UK Boxing: Olympians Back Khan; John Thaxton; Brian Rose
Frank Warren's three Olympians are backing Amir Khan to begin a new era in British boxing on July 18. And James DeGale, Billy Joe Saunders and Frankie Gavin are planning to be hot on Khan's heels if he manages to capture Andreas Kotelnik's WBA light-welterweight world title at the MEN Arena. While Khan occupies top billing in the north west, he will be joined on the card by DeGale, Saunders and Gavin, all of whom are having their third professional fight. With Joe Calzaghe retired and Ricky Hatton coming to the end of his career, Khan has a fantastic chance to become the new poster boy for the sport in the UK - with the Olympic trio riding shotgun..
"Amir was an inspiration to me when he won silver at the 2004 Olympics, and what he achieved spurred me to do well in Beijing," said Olympic champion DeGale.
"If he wins a world title then he will show all of us who went to the 2008 Games that you can make it to the top.
"I've been following his career closely since he turned professional, and his dedication and committment are an example to all of us.
"People are saying that boxing is in transition at the moment, but I think it's an exciting time for the sport.
"There's a vaccuum to be filled, and my generation is the one to do it. There's quite a few of us in our early 20s, and the talent out there is fantastic.
"Amir has got all the tools needed to beat Kotelnik, and it will brilliant for the sport in this country if he does it."
Gavin, the 2007 amateur world champion who worked extensively with Khan when he fought for England and GB, added: "We are still good mates and I know that Amir can beat Kotelnik.
"To be fighting on the same card as him is a real honour, and I'm backing him to lead the way on July 18 and get that world title.
"Amir's great for the sport, and only good things can happen if he wins that world title. I'm sure other boxers will thrive on his success, just like we did when we were amateurs."
Saunders, just 19, said: "Kotelnik is technically good and can take a punch, but I think Amir will be too fast for him. It's a hard fight for him but I know he can do the business."
Thaxton backing McIntosh for Norwich double
Former British and European Lightweight champ Jon Thaxton is backing fellow Norwich man Danny McIntosh to bring another British title back to Norfolk.
McIntosh clashes with Nathan Cleverly in a battle of undefeated fighters at the York Hall, Bethnal Green on July 18th with the British Light Heavyweight title on the line. The Hennessy Sports event is live on ITV4 and Thaxton features on the undercard as he bids to bounce back from the loss of his European title.
It will be “Jono’s” first appearance since suffering a controversial points defeat at the hands of Frenchman Anthony Mezaache in February but he’s confident that Norwich fight fans will be celebrating on the double at the York Hall.
“I know that this next fight is a must win for me, otherwise my plans to win back the British and European titles will go out the window and I know Danny is just as hungry for success. I’m training alongside him at the moment at the Ingle’s Gym in Sheffield and he is really fired up for his fight with Cleverly.
“He knows just what’s at stake and he’s been working tremendously hard. When something like the British title is on the line it gives you that extra bit of incentive to work even harder in the gym and I believe that dedication will pay off for Danny at the York Hall.”
Cleverly, the reigning Commonwealth champion is the bookies favourite ahead of the clash but Thaxton believes that McIntosh can spring an upset.
“Danny is thriving on being the underdog,” revealed Thaxton. “There’s no pressure on him because people are already writing him off and he’s relishing the chance to prove those people wrong.
“I’ve seen him up close in the gym and trust me he can really bang and he’s got tremendous boxing ability as well so I really fancy him to pull it off.”
Thaxton has title aspirations of his own and he believes that a win this month will put him on course for British and European title fights later in the year. “People are putting the words former Champion in front of my name now and I hate it,” admitted Thaxton.
“I want those titles back and as soon as possible and I believe that as long as I come through on July 18th my next fight should either be for the vacant British Lightweight title or a rematch with Mezzache for the European so things are looking up for me right now. I just need to make sure that I don’t slip up in London.”
The York Hall undercard also features unbeaten Heavyweight sensation Tyson Fury in his seventh professional outing while Ireland’s reigning European Union Lightweight Champion Andy Murray is also in action.
Hot prospects Steve O’Meara, Lee Purdy, Dwayne Lewis, Bobby Ward and Del Rogers also take to the ring on an action packed night of championship boxing that also features recent Big Brother evictee Angel McKenzie in her 18th pro fight. Tickets (£35 Unreserved and £70 Ringside) are available from the Ticketline box office on 0844 888 4402 or via www.ticketline.co.uk
Rose Faces "Le Terroriste" Choffo In Sunderland
Light middle Brian Rose will face the toughest test of his career this Friday when he meets a younger, stronger and faster opponent at Seaburn Centre in Sunderland, England.
The popular Blackpool boxer, 12-0-1 (3), is riding a five fight win streak but that could all end when the bell rings against Cameroon born Frenchman Francis Togba Tchoffo.
The pair square off in support of the main event which features British super flyweight champion Lee Haskins defending his crown against English titlist Ross "The Boss" Burkinshaw.
24 year old Rose will bring more experience to the table against Tchoffo, but the African, at just 21 years of age, is a natural middleweight who has been gaining his ring education in France, where he has earned the nickname of "Le Terroriste".
Tchoffo dominated opponents while winning his first five contests but suffered narrow defeats in his last two appearances as he was outboxed in his adopted home of Bordeaux.
The iron-chinned Cameroonian has vowed to place Rose under intense pressure from the start and lacking concussive punching power, the Blackpool stylist will have in tip top form if he is to keep an undefeated record against Tchoffo.
Chief support will feature popular local hero and Beijing Olympic bronze medallist, Tony 'Jaffa' Jeffries, 2-0 (2), in his third pro outing. Jeffries will face motivated Belarus brawler Ilya Skakuro, 2-1 (1), over four scheduled rounds at light heavyweight.
Frank Maloney Promotions presents the Super Flyweight Championship of Britain between reigning titlist Lee Haskins and challenger Ross Burkinshaw on Friday, July 10, 2009 at The Seaburn Centre in Sunderland, England.
Tickets are priced £80 and £40 and are available from The Box Office on 0871 226 1508 and www.frankmaloney.com or from Phil Jeffries on 0191 564 0202.
Sky Sports will televise live on SS2 from 10PM.
Article posted on 09.07.2009