Boxing


Packed Undercard On Tonight's Maloney Boxing Bill

Tonight's Ian Napa vs. Martin Power British bantamweight title rematch at London's Newham Leisure Centre is supported by a full undercard featuring some of the top up and coming talent in the UK, among them light middleweight contender Gary "Hot Stuff" Woolcombe and unbeaten featherweight Akaash "Kash" Bhatia..

Woolcombe, 24-1 (9), is coming off two straight wins since dropping an English title challenge to Andrew Facey and most recently defeated one of his main domestic rivals, Jason Rushton, to climb back into the upper end of the British rankings.

"Rushton had 17 wins out of 20 fights and never been stopped, but I did so convincingly so it was a good win for me," said the 25 year old Welling man. "I had him out on his feet quite a few times; I had him done in the second, I really thought that I would stop him in that round but I'm glad I got the win."

After Woolcombe failed to produce stoppages in more than one of his first thirteen bouts, he then went on a tear, finishing eight opponents in his next eleven wins. "I went the distance in my four and six rounders, so I got all the rounds under my belt for the experience," he said. "People saying that I wasn't a puncher and I just felt that I wasn't mature. Now the power has come with maturity and I've started to knock 'em out, so I am a bit of a puncher after all."

After having successfully reloaded his career, "Hot Stuff" knows exactly where he wants to go next. "Jamie Moore is fighting for the European title this month and if he gives up the British title, than I shall be next in line to fight someone else for it," said Woolcombe.

"If Moore doesn't give up the title, I'll fight him. I think he's a great fighter and it would take a lot to beat him, but I believe I've got what it takes. I'm just looking to get another win this weekend and then I'm sure I have a big title fight coming up after this. It's that time now, I've had 25 fights now, this one will be number 26 and I'm pretty sure it's time for a big title fight."

While Woolcombe is likely just around the corner from a British title fight, featherweight Akaash Bhatia, 8-0 (2), is still in the formative stages of a burgeoning career and will be making his ninth professional appearance when he takes on Bristol based journeyman Riaz Durgahed, 6-10-1 (1), over a scheduled six rounds tonight.

"This fight is another stepping stone, but it's one more step in the right direction," said Bhatia. "Thankfully, this fight is made more towards my weight and I'm looking forward to getting in there and doing my thing. I'm very excited about this fight and I'm going to shine. At the end of the day, that's the most important thing for me. I have to put on a good performance."

Bhatia is one of the few Indian boxers in Britain and has garnered a large following from his base in the Harrow section of Northwest London. And after his most recent bout, the lightning-fisted prospect can also now count two former world champions as ardent fans.

"My last fight was a good win and Sky Sports broadcasters Johnny Nelson and Jim Watt were impressed," said the 24 year old known as "Kash the Bash". "They've been in the ring and have gone to the top so it was very important to me they had positive things to say. As far as I'm concerned, I was happy with the performance but I want to make this performance better.

"Right now I have to keep winning but also I must win well and impress. I have to keep learning and to me, that's the most important thing. Because at the end of the day, when my trainer and my promoter think I'm ready to step up to that next level, I have to be ready for that. When I do step up to that level, I'm 100% confident that I'm going to shine and prove to everyone what I can do."

Rounding out the bill are bantamweight Tshifhiwa Munyai, super featherweights Henry Castle and Kevin O'Hara, light heavy Tony Salem, welter Robert Lloyd Taylor, welter Scott Woolford, lightweight Jamie Radford, super middle Dwayne Lewis and light welter Ross Hewitt.

Frank Maloney Promotions presents ‘The Delicate Sound of Thunder’, the rematch between Ian Napa and Martin Power for the Bantamweight Championship of Britain at the Newham Leisure Centre, 281 Prince Regent Lane, London E13 8SD on Friday, November 30, 2007.

Tickets are priced at £75 and £40 and are available by logging onto www.frankmaloney.com or by calling the Box Office at 0871 226 1508.

Sky Sports televises live on SS1 at 22:00hrs.

Article posted on 29.11.2007



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