Archie Sharp is ready to shine on a huge stage in London
WBO European champion Archie Sharp is eager to make an example of undefeated Lucas Ballingall at the Royal Albert Hall on March 8 – live on BT Sport.
Sharp (14-0-KO7) puts his title on the line against Ballingall (11-0-KO3) on a huge card at the London venue and is hopeful another stellar performance will secure a showdown with highly-rated American Ryan Garcia later in the year.
Sharp said: “It means a lot to be boxing at the Royal Albert Hall. I’ve never even been there, let alone boxed there so I’m looking forward to making a big statement and going down in the history of the place.
“There will be hundreds and hundreds of ‘Sharpshooter’ fans in that prestigious old building on the night. We made a big noise in Leicester but now we’ve back closer to home in London, it’s going to be even bigger.
“It was a good performance against Woodstock but I can do a lot better than that. I’ve looked back on it and there are lots of things I’ve been working on since that I can do a lot better. The performance on March 8 will be bigger and better – mark my words.
“Now we’re on a big platform, I’m going to show everyone just how good I am. I’m boxing another undefeated fighter because I don’t hide from anyone. Woodstock was supposed to be a big prospect and so’s Ballingall.
“Once I win this fight, I’ll have beaten two unbeaten fighters and taken two ‘0s’. That should send a pretty clear message over to Ryan Garcia and the rest of the American boxing industry. I would fight him later this year.”
Joining Sharp on a busy bill at the Royal Albert Hall is British middleweight king Liam Williams, who defends his title against Joe Mullender.
Alex Steedman and Barry Jones – arguably the best commentary team in boxing – have joined MTK Global and will now broadcast on iFL TV.
Scottish anchor Steedman and former world super-featherweight champion Jones have built glowing reputations over a number of years and will become the voices of MTK Global’s fight nights.
Steedman said: “I believe the future of the sport is the streaming of boxing. It’s a ‘boom time’ to be a fan and that looks to be the direction in which it’s heading.
“I think Barry is the best in the business at what he does. We’ve worked together from the start and it’s a great coup getting him on board. It seems fitting we’re making this move together.
“I was commentating on his very first gig up in Scotland around seven years ago and he knew what to do straight away. He has a talent. He also happens to be just about the funniest man I’ve ever met – the fans are in for some great entertainment with him.
“It feels like we’re going right into the heartlands of boxing across the UK – Scotland, Wales, northern England. It’s grass-roots boxing and with such great access to the fighters, we’ll be telling their stories week-by-week.”
Welshman Jones, who won the WBO world title by outclassing Wilson Palacio at Millwall’s London Arena in 1997, is equally thrilled to be continuing the partnership.
Jones said: “MTK Global has already shown it’s fully committed to building something special. To create stars of the future, you have to do it from the ground up and they’re doing that by going around the countries with the brand.
“We are going where other promoters don’t go. Giving fighters opportunities is what MTK Global is all about. There are bound to be some gems unearthed – world champions who didn’t come from the top amateur teams.
“In Alex, you have a fantastic commentator not only to listen to but to work with. We’ve already done all kind of fights together from Canelo vs. GGG to the smallest small-hall shows.
“We’re so excited by this move. The project has such huge and exciting potential and we’re looking forward to getting stuck in.”
Sophie de Stefano, who will work with the pair as a co-presenter, added: “Things are going from strength to strength with these shows because MTK Global keeps pushing the barriers. Having these two gentlemen in the commentary seats is another great landmark.
“We are always trying to provide a better experience for those tuning in on iFL TV and we’re all set to raise the bar again in 2019.”
MTK Global kicks off a colossal year of shows at the home of British boxing – York Hall – on February 22.
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