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Weigh-In: Maskaev 248 Boruff 231; Castle-Johanneson on March 20th – News

A thrilling domestic showdown has been added to Ian Napa’s upcoming European title defense on Friday, March 20 at Newham Leisure Centre in London, England as Henry Castle clashes with Carl Johanneson at lightweight.

Castle, 19-4 (11), has moved up the ranks from the bottom, fighting his way through the ranks at lightweight and picking up a few losses along the way. But the man from Salisbury found his stride over the last year and a half, racking up five consecutive victories.

During that streak, the 30 year old has turned back Belfast sharpshooter Kevin O’Hara, rugged Frenchman Frederic Gosset, London hard man Ryan Barrett and the previously unbeaten Lee Cook but it was the ruthless first round crushing of former British and Commonwealth titlist Graham Earl last October that has put Castle in the driver’s seat in his bid for domestic dominance.

For Castle to continue his bid for the British title, he’ll have to face down hard as nails former British super feather champion Carl Johanneson, who returns from a year’s absence to meet Castle in an eight rounder next Friday at Newham LC.

Johanneson, 27-4 (19), fought his first 16 bouts in America before returning home to England in 2004 to wage a very successful campaign at super feather, picking up the British title within two years by stopping Billy Corcoran.

The Leeds veteran then retained the belt with gritty performances over Ricky Burns and Femi Fehintola before mounting a disastrous bid to unseat reigning European champion Leva Kirakosyan, suffering a fourth round KO at the hands of the big punching Armenian.

But Johanneson roared back in a British title fight with Michael Gomez, stopping the former champion in the sixth during an intense firefight before losing the crown in a thriller to Commonwealth king Kevin Mitchell last March.

A year off has refreshed Johanneson and after eight years as a super feather, the 30 year old will try his hand in the lightweight division.

Without question, it’s a tremendously difficult initial test at 135 pounds for Johanneson and this crossroads battle with Castle could provide the winner with a chance to fight for the British title.

Frank Maloney Promotions presents the Bantamweight Championship of Europe as reigning titlist Ian Napa defends against Malik Bouziane along with full undercard support at Newham Leisure Centre in London, England on Friday, March 20, 2009.

Tickets, priced at £80 for Ringside and £35 General Admission, are available by logging onto or by calling the Box Office at 0871 226 1508.

Sky Sports will televise the action live on SS2 at 10PM.

The weigh-in results for the Saturday, March 14th contest.
Oleg Maskaev 248 Rich Boruff 231

Due to Maskaev’s immense popularity in Russia, which is unparalleled, every ticket has been sold at the site of the bout. It is such a huge sell-out, there isn’t even standing room only available. The Head of State for the Republic of Mordovia, Nikolay Merkushkin, said “Maskaev is idolized by the people of Mordovia, particularly our youth. Due to the huge demand to see Maskaev, we are setting up 5 large screens throughout the city of Saransk to give his fans an opportunity to see the fight.
In the USA, the bout can be viewed on at 11 am (est). The Maskaev bout will air at 1 pm (est)

Rhodes postpones clash with Small

Hayemaker Boxing regret to inform that the British light-middleweight title clash between Ryan Rhodes and Anthony Small, scheduled for March 28 in Liverpool, has been cancelled.

Current champion Rhodes was struck with the onset of a heavy cold at the beginning of this week and it has since curtailed his preparation and developed into a full-on infection.

Both Rhodes and Small were claiming to be in the best shape of their respective careers before an unfortunate bug kayoed Rhodes at the 11th hour. Champion and challenger will now look to resume hostilities at a later date.

Hayemaker Boxing hope to re-arrange the intriguing duel between Rhodes and Small in the coming months.

Meanwhile, the HAYEMAKER 6 show from the Echo Arena will go ahead as planned, with the all-Liverpool British title showdown between Tony Dodson and Tony Quigley as headliner.

Supporting Dodson-Quigley will be a lightweight eliminator battle between John Watson and Martin Gethin, a super-featherweight contest between Derry Mathews and Harry Ramogoadi, plus the pro debut of Olympic bronze medallist David Price.

*** To purchase tickets to HAYEMAKER 6: ‘The Mersey Beatdown’ visit or call 0844 8000 400.

*** HAYEMAKER 6: ‘The Mersey Beatdown’ will be screened live and exclusively by Setanta Sports.

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