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British Boxing buzz: Di Luisa says Groves not the same, upcoming fights for prospects Burton & Day

Credit: Scott Hirano / Showtime

Italian says he’ll show London star is past his best

Andrea di Luisa says he’ll prove that George Groves is past his best when the Super-Middleweights clash at the Copper Box Arena in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on January 30.

The Italian is Groves’ first opposition since Badou Jack edged him out of their WBC World title clash in September in Las Vegas, with the Londoner looking to rebuild and land a fourth World title shot.

Di Luisa believes that the Jack fight – along with Groves’ two titanic tussles with Carl Froch MBE – has taken the best out of ‘Saint’ George and he’ll stop the 27 year old’s latest charge for World honours at the first hurdle.

“I don’t believe George is the same fighter as he was before those fights against Froch and Jack,” said Di Luisa. “Only George knows how he feels. I can only comment from my point of view. On Saturday we will see how it goes – I do have a good punch.

“George is a good boxer, a good fighter. He’s had a few chances to be a World champion but hasn’t succeeded. He’s a good fighter and a hard puncher but I’m ready for anything. I’m in London to win.”

Di Luisa’s clash with Groves as John Wayne Hibbert defends his Commonwealth and WBC International Super Lightweight titles against Tommy Martin.

Burton faces Shinkwin for Brit belt on February 27

Hosea Burton will face Miles Shinkwin for the vacant British Light-Heavyweight title at the sold-out Manchester Arena on February 27.
Manchester man Burton’s patient wait for a title shot finally ends on the undercard of his Joe Gallagher gym-mate Scott Quigg’s World title unification blockbuster with Carl Frampton, and the unbeaten 27 year old believes he’ll claim the title in style.

“I have always wanted to land the British title and finally I have my chance,” said Burton. “The division is as good as ever at world level but domestically it is poor because the British title hasn’t been fought for. Hopefully by making the belt active again the division can be as exciting as it should be. Shinkwin is a good test but I’m very confident I will get him out of there in style on February 27.

“I believe I am one of the best Light Heavyweights out there and I want to be as active as possible this year. I want to win the British title outright and have some good tests before facing the top international guys in the division.”

Bushey banger Shinkwin has other ideas though and the Southern Area champion wants to add his name to the list of greats to hold the Lord Lonsdale Light-Heavyweight strap.

“I’m very proud to be fighting for a belt that has been won down the years by such greats as Freddie Mills, Randy Turpin and John Conteh, all of whom went on to make a name for themselves on the world stage,” said Shinkwin.

“Boxing Hosea, who’s also undefeated on such a great show, in his hometown, spices things up nicely and gives me all the incentive I need to add my name to that list, which I’m confident I’ll do.

“I’ve worked very hard to reach this position and I don’t intend to let the opportunity slip. I’d like to thank my trainer Jason Rowland for all his effort in preparing me since I turned pro, for this opportunity.

“Behind the scenes, my manager Richard Clark and promoter Frank Warren have worked hard to come to an agreement with Eddie Hearn in time for this fight to happen and I fully intend to make everyone’s efforts worthwhile by becoming the British Light-Heavyweight Champion on February 27.”

Ben Day challenges Floyd Moore for Southern Area lightweight title in March

Unbeaten London boxer, Ben ‘The Entertainer’ Day (8-0-1) is set to challenge Floyd ‘Pacman’ Moore (12-6-1) for his Southern Area lightweight crown on March 5th at the York Hall in a bid to become a two-weight Southern Area titlist.

The packed Goodwin Promotions show, titled Crunch Time, also sees Tilbury’s Matt McCarthy and Ricky Hatton’s protégé, Sonny Upton providing chief support to the main event in a final eliminator for the English super-welterweight title.

Topping the bill, Moore’s forthcoming championship bout will be his 20th professional contest and first defence of the Southern Area crown that he claimed with a fourth-round stoppage win over Gloucester’s Danny Carter in October last year.

Danny Carter now faces unbeaten Kay Prospere on March 19th for the Southern Area super-lightweight strap that Day has vacated in order to challenge for the lightweight version.

London-based Day, 37-years-old, originally from Teignmouth in Devon, stopped Ryan ‘Crash Bang’ Taylor (10-6-1) in just two minutes and nine seconds to collect the vacant Southern Area super-lightweight title on December 5th at the York Hall.

Day has now twice won titles with first round finishes, the initial prize being the International Masters Bronze lightweight strap destroying Latvian opponent, Ilja Sovdra (2-0) in March this year with just 1:11 on the clock, also at the York Hall.

The Devonian impressed against Taylor during the brief 129 seconds of boxing action and became trainer Rod Julian’s first Southern Area champion to finish off the year in style for the ever-expanding RJ’s Gym in Essex.

The pair due to lock horns in March share the similarity in that they both defeated Taylor in a Southern Area championship bout – Day ending matters in the first round and Moore in the fourth.

Moore, 27-years-old from Hampshire, conceded the title in his first defence to Medway’s Adam Dingsdale, losing narrowly on points. The forthcoming scrap with Day will provide his first defence of the same title since reclaiming it.

Day shared his view on how it could play out on the first weekend of March, “I’m just going to do exactly what I did to Ryan Taylor. He’s going to come forward as usual, how can he change it? He can’t!

“He’ll never know what I’m going to do because I don’t even know what I’m going to do! He can’t outbox me, I’ve too many skills for that.

“I’ll give him the respect he deserves because he can bang but I can bang too, don’t forget that, but I won’t be there to be hit; he should be worried about me.”

The last time that the London-based boxer was forced to go the distance was in a narrow points win over Ben Kneller (0-1) in December 2014 at the familiar setting in Bethnal Green.

“People talk about the Ben Kneller fight but he got to me because I was trying a style that didn’t suit me. In round five, I dropped my hands and didn’t get hit. I was doing what I got told to, ‘get into the centre of the ring and hold your ground’, it was also having 16 months out as well, I was out for a long time.

“If they think I’ll be like that then they’re wrong, that wasn’t even me in that fight.”

The London gym owner spent the Christmas and New Year period training in the Swiss Alps in preparation for his forthcoming title tilt.

“It was an amazing experience, I’m going to start every camp there,” said ‘The Entertainer’. “I’m swimming again, done a lot in previous camps, I’m running more and sparring starts on Monday.

“Tyler Goodjohn will help out again, he is three weights above me and he was telling my manager Steve Goodwin that he couldn’t work me out after 25 rounds together.”

London promoter, Steve Goodwin hosts shows in the capital’s ‘Home of Boxing’ and promises entertainment with each event, utilising big screens and exclusive footage of the fighters as they make their ring entrances.

Day has plans to elevate the theatrics even further, “Hopefully, Razorlight will be there again and this time they’ll be playing me in. They were sat ringside for my last fight even though they had only just come off tour.”

Despite being unbeaten in nine fights and collecting two titles in three minutes, Day claims to not receive the credit he deserves, stating, “It’ll be the same reaction if I win; I’d have to swim to the moon or walk on water to get any credit.

“It doesn’t matter anyway because I believe. Two white collar fights as experience and I’m at where I am now. I know I’ll be British champion and, as long as I know, then that’s all that matters.”