Boxer Jeffries signs Maloney deal

Sunderland light-heavyweight and Olympic bronze medallist Tony Jeffries has signed a three-year professional contract with promoter Frank Maloney.

Jeffries will make his debut on the undercard of Rendall Munroe’s European super-bantamweight title defence against Spain’s Kiko Martinez.

The bout, which takes place in Barnsley on 27 February, will be the 23-year-old’s first since the Beijing Olympics.

A deal with Sheffield-based promoter Dennis Hobson collapsed last month.

The Wearsider had hoped to make his bow before a home crowd but new promoter Maloney has promised to deliver at least two televised shows in the region every year.

In addition, a deal has been agreed for all of Jeffries’ fights to be shown on Sky Sports.

Jeffries will be the first of Team GB’s Beijing contingent to fight professionally – gold medallist James DeGale, Billy Joe Saunders and Frankie Gavin will make their debuts in Birmingham the following day.


Filed under: Sakio Bika,Uncategorized — proboxing February 5, 2009 @ 12:16 am

Woodhall joins GB boxing set-up

Former world champion Richie Woodhall has joined the new Great Britain amateur boxing set-up as a consultant.

Woodhall, who took bronze at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, won Commonwealth gold en route to his career highlight, the WBC super-middleweight crown.

He will continue training professional fighters at his gym in Birmingham and with his various media commitments.

“I have been waiting for an opportunity to help talented up-and-coming boxers in the GB squad,” said Woodhall.

“I relish the prospect of getting involved as part of the GB team and I am delighted to do my bit to help us achieve great success.”

Shropshire-based Woodhall briefly held the post of performance director with the Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE) in 2005, but resigned after a fall-out with head coach Terry Edwards.

Edwards, who led Amir Khan to silver at the 2004 Olympics and Team GB to a gold and two bronzes in 2008, recently left his role as head coach of Britain’s Olympic boxing team after the newly-formed British Amateur Boxing Association (BABA) opted not to renew his contract.

BABA’s performance director is Kevin Hickey, who trained British boxers at five Olympics and worked with Woodhall in 1988.

Hickey said: “I have immense regard both in personal and in athlete terms for Richie. He represents the very best that is possible in British boxing and I am thrilled to have him on board.

“I know he will bring a new type of expertise to the fantastic talent we have here in the squad and help us to ensure that the development and success of our boxers is optimised for London 2012.”

UK Sport took emergency control of the Sheffield-based elite programme in June 2008 because of concerns about “governance” and “climate within the sport”.

At this time, the programme was run by the ABAE, the governing body in the largest of the three home nations that make up the team. But that situation became unworkable when Edwards’ relationship with the ABAE dissolved.

BABA is funded by UK Sport and assumed responsibility for the development of Britain’s elite boxers on 1 October 2008.

Former England head coach Kelvin Travis is temporarily in charge of Britain’s London 2012 hopes, although a recruitment process is now under way.

Woodhall had been tipped to succeed Edwards in the role, but said he was not prepared to give up his television and professional coaching commitments.


Filed under: Sakio Bika,Uncategorized — proboxing February 3, 2009 @ 4:36 am

Building a stronger community, one boxer at a time

While humbly accepting his award and acknowledging the appreciative applause, Jesse Torres felt a bit sheepish in the spotlight.

He’s never been one to pull punches, but it’s always a bit awkward to him when well-wishers offer congratulations.

“This isn’t about me,” Torres said. “This is about the kids. They are the driving force behind all of this.”

All modesty aside, Torres plays a huge role in an endeavor quite deserving of recognition. It came his way Thursday when Jesse “The Law” Torres was honored as the 2009 recipient of the Pete Perez Community Service Award, given annually by the city of Aurora’s Hispanic Heritage Advisory Board.

A capacity crowd, packed into every crevice of the large banquet room at Long Island Sound, gave him a prolonged standing ovation to convey their genuine and heartfelt respect.

Truth be told, Torres could be presented this award every year, retroactive to 1995. That’s how long he’s been running “Jesse’s Gym.” In conjunction with the Fox Valley Park District, Torres goes the distance for at-risk youth with his consistently successful boxing club that packs a potent 1-2 punch.

As many as 90 kids come through the open doors on a daily basis at the Copley II Recreation Center. Whether they don boxing gloves or not, they are part of the overall training program — for at Jesse’s Gym, the lessons of life are every bit as important as learning to throw a right hook.

The wisdom and training Torres imparts, along with the encouragement and confidence-building, are all free through the park district’s and Torres’ collective efforts. Kids provide the sweat, energy and devotion. Torres provides the direction, guidance and positive attitude that propel these youths toward a better tomorrow.

“I tell them straight out that when you join my boxing club, you get out of it what you put into it,” Torres said. “It’s the same way in life. Anything worth pursuing takes commitment, dedication and doing the right thing.

“Not everybody who comes here will leave as a world-class fighter. They may aspire toward that, but what we’re really here for is to stress the positive and help these kids find a future. For me to give them guidance and provide direction comes naturally.”

Torres, who is also an Aurora police officer (hence “The Law” moniker), has been involved with boxing for 34 years, including a successful professional career as a Golden Gloves lightweight fighter in which he boxed on and off for 21 years to the tune of a 24-6-4 record.

He stepped out of the competitive ring 14 years ago to face a challenge more daunting than any opponent.

“A lot of the kids come here from broken families with a lot of problems,” Torres said. “They come from low-income families that don’t have the same advantages as most in society.

“When I first opened the gym, there were a lot of doubters. People said it would never work in such a troubled area.”

Torres had a simple solution that didn’t require stiff rules or extra security.

“Respect,” he said. “We expect everybody to treat each other with respect and dignity. Whether they come here one day a month or every day of the week, I treat all these kids the same, and I expect that out of them. We’ve had no problems.

“We know the program works because the kids keep coming back every night.”

Not only is Torres conducting community service, but he’s giving back in ways that develop better citizens as well.Pointing kids to desirable detours and arming them with the confidence to travel that route can have a wave effect throughout the neighborhood.

“I’m a prevention person rather than the intervention type,” Torres said. “What’s most rewarding for me is to see a troubled kid reinvent himself and go off into a positive direction.”

In boxing terms, it’s called picking yourself up off the canvas. Torres has been doing it for community youth — more than 700 of them and counting.

That’s the real definition of an undisputed champion.

Jeff Long is the public relations manager for the Fox Valley Park District. Contact him at


Filed under: Sakio Bika,Uncategorized — proboxing February 2, 2009 @ 1:40 am

India in race for World Series of Boxing franchise

New Delhi, Jan 27 (PTI) India faces competition from traditional powerhouses like Thailand and Kazakhstan in its bid to be among the four Asian franchises for the World Series of Boxing planned next year.

The five-weight-category, inter-continental event would feature four city-based teams each from Asia, America and Europe.

Every franchisee would be worth USD 10 million and selection of boxers for the event would be done at the World Championships in Milan this August, Indian Boxing Federation secretary general Col P K Muralidharan Raja told PTI.

“So far, apart from India, Thailand, China, Korea, Qatar and Kazakhstan are among the contenders for becoming a franchisee. The discussions are on and the whole thing will be finalised in the AIBA executive meeting in Milan next month,” Raja, who was elected chairman of Asian Boxing Confederation’s Referee and Judges Commission recently, said.

“We are trying for Delhi but we cannot seek any expression of interest from any franchisee until the AIBA executive committee meeting decides on the matter. Once it is decided, we would take the next step of approaching people (sponsors),” he added.

Col Raja was in Montreal last week to attend the International Referees and Judges Commission meeting and revealed that the World Series of Boxing was the dominant topic of discussion. PTI


Filed under: Sakio Bika,Uncategorized — proboxing January 29, 2009 @ 1:18 am
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