(August 17th) Dynamite punching Light-Heavyweight talent Anthony Yarde will face undefeated Canadian Ryan Ford for the Vacant WBO Inter-Continental strap at London’s Copper Box Arena on September 16th, live on BT Sport and BoxNation.
The match-up doubles up as an Official Final Eliminator for the Commonwealth Title as powerhouse Yarde aims to make it three belts in three fights at the East End venue.
Undefeated Yarde (12-0, 11 KO’s) claimed the Southern Arena title by defeating Chris Hobbs in May and added the WBO European strap in July with a first round demolition of Hungarian Richard Baranyi, along with a number eight spot in the organisation’s World rankings.
Ryan ‘The Real Deal’ Ford is unbeaten in 12 fights, with seven of his wins coming inside the distance. The Edmonton resident is determined to inflict a first career defeat on rising star Yarde.
“I want to test myself and keep moving on to new levels,” said Yarde. “It doesn’t make any sense to take a step back when I can keep moving towards my ultimate goal – a crack at winning a World Title.
“Frank Buglioni knocked out Hosea Burton – why would I want to fight him? I already have a higher World ranking than both of them and I’m a European Champion. When I come through this fight I’ll have a shot at yet another belt.
“I’d have to wait until next Summer to face the British Champion and I’ll be way beyond that level by then. Both Burton and Buglioni have been knocked out so they are hardly a stick to be measured with.
“Frank was knocked out by guy with 10 losses and two draws, got shut out by Chudinov before he came back and knocked out Hosea Burton which kind of proves the point.”
“I still haven’t shown anywhere near my full potential, I’m looking forward to stepping it up now. I feel good, I feel healthy and I feel fit. I can’t wait to get back under the lights on September 16th.”
“Ford is Undefeated and ranked 20 places above current Commonwealth Champion Callum Johnson according to BoxRec and Burton hasn’t had a win at Light-Heavyweight since being knocked out by Buglioni. This is a step up for me from my last opponent and remember this is just my 13th fight. Who were they fighting by their 13th fight? Siarhei Khomitski and Nathan King, that’s who.”
Promoter Frank Warren said: “Anthony has a chance to add another belt to his growing collection on September 16th. The fight will also double-up as an eliminator for the Commonwealth title which adds a further option to the menu, there is a lot on the line here.”
“I made Buglioni a huge offer, more money than he’s ever earned to fight Anthony, but they didn’t want to know. The best should want to fight the best but I’m not going to waste Anthony’s time going down that route.
“Anthony guarantees entertainment in every fight. His hand-speed is brilliant and the way he picks his shots, he picks them so well. When you think he’s only had 24 fights in his whole career. Half amateur, half professional. That’s a statement for a young guy to be where he’s at.
“He will have to on top of his game as Ford is coming to win and I am expecting a competitive, explosive fight between two exciting punchers”
WBO Middleweight World Champion Billy Joe Saunders makes the second defence of his crown against Willie Monroe Jr in the evening’s main event; teenage Heavyweight sensation Daniel Dubois takes on AJ Carter for the Vacant Southern Area strap in only his fifth contest; knockout artist Joe Pigford takes on Kieran Smith for the Vacant WBO European Super-Welterweight title; supported by an action-packed undercard featuring the very best up-and-coming Southern talent.
Tickets for Saunders vs Monroe Jr priced at £40, £50, £70, £100, £150, £200 and £300 are available from: www.eventim.co.uk, www.seetickets.com and www.ticketmaster.co.uk. The complete card is expected to be announced soon.
(July 18th) As Avtandil “Mini Mike Tyson” Khurtsidze legal drama unfolds Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK’s WBO World Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders will be facing Rochester, New York’s, Willie “El Mongoose” Monroe Jr. September 16th at London’s Copper Box.
Saunders' promoter Frank Warren stated the fight serves as a way for Saunders to fight a quality opponent and have a title defense so that he can ultimately fight the winner of the “GGG” Gennady Golovkin vs Canelo Alvarez fight taking place the same night at T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada.
The unbeaten 27-year-old Saunders capturing the WBO title winning a majority decision over Londoner Andy Lee December 19th, 2015 comes off his first title defense winning a twelve round unanimous decision over Beverly Hills, California, based Russian, Artur Akavov December 3rd, 2016.
The 30-year-old WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight champion Monroe Jr. the son of Willie Monroe and great nephew of middleweight contender Willie “The Worm” Monroe 21-2, 6Ko’s a southpaw who’s only defeats are a slit decision loss to Darnell Boone, March 2011 and most recently a sixth round KO loss to “GGG” Gennady Golovkin enters off unanimous decision wins over John Thompson and Gabriel Rosado in his last outing September 17th.
The pair will collide September 16th at the Copperbox in London when Ilford, Essex, UK’s 25-year-old WBO European Light-Heavyweight Champion Anthony Yarde, 12-0, 11Ko’s and Greenwich, London, 19-year-old WBC Youth World Heavyweight title holder, Daniel Dubois, 4-0, 4Ko’s highlight the undercard.
(June 9) In keeping with its title "Mad Man" Queensberry Promotions Frank Warren has announced the World Middleweight title bout between Brooklyn, New York based Georgian, interim WBO World Middleweight titlist Avtandil “Mini Mike Tyson” Khurtsidze and Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK’s WBO Champion Billy Joe “Superb” Saunders has been postponed.
The 38 year old, Khurtsidze, 33-2-2, 22Ko’s unbeaten in his last twenty seven bouts coming off back to back KO WBO title wins over Antoine Douglas and Tommy Langford was arrested and indicted earlier this week in New York as part of a Federal investigation of a New York-based Russian and Georgian crime syndicate charged with a wide spread of felonies under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) with each felony charge carrying a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The 27-year-old southpaw, Saunders, 24-0, 12Ko’s often linked with potential unification bouts with WBA/WBC/IBF and IBO World Middleweight Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin comes off a twelve round unanimous decision WBO title defense win over Artur Akavov this past December a title he won a year earlier scoring a majority decision over Andy Lee.
Saunders and Khurtsidze scheduled to face off July 8 at the Copper Box Arena in London will be postponed but the scheduled lower card will proceed as planned with the WBO European Light Heavyweight bout between Richard Baranyi and Anthony Yarde being elevated to main event.
The amended card:
Richard Baranyi, 18-1, 12Ko’s vs Anthony Yarde, 11-0, 10Ko’s 10rds
Darryll Williams, 15-0, 6Ko’s vs Jahmaine Smyle, 14-5-2, 6Ko’s 10rds
Asinia Byfield, 12 1, 4Ko’s vs Sammy McNess, 7-0, 3Ko’s 10rds
Gary Corcoran, 16-1, 7Ko’s vs Larry Ekundayo, 12-0, 3Ko’s
Daniel Dubois, 3-0, 3Ko’s vs TBA
Saunders vs Khurtsidze Presser!
Mad Men! Saunders Faces Mandatory Khurtsidze
July 8th Copper Box Arena, London!
(May 13th) WBO Middleweight World Champion Billy Joe Saunders will make the second defence of his crown against mandatory challenger Avtandil Khurtsidze on Saturday 8th July at London’s Copper Box Arena, live on BT Sport and BoxNation.
Hatfield’s Saunders (24-0, 12 KOs) defeated Irish hero Andy Lee to take the WBO strap in a close and absorbing fight back in December 2015 that saw the undefeated star floor the former Champion twice in the third round and go on to claim a majority decision from the judges.
A series of injuries led to a frustrating 2016 for Saunders, but he eventually defended his belt last December against Artur Akavov in Glasgow. Saunders was not at his best, but outpointed the game Russian.
Georgia’s Khurtsidze (33-2-2, 22 KOs) carved his route to the title with a knockout win over formerly-unbeaten Midlander Tommy Langford in April, ending the fight with a Mike Tyson-esque brutal left hook. He is an avoided man in the division and will fancy his chances of earning another victory on these shores.
A classic battle of boxer versus puncher, skill versus power awaits. Both fighters have eccentric personalities inside and outside of the ring with the Champion calling his shorter opponent a “puffed up Danny De Vito,” while Khurtsidze’s camp have promised to ‘beat down’ Billy Joe.
“No disrespect to him but I will show you what he is when I fight him,” said Saunders. “All he is to me is a puffed-up Danny De Vito coming forward throwing wild punches. It takes more than just power if you want to get anywhere near me.
“He will never beat me and I will make him look stupid on July 8th. He does possess knockout power but I’m going to make sure I’m in the shape of my life and give him the toughest night he has ever had.”
“I’m coming to the UK for another knockout,” said Khurtsidze. “I took Tommy Langford’s unbeaten record and I’m coming for Billy Joe’s; and his belt! I have waited patiently for my World Title show and I won’t waste it. Billy Joe didn’t want to fight me last year and he would be wise to avoid me again; I love to fight!”
Saunders’ promoter Frank Warren said: “Khurtsidze showed against Tommy Langford that he presents a clear and present threat to anyone in the Middleweight division. He charges forward like a bull and holds lethal power in both hands.
“I believe that a clever and slippery customer like Bill is far too stealthy to get himself cornered against Khurtsidze. He has one of the best chins in the Middleweight business and it will take something spectacular to beat him. This will be an intriguing fight.”
Ticket details for this unmissable match-up will be announced on Monday at the first Saunders vs. Khurtsidze press conference in London.