing.com.
Having signed a deal with Hayes burgeoning Hayemaker Promotions company, Lindsay didnt have to wait long for a major contest with a British title eliminator against former WBU champion Derry Matthews in Sheffield in September 2008. Behind on points and having picked himself off the floor, the Belfast native landed the sweetest of left hooks to KO the Liverpudlian in the ninth round.
In addition to being named Prospect of the Year at the Irish-boxing.com National Boxing Awards in January, Lindsays reward was a clash with Scotsman Appleby on home soil.
I fought well down the undercard of John Duddys fight with Howard Eastman a couple of years back at the Kings Hall and that was great, so it will be great to top the bill in my hometown.
Its just another four weeks now and Im really starting to look forward to the night.
So too are Belfasts boxing community. Ticket sales are reportedly brisk for the contest and indeed Lindsays front door and mobile phone are subjected to regular ticket requests throughout the course of our interview.
That the bout takes place in the newly refurbished Ulster Hall a venue that only days prior will stage the Ulster Senior Amateur championship finals reinforces the sentiment that this is a fight for the true fans of the sport.
If I had been released all the tickets I think I would have sold the lot myself, beamed Lindsay whilst taking a break between training sessions.
But obviously he is the champion so he will have a few hundred coming over with him as well.
Knowing that he will have the backing of a capacity crowd is something that understandably delights the University graduate and as a venue, Lindsay has no complaints with the Ulster Hall.
I havent fought there since the Ulster Seniors in 2004, so it will be great to be back, I won three senior titles there, he enthused.
Hoping to derail Lindsay is unbeaten Appleby. Aged just 21-years, Appleby has done enough in 14 paid starts, including British title victories over John Simpson and Esham Pickering, to convince many that he is good enough to be a force on the World stage. As such, the home fighter is a heavy betting underdog.
My last fight I went to as a big underdog so Im used to that position, he reasoned.
I earned my shot at this title. I came through the eliminator for it.
Lindsays preparations appear to be well and truly on track. Fully recovered from a rib injury that put the Setanta Sports televised fight back by a month, the West Belfast native is now undergoing the business end of preparations under the guidance of Immaculata ABC coach Nugget Nugent.
The injury has healed up. My weight is good and everything is fine. Im sparring away according to plan. Most of my heavy sessions are during the day and the morning session because my coach looks after the amateur end of the club at night so in the evening Im looking after my weight and doing bags things I can look after on my own.
During the day I do the fitness programme. I dont study the tapes but Nugget does and he comes up with the game plan.
Victory would see Lindsay make the leap into a bona fide Kings Hall headliner and European title contender as such much rests on the result of April 25. However, there is little point in talking about what comes after Appleby. For this is a contest so finely in the balance that anyone gambling on its outcome is doing so from the heart rather than the head. Quite simply this is one of the most promising British title fights staged in recent years, something Lindsay appears aware of.
When you are up at this level there is pressure on everybody. There is pressure on me, there is pressure on him all we can do is prepare well and go in there and do what we can do and put on a good show for everyone there on the night.