The Phil Martin Trophy at stake as Contender VIP returns for its second installment on December 21 at Deansgate’s Hilton Hotel, Manchester

By Chris Glover

Contender VIP is set for its first series finals as the upstart promotion returns for its second event on December 21 at Deansgate’s Hilton Hotel, Manchester. The show will feature the finals of the middleweight and light heavyweight tournaments, with the winner being awarded a hefty cash prize along with the Phil Martin trophy.
Contender VIP was set up in the memory and with the ideals of Manchester legend Phil Martin in mind. The Phil Martin centre in the Mosside district of the city is still the home to the famous Champs Camp gym, where Manchester greats Maurice Core and Ensley Bingham still work to this day. The Contender VIP chief comes in the form of Manchester businessman and promoter Mike Le-Gallez, who has been working alongside the Champs Camp team to come up with this unique and exciting concept.
Le-Gallez previewed the December 21 event, “It’s going to be another explosive night of action full of evenly-matched fights. We have our tournament finals which will see two North West lads clash in the shape of John Telford and Kyle Lomotey in the middleweight tournament finals. In the light heavyweight tournament final Diego Costa who was trained by the legend, Oliver Harrison will square off against the also undefeated Boris Creighton.
“Contender VIP has been set up with the thought of Phil Martin in mind. He wanted to see the fighters take chances and for the young fighters in Britain to be in entertaining fights that they could learn and improve from on a regular basis. This is what Contender VIP has set out to do and I believe that we will only go from strength to strength going forward.”
Joining the two tournament finals is a clash of Irish Champion vs Swedish Champion in Jay Byrne and Ahmed Rossi, with Jake James, Jermaine Springer and Jimmy First also making up the undercard against well matched international opposition. Maurice Core, who has been a mainstay of Contender VIP since its inception gave his assessment of the full card as a whole.
Former British Champion Core stated, “It’s another really great well-matched card from top to bottom. Away from the tournament finals which I believe will be non stop action from bell to bell, the undercard is full of close fights too. That’s what the British public wants to see from fight nights and that’s what Phil Martin always wanted, so these past two events are a fitting tribute to his life’s work and we expect to continue to go from strength to strength.”
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