A stunning body shot seals victory for Swindon boxer Ryan Martin in Commonwealth welterweight title eliminator at Neilson Boxing’s Fight Town 3 show at the Oasis Leisure Centre

A BRUTAL body shot catapulted Swindon boxer Ryan Martin closer to a crack at the Commonwealth welterweight crown with a stunning victory at the Oasis Leisure Centre on Saturday night. Taking on South Africa national champion Mziwoxolo Ndwayana in front of a home crowd on the Neilson Boxing-promoted Fight Town 3 show, Martin needed just […]

Swindon boxer Ryan Martin faces South African South African Mziwoxolo Ndwayana in eliminator for Commonwealth welterweight title tonight

RYAN Martin has labelled tonight’s Commonwealth welterweight title eliminator against South African Mziwoxolo Ndwayana as the most important fight of his career. Swindon boxer Martin has had big bouts previously, with his tilts at the WBC youth world title and IBO continental crown in 2017 both ending in disappointment after a pair of unanimous decision […]

Sam ‘Sniper’ Smith will headline Fight Town 3 in November when he fights Germaine Brown for the Southern Area Title

PROMOTER Mark Neilson hopes Swindon-based boxer Sam ‘Sniper’ Smith can win the Southern Area super-middleweight title in front of a home crowd after confirming the fight will headline his next show in November.

Fight Town 2 – backed by Neilson Boxing and trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick’s Trifecta group – proved a success at the Oasis Leisure Centre last month, and plans have already started for event three in the series.

Smith, who trains at Fitzpatrick’s Ferndale Road Gym, was due to fight Anthony Fox for the Southern Area crown back on Neilson’s previous show, only for his opponent to pull out due to injury.

Germaine Brown has now been drafted in to face Smith for the belt at Fight Town 3 at the Oasis on November 30.

Neilson hopes to see Smith make the most of his chance, knowing it could put him in the window for further prizes down the line.

“It is great to have this fight as the main event on our next show,” said Neilson.

“We know there are a lot of titles around these days but the Southern Area title is a credible title and it is a stepping stone towards the English and British titles.

“If you win a Southern Area title, you move swiftly up the rankings and are in the mix for bigger things.

“Sam has been doing his business and waiting for his opportunity – and he has got that now.”

Another action-packed card is being planned for Fight Town 3, with home favourites Ryan Martin and Luke Watkins in line to feature.

Bec Connolly has already been confirmed for a high-profile contest and she will face Rachel Ball in an eliminator for the Commonwealth super-featherweight title.

As for Smith, Neilson is glad to see patience pay off for the super-middleweight, although the promoter expects Brown to provide stiff opposition with a belt on the line.

“Sam was devastated before our last show because he was fight-ready for Anthony Fox,” said Neilson.

“He ended up doing a six-rounder instead against a guy who had a losing record.

“It was difficult to get up for that, but in fairness, he had a job to do and he did it.

“We have been liaising with the British Boxing Board to try to find a similar about, and we have found Germaine Brown.

“He is 7-0, an unbeaten ex-amateur with a good pedigree

“We knew Anthony Fox would be a tough proposition and I think everyone will look at Germaine Brown and think Sam has his hands full again.

“He can bang a bit and is a dangerous proposition – he knocked his last two opponents out.

“But Sam is looking forward to it and hopefully he can bring the Southern Area title back to Swindon.”

Swindon boxing coach Paddy Fitzpatrick provides an update on star fighter Luke ‘Duke’ Watkins

PADDY Fitzpatrick expects star cruiserweight Luke ‘Duke’ Watkins’ opportunities to open up in the coming months, following Lawrence Okolie’s decision to vacate the British title.

Watkins has fought twice since losing his British Commonwealth Cruiser Title to Okolie in June of last year.

The 29-year-old Swindon talent lost to Isaac Chamberlain on points at the Copper Box Arena in October 2018 before he defeated Ossie Jervier on Mark Neilson’s Fight Town I card in April.

Okolie’s decision to vacate the British title – which he won in September 2018 when beating Matty Askin at London’s Wembley Stadium – has granted Watkins a chance to return to the big time.

It follows a period of frustration for Swindon’s big hitter, particularly after he lost out on an appearance at September’s Fight Town II card when Watkins’ unnamed opponent withdrew from the fight at the 11th hour.

A return to the ring is scheduled for Watkins on Neilson’s Fight Town III card, though, which takes place on November 30.

And Fitzpatrick expects his star fighter to kick on after his latest bout – and hasn’t ruled out the chance of a title fight in the short future.  He said: “Luke’s opportunities are about to open up now.

“When you have a guy that has the British and Commonwealth titles, every other fighter below is simply waiting for an opportunity.  If you’re not in the title holder’s plans, you’ve got to keep yourself busy or hold your breath.  The Commonwealth will become vacant soon too – before Christmas I would’ve thought.

I think a lot of movement will occur at cruiserweight level over the next couple of months and I expect Duke to be a part of that.  Two months ago, I told Duke his best plan is to be patient.

By March, he’ll be back contesting significant fights in Britain. Until then, we have to keep him busy.”

Fitzpatrick underlined his belief that Watkins is far from the type of fighter that will allow himself to be frustrated by events that are out of his control.

The Ferndale-road based coach said Watkins’ eyes are – for now – firmly focused on his reappearance to the ring on

November 30.

He added: “You see it all the time – opponents pulling out and a last-minute change having to take place.

“It’s gut-wrenching for Luke (Watkins), but what can you do. He can either allow himself to implode, or he can realise that this is what can happen and he’s just got to get on with it.

“He’ll headline on November 30.”

Swindon boxer Kelly Morgan hopeful over injury comeback

KELLY Morgan will make her long-awaited return to boxing in September – providing her operation goes to plan.

The WBC Silver middleweight champion has not fought since September last year and was diagnosed with fourth nerve palsy at the end of February.

The injury, which was causing Morgan to have permanent double vision, put her dreams of a world title shot against super-middleweight champion Nikki Adler, who will now defend her WBC belt against two-time Olympic champion Claressa Shields next month, on hold.

Kelly Morgan

But 37-year-old Morgan will have keyhole surgery on August 8 to release the muscle, with the hope that she can start sparring again two weeks later.

Should it all go to plan, then the 2002 Commonwealth Games javelin bronze medallist will return in a six-round contest on September 23 at the Play Football Arena on a Neilson Boxing show.

Morgan’s trainer and manager Richard Farnan told the Advertiser: “At the moment, everything hinges on August 8.

“It is a relatively unobtrusive operation where they just release the muscle and, we are told, by the consultant, that she should be able to get back into the ring two weeks later.

“If it goes to plan then Kelly will have a six-rounder in September, probably another before the end of the year and then we can start looking at who we can fight for a world title.”

Although frustrated at missing out on a fight with Adler this year, Farnan is hopeful that Morgan will still get her chance to fight for the WBC belt.

However, he believes the biggest threat to the division comes from Hartlepool’s Savannah Marshall, who is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and will make her debut on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather’s clash with UFC star Conor McGregor.

“I think that the Claressa Shields-Nikki Adler fight is 50-50, but I fancy Kelly to beat both of them,” Farnan said.

“With Savannah coming into the mix now – she is probably the most dangerous of the lot. Does Mayweather look to fast track her? I don’t know.

“There are four big names in the super-middleweight division with Kelly, Claressa, Nikki and Savannah and I think at some point they will all fight each other.”

Source: Michael Reeves http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/sport/15401872.BOXING__Kelly_hopeful_over_comeback/

Boxing promoters throw their weight behind Swindon mental health project

Boxing promoters Mark and Tony Neilson are backing mental health charity Phoenix Enterprises – choosing the Swindon project as their charity of choice for their upcoming show.

The brothers will be staging their boxing event – ‘The Homecoming’ on Saturday April 15, headlined by No 5 ranked British Welterweight Tamuka ‘Too Much’ Mucha vs Rob Hunt at the PlayFootball Area in Bramble Road. And proceeds will be donated to the charity.

Phoenix Enterprises, based in a unit on the Groundwell Industrial Estate, works with adults experiencing short or long-term mental health problems, ranging from depression to autism, and also people with learning difficulties, physical disabilities and people who are struggling to return to work.

Mark said: “Mental health is a major issue and there have been some big boxing names such as Frank Bruno, Ricky Hatton and more recently Tyson Fury who have openly discussed their on-going battles with depression so this is a cause close to our hearts and those of the boxing fraternity.”

Tony added: “We’ve raised many thousands over the years for good causes and wanted to support a local charity again. Phoenix is completely self-funded and we hope to raise some much-needed money on the night.”

Karen Hyde, service user liaison manager for the charity, which has been running for 15 years, explained: “This support is really valuable for us as we don’t get any funding other than the support of the businesses who use our services. The work that is carried out here is really important for those people who might struggle to get into work. It can give them back the confidence to allow them to go and find a job elsewhere and for others it can provide that sense of community that they might not otherwise have.”

Also fighting on the night will be the experienced Danny Butler (26-6), a former English champion and IBO and WBO European title challenger.  Danny hopes that his move to Middleweight will bring him further success and see him challenge for the British Title later in the year.

In a stacked undercard, exciting Gloucester prospect, Riiddy Ennis-Brown, known as Riiddy Riival to his growing fan base, will face a tough Eastern European over six rounds as he works towards a shot at the English Title.

Other supporting bouts full of undefeated prospects included Wayne Ingram (2-0), Kane Stewart (5-0), Jake Toogood (1-0), Ryan Wheeler (7-0-1) and the debut of Alex Florence.

The Neilsons were the first to bring a WBC title to Swindon and in another first are delivering the Town’s first ‘Pro-Am’ event.  The show will be opened by current Schoolboy National Champions Drew Hunt and Karum Aujla along with three other fighters from the Horseshoe Amateur Boxing Club in Swindon.

Tickets are still available priced at £10 – £60 see www.neilsonboxing.co.uk or the ticket hotline 01793 833468.