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News – Elcock-Macklin, George-Ballogou, Fury-Peret

Alfonso Gomez Matthew Macklin Shaun George Tyson Fury Wayne ElcockBritish middleweight champion Wayne Elcock says he’s happy to let mandatory challenger Matthew Macklin talk the talk ahead of their massive all Birmingham clash on a Hennessy Sports show at the Aston Arena in the city on March 14th live on ITV4. Macklin is predicting a knockout win over his local rival but Elcock and his trainer have blasted Macklin saying, “Talk is cheap”. The champion though says he won’t be drawn into a war of words ahead of the mouth watering showdown.

“I know there’s local pride at stake and maybe Matt’s feeling the pressure to say these things,” said Elcock. “He’s nice kid and we’ve got on quite well in the past but all his talk has only served to fire me up even more.”

Macklin had previously accused the champion of avoiding him but Elcock believes that he should be careful what he wishes for. “He’s said all these things and let’s be honest, the fight is big enough on its own. It doesn’t need all the hype to sell it but he’s definitely been disrespectful and that’s only made me more determined to keep my title. I didn’t need any added motivation for this fight as it was but I suppose all his talk has made it into a bit of a grudge match.”

Elcock’s trainer, Paddy Lynch was even more forthcoming about the clash. “Wayne is a pretty chilled out lad but he’s working so hard for this one. There’s a quiet determination about him. Macklin’s great at drumming himself up but talk is cheap. Wayne will do all his talking in the ring.

“You only have to compare their records and look at the calibre of their opposition. Who’s Macklin fought? He got beat by a journeyman for the English title at light middle and then he got knocked out and put in hospital when he fought for the British title. That fight was at light middle as well – and that was supposed to be the best performance of his career!

“Wayne on the other hand has beaten top quality guys like Howard Eastman. In fact he was the first European to beat Eastman. He lost in a world title fight out in Germany against Arthur Abraham but there’s no disgrace in that. He was winning that fight until the stoppage and I believe Abraham’s the best middleweight in the world right now.”

Lynch and Macklin have a storied history with the Dublin born trainer having guided Macklin through the early part of his pro career before they split following his English light middleweight title defeat to Andrew Facey.

Lynch says he has not seen any improvements in Macklin since going their separate ways. “Look at his last fight (a points win over Geard Ajetovic), he was terrible. We got all the usual talk beforehand about how he was in the best shape of his life and everything but on the night he was rubbish and that was against a guy who was hardly throwing anything back. It’s a good job too because if he had been this fight next month probably wouldn’t be happening!”

Lynch also poured scorn on Macklin’s decision to change trainers following his last outing, something that has been a constant feature of the Birmingham man’s career. Macklin has had stints with Lynch, Peter Harrison, Billy Graham, Buddy McGirt and Richie Woodhall but is currently based out of Joe Gallagher’s gym in Manchester.

“It’s the same old story,” said Lynch. “When you can’t blame yourself, blame your trainer. He’s changed trainers again for this fight but you know the old saying you can’t put in what god left out. My old amateur trainer in Dublin used to say, I can only show you how to fight, you have to be able to fight yourself. Trainers don’t make fighters, fighters make trainers, that’s the way it’s always been in boxing.

“We know all about Macklin and what you see is what you get with him. There are no surprises. He was beaten comprehensively for the British light middleweight title so what business has he fighting for the middleweight title? It doesn’t make any sense for him to be fighting as a middleweight because he wasn’t even a big light middleweight. How’s he going to deal with Wayne’s strength and maturity? He’ll get busted up and stopped.

“The more Macklin gobs off the better as far as I’m concerned. He’s started off saying Wayne wouldn’t go four rounds with him, then it was six and the latest I heard was eight so he can’t make up his mind. The more talking he does the more pressure he’s putting himself under but we’ve got our game plan and there’s only one winner in this fight and that’s Wayne.”

While Elcock isn’t as outspoken as his trainer he’s in total agreement with him about the outcome of the fight. “I’m confident that I’ll beat Macklin whatever way the fight goes. My biggest strength is my boxing ability but if he wants to get into the trenches and have a war I’ll beat him there too. I’m exceptionally strong, Howard Eastman found that out and it surprised him and Macklin will find out as well. As long as I’m switched on mentally then there’s no way I’ll lose this fight.

“I’m not one for making predictions and naming rounds, I’ll leave that to other people. The only thing I will promise is that I will deliver on the night be it a points win or KO. I don’t mind how I win but I can assure you that the Lonsdale belt will be staying with me.”

Fighting on the exciting undercard: The new Heavyweight Sensations Tyson Fury, Eddie O’Rourke, Sid Razak, Callum Archer, Chris Male, Quinton Hillocks & Joel Walton

Tickets for Elcock – Macklin: The Battle of Brum at the Aston Arena, Birmingham on the 14th of March are available from the Ticketline box office on 0871 424 4444 or via www.ticketline.co.uk.

Shaun George: “Jaffa Ballogou Doesn’t Stand A Chance Against Me”

NEW YORK- As training camp winds down for Shaun George, he prepares for what he says will be “the performance of a lifetime” on February 25 against Jaffa Ballogou at BB King Blues Club & Grill, located in New York City’s Times Square. The fight is scheduled for 10 rounds and will headline Dibella Entertainment’s next installment of “Broadway Boxing”.

“Everything is going great,” George, 17-2-2 (8 KO) of Brooklyn, NY says. “I’m just staying sharp and keeping my timing right. I can’t wait to get out there and fight already. Jaffa doesn’t stand a chance against me.”

Ballogou, 46-7 (40 KO), has fought a who’s-who of top contenders during his career. At 6’0″ with a southpaw stance to boot, he presents a stern test for George’s divisional reign of terror.

“The guy he is fighting is a very experienced fighter who has fought just about everybody,” George’s advisor Donna Duva-Brooks says. “He’s a southpaw but Shaun has no problems with southpaws. I’m looking for him to score an impressive win.”

George knows that to stand out in the crowded division he must make a statement with each fight. George’s first major statement came in May when he destroyed two-time heavyweight champion Chris Byrd in 9 rounds in his hometown of Las Vegas. He plans to pick up where he left off against “The African Assassin”.

“The boxing fans are the most important people in my world. I have to impress them every time out. I want everyone to know that I’m still here and a top-ranked contender. I keep hearing about HBO promoting Chad Dawson as the premier light-heavyweight in the world but I’m right on his heels. I have my eyes on the prize.”

Adds Duva-Brooks, “I believe this fight will catapault Shaun into a world title fight in 2009.”

George is rated #6 by the WBC, #10 by the IBF and #11 by the WBA.

Tickets for the event, priced at $150, $100, and $55 can be purchased by calling 212-947-2577. BB King Blues Club & Grill is located at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 West 42 Street in New York City.

ALFONSO GOMEZ: A CONTENDER NO MORE

Alfonso Gomez Announces Release from the Contender

Boxer Alfonso S. Gomez announced today that the Tournament of Contenders (TOC) has granted his request to be released from his contract.

Gomez formally requested an early contractual release from his promoter last year. His long-time manager Gary Gittelsohn negotiated an unconditional release and reached a mutually agreed settlement with TOC.

“I will always be grateful for the opportunities provided by The Contender,” Gomez said. “But I’m happy to resolve this matter and move on to new challenges. More than anything, I’m eager to get back in the ring and do what I love.”

Gomez resumed training and conditioning months ago in anticipation of his next bout. According to manager Gittelsohn, that next bout may be around the corner, with talks well underway for another fight as soon as spring 2009.

Gomez has stayed busy during the intervening months, taking part in local charity events and fundraisers, developing his Little Men Big Heart Recordz music production company, and forming a new partnership with the World Boxing Hall of Fame. With a record of 18 wins, four losses and two draws, Gomez’s most recent fights include a fantastic performance against Arturo Gatti and a WBA title shot against Miguel Cotto.

For the latest news, video blogs and more, visit www.AlfonsoSGomez.com.

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