Boxing


UK Boxing: Frankie Gavin; Nathan Cleverly; Curtis Woodhouse

Boxing sensation Frankie Gavin says he's got much more to offer following his best performance yet as a professional last month. The 2007 amateur world champion knocked out Graham Fearn at the M.E.N Arena, Manchester, with an impressive second round stoppage. It was his third early night in a row - and the 23-year-old has told fight fans to expect more excitement as his career progresses..

"People asked if I would have the power to make it as a professional," said Birmingham's Gavin.

"They said I had a very amateur style and I wouldn't be able to win fights by knocking my opponents out.

"But now the critics are beginning to realise that not only can I box, I can punch as well.

"When I was growing up, I always watched tapes of boxers who were body-snatchers, and that's the style I've been trying to emulate in sparring.

"Things have been going well, but I'm miles away from being the finished article just yet.

"There is so much more to come and I'm really excited about what I'll have to offer in the next few years.

"Not only is my power improving with every fight, it's improving every day, and I've been able to keep my speed as well. I don't think any light-welterweight in the country can match my punching ability."

Trainer Anthony Farnell has seen first hand the power that Gavin has to offer.

"Anyone who says Frankie isn't a serious puncher doesn't know what they are talking about," said Farnell.

"I've worked with some of the best punchers in the business as a fighter and trainer, and believe me, Frankie is a match for any of them.

"Ricky Hatton's probably the best-known body-puncher in the sport recently, but Frankie can be just as good as him if not better.

"When he came to the gym I knew he was a special talent, but while I've not been surprised at his speed and footwork, the way he punches has blown me away.

"The kid is a massive talent, and he's going to have opponents running for cover once he gets into his stride."


CLEVERLY: I'M THE FUTURE OF WELSH BOXING

Welsh wonderboy Nathan Cleverly says that he's the man to fly the flag for Welsh boxing. Cleverly captured the British light-heavyweight title earlier this month with an impressive stoppage win over unbeaten Danny McIntosh. The victory drew comparisons to former world champion Joe Calzaghe, and Cleverly is being talked of as a star of the future. "Joe put Welsh boxing back on the map and was fantastic for the whole sport in Britain," said Cleverly. "I was sad to see him quit, but it's given me the chance to spearhead a new era of boxing here. "The Welsh fans are among the most passionate in the world, and I plan on giving them something to shout about over the next few years.

"I've not boxed in Wales for a while and I've never had a title fight in Wales, so I'm going to be ringing promoter Frank Warren and asking for a date to put in my diary!"

The level-headed 22-year-old, who's rising boxing career is running parallel with a mathematics degree at Cardiff University, may be tipped for world glory, but says he wants to notch three more British title wins before moving on to world level.

"When I was growing up, I had plenty of ambitions in boxing," said Cleverly.

"I always wanted to follow the traditional route of winning British, Commonwealth, European and World titles.

"I'm half way there having won British and Commonwealth, but I don't mind hanging around at this level for a little while if it means I can get a Lonsdale belt outright.

"It would mean so much to me to get the British title for keeps.

"When I beat McIntosh it was a special feeling, and I don't think the British title has left my side since.

"I even sleep with it under my pillow, and I can't contemplate the thought of giving it back if I move on to the European or world stage!"


Curtis Woodhouse heads home as HAYEMAKER 9 hits Hull

Currently playing host to Premier League football, Hull City F.C.s KC Stadium will welcome big-time boxing and one of its former stars to the city on September 27 when HAYEMAKER 9 arrives. Headlined by former Hull City player Curtis Woodhouse, HAYEMAKER 9 will be a non-TV show, designed to kick off the new boxing season in style, as well as showcase two of the citys boxing stars. Driffield-based Woodhouse played for Hull City in 2005, appearing 18 times for the Premiership new boys. Since then, Woodhouse has amassed a 10-1 (5 KO) record as a professional welterweight boxer.

The 29-year-old returns to one of the clubs he watched as a child on September 27, intent on securing win number 11.

Ive wanted to fight in Hull for ages now and have always been banging on about the interest I could generate up there, says Woodhouse, who also enjoyed spells at Sheffield United and Birmingham City and was capped at England Under-21 level.

The KC Stadium is only five miles from where I live in Driffield and its a dream come true to be heading back to another one of my old clubs, this time as a boxer.

All my old school friends will be coming down for this fight and there will be a lot of eyes on me. The Hull City fans have been enjoying a lot of success of late, and I just hope I can be a part of that on September 27.

Also set to appear at HAYEMAKER 9 in Hull is professional newcomer Kevin Hooper and home city light-heavyweight Phil Goodwin.

Determined to help bring back big boxing nights to Hull, Woodhouse has one Hull-based opponent on his radar who could become something of a local rival.

By the end of the year Id love to be in a position to box Glen Matsell for the Central Area title, says Woodhouse. Thats my plan. I want a couple more six-rounders and then Im ready to fight for my first belt. Matsells also from Hull and I know it would be a good fight for the area.

Matsell has called me out a couple of times in the past, and even called me out after my first pro fight. Hes always fancied the fight and Im ready to grant him his wish. If he still wants it, he can have it.

Another opponent Woodhouse has his sights set on is Jay Morris, the man who handed him the first loss of his career back in April.

Dealing with that loss has been a nightmare and Id love nothing more than to fight Morris again and avenge the defeat, admits Woodhouse, who dropped a controversial points decision to Morris in Belfast.

I think about that loss every day and it wont be removed from my mind until I beat him. I want a rematch and I want to put the record straight.

I believe I won the first fight and 95% of the people Ive spoken to agree with me. Thats perhaps the most frustrating part.

In an ideal world, Id fight Morris on September 27 in Hull. If hell take it, Im ready. If not, Ill happily go to the Isle of Wight and fight him.

Article posted on 04.08.2009



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