By Jonny Stapleton
RYAN Burnett is determined to ensure his debut fight tonight proves worth the wait for both him and the expectant public.
The Belfast teen signed pro terms with Ricky Hatton 14 months ago, but medical issues prevented him from making his debut up and until tonight.
The youth Olympic gold medal winner finally punches for pay at the Olympia in Liverpool and is planning to put his frustration behind him by stealing the show.
“Those fight nerves are starting to creep in, but I haven’t had them for a while so they feel good. It will be a relief to finally fight. have had a few set backs, but everything is sorted now and I have had a good training camp and I am just looking forward to fighting.”
Having been refused a licence early last year, Burnett is just content to be fighting. He hasn’t set out any grand plans. He is happy to take it one fight at a time in a division in which prospects usually progress fairly rapidly.
“I have been training with Ricky Hatton for 14 months. I spent time adapting myself to the pro game and I have learnt a lot. Now hopefully I have a good debut. I will take it step by step. I am here to fight. If it takes 12 months to get in title contention great. If it takes 2 years i don’t mind once I get those belts and get to fight in Belfast eventually.”
Posted May 24th, 2013 in News
Those in the know are talking about Anthony Cacace.
The wiry, heavy-handed Belfast super-featherweight was named Irish Prospect of the year and journeyman Kristian Laight rates him among the top talents he’s faced in his 160 -fight career.
Cacace was a top amateur – he won 150 of his 162 bouts, won Irish honours, boxed in European championships – and has yet to lose a round in the paid ring.
He aims to make it nine wins out of nine in County Mayo on Saturday, June 8.
Assassin Promotions have matched him with Yordan Vasilev on their massive show at the Breaffy House Resort in Castlebar – and it could be the 24 year-old’s toughest fight yet.
Vasilev claimed the vacant International Masters lightweight championship in February by out toughing fans’ favourite Floyd Moore in nine bloody, give-and-take rounds and Cacace says this is the type of test he wants.
“This guy is well thought of,” he said, “so it’s a good fight for me. The quicker I get up the rankings the better.”
Cacace is heading towards a crack at British champion Gary Buckland – “he has a good work rate, but there are ways around that” – and reckons he has the tools to go beyond domestic level.
“There was a boxing gym on our street and there was nowhere else to go,” he said. “I went there when I was 10 years old and because I’ve been boxing so long, I’ve got a good boxing brain. I can counter punch and hit hard.”
Cacace says he’s determined to fulfil his potential after ditching his party lifestyle.
“I got sick of boxing for a while when I was a teenager,” he admitted. “I fell out of love with the game. I was young and wanted to go out enjoying myself, so that’s what I did. I went out partying and didn’t box for three years.
“But I realised that boxing was the only thing I’m good at – and it was breaking my daddy’s heart when I wasn’t boxing.
“He loves boxing and loves watching me box.
“I had to get back into boxing for my family and myself and I’m doing it properly this time.
“I’m training three times every day. I’m not messing about any more.”
The County Mayo bill is stacked with talent including Irish champions Paddy and JJ McDonagh and former world amateur champion Hughie Fury.
“It’s a cracking bill,” said Cacace. “There are lots of 50-50 fights and I’m looking forward to being part of it.”
Tickets are available from 087 6595567 or 094902203 or online atwww.assassinboxing.co.uk
Posted May 24th, 2013 in News
IRISH fight fans could be back chanting the name of Steve Collins in London on July 5.
No, ‘The Celtic Warrior’ hasn’t signed to fight Roy Jones, rather Steve Collin’s Jr looks set to make his career debut.
The 23 year old member of Lansdowne’s Rugby clubs AIL League winning outfit will fight on the same bill as Steven Ormond in the York Hall in a just over a month.
Collin’s Jr will leave rugby’s front row for the fight trenches and will debut at heavyweight.
Like his father’s arch rival’s Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn’s sons Collin’s Jnr will follow in his fathers footsteps and punch for pay. However considering he is much heavier than both Chris Eubank Jr and Nigel Benn’s son a return to the Eubank, Benn, Collins rivalry doesn’t look likely.
Speaking to The Star about the former London Wasp and London Irish hooker, Steve Collins snr said.
“He loves playing with Lansdowne, but boxing is something he wants to try, something he might if he didn’t do it. Talks are ongoing at the moment and its likely to happen in early July.”
CLARE’S CIAN Dalton goes into his second pro bout on Saturday night with the praise of some of the top fighters on the Pittsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio circuit ringing in his years.
Dalton, who successfully debuted against Ohio’s Rock Presley on the Double Duty III bill at Elizabeth, PA’s Courttime Sports Complex on Saturday, goes to work on the latest installment of Double Duty, Double Duty IV.
He takes on James Denson (5-13) and despite downsizing from light heavyweight to super middleweight he seems to have upgraded in power.
The Ennis native has been sparring former Nathan Cleverly foe Tom Karpency amongst others ahead of his Rosetraver Ice Gardens hosted fight and has been receiving rave reviews about his punch power.
Like Dalton, Denson is coming down from light hsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio areas.
“Cian is in tremendous shape for this fight. His diet, work ethic and self-discipline are second to none. On multiple occasions, his various sparring partners have commented that he hits harder than anyone that they have previously faced.” manager and co trainer Michael McSorley Jr. told Irish-boxing.com this week before Dalton commented on the bout himself.
“I’ve trained very hard and feel strong at super middle. No problems moving down in weight. We’ve had plenty of good sparring around Pittsburgh and further afield.”
KATIE Taylor is planning to fight professionally in the World Series of Boxing before the year is out.
Taylor will break new ground again by competing the in the tournament, that see’s the worlds top amateurs compete without vests and head guards over five three minute rounds, but still maintain their amateur status.
The WSB had hoped to pit the Olympic Gold Medal winner against then professional Pound for Pound star, Holy Holm earlier this year, but the AIBA blocked what probably would have proved one the biggest fights in women’s boxing history.
However, it seems the greatest female fighter on the planet may get to showcase her skills to a wider audience as her coach and father Peter Taylor revealed she could compete in the WSB this year.
Taylor also revealed they are trying to get Queen Underwood, the fighter who came closest to defeating Taylor over the last few years to Dublin for a bout.
“After the EU Championships Katie has been talking about fighting in the WSB in and around September or October. We are also planning to box Queen Underwood over here in Dublin. That will be a big contest,” said her father and coach Pete when speaking to the Irish times Tuesday.
“There are no women boxing in the WSB so it will be the first female fight in the competition against another girl. It’s going to be interesting. It won’t be Queen Underwood in the WSB but someone else. We don’t yet know who that will be.”
“It will be another first,” added Pete. “I think the bout is going to be over eight two-minute rounds. We just need to find out exactly what it entails, the head gear, no head gear . . . there’s a few things to be investigated first. It’s exciting times ahead . . . there haven’t been that many international tournaments for her this year anyway.”
RYAN BURNETT believes he’ll take to the professional side of the sport like the proverbial duck to water.
The Belfast prospect boxes for the first time without the vest and head guard on a show held in association with Steve Wood’s VIP Promotions at the Olympia in Liverpool tomorrow night.
And feels the time he’s spent in the gym with trainer Ricky Hatton will help him make a perfect start.
“I think it’ll come natural to me because I’ve prepared myself for so long for it,” the 20-year-old said.
“The amateurs is a lot different to the pros and I think I’ve got a good lead on other people turning over. Some boxers struggle when they fight without a head guard for the first time, but I’m more than ready for it.
“I’ve in the gym for over 14 months with Ricky and we’ve been working on tactics for the pro game.
“I can’t wait for it now. I’ve been counting down the days since I got the date and I plan on putting on a good show.”
While his debut is coming a far distance from his native Belfast, Burnett believes the Liverpool Olympia will feel like a home away from home because of the support that will be backing him.
“I’m going to have a good crowd behind me. It costs a lot of money to come over from Belfast because of the cost of flights and things like that, but I expect a lot to be cheering me on,” he said.
“I’ve also got a few fans coming down from Manchester so it should be a good atmosphere and I intend on sending them home happy.”
Heavyweight star Hughie Fury goes looking for his fourth straight win in as many fights tomorrow, May 24, Timisoara, Romania.
Hughie takes on former K1 experienced fighter Janos Finfera over four three-minute rounds.
“Hughie is going to do what he naturally does and that is provide a fine display of boxing,” Peter Fury said.
The 6’7″ teenager will be looking to make a big impression in the only boxing fight on the Klash Series event, which includes Kempo kickboxing and MMA.
In Hughie’s last contest he dominated the experienced Moses Matovu at Belfast City Hall, Belfast, having previously beaten Alex Rozman at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York.
Shown on network television in the US on NBC and on terrestrial television in the UK on Channel 5, the 18-year-old younger cousin of heavyweight sensation Tyson Fury, put Rozman to the canvas twice before the referee stepped in to stop the contest in only the first round.
For Hughie, the first ever Irish/British fighter to win a gold medal at the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships at super heavyweight, that followed his emphatic second-round knockout victory over David Whittom on his professional debut.
Now, he takes aim at Finfera who is a very tricky and awkward opponent, skilled at grappling through his K1 background.
The main event of the night sees rising Romanian kickboxing stars Razvan Ghita and Razvan Benche collide.
Tyson Fury will also be ringside as a special guest at the event.
STEPHEN Ormond will return to the ring as early as July 5.
Just one month after making a successful homecoming the newly crowned WBF lightweight world champion is on the road again and will fight in the York Hall, London.
Ormond’s opponent has yet to be confirmed, but he will be content to be out again so soon.
Ormond, who hopes to fight again in Dublin, possibly against Oisin Fagan later in the Summer, will fight on an event headlined by Jennifer Retzke versus Mikaela Lauren for the IBF Light Middleweight Championship.
By Jonny Stapleton
OLYMPIC Gold medal winner Katie Taylor is ready to work her way up the gears ahead of the up coming EU Championships.
Taylor, who was recently heralded as the ideal female action hero by Fast and Furious 6 star Michelle Rodriguez, may be the greatest female boxer on the planet, but she still feels the need to improve. And as a result has been working on adding power to the pace and panache she is already renowned for.
The four time EU champion returns to competitive action in Hungry next month for the first time since her sensational and historic London 2012 victory still hungry for success.
Female boxing’s poster girl hasn’t been basking in her Olympic triumph, rather has been working hard to ensure she retains her EU title and her world number 1 status.
Taylor, who revealed her hand injury has cleared up, has been working with her Dad and coach Pete Taylor on adding more power to her shots and has even spent time sparing profesional men in world title hopeful Matthew Macklin’s MGM Gym in Spain.
“We’ve been working a lot on power over the last few months. That’s something we’ve been training for, and I feel I’m getting stronger all of the time. You always have to stay ahead of the pack. Everyone’s chasing my tail, I guess, at this stage. It’s important to stay one step ahead. You can’t stop improving. Otherwise, you are going to be beaten eventually.
There’s no such thing as a perfect boxer. There’s so many things I can improve on,” Taylor said before discussing her training in a professional gym.
“”It was brilliant. I went over for some warm weather training but it was raining for the first few days. I would have been better off staying at home. No, the set-up there is absolutely brilliant. I had a couple of great spars with some of the pros. It was a perfect few weeks for me.”
After winning all of the last 13 major competitions she entered Taylor has always been the one to beat, but after the adulation and notoriety afforded to her after the Olympics the target on her back has got that bit bigger. All the 60kg fighters will relish the chance to become the first fighter to beat the five time word champion in a major competition.Taylor is not only aware of that fact as EU Championships approach she relishes it.
And on a day when Ireland’s Golden Girl joined the likes of Golden Balls David Beckham, as Sky Sports Living for Sports Ambassador and discussed helping children fulfil the greatness they were born for, Taylor also revealed she still has the motivation to be the greatest in her field.
“This is what you train for, really. You always train for these big competitions. I love the big occasion. I’m really looking forward to getting back in and hopefully going home with another gold medal,” Taylor responded when asked about the upcoming EU’s.
“I think it’s going to be very, very tough.There’s no easy fights out there.
“It’s a nice challenge. (Being the one to beat) is something that motivates me, trying to stay one step ahead all the time. I’m looking forward to it. It’s the first major competition for me since the Olympic Games. It’s really, really exciting.”
HE DIDN’T get the chance to land many punches on Amir Khan when his world title fight with the Bolton man was controversially cut short two years ago, but Paul McCloskey has launched another verbal assault on ‘King Khan’.
‘Dudey’ criticised Khan for comments made on Sky about wanting a match up with Pound for Pound King Floyd Mayweather.
Indeed, Derry native McCloskey found Khan’s remark laughable and took to twitter to say he felt the Golden Boy fighter would struggle with any of the top 147 pound fighters if he moved up in weight.
I was cringing last night hearing Sky Pundits & Amir Khan himself embarrassingly trying convince everyone & themselves how he has a chance
— Paulmccloskey (@Paul_Mccloskey) May 19, 2013
of beating Floyd Mayweather after he struggled against Julio Diaz never mind his defeats to Lamont Peterson & KO battering to Danny Garcia,
— Paulmccloskey (@Paul_Mccloskey) May 19, 2013
am I missing something #Whatajoke
— Paulmccloskey (@Paul_Mccloskey) May 19, 2013
McCloskey also revealed he hopes to return to ring action on Matchroom’s show in Hull on July 13