Boxing


British Boxing: Amir Khan Hot Favorite, Anthony Small, Nicky Cook

03.05.07 - Amir Khan will start a strong favourite against Willie Limond, according to early odds released by bookmakers. The 20-year-old challenges Limond for the Commonwealth lightweight title at the O2 Arena on July 14, and fights for his first major title. And as with all his fights so far, he will start a big odds on favourite, with defending champion Limond as long as 13-2 despite his record of 28-1. In comparison, undefeated Khan is best priced 1-10, and is 8-13 to win inside the distance..

If Khan does go the full 12 for the first time as a professional, punters can back it at odds of 2-1, while Limond is 7-1 to triumph on points.

Khan and Limond will be joined on the card by WBO featherweight title challengers Nicky Cook and Steven Luevano, but odds for their fight have not yet been announced.

Meanwhile Limond's manager Alex Morrison has warned that his man will be dangerous when he fights Khan, and is backing him to cause a huge upset.

Morris famously backed Lawrence Murphy at huge odds to knock out Wayne Elcock in the first round in a WBU middleweight title fight up in Scotland a few years ago.

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SUGAR RAY SWEET FOR SMALL

Light-middleweight prospect Anthony Small has been boosted by his win on the UK v USA Contenders programme - and praise from Sugar Ray Leonard, says trainer Spencer Fearon.

Undefeated Small survived a tough last round against highly-rated Walter Wright in Newcastle in March, coming through to win on points over eight.

It was his first really big test, and by emerging victorious he extended his record to 17-0.

Now he is set to fight again on the big O2 Arena bill on July 14 - topped by Amir Khan and Nicky Cook - and take a step closer to fighting for his first title.

"I thought Anthony boxed really well and he'll go on from here," said cornerman Fearon.

"After the show Sugar Ray Leonard called us up, and we spent two hours talking to him about the fight. It was a nice gesture and shows how impressed people were with how Anthony boxed.

"He showed a lot of heart in that last round, and really sucked it up. But he'd stuck to his boxing so well in the previous rounds that he was never in danger of losing the fight on points."

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COOK'S A BABY BOOMER

WBO World Featherweight title contender Nicky Cook says becoming a father for the first time will serve as inspiration when he tackles American Steven Luevano on July 14 at the O2 Arena.

Undefeated Cook, a former European, Commonwealth and British champion, takes on the Top Rank boxer in his first crack at a world belt.

Left distraught when Scott Harrison pulled out of a proposed December clash at the last minute, 2007 has been a much better year for Cook, with a daughter, Olivia, coming along two weeks ago.

"It makes it more important that I win because I'm fighting for my little daughter," explained Cook. "I want to secure her future, not just my own and my other half's."

The 28-year-old headlines the O2 bill alongside Amir Khan, who takes on Commonwealth lightweight champion Willie Limond, his first 12 round fight.

Meanwhile Cook has confirmed that he will be leaving the UK in the coming weeks in order to set up a training camp abroad, although it is unclear whether he will chose Tenerife or Lanzarotte.

Tickets priced 250 (ringside), 200, 150, 100, 75, 50 and 40 are available through www.seetickets.com and www.ticketmaster.co.uk

Doors open at 6.00pm, but may be subject to change.

See www.frankwarren.tv for more details.

For further information about the 02 visit www.theo2.co.uk

Article posted on 03.05.2007



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