Boxing


Prizefighter: Moran eager to make up for lost time; Casey Meets Moran

Mark Moran returns to the ring at Prizefighter Super Bantamweights on Saturday May 29, 13 months after a vital operation saved his career. The Liverpudlian faces unbeaten Willie “Big Bang” Casey in the opening fight of Barry Hearn’s latest eight-man, one night tournament and he is targeting title shot should he cap a remarkable run of events in his life.

“This is a big chance for me,” said Moran. “I've always fancied Prizefighter and a few good performances here will make up for the 13 months out. That would push me up the ratings towards a British title which is where I want to be again..

In his last outing in April 2009, Jason Booth inflicted the first defeat of his career with a sixth round stoppage in their British title bout, but Moran faced a greater fight immediately after a needing an emergency operation to save his career.

“I underperformed against Booth but I couldn't train up to the fight the way that I wanted to,” said the 28 year-old. “I couldn't do any running because I was suffering with pains in my legs and a sore back, but I didn't want to pull out so I still boxed. After the fight I went to the doctors because my balance was off and I couldn't do any training. I went for an MRI scan and they found a tumour on my spinal cord which was causing the mobility problems and hindering my training. That had to be removed a week later it was that urgent and the doctor said that if they didn't act that I would be paralysed when I'm older regardless of the boxing. The operation wasn't plain sailing but since the operation my training has got better, my legs have got stronger and my running has picked up too.

“My last performance was way under par but now I've had the operation I am desperate to show people what I am capable of.”

Prior to the defeat against Booth, Moran had won 11 of his 12 fights with one draw, and as he prepares to fight outside of the north-west of England for the first time he is in no doubt that he has the right tactics for what promises to be an explosive night in east London.

“This Prizefighter is going to be the best yet – we're lighter so we're more active and throw more punches. I think the standard of the boxers is very high but also close so it will be the most competitive.

“I think there's a way of going about it where you can pick your shots and move rather than getting into a nine-minute fight if you like. I've been practicing on being more technical and that's what my training has been based on, using my head rather than getting into a fight a slugging it out.

“I've been to shows at York Hall before and I like the atmosphere so I'm looking forward to getting out there on the night.”

While he is focused on getting past the dangerous Casey in the opening fight, the Liverpool FC supporter did allow himself to dream as to what might happen if he managed to get another shot at the title.

“To win the British title and take it out at Anfield, shake the player’s hands and get cheered by the crowd, that'd be amazing,” said Moran. “I played there for St Patrick's Junior School years ago before they played Coventry and I got man of the match. It was half full but the crowd was amazing, people say you can feel the atmosphere and the roar and they are right because I can still hear the roar now.”

Tickets for Prizefighter Super-Bantamweights are available now at £35 (unreserved), £60 (ringside) and £100 (VIP) – call Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900.


PRIZEFIGHTER KICKS OFF WITH “BIG BANG” AS CASEY MEETS MORAN

Darts legend Phil “The Power” Taylor makes the draw for Super Bantamweight night

Willie “Big Bang” Casey and Mark Moran will kick off Prizefighter Super Bantamweights at York Hall, Bethnal Green on Saturday May 29.

The draw for Barry Hearn’s latest eight-man, one night tournament was made by Darts legend Phil "The Power" Taylor ahead of the Whyte & Mackay Premier League Play-offs at Wembley Arena.

Unbeaten Irishman Casey has won four of his fives fights by knockout and issued a warning to the rest of the line-up, saying: “I’m not called Big Bang for nothing.” Liverpool’s Moran has been out of action for 13 months through injury and will face a stern test against the 28 year-old.

Former Commonwealth, European and British title holder Esham Pickering faces Barnsley's Josh Wale in the second quarter-final with the winners of those two fights face each other in the opening semi-final.

The third quarter-final sees Commonwealth gold medallist Jamie Arthur face Welshman Robbie Turley, with unbeaten Ricky Owen facing Yorkshireman Gavin Reid in the final quarter-final.

Tickets for Prizefighter Super-Bantamweights are available now at £35 (unreserved), £60 (ringside) and £100 (VIP) – call Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900.

THE DRAW

Quarter-finals

Mark Moran v Willie Casey
Esham Pickering v Josh Wale
Robbie Turley v Jamie Arthur
Gavin Reid v Ricky Owen

Semi-finals

Moran/Casey v Pickering/Wale
Turley/Arthur v Reid/Owen

Article posted on 24.05.2010



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