Ricky Hatton and Naseem Hamed Give Their Take on Andy Lee vs Billy Joe Saunders


British boxing royalty Ricky Hatton and Naseem Hamed both believe the big end of year blockbuster showdown between Andy Lee and Billy Joe Saunders on Saturday 19th December at the Manchester Arena is too tough to call.
Lee’s WBO World Middleweight title defence against Saunders, his undefeated mandatory challenger, features alongside another big world title fight between WBO World Super-Welterweight Champion Liam Smith making the first defence of his title against Jimmy Kelly, with SIX further big title fights, exclusively live on BoxNation.
Manchester legend Hatton, a four-time and two-weight World Champion, and the British boxings superstar of the noughties who made the Manchester Arena his fortress, said, “For big blockbusters fights at the Manchester Arena, Lee v Saunders is up there with the best.  You’ve got the raw, tough, aggression of Lee who’s got the power to turn things around with one punch, matched against the master boxer in Saunders who has the slick and technical ability.   This is a real 50/50 fight and for once I’m stumped on picking a winner.”
The decade before The Hitman was ruled by Sheffield showman Naz, a three-time World Featherweight Champion, who lit up the arena with his own brand of fireworks, said, “This is the fight of the year for me because in my eyes you’ve got two guys who are going to have a real fight, not like Floyd Mayweather Jnr. or Manny Pacquiao, they’re not interested in offence, you know these guys aren’t going to run.  It’s a 50/50 fight.”
Frank Warren’s end of year title extravaganza ‘X-Mas Cracker’ is headlined by two massive world title showdowns with WBO World Middleweight Champion Andy Lee defending his title against Billy Joe Saunders and WBO World Super-Welterweight Champion Liam Smith making his first title defence against Jimmy Kelly.  A staggering SIX further titles are on the line with Mitchell Smith defending his WBO Intercontinental Super-Featherweight title against George Jupp; Paul Butler challenges for the Vacant WBO European Super-Flyweight Championship against Silvio Olteanu; Tommy Langford defends his WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Championship; Commonwealth Super-Welterweight Champion Liam Williams and Kris Carlow clash with the Vacant British title also on the line; Jack Catterall defends his WBO Intercontinental Super-Lightweight Championship, and Adrian Gonzalez defends his WBO Intercontinental Lightweight Championship.  Plus the undercard features Merseyside favourite Derry Mathews and Indian superstar Vijender Singh.
Tickets are priced at £40, £50, £75, £100, £200 and £300 are available from:

Vijender Singh Receives Endorsement from Childhood Hero Naseem Hamed


Vijender Singh finally met childhood hero Naseem Hamed and the British ring legend has told the Indian sensation he can become the next big Asian superstar.
Singh was at the Emirates Stadium yesterday to watch Arsenal’s 3-0 victory over Manchester United alongside promoter Frank Warren and Naz.
The 29-year-old, from Haryana, India, has based himself in Manchester for his four-round middleweight professional debut this Saturday against Sonny Whiting at the Manchester Arena.
He has been credited with the explosion in popularity of boxing in his home nation and with his fighting skills, model looks and engaging personality, he can become a world star.
Naz, a former three-time world champion and global sensation in the 1990s, believes that Singh can become just as big as Filipino great Manny Pacquiao.
“Naseem Hamed was massive, massive, influence on my career, he was my idol and the reason I got into boxing,” Said Singh.
“He was awesome.  Everything about him, the ring entrances, the knockout power, the entertainment, he was a superstar, everybody around the world watched him fight,”
“So it was a real honour to meet him at the Emirates Stadium face-to-face and have a good chat with him,”
“Of course, he has been on top of the boxing world and the advice he gave was very sound and I took it all in as I’m now starting out on my professional career,”
“Manny Pacquiao is a major Asian star and he said there is no reason why I cannot become just as big as him, but first and foremost I’m a boxer and it is what I do in the ring that counts, everything else is secondary,”
“Professional boxing is just starting now in India and I believe that in the next few years you will start seeing some very good professional boxers coming through on the world scene,”
“I’m very excited for Saturday night, I’ve trained so hard for this and I can’t wait to get in the ring.”
Remaining tickets for World War III, headlined with the WBO World Lightweight Championship Terry Flanagan v Diego Magdaleno and the Vacant WBO World Super-Welterweight Championship Liam Smith v John Thompson, are available from www.frankwarren.com, Manchester Arena on 0844 847 8000 and Eventim on www.eventim.co.uk and 0844 249 1000.
The Channel Of Champions, BoxNation, will televise, live and exclusive on Sky 437/HD 490, Virgin 546 and Talk Talk 415. Subscribe at www.boxnation.com or watch online at Livesport.tv or via iPhone, iPad or Android. 
*Tickets subject to booking fee.

Mitchell Smith Nominated for 2015 Best Young Boxer of the Year by Boxing Writers’ Club


Harrow super-featherweight hotshot Mitchell Smith has been nominated the 2015 Best Young Boxer of the Year by the prestigious Boxing Writers’ Club.
The fast rising young star is the latest addition to an illustrious roll call of British greats who have previously won the award, including Terry Downes, Howard Winstone, Ken Buchanan, John Conteh, Barry McGuigan, Naseem Hamed, Joe Calzaghe, Ricky Hatton and more recently Billy Joe Saunders.
Dynamite-punching Smith, 22, is one of the best young talents coming through on the domestic scene with an unbeaten record of 13 fights with seven knockouts and has so far claimed the Southern Area, English, WBO European and WBO Intercontinental titles, all televised on The Channel Of Champion, BoxNation.
His last three fights have ended in back-to-back knockouts inside five rounds and he obliterated Dennis Tubieron in his last fight in July with one stunning punch to the ribs in the first round.
Ranked at number eight in the world by the WBO, Smith is moving up the rankings fast and his next fight is at the Harrow Leisure Centre on Friday 30th October when he faces south London rival George Jupp in a defence of his WBO Intercontinental belt.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to have been honoured with this award. The fact that so many knowledgable boxing writers, who have the whole of the country to choose from, have chosen me, it means a great deal. Also, to have my name on a trophy alongside so many great fighters makes me very proud. I hope that I’m able to go on and prove myself worthy of their choice in years to come.” Said Mitchell.
Frank Warren is delighted with Smith’s progress since turning professional under his guidance in 2012 and he is the 19th boxer promoted by the Hall of Fame Promoter to win the award.
“I’m delighted that Mitchell has been awarded the Boxing Writers’ Young Boxer of the Year of the award and he deserves it for all the hard work and exciting performances he has put on over the last twelve months, all of them on BoxNation.  From the brutal one punch finish of Tubieron to the stunning four-punch knockout combination of Antonio Horvatic, Mitchell brings excitement whenever he fights.  I’m expecting more big things from him in the next year and he’ll the one on everyones lips, he’s the next big star of British boxing.” Said Warren.

Smith will be presented the award at a glittering ceremony next month at the Savoy Hotel.