NEW: Our fighting talk feature on what’s said and done inside – and outside – of the ropes, this week featuring Carl Frampton marking our card on Belfast, Tom Little putting his money where his mouth is and Jack Catterall answering the call of Ohara Davies…
Hooks & Jabs
By Richard Hubbard
FRANK WARREN HAS probably been held responsible for a few things over his 40-odd years in the game, but reducing people’s alcohol intake possibly isn’t one of them, until now.
Carl Frampton reckons that, since hooking up with the Hall of Fame promoter, the cards delivered to his native Belfast have been so strong that fans have been enticed away from the bar significantly earlier than on other shows he has appeared on over the years.
“These cards are quality from top to bottom,” stated the two-weight world champion who next fights at Windsor Park against Luke Jackson on August 18. “Look at the Mick Conlan show this week – a great bills with loads of 50-50 fights.
“I am hoping for more of the same from Frank on my one and I’m sure he will produce another quality bill from top to bottom that people can get excited about, rather than just the main event.
“It is really important because in Belfast before people weren’t going in to watch the undercard fights. They were in the bars and waiting until the main event came on and then it was packed.
“Now people are excited about fights four of five down the undercard because they are competitive and I am hoping for more the same at Windsor.”
HEAVYWEIGHT TOM LITTLE, who gave a good account of himself in getting some valuable rounds under the belt of Daniel Dubois in London last weekend, believes he might need another decent payday or two to cover his bets where the returning Tyson Fury is concerned.
Little, who has seen the work of the undefeated lineal champion close up through his relationship with the trainer Ben Davison, has put his money where his mouth is over the prospect of Tyson getting it on with Anthony Joshua once he is back in his giant stride.
“If all my bets come off, I’ll need a good fight to back my bets up about Tyson and Joshua when it happens,” explained the Hatfield heavy. “I’ll need a good purse to cover the money I have put up.
“I’ve been lucky and stood in front of some of the best boxers in the world. Mark my words, Tyson Fury is the best heavyweight since Muhammad Ali.
“Tyson is just so elusive and has the best timing I’ve ever seen.
“He will break him up and do to him what he did to Klitschko – beat him before the first bell.
“He just needs a little bit of time and he is in very good hands with Ben.”
Even though Little has now had a close up look at Dubois, it was another young heavyweight who caught his eye a couple of weeks beforehand in Manchester.
“Nathan Gorman looks very, very, very good,” he said of after the 22-year-old’s victory over Sean Turner. “I like the way he looks, I like his shot selection and he is ticking all the right boxes at all the right times.
“The heavyweight division in Britain as a whole is looking good. As far as heavyweights are concerned, Frank has got the best of them, so there are very exciting times ahead.
“Nathan looks to be a very dangerous young man.”
THE ATTENTION OF Jack Catterall is rightly fixed on his big fight against the also unbeaten Tyrone McKenna in Belfast on Saturday, but it did not escape his notice that it was his name on the lips of Ohara Davies after the Londoner parted Paul Kamanga from his WBC International title at the 02 Arena last weekend.
The message, loud and clear from the 16-1 knockout artist Davies, is that he wants Catterall next and the 21-0 southpaw from Chorley is seemingly happy to oblige his request.
First though, Catterall knows full well he has got a job on his hands against McKenna in a huge fight to be screened live on BT Sport and BoxNation from 7.30pm on the ‘Homecoming’ card featuring the first professional appearance in Belfast of Michael Conlan.
“Yeah, I would like to,” responded Catterall to the challenge from Davies. “But, for me, I’m not into playing all these games. One minute he has never heard of me, or I am a bum and why would he want to fight me. Then I am on the tip of his tongue after every interview.
“It’s like ‘I’ll fight Jack who people say is Frank’s best super lightweight, but I am the best super lightweight and everyone talks about me’. It is all just bulls**t and I just think ‘wow, what an idiot!’
“Do you know what, there is not one instance of my manager or promoter calling me and proposing a fight that I have ummed and ahhed about, or said no, or asked for more money.
“Never, I’m a fighter and I love fighting. Like everyone else, I did it as an amateur for free and obviously need to get paid now, but I simply enjoy fighting and going to the gym to prepare to fight.
“I wouldn’t show Tyrone the disrespect of overlooking him, but I am confident I can beat him and when I do and that phone goes the next day about fighting Ohara Davies, it will be the same answer as always.”