It was announced earlier today that Kenny Barr, Vice President (Scotland) of the British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) and Scottish representative for the World Boxing Foundation (WBF) passed away yesterday.
Kenny, who was just 34 years old, leaves behind his beloved daughter Hayley.
Gianluca Di Caro, CEO and Executive Vice President of the British & Irish Boxing Authority made the following statement on social media earlier.
“I am in total shock, I just cannot begin to describe the way I am feeling right now, I just cannot believe that BIBA Vice President (Scotland) Kenny Barr has passed away, it just makes no sense to me at all.
My sincere condolences to Kenny’s family and friends, my thoughts are with you at this time of immense sadness.
Kenny has been by my side since the inception of the British & Irish Boxing Authority and he was there by my side when we first began sanctioning events in the UK under the Malta Boxing Commission banner and I just cannot believe that he will not be by my side as we grow bigger and stronger over the coming years.
Kenny was the main man for BIBA in Scotland, it was his determination and passion for the sport that made us so successful in Scotland.
His passion for the fighters is undeniable, they were always first and foremost in his mind, helping them in any way he could. Helping them to achieve their dreams, that was his true passion.
I’m going to miss seeing your beaming smile mate, as well as your angry scowl, I’m going to miss your passionate debates, and I’m going to miss us working together pioneering fighter and event health and safety. I promise you Kenny that we will continue to fight the fight to make this sport better, safer, and continue to help the fighters achieve their dreams.
Rest in Peace Kenny, you may be gone but you will never be forgotten xxx.”
The Board, of the British & Irish Boxing Authority, as a whole join Mr. Di Caro in sending their sincere condolences to Hayley for the loss of her father, as well as to Kenny’s family and many, many friends.
Lee Churcher pulled out a sensational against the odds victory over Hungarian Balazs Horvath on Saturday night to secure the World Boxing Foundation Intercontinental Middleweight title, at the Pill Millennium Centre in his hometown of Newport.
Churcher, who was World ranked some two hundred plus places lower than Horvath, dominated the bout right from the off. Working behind a good solid jab, the Newport lad enthralled the local fans with some slick combinations, to both body and head, so much so that the more experienced Hungarian soon had to result to holding tactics whenever Churcher was in close range.
The canny Welshman was having none of it though and just patiently waited for any opportunity that came his way to punish Horvath with vicious body shots.
By midway through the first round Churcher’s confidence really began to grow, after badly shaking Horvath with the aforementioned body shots, so it came as no surprise to anyone when shortly after Churcher sent Horvath to the deck.
Horvath recovered but once again resorted to holding tactics to frustrate Churcher through to the end of the round.
More of the same in round two more or less, except Churcher really started to get into a flow, catching Horvath with more vicious body shots, the Hungarian tried to cover up, before again trying to grab hold of the Welshman, Churcher is canny though and worked behind the jab again before letting rip with yet another huge right hand to send Horvath down for the second time.
The Hungarian made the count and immediately on the restart Churcher went back on the attack, but the Hungarian tried to stifle the Welshman’s attacks by attempting to grab hold again, Churcher though used this to his advantage and let rip with a huge body shot to send the Hungarian back down to the canvas.
Clearly in distress, Horvath made an initial attempt to get back to his feet before settling to be just up on one knee, the pain showing on the Hungarian’s face clear for all to see as he attempted to unsuccessfully beat the count.
Whilst it may not have been a classic, nothing, but nothing can take away from Lee Churcher the artistry of his craft and tactics throughout and of course claiming the third Championship accolade of his career, the World Boxing Foundation Intercontinental Middleweight Championship, to add to his British Masters and BBBofC Welsh Area Title.
Main support for the Churcher-Horvath Championship bout, featured a four round Super Welterweight bout between Nottingham duo Carwyn Herbert and Matt Scriven.
What a cracking fight, both combatants going at it hammer and tongs in close combat for the full three minutes of each and every round.
After the full four rounds of non-stop action referee Chris Kelly scored the bout 40-36 to the youngster Carwyn Herbert, however that doesn’t really express the closeness of each round or the full on intent of either competitor throughout.
Supporting the two pro bouts were six Wales versus England exhibition bouts, supervision courtesy of Wales Boxing. Whilst I’m not going to cover these because they were not pro, have to say the final two bouts of the six were excellent and really could have featured on any pro card and nobody would have known the difference.
Have to say plaudits must go to co-promoters Dave Murphy (Acourtier Events) and Steven Fisher (Lights Out Promotions) for digging deep into their pockets to bring both the MBC and the WBF Championship to Wales for the first time, even if it meant there wasn’t enough money in the kitty to justify a full pro show, hopefully the Welsh fans will get behind Lee Churcher so his first defense of the WBF title can also be in Newport or nearby.
London promoter Mark Lyons has joined forces with Championship campaigning Marianne Marston to co-promote a huge pre-Christmas event, aptly named LET BATTLE COMMENCE, at the York Hall in Bethnal Green, London, on Sunday, the 6th of December.
Heading up the fifteen-bout card are no less than three World Championship battles;
Bradford’s Tasif Khan makes his first foray onto the World stage, when he challenges Ghana’s Isaac Quaye for the World Boxing Union Super Flyweight Championship.
Reigning World Boxing Union Super Middleweight International Champion, Nazeing, Essex’s George ‘Hithard’ Hillyard aims to add the vacant WBU World crown to his collection, when he faces a yet to be named opponent.
Finally British #1 and reigning MBC International Super Bantamweight Champion Marianne Marston will go toe to toe with Hungary’s Csilla Nemedi in a four, WBU, WBF, WIBA & WIBC, Bantamweight World title unification bout.
Also on the Championship trail on this historic event will be a number of fast rising young stars.
Former Team GB star Iain ‘The Blessed One’ Weaver gets his first taste of professional Championship boxing, when he challenges a yet to be named opponent for the International Masters Super Featherweight title.
Bardney, Lincolnshire’s unbeaten prospect, Nathan ‘Nightmare’ Decastro also will be fighting for an International Masters Championship, albeit at Middleweight.
The final Championship bout will see reigning MBC International Welterweight Champion, Hackney’s Siar Ozgul, challenge for another International Crown, this time at Super Welterweight.
Supporting the six Championship bouts are nine bouts featuring the cream of local talent, including another reigning Champion, WBF Super Bantamweight Intercontinental supremo Paul Economides in a non-championship six rounder.
Joining Paul on the undercard is another well known Champ, former British and Commonwealth King, Michael Aldiss, who made his most welcome return to the ring back in October.
Another hugely popular recent returnee to the hallowed square ring, Super Middleweight Manzo Smith will also be in action, as will Rockin’ Robin Deakin, who will be seeking to add another win to his card, following his victory over Deniss Kornilovs back in August.
Unbeaten, big punching Cruiserweight prospect Daniel Mendez will be looking to add a third scalp to his belt on the night, as Adam Taylor seeks to get his career back on track when he faces off against a yet to be named opponent.
Back in August Marianne Marston, Shaunagh Brown and Sam Smith made history when they all fought on the same event at York Hall, as that was the first time that three female bouts took place on a pro event in the UK, well on the 6th December that record will get broken, as joining Marianne on the card will be former Big Brother star and multi title challenger Angel ‘The Entertainer’ McKenzie, British Masters Super Flyweight Champion and World Championship challenger Juliette Winter and making her most welcome return to the sport Jamie Johnson.
In addition to the top class boxing fayre, the event will also feature the first live performance by local singing star Stephan Dante, who will be performing her viral smash ‘Nails Did’, as well as further tracks from her soon to be released debut album.
To cram all this action in the doors will open at 2:30pm, with the first bout starting at 3pm.
Tasif Khan vs Isaac Quaye, Marianne Marston vs Csilla Nemedi and George Hillyard vs TBA World Title bouts co-headline the Monarch Communications, BoxFit UK, 3X Sports and Sulnox Eco Systems PLC sponsored Mark Lyons and Marianne Marston co-promoted LET BATTLE COMMENCE event at York Hall, Bethnal Green, London on Sunday 6th December 2015.
This event is sanctioned courtesy of the Malta Boxing Commission (MBC) www.maltaboxingcommission.com
In just eight days time Chester’s Paul Economides steps into the ring to undertake the first defense of his World Boxing Federation (WBF) Intercontinental Super Bantamweight crown, against Ghana’s Prosper Ankrah, on the Stephen Vaughan promoted LEGEND event, at the Aintree Equestrian Centre on Saturday 12th September, which is headlined by Roy Jones Jr’s first ever UK fight, against Tony Moran.
Economides, who sensationally stopped Hungary’s David Kanalas in the second round back in August last year to secure the WBF Intercontinental title, is no stranger to Championship action, having previously secured the WBF International crown just four months previously as well as fought for the Welsh Area titles in two different weight divisions.
Ankrah, like Economides, is also an experienced Championship boxer, having secured both the Ghanaian Bantamweight and West African Boxing Union Bantamweight titles as well as challenged for both the Commonwealth and WBO International crowns.
Whilst the Ghanaian may be the clear bookies favourite, due to his superior record of 24 wins (15 by stoppage) and 5 losses, against Economides’ 17 wins (4 by stoppage) and also having 5 losses on his record, a number of well known British pundits are bucking the trend, predicting that Economides will stop Ankrah.
The basis for this being that all four of Economides’ stoppage wins have come over a period of twelve months and not one of his four opponents during that time survived past the second round and as if to add fuel to the fire of this argument, they point to the fact that Economides became the first to stop the highly durable two time Commonwealth title challenger Isaac Quaye.
Economides refused to be drawn into the speculation when he spoke about the upcoming fight.
“It’s a massive stage this one, I’m so excited to be on this bill as chief support for the Roy Jones Jr and Tony Moran title fight.
Crazy but I kinda forgot about my own fight at first, I got a bit too excited about the Roy Jones fight.
Everything’s good now and I’m fully focused on September 12th as I know I have a major task on my hands fighting Prosper Ankrah, he’s tough, he can fight but no problems I’m more than ready for him.
The fight’s just over a week away and I’m really looking forward to it, it’s a big stage but that doesn’t bother me at all.
It’s going to be the event of the season so anyone who hasn’t got their tickets yet, get them now before it’s too late, this is going to be a very, very special night, can’t wait.”
Tickets, priced £40, £60, £100 and VIP Ringside £150 for the Stephen Vaughan Promoted Roy Jones Jr. versus Tony Moran MBC International Cruiserweight Championship headed LEGEND event at the Aintree Equestrian Centre in Liverpool on Saturday September 12th 2015 are available now, buy on line at www.tkoboxoffice.com and www.vaughanboxing.tv or call 0333 200 0905.
Sanctioning for this event will be courtesy of the Malta Boxing Commission – www.maltaboxingcommission.com