Strictly Business Boxing
Strictly Business Boxing

Jack Catterall Blasts Josh Taylor

Over Rematch Snub and Says Fans Being Let Down!

(May 24th) Jack Catterall insists Josh Taylor will ‘not be a man of his word’ if he ignores a rematch between the super lightweight rivals.

 

Taylor had vowed to face Catterall in a return of their highly controversial undisputed world title fight but is reportedly in talks to fight Jose Zepeda next.

 

The boxing world was outraged at the scoring of the February fight, after Taylor was handed a split decision victory, despite Catterall dropping the Scot as part of a dominate display in Glasgow.

 

After the fight, Taylor said he was planning to move up in weight but promised he would fight ‘El Gato’ at 147lbs in a rematch that the sport was calling for.

 

Yet Taylor, who has since vacated his WBA title, will remain at 140lbs but not does appear keen on fighting Catterall next, instead focusing on defending his three belts against Zepeda.

 

Catterall, speaking to TalkSPORT, says by refusing to fight him next, Taylor is tarnishing his reputation and denying the fans.

 

“I do believe there’s only one fight for Josh at 140 lbs and that’s against me… Ultimately, he cannot go and fight Zepeda and if he does, he’s not a man of his word,” Catterall said.

 

“He said we would have a rematch at welterweight or a catchweight, but now he’s decided to stay at 140 lbs. The fans are calling for it, I’m calling for it, it’s an easy fight to be made, let’s get it on.”

 

Taylor’s trainer, Ben Davison, is adamant that Taylor wants a rematch with Catterall, and exchanged messages with the Chorley hero on Sunday night.

 

Davison had posted: “The Catterall rematch is the fight he wants” which prompted Catterall, the People’s Champion, to reply: “I don’t’ think he does Ben”.

 

Taylor’s coach came back with: “I can assure you it is.  It’s the biggest fight that can currently be made in the UK, in my opinion.  Huge fight.”

Lisa Whiteside Sends Warning

To World Super Bantamweight Champions!

(May 19th) British fighter Lisa Whiteside will relaunch her professional career with Probellum and is set on winning a world title for young son Jensen.

 

Whiteside was a world class amateur with Great Britain and England, boxing over 120 times and picking up medals at various international tournaments, before turning professional in 2019.

 

But after three fights, the Chorley-born boxer, stepped away from the sport to focus on becoming a mum and she gave birth to baby boy Jensen on Boxing Day 2020.

 

A shoulder injury then hampered comeback plans but Whiteside is now ready to return to the ring and having signed a promotional deal with Probellum, the 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist is set on grabbing world title chances – and quickly.

 

Mick Day-trained Whiteside, 36, will campaign at super bantamweight and says all she needs is one fight before being ready to start pushing for contests with Mayerlin Rivas, Segolene Lefebvre and the other world title holders at 122lbs.

 

Lisa Whiteside said: “My goal is to become world champion, and I believe Probellum, together with S-Jam Boxing, will put me in a position to get the fights I need.

 

“I’ve been out of boxing for almost three years because I had a baby and then a shoulder injury put a spanner in the works, so I need to get that one fight under my belt, but after that I am ready to go!

 

“The drive to succeed that my son Jensen gives me, to go and get that world title belt for him, is incredible.

 

“I just want to make him super proud and bring home a world title.”

 

Richard Schaefer, President of Probellum said: “Lisa is yet another great addition to Probellum’s stable of female fighters.

 

“Women’s boxing has never been as popular, or as packed with talent. There are huge fights to be made everywhere you look in the sport and that is our focus with Lisa – deliver her the big fights.

 

“She was a supremely talented amateur and we know she has the perfect style and attitude for the pros.  Lisa is ready to fight anyone, anywhere, anytime.”

 

Whiteside, who has recently teamed up with Tyson Fury’s strength and conditioning coach Kristian Blacklock to aid her training, says joining Probellum raises the prospect of fighting on the same card as another Chorley hero.

 

“Jack Catterall is Chorley born and bred like me and I would love to be able to share a show with him,” said Whiteside.

 

“That would be amazing, he’s a top guy and it was unfortunate what happened in his last fight, but it has put him on a bigger platform, and you can see the love the public have for him.

 

“That show would be a sell-out, 100%!”

Lee McGregor Says Only A World Bantamweight

Title Fight Will Stop Major Career Move!

(May 19th) Lee McGregor wants a world title shot this year or he’s launching an attack on the weight divisions above.

 

The European, British and Commonwealth bantamweight champion is “licking his lips” at the thought of challenging WBO title holder Paul Butler but admits if he can’t land that shot in 2022, then he will be forced to move up a weight class.

 

‘Lightning’ raced to become European champ in only his 10th fight and McGregor insists there is no time to waste as he eyes becoming a multi-weight title holder.

 

The 25-year-old says he has the “feel good factor” back in his life after a difficult few months in and out of the ring, which saw his dad, Stuart, left fighting for his life after being hit by a lorry.

 

McGregor’s father is now on the road to recovery and after fight cancellations, and shock draw in his last contest, the Edinburgh puncher is ready to give his career a shot in the arm.

 

“It’s no secret that I am big for bantamweight, and it is not easy making 118lbs,” the unbeaten McGregor said.

 

“I’ve done everything at the weight, winning British, Commonwealth and European titles and so the only fight left for me is a world title.

 

“I cannot have an eliminator first because that would only come by the end of the year, at which point, I will be due to move up in weight.”

 

‘I FANCY MY CHANCES’

“I’ve been licking my lips ever since Paul Butler won the WBO title because it’s a fight that’s easy to make, it makes sense and it’s a big fight in Britain.  I don’t want to sound disrespectful, but I would love that fight and would fancy my chances.

 

“I have made it clear to my team that it’s either a shot at the world title next, or I move up and make an assault on the super-bantamweight scene and get a title shot there.

 

“I know I am a major, major force at bantam and super bantamweight, and I am ready for them all.  There may even be opportunities for me up at featherweight.  I am going to go up through the weight divisions.”

 

DAD ON ROAD TO RECOVERY

McGregor signed a co-promotional deal with Probellum and Matchroom in November and had been set to make a defence of his European crown the following month, in Manchester.

 

But, as the Scottish hero explains, he had to scrap the fight after learning about this dad.

 

“Over the course of the build up to a fight I was meant to have in December, a lot happened,” he said.

 

“My dad was in a severe car accident and was in intensive care.  I was in Vegas, training, when I heard the news, so I was all over the place.

 

“He has just started walking again, it was really bad.”

Sunny Edwards Sends ‘One Billion Per Cent’

Next Fight Message To World Champion Paul Butler!

(May 17th) Sunny Edwards is “one billion per cent” serious about challenging new world bantamweight champion Paul Butler.

 

But Edwards, the unbeaten flyweight title holder, doesn’t believe Butler would accept the fight even though ‘Showtime’ would be moving up two weight divisions to make it happen.

 

Edwards said: “If I was Paul Butler, I would stay every possible mile in this world away from me”.

 

Butler has been elevated to full WBO world bantamweight champion after John Riel Casimero was stripped of the belt having contravened weigh-making rules in the build-up to Probellum Liverpool.

 

Jonas Sultan stepped in as the replacement but found Butler in the form of his career as the Ellesmere Port fighter won convincingly on points.

 

EDWARDS LAYS DOWN GAUNTLET

In a post on social media last week, Edwards threw his hat in the ring to be the opponent for Butler’s first defence of his WBO crown and the 26-year-old has doubled down on his challenge to the new champion.

 

Yet the IBF king at 112lbs is not convinced Butler, and his team, would be prepared to risk the title in a fight with him.

 

“I am one billion per cent serious about fighting Paul Butler,” said Edwards.

 

“I don’t say things that don’t mean not in boxing, not in my private life.

 

“It’s a fight I’d be 100% confident with, it would be an inter-Probellum fight, it would be an all-British world title fight, but I couldn’t really see it happening, if I’m honest, because if I was Paul Butler, I would stay every possible mile in this world away from me and I think that will be the response.

 

“I think Paul’s coach, Joe Gallagher, is probably much smarter than that, in fact. But it’s a fight that I would like, it was never really on my radar until a few months ago when I got dragged into a back and forth on Twitter with his dad. But Paul’s a good fighter, don’t get confused.”

 

‘THERE ARE LEVELS TO BOXING’

Edwards has described Butler’s victory over Sultan last month, as a “good win” but believes he would be too good for the bantamweight title holder.

 

“For me, there are levels to boxing,” Edwards said.

 

“It’s a fight that would allow me to prove the mindset that I’m willing to go up and down in weights to where the fights make sense.

 

“It’s not personal to Paul. I’ll fight anyone, point blank, period, believe me on that, but there are some fights that, I’ll run towards and some fights I’ll wait, keep doing my thing and wait until we gravitate toward each other, or they approach me, I’m an easy person to make a fight against.

 

“And who knows? Maybe they would fancy fighting a flyweight jumping up two weights, with a good profile, it would be Probellum versus Probellum, I could even give them a rematch clause, all that jazz, as he’s the champion, and so maybe it might make sense?

 

“I don’t know, but this is me saying, openly, that I would take the fight. I would love the fight if I was offered it next.

 

“If not, I can fully understand it because like I said, if I was him, I wouldn’t fight me, not in a million years.”

 

About Probellum   

Launched in September 2021, Probellum is a global boxing promotion and media company, and the fastest-growing brand in the sport.

 

Following the success of the opening two shows in December 2021, Probellum has already held back-to-back world championship nights in Dubai, as well as a packed card in Newcastle.

 

The world title action then headed to Liverpool earlier this month where Paul Butler won the WBO bantamweight crown.

 

Probellum’s elite stable of fighters also includes Nonito Donaire, Regis Prograis, Estelle Mossely, Sunny Edwards, Eimantas Stanionis, Donnie Nietes and Dina Thorslund.

 

But the company has also recruited the next generation of stars with Peter McGrail, Mark Dickinson and Pat and Luke McCormack, Shabaz Masoud and Spencer Wilcox among the young talents under the Probellum umbrella.

 

Since launching, Probellum has signed co-promotional partnerships with some of the biggest promoters globally, including DiBella Entertainment (US), Wasserman (Germany), Universum (Germany), GYM (Canada), Maravilla Box (Spain), Team Ellis (Australia), Titov Boxing Promotions (Russia), Volcano Boxing (El Salvador), BXSTRS Promotions (Mexico), PR Best (Puerto Rico) Glozier Boxing (New Zealand), Box Office Sports (Ghana) and LNK Boxing (Latvia).    

Meet Troy Williamson

The British Champion Followed By Bugzy Malone

and Who Listens To Country Music!

(May 13th) ‘Between Rounds’ – 60 seconds of quick-fire questions with super welterweight champion Troy Williamson.

 

Troy Williamson is rapidly becoming the must-see attraction in British boxing after winning back-to-back Fight of the Year contenders.

 

The super welterweight champion ripped the British title from Ted Cheeseman in late 2021 before climbing off the canvas to defend his crown against Mason Cartwright at Probellum Throwdown in March.

 

Williamson is well ranked with a number of the world sanctioning bodies and will be keeping a close eye on the 154lbs undisputed clash between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano in the United States on Saturday night.

 

“I hope Jermell Charlo wins,” said Williamson.

 

“I fancy him to get the job done and he’s said he intends to move up in weight after this so if he does, then it potentially creates opportunities for me to fight in eliminators in the near future, if the belts become vacant.”

 

But before Williamson turns his attention to the weekend’s blockbuster, he took time out to speak to Probellum.com and answer some quick-fire questions.

 

Favourite Fighter: Mike Tyson. My favourite fights of Tyson’s are the Marvis Frazier one and Bruno II.

 

Favourite Fight: Miguel Cotto vs Antonio Margarito, the rematch where he gets revenge.  I’m a big fan of Cotto.

 

Favourite other sport: I don’t mind football, I’m not as big a fan as I used to be.  I like watching horse racing.

 

Favourite meal: Fish and Chips.  There are a few good chippies where I live, and I run past one every day.

 

Last place you went on holiday: Fuerteventura.  I went there after my last fight.  I was a nice chilled one.

 

Best film you’ve seen: Legends of the Falls.  Forest Gump is a classic too.  Friday with Chris Tucker is also a favourite.  In between training sessions, I usually go home and watch films.

 

Netflix recommendation: I have just started the final season of Ozark

 

Most famous follower on social media: Anthony Joshua or Bugzy Malone.  I’ve got people from all genres, boxers, singers, rappers.  The guy from Diversity, Jordan Banjo, follows me too.

 

If you weren’t a boxer, your job would be:  I used to play football and wasn’t bad but chose boxing.  

 

If you could listen to one song for the rest of your life: ‘From This Moment On’ by Shania Twain.  I’m a big country music fan and have seen her in concert.  I also like Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.

Next Fights Ordered For

O’Shaquie Foster and Noel Gevor

As WBC Issue World Title Update!

(May 11th) The World Boxing Council have named the opponents Probellum stars O’Shaquie Foster and Noel Gevor must face next to keep on track for their respective world title shots.

 

Super-featherweight stylist Foster is the No1 contender in the WBC rankings and has been ordered to face Mexico’s Eduardo Ramirez (No3) next.

 

The winner of that fight will be in line to face champion Shakur Stevenson, who won the WBC belt by defeating Oscar Valdez in Las Vegas last month.

 

In a recent post on social media, Foster said a fight between the pair would be: “the most Highly Skilled fight EVER at 130lbs. It’s the fans that win…”

Cruiserweight puncher Gevor, meanwhile, has been matched with South Africa’s Thabiso Mchunu with the prize being a shot at champion Ilunga Makabu.

 

Gevor (26-2,11KO), the WBC Silver champion who fights out of Germany, is No2 in the sanctioning body’s ratings while Mchunu, who lost to the world champion Makabu in January, is No3.

 

Former world title challenger Gevor, strengthened his position with the WBC by defeating contender Youri Kalenga in February.

 

The ordered fights were announced by WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman on Tuesday.

American Foster (19-2, 11KO), who beat Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov at Probellum Evolution in Dubai earlier this year in an official eliminator, is joined by Probellum stable-mate Archie Sharp in chasing a fight with Stevenson.

 

Sharp is the ranked as the No1 contender for the American’s WBO title in the 130lbs division.

Eimantas Stanionis Reacts To Conor Benn

Fight Talk and States Erroll Spence Could Be Next!

(May 4th) WBA world champion Eimantas Stanionis says Conor Benn is being ‘protected’ from facing him and has laughed off claims a fight between them would not sell many tickets.

 

Stanionis dethroned the ‘regular’ welterweight title holder Radzhab Butaev in Dallas last month to create history by becoming Lithuania’s first ever professional world champion.

 

The 27-year-old won the WBA crown a few hours after Britain’s Benn had stopped Chris van Heerden in two rounds and following that contest, his promoter Eddie Hearn was asked about pitching his charge in with Stanionis.

 

Hearn praised the 2016 Olympian as a “really good fighter” but said the welterweight champion had “zero profile” and they would only sell 5,000 tickets for that contest at a venue in London.

 

Stanionis has now responded to those claims by saying: “I heard what Eddie Hearn said.

 

“They don’t want the fight and that’s why he said that nobody knows me.  I just laughed when I heard it, but he is just protecting his guy, it’s his job.

 

“He is promoting a guy for the future, and he knows it would be a very tough fight with me.

 

"But I was just laughing because there is a big, big community of Lithuanians in England and many people would fly over from my home country for that fight too, so we would sell a lot more than 5,000 tickets.

 

“Conor is a good fighter, he can bang, and he has power, but he has never fought anyone who would pressurise him like I would, he’s been fighting inactive guys.  But a fight between us would be a lot of fun!”

 

Stanionis’ victory over Butaev has made him the mandatory challenger for Errol Spence, who holds the WBA’s ‘Super’ title at 147lbs.

 

Spence also has the WBC and IBF welterweight belts and could yet agree to fight WBO king Terence Crawford – but Stanionis’ wants to be his next opponent.

 

“My contract means I am next in line to fight Spence, so I will wait for that opportunity,” said Stanionis.

 

“It would be cool if I could fight him for three belts because when you achieve one goal, you have to create new ones and I want the other belts.  I like a challenge; I want to see where I stand and want to see how deep I can dig and how far I can go through the fire.

 

“I don’t know if Spence will fight Crawford next.  I am a sports fan too and so I would love to see that fight but I am also a young, hungry fighter who wants the biggest fights.

 

"I am contracted to fight Spence next so maybe he gives up the belts and I will fight somebody else.”

Paul Butler Named World Bantamweight Champion

After WBO Make John Casimero Decision!

(May 4th) Paul Butler has been elevated to WBO world bantamweight champion after the sanctioning body voted unanimously to strip the title holder.

 

Butler won the interim belt at Probellum Liverpool last month, with a masterful display against Jonas Sultan at the M&S Bank Arena.

 

Sultan stepped in to replace the champion, John Riel Casimero, who had been forced out of the clash having contravened British Boxing Board of Control rules around weight making and the use of saunas.

 

Butler defeated Sultan on points over 12 rounds with a career-best display and was waiting for the WBO to decide on Casimero and the fate of the full world title.

 

And the 33-year-old woke this morning to the news that he is officially now the WBO title holder at 118lbs with Casmiero stripped of his belt but set to be installed as the No1 contender in the division.

 

“I already knew I was a two-time world bantamweight champion but to have it officially confirmed by the WBO this morning, is a great feeling,” Butler said.

“I produced the best performance of my career in beating Jonas Sultan at Probellum Liverpool and Casimero will have watched that display and realised he was seriously underestimating me.

 

“Had Casimero not been pulled out of the fight, the result would have been the same as I was in the shape of my life for the biggest contest of my career, and he could see that on the night.

 

“Now, with the WBO belt around my waist, I’m ready to secure some huge fights in one of the best divisions in the boxing, and I will be watching the outcome of Donaire versus Inoue with interest.”

 

Butler won the IBF bantamweight title in 2014 but soon relinquished his belt to chase honours at super-flyweight.

 

Yet, the decision of the WBO’s Executive Committee overnight, who voted 21-0 in favour of promoting the Liverpool FC fan to full champion, means he is now officially back among the best fighters in the division.

Probellum’s Eimantas Stanionis

Creates History To Become World Champion!

(April 18th) Eimantas Stanionis has won the WBA world welterweight title and created boxing history in the process. 

 

The 27-year-old deservedly dethroned champion Radzhab Butaev on a split decision after 12 rounds at the AT&T Stadium in Texas, on Saturday night.

 

Stanionis was awarded the victory by two of the ringside judges, with scores of 116-111 and 117-110, and as a result becomes Lithuania’s first ever professional boxing world champion.

 

The 2016 Olympian, now 14-0, has also made himself mandatory challenger for the WBA’s Super champion at 147lbs Errol Spence Jnr, who forced the stoppage of Yordenis Ugas in the headlining bout. 

 

Speaking about his historic victory, Stanionis said: “I still can’t believe it. It was a dream come true to hear, ‘and the new.’ When I was a kid, I visualized what this would look like and how it would feel to become a champion.

 

“It’s because of the hard work, dedication, belief in myself and my team to get me to this big stage. I want to thank my team for everything. What I did in the ring, they did just as much outside the ring.

 

“I’m very happy. I just want to tell everybody that dreams do come true. If you believe in it and give your everything, it will happen.”

 

One judge gave the fight to defending champion Butaev but Stanionis was the rightful winner on a historic evening. 

 

Stanionis – the first Probellum fighter to win a world title – dictated the pace for much of the contest and his accuracy and aggression were too much for Butaev to cope with. 

Official Statement Probellum

Responds To U.S. Treasury Sanctions!

(April 14th) Probellum takes the sanctions made by the US Treasury extremely seriously and the business and its employees will be fully compliant with them.

 

We have retained counsel in the US to ensure that we fully comply with all rules, regulations and requirements related to this matter, including not working with any individual or company that has been placed under US sanctions.

 

This includes Daniel Kinahan and we can confirm that we will not have any business relationship or communication with him whatsoever.

 

Bob Arum’s comments implying that Top Rank has ceased a business relationship with Probellum are baseless.

 

Top Rank is a competitor and since Probellum’s inception, Top Rank has never worked directly with us. Any suggestions that Daniel Kinahan is a shareholder or owner of Probellum are false and defamatory.

Dina Thorslund Delivers Ebanie Bridges

Fight Message As She Plots Bantamweight Unification!

(April 8th) WBO world bantamweight title holder Dina Thorslund is pushing for huge unification fights with Ebanie Bridges and the other champions.

 

The 28-year-old will start banging the drum for clashes with Bridges, Jamie Mitchell and Yuliahn Luna if she comes through a defence of her title in Denmark on Saturday night.

 

Bridges won the IBF belt last month but the unbeaten Thorslund believes she would be too strong for the Australian and anyone else in the 118lbs division.

 

Thorslund faces Niorkis Carreno in Holstebro this weekend – on a bill that also includes Alex Dilmaghani in an eight-round contest against Victor Julio – and if she keeps hold of her belt then the Dane’s focus will immediately turn to unification fights. 

 

“It would be amazing to fight Ebanie but the result would not come as a surprise to people because I would win because I am better than her,” Thorslund (17-0) said.

 

“But it would be a great fight and the build-up could be real fun with two blonde bombers!”

 

“I believe I am strongest fighter at bantamweight and with the right preparation, I can take all of the belts and unify the division,” she added.

 

“That is my goal and to get to this point in my career has been a long time coming, especially with no promoter for so long, but with Probellum backing me I hope we can make these massive fights for women’s boxing.”

 

Two-weight world champion Thorslund joined forces with Probellum, the fastest growing brand in the sport, in January as is part of a building roster of female fighters.

 

Lightweight world champion Estelle Mossely made a historic defence of her title in Dubai last month, while women’s boxing pioneer Hanna Gabriels has signed a co-promotional deal with the company.

 

Emmanuel Tagoe is the latest big name to join Probellum alongsideDina Thorslund, Ali Tazeem, Nonito Donaire, Regis Prograis, Estelle Mossely, Lee McGregor, Donnie Nietes, and Muhammad Waseem

 

The company has also recruited the next generation of stars with Peter and Joe McGrail, Mark Dickinson, Pat and Luke McCormack and Shabaz Masoud among the young talents under the Probellum umbrella.   

Donnie Nietes To Fight World Champion

Kazuto Ioka After WBO Ruling!

(April 6th) Former four-weight world champion Donnie Nietes will get the chance to reclaim the WBO junior-bantamweight title after a ruling by the sanctioning body.

 

The WBO have installed Filipino hero Nietes as mandatory challenger to champion Kazuto Ioka, a man he has already beaten.

 

Nietes won the vacant WBO crown in 2018 when outpointing his Japanese rival over 12 rounds in Macao and the pair are on course to clash for a second time, later this year.

 

The WBO have opened a 30-day negotiating period to arrange the fight but if no agreement can be reached then the mouth-watering rematch at 115lbs will go to purse bids.

 

Nietes had an enforced lay-off of over two years following his victory over Ioka, a win which made him a four-weight world champion, but he fought twice last year to get his storied career back on track.

 

And the WBO have now made the 39-year-old – who has lost only once in 50 fights as a professional – the next challenger in line for Ioka.

 

Nietes’ legendary move through the weights has seen him rule at minimumweight, light-flyweight, flyweight and in his current division.

 

The man known as ‘Ahas’, which translates as ‘Snake’, was among the first batch of fighters to sign with Probellum after the company launched in September of last year.

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