Boxing


News: Haye vs Wlad Klitschko; Skelton vs Rogan; McAllister vs Murray

Negotiations between British heavyweight David Haye and IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko are moving along swiftly according to Hayeís manager Adam Booth. Haye was set to fight Vitali Klitschko for the WBC title, but Vitali will now face his mandatory opponent Juan Carlos Gomez. Booth told Steve Bunce on Setanta Sports News that he was relieved the brothers had finally come to a decision. He said: ďThe brothers have stopped flipping a coin and theyíve decided itís going to be Wladimir. From the start it was all about Wladimir. But then the big brother stepped, but now it looks like big brother has stepped out again. If David does have any disappointment about not facing Vitali heís going to take it out on Wladimir..Ē


SKELTON FACES ROGAN

Matt Skelton will defend his Commonwealth title on February 28 at the NIA, Birmingham, against Irishman Martin Rogan.

Skelton, 41, is aiming for a second world title opportunity after losing to Ruslan Chagaev on points in Germany last year in a challenge for the WBA title.

He will begin as favourite against undefeated Rogan, but will be wary of the Irishman following his shock defeat of Audley Harrison in December.

The 37-year-old - who rose to prominence after winning the inaugural Prizefighter tournament - dug deep to out-point Harrison at London's ExCeL Arena.

It lifted Rogan's record to 11-0 (5), but although he has suffered two career defeats, Skelton is the more experienced of the two.

This will be his 14th championship fight, and he has now won the English, British, Commonwealth and European heavyweight titles.

He captured that latter belt in December when he forced Paolo Vidoz to quit in Milan in December in a sensational victory that deserved more publicity than it received.

"Rogan is a dangerous fighter and I was impressed by the way in which he dug deep against Harrison," said Skelton.

"Anyone with an undefeated record is a threat because they don't know how to lose.

"But I believe I will win this fight. When I lost to Chagaev people asked me whether I would quit, but I feel better than ever and I think that I'm still improving.

"That fight in Germany against Chagaev showed me that I can compete at the highest level and I'm not out of place on the world scene.

"And winning the European title in Italy against an Italian surprised a few people, but it didn't surprise me because I'm always very confident in my own ability."

Skelton-Rogan will be joined on the bill by Don Broadhurst's Commonwealth super-flyweight title defence against former British champion Andy Bell, with an all Midlands derby, featuring Steve Bendall against Darren McDermott in an English middleweight title fight, also on the card.

Tickets, priced at £30, £50, £100 & £150 are available from: Ticket Factory 0844 338 8000


MCALLISTER: BRING ON THE ENGLISH

Lee McAllister believes boxing away from his home in Aberdeen will bring out the best in him when he challenges John Murray for the British Lightweight Title at the Robin Park Centre in Wigan on Saturday, 17th January 2009.

In a fight that will be shown live on ITV4, Murray (Manchester) makes the first defence of his British title since beating fellow Hennessy Sports boxer Lee Meager in July.

McAllister will try to end the unbeaten record of Murray and for the Scottish boxer it will be the first time he has fought south of the border in two and a half years.

There will be a lively atmosphere at the venue on the night for the England versus Scotland fight, and McAllister is looking forward to it.

"Iíve got quite a big following up in Aberdeen and itís a great atmosphere when I box, but not so many of them will be there on the night when I fight John in Wigan," said Lee.

"But that doesnít bother me. I might get booed but that wonít affect me because the pressure will be on Murray. He will have all his supporters there and he is champion.

"When you are away from home it takes away all the pressure on you, and thatís a good thing for me in this fight. I donít know anyone in Wigan.

"When Iím fighting in Aberdeen, I might sell 2,000 tickets and they will all be coming to see me and I have to keep them happy by doing the business in the ring.

"But for this fight I donít have that added pressure and I can just think about the fight and not worry about keeping my home fans happy."

McAllister hopes victory over Murray will lead to an all-Scottish fight with former world super-featherweight champion Alex Arthur.

"It would be a great fight for Scotland if I could fight Alex and anything is possible in boxing," said Lee. "I know Alex but I donít know which direction heís going in next but it would be something I would be up for."

Tickets are available from the Ticketline Box Office on 0871 424 4444 or via www.ticketline.co.uk

Article posted on 08.01.2009



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