Boxing


UK Boxing: Sam Sexton; Nathan Cleverly; Usman Ahmed

Sam Sexton is hoping to get the inside line on Martin Rogan - after drafting in Belfast's Darren Corbett as a sparring partner. Sexton will take on Rogan at the Odyssey Arena, Belfast, in a challenge for the Commonwealth heavyweight title on May 15. Sky Sports televise live. And the Norwich banger has called up former Commonwealth cruiserweight champion Corbett in a bid to be in fighting form next Friday..

Corbett, 36, has previously sparred with Rogan and is a well known figure on the Northern Ireland boxing scene.

"Darren has been a great help, every time he steps through the ropes he gives 100%," said 24-year-old Sexton.

"He's worked with Rogan in the past, and just like him he is rough and tough, so I will be in fantastic shape for my title challenge.

"I've been having some real battles with Corbett in the gym, and I'm ready for a war with Rogan on May 15. I don't think this fight is going to be for the faint hearted.

"The only way to beat Martin is to take the fight to him, and you won't see a backward step from me.

"I've been going over and over this fight in my mind, and the more I think about it, the more confident I get.

"I've got lots of respect for Martin, but I've felt great in sparring and there's no way I'm going to lose this fight."

Sexton, the Southern Area champion, has an impressive 11-1 (4) record, and like Rogan is also a former Prizefighter tournament winner.


CLEVERLY MEETS HIS MATCH

Fight fans might think York Hall has turned into a university when they hear a poet and a mathematician are fighting on May 22.

But Commonwealth light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly and challenger Billy Boyle have promised plenty of old school thrills when they duke it out later this month at the home of boxing.

Boxing scholar Cleverly, who is taking a Maths degree at Cardiff University, makes the third defence of his Commonwealth crown against Boyle, whose nickname is the People's Poet.

"I hope Billy's coming to fight because my performance is going to be poetry in motion," said Cleverly.

"I didn't think I was going to be boxing until the end of June, but when I got the call last week to fight at York Hall, I said yes straight away.

"I've never boxed there as a professional, and to top the bill there in a title fight is what every young boxer dreams of.

"Now I just have to make sure I put in a stunning performance to show everyone that I am a future world champion."

Cleverly, 22, has 15 wins from 15 starts, and his last two fights - both defences of his Commonwealth title - have ended in stoppage victories.

"I feel like I'm punching harder than ever, and I want another KO win against Boyle," said the Welsh brainbox.

But his Sheffield opponent has an impressive 12-1 (7) record, and is a former Paratrooper.

"I've been after a title shot for a while now, and this is a great opportunity," said the 32-year-old.

"I've seen Cleverly's last couple of fights, and he's done well, but I'll give him the fight of his life and take that title back to Yorkshire."


WAR OF THE LITTLE BIG MEN

BRITAIN'S tiniest fighter Usman Ahmed will be thinking big when he challenges Chris Edwards for his British and Commonwealth flyweight title later this month.

'Ussie', 27, who weighs just 7st 7lb travels into the hometown of battle-hardened Edwards (12-13-3) at Fenton Manor Sports Complex, Stoke-on-Trent on Friday May 29.

Ahmed (5-1-1) faced Edwards on his professional debut in September 2006 and although he went down on points has improved and remained unbeaten since.

The Derby boxer's manager Mike Shinfield said: "Ussie went to Edwards' back yard in Stoke and gave him a really close fight that night.

"To say he was making his debut, it was a great performance and has gone from strength to strength since. I fancy Ussie's chances in the rematch."

Also on the top class bill, local hero Scott Lawton (26-4-1) face Welshman Gary Buckland (15-1) in an eliminator for the British light-welterweight title.

An eliminator for the British super-featherweight title sees Dewsbury's Gary Sykes (11-0) square off with Manchester's big ticket seller Anthony Crolla (13-1), in what promise to be a fierce ten rounder.

Darren Sutherland, Ireland's Olympic bronze medallist Darren Sutherland (2-0) is one of the world's hottest prospects and features in a six rounder.

The show sees promoter Frank Maloney keep his vow to bring big time boxing back to The Potteries.

He said: "Stoke City are staying in the Premier League and and Chris Edwards wants to keep top flight boxing in the area.

"It is great to be working with Scott Lawton and his partners at Impact Boxing once again.

"They told me boxing was a sleeping giant in the region and they proved that with the great night we put on in January.

"No British flyweight has dominated the division for years, but Chris is doing a good job holding off all these young kids.

"As well as Usman there is Paul Edwards and Ashley Sexton also chomping at the bit to get at him."

Tickets (35 and 75) for the show, which also features other top fighters from Stoke including Scott Miller and Alex Ibbs are on sale and available from www.frankmaloney.com and 0871 226 1508.

Article posted on 05.05.2009



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