Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: Bellew Rises To The Occasion

TONY BELLEW made good on his promise as he destroyed DANNY MCINTOSH with a TKO in the fifth round to regain his British light heavyweight title at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.

The 29-year-old had been out of action since losing to bitter rival, WBO champion NATHAN CLEVERLY, last October but showed no signs of ring rust with a punch perfect performance in front of his hometown fans.

McIntosh, 32, came into the fight with a decent pedigree, being a former European champion and having only two blemishes on his record with losses against Cleverly and EBU champion EDUARD GUTKNECHT.

However, despite all the talk leading up to the fight, aptly titled “The Big Bang”, McIntosh did not exactly exude confidence.

It was clear to see from the start that Bellew meant business, as though he had a point to prove after losing his unbeaten record to Welshman Cleverly. Bellew stung McIntosh throughout the first round with a serious of left jabs, taking control the ring and leaving McIntosh swinging and missing.

It was more of the same in the second as Bellew began to unload on the Norwich man, whose nose began to bleed after repeated left jabs. Bellew began to smell weakness as he pounced on McIntosh, firing away with accurate combinations, sending McIntosh’s gumshield up in the air twice in one round.

Things went from bad to worse for McIntosh in the third as Bellew pummelled McIntosh with stiff body blows and crunching head shots, leaving McIntosh dazed and bewildered. McIntosh somehow managed to survive the round but the writing was on the wall for “Danny Mac” as he was a beaten man.

Bellew continued to dominate as he turned on the style, throwing clinical shots to the body and blistering combinations, forcing McIntosh’s gumshield out for the third time in the fight. McIntosh had offered very little in return for Bellew’s onslaught and the punishment finally took its toll as he was floored in the dying seconds of the fourth.

McIntosh rose after an eight count but the end arrived 38 seconds into the fifth round as Bellew reacted to a clash of heads by knocking out McIntosh with a thunderous right hand, sending McIntosh crashing to the canvas.

Referee Terry O’Connor had no choice but to call an immediate halt to proceedings, making Bellew a well-deserved winner.

This was exactly the kind of performance that Bellew needed, a solid and clinical show that stakes his claim amongst the top contenders for a world title shot.

Inevitably there will now be talks of a possible rematch with Cleverly, however Bellew was quick to quash those rumours.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the fight, “The Bomber” said: “I don’t need Nathan Cleverly to make a name for myself, or a living.

“You’ve seen who he’s fighting – he’s fighting number 83 in the world.

“I’m supposed to be the one coming in off the loss and I’m fighting a former European champion and he’s fighting 83 in the world.

“I don’t want to go on about it. He is what he is, he’s fighting who he’s fighting. I just want to fight people who test me.

“I want to see how good I am, I want to see where I can go and I just want to test myself to the limit.”

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McCallum Furious Over “Disgraceful” Treatment

HOTSHOT welterweight sensation JOHN MCCALLUM has hit out at ALEX ARTHUR, accusing the Scottish star of treating him “disgracefully”.

The 23-year-old from Edinburgh was recently snapped up by Arthur as one of the first signings for his fledgling AAA promotions and was set to fight on his show at Meadowbank last Saturday.

However, McCallum has claimed that he was left without an opponent at the last minute and was left to watch the event at ringside. In addition, McCallum has now challenged Arthur to a fight later on this year.

Speaking to the Daily Record, McCallum said: “I am far from happy as I was only told that I didn’t have a fight at 5.45pm on the night.

“I let about 500 people down and sold a lot of tickets so Alex messed me about badly after I had trained for four months.

“Craig Kelly was going to fight me but pulled out on the day of the fight. Alex then fought Michael Frontin, who I am better than, and I was embarrassed to be sitting at the side of the ring with people asking why I wasn’t fighting this guy or even Alex.

“So Alex can make it up to me by bringing it on. I will even fight him at light welterweight because he has treated me disgracefully and should give the public the fight they want to see.”

 

 

Arthur Eyes Happy Ending After Homecoming Success

ALEX ARTHUR has announced his intention to retire from the sport before the age of 35, after promoting and fighting on his latest show in Edinburgh last Saturday.

The former WBO super featherweight champion was not only promoting under his AAA banner but also fighting, as he went up against MICHAEL FRONTIN at Meadowbank Sports Centre. However, Arthur was not the only star attraction appearing on the bill as American based fighter CRAIG MCEWAN made his return to Scotland to face Englishman PAUL MORBY in the main event.

McEwan has carved out an excellent professional career for himself in America, having worked with Freddie Roach, trainer of Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan in the Wild Card gym in Los Angeles. This was McEwan’s first professional fight in his homeland and was eager to show his fans how far he has come.

In a dominant display, 30-year-old McEwan claimed an 80-72 points victory over eight rounds. Londoner Morby was simply overwhelmed by the Scot and was consistently reeling from McEwan’s incessant blows.

McEwan won every round of the fight and sent the fans home happy with a comprehensive win, however Morby is to be commended for his resilience after refusing to concede to Edinburgh’s prodigal son.

KENNY ANDERSON walked into Meadowbank a man on a mission. However, his menacing demeanour almost cost him dearly in his fight against WAYNE REED.

Super middleweight Anderson, another hometown favourite, was assigned to face Birmingham-based Reed after GEORGE GROVES pulled out of their scheduled British title fight last month.

Anderson had Reed trapped in the corner, where he proceeded to unload on the Englishman as it looked as though a first round knockout was imminent.

However, Reed’s excellent head movement allowed him to catch Anderson with a stinging left hook that sent the current Celtic champion to the canvas. More embarrassed than hurt, Anderson recovered easily to connect with a barrage of crisp and clinical shots.

Anderson then pounced on his opponent after a  ferocious left hand knocked the gum-shield straight out of Reed’s mouth. As a result, blood began flood out of Reed’s nose leaving his corner with no other choice but to pull him out at the end of the round.

Despite stating he will retire before his 35th birthday, next June, Alex Arthur still possesses all the skills he had in his glory years after defeating London-based Mauritian, Michael Frontin.

Arthur naturally entered to a crescendo of noise from the Edinburgh faithful, who have been there for him through thick and thin.

The opening three rounds were cagey and tentative with Frontin trying to make a nuisance of himself but to little effect. Frontin managed to throw a couple of decent shots to the former WBO super featherweight champion, who appeared visibly rusty.

However, Arthur’s punch precision was far superior and was eager to land the knockout but Frontin hung on til the eighth and final round.

Arthur is more than capable of achieving his goal of another title before retirement but his lack of activity over the past couple of years may prove a deciding factor.

His drive and ambition to bring mainstream boxing back to the capital has to be commended, however juggling promoting and fighting has proven difficult. He has spent a great deal of time trying to find opponents but they simply do not want to fight him, likely because he is a very difficult fighter to face with his excellent technical ability.

He will be sorely missed when he eventually hangs up his gloves but a bright future awaits him as a promoter where he can unearth new fighters to bring new-found glory to Edinburgh.

OTHER RESULTS

Gary McMillan def. William Warburton (PTS)

Jason Hastie def. Sid Razak (PTS)

Craig Windsor Jr def. Liam Griffiths (PTS)

Scots Star Limond Set To Return To The Ring

FORMER Commonwealth lightweight champion WILLIE LIMOND has insisted that he can prove his critics wrong as he prepares to return to the squared circle.

The 33-year-old’s last fight occurred at Ravenscraig Sports Centre in Motherwell last November when he was defeated by rising star ANTHONY CROLLA for the British title. As a result, Limond said that it was unlikely that he would be seen inside a boxing ring again.

However, Limond has made a U-turn and decided that he still has a future on the domestic scene.

Speaking to the Daily Record, Limond said: “I was on the verge of calling it a day as I was ashamed of my last fight.

“But I’m actually glad a lot of people have written me off as I’m determined to show them I’m not finished yet.

“My manager, Tommy Gilmour, said he’ll get me some big fights.”

Despite winning 34 of his 38 fights, Limond will probably be best remembered as being the first man to knock down AMIR KHAN, which occurred when the two fought for the Commonwealth title in 2007. However, Khan managed to recover and stop Limond in the eighth round after a barrage of punishing shots.

Limond also faced a monumental battle when he travelled to Mexico City to face hometown icon, ERIK MORALES for the WBC light welterweight title. Once again the challenge proved too much for the Glaswegian but gave it his all nonetheless.

A popular figure on the British fight scene, Willie Limond is sure to be given a warm welcome back to the sport he loves dearly and if things go his way, a future title shot could well be on the cards.

The Top 20 Scots To Look Out For In 2012

SCOTTISH boxing has been somewhat rejuvenated in 2012.

We now have a world champion proudly flying the saltire high for all to see but in addition, Scotland has a new breed of young fighters that have burst onto the domestic scene. So as a result, we at ScotBoxNation are now revealing our top 20 Scottish boxers to look out for throughout the year.

It doesnt’ matter if they are old, young, champions or challengers, any fighter that we believe will get people talking in the months to come is included. This list is not ranked by who is a better fighter, it is instead ranked as to who will make the biggest impact throughout the rest of the year. Please do get in touch with me on Twitter @CiaranShanks and share your opinions or comment on the blog itself!

 

20. GARY MCMILLAN (13-3-1) – Despite losing and drawing his first two professional fights at welterweight, the 25-year old has built up a solid reputation. The only other blemishes on his record have come against Gary Young and the recently retired Kevin McIntyre. After defeating Peter McDonagh last November, McMillan will hope for similar success against William Warburton on Alex Arthur’s Meadowbank card this Saturday.

19. STEVEN BANKS (4-0) – Another 25-year-old that could have a promising career ahead of him. After turning professional almost a year ago, the light middleweight from Motherwell will hope for increased success throughout the year.

18. KRIS HUGHES (15-2) – “Badger” is hoping to bounce back from his Commonwealth super bantamweight loss to the champion Carl Frampton back in January, only his second loss. The 24-year-old has previously defeated top domestic fighters including Michael Harvey and Youssef Al Hamidi and any future victories will certainly earn him another shot at the belt.

17. SCOTT HARTLEY (1-0-1) – The London-based rookie has been raising eyebrows down south,  despite having only made his debut last November. The Alloa-born fighter is hopeful of conquering the light heavyweight division but will need to show plenty of courage and skill in a very tough division.

16. JOHN SIMPSON (22-9) – The inclusion of John Simpson on this list may surprise many after losing two fights in a row. However, 2012 is a crucial year for the Greenock featherweight as it could determine whether he continues in the world of boxing. The former British champion was defeated by Stephen Smith and Lee Selby last year and if he fails to score a win in 2012 then his career is inevitably over.

15. DAVID BROPHY (4-0-1) – Middleweight fighter Brophy had a successful 2011, having won all four of his fights. However, despite a highly controversial draw against Lee Noble last weekend in Motherwell, the 21-year-old is sure to bounce back even stronger.

14. STEVIE MCGUIRE (17-1-1) – Former Celtic super middleweight champion McGuire is a somewhat forgotten star in Scottish boxing. The 30-year-old from Glenrothes has had regular spells of inactivity throughout his career but has knocked up a number of solid victories. His most high-profile fight came in 2008 when he was defeated by Irishman Brian Magee for the British super middleweight title and did not return to the ring until 2010. However he fought his first fight of the year in March when he defeated he defeated James Tucker on points in his hometown. Time will tell if this will be the year that McGuire decides to fight more consistently at put himself in contention for a future title shot.

13. GARY CORNISH (6-0) – The Highland giant has become one of Scotland’s few heavyweight hopes. In the process, Cornish has become a cult hero in his hometown of Inverness and set to top the bill at the Drumossie Hotel in May.

12. EDDIE DOYLE (10-0) – Glaswegian light welterweight Doyle made it a perfect ten of victories in February with an impressive TKO of Gary McArthur, knocking him down twice to win the British Masters title. A technically sound fighter that can punish an opponent if they slack off against him, definitely a fighter to watch.

11. STEPHEN SIMMONS (4-0) – Simmons is undoubtedly one of Scotland’s hottest boxing prospects. The 27-year-old cruiserweight represented Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and was quickly snapped up by promoter Frank Warren who clearly saw the potential of the Edinburgh man. Simmons made a good start to the year with a comprehensive TKO win over an ageing Hastings Rasani but the best is yet to come.

10. JOHN THAIN (6-0) – Another one of Warren’s Commonwealth starlets, Edinburgh pugilist John Thain aims to stand out from the rest. The 24-year-old light middleweight is tall, athletic and has tremendous punch precision. With more time to hone his skills, Thain will certainly progress to become a top contender and could eventually face the likes of Jamie Cox, Prince Arron or even current British champion, Brian Rose.

9. MICHAEL ROBERTS (7-0) – There is absolutely no reason why Michael Roberts cannot become Scotland’s next super featherweight king. The 25-year-old of Balornock, Glasgow has greatly impressed since his 2010 debut, having won all of his fights by comprehensive points victories. His most recent fight came on an Alex Morrison show in Glasgow last month where he easily defeated journeyman Pavel Senkovs. Hopefully Roberts can follow in the footsteps of Scott Harrison and Ricky Burns in dominating the super featherweight scene.

8. JON SLOWEY (8-0) – Undefeated super bantamweight Slowey made waves last year after debuting in February 2011. The 21-year-old is as slick as they come with his hand skill being crucial to his opponents downfall. 2012 is certain to be a big year for the Glaswegian and is allegedly being watched for a future fight with Frampton, Scott Quigg or Rendall Munroe. The youngster is certain to continue his success throughout the year where he can stand out as a serious threat in a crowded division.

7. IAIN BUTCHER (3-0) – The Motherwell man is the youngest fighter on the list at only 19 years of age but he is set to make a big impact in the months and years ahead. The flyweight starlet was last week snapped up by veteran promoter Frank Maloney who believes Butcher has all the potential to become Scotland’s best flyweight since Paul Weir. His blistering hand speed and punching skill caught the Englishman’s eye and he is set to make his debut for Maloney on the undercard to the David Price – Sam Sexton fight next month. Without question, Butcher is Scotland’s next hope and could very well become a world champion with the raw talent he possesses

6. LEE MCALLISTER (34-3) – Had “The Aberdeen Assassin” defeated European light welterweight champion, Denis Shafikov in February, McAllister may have been much higher on the list. However, the 29-year-old retired on his stool in the eight round after taking a beating at the hands of the cool and clinical Russian. McAllister has been one of the most notable names on the domestic scene and has racked up an impressive number of victories against the likes of Stuart Green and Craig Docherty. However his losses have been when it has mattered most, against Shafikov and for the British lightweight title against John Murray in 2009. McAllister now needs an impressive run of victories to bounce back and prove his doubters, that believe he is simply not good enough, wrong. He talked up the possibility of fighting the likes of Amir Khan at Pittodrie Stadium if he had defeated Shafikov. If he wants to make that dream a reality, he needs to regroup quickly.

5. PAUL APPLEBY (18-3) – South Queensferry’s native son is hoping for even more success later on this year after winning the vacant Celtic super featherweight title from Stephen Ormond by unanimous decision on the Burns-Moses undercard last month. After a punishing loss to Liam Welsh last year for the Commonwealth title, Appleby will be looking to avenge that with a good run of victories that will see him climb his way back up the ladder. He has already been earmarked as a challenger for Gary Buckland’s British title and even though Appleby has been known to bite off more than he chew, you have got to fancy his chances.

4. SCOTT HARRISON (25-2-2) – His inclusion on the list is bound to be scoffed at by a number of readers. However 2012 could be the year that Scott Harrison makes his long-awaited return to the squared-circle. Ten years ago, “The Real McCoy” became WBO super featherweight champion and immediately wrote his name into Scottish boxing folklore. However his endless personal issues have plagued him throughout and culminated in him spending time in a Spanish jail for assaulting a police officer. More recently, he was arrested for causing a disturbance at a Tesco store in Glasgow and urinating on the shop window. This was before he was scheduled to fight on his promoter, Frank Maloney’s show in Blackpool on March 31st. Anything is possible with Harrison, just when it seems he has conquered his demons he immediately falls back into the abyss. He claims he will become world champion again by September, time will soon tell.

3. CRAIG MCEWAN (19-2) – While every other fighter on this list competes on the British domestic scene, Craig McEwan has been creating his own American odyssey. The 29-year-old middleweight is set for his first ever fight in Scotland, on the bumper Meadowbank show on Saturday having fought all his other fights in the US with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. Despite losing his last two fights to top contenders Andy Lee and Peter Quillin, McEwan has already established himself as a solid competitor. If he can get a couple of good wins under his belt, then a rematch with either Quillin or Lee will be very much at the top of his to-do list.

2. KENNY ANDERSON (15-1) – Kenny Anderson has not had the best of starts to this year. The Edinburgh-born super middleweight king was supposed to face English prodigy George Groves in a rematch for the British title last month but Groves pulled out with an alleged back injury.

After suffering his only blemish in his fight with Groves for the Commonwealth title in 2010, Anderson went into a vigorous training regime in order to seek revenge. Anderson was furious with Groves for pulling out but he will now face Wayne Reed on Alex Arthur’s Meadowbank show. With Groves now challenging Robert Stieglitz for the WBO title, it is expected he will vacate the British title making way for Anderson to possibly fight Liverpudlian Paul Smith for the vacant title. Anderson possesses animal-like power but does not simply lash out with wild haymakers but instead opts to technically break down his opponent. It could be a very bright year for the 29-year-old.

1. RICKY BURNS (34-2) – It should come as little surprise as to who tops the list. Ricky Burns is Scotland’s shining star as the reigning WBO Lightweight champion and has built up a solid reputation as one of the toughest fighters in Britain. Having started as a super featherweight, Burns recovered from earlier career losses to Alex Arthur and Englishman Carl Johanneson to become Scotland’s only current world champion.

His inspiring victory over Roman Martinez in 2010, made him an unlikely national hero and has continually proved his doubters wrong with impressive wins over wiley Australian veteran Michael Katsidis and tricky Namibian fighter, Paulus Moses. After his defence against Moses last month, Burns is all but set for a summer showdown with a top contender.

English lightweight star Kevin Mitchell is the preferred choice of the fans and promoter Frank Warren but other options including European champ Gavin Rees and British title holder Anthony Crolla. Time will tell if Burns is able to take an even further step up and seek to become the absolute best that not only Scotland has to offer but Britain as a whole.

Drama And Ocatne At Scottish Showcase

MOTHERWELL played host to some of Scotland’s finest boxing talent in a sold-out show last Friday night.

The event at Dalziel Park Country Club was organised jointly by legendary promoter Alex Morrison and Billy Nelson, trainer of fighters such as Ricky Burns and Paul Appleby. However, there was certainly no lack of controversy or thrilling action.

In the main event of the evening, middleweight fighter DAVID BROPHY shockingly shared a draw with LEE NOBLE over four three-minute rounds. The referee, Kenny Pringle scored the bout 39-39 much to the fury of the rapturous crowd and even to the surprise of the officials at ringside.

Brophy dominated the centre of the ring and landed with effective jabs and powerful uppercuts throughout. Journeyman Noble offered little in return however and was left reddened and often unable to reply with any real substance.

Noble attempted to make some form of comeback in the last two rounds but this was to no avail as Brophy continued to pile on the pressure, making it seem obvious that there would be no other decision than a Brophy win.

Despite the draw however, Brophy remains undefeated at 4-0-1.

SEAN WATSON defeated MICHAEL HARVEY over four three-minute rounds in the super featherweight division in a 40-35 win. Watson unloaded with crisp hooks and straights, opening a deep cut above Harvey’s head in round three after a colossal left hook.

It was a solid performance from Watson that takes his record to 2-1.

RHYS PAGAN has been tipped by many as one to watch for the future and it was clear why after he out pointed TOMASZ MAZURKIEWICZ four rounds in the welterweight division. The 18-year-old showed tremendous skill in fending off the Manchester-based Pole’s assault

This was only Pagan’s second outing as a professional but looked extremely comfortable, finding the target with blistering combinations and counter-punching Mazurkiewicz’s uppercuts.

The official scorecard was 39-38 but it ought to have been wider for Pagan.

Middleweight RYAN GREENE defeated DALTON MILLER on points also. Miller started well in the fight but this only spurred on Greene who was almost relentless for the rest of the fight. Miller had no chance to recover and Greene won by 39-37.

Future Star Butcher Signs With Maloney Promotions

PROMISING Scottish flyweight starlet, IAIN BUTCHER has signed a deal with top boxing promoter Frank Maloney.

The 19-year-old from Motherwell has impressed in his first three professional contests, fighting out of Scotland’s fastest growing stable, Prospect Boxing.

But following negotiations between the promotion’s owner, Paul Graham and Maloney, the rising star has penned a three-year deal with the Kent-based Maloney Promotions.

Following the agreement, Graham stated: “Iain has had a great start to his career but now with Frank on his side I am sure that it won’t be long before Scotland has its next world flyweight champion joining the roll of honour alongside Benny Lynch, Walter McGowan, Pat Clinton and Paul Weir.”

Maloney has led many smaller fighters to great success and admits he has a love for Scotland. He said: “I heard a lot about young Butcher.

“He’s making waves after only his third contest and I am looking to build on previous fights and build him into a title contender.

“He will have his first contest on the under card of the Price-Sexton British heavyweight title fight on May 19 in Liverpool.

“The card is already packed with six title fights so to add Iain to the undercard shows how highly I rate him.”

Maloney added: “I have a great affinity with Scotland and it’s boxers and we hope to run shows with Iain Butcher headlining some time in the not-so-distant future.”