fbpx

VIDDAL RILEY COMMITS FUTURE TO BOXXER & SKY SPORTS BY SIGNING LONG-TERM CONTRACT EXTENSION

VIDDAL RILEY COMMITS FUTURE TO BOXXER & SKY SPORTS BY SIGNING LONG-TERM CONTRACT EXTENSION

  • Rising Cruiserweight star Viddal Riley has signed a long-term contract extension with BOXXER and Sky Sports 

  • The 26-year-old continues his exciting career progression against  former British Champion Mikael Lawal on Sunday March 31st 

  • Riley’s fights will be available to watch live and exclusively on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland and Peacock in the USA

LONDON, UK (February 20, 2024) – Viddal Riley has signed a long-term contract extension to commit his future to BOXXER and Sky Sports.

 The rising cruiserweight star joined BOXXER in 2021 and has quickly established himself as one of the most exciting talents in a thriving domestic division.

The 26-year-old captured the English Cruiserweight Title with a shut-out points victory over Nathan Quarless last September and is set to face his toughest career test as he steps up to face former British Champion Mikael Lawal as part of BOXXER’s bumper ‘Bad Blood’ bill on Sunday, March 31st at The O2 in London. 

“My aim is to become world champion and with BOXXER and Sky Sports I know I’m in the right place to make that happen,” said Riley. “I’ve got a great team around me and a huge platform to showcase my skills.

“Winning the English Title is just the start. I want to work my way up to be British, European and then world champion. We’ve only just started and there’s an exciting road ahead. I can’t wait to continue my journey with BOXXER and Sky Sports.”

BOXXER Founder and CEO Ben Shalom said: “We’re delighted that Viddal has signed a long-term contract extension. He is without a doubt one of the most talented and marketable fighters this country has produced. In the next 12 months, we are going to see him rise from English to World level. The sky’s the limit for Viddal and there’s nowhere better for him to be than with BOXXER on Sky Sports.”

An amateur standout, Riley was an eight-time national champion. He won silver at the 2013 European Junior Championship and represented Team GB at the 2014 Youth Olympic before turning pro with Mayweather Promotions in 2018.

Riley’s first fight under the BOXXER promotional banner was on the Amir Khan vs Kell Brook undercard on February 19th, 2022, where the Hackney-born fighter scored a unanimous points win against Willbeforce Shihepo.

Four stoppage victories followed as Riley continued to impress with wins over Jone Valau, Ross McGuigan and Anees Taj twice to set up his successful English Title challenge.

Riley has built a huge following online. His YouTube channel has over 1.2million subscribers. Outside of the ring, the multi-talented fighter releases his own mixtapes and music videos and has a clothing line dropping soon labelled ‘Livin’ Sports By RIL’. 

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter

MARKU-KONGO CONFIRMED FOR ‘BAD BLOOD’ CLASH ON MARCH 31ST AT THE O2 IN LONDON

MARKU-KONGO CONFIRMED FOR ‘BAD BLOOD’ CLASH ON MARCH 31ST AT THE O2 IN LONDON

  • Florian Marku and Chris Kongo settle their simmering welterweight rivalry on Sunday, March 31st at The O2 in London 
  • Marku-Kongo is first fight confirmed for an action-packed undercard for ‘Bad Blood’ showdown between heavyweight rivals Fabio Wardley and Frazer Clarke
  • All the action is available to watch live and exclusive on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland and Peacock in the USA

LONDON, UK (February 9th, 2024) – More bad blood has been added to BOXXER’s hotly-anticipated Super Sunday Bank Holiday showdown between unbeaten heavyweights Fabio Wardley and Frazer Clarke with welterweight rivals Florian Marku and Chris Kongo set to settle their differences on March 31st at The O2 in London, live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland and Peacock in the USA.

There’s no love lost between Marku and Kongo, who had to be pulled apart following an explosive press conference altercation last year. It will be a clash of styles as the ‘Albanian King’ and ‘2 Slick’ meet in the capital to settle their long-standing feud in a fascinating ten round contest. 

Marku, the unbeaten former IBF International Champion, made short work of his last opponent, stopping Dylan Moran inside 60 seconds on the undercard of the Liam Smith vs Chris Eubank Jr rematch on September 2nd in Manchester. The 31-year-old will be raring to go following this speedy stoppage win and is expected to bring an army of Albanian supporters with him to London.

Kongo returns following a narrow points defeat to Ekow Essuman for the British, Commonwealth, IBF European and WBC International Silver Welterweight Titles on January 21st last year. The Bermondsey man thought he did another to edge the contest but found himself of the wrong end of a majority decision at Manchester’s AO Arena.

Florian Marku said: “I’m really pleased that all my fans get to see me put on a special performance on this great card at The O2, live on Sky Sports. It’s been two and half years since my last fight in London. I can’t wait to get back in the ring and for all my fans to see me knock out Chris Kongo.” 

Chris Kongo said: “I’m back in my backyard, and I’m not here to play games. Marku might think he’s dangerous, but he’s just another stepping stone on my path. I’ll show everyone why I belong at the top, starting with a victory at The O2 in South London.”  

 

BOXXER Founder and CEO Ben Shalom said: “This is a great addition to what is going to be an incredible night of action at The O2. Florian Marku vs Chris Kongo is a fight fans have wanted to see for years. Finally, we will see them in the ring on Sunday, March 31st. It’s another unmissable ‘Bad Blood’ matchup and a must-win fight for both men.” 

Unbeaten heavyweight rivals Fabio Wardley and Frazer Clarke collide in a ‘Bad Blood’ showdown for the British and Commonwealth Titles on Sunday, March 31st at The O2 in London, live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland and Peacock in the USA

This event is presented in association with official partners bet365, Everlast, WOW HYDRATE, Integritas Property Group and VOW Nutrition.

Pre-sale tickets, priced from just £30, go on sale at midday on Tuesday, February 13th with general sale tickets available from midday on Thursday, February 15th. Sign up for pre-sale tickets here

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter

BOXXER AND STARTIMES ANNOUNCE MAJOR BROADCAST PARTNERSHIP ACROSS SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

BOXXER AND STARTIMES ANNOUNCE MAJOR BROADCAST PARTNERSHIP ACROSS SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

LONDON, UK (9th February 2024) 

BOXXER is delighted to announce a new media rights partnership with StarTimes in Sub-Saharan Africa, allowing fans across the region to watch BOXXER events exclusively on the digital television operator’s platforms. 

Headquartered in Beijing, StarTimes has become the fastest-growing and most influential digital TV operator in Africa, boasting subsidiaries in more than 30 African countries and with a reach of 45 million people in the region. 

LIVE broadcasts of BOXXER shows to 13 million households in Sub-Saharan Africa will enable BOXXER’s roster of elite fighters to showcase their skills to a region with a flourishing combat sports fanbase. The deal will be accompanied by a range of shoulder programming to elevate StarTimes’ promotion of BOXXER events and familiarise African audiences with BOXXER fighters, many of whom are of African heritage. 

BOXXER shows air LIVE and exclusively on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, after the leading UK sports broadcaster signed a four-year deal with BOXXER in 2021. BOXXER’s international footprint was bolstered significantly on the signing of a long-term and exclusive US broadcast partnership with NBC Sports in October 2023; and the rapidly-growing promotion is home to a world-class stable of fighters including Joshua Buatsi, Richard Riakporhe, Caroline Dubois, Chris Billam-Smith, Martin Bakole, Adam Azim, Ben Whittaker and many more. 

Commenting on the new partnership, BOXXER Founder and CEO Ben Shalom said: “Africa is a major growth region and focus for us in the coming months and years. Many of our fighters are of African heritage and feel deep affinity with the region, and we know there is a strong appetite for elite-level combat sports there. We’re delighted to announce this new partnership with StarTimes and open up our events and fighters to millions of viewers across Africa.” 

Li Bin, Director of Sports Channels at StarTimes said: “StarTimes always spare no effort to present the best in sports entertainment to our viewers. We are honoured to collaborate with BOXXER, such a professional boxing promoter who share the same target with us, and trust that the joint efforts will bring extraordinary experiences to the fans of combat sports across Africa.”

BOXXER’s most recent event on 3rd February saw Joshua Buatsi and Dan Azeez, the world #1 and #2 ranked light-heavyweights – of Ghanaian and Nigerian heritage respectively – go head-to-head over twelve electric rounds at OVO Arena Wembley. BOXXER’s next show will take place on 31st March at The O2 in London, as undefeated heavyweight rivals Fabio Wardley (17-0) and Frazer Clarke (8-0) clash for the British and Commonwealth titles, in a highly-anticipated grudge match. 

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter

UNBEATEN HEAVYWEIGHT RIVALS WARDLEY & CLARKE COLLIDE IN ‘BAD BLOOD’ SHOWDOWN AT THE O2 IN LONDON ON MARCH 31ST

UNBEATEN HEAVYWEIGHT RIVALS WARDLEY & CLARKE COLLIDE IN ‘BAD BLOOD’ SHOWDOWN AT THE O2 IN LONDON ON MARCH 31ST

  • Fabio Wardley defends British and Commonwealth Titles in ‘Bad Blood’ showdown against unbeaten rival Frazer Clarke 
  • Huge heavyweight contest confirmed for Bank Holiday Sunday at The O2 in London on March 31st 
  • Wardley-Clarke to top a major fight night in the capital with undercard fights to be announced soon
  •  All the action is available to watch live and exclusive on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland and Peacock in the USA

London, UK (February 3rd, 2024) – Unbeaten heavyweight rivals Fabio Wardley and Frazer Clarke collide in a ‘Bad Blood’ showdown for the British and Commonwealth Titles on Sunday, March 31st at The O2 in London, live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland and Peacock in the USA.

Reigning champion Wardley (17-0, 16 KOs) is on an incredible 16-fight KO streak, which has seen him steamroll his way through the domestic division. The 29-year-old from Ipswich looked at his devastating best last time out when dismantling David Adeleye on the Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou undercard on October 28th, 2023, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Bronze Medallist Clarke (8-0, 6 KOs) is just eight fights into his promising professional career. Last year, ‘Big Fraze’ banked ten valuable rounds against former world title challenger Mariusz Wach before retiring domestic rival David Allen in the sixth-round to continue his unbeaten run.

Wardley and Clarke have been on a collision course as both men look to establish themselves as the number one heavyweight in Britain. Their simmering rivalry reached boiling point following a cancelled purse bid last year.

Clarke was ordered as mandatory challenger for Wardley’s Lonsdale belt in April but was later withdrawn from purse bids. The fallout sparked a series of tense exchanges between the warring heavyweights and has added serious spite to their Bank Holiday Super Sunday showdown.

Fabio Wardley said: “I’m absolutely buzzing to be headlining what will be a massive show at the iconic O2 Arena, I’ve fought there a lot before so it’s like a home away from home for me. As a seasoned former Olympian, Frazer Clarke is definitely the most well schooled boxer I’ll have ever faced, but there’s some lessons you can’t learn in school… And I’ve got more than enough firepower in my arsenal to lay him flat on his back, just like all my other opponents.”

Frazer Clarke said: “Finally, the fight that I wanted and the fight that the British public wanted. The talking is over, it’s here. Headlining the O2 Arena for the British and Commonwealth Titles is something I’ve dreamed of. I’m ready to take out Fabio Wardley and bring the titles back to Burton upon Trent. There’s been a lot of back and forth but now we can settle it like men.”

“The Bad Blood needs to be settled,” said BOXXER founder and CEO Ben Shalom. “We’re more committed than ever to making the biggest domestic fights for British fight fans and I’m excited for BOXXER to deliver a British heavyweight classic on March 31st at The O2. After the outrage last year, this fight has been one that has been really important to make, with fight fans desperate to see it. I’m really happy to deliver the opportunity to Frazer Clarke against Fabio Wardley who is a dangerous man and a great champion.”

Wardley vs Clarke will top an action-packed fight card in the capital with undercard fights to be announced soon. 

Having faced off in the ring before Joshua Buatsi and Dan Azeez’s light heavyweight final eliminator, Wardley and Clarke will come face-to-face again at a launch press conference on Wednesday, February 7th in London.

This event is presented in association with official partners bet365, Everlast, WOW HYDRATE, Integritas Property Group and VOW Nutrition.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter

The Opening Round: Joshua Buatsi v Dan Azeez

The Opening Round: Joshua Buatsi v Dan Azeez

Bet £10 on Joshua Buatsi v Dan Azeez and get £30 in Free Bets – New customers only. T&Cs apply.

Friends will become foes when Joshua Buatsi and Dan Azeez finally meet in an eagerly-awaited light-heavyweight clash at the OVO Arena, Wembley on Saturday night.

Initially pencilled in for October, the contest was rescheduled after Azeez sustained a back injury in training and the delay has only heightened expectations for this seismic clash.

The undefeated duo have been refreshingly honest about their long-term friendship; the pair hail from south London, are University-educated and were forming sparring partners.

For many boxing rivals, it’s a case of setting aside their differences but in this instance, Buatsi and Azeez will need to set aside their similarities. In a fight of this magnitude, any ounce of empathy is a sign of weakness.

It’s fascinating how both reached this stage of their career. Where Azeez took the domestic route and battled through the small halls, Buatsi’s journey began from the decorated path of an Olympian.

There is a frustration that’s encircled Buatsi, who is undoubtedly one of Britain’s most gifted fighters, because yet for his immense talent, he has sometimes flattered to deceive.

Since winning bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympics, his career has been tailored for a world title fight and victory here would finally establish Buatsi as the leading contender in the ultra-competitive light-heavyweight division.

Buatsi is the favourite to win this bout at 1/4 and yet Azeez, priced at 3/1, has all the tools to conquer his long-time companion.

Whatever the outcome, we’re in for a spectacle.

bet365’s boxing expert Rob Tebbutt takes us through his thoughts on the contest…

“Two unbeaten light-heavyweight contenders on the fringe of a world title shot, both friends and former sparring partners but they will put that friendship aside this weekend at Wembley Arena,” he told the bet365 Sports & Betting News site.

“This is a really good fight. Buatsi had a lot of hype surrounding him in the early stages of his career but he hasn’t really made the most of it in recent times, having suffered with inactivity and not really showing what he’s capable of.

“Whereas Azeez has taken things step-by-step, winning the Area title, English, British, Commonwealth and European title.

“A lot of people see this fight as a pick’em but for me I do see Buatsi as a decent favourite.

“I think the best version of Buatsi beats Azeez and he will need to be at his best this weekend if he is to emerge victorious.

“I do expect both men to be familiar with one another and I expect in the early rounds we will see both feeling each other out; they will be very familiar with what the other brings to the table.

“With Buatsi and that extra injection of pace in the middle to late rounds, it should be enough to get past Azeez and I see Buatsi winning this by stoppage, which is priced at 13/5.”

Buatsi v Azeez headlines another stacked BOXXER card, with Adam Azim (1/10) the heavy favourite to retain his European super-lightweight title against undefeated former champion Enock Poulsen (6/1).

Not only is Poulsen keen to end Azim’s meteoric rise, he’s desperate to recapture the title that he never lost in the ring, and while the Danish fighter believes he is the rightful holder to the belt, Tebbutt expects to see Azim prevail.

“Azim had a very good year in 2023 and shown that he is a lot more than just a puncher,” he said.

“He went the full 10 rounds against Santos Reyes before going the full 10 against Aram Faniian but in his last bout, he broke down the very tricky and negative Franck Petitjean.

“He’s shown a lot of improvement but also displayed patience and maturity in the paid ranks. I think he’s going to have to do the same this weekend against Poulsen.

“I think Azim will have too much for Poulsen and I do expect him to get the stoppage; I like the look of Azim in the second half of the fight at 6/4.”

The flamboyant Ben Whittaker is also in action at Wembley Arena on Saturday night.

Closing 2023 with an emphatic knockout of Stiven Leonetti Dredhaj, the Olympic silver medallist is aiming to produce another clinical performance against French fighter Khalid Graidia.

“Whittaker’s struggled for consistency so far in his professional career and hasn’t been the most active after suffering with injuries,” stated Tebbutt.

“He’s back quickly after boxing in December on the undercard of Chris Billam-Smith’s victory over Mateusz Masternak and this weekend he faces off with Graidia, who if you know your boxing, is a very familiar name for upcoming prospects to be facing at the early stages of their career.

“Graidia is 41 years old, has a few losses on his record but is very tough, very experienced and doesn’t get stopped often.

“I think if Whittaker can get the stoppage against Graidia here, it will come in rounds five to eight, which is the second half of this eight round bout and priced at 21/10.”

bet365 are also offering Bet Boosts across all of Saturday night’s BOXXER action, meaning you can take advantage of even BIGGER prices on the headline bout and the full undercard, including BOOSTED Bet Builders on the aforementioned fights.

The bet365 Sports & Betting News site houses plenty of pre-fight content, including a comprehensive All You Need To Know guide for the main event, as well as a detailed Tale of the Tape article which houses all of the vital statistics of both Buatsi and Azeez.

View the latest Bet Boosts and odds for the full BOXXER card and all other upcoming boxing at bet365

Bet Boosts and odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time. 

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter

HUGE TELEVISION AUDIENCE TUNES IN TO WATCH JONAS RETAIN IBF WORLD TITLE LIVE ON SKY SPORTS

HUGE TELEVISION AUDIENCE TUNES IN TO WATCH JONAS RETAIN IBF WORLD TITLE LIVE ON SKY SPORTS

LIVERPOOL, UK (January 24, 2024) – A huge television audience tuned in to watch Natasha Jonas defend her IBF World Welterweight Title against Mikaela Mayer on Saturday, January 20th live on Sky Sports.

It was described as the ‘Hagler vs Hearns’ of women’s boxing in the build-up and did not fail to deliver as Jonas edged a split decision victory (96-94, 93-97, 96-95) to retain her IBF World Title in an epic back-and-forth battle against the former IBF and WBO World Super Featherweight Champion Mayer.

The incredible contest, which has already been lauded as one of the greatest fights in women’s boxing history and has left many fans calling for a rematch, attracted a peak audience of 269,000 and an average audience of 149,000, making it one of the most watched women’s boxing events on Sky Sports.

BOXXER Founder and CEO Ben Shalom said: “Natasha Jonas and Mikaela Mayer put it all on the line to deliver one of the greatest fights I’ve had the privilege of watching from ringside. The atmosphere inside the arena was electric and I am delighted that so many people tuned in live on Sky Sports to witness their epic world title tussle.

“At BOXXER we want to be a force for good for women’s boxing. We will continue to provide a platform and opportunities for female fighters to showcase their skills on the biggest stage. From our record-breaking women’s night in 2022 to last Saturday’s world title fight, I’m proud of what we’ve achieved so far.

“The viewing figures speak for themselves. 269,000 viewers tuning in to watch Natasha defend her world title shows there’s a huge demand for women’s boxing and I look forward to many more big fight nights featuring our female stars in the future.”

The BOXXER schedule continues on Saturday, February 3rd when unbeaten world ranked #1 and #2 light heavyweights Joshua Buatsi and Dan Azeez collide in a WBA World Title Final Eliminator at the OVO Arena Wembley in London, live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland and Peacock in the USA.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter

The Opening Round: Natasha Jonas v Mikaela Mayer

The Opening Round: Natasha Jonas v Mikaela Mayer

Bet £10 on Natasha Jonas v Mikaela Mayer and get £30 in Free Bets – New customers only. T&Cs apply.

Fabled boxing trainer Al Mitchell has described this weekend’s bill-topping bout between Natasha Jonas and Mikaela Mayer as the modern-day, female equivalent of ‘Hagler-Hearns’!

And I think it’s fair to say that everybody of a boxing persuasion will be keeping everything crossed that the American’s bold prediction rings true come Saturday night.

‘Hagler-Hearns’ may have been short-lived, but my word it was action packed; to such an extent that the now iconic fight – which lasted less than eight minutes – is still, rightly celebrated almost 40 years on.

If this weekend’s hotly-anticipated showdown can deliver half of what the two revered middleweights served up back in 1985, there’s every chance that this bout will live equally as long in the memory too.

All the signs suggest that it will.

Both fighters have remained typically respectful and dignified in the build-up to fight night, but all of those pleasantries will be tossed into the River Mersey when they meet in a true legacy-defining dust-up in Jonas’ home city of Liverpool.

The proud Liverpudlian, vowing to make her biggest statement to date on her M&S Bank Arena homecoming, has more than proven in the past that she has the determination and tenaciousness to dig as deep as anybody when the going gets tough.

The narrow 4/5 pre-fight favourite may well have to do just that once more this weekend if she is to reign supreme in a bout that could well be the most problematic and challenging of her illustrious professional career to date.

Mayer, the ever so slight 1/1 outsider, has all of the tools, schooling and boxing IQ upset the apple cart however, as she bids to follow in Jonas’ footsteps by becoming a two-weight world champion, having previously unified titles a weight class below.

There’s no doubt that Jonas needs to add a fighter of Mayer’s calibre to her own résumé if she is to gain the same adulation as the likes of Katie Taylor and Chantelle Cameron – two other British champions who have overcome proven pound-for-pound stars to cement their elevated status’.

Talk is cheap, we all know that, and whilst there hasn’t been a single ounce of trash-talking in the build-up to Saturday’s mammoth fight, there is one big question that remains unanswered…

Which of the two fighters will be playing the role of 1985 victor Marvin Hagler, and who will take on the role of Thomas Hearns?

bet365’s boxing expert Rob Tebbutt delivers his thoughts…

“So, Natasha Jonas puts her super-welterweight title on the line against former super-featherweight world title holder Mikaela Mayer. This is a really good fight between two naturally lighter fighters who have moved up the ranks in recent times,” he told the bet365 Sports & Betting News site.

“I feel that size could be a factor this weekend, which is why I am going to be edging on the side of Jonas, given that she has been fighting at this higher weight for a significantly longer time than Mayer, who has just the one fight at 140lbs under her belt.

“Jonas, of course, has home field advantage too, which will also benefit her in those close rounds. Speaking of close rounds, this is a close fight, and I fully expect it to go the full distance, with Jonas just out-pointing her American rival, an outcome that is priced up at 21/20.”

Jonas v Mayer tops the bill of a stacked fight card this weekend; one that also includes a huge British and Commonwealth super-middleweight title bout between old foes Jack Cullen (8/11) and Anthony Sims Jr conqueror Zak Chelli (11/10).

“Now, we saw a controversial draw in the initial bout at Fight Camp a couple of years ago, a result that was hugely controversial at the time given that many people, myself included, felt that Chelli had done more than enough to pick up the victory,” Tebbutt added.

“That was four years ago though and a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then, with both fighters moving on in their careers, picking up wins and suffering losses.

“Cullen, the defending champion, is the narrow favourite here, but Chelli is always a live underdog, which is why, given that this is a 50/50 fight for me, the value, from a betting perspective, lies firmly with Chelli.

“He had that big win over Anthony Sims Jr last year as an underdog, and I just feel that the 4/1 on offer for him to edge this fight via the scorecards is a touch too wide. But, remember, the first fight was close and it ended in draw, and you can get 14/1 on history repeating itself in Liverpool this weekend.”

bet365 are also offering Bet Boosts across all of Saturday night’s BOXXER action, meaning you can take advantage of even BIGGER prices on the headline bout and the full undercard, including BOOSTED Bet Builders on both aforementioned bouts, as well as Mark Jeffers v Germaine Brown – another fight that promises fireworks.

Jeffers is the 2/9 favourite to make a successful first defence of the English and Commonwealth Silver super-middleweight strap that he captured in a dramatic, and surprising, points success over Zak Chelli last year, with Brown a 10/3 outsider.

The bet365 Sports & Betting News site houses plenty of pre-fight content, including a comprehensive All You Need To Know guide for the main event, as well as a detailed Tale of the Tape article which houses all of the vital statistics of both Jonas and Mayer.

View the latest Bet Boosts and odds for the full BOXXER card and all other upcoming boxing at bet365

Bet Boosts and odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time. 

By Mark Mothershaw

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter

The Opening Round: Chris Billam-Smith v Mateusz Masternak

The Opening Round: Chris Billam-Smith v Mateusz Masternak

Bet £10 on Chris Billam-Smith v Mateusz Masternak and get £30 in Free Bets – New customers only. T&Cs apply.


Chris Billam-Smith would be forgiven for taking the easy option on his celebratory Bournemouth homecoming this weekend, but that just isn’t his style!

Many had expected ‘The Gentleman’ to ease into life as a world champion with a relatively straight-forward first defence of his prized WBO cruiserweight title…

But what do we all know!

Instead, the odds-on 2/7 fight favourite is set to tackle the battle-hardened 11/4 outsider Mateusz Masternak on the South Coast on Sunday night; an opponent whose professional career has amassed 52 fights, and seen him trade blows with some of the biggest names in the 200lbs boxing code.

Bouts against the likes of Tony Bellew and Yuniel Dorticos should prove to stand the tough and durable Polish fighter in good stead ahead of his first, and probably only, crack at a coveted world strap.

But that means little to Billam-Smith, who will take to the Bournemouth International Centre still riding a crest of a wave following his sensational win over the previously unbeaten Lawrence Okolie earlier this year.

The Bournemouth native was the underdog on that occasion, but tore up the script in the most sensational style, dethroning his former stablemate and asserting himself as one of the biggest names, and biggest pulls, in domestic boxing.

Whilst the temperatures this weekend won’t quite hit the same heights that were enjoyed at the Vitality Stadium on that spectacular evening back in May, bet365’s resident Boxing expert Rob Tebbutt is once again backing Billam-Smith to produce an equally as hot performance inside the ropes.

“This is a really good fight and one that I expect to catch fire between two guys who love to throw big bombs, but I am leaning towards Billam-Smith on the back of his superb success over Okolie earlier in the year,” he told bet365’s Sports & betting News site.

“This is a tricky first defence for him, and certainly not a gimmee fight that we do tend to see a lot of other newly crowned world champions taking on the back of capturing their titles.

“Masternak is one of the most experienced, tough and game competitors in the cruiserweight division and he is going to give Billam-Smith a tough night’s work on Sunday, that’s for sure.

“But, as I have said, I am leaning in the favour of CBS and I fancy him to get the job done via a ‘Decision or Technical Decision’, which is priced up at 21/20 with bet365.

“The tough and rugged Polish fighter has been around the block, has been in with so many names at this weight, and has only ever been stopped once, so I am expecting it to go long, and very deep.

Billam-Smith is the younger operator, and the fitter operator, and I think that is going to tell late on, which is why I will also be taking a look at the Bournemouth man getting a late stoppage victory, ‘Between Rounds 7 – 12’, which has been BOOSTED to 7/2.”

Billam-Smith v Masternak tops the bill of a stacked fight card this weekend; one that also includes the much-anticipated in-ring return of ‘The Surgeon’ Ben Whittaker and Olympic Gold medallist Lauren Price.

“I’m excited to see the return of Ben Whittaker on the undercard this Sunday night, and for me, as ever, this fight all comes down to how quickly he wants to beat Stiven Leonetti Dredhaj,” Tebbutt added.

“I expect him to come out quickly and like the look of the 5/6 on offer for a stoppage in the first two rounds, but if you fancy him to showboat a little, which he may want to do having been out of action for a little while, then the 5/2 on offer for Rounds 3 – 4 also looks appealing.

“Lauren Price steps things up a level on Sunday night too, tackling the game and experienced Silvia Bortot – an opponent who too former world champion Mikaela Mayer the full distance last time out.

“I’ve got a feeling that this fight will go exactly the same way too, and a price win on points is available at a relatively short price of 2/7, but if you want to look for a bit more value by backing the the hard-hitting Price to get the stoppage then that is available at 10/3.”

bet365 are also offering Bet Boosts across all of Sunday evening’s BOXXER action, meaning you can take advantage of even BIGGER prices on the headline bout and the full undercard, including BOOSTED Bet Builders on both Billam-Smith and Masternak.

The Sports & Betting News team have also put together a comprehensive All You Need To Know guide for the main event, as well as a detailed Tale of the Tape article which houses all of the vital statistics of the two fighters.

View the latest Bet Boosts and odds for the full BOXXER card and all other upcoming boxing at bet365

Bet Boosts and odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time. 

By Mark Mothershaw

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter

BOXXER INKS PARTNERSHIP WITH INTEGRITAS PROPERTY GROUP

BOXXER INKS PARTNERSHIP WITH INTEGRITAS PROPERTY GROUP

London, England (6th December, 2023) – BOXXER is delighted to announce a new partnership with Integritas Property Group, an ethical property developer based in the North West of England

Located in the heart of Liverpool’s city centre, IPG’s mission is to redefine property developments, transforming them into exceptional, unique, and thriving rental properties. Boasting an expert team and building only on brownfields and derelict sites, IPG prides itself on ethical development and works closely with investors, construction companies, and landowners to ensure that every project is completed to the highest standard. 

BOXXER shows air LIVE and exclusively on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, after the leading UK sports broadcaster signed a four-year deal with BOXXER in 2021. BOXXER’s international footprint was galvanised significantly on the signing of a long-term and exclusive US broadcast partnership with NBC Sports, in October this year. The rapidly-growing promotion is home to a world-class stable of fighters including Joshua Buatsi, Chris Billam-Smith, Savannah Marshall, Caroline Dubois, Richard Riakporhe, Adam Azim and many more. 

The partnership will see IPG positioned across all BOXXER’s pre-promotional activity in the lead-up to its forthcoming events, including press conferences, open workouts and weigh-ins. Extensive in-arena exposure on fight night will include IPG branding on the ring canvas, toblerones, venue screens and barriers; and mentions by the MC during the live broadcast. 

The partnership will commence with BOXXER’s next event on Sunday 10th December at the Bournemouth International Centre, as hometown hero Chris Billam-Smith defends his WBO Cruiserweight World Championship against dangerous Polish Powerhouse Mateusz Masternak, in front of a sell-out crowd. BOXXER’s stacked schedule continues into the new year, as Natasha Jonas and Mikaela Mayer face off for the IBF Welterweight World Championship on 20th January in Liverpool, followed by Joshua Buatsi and Dan Azeez’s scintillating light-heavyweight clash at Wembley Arena on 3rd February.

BOXXER’s founder and CEO Ben Shalom said: “It’s great to announce this new partnership with Integritas Property Group, ahead of a huge week in Bournemouth for Chris Billam-Smith’s maiden world title defence. Both BOXXER and IPG originally hail from the North West and we’re united in our belief in the transformative effects boxing can have on people’s lives. We look forward to kicking off the partnership with an electric night of world title action this weekend, followed by a huge start to 2024.” 

Commenting on the partnership, Mitchell Walsh, Managing Director at IPG said: “All of us here at IPG are extremely proud to announce our new partnership with BOXXER. Boxing has always been an important part of my life, and to be able to combine both my passion for property and boxing is a dream come true. BOXXER continues to show the incredibly positive impact boxing delivers to our local communities, and with another star-studded night arriving this Sunday in Bournemouth, the future is looking bright for all involved.”

To find out more about IPG and their projects, visit https://www.integritaspg.com/.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter

The Opening Round: Adam Azim v Franck Petitjean

The Opening Round: Adam Azim v Franck Petitjean

Bet £10 on Adam Azim v Franck Petitjean and get £30 in Free Bets – New customers only. T&Cs apply.

Drawing comparisons to the legendary ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed, the supremely talented Adam Azim appears destined to become the next face of British boxing.

The 21-year-old’s rapid rise also draws parallels with Amir Khan’s ascent in the sport, with Azim determined to get his hands on a world title at an even younger age than the decorated Bolton fighter who became a world champion aged 22 in 2009.

Azim’s meeting with experienced French southpaw Franck Petitjean is the latest step towards his goal of becoming a world champion, with the European super-lightweight belt on the line at the Civic Hall in Wolverhampton.

The undefeated Slough boxer will be keen to make a statement on Saturday night after a couple of points victories in recent outings against Santos Reyes and Aram Faniian, so don’t be surprised if Azim goes looking for the knockout.

Unsurprisingly, the youthful Azim is the overwhelming favourite in this bout at odds of 1/14, with the 35-year-old title holder Petitjean the underdog at 8/1.

Any chance for British fight fans to catch one of the country’s biggest prospects in action ought not to be missed, with bet365’s resident boxing expert Rob Tebbutt backing Azim to secure an emphatic victory in Wolverhampton this weekend.

“In recent times we haven’t seen those early explosive finishes from Azim, but I think he returns back to his prolific best this weekend against an opponent who, for me, isn’t the strongest European champion out there,” he told bet365’s Sports and Betting News site.

“I expect Azim to get the job done early, in good fashion and inside the first six rounds, which you can get at a very tasty 11/4.

“If you fancy even more value than that then you could look at the 13/2 on offer for the British fighter to win this fight ‘Between Rounds 1 – 4’.

“France’s Petitjean is a southpaw, but he isn’t all that tricky, and I just feel that Azim is going to be hitting that target regularly.”

Watch Rob Tebbutt’s bet365 tipping video HERE.

The showdown between Azim and Petitjean is not the only title fight on this exciting BOXXER card, with Black Country fighter Tyler Denny (3/10) taking on Italian veteran Matteo Signani (5/2) in front of his home crowd with the European belt on the line.

Rob Tebbutt is confident that English middleweight champion Denny has what it takes to ensure there are two British fighters crowned European champions in Wolverhampton this weekend.
“I actually really fancy Denny’s chances of capturing the coveted strap in Wolverhampton, and feel that he will end the evening as the new European middleweight champion,” he said.

“Signani is 44 years of age now let’s not forget, and he hasn’t boxed at the very highest level, despite having a long and successful career.

“I will be looking at Denny to get the job done via Decision, which is priced up at 4/6 – not the biggest price in the world admittedly.

“So if you are looking for a little more value then I also feel there is some in Denny getting to Signani during the second half of the fight, so ‘Between Rounds 7 – 12’ at 6/1.”

bet365 are also offering Bet Boosts for both of these title fights put on by BOXXER, meaning you can take advantage of even BIGGER prices and BOOSTED Bet Builders as British boxers Adam Azim and Tyler Denny aim to become European champions on home soil.

The Sports & Betting News team have also put together a comprehensive All You Need To Know guide for the main event between Azim and Petitjean, as well as a detailed Tale of the Tape article which houses all of the vital statistics of the two fighters.

View the latest Bet Boosts and odds for the full BOXXER card and all other upcoming boxing at bet365

Bet Boosts and odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time. 

By James Wilson

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter