Let’s start with the signing of Anthony Fowler, how excited are you about his future?
Very excited! I think he can go a long way, he’s proved at amateur level that he can go all the way and that game isn’t even suited to his style! The lads who he was facing had much faster feet than him and they liked scoring points and moving whereas he likes to stand in front of you, walk you down and have a war. His ability to do that is what has lead him to his amateur achievements. I think the people in Liverpool as well as the fans across the country are going to get behind him and really enjoy watching him fight.
Was there a chance that he could have boxed on the Murray card this Saturday?
Not really because you have to apply for a license with a certain area and when we signed the deal we had just missed the area meeting which is the cut off so therefore we had to wait another cycle which was a whole month otherwise he would have debuted at the Echo on Saturday.
What’s the plan for him in his first year or two as a pro?
I expect him to come out, impress and improve. He’s got this reputation that he is some sort of warrior who is very entertaining to watch so fans are almost expecting amazing fights from the off and I think he feels a bit of pressure from that. Under Dave Coldwell he will be okay though, Dave will grab hold of him and tell him that you can’t fight like that and that he’s got to be smart. We don’t want to take the toughness away from Fowler because that is one of the things that makes him so difficult to beat but we’ve got to refine him and allow him to go and do his thing as a complete professional fighter.
Why did it take so long for him to get a promoter and turn over?
We only started talking with him around a month ago or something like that. He wanted to take his time, he wanted to find the right trainer as well as the right team around him and it is very easy to make snap decisions. You’ve got a lot of other Olympians as well like Buatsi and Joe Joyce who are doing the same thing. They are taking their time because they want to make the right decision which is very wise but sometimes you can lose a bit of profile if you take too long because you’re not being talked about. This wasn’t a problem with Fowler though because he is very prominent on social media, some people like him and some people don’t like him but that doesn’t matter because they will watch him. The main thing is, he can fight! You can open your mouth and be opinionated but if you can’t fight then it is irrelevant but he can!
This is a great card on Saturday night, how many tickets are you expecting to do?
About 4,000. It’s no our biggest but we are wedged before the Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko mega fight which doesn’t help but it is still a great card. It’s not the biggest card with the biggest names but there are 4 50/50 fights with a great main event so I’m looking forward to it.
Would you agree that this card appeals to the hard-core boxing fans?
Yeah, for sure. When there is one for the hard-cores, it means that we don’t do as many tickets but on social media there are a lot of people raring for it but the casuals don’t really know much about it. Of course I would prefer the ones that attract the casuals as well but I’m also a hard-core my self so I’m looking at this and I think ‘What a great fight!’. I look at Murray and Rosado head-to-head and all that I can think about of how much of a war this is going to be.
This is not an easy fight for Murray at all but if he does win, will you be looking for a 5th world title shot by the end of the year?
Quite possibly, yeah. It’s a high-profile fight so if he loses this fight, his career is over – no doubt about it and the same goes for Rosado. If Martin beats Rosado well, I think he is knocking on the doors of another world title shot. Sometimes he gets picked as a good voluntary, for example against Arthur Abraham who nearly came unstuck because it was a close fight. I think Billy Joe Saunders against Martin Murray is a good fight as well. I think he can win that but it is a difficult fight for him. You would have to say that Saunders coming off inactivity means that Murray would have a great chance in that fight and the same goes for Rosado. If Rosado wins here, looks good and raises his profile in the UK then the fight with Billy Joe Saunders is a great fight for him too.
Sean Dodd is a local hero over the water and Saturday he will be fighting for the commonwealth title, how far can he go in the game?
Well I never thought that he would win a British title which he probably should have done and I never imagined him getting to a commonwealth title and he’s got a great chance to do so on Saturday night. He’s one of those guys who is awkward to beat, tough to beat and with confidence, support and momentum things can happen. I have to say that Appleyard hasn’t got the best style for Dodd but Masher has to make it his fight. Appleyard isn’t hugely experienced so he should be a bit over whelmed by the occasion so Masher needs to use that to his advantage. One thing we know about Sean Dodd is that he is always in great fights and it will be no different on Saturday night!
Last weekend we saw Ricky Burns lose his WBA super-lightweight title in Scotland, what’s next for him?
He’s definitely going to fight again, he would fight again if it was a 6 rounder – he just loves it! People are always quick to tell him hang up the gloves but at the end of the day he has just lost a unification fight, it’s not like he lost to an unknown for his world title! Indongo is very good and very awkward and he had a horrible style for Ricky to deal with. Against the right style, Ricky Burns is very very tough to beat. Against a style like Indongo’s, he’s a little bit easier to beat which is what we saw on Saturday. Frustrated and disappointed but he will have a little rest and then get back in the gym. He will be good to go after a rest, whether it’s a domestic fight, another shot at the world title or even the Broner fight which is out there for him.
We also saw Scott Cardle lose his British title, will there be a rematch?
No, there is no rematch because the winner has to fight Lewis Ritson. If I was Scotty Cardle I wouldn’t go back to the British title because I feel like the title has disrupted his career because he has been looking to win the belt outright. Sometimes you shouldn’t focus on wining the belt outright because it can slow you down and make you become a bit demotivated for fights that you feel you should win. Robbie Barrett was a great example, everyone thought Cardle would win that fight so Scott ends up under performing and Barrett ends up over performing and deserved the win.
Josh Kelly really impressed me and a lot of our followers, how far can he go?
You have to remember he boxed Jay Byrne on his debt who has a winning record and Josh really controlled the pace beautifully. One thing that really impressed me was that after 6 rounds, he didn’t really seem tired at all because he made Jay Byrne box at the pace that he wanted to box at. He needs to put his punches together a little bit more because sometimes he works with just single shot but he is going to be very tough to beat because he’s that skilful with bags of talent. If Adam Booth can keep him disciplined, which I believe he will, I think he’s going to go all the way.
Do you need to be careful not to rush him because it could be tempting?
It is very tempting! It’s a bit like the situation with Joe Cordina. When they’ve had over 180 amateur fights, it’s very difficult to slow them down. It’s the same with Anthony Fowler, he’s has WSB experience so you’re not going to start him in 4 rounder’s against complete journeyman. On the other hand, we’ve got Lawrence Okolie who has only had about 20 amateur fights so in comparison we can afford to slow Josh down because of his amateur experience but at the end of the day it’s up to the trainer to tell us who is the right opponent and how quick we should move him.
Any news on Tony Bellew? What are the chances of him fighting again?
I would like him to fight again personally. His wife and trainer don’t want him to but I want to see him go on and try to win the World Heavyweight Championship. We have been speaking to Joseph Parker’s team and Deontay Wilder and the opportunity is there ready for him to take. I think he can win the title and what a story that would be! I believe that now he has beaten David Haye why should he retire? He is coming off three good performances against Makabu, Flores and Haye so he actually has momentum and is improving! He’s not a shot fighter so for me, I’m saying let’s go again! We are going to have a meeting over the next couple of days and he will probably make his decision by Saturday.
When is Callum Smith going to fight Dirrell?
We are still waiting for the date from their team which is very frustrating. When it goes to a purse bid, there are certain things that go in to a standard purse bid contract and sometimes they’re acceptable and sometimes they aren’t. One think that is unacceptable in this contract is the fact that they are trying to block Callum from having corporate sponsors. We are getting there though and there will probably be a date and deal finalised by next week. We are looking at the end of June or the start of July
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