Boxing News: Rhodes vs Vuma, Bell vs Haskins, Susi Kentikian
Sheffield favourite Ryan Rhodes continues his march towards a third world title shot – his first as a light-middleweight – when he tackles the dangerous South African Vincent Vuma on November 15 at The O2 in North Greenwich, London. With Vuma’s WBC International title at stake, the winner of this intriguing 12-rounder can expect to receive a top-10 ranking with the World Boxing Council and a clearer route towards a potential world title tilt..
Article posted on 12.10.2008
Timing is everything and Rhodes, now 40-4 (27 KO) as a pro, is confident it will be third time lucky should he eventually work his way towards a WBC title shot. More seasoned and refined than when he first challenged for world honours in 1997, Rhodes believes this opportunity could not come at a better time. After all, it was only four weeks ago in Sheffield that Rhodes chalked up a priceless 12-rounder with Jamie Coyle in defence of his British light-middleweight crown.
“It’s every boxer’s dream to fight so quick and so often,” admits the switch-hitting Rhodes. “I always box better when I’m active and I’m just really happy that the fight has come around so quickly. The November 15 date forced me to get straight back in training and now it’s full steam ahead. My hands are fine and my weight’s brilliant. I’m looking to be even better against Vuma than I was against Coyle.”
Rhodes collected a one-sided unanimous decision against Coyle on September 20 at the Hillsborough Leisure Centre. Displaying beyond the call of duty bravery and a heart the size of Sheffield, Coyle gave Rhodes 12 rounds of tougher-than-expected work. Rhodes anticipates an even more taxing night with Vuma on November 15.
“I think it’s going to be a tough fight,” concedes Rhodes, who was last week named Sheffield’s ‘Sportsman of the Year’ by readers of the Sheffield Star.
“Vuma’s ranked highly by the WBC and is clearly a quality fighter. I’ve only ever seen one fight of his – when he came to England and beat Mark Thompson – but I thought he looked pretty sharp and accurate in that one. I’m expecting a tough night but it’s a fight I expect to win.”
Ranked at no.16 by the WBC, Vuma is a well-schooled and robust counter-puncher with toughness in abundance. Competing mainly in his homeland, 32-year-old Vuma has compiled an impressive record of 26-2 (15 KO). His sole fight outside South Africa – a July 2007 date in England with Thompson – provides Rhodes with his only insight so far.
“He’s pretty quick and a counter-puncher,” recalls Rhodes. “I don’t think he’s a big, big puncher, even though he’s stopped a few fighters on his record. I think he’s got a decent work rate and he wears opponents down. He’s been dropped a few times early and that tells me he’s not a quick starter and may take a little while to get into things.”
Ultimately, Rhodes, a year younger than Vuma, is always able to draw on his vast back catalogue of trials and tribulations for a tricky danger man like Vuma. A pro since February 1992, Rhodes has witnessed most scenarios and styles inside the ring.
“I’ve been at this level before,” says Rhodes. “Vuma’s been at a certain level for a long time and it’s only now that he’s really stepping up. I believe I’ll be the best opponent he’s faced to date and that I’m his step-up. He’s 32, a little bit older than me, and it will be two senior fighters going at it. I still feel I’m more experienced than him fighting at the level we’re now at.
“It will be a good fight and an exciting fight between two fast counter-punchers looking to find holes. I think I’m the bigger hitter and I believe that will be the difference on the night.”
Though expecting one of the toughest tests of his glittering and extensive career, Rhodes has bigger plans ahead. Already acclaimed for his two British title triumphs, Rhodes is gunning for the one title that has so far eluded his sizeable collection of awards and accolades.
“I want a world title fight,” he states. “Obviously, winning the British title again was a dream come true and I’m glad I’ve done it, but I want that next level. This WBC international title will take me to that next level. Assuming all goes well with Vuma, I am probably only two or three more wins away from fighting for a world title. I reckon four fights and then I’ll be there.”
*** The WBC International light-middleweight title contest between Ryan Rhodes and Vincent Vuma acts as chief-support to David ‘The Hayemaker’ Haye’s heavyweight showdown with Monte ‘Two Gunz’ Barrett, screened live and exclusively on Setanta Sports.
For more information or to purchase tickets to HAYEMAKER2: ‘One Hayemaker vs. Two Gunz’ at The O2, please contact the Box Office on 08448 560 202 or visit www.hayemaker.com for details.
Bell vs Haskins
ANDY BELL aims to make up for missing out on Young Boxer of the Year by coming through a successful first defence of his British super-flyweight title.
The Doncaster youngster risks his title when he faces Bristol southpaw Lee Haskins at Robin Park Arena on Friday November 7.
Bell (11-3) captured the championship in March with a points win over tough defending champion Chris Edwards.
Promoter Frank Maloney said: "He is one of the new exciting youngsters coming through and this title will be the making of him.
"Some British champions know they have the beating of all their rivals, but this super-flyweight division is arguably the most competitive in the country."
Bell, 23, hopes the British Boxing Writers' Club vote him their number one prospect next year, and Maloney adds: "If he keeps winning there will be plenty awards coming his way.
"There is a chance the EBU will create a European title at 8st 4lb and Lee will certainly be in the mix."
Former Commonwealth flyweight champion Haskins (17-2) is stepping back down from bantamweight after an unsuccessful crack at British champion Ian Napa.
Chris Sanigar's 24-year-old protégé showed that setback hadn't dented his confidence last time out defeating Jamie McDonnell on points.
A fantastic chief support on the show being televised live by Sky Sports sees Liverpool's Mark Moran make the first defence of his English super-bantamweight crown against former British champion Esham Pickering.
The talent packed undercard includes Tony Quigley, Akaash Bhatia, Martin Murray and Thomas McDonagh.
Tickets for this action packed night of Britain's best can be obtained by calling the hotline 0871 226 1508 or from www.frankmaloney.com
Kentikian, Zbik, Tajbert and Köber headlining the boxing event in Halle/Saale
„ProSieben Fight Night“
on December 5
at the Sporthalle Brandberge, Halle an der Saale
Full throttle of the spotlight boxing fighters:
The four ProSieben fighters Susi Kentikian, Sebastian Zbik, Vitali Tajbert and Sebastian Köber for the first in one event
+++ Ticket sales will start today! +++
Just weeks before christmas, the city of Halle an der Saale will be the center of attention: popular WBA/WIBF flyweight champion Susi Kentikian and her three stable mates Sebastian Zbik, Vitali Tajbert and Sebastian Köber will headline the „ProSieben Fight Night“ on Friday, December 5 at the Brandberge Arena.
Filling out the card will be the local heroes and up-and-coming fighters Oliver Güttel, Tommy Altmann und Falko Besser.
Regina Halmich and Jan Stecker will be doing the commentory duing the night.
Other matchups and opponents as well as more information about the event will be named in the coming days.
Tickets for this event are available at:
Universum Ticket Hotline: +49 -40 - 69 65 59 59
Ticket-Galerie in Halle/Saale: +49 -345 - 6 888 6 888
CTS-Eventim Hotline: +49 -1805 - 5 70 000
at all known ticket shopos or www.boxing.de
Sporthalle Brandberge, Kreuzvorwerk 30, 06120 Halle/Saale
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