Battle Lines Drawn Between Burns And Mitchell

THEY may be friends but British lightweight sensations RICKY BURNS and KEVIN MITCHELL will toss their friendship aside when Burns defends his WBO crown on September 22nd at the SECC in Glasgow.

The fight has been simmering for a number of months now and it was predicted that the showdown between the two would take place on the undercard of David Haye’s bout with Dereck Chisora on July 14 at Upton Park, home of Mitchell’s beloved West Ham United.

However, Burns did not believe he would be able to make the weight in time after returning from his wedding in Cancun.

After losing his unbeaten record to Michael Katsidis in May 2010, the same man Burns dethroned last November, Mitchell went on a path of self-destruction and was arrested on suspicion of possesing cocaine and running a cannabis farm with his mother.

However, Mitchell bounced back from his crushing defeat to the hardened Aussie to put the first blemish on John Murray’s record with a sensational performance in July 2011.

Coatbridge crusader Burns, 29 and Essex boy Mitchell, 27, were once sparring partners and keep in touch through Twitter and online gaming. However, Mitchell admitted at the official press conference in London on Monday that the respect and friendship they have will simply be forgotten about when the bell sounds.

Mitchell said: “You can’t beat Ricky’s personality, he’s a lovely man and a mate of mine.

“That doesn’t make it harder in the ring, but it makes it harder when you’re promoting the fight.

“We genuinely get on well and there wont be any trash talking. But once we get in the ring we fight, that’s our job.

“I’ve wanted this fight for a long time now and Ricky has given me the chance. I’m determined to win it, but I know I’m in for a hard night’s work.

“He was beaten earlier in his career but that can happen to anyone. He’s really come on so much since then.

“This is my last title chance. I’m going to beat myself into shape to prepare for it properly.

“It will be a good night. I’ll be bringing about 3,000 fans.”

Burns, who will continue to work in his part-time job at a DW Sports store in Coatbridge, revealed that neither being world champion nor marriage has changed his life.

“I don’t see myself as a world champion until I step inside those ropes,” said Burns.

“Come fight night once we step into the ring the friendship is over, this is business time.

“Kevin has had his problems outside the ring. He’s got back on the straight and narrow and he’s looking forward to fighting me now but there is now way that belt is leaving Scotland.”

Kenny Anderson Victorious Again

EDINBURGH’s super middleweight warrior KENNY ANDERSON defeated Latvian RUSLANS POJONISEVS in Liverpool on Saturday night as he continues to wait for his shot at GEORGE GROVES’ British title.

The 29-year-old was a late addition to Steve Wood’s bill at the Olympia thanks to Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport and got another opportunity to warm-up for his future challenge.

Anderson won the bout 60-53 on points and dominated every round of the fight, flooring Pojonisevs with a stinging hook to the body. However, Pojonisevs held on until the sixth and final round meaning this was Anderson’s first points victory since defeating Patrick Mendy in 2010, having stopped his last five opponents.

The deadline for the purse bids for the Groves-Anderson fight is July 11 and the British Boxing Board of Control has stated that the fight must take place before the end of September.

The 24-year-old Groves was supposed to defend his title against Anderson at Wembley Arena in March but pulled out days before the fight citing injury. Groves was then scheduled to face WBO champion Robert Stieglitz but injury again forced him to withdraw, leaving the fight with Anderson up in the air.

Jones Jr Scrapes A Victory In Poland

THE legendary ROY JONES JR showed his age as he defeated PAWEL GLAZEWSKI by a controversial split decision on Saturday night at the Atlas Arena in Lodz, Poland.

It was apparent right from the start that the 43-year-old was well past his best as he sluggishly made his way around the ring. Glazewski was a late replacement for DAWID KOSTECKI who was convicted of being the ringleader in a criminal organisation days before the fight.

Glazewski immediately troubled Jones Jr and was by far the busier of the two. Jones Jr could not seem to find any pace and rhythm with Glazewski landing hard exchanges and using good combinations. However, Jones Jr appeared to regroup in the fifth round as he dug deep to land effective combinations that were reminiscent of his former greatness.

This moment of nostalgia was short-lived however as Jones Jr began to tire quickly and reverted back to his slow and static work rate.

It was almost painful to watch when Jones Jr was dropped in the sixth round with a left hook that hit his gloves harder than his chin. Jones Jr looked visibly shaken by the shot from the light-punching Glazewski with his corner instructing him to up his work rate. From then on Jones Jr was backed up against the ropes and hanging on for dear life.

Jones Jr did make some form of comeback in the final couple of rounds that may well have persuaded the judges but it was clear for all to see that Glazewski had punished Jones Jr throughout.

Glazewski was undefeated prior to the bout but lost that record with the judges scoring it 95-94 for Glazewski and 96-93, 95-94  for Jones Jr.

Jones Jr now has a fight with WBC champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk at some point in the Autumn to look forward to but you would hope he realises that he is a shadow of his former self and retires with some amount of dignity.

 

 

Kelvin Hall Undercard Round-Up

IN addition to the main event action at Kelvin Hall on Friday, there were seven other Scottish showcase bouts on the undercard.

The televised opener featured Edinburgh’s GARY MCMILLAN (15-3-1) facing Halesowen journeyman KEVIN MCCAULEY (10-38-3) in a six round welterweight contest. The fight was a cagey and scrappy affair from the start with not much action and a lot of clinching. However, McMillan was the aggressor of the two, leading McCauley in with the jab.

This continued in the second where McMillan was thrown to the ground by McCauley much to the annoyance of the crowd. McMillan then began to turn on the style and knocked down McCauley. The 25-year-old then began to pick apart McCauley with effective flurries and a sweet left hook.

The work rate of both fighters began to drop but McMillan was still in control and a succession of combinations late in the fourth round troubled McCauley who was saved by the bell.

McMillan managed to see out the fight comfortably landing flush with body shots and combinations to win 60-53 on points.

Unbeaten super featherweight starlet MICHAEL ROBERTS (8-0) faced a tough test in the form of late sub CRAIG JOHNSON (. 25-year-old Roberts from Glasgow went to work straight away landing well with a sharp jab and clean body shots.

However, Johnson began to settle into the fight and fired back with solid shots of his own. The 31-year-old Englishman then suffered a deep cut as a result of an accidental headbutt and found himself on the receiving end. Despite the cut, Johnson did well to recover but Roberts was still in complete control and referee Victor Loughlin scored the bout 39-37 in favour of Roberts.

2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist STEPHEN SIMMONS (5-0) continued his progress up the cruiserweight division with a comfortable win over Latvian JEVGENIJS ANDREJEVS (6-57). It was a slow and cagey fight that did not set the heather alight.

However it was nevertheless an easy night for Simmons who dominated Andrejevs with a strong jab and good body shots. It could well have been a mismatch and Simmons had all the power at his disposal to finish Andrejevs immediately but he played it safe and won 60-54 on the scorecards.

Scottish-Filipino sensation JOHN THAIN (7-0) also remained undefeated but he was forced to work hard against tricky journeyman TONY RANDELL (12-27-2). The 24-year-old from Edinburgh proved to be the slicker of the two, applying good pressure with effective combinations and lightning-quick movement.

Randell pushed Thain on the back foot on several occasions but Thain kept his guard tight, wobbing and weaving forcing Randell to swing and miss. Thain’s excellent fundamental skills proved vital as he used crisp hooks and solid body work to win the contest 59-55 on points.

Other results on the undercard:

Ryan Collins (2-0) def. Dan Naylor (1-11)

Hugh Gray (debut) def. Billy Smith (13-117-2)

Sammy Hill (4-0) def. Mark McKray (2-12-1)

Simpson And Appleby Steal The Show In Kelvin Hall Spectacular

IT may be a cliché but the long-awaited rematch between JOHN SIMPSON and PAUL APPLEBY could well be a Fight Of The Year candidate.

In the rematch, Simpson avenged his previous loss to Appleby with an emphatic sixth round stoppage in a fight that blew the roof off the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow on Friday night.

The 28-year-old Simpson was stepping into the ring knowing he had to make a statement having lost both of his 2011 fights to Stephen Smith and Lee Selby. However, Simpson has gained a reputation for pulling it off when it matters most, bouncing back after losses to the likes of Dazzo Williams, Derry Mathews and Stephen Foster to become British and Commonwealth super featherweight champion.

Both men entered the ring with a dilemma, which was the fact that they are great friends. However, both knew that their prospective futures were at stake and it would be strictly business come fight night.

The bout was shown live on BoxNation and contested for the Celtic title which the 24-year-0ld Appleby won after defeating Stephen Ormond in March. As expected, the fight began at a frenetic pace, both boxers trading blows in the centre of the ring with Simpson keeping a tight shape and utilising the jab to take control.

Simpson then began to land with a great series of combinations that caught Appleby flush. However, the champion battled back well to land a number of hooks to the body.

The second provided even more high-octane action with the two warriors pummeling each other with blistering hooks and uppercuts. Simpson started to let punches go and cornered Appleby but the 24-year-old surge back again. Simpson remained tight,  not allowing Appleby any room to land punches.

Both relentlessly traded shots until the final bell which was met with a standing ovation from the vociferous Glaswegian crowd. The third round was slightly more even, Appleby began to put more pressure on Simpson but the Greenock slugger used his experience to smother Appleby.

Simpson stung Appleby with several hooks and uppercuts which reddened the face of the champion. However, as Simpson threw a punch, so too did Appleby with both men continuing to go toe-to-toe looking to get the better of one another.

Simpson assumed control in the fourth, using a great flurry of stiff hooks and uppercuts to rock Appleby. The former British and Commonwealth champion’s power was proving vital as he began to ease into the fight and set his own pace with Appleby not offering as much in return this round.

However, Appleby again mounted a comeback in the fifth, exposing Simpson’s guard to land a good combination. Simpson was backed onto the ropes but kept a compact guard to block Appleby’s assault and fire back with shots of his own. Simpson hit a beautiful scintillating uppercut to Appleby’s nose that sent blood spurting up into the air. Simpson was then incessant on the attack, naturally trying to expose the bullseye target on the nose of Appleby.

Simpson’s jab was proving fundamental in the sixth round as he used it well to effectively tee up shots. Appleby began to lunge forward with hooks looking to stun his foe and cut Simpson just over the eyelid with an accidental headbutt.

However, Simpson then unleashed with a flurry of shots to floor Appleby. The champion got up after a standing eight-count but it was evident that the end was near, Appleby was on wobbly legs leaning close to the ropes.

Simpson then viciously floored Appleby with a solid right hand that sent Appleby collapsing to the floor, with referee Howard Foster immediately stopping the fight. The paramedics then rushed to the ring to attend to Appleby but the South Queensferry man was not seriously hurt.

Simpson and Appleby then embraced in the centre of the ring, with Appleby gracious in defeating raising Simpson’s hand aloft. This fight was a far cry from the close, cagey first contest in 2008 where it could have went either way on the scorecards.

Both men did not have to prove that they were forces to be reckoned with in the division but any doubters that believed Simpson is just a “nearly man” have now been silenced.

Back With A Bang: Harrison Dominates In Comeback Bout

SCOTT HARRISON made a successful return to the ring with a fourth round stoppage of Hungarian teenager GYORGY MIZSEI JR at the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow.

The 34-year-old’s last fight occurred in 2005 when he successfully defended  his WBO featherweight title against Nedal Hussein.

Harrison’s reign of glory ended when he was stripped of his title, his boxing licence and declared bankrupt after a series of personal issues that culminated with a spell in a Spanish jail.

However despite his near seven-year absence from the ring, Harrison showed no signs of ring rust and was relentless in his quest to make a statement in his long-awaited comeback bout for the vacant International Masters lightweight title.

“The Real McCoy” undoubtedly received the largest reception of the night from the over 1000 strong crowd who rose to their feet to catch a glimpse of the man who used to attract crowds of 8,000-10,000.

This may not have been a major world title fight but at certain points during the fight it felt like a throwback to a bygone era, where Harrison dethroned the likes of Wayne McCullough and Manuel Medina at the Braehead Arena.

Harrison entered in his traditional black hooded gown accompanied by his father and long-time trainer Peter, to a cacophony of noise from the rapturous Glaswegian crowd.

The 18-year-old Mizsei came into the bout undefeated having won all of his first seven professional contests. When comparing the two in the centre of the ring, it appeared that the fight could well have been a serious mismatch.

Mizsei’s wiry frame was a stark contrast to the chiselled physique of the intense Harrison.

Once the opening bell sounded Harrison moved forward straight away, immediately looking to pile the pressure on his sacrificial lamb. However, Mizsei was not hear to act as fodder for Harrison and caught the Scot on his nose through his guard.

Despite this however, Harrison was the aggressor and a late flurry of solid hooks in the dying seconds shook Mizsei. Harrison began to dominate in the second using his tremendous speed and power to overwhelm Mizsei.

Mizsei was clearly struggling to  deal with Harrison’s awesome strength and a stiff body blow sent Mizsei to the floor. Mizsei rose to his feet but it appeared the end was nigh as the Hungarian was forced on the back foot by the animal-like Harrison who knocked down Mizsei for a second time with another body shot.

Harrison’s loyal support roared him on throughout and begged the former world champion to finish Mizsei off and it seemed they got their wish as a flurry of shots sent Mizsei crumpling to the canvas for a third time.

However, Mizsei bravely got up and continued to attempt to fend off Harrison’s incessant attacks. Mizsei managed to make it to the third round but was on the receiving end of Harrison’s blistering combinations.

Mizsei deserved plaudits for hanging on and trying to provide some sort of comeback but it was to no avail as Harrison began to pick the teenager apart with three and four-punch combinations.

Mizsei miraculously survived the round without being knocked on his backside again. It was more of the same from Harrison in the fourth, utilising his frightening power to great effect and repeatedly punishing Mizsei with combinations to the body.

Mizsei was then sent crashing for a fourth time by an overhand right to the head. Mizsei insisted that he was able to continue but referee Victor Laughlin had seen enough and waved Mizsei off.

Harrison leapt to the top of the ropes to thank his supporters and then embraced with his father who may not have thought he would ever see his son victorious in the ring again after several years on a path of self-destruction.

Mizsei earned this reporter’s respect for his efforts, he did not simply lay down for Harrison but attempted to engage in a fight with the former WBO champion but did not earn the same respect from some of the fans.

Speaking to the press who piled into his changing room, Harrison said: “I’m glad to be back. It was a privilege to fight in front of the fans. I want to thank them for coming out to support me,” he said.

“I don’t live in the past, I live in the future and hopefully in the future I can get the world title back.

“According to the papers, I’m at death’s door, I’m going to die early; but throughout my suspension I’ve always kept myself in condition,” he added.

“In the past, I’ve trained to lose weight. This time I trained to build muscle. As the fight went on, I felt I was punching harder.

“My body shots were strong. I’ve been working on that left hook for the past three or four months.

“I just couldn’t wait to get in there after the places I’ve been,” he said.

“To get back in there doing your job again, fighting in front of those fans and making money for your family, it’s brilliant.

“I want to box for money. I’ve wasted a lot but you live and learn. I’m looking forward to this last chapter in my career.”

Punch-Perfect Price Demolishes Sexton

DAVID PRICE has targeted world domination after stopping SAM SEXTON in the fourth round to become Liverpool’s first British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion.

The 6ft 8in powerhouse did not skip a beat in front of his home support at the historic Aintree Equestrian Centre, after putting on a clinical and almost faultless performance.

The 2008 Olympic bronze medallist dominated right from the start utilising a solid, rangy jab to force Sexton on the back foot. Price was looking to pick Sexton apart, finding gaps in the Norwich man’s defence to land crisp uppercuts and body shots.

Sexton, however did try to get himself into the fight in the second but it was to no avail as Price remained disciplined and repeatedly found the target, with Sexton offering little in return.

The third round was slightly better for Sexton as he bombed forward in an attempt to unsettle the 28-year-old behemoth. However, Price stayed strong and a right hook clipped Sexton on the temple sending him down on one knee.

The former Commonwealth champion was saved by the bell but it was only a matter of time before Price finished him off.

Sexton was immediately on the receiving end of Price’s onslaught at the beginning of the fourth, as Price scored another knockdown with a flurry of shots.

Sexton rose to his feet yet again but Price responded by flooring Sexton with a mammoth right hook that sent Sexton crashing hard to the canvas.

Referee Howard Foster had absolutely no choice but to wave the fight off and declare Price the victor.

Speaking after the fight, the new champion said: “It’s everything I’ve worked towards.

“This was the first target. It’s done. Now we can look forward. I felt like I boxed the perfect fight.

“I knew I’d have to be patient, but I’m ready to step up and face the best out there.

“I won’t rush – I’m not the finished article yet – but I feel I am destined to be a world champion. This feels like the end of the beginning.”

His promoter, Frank Maloney, added: “David has the best jab since Lennox Lewis as a heavyweight. That was a 10 out of 10 performance. He is a credit to British boxing.”

Price is now almost certain to be earmarked as a future opponent for the Klitschko brothers, who between them hold the four main world heavyweight titles.

However, Price himself has admitted that he is not quite ready to face the Ukrainian kingpins, who will seek to rush Price before he is truly ready.

Sexton, who only had two losses against Dereck Chisora coming into the fight, was by no means an easy opponent but was made to look far inferior to the Liverpool giant.

Price’s stock will now continue to rise as he know looks head and shoulders – literally- above the rest of Britain’s heavyweights.