UK Boxing: Ian Napa; Kell Brook; Buzzsaw Evans
Four years ago, Ian Napa lost a trio of high profile bouts in England and many thought his career was all but finished at age 27. But the pint-sized dynamo lost those contests by slim, and in some cases controversial, margins and by 2007, "Dappa" found himself in a European bantamweight title challenge. Napa pushed reigning champion Simone Maludrottu hard, but, despite promoter Frank Maloney securing home advantage in Essex, it wasn't enough and the Hackney wizard again went home empty-handed. Four losses out of five bouts at such a crucial career stage would have finished the confidence of most fighters and that of their promoter's too, but Napa and Maloney were just getting started..
Article posted on 26.08.2009
Getting right back on the horse just four months later, Napa outboxed Jason Booth in a rematch thriller to capture the vacant British bantam crown and finished the balance of 2007 with successful defenses against Lee Haskins and Martin Power.
After kicking off 2008 by schooling Irish beltholder Colin Moffett in another British title defense, Napa once again was able to contend for European honours on home soil as Maloney delivered York Hall in London.
This time, Napa emerged from a clash with "The Belgian Butcher", Carmello Ballone, with the European bantamweight belt strapped around his waist and the satisfaction overcoming tremendous hardship.
However, the stars weren't aligned in Napa's favour during his first Continental title defense as he came up against the rare opponent who could outbox him in March of this year.
Ex-French champion Malik Bouzaine towered over the 5 foot 1 Napa and used the stick and move strategy to perfection as he swept all three scorecards, ripping away the Englishman's coveted European title.
The loss has burned in the pit of Napa's stomach ever since and the Zimbabwe born London resident has vowed to revenge himself upon the awkward Frenchman.
But before that can occur, Napa, 18-7 (1), must prove he can return to prominence in the UK and recapture his old belt with a domestic challenge of British bantam champ Gary Davies, 9-2-1 (7), Friday, September 11 at Brentwood Centre in Essex, England.
The clash serves as chief support to the headlining English heavyweight championship between titlist John McDermott and big-punching prospect Tyson Fury.
Davies has proven himself a vital, no-nonsense slugger who has crushed both Martin Power and Welshman Matthew Edmonds already over the past nine months and at age 26, five years Napa's junior, the Liverpool area hero seems a massive roadblock to Napa's aspirations.
The former European champion must pull off a letter perfect performance if he is to topple Davies, who on paper has all the physical advantages, but for Ian Napa, it's just another miracle to perform.
Frank Maloney's FTM Sports presents "Colossal", the Heavyweight Championship of England between reigning titlist John McDermott and challenger Tyson Fury with full undercard on Friday, September 11, 2009 at The Brentwood Centre in Essex, England.
Tickets are priced £90 and £35 and are available from The Box Office on 0871 226 1508 and www.frankmaloney.com
Sky Sports will televise live on SS2 and HD2 at 10.00PM.
Kell Brook Wants Miguel Cotto But Jennings Is First
British sensation Kell Brook says he's ready for the likes of top pound-for-pounder Miguel Cotto right now - and he'll prove it by knocking out Michael Jennings. The pair meet in a mouthwatering clash at the Liverpool Echo Arena on October 30, with Brook's British welterweight title on the line. And the champion has vowed to do a better job on Jennings than Cotto did earlier this year. The Puerto Rican halted Jennings in five rounds in a clash for the WBO World Welterweight title in the States and now has a mega-fight against Manny Pacquiao on November 14 in Las Vegas.
But KO artist Brook, who has won all four of his British title fights with early stoppages, has vowed to blast Jennings out even quicker.
"I am ready for Miguel Cotto now," said 23-year-old Special K. "I am going to do a better performance than Cotto, I am going to get Jennings out of there before Cotto did.
"I am on a high at the moment, but no one has really brought the best out of me yet, and I promise everyone that haven't seen anything yet.
"I am a top level fighter and I am ready for the best out there - I know what I can do in the gym.
"People have seen the guys that I have been fighting and have been saying that I am going to beat them on points, but I have been doing a job on them early.
"I am ready to go to the next level and I am ready to go to the top."
With his third-round victory against Michael Lomax in Manchester in July, Brook secured a Lonsdale belt outright in just his 20th fight.
And he says that there's no way he's giving up his British title to Jennings.
"I could have by-passed Jennings, but I've always wanted this fight," said Brook.
"When I first turned professional Michael was one of the top guys out there, and I've always wanted to fight him.
"He's a good kid and I haven't got a bad word to say about him, but he's going to get beat.
"He's a great technical boxer and his name has always been up there, but he's no threat to me, no threat at all.
"When I was young I dreamed about winning the British title, and it's a dream come true to actually have the belt outright so I can show my kids and my grandkids.
"It's the best belt in the world and it's not going anywhere."
Tickets priced at £30 (Tier), £40 (Tier), £50 (Tier), £100 (Floor), £150 (Floor) and £200 (Ringside) are available from:
Liverpool Echo Arena
0844 8000 400
Buzzsaw Evans looking to cut through pro ranks
Bradley “Buzzshaw” Evans will look to continue his professional apprenticeship at the Watford Colosseum on September 5th when he has his third professional bout. The 20-year-old Royston super featherweight turned pro in February with a points victory before being held to a draw in his last outing which also came at the Watford Colosseum in May.
Evans will look to resume winning ways at the same venue next month as part of the undercard to the clash between Commonwealth Welterweight Champ John O’Donnell and upset specialist Tom Glover on a Hennessy Sports event which is live on ITV4
Evans found the awkward style of Latvian Jevgenijs Kirillovs difficult to get to grips with on his last outing but he says he learned a valuable lesson from the four round contest which was scored a draw. “I’ve had time to reflect on that fight and I know that I’m a lot better than that,” said Evans.
“I wasn’t at all happy with my performance. I still felt I did enough to get the win but the referee saw it differently so I need to make sure I leave no room for doubt in future.
“He had an unorthodox style and he was a very awkward guy to fight but you’re going to come across guys like that in the pros every now and again. Myself and my trainer Tony Sims have had a look at the tape and I’ve worked hard with Tony in the gym on correcting the mistakes I made in that fight.”
Evans enjoyed a glittering career in the unpaid ranks including winning the 2008 ABA Featherweight title and being awarded the best boxer of the night during that year’s championships. Despite his amateur pedigree Evans says he’s working hard on adjusting his style for the pro ranks.
“I think any new pro has to adapt their style somewhat. In the amateurs there’s a lot of emphasis on movement because it’s a case of getting in a scoring punch and then getting back out of range. In the pros though you need to be prepared to stay inside a bit more so you can do some damage. It means moving your head a lot more and working on your inside fighting but that’s something that’s improving every day in the gym.”
Evans has been joined at Tony Sims Hainault Gym by fellow new pro Bobby “Boogaloo” Ward who also features on the September 5th event at the Watford Colosseum. Ward’s record to date is identical to Evans with one win and a draw and Evans believes that the pair can remain unbeaten for a long time to come.
“We’re both campaigning around the same weight and we’re both at the same stages in our careers so we’re perfect sparring partners for one another right now. We’re both learning the game and working hard in the gym. Bobby’s a great prospect and the sparring really keeps me sharp.”
The two apprentices don’t need to look too far for inspiration with reigning Commonwealth Middleweight champ “Dazzling” Darren Barker currently the gym’s top star. “Darren’s a real inspiration to guys like myself and Bobby. He’s at the top of his game right now and a real example to us of just what it takes to get to that level. Hopefully we can follow in his footsteps over the next few years.”
Another Commonwealth champ tops the bill at the Watford Colosseum with Welterweight title holder John O’Donnell squaring off with Maldon’s Tom Glover. The chief support sees Lee Purdy and Peter McDonagh clash for the vacant Southern Area Welterweight title in a repeat of their first thrilling encounter last December that saw McDonagh emerge victorious on a narrow points decision.
Aside from Evans and Ward the undercard also features unbeaten light middleweight Steve O’Meara, and the latest prospects to role off the famous Brendan Ingle production line in Sheffield, heavyweight giant Richard Towers and the pro debut of Kid Galahad (subject to board approval). Tickets priced £35, £40 and £75 are available from the Ticketline box office on 0844 888 4402 or via www.ticketline.co.uk.
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