Promo: Boxing's Return
To London's Iconic Royal Albert Hall!
Tickets are priced from £40. A pre-sale open to members of the Royal Albert Hall’s Friends and Patrons scheme is open from noon on Thursday 17 January, with tickets on general sale from noon on Friday 18 January via RoyalAlbertHall.com.
Mullender: “Come On Then, Stop Me”!
(February 14th) Joe Mullender was given prior notice that his name was firmly in the frame for a shot at the British title, but being tipped the wink did not prompt a scouting mission to assess the strengths of a potential opponent.
Mullender challenges Liam Williams for the British middleweight title at the Royal Albert Hall on Friday March 8 and the basher from Brentwood, known as Smokin Joe, had knowledge of the prospect before the Welshman claimed the title with an emphatic stoppage of the previously unbeaten Mark Heffron at the Manchester Arena in December.
“I was at one of the award do’s with my manager Andy (Ayling) and Francis (Warren) and they just said to me ‘do you want to fight the winner?’. I said ‘how much?’ Done!” stated the 32-year-old with a record of 11-2.
A pre-Christmas jaunt to Manchester was never on the cards though, according to the former English champion.
“No, I’m not bothered, it really doesn’t bother me,” insisted Mullender. “I could have gone there and sat ringside peeping through the ropes. What difference is that going to make?
“I can’t judge a fight and sit there wondering if I could exploit this or that. Listen, he’s gonna punch my head in and I’m gonna punch his head in. Game plans go out of the window so it is irrelevant to me who won because at this level everyone is a good fighter.
“I know what I am good at and I know what I have to do. What he’s good at, he’ll do, so there is nothing special to it in my opinion.
“I don’t feel like I had to sit there and watch it and I haven’t looked at it since either. I don’t need to, Liam is a good fighter and I am not one to sit and study and opponent.
“Who is he? Lovely, see you then.”
Williams is a world level operator who has previously challenged for an Interim title at super welterweight, as well as a final eliminator for a world title. Mullender, by contrast, admits his style is of a more basic nature and could be described as up close and personal.
“Yeah and it is made for fighters like Liam, but my tactics are not going to change. I’m not going ‘I’m going to shock the world’ and then go on the back foot. I’m telling him in the press conference that I am coming to ‘ave it with him.
“So he either irons me out or we are having a fight. It is as simple as that.
“I don’t pretend to be something I’m not, but everyone can come and watch me or fighters of my style and think they will pick them apart.
“Well, who has?
“I don’t know what he will do, but he can make it a very simple fight for himself by running, staying on the back foot and jabbing my head off. That is probably what Dom Ingle is saying to him, that I am basic and if I take too many he will stop me.
“Come on then, stop me!
“It is one thing looking at it from the outside and saying I am going to do this or that. When I am on your chest, try and stop me then. If you ain’t, I am gonna tickle your ribs and I am gonna beat you up.
“Otherwise, you’ve got to beat me up. It isn’t hard to work out.”
Elsewhere on the show, Liam Williams puts his newly won British Middleweight Title on the line against Brentwood bruiser Joe Mullender. Archie Sharp defends his WBO European Super Featherweight title and 14-0 unbeaten record against 11-0 Lucas Ballingall. Johnny Garton will also be in action defending his British Welterweight Title.
Daniel Dubois: “I’m Not far Behind the Best”!
(February 12th) Daniel Dubois does not view the prospect of himself mixing with the elite of the heavyweight division as a long-term ambition.
The 21-year-old London based powerhouse is planning to climb a good few rungs of the heavyweight ladder over the course of 2019 and put the big three – Messrs Fury, Wilder and Joshua – on notice that the emerging force is quickly playing catch-up.
“This is the year for me and I am determined to make it a big one,” said the 9-0 man, who will take himself into double figures at the Royal Albert Hall when he meets Razvan Cajanu on March 8. “I’m gonna give 100 per cent and we will see by the end of the year where I am at. I am so determined to make this a positive year.
“I think I am not that far behind the best out there,” he insisted. “With a few little adjustments and, not rushing anything and staying grounded and real about the situation I’m in, I believe my skill will move me even closer to the big names out there.
“I am really not far behind now,” added the quietly-spoken but steely Dubois, who believes a productive run of fights against the right opponents will set him on a collision course with the current leaders of the heavyweight pack.
“That’s it, a positive run of fights where I show consistency and make a few statements along the way.”
Dubois missed out on reaching 10-0 against the American-based Romanian Cojanu in December when he suffered a seasonal KO that ruled him out of delivering some festive punch for the second year running.
“It seems to happen all the time around December,” he reflected with a heavy sigh. “Maybe I don’t adapt very well to the change of weather and the virus took me out.
“It wasn’t just man flu, it was a proper virus and whatever it was it was dreadful.
“It was disappointing to miss a fight but I think the rest might have served me well, giving me time to rest my hands.
“I’m back now and I’ll be better than last year and pushing on.”
His first assignment of the year is take two of his aborted mission against Cojanu, who ultimately fought a week later against Dubois’ domestic rival Nathan Gorman, who cruised to a relatively comfortable points victory in Manchester.
Dubois was not overly impressed with what he saw from either man.
“Yeah I saw the highlights but didn’t watch it all,” reflected the Londoner. “If you are asking for my opinion on the fight, I thought Nathan and this guy didn’t produce a spectacular fight.
“I expected it to go the distance because Nathan is not a knockout puncher, but he can box and this guy didn’t have much ambition to win.
“So it balanced out really, it was what I expected and not very exciting – pretty boring.”
Dubois goes along with the theory that Cojanu is tailored more to his strengths than that of Gorman and a KO statement is on the cards.
“That is definitely it and I’ve got to show that I can. I’ve got to go in there and do a job on him. I’ll take him out whenever I see the opportunity. I’ve got to create the situation, create the openings and I am looking forward to it.
“He is going down and I’ve got to chop him down.”
Bentley Parks Joins Warren Stable!
(February 9th) Fast rising middleweight force Denzel Bentley could not hide his delight over signing promotional terms with Frank Warren and joining up with the Hall of Fame promoter’s richly talented team of champions and contenders.
The charismatic 24-year-old from Battersea has built up an 8-0 record to date, with seven of those wins coming via blistering KO.
His first two fights as a professional – under the stewardship of trainers Ray Ball and Martin Bowers – lasted a combined 88 seconds. His third, a revenge mission for an amateur reverse against Ashley Bailey-Dumetz – went into overtime by Bentley standards and was concluded in 98 seconds.
Aside from redoubtable journeyman Christian Hoskin Gomez, who last the full six rounds, none of his subsequent five fights have extended beyond the second round.
“I am excited about it,” said the Peacock Gym protégé. “I found out yesterday and I am so happy about it. It was good news for me when Martin came through with the contract, I signed it and now it is my time.
“It is time for me to get the exposure and to get my name really out there on the scene domestically.
“I am eight fights down the line, I have paid my dues and I have been waiting for an opportunity like this for a while. You need to be patient and this has come at the right time for me.
“I couldn’t ask for any more and I am happy with it,” added the 160-pounder, who believes he is ‘title-ready’ for his entry into the Frank Warren ranks.
“That is the good thing is well, I will be title-ready going onto that platform. I have got to perform going into these fights and then I feel my name will build quite nicely and we’ll get bigger fights.
“It’s good, I’ve had my early learning fights and I want to step up now, but it will be down to the team.”
Denzel will debut for his new team at the Royal Albert Hall on March 8.
“That is the best thing about it – the Royal Albert Hall! When we went there for the press conference I looked around the venue and was very happy to think I would be boxing there.”
Wiliams Believes Mullender Is Telling Lies!
(February 8th) Liam Williams has blasted back at Joe Mullender, claiming his big rival wishes he had his talent.
The British Middleweight champion believes the Essex man lied when he claimed he hadn’t bothered watching Williams (19-2-1) title winning performance against Mark Heffron in December.
Williams makes the first defence of his crown against Mullender (11-2) at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Friday March 8 on Frank Warren’s stacked bill that is live on BT Sport.
Clydach Vale’s Williams raged: “Listen. He did watch my fight.
“He’s been at home thinking about it for weeks and wishing he could fight like me.
“He’s playing it down trying to win over the people, but don’t fall for it.”
Promising to repeat his impressive performance against Heffron who was rescued in the tenth round, the Welshman warned Mullender: “You know what time it is, sleepy time.”
Mullender last boxed in October when he floored Ben Capps four times, and won in seven rounds.
Williams insists he’s another level, and that his all-action challenger is already suffering mental torture ahead of the big fight.
“He can say what he wants,” Williams added.
“When he puts his head on that pillow at night he’s already watched himself get filled in over and over and the closer it gets the worse it will get.”
Garton Gets Jenkins Defense at Royal Albert Hall!
(February 6th) Johnny Garton will make a first defense of his British welterweight title against Chris Jenkins at the Royal Albert Hall.
The Pexican collected the treasured Lonsdale belt following a thrilling encounter with Gary Corcoran in October – stopping the Wembley man in the 11th round – and he now faces the tough Welshman on March 8 when boxing makes its return to the historic South Kensington venue.
Jenkins, 30, has twice before challenged for the British title at super lightweight. As a then unbeaten fighter in July 2015, he took on Tyrone Nurse for the vacant title and an exciting fight was declared a majority draw by the judges.
The pair rematched four months later and Nurse prevailed in another closely contested bout. The 20-3-2 Jenkins has subsequently added a further four wins to his record, but has also suffered the misfortune of severe cuts curtailing two of his fights against Akeem Ennis-Brown and Darragh Foley.
“There were rumors that I would be fighting Chris and now it is confirmed,” reacted the champion to news of his defense being booked in. “I think it is a good tough fight and I am looking forward to it.
“We both cut easily so I would put my money on a bit of blood being spilt on the canvas!”
“Chris is a very tough man and he has been down here at our gym sparring before when Liam Williams also came down. It was a very good spar between us, very hard, and I expect the same on the night.
“He is very energetic and a bit of a crazy fella – it is going to be good,” added the Alan Smith-trained Garton, who claims he will employ some technical boxing to add to his typical marauding style.
“We are always working on technique because I can’t keep plodding forward like I have done in my last couple of fights. I need to work on things and I think you might see something different from me in this fight.”
Confident Reid Wants British Title In 2019!
(February 5th) Lucien Reid says it will be a knockout 2019 with Indi Sangha the first to feel the force.
The super-bantamweight faces the toughest test of his career so far when he meets southpaw Sangha (9-1) at London’s Royal Albert Hall at Friday March 8.
Reid (8-0) believes he is British title bound this year and is predicting an early night against his Birmingham rival despite having to go the distance in each of his last three fights,
London’s 2013 ABA Elite champion said: “Sangha is a tricky fighter, but he hasn’t been in with anyone as tricky as me or with an amateur background like mine.
“I boxed all around the world so I know how to deal with people very easily. I will figure him out quickly and take him out very early.
“One million per-cent I am getting back to stopping someone. He has a good record and will actually come to fight.
“The last three opponents have all come to survive. I have hit them once, they have felt a bit of power and run away and it is the worst thing ever.
“I can always tell by their faces. I hit them once, they cover up and I know what is going to happen. I am not learning anything from them other than beating someone up for a few rounds.”
The British super-bantamweight title is currently vacant and Reid hopes that the British Boxing Board of Control might consider matching him against Jazza Dickens for the vacant title.
Reid, 25, added: “I wants belts this year. I thought the Sangha fight might have been for a title given our records, but I need to fight someone like this to show I’m at a good level.
“By the end of this year I want to be British champion. The title is vacant and I don’t see many that could bother me.
“There are some fighters who look to be going in another direction, but there are plenty others where I would get the chance to fight for the British title outright.
“It is a winnable title and I reckon they will try and nominate Jazza Dickens for the vacant belt.
“I know he is a tough man, but when he comes up against a skilful boxer it is different. He can have a fight, but try having a fight with someone like me who can box.
“I know how well I can fight and with the team around me I don’t need to worry about people.
“I am sparring with Michael Conlan and Ryan Burnett. Charlie Edwards and Jordan Gill also come down. That is crazy sparring.
“Michael and Ryan are massive talents and I know that if I can hold my own against those two I can hold my own against anyone especially at British level.”
Sangha, 23, won his first nine fights, but suffered a setback in June when he lost against experienced English champion and former Commonwealth title challenger Michael Ramabeletsa.
Daniel Dubios: “It’s My Turn”!
(January 31st) Daniel Dubios will be out to emulate his heavyweight heroes when he follows in their footsteps at London’s grandest building the Royal Albert Hall.
The fast emerging heavyweight prospect will face Razvan Cojanu when professional boxing returns there for only the second time in 20 years on Friday March 8, live on BT Sport.
Muhammad Ali boxed exhibition matches at the iconic venue in 1971 and 1979 in Farewell to London, the Magic of Ali.
British heavyweight greats Lennox Lewis, Frank Bruno, Henry Cooper, Joe Bugner, Don Cockell and Tommy Farr all fought there.
And in 1968, Theotis Martin’s win against fellow American Thad Spencer is widely considered as one of the most exciting non-title heavyweight classics ever. Primo Carnera also boxed there six times
Now unbeaten Dubois aims to show that he belongs among those elite when he faces California based Romanian Cojanu (16-5) at the venue that is almost 150 years old.
Dubois said: “It’s going to be a very proud moment for me to fight in a venue that so many of my heroes have fought in.
“Lennox Lewis, Frank Bruno, Henry Cooper and the greatest of them all, Muhammad Ali have all boxed there.
“It is amazing and I’m excited to kick off this year at such a venue and I am happy to be joining that list.”
Cojanu extended Dubois’s big rival Nathan Gorman in December taking him the 12 round distance at Manchester Arena on the Josh Warrington-Carl Frampton undercard.
And Dubois says the thought of going one better than Gorman and knocking out Cojanu is all the motivation he needs to make it a perfect ten wins as a professional.
Dubois, 21, last boxed in October when experienced Kevin Johnson became the first man to go the distance with him lasting ten rounds.
Dubois added: “Of course I want to win by knockout. I think my power and speed will be major in this fight.
“I have got to pick up where I left off, but also correct some things and be more diligent.”
Dubois, Adams and Williams
To Star In Royal Albert Hall Return!
(January 16th) Rising heavyweight star Daniel Dubois will have his tenth professional fight and double Olympic gold medalist Nicola Adams will challenge for a first world title on Friday March 8 when Frank Warren proudly returns boxing to the historic surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall. BT Sport will televise live.
Liam Williams will also make the first defense of his newly won British Middleweight title against Brentwood bruiser and former English Champion, Joe Mullender.
The iconic venue has previously staged some of the best fights in British boxing history. Only one professional boxing show has been staged at the Albert Hall in the last nearly 20 years, the occasion being when Billy Joe Saunders fought Tony Hill for the vacant Commonwealth title in April 2012.
Sharing top billing will be star in the making, Dubois, who faces his toughest test to date in the shape of Romanian giant Razvan Cojanu.
The 31-year-old former world title challenger extended Dubois’ domestic rival Nathan Gorman to the full 12 round distance in December, having originally been scheduled to fight the young Londoner a week previously before Dubois succumbed to illness.
The 16-5 Cojanu has operated at the highest level and in 2017 he challenged Joseph Parker for the WBO world heavyweight title and faced Luis Ortiz in July of last year.
“The chance to fight at the Royal Albert Hall is a huge thrill for me and I really hope it is the first of many opportunities to perform there,” said the 21-year-old. “I am fully aware that many of the British heavyweight greats of the past fought at this historic venue and it will be an honor to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Henry Cooper, Frank Bruno and Lennox Lewis.
“I know the Albert Hall was the favorite place to watch boxing for many older fans so it is brilliant that a new generation will now get the chance to sample the experience too.”
It is fitting that British sporting royalty in Nicola Adams will bid for her crowning moment at the South Kensington concert hall that was opened by Queen Victoria in 1871 and first staged a boxing competition in 1918.
Adams will challenge the WBO world flyweight champion Arely Mucino, having won the Interim world title in October with a clear-cut points victory over Isabel Millan in her fifth professional fight.
“Winning a world title is what I got into professional boxing for and I believe it is my destiny to do so and ultimately unify the flyweight division,” stated the two-time Olympic gold medalist. “To get this opportunity after just five professional fights is an achievement in itself and I am so thankful to my promotional team for making it happen.
“To fight for the WBO world title at the Royal Albert Hall is a dream come true when you consider the great names that have performed there and I want to make this another memorable occasion.”
The 29-year-old Mexican Mucino holds a record of 27-3-2 and is a three-time world champion, winning the IBF title in 2011 and successfully defending three times before losing a challenge for the WBC belt in 2012.
Mucino won the WBO title in February of last year with a majority decision over Monserrat Alarcon before overcoming Maria Salinas via a split decision in September.
Also, on the bill, in what is surely guaranteed to be an all-action encounter, Liam Williams will make a first defense of his British middleweight title against former English champion Joe Mullender.
Williams was hugely impressive in stepping up to middleweight to stop the previously unbeaten Mark Heffron in December to become a two-weight British champion and he now defends the belt against the 11-2 Mullender, who recorded a brutal stoppage victory over Ben Capps last time out in October.
“I think this has got all the makings of an exciting fight and you can see from his style that he always brings it and comes to have a good tear up, so I am looking forward to it,” commented the 19-2-1 Welshman.
“I do believe I am a class or two above him to be quite honest, but I also think he will give anyone a decent fight because of his style. He would give most fighters in the world a good fight, however long it lasts, because of the way he approaches fights.”
The Brentwood man, known as ‘Smokin Joe’ won the English title in an epic sequel against Lee Markham in June 2017.
“For me it is all about the British title and I will fight anyone,” insisted the hugely popular 32-year-old. I respect Liam as a fighter, he has done what he’s done and is levels above me on paper, but I don’t really care who I fight, to be honest.
“It is for the British title and the odds are stacked against me, but that is what I like.”
Johnny Garton, who won the British welterweight title in a thriller against Gary Corcoran in October features on the card, along with Archie Sharp (14-0) making a first defense of his WBO European super featherweight title against the also unbeaten Lucas Ballingall (11-0).