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Callum Simpson on idolising Kell Brook, staging a title fight in Barnsley and facing Zak Chelli – Sky Sports

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Callum Simpson says he and Zak Chelli would both welcome a domestic super-middleweight fight in the near future; watch Savannah Marshall take on Franchon Crews-Dezurn for the undisputed super-middleweight title in Saturday’s main event in Manchester; bill live on Sky Sports from 7pm
Interviews, Comment & Analysis
Friday 30 June 2023 15:06, UK
Chris Billam-Smith triumphed in Bournemouth, Natasha Jonas rejoiced in Liverpool and Richard Riakporhe dreams of a night at Selhurst Park. The newest contender for a stop on the homecoming tour – Callum Simpson’s Barnsley.
A secret is no longer kept when it comes to Simpson, whose spiteful fists made for an emphatic third-round knockout of Celso Neves and accompanying statement to his domestic rivals in March.
The South Yorkshireman puts his 11-0 record (nine KOs) on the line against Boris Crighton in his sternest test yet this Saturday, with victory beckoning as another step towards title town.
Whether he arrives with them or leaves with them, Simpson has vowed to bring the belts to the home of his local League One club Barnsley.
“I’d love to fight at Oakwell, it’s going to happen next year 100 per cent,” he tells Sky Sports.
“I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, I’m going to keep smashing these guys up and plough through the domestic scene and then bring a big title fight to Oakwell next summer – I just hope the weather is nice!”
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He has no desire to hang around, and on being quizzed over his immediate ambitions at Thursday’s press conference he proceeded to point to the English super-middleweight title, sat adjacent to him alongside its grinning current holder Zak Chelli.
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Chelli also features on the undercard of Savannah Marshall’s clash with Franchon Crews-Dezurn for the undisputed super-middleweight title as he takes on late replacement Mark Jeffers.
“I would welcome it any time,” Simpson says. “I’ve spoken to Zak a few times, I saw him in London last week and said ‘me and you are going to have a big fight soon, whether it’s for the English or British title’.
“Anybody domestically in the top 10, I want them all. If I’m as good as I believe I am, I should be ploughing through these guys. Why would I be scared to fight somebody top 10 in the UK when I’ve got ambitions of being world champion?
“He’d welcome it, his dad would welcome it, they’re both top guys and I can’t imagine him turning down a fight.
“I think it looks like it would be a good, even fight – but anything he can do, I can do better. There are levels in this game. I rate him massively, he’s on a good run and you can see he trains hard so nothing but respect.”
Despite the vicious hands and crushing finishes, Simpson declares himself boring. At least outside of the ring.
He is every bit married to the game, appreciating the routine of life in the professional ranks and added privilege that comes with success compared to his crammed schedule of years prior.
“I turned pro about three, four years ago, had two fights and won them both then COVID happened,” he recalls. “I was working full time as well since I left college and then luckily I got some good sponsors come on board at the end of November last year, that meant I could leave work and train full-time and that made a massive difference.
“Before I was up training at 5.30am in the morning, working 9-5, then training again straight afterwards and getting up again at 5.30 to train.
“Then I’d be on the late shift working 1-10pm, getting in at 11pm and then back up 5am to train, it was just ridiculous.
“Now I can recover properly, put more into my boxing sessions, which I couldn’t before. Now I’m living my dream – it’s hard, I’m more tired but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
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He had previously worked part-time in Scotts Menswear in Sheffield, the shop at the time having sponsored former world champion Kell Brook.
“We used to get tickets to his fights and stuff, I used to come to work and be like ‘it’s Kell Brook!’,” adds Simpson.
“I never told him I boxed and when I was at the fights I was like ‘that’s going to be me one day’. Some laughed, when I was dieting some people were like ‘why are you eating that?’.
“My last fight he messaged me before to see what time I was on and to say he was going to come support me ringside.
“It was just cool, since I was 16 I looked up to him and then he’s sitting ringside watching my fights. It’s pretty surreal, it shows all the hard work and grind is paying off.”
The 26-year-old insists life has not changed since his explosive Boxxer debut earlier this year, though the Simpson of today might admit to navigating his trade differently to the Simpson of the past.
He is a self-confessed food fan. He can’t proclaim to have any hobbies away from boxing, but he can tell you he loves eating. Title contention means reining in some old tendencies in that regard.
“What aren’t I eating (after a training camp)? Chinese, Indian, burgers, pizzas, desserts,” he laughs. “Some people have got a sweet tooth, some have got a savoury, I’ve got both.
“Sometimes I’d order a pizza at Dominos, drive to McDonalds for a McFlurry while I’m waiting and then drive back.
“Those days are behind me a little bit more! I live the life more now! Early in my pro career I used to indulge a little bit more, but now I manage it.
“After the last fight I’ve kept in shape and been flying in the gym. All the times on circuits and punch counts and measurements I’ve smashed all my previous numbers, everything has gone well.”
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Crighton represents a fresh, necessary obstacle for Simpson this weekend as the Glasgow man enters his fourth fight of the year after a run of three bouts in the space of four weeks. He won’t be taken lightly.
“Big step up for me, my toughest opponent,” said Simpson. “His last three fights he’s done more rounds than I’ve done in my last 10.
“I’ve heard good things about him, but I believe in myself and everything he can do I believe I can do it better. Hopefully that will show on Saturday night.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want the English title this year, of course I think that, of course there are lots of fights I want.
But I’m also not daft to not look past Boris, you see people look over people all the time. You’ve got to turn up and make sure you put on the performance.”
Watch Savannah Marshall take on Franchon Crews-Dezurn for the undisputed super-middleweight title in Saturday’s main event in Manchester live on Sky Sports from 7pm.
© 2023 Sky UK

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Garcia Vs. Duarte: Start Time, TV Schedule, Ring Walks – Boxing News 24

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Boxing News 24
Ryan Garcia will take a confidence-builder fight on December 2nd against little-known lightweight Oscar Duarte live on DAZN in San Antonio, Texas.
This will be Ryan’s first fight with his new trainer Derrick James, and it’ll be interesting to see if he fires him immediately after if he loses or fails to shine.

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Duarte has an 11-fight winning steak since losing in 2018, albeit against obscure fighters with poor records.
In looking at some of Duarte’s fights, he’s very, very slow in hand & foot, and and should be an easy win for Ryan. Despite never having beaten anyone of note during his ten-year professional career, Duarte is ranked #10 at lightweight.
Duarte has a little bit of power, but his glacially slow hand speed will make him an easy mark for Ryan.
It’s a good idea for Ryan’s December 2nd fight not to be placed on PPV because he’s coming off a KO loss, and his opponent is a guy that most boxing fans have never heard of.
Golden Boy boss Oscar De La Hoya says Ryan’s next fight after the rebuilding match against Duarte could be a big one in early 2024.  Oscar is interested in having Ryan challenge WBO light welterweight champion Teofimo Lopez for his title in February.
If not Teo, De La Hoya has another fight, which could be for the WBA 140-lb belt against Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero if he’s still holding the title by then. Rolly is a more winnable fight for Ryan, but even that match-up would still be viewed as a long shot.
In the leaked sparring video, Ryan was getting shelled by Rolly, and it wasn’t pretty to watch. It was worse than what Tank Davis did to Ryan, as he seemed to be taking it easy on him until knocking him out with a body shot last April.
De La Hoya calls this a “proper fight” for the 25-year-old social media star Ryan Garcia, which some would argue is code talk to mean mismatch.
The 27-year-old Duarte’s only career defeat came against Adrian Estrella, a fighter who was destroyed in four rounds by Subriel Matias and in one round by Shohjahon Ergashev.
This is the first fight for the Golden Boy-promoted light welterweight contender Ryan (23-1, 10 KOs) since he was knocked out last April by Gervonta Davis.
“Here you have a guy who’s coming off eleven knockouts in a row,” Golden Boy chief honcho Oscar De La Hoya told Mike Coppinger about Ryan Garcia’s little-known opponent Oscar Duarte for his comeback fight on December 2nd on DAZN.
“There’s a guy who’s a power puncher who’s going to come forward and make Ryan fight. It’s the proper fight after a knockout loss to Gervonta.”
“I would love to talk to Bob to see what’s going on with him and Teofimo,” said De La Hoya about his interest in speaking with Top Rank boss Bob Arum about putting a fight together between WBO light welterweight champion Teofimo Lopez and Ryan Garcia for  Super Bowl weekend for February 10th, 2024.
RYAN GARCIA, INTERNATIONAL BOXING STAR AND SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT WORLD CONTENDER:
“Everything I’ve got, I’ve thrown into this fight. It’s like, for the first time in forever, I’m all in. You know, 2021 was that year that kinda knocked me down. Then 2022 rolls in, switches things up for me, and bam, 2023 opens my eyes. I’m on a mission to reclaim everything, with this laser-like focus, and that’s where I’m drawing my confidence from.”
OSCAR DUARTE, SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT WORLD CONTENDER:
“Hey everyone, good afternoon. Super pumped to be here, just soaking up every second. This was once just a dream, now it’s my reality. Come this Saturday, you’ll see the best of me. Got an amazing team backing me up, and this Saturday, I’m all set for a victory.”
FLOYD SCHOFIELD, WBA LIGHTWEIGHT INTERNATIONAL TITLEHOLDER:
“Hey folks, I’m just stoked about this opportunity. Huge shoutout to Golden Boy, Cameron Davies, and my dad – they’re the reason I’m here. I see Saturday as a stepping stone to blast my name across the 135 division. Expect a show with some serious fireworks this Saturday. Thank you!”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, CHAIRMAN AND CEO OF GOLDEN BOY PROMOTIONS:
“This fight card? It’s just jam-packed with insane talent we’ve been scouting and grooming to be the next wave of world champs. Trust me, you don’t wanna skip this one.”
BERNARD HOPKINS, PARTNER OF GOLDEN BOY PROMOTIONS:
“This is it, the big moment. As we wrap up 2023 and head into 2024, it’s time for our fighters to step up, show they’re top dog material. They’ve got this shot to show they’re main event material.”

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The co-main event sees Ohara “Two Tanks” Davies (25-2, 18 KOs) from London, jumping into the American ring for the first time as a Golden Boy fighter. He’s up against Venezuela’s El Tigre, Ismael Barroso (24-4-2, 22 KOs), in a 12-round skirmish for the WBA Super Lightweight Interim World Championship.
Now, for a dash of rising stardom: Floyd “Kid Austin” Schofield (15-0, 11 KOs) of Austin, Texas, is defending his WBA Lightweight International Champion title. He’s squaring up against Ricardo “Explosivo” Torres (17-7-3, 12 KOs) from Tijuana, Mexico in a 10-rounder that’s sure to spark fireworks. Remember Schofield’s last fight, a genuine thriller against Haskell Rhodes? Expect that level of excitement, presented by Davies Entertainment.
Shane Mosley Jr. (20-4, 11 KOs), the NABO Middleweight Champion, is gearing up for a showdown with Joshua Conley (17-5-1, 11 KOs) from San Bernardino in a 10-round battle. Fresh off his knockout victory over D’Mitrius Ballard, Mosley Jr. is all set to turn up the heat.
Let’s not forget Houston’s own Darius Fulghum (8-0, 8 KOs), a knockout artist ready to dazzle his home crowd in an eight-round light heavyweight fight. He’s facing Pachino “Chino” Hill (8-4-1, 6 KOs) of Davenport, Iowa. With this being Fulghum’s sixth fight in 2023, he’s proving to be one of boxing’s most active up-and-comers.
Kicking things off, Golden Boy Fight Night: Garcia vs. Duarte Prelims will stream on Golden Boy’s YouTube Channel. Asa “Ace” Stevens (5-0, 2 KOs) from Waianae, Hawaii, is set for a four-round super bantamweight scrap with Dominque Griffin (5-5-2, 2 KOs) of Irving, Texas. And, Gael “El Terror” Cabrera (2-0, 1 KO), the former Mexican Olympian, steps back into the ring for a four-rounder against Alejandro Dominguez (2-0, 1 KO) from Las Vegas, Nevada. Plus, Sean Garcia (5-0, 2 KOs) of Victorville, California, is ready to impress in a four-round bout against an opponent to be revealed.
A: Oh, it’s stacked:
Boxing News 24 » Garcia vs. Duarte: Start Time, TV Schedule, Ring Walks

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From Jake Paul-Tommy Fury to Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk … – ESPN

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Jake Paul and Tommy Fury get heated in their faceoff and push each other in the ring. (1:28)
After the multiple disappointments of fights failing to materialize last year, 2023 is already shaping up to be an improvement for boxing, with some exciting matchups on the horizon. Some fights have been officially announced. Others are very close to being finalized.
But what are the top fights in the months ahead? From Jake Paul vs. Tommy Fury to Ryan Garcia vs. Gervonta Davis and the first heavyweight fight for the undisputed championship in the four-belt era, ESPN marks your calendar for dates not to be missed.
A clash between the best two heavyweights in the world, and perhaps the best heavyweight world champions since the Klitschko brothers (Wladimir and Vitali) reigned, is likely to be the biggest fight of 2023. Boxing suffered from fights not getting made last year, but this one — dare we say it — seems likely to get made and will determine the legacies of both these skilled and clever boxers.
Both have achieved so much in their careers, but what they do on April 29 will be what they are remembered for most. This fight is the first to have all major four heavyweight belts on the line and will create boxing’s first undisputed world champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999 (three-belt era).
Usyk’s slick movement and quick hands could unsettle Fury, but Fury’s long jab and heavier punches (if he can land them) could leave Usyk flat out like Deontay Wilder.
It was a pleasant surprise to see this fight get made given the obstacles — rival promoters and broadcasters, egos and unbeaten records — and it could be the start of a series of megafights at lightweight.
As well as popularity — they have nearly 13 million followers on Instagram between them — these two American rivals are supremely talented. Davis has skills, power (he has stopped 26 of his 28 opponents) and tactical intelligence, while Garcia has lightning-fast hands with a six-inch height advantage.
Devin Haney holds all the belts, but this matchup is almost as important as Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko. When the fight was announced, Garcia perfectly summarized this encounter: “Boxing needs this fight right now. It’s time for us to get back to what made this sport so great for the fans: Glamourous fights in places like Las Vegas, grudge match storylines, and most importantly — the best fighting the best.”
Be sure to find time to watch the Taylor vs. Serrano rematch.
Taylor, who lives and trains in Connecticut, has yet to box in her home nation since turning professional more than six years ago. When she steps out at a yet-to-be-confirmed venue in Dublin that night, the roof will lift (presuming the fight doesn’t occur at an outdoor venue like Croke Park). Taylor’s decision over Serrano last year lived up to expectations of it being the biggest fight in the history of women’s professional boxing. Who wouldn’t want a rematch?
Anthony Joshua doesn’t hide his emotions while discussing his split-decision loss to Oleksandr Usyk.
Haney, the undisputed lightweight champion, believes he is the man of the moment, the younger champion looking to make this his era.
Lomachenko, 34, was winning Olympic gold medals when Haney was nine years old and is definitely in the last throes of his career. It’s yet to be seen whether Haney can come close to showing the dazzling technique and skills Lomachenko has in lighting up boxing, winning world titles from featherweight up to lightweight.
With war raging in his homeland Ukraine, Lomachenko could understandably be distracted and slowed by the passing of time and a long career. Haney sees this as an opportunity to establish himself as one of boxing’s biggest names.
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The two former super middleweight champions almost got their fight started early during a recent news conference to announce the event. The animosity will only intensify toward fight night, ensuring a healthy interest in the nontitle encounter. This clash, between the best 168-pounders not named Canelo Alvarez, will be decided by whether Plant’s slick boxing skills can defuse Benavidez’s big-punching power and volume.
Plant is in form after his stunning KO of Anthony Dirrell in October catapulted him back to the No. 3 spot in the division after losing to Alvarez in November 2021, and he will be Benavidez’s best opponent yet.
To go straight into a world junior featherweight title fight in his first outing at the new weight class is a bold move by Inoue. To do it against Fulton is even bolder.
Fulton, 28, from Philadelphia, is ESPN’s No. 1 boxer at 122 pounds. As a seasoned campaigner in the division who throws a prodigious number of punches, he represents a big risk for Inoue. Inoue became undisputed bantamweight champion in December and is chasing a world title belt in a fourth division, a feat that would surely deserve universal recognition — or confirmation — as the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter.
These two featherweights are the least well-known boxers on this list, but what they lack in star appeal, they make up for in entertainment value. After being plucked from the domestic scene in their home countries, both pulled off shocking wins at an elite level and produced fireworks in recent fights.
Wood’s last-gasp, 12th-round knockout of Michael Conlan was voted ESPN’s fight of the year and KO of the year for 2022. The English boxer also produced a last round KO win to capture the WBA belt against Can Xu in July 2021. Lara stopped Josh Warrington — who was ESPN’s No. 1 featherweight — in February 2021. Lara added two early stoppage wins last year. It has all the ingredients to be an eventful fight.
Alvarez needs a dominant performance to silence critiques that he’s sliding after a brilliant career, winning world titles in four different weight classes. After losing by decision to Dmitry Bivol for the light heavyweight title last May, followed by a decision win in his trilogy fight against Gennadiy Golovkin at 168 pounds, Alvarez will return to defend his four world title belts against Ryder, the mandatory challenger who will have to pull off one of the biggest shocks in boxing history to win.
It is one of the least competitive matchups on this list, but it will be intriguing to see what sort of form Alvarez is in after surgery on his left hand and a confidence-denting defeat that has seen his position in the pound-for-pound rankings take a tumble. Details of the fight have yet to be confirmed.
This fight is about how Joshua responds to back-to-back decision losses to Usyk and the upheaval in his training arrangements. Joshua’s frank and confused outburst in the ring in the immediate aftermath of losing to Usyk for a second time only adds to the doubts around whether Joshua can regain the form that saw him reign as WBA, IBF and WBO world champion. But Franklin looks like an accommodating opponent.
Stevenson is a talented boxer, but his lack of punching power and relatively unknown opponent means his fight will not attract as much attention as his lightweight rivals Haney, Garcia and Davis. But this is a solid first step at lightweight for Stevenson, who unified world titles against good opponents at junior lightweight. A fight against the winner of Haney-Lomachenko is a good incentive for Stevenson to look good — and a KO victory would help.
Okay, so this is the bottom of the pile, but for many, this crossover event will be the No. 1 fight of 2023 to follow and tune in to based on entertaining value alone. Paul is better known than many current champions, even if he has just six professional fights, with no amateur boxing pedigree.
The YouTube star appeals to demographics that Terence Crawford, Inoue, Errol Spence Jr. and Canelo can’t reach. Tommy Fury is a reality TV star from the UK, half-brother of world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, but also a professional boxer taking the sport seriously.
The storylines behind the fight will ensure it generates good pay-per-view numbers, with many intrigued to see if Paul can continue his impressive adventure in professional boxing, during which he has silenced all criticism that he is out of his depth. But Fury will be his toughest test yet.

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GET TO KNOW: Jersie Woolsey – Auburn Tigers Official Athletic Site

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Gymnastics
AUBURN, Ala. – Another school year means another season of Auburn gymnastics! And as we get ready to kick off the 2024 season in January, it is time to get to know the 10 newcomers to the squad.  Next up is freshman Jersie Woolsey!
Hometown: Riverton, Utah
Club: Black Diamond South Jordan
Prior to Auburn: Top 10 finisher on vault at the 2023 Level 10 Region 1 Championship … Finished third on vault at the 2021 Winter Classic … Multiple top 10 finishes in the all-around throughout her club career.
Q: Why Auburn?
A: “I chose Auburn because it felt like home the moment I stepped on campus. Everyone here is so welcoming and friendly. I couldn’t imagine going to school anywhere else.”
Q: What’s your major and why did you choose it?
A: “My major is exercise science. I chose it because I want to do physical therapy and help athletes recover.”
Q: What do you hope to do once you are done with school?
A: “Once I am done with school, I want to get a job as a physical therapist and work with athletes. I’m still undecided where I want to go, but I want to try something new.”
Q: What’s your favorite thing about your hometown, what makes it unique?
A: “My favorite thing about my hometown is the mountains. I love listening to music and going on canyon drives.” 
Q: What does a typical day in your life at Auburn look like?
A: “A typical day in my life starts with me waking up, getting ready, Wellness Kitchen for breakfast or go to treatment. I then go to my classes, then back to Wellness for lunch. I have practice and after practice I do recovery and cold tub. After that I eat dinner and go to SADC for studying.”
Q: What’s your favorite event and why?
A: “My favorite event is either floor or vault. I like floor because I love to perform.”
Q: What are you most looking forward to here at Auburn?
A: “The thing I am looking forward to most is meet season. I can’t wait to compete with my teammates at Neville Arena surrounded by all the gymnastics fans.”
Q: How did you get involved in gymnastics?
A: “I was a very energetic child, so my mom decided to put me in gymnastics, and I loved it.”
Q: What is your pre-meet ritual?
A: “My pre-meet ritual is listening to music and just having fun. I don’t do anything specific.”
Q: Coming from Utah, what is the biggest culture shock you have experienced coming to Auburn?
A: “One of the biggest culture shocks I have had is the food. I have tried a lot of new things here.”
Q: What is your go-to karaoke song?
A: “My go-to karaoke song is ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ by Fergie.”
Q: What fashion trend do you hope never comes back?
A: “A fashion trend I hope never comes back are chokers.”
Q: If you were in a zombie apocalypse, what person on the team would you want with you?
A: “I would want Lila Smith with me because we are both going to fight.”






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