Boxing


UK Boxing: Callum Johnson; Tony Bellew; Paul Appleby

British great Naseem Hamed has backed new pro Callum Johnson to become a world champion inside three years.b Hamed, who made fifteen defences of his WBO World Featherweight title and the lit up boxing in the 90s with his flamboyant style and explosive punching, makes a welcome return to boxing and is applying to the British Boxing Board of Control to be Johnson's manager. Johnson, 25, won gold for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi earlier this year and makes his glittering debut on December 4 at the Braehead Arena, Glasgow..

Ricky Burns will headline, making the first defence of his WBO World Super-Featherweight title against Andreas Evensen, live on Sky Sports 1HD.

Johnson will be promoted by Frank Warren, and Hamed believes he can follow in his footsteps and lift a world title.

"When Callum lands with that left hook, no light-heavyweight in the world will be a able to take his power," said Hamed.

"It's the sweetest left hook I've seen in ages and people are going to be crumbling before him.

"He's got explosive power and he really is a man for the big occasion.

"I'm so pleased that I can start putting something back into boxing starting with Callum, and because I won't be managing too many boxers, it means I can really concentrate on making him a star.

"He's definitely going to be a world champion, and I think he can do it inside three years.

"He is a breath of fresh air and really exciting, and I am delighted to be starting my managerial career with him.

"With Frank Warren promoting him, Callum is going to do Scotland, England and Britain proud.

"I've got very happy memories of what I achieved in Scotland, but Callum can do even better.

"I saw him box at the Commonwealth Games and I was very impressed with the way in which he performed.

"I think British boxing has got a real talent on its hands."

Johnson, who qualified for Scotland for the Commonwealth Games through his grandmother and boxes out of Lincoln, added: "It's fantastic to be making my debut on such a big show in Glasgow.

"Naz has been telling me about some of his experiences in Scotland, and if I can achieve just a fraction of what he did, then I will be very happy.

"I believe I can go all the way in this sport, and I can't wait to get things started on December 4.

"Naz was an inspiration when I was growing up, and a whole generation of fighters want to be like him.

"To have him managing me is a dream come true, while I couldn't have got a better promoter than Frank Warren.

"Just look at what he did for Naz's career - now I'm hoping that he can do the same to me.

"Winning gold for Scotland was one of the proudest moments of my career.

"My grandmother had tears in her eyes when Flower of Scotland was played at the arena. But now I want to win a world title for Britain."

Tickets for Monarch of the Glen, priced at 50, 75 and 100, are available from:

Braehead Arena
0844 499 1700
www.braehead-arena.co.uk


BELLEW OUT TO DESTROY McKENZIE

Commonwealth Light-Heavyweight Champion Tony "Bomber" Bellew has vowed to "destroy" Ovill McKenzie on December 11.

The fight will feature as part of Frank Warren's huge Return of the Magnificent Seven extravaganza at the Liverpool Echo Arena.

And Bellew has vowed to put on a scintillating performance on the night against former title-holder McKenzie.

"I'm looking to destroy McKenzie on December 11," said unbeaten scouser Bellew.

"He's got bags of experience and plenty of names on his record and what better place to do it than in front of my own fans on a massive night for boxing.

"McKenzie is the perfect opponent because he comes to fight and is very, very dangerous, which will make me perform to my best.

"I'm going to steal the show on December 11 and show everyone that I'm back to my best.
Bellew is gunning for a domestic showdown with big rival Nathan Cleverly that could happen next year.

"The man I want is Nathan Cleverly, and between now and this time next year I want to put in a string of performances that means that fight has to happen.

"I like Nathan, he's a great champion. But will he be able to cope with my bombs when I start landing on him? Definitely not.

"I've not seen him fight under pressure yet, and believe me, I'll put him under pressure."

Tickets for the Return of the Magnificent Seven, priced at 40, 50, 100, 150 and 250, are available from:

The Liverpool Echo Arena
0844 800 0400
www.echoarena.com

Ticketmaster
0844 844 0444
www.ticketmaster.co.uk

See Tickets
0871 220 0260
www.seetickets.com


APPLEBY TAKES ON LARYEA FOR INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE

Scottish ace Paul Appleby will face tough African opposition when he aims to gatecrash the world rankings on December 4.

The talented Scotsman will challenge for the WBO Intercontinental super-featherweight title at the Braehead Arena, Glasgow, live on Sky Sports 1HD.

And he's hoping victory will put him on the path for an all-Scottish blockbuster world title clash with Ricky Burns.

A win could see the 23-year-old enter the WBO's top 15.

Appleby will take on Ghana's Joseph Laryea over 12 rounds, his first fight at the distance since losing his British title against Martin Lindsay.

"It's great to be back in title contention," said Appleby, a former Boxing Writers' Young Boxer of the Year award winner.

"I've felt fantastic in my last two fights, and now it's time to step up to the next level.

"I'm not taking Laryea at all lightly because these fighters from Africa are always dangerous.

"I watched Liam Walsh's fight against Maxwell Awuku a couple of weeks ago, and he was given everything he could handle.

"I'm hoping that Laryea comes to fight because I want to prove that I am one of the best super-featherweights in the UK right now.

"I've had a look at his record and it's decent one, and in his last fight he won the Ghanaian super-featherweight title, so he's no mug."

Tickets for Monarch of the Glen, priced at 50, 75 and 100, are available from:

Braehead Arena
0844 499 1700
www.braehead-arena.co.uk

Article posted on 19.11.2010



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