Strictly Business Boxing
Strictly Business Boxing

Fowler Steps In to Face Rose After Fitzgerald Injury!

(June 13th) Anthony Fowler has stepped in to face Brian Rose in a must-win fight at Manchester Arena on Saturday July 6, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US, after Scott Fitzgerald was forced to withdraw from his title defence against Rose through injury.

 

Fowler suffered a first career defeat at the hands of Fitzgerald in March and was preparing to make his ring return on the July 6 card when he was handed a golden opportunity to take on former World title challenger Rose in the place of his bitter foe.

 

“I want tests and I want to be involved in the big fights,” said Fowler. “As soon as we heard the news that Scott had to pull out we grabbed the opportunity with both hands. I’m not in this game to be taking easy fights. Brian has mixed it at the top level throughout his career and this is a fantastic chance for me to test myself against an experienced opponent.

 

“I learnt a lot from my last fight and we went away and improved in a few areas. I know that I’m in for a tough night’s work in Manchester but this is a fight that I feel ready and prepared for. I was already massively motivated for my return on July 6 but this has given me another boost.

 

“I’m already in great shape, I’d be ready to fight next week. Brian is a big name and I think he’ll get the best out of me on the night. I know Brian and consider him as a friend, but this is strictly business and I’ve got a job to do next month. This is must-win for me.”

 

“Everyone knows that I’ve got a loyal following and although the original fight with Scott was a big Preston vs. Blackpool derby, I’ll still be bringing big numbers to Manchester on July 6 as Fowler is probably a bigger draw than Scott,” said Rose. “He’s a more well-known fighter even though Scott beat him and it’s a better fight.

 

“On paper it’s an easier fight, I don’t see it like that but this has all worked out better for me because when I beat Fowler I’ll have more options ahead of me and we’ll be able to demand more. I’m really looking forward to fighting Fowler and to fighting on the big stage again.

 

“It’s where I believe I belong, I’ve worked hard to get back on the big stage by fighting on those small hall shows which were great, but there wasn’t much exposure. I’ve done it all in the background, I’ve worked really hard over the last year to get myself fit and into the position that I’m in now and I’ll make it count next month.”

 

Fowler vs. Fitzgerald is part of a huge night of boxing in Manchester where Lawrence Okolie (12-0, 9 KOs) puts his British and Commonwealth Cruiserweight titles on the line against Jack Massey (16-0, 8 KOs), Scott Fitzgerald (13-0, 9 KOs) defends his WBA International Super-Welterweight title against former World title challenger Brian Rose (31-5-1, 8 KOs) in a huge Preston vs. Blackpool Lancashire derby, Felix Cash (11-0, 7 KOs) defends his Commonwealth Middleweight crown against Bolton’s Jack Cullen (16-1, 7 KOs), Anthony Fowler (9-1, 8 KOs) returns after his first pro defeat and Sheffield’s Dalton Smith looks to go 2-0 as a prowith more exciting additions to the card to follow.

 

Tickets priced £40, £60, £100 and £200 (VIP) are available to purchase now via StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk), Manchester Arena via ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.co.uk) and Matchroom Boxing (www.matchroomboxing.com).

Anthony Crolla Lightweight Protégé Dylan Evans

Has Landed A Dream Slot On the July 6th

Lawrence Okolie / Jack Massey Manchester Arena Card!

(June 13th) Anthony Crolla Lightweight protégé Dylan Evans has landed a dream slot on the bumper July 6 Sky Sports and DAZN televised Manchester Arena card that features Lawrence Okolie vs. Jack Massey, Scott Fitzgerald vs. Brian Rose, Felix Cash vs. Jack Cullen and more.

 

Fighting out of the Fox ABC in Manchester’s Newton Heath, 22-year-old Evans made a wining start to life in the professional ranks in 2017, outpointing Joe Beeden at the Oldham Leisure Centre before being forced to curb his boxing dream to focus on work commitments.

 

Determined to relaunch his short-lived pro boxing career, Evans turned to former WBA Lightweight ruler ‘Million Dollar’ Crolla for advice and guidance. Crolla took Evans under his wing, beginning a role as his trainer/manager, and the Mancunian partnership got off to a winning start as Evans earned a comfortable decision over Michael Horabin last month.

 

“His experience is second to none and he’s a massive inspiration to me as well,” said Evans. “He’s someone that I’ve always looked up to. He was always helping train the lads in our amateur gym after his sessions. Hopefully I can pick up from all of his experience, his experience at boxing at Manchester Arena multiple times is second to none.

 

“He’s Manchester’s main boxer at the minute and he’s been through everything in his career. He’s had a rollercoaster career, he’s experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. It’s amazing to have him in my corner. He’s good mates with my brother-in-law and we’ve known each other for the past ten years, we go way back.

 

“I was gobsmacked when I found out that I’d be boxing at Manchester Arena. It’s not something that I was expecting. It’s a dream come true to be fighting at the arena I used to attend as a kid. All Manchester fighters want to box at the arena at some point in their career. To box there so early on in mine is going to give me massive experience moving forward and massive motivation to one day top a bill in Manchester.”

 

Crolla won the WBA Lightweight World title with a fifth-round knockout of Columbia’s Darleys Perez on a hugely emotional evening at Manchester Arena in November 2015 and successfully defended his title with a fifth-round KO of Ismael Barroso at the same venue the following year.

 

The North West hero returns to the scene of his greatest triumph for the first time as a trainer next month and is already backing his Moston protégé to make his own mark in Manchester.

 

“I was probably the first person to take him on the pads when he was a kid,” said Crolla. “He’s a good lad. He trains as hard as anyone. At first, I was just looking to help him out a little bit, but you can’t help but get involved way more than you thought you would. I love the lad’s attitude.

 

“I see a lot of him in me – a young lad who wants to work hard and get the best out of what he’s got. I think there is quite a lot of similarities in us both. He’s only 22, he’s got so much to learn but he’s learning all the time and he’s the kind of kid that picks things up fast.

 

“He was over in LA training with us and he’s been getting great sparring with Stephen Smith, that can only help him. He’s a kid who’s not had much experience, but he does absolutely everything asked of him. He’s super fit, he lives the life. I’m excited to see how far we can go. We’re going to take it one fight at a time. He’s absolutely made up to be on the card at Manchester Arena.

 

“I’m not retired yet but it will be very proud moment for me to go to the arena as a trainer on the night, as much as I’d love to be fighting. It’s going to be little bit different to what I’m used to. I think it will be a little bit surreal, but I’d like to think that I can offer him as good advice about fighting at Manchester Arena than almost anyone.

 

“It’s something that I’m really looking forward to. I hope to be back there as a fighter one more time before I finish, but for the meantime it will be a very proud moment for me to go there as a trainer for the first time. It’s an arena that holds some special memories for me and I hope Dylan can create some of his own, starting on July 6.”

Massey Questions Okolie’s Hunger

Ahead of July 6th Show!

(June 10th) Jack Massey has questioned Lawrence Okolie’s hunger ahead of their British and Commonwealth Cruiserweight title showdown at Manchester Arena on Saturday July 6, shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.

 

Okolie had previously admitted that his heart was telling him to take a leap up in levels to fight WBA World Champion Dennis Lebedev in his next fight, but talk of the shock World title fight fell away after the Hackney man teamed up with new trainer Shane McGuigan.

 

Massey has been vocal in his pursuit of 2016 Olympian Okolie and the undefeated 26-year-old from Chapel-en-le-Frith is promising to shine after finally landing his first major title opportunity on the big stage. A win over Okolie would propel him to the top of the domestic Cruiserweight pile and ‘One Smack’ believes his title shot has come at the perfect time.

 

“We’ve wanted this fight for a long time so when I got my opportunity, I grabbed it with both f****** hands,” said Massey. “I’ve seen a few people knocking me for getting a shot at the belts but it’s time to let everyone know who I am. If they don’t know who I am now, then they definitely will after this fight. This is my time to shine.

 

“I’ve been in the gym since my last fight in March so we’ve had great preparation for this. I’m always in the gym grinding away, you’ve got to be ready for these opportunities when they present themselves. You never know what’s going to come up and I’ve got my chance on July 6.

 

“There’s no doubt that he’s had better opposition than me. This is a big step up for me but I’m ready for it. We’ve had a bit of back and forth on social media but it’s just banter isn’t it. He says that I’ve been giving him sh*t on Twitter but it’s important to remember he was the first one to do it. He was calling me out after his third fight.

 

“I’ve got it all to gain here. To me, it seems like he doesn’t like getting hit and he won’t like it when I connect with him. I don’t think he’s ever has been hit as hard as I hit in a fight. They’re looking past me a bit definitely. I’m hungry and I’m on my way up. He’s had the big fights and got a bit of money in his pocket and I’m still driving a Fiat Punto about. He had his eyes on other fights but I’m hungry for this and I’m ready to go.

 

“I’ve only gone eight rounds once and that’s it. I’ve done six rounds a few times. I don’t think it’s going to go the distance though. I’m looking to put it on him. I think I’ll be too explosive for him when I let them hands go. There’ll be punches in bunches and I’ll let them hands fly. I’m going to be smart about it and take my time to find those little pockets and openings. As the rounds go by I’ll get on the inside and work him.”

Crolla on Lightweight Protégé Dylan Evans:

I See a Lot of Him In Me!

(June 8th) Anthony Crolla Lightweight protégé Dylan Evans has landed a dream slot on the bumper July 6 Sky Sports and DAZN televised Manchester Arena card that features Lawrence Okolie vs. Jack Massey, Scott Fitzgerald vs. Brian Rose, Felix Cash vs. Jack Cullen and more.

 

Fighting out of the Fox ABC in Manchester’s Newton Heath, 22-year-old Evans made a wining start to life in the professional ranks in 2017, outpointing Joe Beeden at the Oldham Leisure Centre before being forced to curb his boxing dream to focus on work commitments.

 

Determined to relaunch his short-lived pro boxing career, Evans turned to former WBA Lightweight ruler ‘Million Dollar’ Crolla for advice and guidance. Crolla took Evans under his wing, beginning a role as his trainer/manager, and the Mancunian partnership got off to a winning start as Evans earned a comfortable decision over Michael Horabin last month.

 

“His experience is second to none and he’s a massive inspiration to me as well,” said Evans. “He’s someone that I’ve always looked up to. He was always helping train the lads in our amateur gym after his sessions. Hopefully I can pick up from all of his experience, his experience at boxing at Manchester Arena multiple times is second to none.

 

“He’s Manchester’s main boxer at the minute and he’s been through everything in his career. He’s had a rollercoaster career, he’s experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. It’s amazing to have him in my corner. He’s good mates with my brother-in-law and we’ve known each other for the past ten years, we go way back.

 

“I was gobsmacked when I found out that I’d be boxing at Manchester Arena. It’s not something that I was expecting. It’s a dream come true to be fighting at the arena I used to attend as a kid. All Manchester fighters want to box at the arena at some point in their career. To box there so early on in mine is going to give me massive experience moving forward and massive motivation to one day top a bill in Manchester.”

 

Crolla won the WBA Lightweight World title with a fifth-round knockout of Columbia’s Darleys Perez on a hugely emotional evening at Manchester Arena in November 2015 and successfully defended his title with a fifth-round KO of Ismael Barroso at the same venue the following year.

 

The North West hero returns to the scene of his greatest triumph for the first time as a trainer next month and is already backing his Moston protégé to make his own mark in Manchester.

 

“I was probably the first person to take him on the pads when he was a kid,” said Crolla. “He’s a good lad. He trains as hard as anyone. At first, I was just looking to help him out a little bit, but you can’t help but get involved way more than you thought you would. I love the lad’s attitude.

 

“I see a lot of him in me – a young lad who wants to work hard and get the best out of what he’s got. I think there is quite a lot of similarities in us both. He’s only 22, he’s got so much to learn but he’s learning all the time and he’s the kind of kid that picks things up fast.

 

“He was over in LA training with us and he’s been getting great sparring with Stephen Smith, that can only help him. He’s a kid who’s not had much experience, but he does absolutely everything asked of him. He’s super fit, he lives the life. I’m excited to see how far we can go. We’re going to take it one fight at a time. He’s absolutely made up to be on the card at Manchester Arena.

 

“I’m not retired yet but it will be very proud moment for me to go to the arena as a trainer on the night, as much as I’d love to be fighting. It’s going to be little bit different to what I’m used to. I think it will be a little bit surreal, but I’d like to think that I can offer him as good advice about fighting at Manchester Arena than almost anyone.

 

“It’s something that I’m really looking forward to. I hope to be back there as a fighter one more time before I finish, but for the meantime it will be a very proud moment for me to go there as a trainer for the first time. It’s an arena that holds some special memories for me and I hope Dylan can create some of his own, starting on July 6.”

Dalton Smith Added to July 6th Manchester Arena Card!

(June 7th) Dalton Smith will take part in his second professional contest at Manchester Arena on Saturday July 6, shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.

 

Sheffield’s most successful amateur of all time made a winning start to life in the paid code with a classy points win over Croatia’s Luka Leskovic at the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham on May 10.

 

Smith offered a taste of his huge potential as he dominated his opponent from the opening bell, setting an impressive pace throughout and showcasing a wide variety of shot selection as he cruised to a comfortable 40-36 decision.

 

“My debut went just as good as I could have imagined,” said Smith. “I had a long training camp and a lot of media stuff around it and it was down to me to perform on the night. I believe I went out there and put on a good performance. My pro debut is in the bag and those nerves and pressure around it will be gone. I think my second fight will be a lot more enjoyable and I’m looking forward to it.

 

“I’ve got full confidence in my abilities. I’ve boxed every style out there in the amateurs, so I knew if I stuck to my game plan and stayed calm then I’d perform. Obviously my debut was big, but fighting at Manchester Arena will be another box ticked for me. It’s one of the biggest indoor arenas there is and there’s some big names on the card. There’s a lot of history in that arena and I’ll create a bit of my own on July 6.”

Fowler Returns on July 6th!

(June 6th) Anthony Fowler will return to the ring for the first time since his loss to Scott Fitzgerald when he fights on the bumper July 6 card at Manchester Arena, shown LIVE on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.

 

Fowler endured his first professional defeat at the hands of bitter rival and former GB teammate Fitzgerald at the M&S Bank Arena Liverpool in March after being dropped in the final round en-route to a thrilling split decision loss.

 

The Liverpudlian looks to get back to winning ways when he fights at Middleweight next month and is already targeting a huge rematch with the ‘Mad Man’ by the end of the year, and ‘The Machine’ hopes that the British title will be on the line this time.

 

“I’m itching to get back out there,” said Fowler. “I had two weeks off and then I was straight back in the gym. I want that rematch badly. I’m just channelling all of the negative feelings that I’ve got into my training. I knew about this fight 6 weeks out, Dave weighed me and decided that I’ll be fighting at Middleweight. I’m very big for Light-Middle so I’m going to have a trial run at Middleweight and see how I feel. I don’t struggle to make 154lbs, but I’ll look a million dollars in sparring, feel strong and fit, and then on fight night I’ll feel flat. We’ll see how I get on but there’s still massive fights ahead for me at 154lbs.

 

“I didn’t give Scott the credit he deserved heading into our fight. I genuinely thought it was going to be an easy night. I went into the ring with the mentality that the fight would be easy and I paid the price dearly. It affected me mentally and my performance dropped massively because of that. I should have been more composed and calculated, I went in there trying to knock him out early. The second half of the fight really got to me because of that approach. I won’t be making that mistake again.

 

“Obviously I just do what I’m told, I’m not the boss, but the ideal scenario for me is to get a good win on July 6 and then fight again at Light-Middleweight against a good opponent. Hopefully Scott will get past Brian Rose and beat Ted Cheeseman for the British title in September. I’d love the rematch in November or December if Scott will give me the opportunity. I hope he wants it too because the fans want it and it will be a decent pay day. The British public want to see it and I think it will definitely happen.”

Okolie and Massey Clash

for British and Commonwealth Crowns In Manchester!

(May 25th) Lawrence Okolie will defend his British and Commonwealth Cruiserweight titles against Jack Massey on the same night that Scott Fitzgerald defends his WBA International Super-Welterweight title against Brian Rose in a huge Preston vs. Blackpool derby at Manchester Arena on Saturday July 6, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.

 

Full details of the bumper summer bill in the North West, including main event confirmation and ticket details, will be formally announced next week.

 

Okolie (12-0, 9 KOs) added the Commonwealth title to his British belt with a fourth-round TKO of London rival Wadi Camacho at the Copper Box Arena last time out in March and the Rio 2016 Olympian puts both belts on the line once more against unbeaten Chapel-en-le-Frith man Massey.

 

‘One Smack’ (16-0, 8 KOs) has been chasing a fight with Hackney banger Okolie for the past year and the 26-year-old juggernaut says he is ready to propel his name to the top of the domestic 200lbs division in his first major title opportunity.

 

“Jack Massey is a fighter with pedigree,” said Okolie. “He has a lot of strength, a lot of ability and a lot of hunger. I’m going to enjoy beating him in front of all of his fans. He’s another undefeated fighter that I will inflict a first career defeat on.

 

“He has criticised me publicly and openly and I want to use my frustration to beat him in the most convincing way possible.”

 

“I’m over the moon to be getting this shot at the British and Commonwealth titles,” said Massey. “I have been waiting for my chance to test myself and I cannot wait until July 6th.

 

“I have the utmost respect for Lawrence Okolie, he boxed in the Olympics, won the British in just his 10th fight and is ranked in the top 10 by the WBA. I know it’s a huge step up for me but I’m ready.

 

“I’ll be bringing a big crowd on the night and promise to put on a show. I have heard some of the other fights that will be on the night and it’s going to be an amazing show to be on.”

 

Fitzgerald (13-0, 9 KOs) secured a thrilling victory over bitter rival Anthony Fowler to land the WBA ranking title at the M&S Bank Arena Liverpool in March, settling their feud after dropping his former Great Britain teammate in the final round to claim a split decision win and hand Fowler a first defeat in the pros.

 

The ‘Mad Man’ puts his belt on the line for the first time against former World title challenger Rose (35-1-1, 8 KOs) in a massive Lancashire showdown that will see the former British champion move back down to 154lbs in an attempt to fire his name back into to the mix in the latter stages of his career.

 

“It’s going to be a mad atmosphere with all of the Preston and Blackpool fans packed into Manchester Arena,” said Fitzgerald. “I’m confident of doing a good job on him. I’ll outjab him all night and get the win. This could be his last night in the sport so he’ll want to go out with a bang.

 

“He’s number two at Middleweight at the moment on BoxRec. He’s a good opponent. He’s a little older than me but experience is on his side. Before I ever even had an amateur fight, I knew who he was. He was the top boy around Lancashire, where we’re from. It’s a fight that I thought about before I even turned pro and now it’s happening.

 

“I wanted to fight Ted Cheeseman for the British title but this one was next on my list. It’s a big local rivalry and one that all of the Preston lads will get behind massively. The Cheeseman fight will still be there after I beat Rose, I want to take that belt off a champion.

 

“I made my debut at Manchester Arena. Preston is about the same distance from Liverpool as it is Manchester so there’ll be a lot in there again, probably more this time because there’s a lot of people buzzing off me right around Britain.”

 

“I’ve worked really hard at getting a big fight again so I’m made up that we’ve got this fight LIVE on Sky Sports and DAZN,” said Rose. “I’ve had two wins since coming back and I’ve felt really good, so I can’t wait to step into the ring with Fitzgerald.

 

“I have a lot of respect for Fitzgerald for giving me the opportunity, and I don’t think people realise how big this fight for Blackpool and Preston. This is a huge fight for Lancashire and it’s going to be a great night for the fans, so may the best man win.

 

“I’ve worked really hard getting back to where I am and by moving back down to Super-Welterweight, which is where I achieved everything, I’m giving myself the best chance of making an impact. I won the British title and challenged for a World title at that weight, so I’ve already done what Fitzgerald is hoping to achieve in his career.

 

“It was only up at Middleweight where I came unstuck, but at this weight I know what I’m capable of, so this fight makes so much sense. It’s going to be a great fight, and I promise that I’ll be the best I’ve ever been. When I win this fight I can hopefully get a top ten ranking and then who knows what can happen.”

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