UK Boxing: Jack Catterall; Dan Azeez; Darragh Foley
Undefeated super-lightweight Jack Catterall is confident he’s fully earned a world title shot having cleaned up the division domestically.
‘El Gato’ (23-0-KO12) has beaten Tyrone McKenna and Ohara Davies in his most recent two bouts and with the WBO Intercontinental belt in his possession since early 2015, he feels ready for a shot at the top prize.
When Hooker makes the first defence of the WBO world title he won by edging Terry Flanagan against Alex Saucedo on November 16, Catterall will be more than an interested spectator.
Catterall said: “I’ve never turned down a fight. Every single domestic fight my promoter Frank Warren has offered me, I’ve accepted.
“I’ve boxed every opponent I’ve been asked to domestically so now I want to fight on the international scene, whether that’s Hooker or Saucedo.
“I’m only 25 and I’m still improving. I know I’ve got lots of ground to cover but I believe I’ve earned my shot at this world title and it’ll take the right fight against the right opponent for me to really express myself.
“When I watched Hooker fight Flanagan I thought he was alright but there’s no area I thought he excelled in. I believe my skills outweigh his skills. He doesn’t look the strongest or fastest at the weight.
“I’m sure Hooker might say something similar about me but with the momentum I’ve got and the fighters I train with, I learn all the time and the better the opponent, the better you’ll see me fight.”
Dan Azeez is among a host of emerging MTK Global stars added to the #ConqueringEurope card at London’s iconic York Hall on December 14 – live on BoxNation.
With a triple-header of European title fights in Luke Keeler vs. Brian Rose, Darragh Foley vs. Akeem Ennis Brown and Larry Ekundayo vs. Louis Greene already announced, an extensive list of up-and-comers will try and steal the spotlight.
Leading the charge is south London light-heavyweight Azeez (6-0-KO3), who will be looking to cause a stir as he continues lining up a maiden title shot.
Elite Kazakh amateurs Sultan Zaurbek and Azhbenov Nurtas return to the scenes of their professional debuts having cruised to victories on MTK Global’s October card. Both will hunt their maiden stoppages in the paid ranks.
Three more fighters are set to follow up promising debuts – welterweight Liam Wells, super-middleweight Jamal Akay and middleweight Donovan Mortlock – with the latter two having made their opening marks alongside Zaurbek and Azhbenov.
In addition, there are professional debuts for the promising pair of welterweight Alex Bellingham and super-welterweight James Hawley.
Darragh Foley faces Akeem Ennis Brown for the vacant IBF European super-lightweight at York Hall on December 14 following the withdrawal of Johnny Coyle.
Irishman Foley (15-2-1-KO8), who trains under Tony Del Vecchio at the MTK Sydney facility in Australia, has a chance to showcase his talent at the iconic London venue live on BoxNation.
Foley, who is ranked sixth in the world by the WBA, made his UK debut in Glasgow in September only for an early cut to opponent Chris Jenkins to force a technical draw.
Foley said: “There was no hesitation in taking this fight because six weeks is enough to prepare for any style. I’ve been in the gym for a good few weeks so I’m already in good shape.
“His style is very unorthodox and awkward. This camp will be long enough to work him out. If he thinks he can fight me the way he’s been fighting other guys, he’s in for a shock. I’ve got respect for him though – he’s fought some good fighters and he’s still young.
“Any time we go into a fight, we study the opponent, assess their weapons and then nullify them. He’s busy like a little ant but I’m pretty confident I’ll neutralize that with good thorough boxing and tactics.
“I started off the year on a high getting to eighth in the world. After this fight I want to pick up that hunt for world titles. I respect that Akeem is trying to fight his way to the top too. This is about two avoided fighters going in there to face each other.
“It’s pretty close to Christmas but I should get a good turnout in terms of fans on the night. I’d like to thank all my sponsors and MTK Global. I’m going to finish 2018 on a high and then pick up the chase for world title honors early next year.”
A huge show in London sees three European titles contested on the night with Foley vs. Brown joining Luke Keeler’s WBO European middleweight title defence against Brian Rose and Larry Ekundayo’s IBF European welterweight defence against Louis Greene.
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