Strictly Business Boxing
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Karol Itauma: From Westminster To Wembley!

(June 25th) In December 2020, in the majestic surroundings yet eerie silence of Church House in Westminster, ex-amateur superstar Karol Itauma made his professional debut without the thunderous support of his army of followers from Kent.

 

Echoes instead of cheers provided the backdrop for his introduction to the light heavyweight division as he turned in an impressive display to overcome redoubtable journeyman Lewis van Poetsch via a shutout on the scorecard.

 

Fast forward 16 months and his last fight, the contrast in sporting environment couldn’t have been more apparent, as Itauma was handed a slot on the blockbuster Fury-Whyte bill at Wembley Stadium.

 

The Chatham-based Itauma – who returns to the ring at the Copper Box Arena on July 16 – hadn’t even been to Wembley before and he thrust into the spotlight in support of the headline act that attracted a crowd of 94,000 people.

 

The 21-year-old said he has yet to really process his stark change of circumstances across the short space of time between fights one and seven.

 

“The crazy thing is I haven’t really taken it all in yet,” reflected the Olympic Youth gold medallist. “For example, I was just concentrating on the job in hand and didn’t let any external factors get to me.

 

“Obviously when I look back now at some of the photos and videos, I am like ‘wow’, it was crazy.

 

“It was special for my family because not too many people can say they have boxed at Wembley and, for sure, it was something great.

 

“In terms of procedure things remained the same, obviously, with the warm-up, walk-out and all that stuff. The occasion though, Tyson Fury boxing in front of 94,000 and being there that night, added a bit extra to it all.

 

“In terms of pressure, there was no more or anything like that, I was just excited to be there and perform. As soon as we got there I went out and had a look at everything and it was incredible.”

 

Getting to fight on the biggest stage of all tells a young fighter such as Itauma that anything is possible in this sport as long as wins, popularity and fanbase continue to mount up

 

“Absolutely, and I feel like the start is believing in it,” he considered. “If you can believe in yourself and know that you can be there, that is the first step of it all. Some people don’t think they can achieve something like that, so straight away they are ruling themselves out.

 

“It was great to get a taste of it and, since then, I have kept my head down and I’m working hard towards the next one.

 

“The more steps you take forward, the more opportunities are going to open up and, with that, comes the big occasions. It is just part of the process.”

 

What Itauma did want on the night was more of a fight. His Polish opponent Michal Ciach succumbed in the second round, leaving the home fighter feeling a little bit short changed.

 

“I was happy, but during the moment I wasn’t happy because as a fighter I put in a lot and I wanted to be tested. However, my coach sat me down and said it is all a stepping stone and all part of the process of learning.

 

“It is all about getting better and that occasion was crazy to be a part of, so I am just blessed and grateful for the opportunity. But I know where we are heading and it is about sticking to a plan.”

 

Hamzah Sheeraz fights for the vacant WBC Silver middleweight title against Francisco Emanuel Torres on Saturday, 2 July at London’s Copper Box Arena. The British, Commonwealth and IBF European super middleweight titles will be on the line when Lennox Clarke and Mark Heffron meet in what should be a blockbuster battle between two big punchers.

 

A recent star at Wembley Stadium, Nick Ball will make a defence of his WBC Silver featherweight title, while Dennis McCann fights for the vacant WBC International Silver featherweight title against James Beech jr.

 

New Frank Warren signing Pierce O’Leary will fight for the vacant WBC Youth super lightweight championship, with other fights on a bumper card featuring super featherweight Ryan Garner, light heavyweight Karol Itauma, super bantamweights Masood Abdulah and Umar Khan, welterweights Khalid Ali and Sean Noakes and super lightweight Sonny Liston Ali.

 

Tickets for the show at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday, 16 July are priced from £55 and go on sale at 11am tomorrow (Tuesday, 31 May) from SeeTickets.com.

 

About Frank Warrens Queensberry Promotions

In an era spanning over 35 years, Hall of Fame boxing Promoter and Manager Frank Warren has worked with some of the biggest fighters in boxing history. Hamed, Bruno, Tyson, Calzaghe, Benn, Collins, Eubank, Khan and Hatton are some of the iconic names he has promoted during his career.

 

BoxNation

In 2011 Frank launched the innovative direct to consumer TV model, BoxNation as part of a vision that saw the sports TV market evolving from the traditional reliance on major satellite and cable broadcasters.

 

Since then BoxNation has gone from strength to strength becoming the UK’s fastest growing independent subscription broadcaster in the process and showcasing the biggest fights from at home and abroad, along the way.

 

Through Queensberry Promotions and BoxNation, the future of British boxing has never looked in such great shape.

 

About BT Sport

BT Sport is a group of pay television sports channels provided by BT Consumer; a division of BT Group in the United Kingdom and Ireland that was launched on 1 August 2013. The channels are based at the former International Broadcast Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

Hamzah The Headliner!

(June 23rd) New middleweight star Hamzah Sheeraz is set to record another career first on July 16 when he tops the bill for the first time at the Copper Box Arena, where he takes on Francisco Emanuel Torres, live on BT Sport.

 

Sheeraz, just 23, introduced himself to the middleweight division back in March with a resounding defeat of the usually highly competitive Jez Smith, who lasted just 38 seconds into the second round.

 

The Ilford man, who picked up the WBC International Silver title for his triumph, is being rewarded for his rapid progression with the headline spot at the Copper Box against an in-form Argentinean fighting for the vacant WBC Silver title.

 

“It is an amazing feeling, it almost feels like I am at that next step of my career, slightly finishing off being a prospect and starting to be somebody who gets recognised seriously in the 160lbs division throughout boxing,” considered Sheeraz, who prepares for fights in the sunshine of Los Angeles.

 

“Hopefully, with main eventing, I can make a statement and get my name out there.”

 

Torres, who is unbeaten in 10 dating back to early 2018, achieved a notable result last time out when he shared the spoils with the highly rated world title challenger Jose Benavidez Jr in Phoenix.

 

“Yeah, listen, he has a draw with Benavidez and has beaten some top fighters. I am looking forward to it and he is coming to win. His confidence is going to be through the roof with a draw with Benavidez and he will bring his A-game.

 

“I will be bringing mine and hopefully I will be too much for him on the night.”

 

Hamzah Sheeraz fights for the vacant WBC Silver middleweight title against Francisco Emanuel Torres on July 2 at London’s Copper Box Arena. The British, Commonwealth and IBF European super middleweight titles will be on the line when Lennox Clarke and Mark Heffron meet in what should be a blockbuster battle between two big punchers.

 

A recent star at Wembley Stadium, Nick Ball will make a defence of his WBC Silver featherweight title, while Dennis McCann fights for the vacant WBC International Silver featherweight title against James Beech jr.

 

New Frank Warren signing Pierce O’Leary will fight for the vacant WBC Youth super lightweight championship, with other fights on a bumper card featuring super featherweight Ryan Garner, light heavyweight Karol Itauma, super bantamweights Masood Abdulah and Umar Khan, welterweights Khalid Ali and Sean Noakes and super lightweight Sonny Liston Ali.

Step Up For Sheeraz

At The Copper Box July 16th!

(May 31st) Young boxer of the year Hamzah Sheeraz returns to the ring on July 16 at London’s Copper Box Arena on a night that includes a British title double featuring both Lennox Clarke and Nick Ball, live on BT Sport.

 

Sheeraz (15-0, 11 KOs) continues his quest at middleweight with a defence of his WBC International Silver title – won last time out via defeat of Jez Smith – against the Argentinean Francisco Emmanuel Torres (17-3-1, 5 KOs) over 10 rounds.

 

Birmingham’s Lennox Clarke (20-1-1, 8 KOs) makes a first defence of his British and Commonwealth middleweight titles against another big banger in Oldham’s Mark Heffron (27-2-1, 21 KOs) in what is certain to be a mighty collision, with the IBF Intercontinental championship belt also on the line.

 

Liverpool’s new star Nick Ball (15-0, 8 KOs) is bidding to add the British and Commonwealth featherweight belts to the WBC Silver title he won defeating Isaac Lowe at Wembley Stadium by taking on the unbeaten Scottish talent Nathaniel Collins (11-0, 5 KOs).

 

The exceptional young bantamweight star Dennis McCann (12-0, 6 KOs) makes the jump up to featherweight in a fight over 10 rounds for the vacant WBC International Silver title against James Beech jr (14-2, 2 KOs), a two-time British title challenger at super bantamweight.

 

Southampton snapper Ryan ‘The Piranha’ Garner (11-0, 6 KOs) is back in an eight-round fight against the Mexican Christian Lopez Torres (13-18-2, 11 KOs) ahead of a likely title challenge next time out, with new Queensberry recruit Pierce O’Leary (9-0, 5 KOs) from Dublin fighting over eight at super lightweight.

 

The stacked card also features young light heavyweight star Karol Itauma (7-0, 5 KOs) in his eighth professional assignment over six rounds, with rising super featherweight Masood Abdulah (4-0, 4 KOs) appearing over the same distance.

 

Super bantamweight Umar Khan (3-0) and super lightweight Sonny Liston Ali (3-0) will compete in six-round contests, with welterweights Khalid Ali (2-0, 1 KO) and Sean Noakes (1-0) appearing in four-rounders.

 

“This really is going to be an explosive night of boxing at the Copper Box,” said promoter Frank Warren. “The Boxing Writers’ Young Boxer of the Year Hamzah Sheeraz rightly gets to top the bill in his second fight at middleweight against an in-form Francisco Torres, who is unbeaten in his last 10 and fought at a good level. It is an ideal international test for Hamzah in a defence of his title.

 

“It doesn’t get much better than the two British title fights we are delivering. Lennox Clarke v Mark Heffron has got war written all over it and neither man is fond of taking a backward step and both carry huge power.

 

“Nick Ball is now a big noise in the featherweight division and he gets to fight for the British and Commonwealth titles against the highly-rated Nathaniel Collins, who has been attracting rave reviews for his recent performances. If Nick can add these two belts to his WBC Silver title he will not be far away from world title contention.

 

Dennis McCann is another now taking significant steps forward and ‘The Menace’ is ready to jump up to featherweight and take on a real challenge in James Beech jr for the WBC International Silver belt.

 

Ryan Garner is also on the cusp of fighting for titles and he will be looking to impress and show that he will be our super featherweight force, while I am also delighted to welcome another young fighter who means business in the formidable super lightweight Pierce O’Leary.”

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