Boxing


Wright-Place in works; Byrne in action on 7/9; Paul Edwards faces Chris Edwards on 6/11

THROWBACK fighter Nigel Wright could make the next defence of his English light-welterweight championship against unbeaten Manchester hopeful Karl Place. Promoter Frank Maloney believes the winner would also become mandatory challenger for Ashley Theophane’s British crown.

Co-Durham’s Wright (24-6-1) made an impressive second title defence on Saturday handing out a boxing lesson to previously unbeaten Nicki Smedley in Sheffield.

Maloney said: “I have been lucky enough to work with Nigel during his career and he is like an old school fighter. He was flawless against Smedley.

“He reminds me a lot of former British light-welterweight champion from the 1970s, Joey Singleton.

“They both lose occasionally, but even in defeat rarely put in a bad performance. There are few better professionals in Britain.

“I hope to speak with Nigel’s manager Gus Robinson and seeing if they fancy Place next, and I am hopeful especially if it is a British title eliminator.

“People keep telling me that Karl is a special fighter in the making. We would find out in that for sure if he fought Nigel. If you beat Nigel you go places, but not many people seem to right now”

Wright has gone close in major title fights against Lenny Daws and world ranked Ajose Olusegun and Maloney added: “Nigel is still only 31 and I would love to get him another big fight.

“He is in the form of his life and it would also be nice for Gus and Nigel’s trainer Peter Cope, who are most probably the easiest people in boxing to deal with.

“Nigel has been loyal to them for a lot of years and that is good to see in an era where so many fighters seem to think the grass is greener on the other side.”

First though Karl must deal with the very tricky Michael Grant on June 11th in Liverpool.

IRISH STAR BYRNE FEATURES ON BIG EXCEL SHOW

Frank Warren's new Irish signing Dean Byrne will make his debut for the promoter on the big Excel show in London on July 9th.

Unbeaten in 14 fights, "Irish Lightning" is aiming for the very top - and a world title shot within 18 months.

The 26-year-old, who fights at welterweight, boxed for Ireland as an amateur, but won the Australian light-welterweight title as a professional.

That came after he emigrated to Australia, winning and defending the belt in his fifth and sixth fights.

Globe-trotting Byrne then switched to California, where he teamed up with Freddie Roach at his Wild Card Gym in California.

Six more wins followed in the States, before Byrne then fought twice in his native Dublin.

Now he's ended up in London - and finds himself on Warren's North 'n' South card, headlined by the big clash between John Murray and Kevin Mitchell.

He joins other Irish stars in Warren's stable, including Stephen Ormond and Gary "Spike" O'Sullivan.

"I've heard really good things about Dean, and I'm looking forward to seeing him in action," said Warren.

"There have been some great Irish fighters over the years, and I know Byrne wants to join the likes of Steve Collins and Barry McGuigan as a world champion.

"He's traveled all over the world already, so he's got a mature head on his shoulders, and I'm sure that will stand him good stead."

Byrne added: "I can't wait to fight on July 9. I've not boxed since Christmas so I'm feeling fresh, and I've got a real hunger for this fight."

Paul Edwards vs. Chris Edwards on 6/11

LITTLE big man Paul Edwards is out to steal the thunder from his 18 stone mate David Price next week.

The pair share top-billing their hometown at Liverpool Olympia on Saturday June 11 on Frank Maloney’s latest blockbuster show.

Olympic bronze medallist Price (10-0) faces John McDermott (26-7) in a fascinating British heavyweight title eliminator.

British flyweight champion Paul Edwards (8-0) makes his first title defence against Commonwealth king Chris Edwards (15-14-3).

Edwards won the title when he stopped Shinny Bayaar on a first round cuts stoppage last December and said: “To defend the British title in Liverpool is a dream come true.

“It is brilliant to be fighting on the same bill as Pricey, and hopefully we will make it a special night for Liverpool boxing.”

By the end of this year Maloney expects Edwards to be challenging for European honours and the 2005 ABA title is convinced he’ll become ‘Lord of the Flys’ as a professional.

Edwards, 24, said: “I see a European title down the line, but I need a bit more experience.

“I have never done more than six rounds. If I can get in a couple of 12rounders, I will fight for it.”

Maloney added: “Apart from heavyweight boxing, the flyweights have always been my favourite division

"It is fantastic that the division is coming alive in Britain again and I believe Paul can be the flag bearer.

Other fighters on the talent stacked card include Derry Mathews (27-5) who boxes George Watson (8-4-2), Karl Place (13-0) who comes up against Chad Gaynor (5-0), Rick Godding (13-0), John Quigley (2-0), Liam Vaughan (2-0), Ryan Farrag (3-0) and Anthony Smith.

The show will be televised live by Sky Sports.

Tickets priced £35 and £65 are available0871 226 1508 or www.frankmaloney.com

Article posted on 03.06.2011



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