UK Boxing: Conor Benn; Stuart Hall; Reece Bellotti
Conor Benn will box for the ninth time in the paid ranks on the undercard of the all-British Lightweight clash between Anthony Crolla and Ricky Burns at the Manchester Arena on October 7, live on Sky Sports.
Benn moved to 8-0 in impressive fashion a fortnight ago, lighting up his first ever fight at York Hall with a fierce second round KO over previously unbeaten Kane Baker – a sixth win inside the distance for the son of British legend Nigel.
The 20 year old heads to Manchester for the third time in his pro career and ‘The Destroyer’ says he loves boxing all over Britain as he looks to build his fan-base.
“When British fans back you, they really get behind you,” said Benn. “This is the time to be in boxing.
“Fighting at York Hall was brilliant. I was really nervous because I know the history of the place but the love I got from the crowd was brilliant and it’s a special place.
“He had some dirty tactics and tried to rough me up but that’s good for me at this early stage in my career, it’s all part of the learning curve. He had a full camp for the fight and I stopped him so I think that’s a good statement. I took my time in the first round and got rid of him in the second.”
Benn takes his place on a huge night of action in Manchester, topped by his gym-mate Burns taking on hometown hero Crolla.
Sam Eggington defends his European Welterweght title for the first time against mandatory challenger Mohamed Mimoune, and there’s another maiden defence as Robbie Barrett puts the British Lightweight title on the line against Lewis Ritson the continued rise in the paid ranks of Team GB Rio Olympian Josh Kelly. Benn replaces Joshua Buatsi on the bill after the Olympic Bronze medal man suffered a minor hand injury in his last bout.
Tickets are on general sale tickets priced at £40, £60, £80, £100 and £150 available from www.manchesterarena.com or by calling 0844 847 8000. VIP tickets are exclusively available through www.matchroomboxing.com priced at £250.
Face value tickets for October 7 will also be available from http://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets/ . StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua.
HALL: BUTLER’S HAD A NIGHTMARE CAMP – I’LL TAKE HIM OUT
Stuart Hall believes Paul Butler has had a ‘nightmare’ camp for their rematch and he’ll take advantage by taking him out in their rematch and eliminator for the WBA World Bantamweight title at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on September 30, live on Sky Sports.
Hall and Butler first met in May 2014 in Newcastle where Butler took Hall’s IBF crown in a tight contest, and over three years later the 37 year old finally gets the chance to gain revenge and take a big step towards challenging for the WBA title – a belt held by another old foe of Hall’s, Jamie McDonnell, who is set to defend it again in a rematch with Liborio Solis.
Both men have since switched trainers since their first encounter, with Hall basing himself in Birmingham with Max McCracken alongside Kal and Gamal Yafai, while Butler has moved into Joe Gallagher’s Bolton home of champions – but Hall says he’s heard that Butler’s camp has been far from ideal, and he’ll take advantage of that to exact his revenge.
“My camp has gone brilliantly, I couldn’t ask for better preparation,” said Hall. “I’m training with the Yafai brothers who are world class fighters.
“I’ve been told he’s had a nightmare camp, terrible sparring which is not the best to fight someone like me. Deep down it’s my last chance, but I’m not going off that – I’m just going off what I’m doing and I know it will be too much for him.
“I saw Butler made a quote saying he’s got under my skin, that’s rubbish. I’m in a great place. I’m more focused and mentality very stable. The last time I fought him, maybe he got in my head a little bit.
“People go on about my age but I’m sparring people 10 years younger than me and giving them hell. They are all praising me saying how I’m firing.
“I’ve watched the first fight back a couple of times, I’m quite embarrassed to be honest. I let him do what he wanted for the first four or five rounds.
“I’m going to take care of him then I’m looking at my old foe Jamie McDonnell. Hopefully he does a number on Solis then we can get it on again. That’s the rematch I’ve wanted for years. We’re close now but this is a business. I thought he nicked the first fight, he’ll want to impress this time around and I expect to him wider on points.
“First and foremost I’m going to demolish Butler, then I can look to leave this sport on a high against McDonnell. All the pressure is on Paul. I’ll enjoy walking out to the boos being an away fighter. It’s nearly time to fight and I honestly am counting down the days.”
A stacked bill in support of the main event sees Liverpool’s Rocky Fielding defend his British Super-Middleweight title for the first time against Scotsman David Brophy, who puts up the Commonwealth strap he won in fine fashion in Australia in March.
Controversial Hackney man Ohara Davies looks to get back to winning ways as he challenges Tom Farrell for the unbeaten local favourite’s WBA International Super-Lightweight belt.
Birkenhead’s Sean ‘Masher’ Dodd defends his Commonwealth and WBC International Lightweight titles against former Team GB captain and Liverpudlian Tom Stalker.
Two more Team GB Olympians Anthony Fowler and Natasha Jonas fight on home turf for the first time in their second fights in the paid ranks, and there’s also action for Craig Glover.
Tickets are on general sale priced at priced £40, £60 and £100 at www.echoarena.com and on 0844 8000 400 – with VIP tickets priced at £200 exclusively available at www.matchroomboxing.com
BELLOTTI CHALLENGES CUNNINGHAM FOR COMMONWEALTH STRAP
Reece Bellotti challenges Jason Cunningham for the Commonwealth Featherweight title in the latest instalment of the JDNXTGEN series at York Hall in Bethnal Green on Friday October 13, live on Sky Sports’ Facebook and Sky Sports.
Bellotti closed the season with a brilliant eighth round stoppage of Jamie Speight to land the WBC International Silver title at The O2 in London in July, moving to 10-0 with his ninth win inside the distance and picking up his first pro strap.
Cunningham puts the title on the line for the first time after edging out Ben Jones for the vacant crown in the east London venue in April and is hunting a second British title shot having taken Kal Yafai the distance for the Super-Flyweight strap – and both men hope that the Lord Lonsdale belt comes next if they can triumph in east London.
“This is what you get in boxing for, to win titles,” said Bellotti. “This is the second title I can win this year and I’m really looking forward to it.
“I know Jason has come up through the weights. He’s boxed a good level of opposition, better than what I have so far. He’s tough, a Southpaw and I’m expecting my hardest night so far.
“I haven’t fought a Southpaw as a professional yet. It doesn’t faze me, you’ve got to get in there and experience all different things in your development and this ticks another box, and it puts me in the frame for the British belt.
“The JDNXTGEN shows are a great set up. We aren’t going to be headlining big arenas just yet, it’s the perfect way of getting used to the pressures and hopefully when it is our time to headline the arenas it’s nothing new. I love York Hall and am counting down the days.”
“The last time I was on a show like this was against Kal Yafai down at Super-Fly, it’s been a long way back for me,” said Cunningham. “It’s taken a lot of hard work but I’m back on the stage I think I deserve to be on.
“It’s great to be fighting back at York Hall where I won the title. I performed well on the night. Boxing News magazine had it nine rounds to three for me. My hand went in the second round but I cruised through it. I couldn’t believe when they called a split decision, I thought I was going to get robbed.
“I’ve moved up to Featherweight, I was far too big for Super-Fly, but I’m a fighter who takes risks. I believe now I’m at the weight where I perform best.
“I had a run out a couple of weeks ago, I come through it no problem. Six rounds in the bank for this one. Everything is going great, I’m in a good place for this fight.
“I’m not sure what’s happening with the British title at the minute but I’m not overlooking Reece. He’s going to come forward and I’ll be there. It should make for a good one for the fans.”
A host of young stars are in action at York Hall with former World title challenger Charlie Edwards gunning for a shot at World champion Yafai, rising Super-Welterweight star Ted Cheeseman, Cruiserweight talent Isaac Chamberlain fights for the ninth time in the paid ranks, there’s a third pro outing for Team GB Olympian Natasha Jonas, unbeaten Middleweight Felix Cash is in his seventh pro fight and Essex Super-Middleweight Danny Dignum tastes action for the fifth time.