Boxing


UK Boxing: Froch/Taylor Update; Rogan-Sexton

Former WBC World Super Middleweight champion Richie Woodhall believes Carl Froch can pull off a massive win for British boxing by defeating Jermain Taylor in the U.S. on April 25th. Froch is the current holder of Woodhall’s old World title belt and the bookies currently have him as an 11/10 outsider to retain the title he won last December in his sensational fight of the year candidate with Jean Pascal..

Former undisputed middleweight king Taylor is a 6/4 on favourite but Woodhall told BBC Sport that he’s tipping Froch to pull off a massive win.” I don't think Taylor has the beating of Froch, he is not a major threat to be honest," said Woodhall.

"Before the Pascal fight, Froch would not even have registered on the radar of Taylor. Now after that, even though he would not admit it, he'll be thinking 'this guy has what it takes'.

“Jermain has been undisputed champion at middleweight, but now he's fighting at super-middleweight. It's a different division of course, but not only do I think he doesn't have the power, I don't think he has the skills to beat Froch.”

The former Commonwealth, European and World Champ added that he doesn’t believe fighting on away ground will hold any fears for Froch. "He looks to go into the lion's den when he enters the ring and trade blows with the best of them. He's 31 now and that's his style and he's not going to change. That way of boxing has made him world champion. Froch has the power, he has the skills and he has the chin to beat Taylor."


O’Donnell looking to follow Froch all the way to a World title

Newly crowned Commonwealth Welterweight Champion John O’Donnell believes he can follow stable mate Carl Froch all the way to a World title. O’Donnell lifted the Commonwealth title at the York Hall on Saturday night in front of the ITV cameras after a twelve round thriller to take the title from defending champion, Craig Watson.

O’Donnell’s preparations for the fight were boosted by sparring sessions with WBC Super Middleweight Champ Froch who is currently in Canada ahead of his super fight with former Undisputed Middleweight kingpin Jermain Taylor in Connecticut on April 25th.

“Sparring a fighter of Carl’s calibre gives you real confidence because you can’t get any better sparring that that,” said O’Donnell. “Carl’s always been great to me and is always giving me advice. If you look at Carl’s career he’s done things the traditional way. He won the English title first and then the Commonwealth. Now I’ve done the same so hopefully I can keep following him all the way to a World title.”

Despite his joy at Saturday nights win the Shepherd’s Bush native says he wasn’t overly pleased at his performance. “To Craig’s credit he fought a great fight but I should have made it an awful lot easier for myself,” said O’Donnell.

“The only rounds I stuck to the game plan were the sixth and seventh and they were my best rounds of the fight. I was getting to him in the seventh and if I’d have stuck to my boxing after that I think I’d have stopped him but instead I went back to the way I started the fight. The important thing was that I ground out the result in the end and won a fight where for most of it I neglected doing what I do best.”

O’Donnell believes that the experience gained from Watson will stand to him in the future. “I probably went into the fight with the wrong attitude and I went out to prove a point. He was doing a lot of talking in the lead up to the fight saying he was going to walk through me and stop me and I probably let that get inside my head so I went in there to prove that I could beat him at his own game rather than sticking to my boxing.

“From that point of view it’s been a real learning experience but it was a great fight for the fans and I delighted to have the Commonwealth title.”

Many were tipping Watson to retain his title ahead of Saturday nights encounter but O’Donnell feels his performance answered plenty of questions. “I think I proved a few of the doubters wrong, a lot of people questioned if I had the chin or the stamina but I think I answered those questions and I also proved I can punch a bit. I’m not a one punch knockout artist but I certainly punch hard enough to get peoples respect and I had Watson hurt a few times in the fight.”

O’Donnell hopes to make the first defence of his title in the summer but in the meantime he’s happy to cheer on Froch and is tipping him for a massive win against Jermain Taylor later this month. “I honestly believe Carl is going to knock him out and for some reason I think he’s going to do it in the seventh so I’ll be off down to the bookies to put a few quid on that.”

Froch’s super fight with Taylor will be available to watch live and exclusive online via pay per view at frochvtaylor.com. The pay per view costs just £9.95 (or €11.00 for Irish viewers) and will give fight fans an opportunity to see one of the most eagerly awaited World title fights of the year. For more information visit: frochvtaylor.com.


ROGIE WANTS WRESTLING STARS!

Commonwealth heavyweight champion Martin Rogan is planning a warm up ahead of his clash with Sam Sexton - by tackling the stars of WWE wrestling.

"Wrestlemania Revenge" takes place later this month at the Odyssey Arena, Belfast and features WWE stars including Edge, John Cena, Chris Jericho, Kane and William Regal.

But Rogan - who defends his belt at the 10,000 capacity Odyssey on May 15 - says he will gatecrash the event and go up to ringside and challenge the wrestlers to show his fellow countrymen a real fighter in action.

"I need some sparring ahead of my clash with Sexton, so those wee wrestling boys will be perfect," said the 37-year-old, who has already bashed 2000 Olympic Champion Audley Harrison and flattened the previously undefeated Matt Skelton.

"But I'm not sure they will last too long with me - they're just a bunch of Hollywood wannabes in tights with fake tans!

"I'll give Kane a good caning and make William Regal look like a pauper.

"I'll take them on one at a time or all together - they can even have one of their tag team events if they want!

"They all talk a good game, but they wouldn't last five minutes if they came down the gym with me.

"The only wrestler I ever liked as a kid was 'Big Daddy', but as far as I'm concerned I'm 'The Daddy'."

Rogan, who is undefeated in 12 professional fights, is fast closing in on a world title opportunity after his sensational back-to-back wins over Harrison and Skelton.

"I'm sure everyone will have a great time at Wrestlemania because its fantastic theatre, but for real drama, Rogan-Sexton is going to beat everything," he added.

"Everyone in Ireland is behind me at the moment, but I don't think I've convinced everyone over on the mainland how good I am, so I'm aiming for a spectacular KO win over Sexton to keep the ball rolling towards a world title fight later this year."

Rogan-Sexton tops an action packed Odyssey card which will also feature the 2008 Olympians, James DeGale, Billy Joe Saunders and Frankie Gavin.

Michael Jennings returns to action in an eight rounder following his brave WBO world title challenge against Miguel Cotto, while local stars Scott Belshaw, Kevin O'Hara, Ciaran Healy and Luke Wilton also feature.

Tickets are priced at £150 (Ringside), £100 (Floor), £60 (Floor), £40 (Tier) and £30 (Tier) are available from:

Odyssey Arena Box Office
02890 739 074
www.odysseyarena.com

Ticketmaster
0870 243 4455
www.ticketmaster.ie

Frank Warren
01992 550 888
www.frankwarren.tv

Article posted on 14.04.2009



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