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IT’S JOB DONE FOR ‘RUTHLESS’ KELLY

Inside an electric Holte Suite, Ryan Kelly claimed the Midlands Area Superwelterweight title with a 7th-round stoppage that gave him victory over Owen Jobburn.

The fight, main event on Tommy Owens Promotions’ ‘By The Sword’ edition, was a cracker from start to finish – Jobburn offered a more than steely resistance as he tried to match Kelly for punch power and accuracy but Kelly, with a display of his ability to deliver a stream of damaging (particularly) body and head shots, was having none it.

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Concluding an impressive outing for the 24 year old Birmingham fighter and coming out of the final exchange between the two with a slick barrage of around 14 unanswered punches, Kelly grabbed victory decisively.

Referee Shaun Messer was left with no option but to step between the two and call it over when Kelly – who must have seen and felt along with the rest of us -that his punches had began to unravel his opponent a few rounds prior to the 7th round stoppage, unloaded a blitz of accurate shots. Despite Messer diving in to save Jobburn from further punishment there were some worrying scenes when the Stoke-On-Trent fighter lay for a while on the canvas after collapsing under the weight of Kelly’s pretty much punch perfect finish.

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Thankfully, within the minute that followed Jobburn had received attention and was back up and sat on his stool continuing his recovery.

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Kelly now moves to 11-1-0 with just that single points defeat against Adam Harper being the only blot on his impressive career. On that occasion, in Kelly’s first title shot since starting out as a Pro in 2015, he’d come up just short of the mark.

On this occasion, unfortunately for the other fighter, ‘Ruthless’ as Ryan Kelly is also known, lived up to his name.

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Article

Clayton Bricknell vs. Jamie Quinn: Result

Lightweight Contest, 4 Rounds

Holte Suite, Villa Park, Birmingham.

Referee: Shaun Messer.


Debutant Clayton Bricknell made a winning start to his Pro boxing career with a smooth, solid display that earned him a points win over Stockport’s Jamie Quinn at the Holte Suite, Birmingham on 19 May.

In a sport that has to be considered as one of the toughest imaginable, this win for Bricknell will be more than welcomed by his camp not only because of how he apparently eased through the four rounds without being particularly troubled by his (game but not too adventurous) opponent but also because of how he was willing and able to stay on his toes with some light and impressive footwork, bob and weave stylishly keeping himself both in good range but out of harm’s way and throw some pretty effective punches in bunches.

Clayton Bricknell

Bricknell makes a great start to pro career (image: p.media.live)

As a fight, and being the first bout of the night on TOP’s ‘By The Sword’ fightcard, in all truth it didn’t really catch-a-fire. But that was probably a pretty good thing for Bricknell. The opening bout of your pro-career is probably not the best of times to be drawn into a slugfest with an opponent hell bent on tearing you to pieces.

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Jamie Quinn (image: p.media.live)

As a consequence of Quinn’s somewhat tepid indulgence (not that he didn’t try to impress himself upon the fight but more that he seemed a little lacking in his ability to draw upon some winning tactics and a worthwhile strategy) Bricknell, the Wolverhampton fighter, was able to notch up an impressive display that included some solid body shots, some nice, swift and silky head movement and a clear and tactful taste for the desire that’s needed to win this type of bout.

There’s clearly a lot more to come from Bricknell and at just 25 years of age he still has plenty of time on his hands. But without a doubt as he seeks to maintain his winning form he’s going to face opponents a lot tougher and with a whole heap more of a desire to win than Jamie Quinn.

We’ll be watching Bricknell, a clearly very popular and fresh new pro-fighter, very closely.

In the meantime, based on his professional debut alone – we like what we see.

Team Bricknell

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Article, Interview

Homecoming For The Black Widow

Lauren Johnson has promised it will be a “meaningful contest” on her homecoming to Wolverhampton next month.

 The city’s only active female professional boxer laces on the gloves for the third time as a pro at Starworks Warehouse on Saturday June 9. The venue was subject to a fire earlier this week but bosses are confident that the show will go ahead as planned.

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 Johnson has outpointed Monika Antonik and Borislava Goronova so far, but injuries have led to a seven-month period on the sidelines.

 The 33-year-old had hoped to challenge for the Midlands welterweight title in March, but a knee problem put paid to that.

 Her and Nina Bradley would have made history, as women competing for a British Boxing Board of Control recognised area crown for the first time.

 That may not happen now, with talk of Bradley going down in weight for other opportunities. ‘The Black Widow’ Johnson, in the meantime, needs to get busy again.

 The former ABA national champion hasn’t had a belt strapped to her waist since winning the non-tournament England middleweight title as an amateur in March 2016.

 A crack at eight-round British Challenge honours or, at least, a six-rounder could await her at Starworks, which will be promoter Errol Johnson’s first BCB Boxing offering at the venue.

 Johnson said: “I’ve had a couple of journeywomen so far, two walks in the park really. I could have stepped on the gas for my debut and I was injured during the camp for the second one.

 “Nina has also been in with them both and we were hoping we might get the fight rescheduled with her for June 9.

 “Nina’s coach, Carl Greaves, is getting married around that time, so wouldn’t have been in her corner. It’s fair enough her not wanting to do that, she needs her trainer there.

 “We are still mandatory challengers for the Midlands title, so it’s not going anywhere. It doesn’t have to happen yet, but it needs to either come off eventually or we both move on.

 “There’s no one more frustrated than me, I’d have much preferred to be more active. Two fights a year isn’t good for me and I haven’t boxed in 2018, either.

 “My knee is much better now, I’ve got a proper team looking after me from physio through to nutrition, strength and conditioning. I’m running again, too.

 “Every cloud has a silver lining which, for me, is being in the best shape I can possibly be for Starworks and I’m told it will be a meaningful contest, that could get me to a good level.”

 The Starworks bill will be topped by a 10-round battle for the English bantamweight title between Kyle Williams and defending champion Thomas Essomba.

 Another fighting out of Wolverhampton elsewhere on the card is Antony Woolery, with Polish powerhouse Damion Kiwior also based in the city.

 Connor Jones’ time is finally about to come in the paid code, with the Dudley debutant’s bow delayed from last year.

 IBO Continental and former area champion Craig Morris makes the trip from Ludlow in Shropshire to occupy the home corner, while Connor Parker travels from Derbyshire.

 Former English super bantamweight champion and British title challenger Sean Davis, from Birmingham, and Walsall-based debutant Levi Ferguson complete the line-up.

 Tickets are on sale now, priced at £40, which will be £45 on the door. VIP ringside passes are £65. To buy, call Lauren directly on 07815 440 588 or contact her on Facebook.

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KANE BAKER

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Article, Interview

“The Pressure Is All On Essomba.” Williams ahead of Title Fight

Kyle Williams reckons the pressure is all on Thomas Essomba as the two prepare to do battle for the English bantamweight title.

 The hometown hero is the challenger to defending champion Essomba’s crown at Starworks Warehouse in Wolverhampton on Saturday June 9.

 The two headline promoter Errol Johnson’s first BCB Boxing offering at the venue, on a show which has been dubbed ‘Emerging Stars.’

 Midlands boss Williams steps up to national level for an intriguing 10-round main event against Essomba, a Cameroon-born opponent of pedigree.

Tyne and Wear based Essomba, aged 30, represented his country at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games before turning pro.

 His eight victories have included three TKOs, two in title fights starting with a spectacular first round stoppage of Waleed Din for Commonwealth flyweight honours.

 Stepping up two divisions has landed him the English strap, his power travelling with him after a devastating body punched finished Louis Norman in six rounds.

His three defeats have come to formidable opposition and he took Jay Harris, Iain Butcher and Yoan Boyeaux the distance, the latter in France on his pro bow.

 Unbeaten Williams mirrors him with eight wins and three TKOs, but has no blips of any kind on his record since switching sports from kickboxing two years ago.

 The 26-year-old, from Whitmore Reans, still works as an instructor at Fran Zuccala’s Eclipse Kickboxing & Gracie Jiu Jitsu Academy, on Tempest Street in Wolverhampton city centre.

 The second dan black belt teaches children, teenagers and adults at the same venue where he first learned his own skills since the age of six.

 He went to the top table in kickboxing, winning the ICO world featherweight title, and sees parallels between the man he beat, Ivan Freidenberg, and Essomba.

 Williams said: “To be bringing big time boxing back to Wolverhampton is a massive honour and a dream come true. I’m really looking forward to it.

 “I can’t overlook Essomba, the guy has been to the Olympics twice, he’s been in there with some of the best and only lost to really good fighters.

 “He’s coming off a great stoppage against Louis, who I know well, so he’ll be full of confidence. It’s not going to be an easy night’s work, but I’m confident I can do it.

 “You are only as good as your last performance, it was a great display to become Midlands champion but I’ve moved on now.


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Williams vs. Turner in March 2018. Williams grabbed the Midlands Area Bantamweight Title when Turner retired and was unable to make the 8th Round. (image: p.media.live )

“We’ve put a tremendous game-plan together, which we are working on every single day. I know he’s got the title, but my mindset is that he’s got to come and beat me.

“He reminds me of the opponent I won my world kickboxing title against, he was short and stocky and outweighed me massively on the day, which I expect Thomas to do.

 “I’m concentrating on how I’ve got to perform. I’ve showed already I’ve got levels to my game, but I’m going to have to pull out everything in this fight.”

 Williams and Essomba have big boots to fill after BCB’s last headline attraction, the British middleweight title clash between Jason Welborn and Tommy Langford.

 Welborn took Langford’s strap on a points split decision after a compelling 12-round war and now it’s Williams’ turn to try and being more belts home.

 He said: “It’s a massive night for me and BCB. There’s a bit of momentum now the camp is on a tremendous run of form.

 “What Jason has done is great for the gym, I’ve trained alongside him and seeing him push himself has helped me along. It’s definitely inspired me.”

Emerging Stars

 Others fighting out of Wolverhampton elsewhere on the card is female fighter Lauren Johnson and Antony Woolery, with Polish powerhouse Damion Kiwior also based in the city.

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Damian Kiwior also on the fight card (image: p.media.live)

 Connor Jones’ time is finally about to come in the paid code, with the Dudley debutant’s bow delayed from last year.

 IBO Continental and former area champion Craig Morris makes the trip from Ludlow in Shropshire to occupy the home corner, while Connor Parker travels from Derbyshire.

 Sean Davis and Levi Ferguson have also been added.

 Tickets are on sale now, priced at £40, which will be £45 on the door. VIP ringside passes are £65. To buy, call Kyle directly on 07799 423 786 or contact him on Facebook.

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Ball on fire in hometown victory

Ball

Rachel Ball returned to the ring on 4th May at Walsall Town Hall where she fought Monika Antonik on the undercard of BCB Promotions’ ‘Neutral Ground – Battle of the Baggies’ edition.

It was a decisive victory for Ball, only confirmed by the 40-36 on referee Shaun Messer’s scorecard which moves her to 3-0-0  in her professional boxing career.

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At 27 years of age – Ball, according to BoxRec, currently ranks 39 in the Featherweight Division  and is the highest ranked Brit in the class.

Above her in the rankings sit the likes of the talented and experienced Mexican, Magaly Rodriguez who, at just 25, stands at 18-5-1, ranks at 17 and is also the current NABF Female Super Bantamweight Champion

Or, currently sitting at number 14 in the rankings the unbeaten 23 year old from Prague, Lucie Sedlackova who alongside her 11-0-1 record boasts a 33% KO percentage and who also currently holds the WBC Silver Female Featherweight Title

– Or again, at the highest regions, ranked No 1 – the extraordinary Serbian Canadian Jelena Mrdjenovich who won the WBC/WIBF super Featherweight time when she beat Franchesca Alcanter back in 2012 and holds a 38-10-2 record with a KO percentage of 38%.

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Jelena Mrdjenovich celebrates victory (Image: @jkovaphotography)

On the face of it, and with the apparently so often indomitable Mrdjenovitch at the helm and also with so many talented boxers standing in the way of her path to the dizzy heights of success, Ball’s attempt to leave her mark on the World level of the female boxing scene may look like a real uphill struggle – but having already won three World Titles in Kick Boxing, Ball can certainly say with confidence that she knows what it takes to become a World Champion.

– And with this it’s probably safe for us to assume that she’ll have some valuable insight into the types of challenges she’ll be likely to encounter as she focuses on continuing her climb up the ranks.

iFL TV interviewed the Aldridge fighter shortly after her win.

On Antonik’s behalf, it wasn’t as if she didn’t try.

But on this occasion, in her home town, in front of her largest audience yet since her pro boxing debut and on the undercard of one of the biggest fight nights of the year (certainly within the Midlands region) to this point in time, Rachel Ball – simply would not be denied.

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The Jonny Loverock Photo Diaries

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Showdown at Samson’s

An EBF Semi Professional Fight Night

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If there’s one thing I can tell you about the world of semi-pro boxing it’s this – it’s tough as hell.

You might not be inclined to call the participating pugilists true athletes even if by the very nature of what they do many of them might consider themselves to be just that. And you’re certainly less likely to see the same amount of cut, muscled and lean looking protagonists as you’ll see on the professional scene – that’s for sure.  But let me tell you something; on fight night – everybody, and I mean everybody – comes to win.

Whereas the pro scene has its so called ‘journeymen’ (those boxers that are there to look good, fight well but ultimately lose so that the real prospects can hone their skills, gain experience and go on to bigger stages, brighter lights and a world of possible boxing fame and fortune) that scenario is just not a part of the semi pro mix – or if it is, well I personally haven’t seen it yet.

What I have seen is a gut full of great small hall shows and unfortunately also my fair share of some real stinkers – that’s to say; those kind of shows where there have been boxers involved that were so outta shape you worried that they may just keel over with the effort of trying to make it to the bell at the end of the first round. Thankfully my last outing took me to a show that fell well inside the former rather than the latter category. Not all of the fighters were great fighters but most of them looked like they’d at least made an effort to get themselves ready to fight. And like I said earlier, from what I could see they’d all come to win.


I gotta take my hat off to Andy Flute and here’s why. If you didn’t know it Andy is a former pro boxer whose career lasted from 1989 to 2004. He fought mostly at middle weight and although he wasn’t able to win a title (and bear in mind that back in those days there were far fewer titles out there to win) from say 93 to towards the tail end of his career he was always in the mix.

As well as sparring with some real greats such as Chris Eubank, in his quest for title success he took on some real top notch boxers including the likes of Neville Brown, Mark Delaney, Robin Reid and Glen Gattley to name but a few.

Now an established and respected Trainer and Promotor for EBF Andy develops boxers and puts on great shows like the one I attended at Samson’s in Oldbury. And I have to tell you, as shows go – on this occasion I was mightily impressed.

In the final picture above Andy is the one standing just to the right of the boxer’s corner with his hand on the bucket. And if you look carefully you’ll just make out that he’s wearing a T with his name and a picture of himself printed on it . The T design is actually taken from the front cover of a book he’s written and is about to publish and I believe MBC is lining up an interview with him to talk about his forthcoming publication which is called ‘Andy Flute. Jesus In My Corner. A Boxer journey from Hell to Christianity.’

I’m not necessarily out to plug the book here but the truth is my interest is stoked by the title alone. Not that any of us need to be reminded about how hard boxing is and can be,  but only recently a friend of mine said to me that the toughest part of boxing is the life you have to live outside of the ring.

This in mind, for me Andy Flute’s book seems like it’s going to provide a real insight into the hell and high waters of a boxer’s life which makes it a must read and I can’t wait for its release. What more can I say?

yours truly

Jonny Loverock

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