Boxing


Olympians Face Domestic Tests On Kotelnik/Khan Undercard

Frank Warren's trio of 2008 Olympians are all looking for KO victories over domestic opposition on July 18. James DeGale, Frankie Gavin and Billy Joe Saunders are all in action at the MEN Arena, Manchester, as part of the undercard to Amir Khan's WBA light-welterweight title clash with Andreas Kotelnik. So far, the pair have scored five stoppage wins from six starts between them, and have proved too much for European opposition. Now though they are switching their attentions to the domestic scene to see if they can keep up their run of good form..

DeGale takes on former Irish champion Ciaran Healy, Gavin will face Graham Fearn, while Saunders gets ex-soldier Matt Scriven.

"I know boxing fans appreciate skilful fighters, but what they really love seeing is guys who win in style, and they are going to get that with me, Frankie and Billy Joe," said 23-year-old Olympic champion DeGale.

"I won my last fight in the first round and there's nothing better than hearing the buzz of the crowd when that happens.

"I've been speaking to the boys in the last few weeks, and we all want to go out there and win in style.

"In the early part of his career Amir Khan got punters through the door by winning quickly, and we want to do the same."

Saunders, 19, added: "Scriven has got a reputation for being a tough fighter and not many stop him, so I'll know more about where I'm at after this fight.

"I've had two stoppage wins so far, so in a way I want someone who'll take a me a few rounds - but you don't get paid for overtime and I'll be going in there all guns blazing."

Gavin, who came into the pros with a reputation for being a slickster rather than a banger, has been working on his power with trainer Anthony Farnell.

"The last few months in the gym I've really developed as a puncher," said the 2007 amateur world champion.

"I've won my first two fights by stoppage, and I'm aiming to make it a hat-trick on July 18. I've been studying Fearn's stats, and he's a good fighter with a winning record, so I'm definitely going to get tested at the MEN."

Article posted on 10.07.2009



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