If ‘Saturday night’ really was ‘alright for fighting’ then Elton John would be over-the-moon with VIP Promotions’ forthcoming plans.

With another hugely successful boxing season drawing to a close, promoter Steve Wood will kick-off again in September with a series of music-themed fight-nights, the first – ‘Motown Showdown’ – of which will take place in Blackburn.

“We’ve had another great year at VIP Promotions,” explained Steve. “Brian Rose fought for the world title. Gary Sykes won the Lonsdale Belt in a terrific scrap with Jon Kays; Josh Warrington also won the British and looks like one of the UK’s brightest prospects, and Terry Flanagan fights Martin Gethin for the domestic lightweight crown on the Fury-Chisora undercard and will hopefully make it three in a row for VIP.

“It’s also great to be acknowledged as one of the best promotional outfits in the country, with up-and-coming talent that deserved dates on the new Matchroom Pass idea.”

‘Matchroom Pass’ will see live shows from around the UK screened for a nominal yearly subscription. Wood views this new initiative as an ideal chance to showcase the VIP stable to another audience, and to increase fighter exposure by utilising the Matchroom publicity machine.

“Our VIPBOXING.TV YouTube channel has been a real success and we’ll still be streaming all our shows live,” explained Wood. “We’ll also be increasing the work of Lee Hogan who has been videoing our boxers to help get their names known by the public.

“And we’ve come up with this idea of mixing the boxing with a music night. The aim is to attract new fans to our shows and also provide more entertainment for the punters on the night.

“The first show will be a Motown theme. We’ll have a DJ and professional singer playing sets and entertaining the crowd, and will be asking for song requests on our Twitter feed (@vipboxing.tv).

“We’ll then roll it out over the new season and have different nights like Soul, Punk, Swing, Elvis, Beatles, and an 80s night. And if anyone has any other suggestions then just let us know.

“We want to try something a little bit different. Everyone’s always talking about boxing being stuck in the past and losing fans to other sports. This idea means, for the price of a ticket, fans get to see some great boxing, and can make a real night of it.

“The first show will be at a great new venue in Blackburn, the St. George’s Hall. It holds 1600, the VIP tickets have already gone and we’re expecting it to be a complete sell-out. The atmosphere will be great and it will be the start of exciting new times.”

VIP Promotions present ‘Motown Showdown’, a night of boxing and music, at Blackburn’s St. George’s Hall on September 6. Topping the bill will be Colne’s WBC International Silver welterweight champion Shayne Singleton. Also appearing will be Blackburn’s Qasim Niaz and Kurt Grieve; Accrington’s Artif Ali; Oswaldtwistle’s Adam Machaj, and Lancashire’s AJ Faizy. Blackburn’s Morgan Jackson will make his debut, with more names to be announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets priced at £30, £40 and £50.00 (ringside) are available from all boxers, online at vipbe.co.uk, or via credit card by calling 01942-874241.

Keep updated on VIP Promotions’ news by visiting vipboxing.com or follow on Twitter @vipboxing and @vipboxing.tv

In what should be an action-packed battle, Liverpool’s James ‘Kid Shamrock’ Metcalf gets his toughest test yet at Southport’s Floral Hall on June 20 when he faces renowned tough-guy Gary Boulden.

Currently 5-0, the son of former WBU world champion Shea Neary also gets his first six-rounder against Shepperton’s Boulden, who comes with a reputation as a fighter always looking to win.

“It’s going to be a tough fight; he’s been in with some good lads,” explained the light-middleweight. “He took Billy Joe Saunders ten rounds, and he boxed Jack Arnfield and only got beat by two points over 10 rounds as well.

“It’s definitely my toughest fight to date. I’ll see how it goes first round, I’ll stick to my boxing and then take it from there. Moving up to six rounds doesn’t worry me, I’m comfy doing six and have been doing it for years in the gym. I’ve actually been wanting to step up the rounds for a while now.”

A pro since December 2011, Metcalf will box in Southport for the first time when he forms part of the support to former British title challenger Mike Stafford, who headlines in his home town.

At 25, James is looking to move forwards in his career and eventually follow in the boxing boots of his famous dad, who lost his belt in an enthralling encounter with fight-legend ‘Irish’ Micky Ward.

“I can’t wait for this show. I went up to watch a couple of the lads boxing there a few months ago. It’s a great boxing venue and I’m really looking forward to getting in there.

“My career’s starting to pick up now. I’m getting more fights and hopefully I’ll stay busy. Steve [Wood] is doing a good job so I’m really happy.”

Promoter Steve Wood stated: “James has big boots to fill but he copes with the pressure really well. He’s a laid-back lad out of the ring, but is a really entertaining fighter, like his dad. There is always a really good atmosphere in Southport and with Mike Stafford headlining and the rest of the card filled with local lads it will be another great night.”

VIP Promotions presents an evening of boxing at Southport’s Floral Hall on June 20. Topping the bill will be Southport’s former British title challenger Mike Stafford. Also appearing will be Scott Moonan from Southport; Liverpool’s James Metcalf, Ryan Moorhead and Andy Colquhoun; Heywood’s Mark Thompson, and Accrington’s Artif Ali.

Tickets, priced at £30 (General) and £60 (Ringside), are available from all boxers or at vipbe.co.uk

Keep updated on VIP Promotions’ news by visiting vipboxing.com or follow on Twitter @vipboxing

Merseyside’s future star Andy Colquhoun gets his first run out with new stable VIP Promotions when he appears at Southport’s Floral Hall on Friday June 20.

The former ABA semi-finalist from Liverpool is currently 8-0 in the paid ranks and believes he will now follow the long line of fighters who have won British titles under the VIP banner.

“I’m made up to be part of the VIP set-up,” said the 22-year-old. “There are a great set of lads in the stable already and there’s some great sparring for me with the likes of Terry Flannigan. I’m looking to add to the quality that’s there already and play my part.

“This is a great move for me and I’m really excited to get going this Friday. I want to be British champion as soon as possible, within three or four fights. At super-featherweight there aren’t too many top fighters in the division and I believe I’m just a couple of fights away from the belt.”

Colquhoun hasn’t fought since July last year and, after fighting with injuries in the past, is looking forward to getting between the ropes with a clean bill of health.

Aggressive and able to fight on the front and back foot, Andy scored one of the KOs of 2012 when he starched Londoner Dan Naylor in four rounds (check it out on YouTube). And the Merseysider is promising there are more exciting performances to come.

“Oh, I can’t wait, I’m so looking forward to it. I can’t get the smile off my face and all the lads in the gym are buzzing. It’s going to be a really good show.

“I’ve been out injured so I just need to get this one out of the way. Ring rust shouldn’t be a problem. I might not be as sharp as I want to be but my last two fights I was injured and I boxed well. Now I’m injury-free and ready to look good.”

Promoter Steve Wood stated: “We’re delighted to have Andy on board at VIP Promotions. He’s a real talent, as his record proves, and we’ll be looking to move him on faster than he has been. There are some great fights out there at super-featherweight and we’re expecting him to make waves in the division.”

VIP Promotions presents an evening of boxing at Southport’s Floral Hall on June 20. Topping the bill will be Southport’s former British title challenger Mike Stafford. Also appearing will be Scott Moonan from Southport; Liverpool’s James Metcalf, Ryan Moorhead and Andy Colquhoun; Heywood’s Mark Thompson, and Accrington’s Artif Ali.

Tickets, priced at £30 (General) and £60 (Ringside), are available from all boxers or at vipbe.co.uk

Keep updated on VIP Promotions’ news by visiting vipboxing.com or follow on Twitter @vipboxing

Former British cruiserweight title challenger Mike Stafford has been watching Channel 5’s light-heavyweight tournament with interest.

The round-robin competition has been pitting British champion Bob Ajisafe, English ruler Travis Dickinson, and other hopefuls like Matty Clarkson and Danny McIntosh against each other, with the fighters gaining invaluable terrestrial TV exposure.

Southport’s Stafford, who lost to Jon-Lewis Dickinson on points for the Lonsdale Belt in 2013, headlines in his hometown’s Floral Hall on Friday June 20. And the 33-year-old wants to put in a good shift and force himself into another title opportunity.

“I don’t think anyone’s stood out and they’re all at the same level,” assessed Stafford on the crop of light-heavies in the Maxinutrition tournament. “It’s been interesting though and I’m looking forward to getting into that mix and taking their titles off them.

“There’s nothing I’ve seen that I don’t think I can’t handle. No disrespect to them because they’re all great lads, but I honestly believe none are in my league. When I fought for the British title I was fighting with one arm and he still struggled with me and, at one point, I was winning it.

“That’s gone now though and I’m at light-heavyweight. With the exception of Enzo Maccarinelli who’s at the top and looking for world honours, I’m a level above. I just hope the Board give me a chance to prove I’m worthy of being British champion.”

Mike has been creating some excitement in Southport. The popular Merseysider hasn’t just been attracting the backing of die-hard fans, but is cheered to the ring by first-timers to boxing shows too. And with a full-house expected on Friday night, Stafford is determined to make a statement.

“I just enjoy fighting and keeping active. It’s hard right now, with the way the game is, so keeping active for me is the priority as long as there’s a goal at the end of it. I’m enjoying myself right now; I’m in a good place. I should have gone down to light-heavy years ago and I just can’t wait to get in there on Friday and move forward towards a title.

“It’s special [boxing in Southport]. There are lots of people who come who have been watching me since I was an amateur and they know what I can do. But there are also plenty of causal fans coming who are getting the buzz because they realise I’m on the verge of winning titles and doing something special. It excites me because I want to perform for the fans and put Southport on the map.”

“Mike would have won the British title already if his arm hadn’t gone in the fourth round against Dickinson,” explained promoter Steve Wood. “Maybe it was a blessing in disguise though because he’s knuckled down and is now at the right weight to go with his talent. I really don’t think there is a light-heavyweight in Britain who’ll be able to live with him and I’ve no doubts he will be a future British champion.”

VIP Promotions presents an evening of boxing at Southport’s Floral Hall on June 20. Topping the bill will be Southport’s former British title challenger Mike Stafford. Also appearing will be Scott Moonan from Southport; Liverpool’s James Metcalf, Ryan Moorhead and Andy Colquhoun; Heywood’s Mark Thompson, and Accrington’s Artif Ali.

TAYLOR STALKING STALKER

Posted: June 5, 2014 in Events, Gossip, VIP News

Liam Taylor will finish his apprenticeship with a title fight on June 6, before looking to move to the next level by chasing a fight with Scouse starlet Tom Stalker.

‘Dynamo’ takes on Daza Usher for the Bronze Masters light-welterweight title at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium this Saturday, with the Middleton man aiming for his ninth straight victory.

“I’m more than good enough to hold my own with him,” said Taylor about former Olympian Stalker. “I was around that sort of level as an amateur and believe I can beat those sorts of fighters and mix it with the best in Britain.

“I know I can do it and I just need to get the opportunity. If I get offered a big fight then I’ll jump at it. I’ve been a pro for three years, and I’m in the gym all the time, learning all the time and I’m ready for that step up.”

Usher enters the Reebok Stadium fight with a 6-2 record. The Oxfordshire fighter raced to 6-0 after turning pro at the back-end of 2011 but, after losing his last two fights, will be desperate to halt the slide against Taylor.

With the show streamed live and free on VIPBOXING.TV, and with an undercard that includes Haroon Khan having his first pro fight in his home town, Liam is expecting a big crowd and is looking to impress.

“It’ll be a competitive fight. Steve [wood] has said he’s game and he’ll come to have a fight so I’ll be looking to out box him. I can work on the front and back foot so either way I’m confident of beating him. I’m getting the win.

“It’s my first title fight, and my first eight-rounder. It’ll be great [if I win]; it’s what you train for, to win titles. I’ll be really looking to push on after this and go for the major belts.”

Promoter Steve Wood stated: “If Liam wins this fight then it’s time to move him up. He’s got a good record and it’s been hard to match him because other promoters don’t want to risk their prospects against him. Usher will be a good test, they’ve both had eight fights and we’ll be looking for an impressive performance from our man and a big fight for him later this year.

“At VIP we’ve got a deserved reputation for developing fighters under the radar before turning them into champions. Just look at Terry Flannigan and new British featherweight champ Josh Warrington. Liam Taylor is next, he’s not had lots of fights but we believe he’s ready and after Saturday we are looking to match him big.”

VIP Promotions present Middleton’s Liam Taylor fighting for the Bronze Masters welterweight title at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium on June 7. The undercard features Bolton’s Danny Watson and Haroon Khan; Cumbria’s Rick Skelton; Blackburn’s Qasim Niaz; Preston’s Mick Hall; Atherton’s Craig Boardman; Oswaldtwistle’s Adam Machaj; Merseyside’s Ian Halsall; and Leigh’s Ashley Peyton.

Tickets, priced at £30 (General) are available from all boxers or at vipbe.co.uk or on the door. Ringside seats are sold out.

This show will be streamed live and FREE on VIPBOXING.TV

Keep updated on VIP Promotions’ news by visiting vipboxing.com or follow on Twitter @vipboxing and on Facebook.

KHAN MAKES BOLTON DEBUT

Posted: June 4, 2014 in Events, VIP News

Haroon Khan gets to fight for the first time as a pro in his home town when he appears at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium on June 7.

The brother of boxing superstar Amir has been forging a successful career of his own since turning over in April last year. And the 23-year-old will be looking for a fifth straight win on the show, which is streamed live and free on VIPBOXING.TV.

“I can’t wait. I can’t remember the last time I fought in Bolton, even as an amateur, so to fight about a mile down the road is fantastic. I just can’t wait to fight in front of my family and friends who can’t always go to my shows when I fight abroad or wherever. This is a chance for them to see what I’m all about.”

Having a successful sibling isn’t always an easy ride. A former Olympian and world champion, Amir is one of the most high-profile fighters in the world. Haroon gets great support from his famous brother though, and hopes to one day reach the same heights.

“The good thing is that what I’m going through at the moment, he’s experienced it all,” explained the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist. “So I’ve got that extra support behind me.

“Before every fight he’s always on the phone to me, or if he’s in the country he’ll be there; he plays a big part. The downside is there’s a lot of pressure on me, a lot of people expect a bit too much off me. I can’t wait to be at his level though.”

“It’s great to have Haroon on our shows,” stated promoter Steve Wood. “He’s a lovely lad and a real talent in his own right. I’m delighted that we’ve managed to get him his first pro fight in Bolton and we’re expecting a great turnout, and a top atmosphere, at the show.”

VIP Promotions present Middleton’s Liam Taylor fighting for the Bronze Masters welterweight title at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium on June 7. The undercard features Bolton’s Danny Watson and Haroon Khan; Cumbria’s Rick Skelton; Blackburn’s Qasim Niaz; Preston’s Mick Hall; Atherton’s Craig Boardman; Oswaldtwistle’s Adam Machaj; Merseyside’s Ian Halsall; and Leigh’s Ashley Peyton.

Tickets, priced at £30 (General) and £70 (Ringside – including a meal), are available from all boxers or at vipbe.co.uk

This show will be streamed live and FREE on VIPBOXING.TV

Keep updated on VIP Promotions’ news by visiting vipboxing.com or follow on Twitter @vipboxing and on Facebook.

Adam Machaj has been sparring with David Price in the build up to his appearance at the Reebok Stadium on June 7.

The unbeaten heavyweight was due to have his fourth pro outing at the Blackpool Winter Gardens back in March but, after Menay Edwards was injured against Matty Askin, Adam’s bout was cancelled.

“It was a bit disappointing but the safety issue comes first and if anything ever happened to me then I’d want to get looked after. I was in good nick for it though, but I’m in better shape for this one.

“David Price got in contact afterwards and I went sparring with him, so I’ve had a good four weeks. I’ve learned loads and he’s a really nice guy. I’m due to spar Dereck Chisora soon and I can’t see him being as friendly, although maybe I’m wrong.

“David’s really good though and you learn a lot from him, he coaches you a bit and his trainer Tommy Brooks is not bad. Perhaps I’ll end up going to Germany and fighting over there [on the back of it]; there’s plenty of stuff in the pipeline.”

A huge-hitter with three KOs under his belt, the 6’ 7” man-mountain cuts an imposing figure. And with the fight streamed live on VIPBOXING.TV this Saturday, ‘The Heat Seeker’ will enter the ring with a mission to outdo his heavyweight rivals.

“This guy [Hrvoje Kisicek] has fought Anthony Joshua and got TKO’d in the second round; he’s fought Gary Cornish and got TKO’d in the second, and he took Hugie Fury six rounds. So if I can KO him, rather than TKO him, in the first round then that’s the mission. If it takes me four rounds then so be it but the way I’m punching at the minute, I’m excited for this one.”

Promoter Steve Wood stated: ‘Everyone loves a heavyweight and it’s great to have a big puncher like Adam in the VIP stable. It’s obviously early days for him, and the heavyweight scene is strong at the moment, but we’ve got high hopes for him. One thing is for sure, he’s exciting and is looking for KOs with every punch and the fans will be seeing bombs being thrown.”

VIP Promotions present Middleton’s Liam Taylor fighting for the Bronze Masters welterweight title at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium on June 7. The undercard features Bolton’s Danny Watson and Haroon Khan; Cumbria’s Rick Skelton; Blackburn’s Qasim Niaz; Preston’s Mick Hall; Atherton’s Craig Boardman; Oswaldtwistle’s Adam Machaj; Merseyside’s Ian Halsall; and Leigh’s Ashley Peyton.

Tickets, priced at £30 (General) and £70 (Ringside – including a meal), are available from all boxers or at vipbe.co.uk

This show will be streamed live and FREE on VIPBOXING.TV

Keep updated on VIP Promotions’ news by visiting vipboxing.com or follow on Twitter @vipboxing and on Facebook.