WATCH: MTK Global boxing event Wales – live on IFL TV
Akeem Ennis Brown insists he will have an answer for anything Bilal Rehman tries to do when the two undefeated stars meet on Friday.
Brown (12-0) defends his IBF European super-lightweight title at the Vale Sports Arena in Cardiff, and the man known as ‘Riiddy’ has made it clear just what he thinks will happen on fight night.
Brown said: “I only see the fight playing out one way, and that’s with me winning, keeping my title and holding it up high.
“I’m preparing for a tough fight but I always do that, and then I make it easy. That’s just how I am. If it’s a hard fight I’d love that, but I’ll still be victorious. If it’s easy then I get to show everybody just what I can do.
“I’m very excited to get back in the ring and I just want to get in there and do the business. I’m looking forward to dealing with the next challenge in hand, and it will be good to show everyone what I’ve been learning.
“I can’t wait to put on a good performance for the people in Wales. There is a good crowd coming over and they’re going to witness a brilliant display.
“During this last week it’s just about relaxing and staying focused. You have to make sure your mind is in the right place, and there has to be a good balance physically, mentally and emotionally.”
Akeem Ennis Brown believes the quality of opposition he has faced so far will be the big difference when he takes on Bilal Rehman next week.
The two undefeated boxers meet in a crunch clash for the IBF European super-lightweight title at the Vale Sports Arena in Cardiff on March 1, live on iFL TV.
Brown (12-0) has already beaten the likes of Glenn Foot, Chris Jenkins and Darragh Foley in his career, and he expects that to play a big part in the outcome of his fight with Rehman.
Brown said: “If you compare what I’ve done in my career so far with what Bilal has done, it speaks for itself. Before the fight was announced I hadn’t really paid much attention to him as I only really focus on the guys in the top ten.
“That’s not to disrespect him, as since it’s been announced I’ve had a look at him and he does have a lot of spark about him. He’s obviously not scared because he’s stood up and said he’ll take this fight. There are a lot of people we offer fights to and they turn it down.
“People will write him off when you compare his record to mine, but I think it says something about him that he’s taking the fight. He’s a 12-0 undefeated fighter like me, and he’s willing to take everything I’ve worked for, so that gets me excited.
“I’m prepared for my hardest fight. That’s not saying he’s the hardest opponent I’ve fought, but that’s the mentality that I bring to all of my fights now.
“It’s all about getting the right fights in 2019. In the past it may have been about just getting as many fights as possible, but that’s because there was no risk before. Now I want to fight the best as my ultimate goal is to get a world title, so it’s about being smart.”
Unbeaten Commonwealth flyweight champion Jay Harris has criticised the opposition of European champion Vincent Legrand after the Welsh star was made mandatory for his title.
Harris (14-0) returns to action at the Vale Sports Arena in Cardiff on March 1, and it’s been a good week for the 28-year-old after being made mandatory for both the British title and now the European title.
The European belt is held by Legrand, and Harris has made it perfectly clear just what he thinks of the Frenchman ahead of a potential future meeting.
Harris said: “I am very pleased to be made mandatory for the European title. It’s a massive title and one that can shoot me up the rankings.
“Vincent Legrand is the champion and is very tall at the weight. I think he’s around 5 foot 8, which is massive for flyweight. He’s a straight puncher and very correct, but he is beatable.
“Apart from a couple of guys, he hasn’t really fought anyone. In his last few fights he’s been having six rounders, and one of them was against an opponent with a losing record.
“He shouldn’t be fighting people like that at 29-0. I wouldn’t mind fighting him in his backyard and winning, but you know what they say over there, you have to knock them out to win. It’s a massive risk, but without risk there’s no reward.”
Undefeated Commonwealth flyweight champion Jay Harris believes he’s finally starting to get the opportunities he deserves after being made mandatory for the British flyweight title.
Welsh star Harris (14-0) is in line to fight for the belt that is currently held by Andrew Selby, and he’s glad to now be getting recognition for his ability.
Harris said: “I’m happy to be made mandatory for the British. I’ve worked really hard to get here after a few set backs, but it seems like it’s all falling into place.
“It shows that I’ve made progress and people are now starting to take notice of me. I’m finally getting the opportunities that I deserve.
“Andrew Selby is the champion but if he vacates it’s very understandable as to fight for world honours is a massive achievement, but if it does get made I think it’s a great fight between two of the best flyweights going.
“It would also be good for Welsh boxing as it shows there is a lot of opportunities coming my way, so we will see what comes of these exciting times.”
Up first for Harris is a fight in Cardiff on March 1, as he takes on Jaba Memishishi at the Vale Sports Arena.
It’s a packed bill in Wales, which also features Akeem Ennis Brown defending his IBF European super lightweight title against Bilal Rehman.
Two of Kazakhstan’s hottest boxing talents Sultan Zaurbek and Azhbenov Nurtas will star on the MTK Global show at Cardiff’s Vale Sports Arena on March 1.
Zaurbek (3-0) and Nurtas (2-0) both produced stunning first-round knockouts last time out and are now set to wow a Welsh crowd on a busy bill broadcast live and exclusively on iFL TV.
Both men, who are great friends outside the ring, also enjoyed stellar amateur careers before turning professional with MTK Global in June 2018.
Zaurbek, who hails from Shymkent, won gold at the 2014 Asian Games and bronze at the AIBA world youth tournament the same year before going on to claim silver at the 2017 Islamic Games.
With a win over Olympic champion Robson Conceicao to his name, Zaurbek has begun life as a professional in impressive fashion; blasting Johnson Tellez aside on a Sky Sports card in Monaco before dispatching Stefan Nicolae in double-quick time last time out.
Nurtas also boasts a victory over an Olympic champion. Seven or eight weeks before the 2016 Olympics, the Aktjubinsk fighter beat Fazliddin Gabinazarov. Two months later, Gabinazarov would win gold in Rio.
Described by MTK Global International Consultant Mike Altamura as simply a “hellacious puncher,” Nurtas’ brutal power was on display when he dispatched Anto Nakic within a minute and a half at York Hall back in December.
The classy Kazakhs join a packed Cardiff card already topped by Akeem Ennis Brown’s IBF European super-lightweight title defence against the unbeaten Bilal Rehman and Jacob Robinson’s step up against Jonny Phillips.
In addition, fans can see the likes of undefeated Commonwealth flyweight king Jay Harris, emerging stars Jacob Lovell and Kieran Gething plus Alex Hughes, Maredudd Thomas and more on the night.
Jacob Robinson believes the relationship he has with his father and trainer will prove to be all the difference as he looks to go from strength to strength in 2019.
Robinson (4-0, KO2) is unbeaten in his career, and has a step up in competition when he returns against Jonny Phillips (5-1) on an MTK Global show at the Vale Sports Arena in Cardiff on March 1, live on iFL TV.
The Welsh prospect is trained by his dad, former world champion Steve Robinson, and Jacob is confident that the partnership will help achieve his goals in the sport.
Robinson said: “I listen to my dad and he believes in me. When I get that confidence, he says it will bring me to another level and make me a much better fighter.
“He’s been my trainer since day one when I started. We’ve got a great relationship and he knows me inside out. You can’t buy his knowledge and experience.
“My dad always says that the more relaxed you are, the less you heave your punches and you won’t get tired. He thinks the 10-round distance for me in the next few fights will be brilliant.
“I’ve got this fight with Jonny Phillips coming up and we’re working hard every day in the gym. I think this is the perfect fight at the perfect time for me.”
The event in Cardiff is headlined by an IBF European super-lightweight title fight between Akeem Ennis Brown and Bilal Rehman.
There are a number of exciting stars also on the undercard, including Jay Harris, Alex Hughes and Kieran Gething.
Akeem Ennis Brown will defend his IBF European super-lightweight title against Bilal Rehman at the Vale Sports Arena in Cardiff on March 1, live on iFL TV.
Brown (12-0) won the belt in December when he defeated Darragh Foley at York Hall, while he has also picked up impressive wins over Glenn Foot and Chris Jenkins during his career.
He now takes on fellow undefeated fighter Rehman (12-0), and Brown is excited to be returning to the ring on a packed MTK Global show.
Brown said: “It’s my first time fighting in Cardiff and I can’t wait for that. Competing on these MTK shows is great and they’ve delivered with everything they’ve said so far.
“They’re a team who are behind me and believe in me, so I trust them to do their part and it’s now going to be good to fight in front of a nice lively crowd.
“I’m looking forward to being back so quickly after the last fight as I like to keep the momentum going and I like having meaningful fights as it brings the best out of me.
“We have two undefeated fighters with silky nice skills who are both 12-0 going in there and putting it all on the line, so I can’t wait.”
Other fights on the bill include Jacob Robinson vs. Jonny Phillips, while the likes of Jacob Lovell, Alex Hughes, Rhys Edwards and Maredudd Thomas are set to feature on the undercard too.
MTK Global will return to Cardiff’s Vale Sports Arena on March 1 as Welsh boxing continues its resurgence.
With Liam Williams’ recent British title glory spearheading a swell of interest in the Principality, MTK Global is back at the scene of its successful maiden show in Wales, which was headlined by ‘The Machine.’
MTK Global President Bob Yalen said: “It’s always great to bring a big night of boxing to the hotbed that is Wales, where fans always get behind their fighters with great passion.
“From Jimmy Wilde to Howard Winstone to Joe Calzaghe, the Welsh have a wonderful history of boxing heroes.
“After last year’s incredibly eventful show in Cardiff, we’re relishing the chance to keep improving our productions and return with an even bigger and better spectacle for the supporters to enjoy.
“We’ve got some hugely promising talent emerging in the likes of Jacob Robinson and Jacob Lovell, and with Liam Williams providing a beacon for all aspiring fighters in the region, Welsh boxing is set for a big year.”
Some of the best young talent in Wales will be on show on the evening with the likes of Jacob Robinson, Jacob Lovell, Alex Hughes, Rhys Edwards, Maredudd Thomas and many more in line to feature.