UK News: Kieran Smith, Darragh Foley, Lee McGregor, More

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Unbeaten Kieran Smith will now take on dangerous Ivan Montero on #MTKFightNight at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow on June 22.

Smith (14-0, 7 KOs) was due to face Michael McGurk on the bill before an injury forced McGurk out of the contest. Smith now turns his attention to Montero (21-3, 9 KOs), who has only been beaten at a high level, and the Scottish star knows it will be a tough night.

Smith, who defends the WBC International Silver super-welterweight crown on the night, said: “I’m pleased to still be on the bill. It’s been a long camp so I didn’t want that to go to waste.

“Regardless of who is the opponent I’ve got a job to do and that’s to go and win.

“I was frustrated when Michael McGurk pulled out because we had done a lot of work gearing towards him, but that’s by the by now and I’ve got a new challenge in front of me so I can’t dwell on him now.

“Ivan Montero is a serious operator, but I believe this is my coming out party and I’ll be able to show everyone what I’m capable of by beating him.”

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The packed bill in Glasgow features Commonwealth bantamweight champion Lee McGregor, who defends his belt against Scott Allan. The undercard also includes recent world title challenger Muhammad Waseem, two-time Commonwealth medalist Reece McFadden and many more.

 Lewis Benson will bid to continue his resurgence against renowned Frenchman Renald Garrido on #MTKFightNight in Glasgow on June 22 – live on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and on iFL TV.
 
‘Kid Caramel’ (11-2, 2 KOs) bounced back from narrow points defeats to Tyrone McKenna and Johnny Coyle by outclassing Zoltan Szabo at the Emirates Arena in March and now steps up towards title level in an eight-round contest.
 
In Garrido (24-23-3, 6 KOs), he faces one of the boxing world’s most entertaining characters who’s never been stopped; detaining the likes of McKenna, Jack Catterall and Frankie Gavin in the past. The Marseille resident had been due to face Gary Cully in Belfast only for injury to force the withdrawal of the Naas star.
 
Benson, though, is ready to showcase himself to an American TV audience in style.
 
The Edinburgh super-lightweight said: “I’m looking forward to this fight. Garrido’s style should bring out the best in me and it’ll be one the fans can enjoy.
 
“A boxer against a fighter is always intriguing to watch so it should be a spectacle for those there and the ESPN+ and iFL TV viewers.
 
“As an opponent, Garrido is made for me. I’m known for being a great boxer. My movement is key and while he normally only loses split decisions, I’m looking to win every round convincingly to set up an even bigger fight.”

Unbeaten star Troy Williamson is hoping to gain some more vital experience in his next fight – but would have no problem making it an early night and recording another stoppage win if the opportunity presents itself.

Hard-hitting Williamson (10-0-1, 7 KOs) is set to return against Edwin Palacios at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on June 15.

Williamson’s last two scheduled eight round contests have both ended in the second round, and while he’d like to get some rounds in the bank, he’ll take full advantage of an opening to end the bout inside the distance.

Williamson said: “I’m very excited to fight now. There isn’t long to go and my weight is good and I’m feeling fit and I’m feeling strong so I can’t wait to be back in the ring.

“I was pleased with my performance in my last fight as I got the stoppage win in the second round, so that’s always a confidence booster. I was maybe looking for a few more rounds and I think that opponent was brought in to give me rounds, but if I see the stoppage I’ll always take it.

“I’ve had three eight rounders in my career now with only one going the distance, so I’m looking for a good few rounds in the bank in this fight. I’m set to face a tough opponent that can hopefully take me a few rounds, but if the stoppage is there I’ll get it, as it’s always good to please the supporters.

“It was good to return to the gym straight away after my last fight and follow up on my improvements. I’ve basically had three camps back to back now with just a few days rest in between, so that keeps me really sharp, but I’m also looking forward to a well deserved break after this one so I can spend some time with my family.”

The bill at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on June 15 also features some of Williamson’s MTK Global team-mates, as JJ Metcalf and Alex Dickinson are on the card too.

Darragh Foley is eager to silence Belfast fans when he takes on home fighter Tyrone McKenna for the WBC International title at Ulster Hall.

The rival super-lightweights collide on an #MTKFightNight on June 21 – live on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and also available on iFL TV – with Australia-based Foley fighting on the island on which he was raised for the first time as a professional.

Despite McKenna’s warning of a hot reception awaiting him in the scheduled 10-rounder, Foley isn’t remotely concerned.

‘Super’ (17-3-1, 9 KOs) said: “I know he’s got a good following but it doesn’t matter. Noise is just noise and whether they’re singing for him or singing for me, I’ll feed off them.

“I’ll bring a good crowd of my own so it’ll be a tasty environment in there. This is the most exciting all-Irish title fight on paper for a long, long time and I’m up for creating history.

“I’ll walk out to the middle of the ring and if he does the same, so be it. I think we could do something incredible in there and I’m just so excited.

“This fight means a lot to me. I’ve never fought on Irish soil as a professional so I’m really looking forward to it. I’ll prove to everyone what I’m about.

“I genuinely believe I can still go on to knock on the door of world level. I genuinely believe I’m a great fighter and I’m looking forward to showing everyone that on the night.”

Alongside McKenna vs. Foley is a WBO European light-heavyweight title fight between Steven Ward and Liam Conroy, while welterweights Paddy Gallagher and Liam Wells clash in an intriguing match-up.

The likes of Lewis Crocker, Taylor McGoldrick, Caoimhin Agyarko and Owen O’Neill make up a busy undercard.




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