OLEKSANDR USYK VS. TONY BELLEW PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

Eddie Hearn:

“Good afternoon everyone and welcome to Manchester. The big fights just keep on coming after a fantastic weekend at Wembley Stadium in front of 80,000 people where Anthony Joshua defended his World titles in a brilliant fight against Alexander Povetkin. We bring you now what I believe is fight of the year, Tony Bellew challenging Oleksandr Usyk for the WBO, WBA, IBF, WBC and Ring Magazine World Championship titles – the first ever four belt undisputed fight ever in British boxing history and a massive event on November 10, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN across America as well. We have a huge night of boxing planned and already very few tickets left, we went on sale at midday today. There’s British Championship fights on the card between Ryan Walsh and Isaac Lowe, Scotty Cardle challenging Joe Cordina and Anthony Crolla here today will be in a Final Eliminator for the WBA title against Daud Yordan, back in the arena that has seen him in so many great fights. Josh Kelly will be on the card defending his WBA International title as well.”

Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing:

“It was another magnificent occasion at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night in front of 80,000 people. I’ve got to pinch myself a little bit, being amongst not only Tony Bellew today, but Oleksandr Usyk and Vasyl Lomachenko – pound for pound greats. This is a fantastic era, it’s wonderful that these guys are giving us the best entertainment in the ring and we never forget that the fighters are what matters most. When Eddie told me about this matchup I had to sit down, Tony is going in after the double over David Haye and I’ve admired Oleksadnr Usyk for some years now.”

Gilberto Mendoza, President of the World Boxing Association:

“Good afternoon everyone, thank you England for once again welcoming the WBA. To have Tony Bellew fighting for one of the WBA World titles against one of the best boxers in the sport right now and a pound-for-pound star is great. The fight will be very interesting. We are always looking to put on the best fights for the fans. It’s also an honour to have Antony Crolla fighting in an eliminator for the WBA World title. It’s going to be a great night of boxing and I’m really pleased this is happening in England.”

Alex Karassyuk, K2 Promotions:

“It’s a great pleasure being here introducing such a great event on November 10. First of all, I would like to give huge credit to Eddie and his partners Sky Sports for the job they have done in recent years, giving new life to British boxing and boxing in the whole World. I hope our cooperation will not just be within one fight or two fights, but we will be able to bring some top-level events to Britain, Ukraine and the rest of the World. I would like to say some pleasant words to the true warrior, the lion heart that we respect so much, Tony Bellew. He proved many times that being an underdog does not mean being a loser. Of course, I will be supporting Usyk on November 10, but I want to wish Tony good luck and a successful training camp. Usyk is just extraordinary, he’s one in a million. Together we have accomplished every boxers’ dream within just 15 fights. In five years we collected all of the belts in the division. Now we are here in the native land of boxing. This matchup is something the World was waiting for, the winner will get all of these amazing belts and probably book a place in the boxing Hall of Fame. This is history in the making.”

Egis Klimas, manager of Oleksandr Usyk:

“I’m very proud to represent the best Cruiserweight in the division right now. I can say that for sure it is going to be a very tough fight. It’s not going to be an easy walk in the park. As we know, Tony is a very good fighter. Both of these guys want a challenge. Oleksandr doesn’t just want to defend his belts, he wants a challenge, just like Tony did during his age. He was the best Cruiserweight and there was nobody left for him to fight so he stepped into the Heavyweight division, that says a lot. Now that he has a challenge, he says ‘screw it, I’m coming down, I want a challenge and I want those belts’. That’s why I think this is going to be a very good bout.”

Anthony Crolla – Manchester, England – 33-6-3, 13 KO’s –  fighting Daud Yordan in a Final Eliminator for the WBA Lightweight World title:

“It’s a huge fight and I think mine and Daud Yordan’s styles will gel nicely, it’s going to be a great fight. There’s a lot of people going on about me being on the undercard for the first time in a while, but I’m honoured to be on the card with two fantastic fighters, I go way back with Tony Bellew. I’m just happy to be back in Manchester. It’s been a bit of a slow year with injuries and stuff, but I believe I’m better than ever. In the gym I’m improving and I’m looking forward to being back. I’d never be disrespectful and call Vasyl Lomachenko out but if he ever wants to fight in England and if I win on November 10 then there’s a good chance that fight happens, I’d love to get in the ring with him, he’s a fantastic fighter and one of the best fighters on the planet. It’s something that I’d look forward to, of course.”

Dave Coldwell, trainer of Tony Bellew:

“It’s something that I look at as a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m fortunate enough to have worked with Tony for a number of years and for me, to have the kind of fighter that he is and to have taken the fights that he has, that’s once in a lifetime stuff. To cap it off with an undisputed Cruiserweight World title fight is as big as it gets, it’s for all of the marbles, it’s the pinnacle.

“I wanted him to retire and walk away after the last David Haye fight. I saw Usyk call Tony’s name straight after winning the World Super Series during his interview in the ring and I thought ‘oh sh*t we’re going again’. I just knew, I didn’t have to text him or anything, I just knew it was a fight that was going to happen. So, we’re here and it’s a massive challenge but it’s only fitting. He’s a man that everyone loves to give zero chance. Now he’s showing his metal, his heart and his determination because there’s something there that he wants and he’s going to put it all on the line once more, we can’t wait.”

Oleksandr Usyk – Kiev, Ukraine – 15-0, 11 KO’s – Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion of the World – defending his belts against Tony Bellew:

“I’m sure it won’t be an easy fight for me and I’m really glad to come back to England, the country which gave me a chance to get some trophies already, that mean a lot in my life. I’m not thinking about Tony Bellew at this moment, I’m just concentrating on my training camp and thinking about how I will overcome all of the challenges ahead of me before the fight. I’m not a monster, I’m a white rabbit. I picked Tony Bellew because he is the man that takes the biggest challenges. He is not the usual type of fighter that will come, see how hard it is and quit. He will come to fight until the end. These are the kind of fights that the World wants to see.”

Tony Bellew – Liverpool, England – 30-2-1, 20 KO’s – former WBC Cruiserweight Champion of the World – challenging undisputed Cruiserweight World Champion Oleksandr Usyk:

“Everyone asks why. I was on my honeymoon and for one reason or another I was stood there watching Oleksandr beat-up Murat Gassiev on a mobile phone. The fight stops, and then he makes the ultimate sin and he says my name, and it didn’t take long. As soon as he said my name I knew. When I was watching the phone, I knew.

“The World’s going to write me off, and the more you write me off the more I want to fight. We will see. I’m going up against the monster, the man who nobody really wants to fight. The man who just dismantles fighters and beats them easily. Make no mistake, he’s looking past me already. He might say he’s not, but he’s already asking Eddie ‘who am I going to fight at Heavyweight’. He thinks I’m arrogant. It is not arrogance that he sees, for the first time in his whole career he sees a man looking back at him that believes he can win, and not a man that believes he’s just going to lose. I don’t just think or believe, I know. I’m going to find a way, I always do. You will have to nail me to the floor, you will have to nail me to the floor to keep me there.

“I’ve got no disrespectful things to say to him, he’s an amazing Champion. On November 10 he’s going to learn that I bring something different to everyone else. I have the one thing that he doesn’t have, and that’s a punch that can switch lights off within the blink of an eye. One wrong step or one wrong manoeuvre, and it’s over. Every time that I’m wrote off I always find a way and on November 10 it’s going to be no different.”

LIVERPOOL’S WILLIS: ‘I’M GUNNING FOR SEAN DODD AND SCOTT CARDLE’

With his hand troubles behind him, Liverpool’s Luke Willis is gunning for the big names from the British lightweight division as heads into his next outing on September 29 at Liverpool’s Olympia.

The Scouser has cruised to 7-0 (1) with the use of just one mitt but, after a successful operation, says he is now firing on all cylinders and is willing to take on all-comers.

The VIP Promotions’ Olympia card is headlined by Skelmersdale’s Steve Brogan fighting for the Central Area Lightweight belt again Yorkshire’s Brad Botham, live on vipboxing.tv.  Confident Willis wants the chance to box for that title next; as well as fancying his chances against Birkenhead’s former Commonwealth champ Sean ‘Masher’ Dodd, and ex-British champion Scott Cardle.

“I can box, fight and counter-punch, but my best attribute is hitting and not getting hit,” explained Luke.  “When someone comes at me, when I’m in a 50-50 fight, then you’ll see the best of me.  I’m training well, and my hand is sound, and you’ll see at this next show and then the big fights afterwards that [manager] Steve [Wood] has promised me.

“Steve Brogan is a good friend of mine, but if it got offered and we both took it, then great.  Steve’s a friend but I’m levels above him, and he’d say so himself.  I’ll fight anyone; if you’re not in my gym, then you’re not on my team and you’re against me.  That’s my attitude.

“The fight I’m gunning for though is Sean Dodd, or Cardle.  They’re the two fighters I really want; I want their scalps on my record.  I’ve got the beating of them, and I want to test myself.  I want the opportunity and I’m ready for them right now.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re game fighters and I’m not saying they’d be scared of me, but once my name gets mentioned they know they’ll have their work cut out.  In the boxing world, people know I’m a handful.”

Willis is from a notable Liverpool fighting family that includes his uncle Tony, a one-time Olympic medallist, and former British Lightweight Champion.  Southpaw Luke is keen to point out though that, although he has been fighting all his life, he has made his own way in the sport.  The 27-year-old, who has plenty of fight-game insiders believing in his ability, is convinced, with the right backing and opportunities, he can go all the way.

“I’ve been boxing since I was a baby.  It’s in my blood, it’s who I’ve been brought up to be.  When I was about eleven, Tony was a bit of an inspiration, but it’s more about the name and having something to live up to.  There’s a bit of pressure because I’m a Willis, but them as people, they’ve been no inspiration, they’ve never helped me.  Don’t get me wrong, Tony and Kenny were quality boxers, I can’t take that away from them, but I can’t speak about people I don’t know.  I want to outdo them, Tony won a British Title, so I want to win a European or World belt.  I want to do one better and show I’m cut from a different cloth.

“I don’t want to be sitting here saying I can be world champion but, genuinely, with decent sponsors and Steve [Wood] backing me one hundred per cent, then I really believe I could be.  My sole goal right now is to become British champion, I’ve got my heart set on that British Title.  And I don’t want to win it against a nobody, I want to beat the best, so I become the ‘man’.  When I win the British and have defended it, then we’ll see how far I can go.  I’m not looking past September 29th, any fight I fight is a world title fight because nothing is promised to anyone.  But, given the right opportunities, I know with my ability I can go all the way.”

VIP Promotions presents Skelmersdale’s Steve Brogan against Yorkshire’s Brad Botham for the vacant Central Area Lightweight Title at the Liverpool Olympia on September 29.

 

Appearing on the undercard will be Liverpool’s Luke Willis, Lloyd Campbell, Tom Farrell, Adam Farrell, Tom McGuinness and Marcel Braithwaite.

 

Ticket info are priced at £30 (upper balcony), £35 (lower balcony), £40 (ground floor), and £60 (ringside) – please call 01942 874 241 or visit vipboxing.tv.

 

The show will be streamed live vipboxing.tv 

MENDY: I’M GOING FOR THE KNOCKOUT

Yvan Mendy believes he should have had a shot at a World title by now and is frustrated that Luke Campbell fought for one before him.

Mendy outpointed Campbell back in 2015 and is aiming to go one better and knockout the Hull fighter when they rematch at Wembley Stadium Connected by EE on Saturday September 22, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US.

Since that win at The 02, Mendy has gone from strength to strength, piling up seven consecutive wins with three of them via stoppage. Along the way he defeated Francesco Patera who will face Newcastle’s Lewis Ritson next month.

The 33-year-old has been the World Boxing Council number one contender for some time as well as having held the organisation’s Silver belt. As such he feels he merits a title shot at this stage of his career.

“I do feel a bit frustrated that I haven’t had a World title opportunity yet,” said Mendy. “He (Campbell) lost to me and yet he was able to fight Linares for the World title! So that does leave me a bit of frustrated.

“You do suffer being a boxer in France, it’s a cultural thing. In England boxing is a part of the culture, over here it just isn’t. I’ve often said to myself if I were English I’d already be World Champion! Or at least I would have had the chance to fight for it.

“At the moment I feel like I’m unbeaten because I haven’t lost for so long. Mentally I have forgotten about my defeats and in my mind when I go in the ring I feel undefeated. I feel as strong as ever.”

Mendy confessed he hasn’t seen much of Campbell since their previous meeting, but he recognised his performance in attempting to win a World title last year was impressive.

“I haven’t watched him too much since the last fight, but I did see the fight against Jorge Linares, but I think that was the only one. He fought very well against Linares, it was close. He was up on one of the scorecards, so he is a good boxer and he has progressed.

“I don’t necessarily see it as a big advantage the fact that I won the first fight, simply because it has been three years since that and we change, all of us. After three years we forget about a loss. I don’t think mentally it will play on his mind because a lot of things happen in that time.

“For me it’s important to win by knockout to make a statement. I’m not here for the sake of it, I’m ready to win this, I want a nice victory.”

Whoever emerges with their hand raised at Wembley will edge closer to a World title chance, the first for Mendy or a second bite at the cherry for Britain’s London 2012 Olympic Gold Medallist.

“The winner should get a shot at the Champion Mikey García, but we will see if he stays at Lightweight. I’ve been waiting for the chance for a while. It’s one of the best weight classes in boxing, it’s very attractive. In each organisation the Champion is a big name at Lightweight, there’s a lot of high-level boxers operating at 135lbs and I’ll show that I belong at the top when I beat Campbell again.”

Campbell and Mendy clash on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s Heavyweight unification blockbuster with Alexander PovetkinMatty Askin defends his British Cruiserweight title against rising star Lawrence Okolie, undefeated Russian Sergey Kuzmin takes on Liverpool Heavyweight David Price for the WBA Inter-Continental title and Welterweight 2016 Silver medallist Shakram Giyasov faces Julio Laguna over 6 rounds. 

RYDER MEETS SIROTKIN IN WORLD TITLE FINAL ELIMINATOR AND CHEESEMAN

John Ryder faces Andrey Sirotkin in a Final Eliminator for the WBA Super-Middleweight World title at the Copper Box Arena in London on October 27, live on Sky Sports and DAZN in the US.

Islington’s Ryder is back in action following his stunning two-round destruction of Jamie Cox on the Bellew vs. Haye 2 undercard at The O2 in May.

It was another explosive statement from ‘The Gorilla’ following his brilliant win over Patrick Nielsen inside five rounds, and now he finds himself just one win away from a dream World title shot.

Russia’s Sirotkin, the current WBA Inter-Continental Champion, sits two places behind Ryder in the rankings at number 5 and is unbeaten in all 15 of his contests, picking up a number of ranking titles from the WBC and WBO along the way.

“It’s great to be boxing back on Sky Sports again and to be headlining in my home town is a proud moment for me,” said Ryder. “That’s going to spur me on to get the win and put me in contention to fight for a World title.

“This is such a big fight for me, I’ve had to be patient off the back of two big wins, but things have fallen in to place now and I’m fully focused. The winner goes on from here and it’s a long, hard road back for the loser.”

Main event on October 27 will be supported by one of the best trade cards of the year.

Ted Cheeseman and Asinia Byfield battle it out for the Vacant British Super-Welterweight title in one of the most highly-anticipated domestic matchups of the year.

‘The Big Cheese’ has been making a name for himself in the 154lbs division with notable wins over Carson Jones and most recently Paul Upton. A fight with rising star Anthony Fowler could await for the winner of the Lord Lonsdale belt.

Ryan Doyle looks to build on his shock win over Reece Bellotti as he defends his Commonwealth Featherweight belt against the talented and undefeated Jordan Gill.

Doyle hit the big time when he stopped Bellotti after five epic rounds at York Hall in June and isn’t wasting anytime as he jumps straight into another banger with Dave Coldwell’s 21-0 prospect.

Luke Watkins and Isaac Chamberlain meet in a crunch Cruiserweight contest as both men look to move on from first career losses to rising star Lawrence Okolie and Jake Ball begins life under new trainer Dominic Ingle with a WBA Inter-Continental Light-Heavyweight title fight with Craig ‘Spider’ Richards.

There’s action elsewhere from Wokingham Middleweight Felix Cash, Brentwood Super-Featherweight Martin J Ward, Watford Featherweight Reece Bellotti, Canning Town Light-Heavy Charlie Duffield and Mill Hill Heavyweight George Fox.

“This is a wonderful night of boxing – Five 50-50 televised fights, it’s going to be a banger,” said Eddie Hearn. “John Ryder has a great chance to earn his shot at the World title and Cheeseman vs. Byfield could be domestic Fight of the Year. Doyle vs. Gill, Chamberlain vs. Watkins and Ball vs. Richards are all ‘pick-ems’. Fans on Sky Sports, DAZN and in the arena are in for a great night on October 27.”

Tickets are priced £40, £60, £80, £100 and £200 (VIP) and go on sale to Fight Pass members at midday today (September 13) and General Sale begins on Friday September 14 at midday via www.stubhub.co.uk and www.copperboxarena.org.

PRICE MEETS KUZMIN ON JOSHUA VS. POVETKIN UNDERCARD

David Price will take on Sergey Kuzmin for the WBA Inter-Continental Heavyweight title on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium Connected by EE on September 22, live on Sky Sports Box Office and DAZN in the US.

Price rocked former World Champion Povetkin before succumbing to a stoppage defeat last time out at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff in March and knows it is last-chance saloon against the Russian’s countryman Kuzmin.

The Liverpool man is determined to prove that he can still mix it with the best in the Heavyweight division on the biggest stage of all and a win against 12-0 Kuzmin would rocket his name back into the mix.

“It’s all been late notice but I was training to fight in Belfast anyway,” said Price. “It means I’ll have to squeeze in my sparring as the fight is only nine days away but I’ll come out all guns blazing on the night.

“It’s just great. I got a huge buzz last time being part of such a big occasion. There’s nothing like the feeling of a big fight night and I’m excited to be part of another one.

“Opportunity knocks again and I’m hoping to get some good support on the night. I was a massive underdog in the Povetkin fight. Kuzmin isn’t as well known but he’s serious and they plan to have me as just a name on his record.

“I’m a banana-skin for any undefeated prospect coming through. Going into this one I’m drawing on all the positivity of my experience last time and the fans’ reaction.

“People know when they come to watch me fight that it’s going to be exciting one way or another. This time, however, I’m confident it’s me who’ll come out on top. All I care about is getting in there and taking him out.”

Price vs. Kuzmin lands on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s Heavyweight unification blockbuster with Alexander PovetkinLuke Campbell gets a chance for revenge when he rematches Yvan Mendy in a Final Eliminator for the WBC Lightweight World title and Matty Askin defends his British Cruiserweight title against Lawrence Okolie.

Limited General Sale tickets are available via www.stubhub.co.uk the official ticketing partner or https://events.wembleystadium.com. For accessible tickets please call Wembley Stadium on 0800 093 0824.

USYK AND BELLEW COLLIDE IN HISTORIC UNDISPUTED CRUISERWEIGHT CLASH

Undisputed Cruiserweight World Champion Oleksandr Usyk will defend his WBC, IBF, WBA, WBO and Ring Magazine belts against Tony Bellew at Manchester Arena on November 10, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US.

Pound-for-pound star Usyk made history by outclassing Murat Gassiev to become the first Cruiserweight to hold all four recognised belts, following his sensational World Boxing Super Series win in July.

The 31-year-old won Olympic, World and European amateur golds before steamrolling his way to the top of the Cruiserweight division after only 15 fights, but former WBC World Champion Bellew believes he will become the first man to beat Usyk on November 10.

A glittering career has seen Bellew win British, Commonwealth, European and World titles, and the Liverpudlian warrior is aiming for a fairytale ending in Manchester, hinting that this could be his final battle before he retires.

“I’ve been preparing for this fight for a long time and I’m delighted that we’ve got the venue and the date finalised – I cannot wait to fight in the UK,” said Usyk. “I am deep into my training camp with my team, working hard and preparing for a long fight with Tony. He says he will beat me and I love his attitude, but you cannot beat-up somebody who is invisible in the ring! As always, I will be victorious on Nov 10.”

“This is the ultimate test for me,” said Bellew. “There is no greater test than Oleksandr Usyk, he is one of the most feared men in boxing. This is nothing new to me, everyone says that I can’t do it again. Everyone is saying that I’ll get beat-up quickly, but we’ll find out won’t we.

“Make no mistake, I know this is the most dangerous fight of my life but I’m also going into this with my eyes wide open, I’m not in awe of Usyk. I won’t stand and admire him and allow him to rattle off five-punch combinations on my head.

“He’s meeting someone who’s just as quick as him, someone that’s competed at a division lighter than him and someone that’s come across fighters much more powerful than him.

“I’m going into this fight with absolutely nothing to lose because the whole World thinks I’m going to get smashed. I have everything to gain and nothing to lose. On November 10 I’m going to do something that nobody has ever done before, I’m going to knockout an undisputed Cruiserweight Champion of the World.”

“It’s an absolute honour to promote Britain’s first ever undisputed title fight in the history of the sport,” said Eddie Hearn. “This one of the biggest and best fights in boxing with Tony Bellew daring to be great against one of the top pound-for-pounders in the sport in Oleksandr Usyk.

“Tony has won British, Commonwealth, European and World titles and after the two big wins against David Haye we felt it might be time to walk away, but with him constantly improving and the lure of becoming undisputed king, the temptation was too much. For Oleksandr, the plan is to finish his chapter at Cruiserweight on November 10 and then move up to Heavyweight where he will chase a fight with unified World Champion Anthony Joshua. This is going to be a thrilling fight on a huge night of boxing in Manchester – November 10 can’t come soon enough!”

“I cannot wait for this fight,” said Alex Krassyuk of K2 Promotions. “Two lionhearted warriors will collide for all of the Cruiserweight World titles. This is a fight that the World has been waiting for and I’m delighted to be part of history in the making.

“Many experts don’t give Tony a chance in this fight but he has proved many times that being an underdog does not mean being a loser. I can’t see Usyk having an easy walk in the park on November 10. This is the biggest opportunity of Tony’s career and he has nothing to lose, this makes him very dangerous.

“All of our focus is on Tony Bellew and November 10 but once Usyk defeats him he will be targeting the king of the Heavyweight division, Anthony Joshua.”

An announcement on ticket prices and on sale dates will be made in due course.

THOMAS WARD IN WORLD TITLE FINAL ELIMINATOR

Super bantamweight Thomas Patrick Ward is in line to fight in a world title final eliminator later this year, with the International Boxing Federation (IBF) slating him to take on Mexico’s Cesar Juarez.

County Durham’s Ward successfully negotiated the challenge of Spain’s Alvaro Rodriguez in July to claim the vacant IBF European Super Bantamweight Title, taking his ledger to 24-0 (3).

Hard-hitting Juarez, 23-6 (17), has mixed with world class fighters, including Isaac Dogboe and Nonito Donaire, and will represent Ward’s toughest fight. But promoter Dennis Hobson, who has been working behind the scenes to secure Ward this opportunity, is confident the Northeast man can succeed, and move onto a world title fight against current IBF champ, TJ Doheny.

“Since joining forces with Tommy’s team of Dave Garside, Neil Fannan and Phil Jeffries – I’ve been negotiating with the IBF,” explained Hobson, who has previously guided Clinton Woods, Jamie McDonnell and Stuart Hall onto IBF World Championships.

“I got Tommy the IBF European Title shot, and I’m delighted that what we’ve been working on for the last couple of weeks has now paid off.  We’ve managed to get him in with Juarez, who’s rated number six by the IBF, for a final eliminator for their world title.

“The next lot of negotiation I have to do is look at where and when the fight will take place, but I’ll be working as hard as possible to make sure it happens in the UK.  I’ve got a great relationship with the IBF, I’ve have had a few world champions with them, and have worked with them lots over the years.  I’ve also done business before with Juarez’s promotional company when I was promoting Ricky Hatton.

“Tommy is a real talent.  Obviously, the Mexican will be a handful, but I’m sure that Thomas’ boxing skills will have the beating of him, and it will be great to see him eventually fighting for the world crown.”

 

IRISH STAR JONO CARROLL SIGNS WITH MATCHROOM BOXING

Irish star Jono Carroll has signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing.

The unbeaten Super-Featherweight talent turned in arguably the performance of his career in June when he halted Declan Geraghty over nine brutal rounds in Belfast to retain his IBF Intercontinental title.

With IBF World Champion Tevin Farmer making the first defence of his title against Belfast’s James Tennyson on Matchroom Boxing USA’s October 20 Boston card, Carroll now appears to be a step closer to his World title dream.

“I feel the World title shot has been coming a long time,” said Carroll. “In my head, Tevin Farmer and James Tennyson are just fighting for my belt anyway. It’s already mine.

“If I fought Tennyson, I’d play with him. The same goes for Farmer, who’d get stopped as well. They’re both chinny and like I said, in my mind that belt they’re fighting for already belongs to me.

“I’m very happy to sign with Matchroom. This couldn’t come at a better time. Anyone who watched the Declan Geraghty fight and heard all the hype about it says I made that night.

“That was a high-profile fight. Deco is a very good fighter but I still put him away in good style. That performance definitely helped but this sort of move has been coming for a long time before that.

“I need more big fights and they’ve been coming ever since I’ve been with MTK Global. Now I’m with Matchroom, there’ll be more and more.”

“I’m delighted to welcome Jono to the team, it’s going be a lot of fun,” said Eddie Hearn. “I watched Jono win Prizefighter and I’ve been very impressed with his recent rise and he is now on the verge of challenging for a World title.

“Next up will be a final eliminator for the winner of Farmer vs. Tennyson and I believe UK fans on Sky and US fans on DAZN are going to love getting to know Jono Carroll.”

LANGFORD: I’M PUTTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

Tommy Langford says he will put the record straight when he rematches Jason Welbornfor the British Middleweight title at Arena Birmingham this Saturday (September 8), live on Sky Sports.

The local rivals went to war over twelve rounds in a British Boxing Board of Control nominated Fight of the Year contender back in May at Walsall Town Hall, with Welborn wrestling the Lord Lonsdale belt from Langford via a shock split decision.

Langford, 29, was widely expected to win having already seen off his mandated opponent Jack Arnfield at Manchester Arena in February, but admits mistakes were made in the build up to their first meeting.

“The truth is I probably got a big too big for my boots,” said Langford. “I’ll hold my hands up, I overlooked him last time. Fair play to Jason, he made it in to his type of fight which distracted me and put me off my game plan.

“I got it severely wrong. It’s not good enough just admitting that you got it wrong, you have to realise why you got it wrong. The reality is I looked past him and paid the price. Thankfully we got the rematch straight away and I’m looking forward to putting the record straight and showing people what I’m really about.

“You’ve got to give Welborn credit, he fought the right fight for him. It was a full on tear up for the twelve rounds. I’m 100% focused on winning my belt back, I’m not looking past it. It doesn’t matter how I’m going to win, I know I will win.

“There was a lot that went wrong last time, we’ve identified some technical aspects of my game and have been improving on that for this camp. I’ve got to get back to my boxing and use my feet a lot more this time around.

Former Commonwealth and WBO Intercontinental Champion Langford knows that big fights lie ahead should he regain the British title and insists that he will not be making the same mistake twice when he gets in the ring with Welborn on Saturday.

“This rematch is on the big stage, which is where I feel like I belong,” he added. “There’s no getting away from the fact it’s a big fight for us both and the winner will go on from here.

“I was so proud to win and defend the British title, it hurt a lot to see him lift it. I’m not thinking about the future, I’ve made that mistake before. Even thinking about the day after the fight on Sunday 9th September is too far ahead – all my focus is on Saturday night when that bell goes.”

Langford’s clash with Welborn is part of a huge night of action in the second city, topped by Amir Khan’s Welterweight showdown with Samuel Vargas.

Ryan Kelly defends the Midlands Area Super-Welterweight title he won in May via stoppage at Villa park against unbeaten Dordon man Kelcie Ball, Stourbridge banger Sam Eggington appears on the bill with Super-Bantamweight star Gamal Yafai, while Geordie Lightweight ace Lewis Ritson keeps busy ahead of his return to the Metro Radio Arena on October 13.

Preston Super-Welterweight Scott Fitzgerald takes on Ludlow’s Craig Morris over ten as he works towards a domestic showdown with Anthony Fowler, Leeds Super-Bantamweight Qais Ashfaq faces Southampton’s Ricky Little, with action elsewhere from Northampton Middleweight Keiron Conway, Belfast Lightweight Sean McComb, Bolton Super-Bantamweight Osman Aslam, Gloucester Super-Lightweight Akeem Ennis Brown and Birmingham Cruiserweight Shakan Pitters.

WELBORN: THIS IS THE END OF TOMMY LANGFORD!

Jason Welborn says Tommy Langford’s career will be over if he loses again in a rematch for the Middleweight Lord Lonsdale belt at Arena Birmingham tomorrow night (September 8).

The Midlands Middleweight matchup will be shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and streamed live on the DAZN Facebook and Twitter pages in the US.

Welborn outgunned Langford in a British Boxing Board of Control nominated Fight of the Year contender back in May at Walsall Town Hall.

Langford went into their first meeting as the Champion and clear favourite with Welborn out at 7/1 with the bookies. Those odds were turned on their head though as the WBC International Silver Champion recorded a shock split-decision victory.

And Welborn believes that Langford wouldn’t be able to recover from a second successive loss.

“I’m confident at the end of the day,” said Welborn. “I deserved to win British title and I know that I can beat Tommy Langford again. I’ve trained even harder for this rematch and if I do what I did last time then I know that I’ll win.

“He’s got an excuse, he said that he didn’t prepare properly last time and he looked past me. He’s gone back to the drawing board, our side hasn’t. We’ve just got to turn up, get that win and do what I normally do.

“This is a brilliant bill here in Birmingham and it’s going to bring the best out of me. I’m ready to go 12 rounds at a solid pace, I’ve put my body through hell. He’s had his time, this is my time now. This is the end of Tommy Langford, I’m telling you straight.”

“Langford will be desperate to even things up and get the belt back. He will be hungry so I can’t switch off and I know exactly what I have to do to keep my belt.

“That said, I’m really confident. Langford struggles with fighters like myself and as long as my engine is as good as last time – and it will be – I can’t see anything other than another Welborn win.”

Welborn’s clash with Langford is part of a huge night of action in the second city, topped by Amir Khan’s Welterweight showdown with Samuel Vargas.

Ryan Kelly defends the Midlands Area Super-Welterweight title he won in May via stoppage at Villa park against unbeaten Dordon man Kelcie Ball, Stourbridge banger Sam Eggington appears on the bill with Super-Bantamweight star Gamal Yafai, while Geordie Lightweight ace Lewis Ritson keeps busy ahead of his return to the Metro Radio Arena on October 13.

Preston Super-Welterweight Scott Fitzgerald takes on Ludlow’s Craig Morris over ten as he works towards a domestic showdown with Anthony Fowler, Leeds Super-Bantamweight Qais Ashfaq faces Liverpool’s Gary Austin, with action elsewhere from Northampton Middleweight Keiron Conway, Belfast Lightweight Sean McComb, Bolton Super-Bantamweight Osman Aslam, Birmingham Cruiserweight Shakan Pitters and Super-Welterweight Steven Donnelly.