Pat McCormack adds World Championship silver to Russia bronze double

Pat McCormack

Three Great British stars are heading home with a medal after Pat McCormack secured a well-deserved silver medal in Russia.

McCormack had to settle for second place at the AIBA World Championships in Ekaterinburg after losing his welterweight final to Andrei Zamkovoi.

A clash of heads in the second round saw McCormack sustain a cut which led the contest to be stopped. It went to the judges’ who scored it 4:0 in favour of the Russian boxer.

McCormack, 24, said: “It’s been a good week for me and the team but I am gutted with how it ended. I felt like I was starting to get on top. That he was beginning to get tired, but the clash of heads put a stop to it. It’s just one of those things that happens sometimes in boxing.

“I am proud of my silver medal and how I have boxed this week. Not many people from Britain have been to a world final, so I am pleased to have got this far. It’s just a shame about the result.

“It is all about Tokyo now. After this last couple of weeks, I feel that me and the rest of the team are in good shape. We can be confident as we look forward to the Olympics next year.”

McCormack’s silver medal was the highlight of an excellent tournament for Great Britain. A trio of prizes across eight weight categories as light-heavyweight, Ben Whittaker and featherweight, Peter McGrail, both secured bronze to add to McCormack’s effort.

The medal haul ought to have been higher after Frazer Clarke won his super-heavyweight quarter-final against Russia’s Maxim Babanin, only to have the decision reversed by the bout review jury after the host nation appealed against the decision of the ringside judges.

The total of three medals is the joint second best performance ever by a group of boxers from Great Britain at the World Championships. It equals the performance of the group that competed at Chicago in 2007. Had Clarke’s medal not been taken away from him then the team would have equalled the four medals won by boxers from the GB Boxing squad at Baku 2011.


MCCRACKEN

GB Boxing’s Performance Director, Rob McCracken said: “The standard of this tournament is unbelievably high. To come away with three medals, and know it should have been more, is a fantastic performance.

“The fact we had six boxers in the quarter-finals shows we have strength across the weight categories in this group. It has been a really good team performance.

“All of the boxers and staff should be happy with what they have achieved out here over the last couple of weeks.

“Pat has been absolutely fantastic. It’s just very unfortunate that his final got stopped because of the clash of heads. It looked like he was really starting to come into the contest.

“Overall though, we are very happy with the progress we have seen at this tournament. The squad is going in the right direction.

“The outlook is positive as we look towards the qualifying campaign and the Olympics in Tokyo next year.”

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Thomas Mattice stuns previously unbeaten Michael Dutchover on ShoBox

Mattice

ShoBox: The New Generation veteran Thomas Mattice upset previously undefeated lightweight prospect Michael Dutchover.

An eighth-round cut caused by a Mattice punch ended the fight in his favor by technical knockdown in front of an enthusiastic crowd at La Hacienda Events Center in Dutchover’s hometown of Midland, Texas, on SHOWTIME.

Referee Robert Velez ruled Dutchover’s cut was caused by a Mattice clean right hand stopping the action at 1:33 of the eighth round. At the time of the stoppage, the three judges had the fight 67-66 Mattice, and 68-65 and 69-64 for Dutchover after seven rounds of action (Video of the decision HERE).

“I wanted a stoppage but not that kind of stoppage,” said Mattice (11-1-1, 11 KOs), who was appearing on ShoBox for a fifth time. “Round by round it was a tough fight.”

ShoBox expert analyst Steve Farhood said, “The doctor acted decisively,” later adding on the telecast: “In a very close fight, the deciding factor was the referee ruling that the cut was the result of legal punch instead of a head butt.”

Added fellow International Boxing Hall of Famer and blow-by-blow commentator Barry Tompkins: “It’s boxing, and you have to expect the unexpected.”

The 21-year-old Dutchover (13-1, 10 KOs) was making his second appearance on ShoBox, and fighting in his hometown for the first time as a professional. The last time he fought in his home state was an amateur in 2016 when he won the Texas Golden Gloves.

“I got cut with a big punch and it opened up and the ref said I couldn’t continue,” a disappointed Dutchover said. “I wanted to continue but they didn’t let me. “It was a great fight for the fans. The fight unfortunately got cut in the eighth round. I was up in the scorecards and I was going to finish the fight but it was out of my control, the referee stopped it and there’s nothing that I could do about it and that’s that.”

Dutchover entered the ring wearing the high school football jersey of Midland legend and former NFL star Cedric Benson, who was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident on August 17 in Austin (Video of Dutchover’s ring walk HERE).

Mattice held a five-and-a-half inch reach distance against Dutchover. “I kind of think that when I pushed him back he got in trouble, because he can’t really fight going backwards,” Mattice said. “Honestly, he couldn’t box with me, so I got my mind stuck on knocking him out to make it more competitive.

“My corner told me, ‘It’s the eighth round and we probably need a knockout.’ And that’s when I pressed him.”


In the co-feature, undefeated and highly regarded featherweight prospect Ruben Villa (17-0, 5 KOs) of Salinas, Calif., dominated Garcia Promotions’ prospect Enrique Vivas (17-1, 9 KOs) of Mexico City recording a 10-round unanimous decision shutout. The scores were 100-89 on all three judges’ scorecards (Video of Villa’s KO HERE).

A clean left hand in the second round set up by a Villa right jab sent Vivas to the canvas for the first time as a pro. Not known for his knockout power, Villa stepped into the punch for the clean knockdown.

“The knockdown definitely set the pace for the fight,” said Villa, who went the distance for the sixth consecutive fight and second straight at 10 rounds. “I just didn’t want to get too excited and knew I had to keep to my game plan.”

The loss by Vivas was the 190th time in ShoBox’s 19-year history that an undefeated boxer had lost his perfect record.

“I’m not happy with the decision,” Vivas said. “I feel I performed better than what the judges saw. I’m also not happy with my performance. I know I can do so much better than what I showed tonight.

Villa, who was fighting for the third time on ShoBox, displayed excellent defense and accuracy, landing 44 percent of his punches, including 59 percent of his power shots.

Four-division world champion Mikey Garcia said his fighter faced distractions during the fight and fight week. “He was never able to get in the groove of things, and Villa’s southpaw stand was tough,” Garcia said. “He also had a lot distractions trying to secure his visa during training camp. So all of these distractions might have played a role in his performance tonight. I’ll keep working with him, we’ll get him a few more fights and back at this level.”

Villa said he knew what to expect from Vivas. “We knew he was dirty,” he said. “We addressed it but we kind of fell into his game plan for about two rounds but we were able to get back on track.”

Both fighters stayed warm as a rope malfunction caused a delay for the sixth round.

Ranked No. 8 by the WBO, Villa said he wants to fight for a world title within the next 12 months. “Whatever comes next, I’m up for it,” Villa said. “I’m going to take a few weeks off, then it’s right back to the gym.”

In the telecast opener, welterweight prospect Brandun Lee (17-0, 15 KOs), of La Quinta, Calif., survived the toughest test of his young career with an impressive second-round knockout against Milton Arauz (10-2-1, 5 KOs) of Nicaragua (Video of Lee knockout punch HERE).

The 20-year-old Lee landed a straight right hand set up by a clean jab that blinded Arauz, who hit the canvas in the final seconds of the round as referee Daniel Sandoval called off the fight before the 10-count. It was an emphatic win for Lee in his national television debut, which Tompkins called “a thing of beauty.”

Lee was surprised that Arauz didn’t go down in the first round. “I’m not used to that so that was a huge wake-up call,” Lee said. “It’s more than just hitting hard; you have to also set up your punches. I kept throwing my jab, throwing my jab, then a hook, another hook and then I surprised him with a quick right. I learned that it’s more than just hitting hard. You can hit them hard but you are not going to knock them out all the time.

Fighting for the fifth time in 2019, the full-time college student Lee wasted no time getting started attacking Arauz in the first round with several blows that sent Arauz staggering against the ropes. Lee, who is trained by his father Bobby Lee, threw 109 punches in the first round.

Farhood said Lee’s knockout was a “pretty impressive national TV debut” and the second-round KO ended a streak of six consecutive first-round knockouts by Lee.

“I think I’m back in November,” Lee said. “I’m not sure when or where but I want to fight again this year.”

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Steven Donnelly crowned Ultimate Boxxer 5 champion in London

Steven Donnelly

Ballymena fighter Steven Donnelly took the next step in his professional career on Friday night. Donnelly emerged victorious amongst the super welterweights at Ultimate Boxxer 5, after an enthralling night of action at a sold-out Indigo at the O2 in London.

The 2016 Rio Olympian saw off the gutsy challenge of Lenny Fuller in the final. Donnelly followed up on a first-up victory over Ish O’Connor and a semi-final win over the teak-tough Sean Robinson, after he, in turn, had defeated Lewis Syrett in their opening clash.

‘It’s just unbelievable. The training has paid off. It’s been a tough six or seven weeks.’ the Golden Robe winner told Layla Anna-Lee, live on BT Sport after securing the tournament win.

‘We sparred hard in training, three or four rounds, then a 10-minute break by the side of the ring. Then we go again.

“We were prepared for anything that came our way. I proved that. I used my jab well. My boxing ability shone through in the end.

“It’s hard to switch from the amateurs to the pros, it’s a different game. I’m learning and I’m getting there,’ he added.

Donnelly, 31, made short work of O’Connor in the quarter-final. He secured the win via KO within the opening round.

A sterner test awaited in the last-four against former Southern Area title holder Robinson. Each of the three judges awarded the contest to the Northern Irishman, scoring the bout 29-28 to set up the final with Fuller.

In the other half of the draw, Fuller brutally dispatched Kingsley ‘Obi’ Egbunike within 32 seconds in the opening quarter-final of the night, while Joshua Ejakpovi saw off the gritty Kaan Hawes on points in their last-eight encounter.

However Ejakpovi – the more experienced fighter – could do little to stem the tide against a rampant Fuller in the semi-final with the Maidstone man awarded the contest by all three judges.

That set up a final against the three-time Commonwealth Games contender Donnelly. It proved to be one fight too many for the brave Fuller, who succumbed to a flurry of punches from the Northern Irishman halfway through the second round.

Donnelly left the arena as the Ultimate Boxxer 5 champion.


Results

QF1: Lenny Fuller bt Kingsley Egbunike (TKO)

QF2: Josh Ejakpovi bt Kaan Hawes (UD)

QF3: Sean Robinson bt Lewis Syrett (UD)

QF4: Steven Donnelly bt Ish O’Connor (KO)

SF1: Fuller bt Ejakpovi (UD)

SF2: Donnelly bt Robinson (UD)

F: Donnelly bt Fuller (TKO)

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Errol Spence sends ominous warning to Shawn Porter, promises ‘calculated knockout’

Errol Spence Jr. has promised a destructive performance against Shawn Porter before taking out the WBC champion in a calculated fashion.
Unbeaten IBF Welterweight Champion and Dallas hometown hero “The Truth” Spence Jr. hosted a media workout for fans Thursday at Texas Live! In Arlington as he nears his welterweight title unification clash against “Showtime”.

The event is headlining a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View on Saturday, September 28 from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

Tickets for the September 28th event, which is promoted by Man Down Promotions, TGB Promotions and Shawn Porter Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.

Spence met with fans and showed off his skills along with head trainer Derrick James at Thursday’s open to the public event, which also featured DJ Bay Bay from KKDA-FM in Dallas.

ERROL SPENCE JR.

“Anyone who doubts me just motivates me to keep grinding and go even harder. They can keep doubting me but I’m going to stay focused and train hard.

“Everything I said I’d do in a fight I’ve done so far. I expect a knockout and that’s what’s going to happen on September 28.

“There are parts of Shawn’s game that I know I can exploit. We work hard to be ready for any kind of style he tries to bring. I’m mentally preparing to break him down and make it a calculated knockout.

“The winner of this fight is definitely going to be the best welterweight in the world. There’s no way around it. Being a unified champion and stamping my place in the division makes me even hungrier to win.

“I’m looking to make a statement by being the first person to knock Shawn out. I showed people that I have the great boxing skills against Mikey Garcia, and now I’m going to remind everyone about my power on September 28.

“I’m different than anybody Shawn’s ever fought. I’m not Keith Thurman and I’m not Danny Garcia. Shawn has been in a lot of close fights with great fighters, but I’m going to bring something he’s never seen before.”

“I’m going to listen to my coach and stick to the game plan he’s giving me. None of the outside noise and nothing Shawn can say is going to knock me off track.

“Kenny Porter has been an assistant coach for me in the past during the amateurs, but I don’t think it’s going to have an impact on this fight. You can see a fighter’s strengths and weaknesses on film without having to be in the gym with them.”


DERRICK JAMES, Spence’s Trainer

“Both fighters are very familiar with each other and that should make this a really exciting fight for boxing fans. Shawn and Errol are both going to have to make adjustments on the fly and whoever executes better is going to be victorious.

“Errol is ready to go 12 rounds if he needs, but we know that we have a game plan to get this knockout. It’s definitely something that Errol is looking for to make the statement that he wants.

“I know that Errol is focused only on what he has in front of him. He knows the style that Shawn brings into the ring and because of it, you have to be mentally there 100 percent. Or he can wear you down. I don’t expect Errol to have any trouble with any aggressive tactics from Shawn.”

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Billy Joe Saunders explains decision to fight on YouTube star bill in Los Angeles

World Champion Billy Joe Saunders has explained his decision to compete on the undercard of a fight involving two YouTube stars on November 9.

Saunders will make his long-awaited US debut when he defends his WBO Super-Middleweight World title for the first time on the blockbuster KSI vs. Logan Paul 2 show at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

The event is live on the world’s number one sports app, DAZN.

Saunders (28-0, 13 KOs) became a two-weight World Champion with a shutout points win over Shefast Isufi in Stevenage earlier this year, outclassing his Serbian opponent over 12 rounds to land the WBO 168lbs title.

The Hatfield southpaw’s first World title came against Irish fight legend Andy Lee at Manchester Arena in December 2015 when he floored the former champion twice in the third round on route to a majority decision to claim the WBO Middleweight crown.

Saunders signed a promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing in August and is out to impress on his big DAZN debut later this year as he aims to secure megafights with the likes of Callum Smith, Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez.

“It feels like my professional debut all over again,” said Saunders. “I’m very excited to fight in front of the American fans for the first time in my professional career. The STAPLES Center is an unbelievable venue and I’m hearing that 20,000 people are expected to be packed in on the night.

“It’s a great chance to get some new fans onboard and a chance to capitalise on putting my name in the big lights in America. The KSI vs. Logan Paul rematch has really captured the imagination of the British and American public and it’s something that sells. Fair play to them both, it’s going to be a great show.

“People say, ‘oh you’re on the undercard’, but I feel like we’re all sharing the show, we’re all absorbing that energy off the fans. I’ve seen the numbers they attract, over six million people watched the press conference alone, and all eyes will be on us on November 9.

“I’m looking forward to making my debut with Matchroom Boxing live on DAZN. There’s been some brilliant names signed to DAZN recently and there’s some big names on the platform. It’s time to really put my impressing shoes on and put my name out there for those big fights to be made.”

“I’m really pleased for Billy that he will get to make his US debut on November 9 at the superb STAPLES Center,” said Eddie Hearn. “Everyone in the sport knows that he is one of the best out there at 160lbs and 168lbs and he wanted the opportunity to prove that he IS the best.

 

“This event will be huge with a chance for Billy to box in front of a massive global audience of boxing fans and a casual audience that we hope will fall in love with our sport. A strong performance in November can set up all the mega fights for him in 2020.”

Saunders’ opponent will be announced next week.

General sale tickets are available to purchase now via www.axs.com

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World-rated American contender completes 140 pound Golden Contract line-up

Undefeated American starlet Logan Yoon has been confirmed as the final contestant for the super-lightweight Golden Contract tournament starting in London on November 22.

The 20-year-old ‘Korican Kid’ (16-0, 12 KOs) is ranked No. 13 by the WBA and now has his chance to earn global fame alongside competition rivals Ohara Davies, Tyrone McKenna, Zhankosh Turarov, Akeem Ennis Brown, Mohamed Mimoune, Anthony Yigit and Darren Surtees.

A proud native of Hawaii, Yoon’s entry provides a new and relatively unknown element to an intriguing mix of hopefuls that will fight live on Sky Sports in the UK in association with Matchroom and on ESPN+ in the U.S in association with Top Rank.

Yoon said: “I’m delighted to be entering the MTK Global #GoldenContract tournament.

“I can’t wait to hop into that ring in London, showcase my talents and to prove that I’m the best super-lightweight boxer in the world.”

MTK Global Professional Development Coordinator Jamie Conlan said: “We’re delighted to welcome Logan into this tournament and complete the line-up for the super-lightweights.

“Everyone who’s taken even a passing interest in boxing knows the Americans have produced many of the greatest fighters of all time and who knows how far Yoon canl go? Winning this tournament could propel him to instant stardom.

“It’s now a healthy mix of talent more familiar to UK fans alongside some very dangerous international fighters like Yoon who are looking to announce themselves in emphatic style.

“We’re less than two weeks away from the featherweight draw for the first #GoldenContract show on October 4 and now the super-lightweight entries are full as well, the anticipation is cranked up another notch.”


The eight featherweights in Ryan Walsh, Davey Oliver Joyce, Leigh Wood, Tyrone McCullagh, Jazza Dickens, Hairon Socarras, Carlos Araujo and Carlos Ramos kick off the tournament at London’s York Hall before the super-lightweight quarter-finals on November 22 at the same venue.

Further news of the light-heavyweight division, with the likes of Hosea Burton, Steven Ward, Liam Conroy, Bob Ajisafe and Serge Michel already confirmed, will be forthcoming in due course.

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Alex Dilmaghani v Francisco Fonseca switches to Bolton on Sept 28

Alex Dilmaghani

North-west fight fans get a second chance to savour the smooth southpaw skills of soaring super-featherweight Alex Dilmaghani when the fast rising star tops the Premier Suite, University of Bolton Stadium, Bolton on Saturday 28th September, exclusively live on Channel 5 from 9pm.

The classy 28-year-old from Crayford, Kent, who enters on an incredible eight and a half year unbeaten streak and who earned lavish plaudits when he returned to Britain from a five year campaign in North America – to defeat the Slovakian hard case Martin Parlagi at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse in late May – shall be seeking to smash his way into the world ranking’s by neutralising Nicaragua’s nuclear hitting and two-time World title challenger Francisco Fonseca.

The high-grade contenders collide over 12 rounds for the Vacant WBA International belt – and a guaranteed world rating – in a salivating contrast of styles that stands as a world title eliminator in all but name. The show will be promoted by Mick Hennessy in association with Steve Wood VIP Boxing Promotions, screened live in the UK on free-to-air Channel Five and 5Spike.

Originally, Dilmaghani was scheduled to headline for the first time in his home county of Kent but due to unforeseen venue difficulties with The Mote Park Theatre, promoter Hennessy has switched to where dazzler Dilma was so well received in late spring.

The frighteningly focussed Southampton University law graduate who took himself to Mexico to learn under legendary trainer Nacho Beristain and alongside the great Juan Manuel Marquez is unlikely to be unsettled by the late switch, but promoter Hennessy tendered the following explanation.

‘We apologise to the fans who were expecting Alex to headline in Kent for the first time, but at this short notice we have had no alternative but to move the fight,”

‘Nevertheless, we’re delighted to work again in association with renowned promoter Steve Wood and his VIP Boxing Promotions team who already had a great show in place for that date and now with Dilmaghani v Fonseca added as the main event, together we are thrilled to present a fantastic evening of Championship Boxing, live on Channel 5,”

‘Alex will get a fabulous opportunity to show why he is the dangerman in the 130lb division and why he has been avoided like the plague by his rivals. This is a real fight for Alex against a hard and experienced fighter in Fonseca who only has two very competitive losses against elite world level fighters in Gervonta Davis and Tevin Farmer. I’m seriously excited about this fight and I can’t wait to see Alex perform to his best and show precisely what I have been talking about – that’s he’s boxing’s best kept secret.”

Chief support on the talent stacked undercard sees undefeated starlets Jack ‘The Giant Killer’ Flatley and Harry ‘Hammer Time’ Scarff fight it out over 10 rounds for the former’s English super-welter title. Bolton wonder Flatley, a former national amateur finalist at both junior and senior level, is yet to be beaten in 16 but the ex-England international can expect to be stretched right to the limit by 7-0 Derby six footer Scarff in a mouthwatering match-up.

Wood is thrilled to add the premium Dilmaghani-Fonseca title showdown to top his already quality stacked show and deliver fans a thrilling night of action. He said, “It was short notice, but I’m pleased that VIP Boxing Promotions could assist Mick Hennessy and Channel 5. We’re excited to add the International title fight between Dilmaghani and Fonseca to the show that will compliment the English title showdown between the unbeaten contenders Flatley and Scarff, plus some of our best young talent will get tremendous exposure on 5Spike.”

Promoter Hennessy’s son, Michael Hennessy Jr, an all action middleweight who is undefeated in two, is set to feature in a six rounder and a full undercard featuring several of Steve Wood’s rising talents is set to garnish an unmissable night of entertainment.

Passions are sure to run high when Darwen’s robust Mickey Ellison (9-2) locks horns with Manchester technician Charlie Schofield (unbeaten in 16) in a seriously spicy looking eliminator for the English super-middleweight belt.

Popular Wigan welterweight James Moorcroft and Oldham’s turbo charged Andy Kremner will be banking to triumph in separate six rounders before clashing against each other back at the Bolton Whites in December. The former goes up against Manchester circuit fighter Sam Omidi whilst the returning Kremner seeks to become the first to stop Cannock tough man Lee Gunter.

Prestwich pressure fighter Sean Ben Mulligan, beaten just once in 11, endeavours to edge yet further up the domestic super-welter rankings by prevailing in a Roses rumble with 71 fight Driffield warmonger Danny ‘Lethal’ Little.

 

Wigan lightweight Rhiannon Dixon debuts over four rounds against nine fight Lithuanian Vaida Maseokaite, a regular visitor to these shores.

Stretford’s Bradley Rea, Wigan’s Andrew Fleming and Stockport’s Jack Booth are three local lads who’ll be seeking to extend their perfect slates. Middleweight Rea, described as ‘a serious talent’ by promoter Wood, will be hoping to go seven-up in an Anglo-Scottish affair with Stranraer’s significantly more seasoned Paul Allison. Also over six, Fleming, a strong super-lightweight southpaw, intends to stretch his streak to eight against an opponent still to be announced while Matthew Hatton’s all-action super-middle starlet Booth will be looking to defuse ‘Baltic Bomber’ Genadij Krejevskij from Lithuania in an intriguing international four-rounder.

Hennessy Sports would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to the supporters and local fighters on the original card. Members of the public who have purchased tickets for the Mote Park Theatre can go to their original point of purchase for a full refund.

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