UK News: Massey Eyes Okolie, Kieran Smith Update, Belfast Card

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Fearsome cruiserweight Jack Massey heads for a pair of Manchester fights in November and December looking to tee up a tilt at British champion Lawrence Okolie.
 
The Derbyshire fighter has impressed in cruising to 14-0-KO7 and is out on the #WarsintheWarehouse card on November 9 before a slot on the Josh Warrington vs. Carl Frampton undercard on December 22.
 
Massey – just 25 – is already engaging in some social media sparring with Olympian Okolie (10-0-KO7) and although those methods don’t necessarily come naturally, he’s ready to do what it takes to secure title shots.
 
Massey said: “There’s been a bit of back and forth between myself and Lawrence on Twitter, which isn’t usually my style but it looks like a lot of fights are made this way now.
 
“I’ve been promised some big title fights so let’s see what we can get. A shot at the British title would be perfect for me.
 
“There was quite a lot of upset about Okolie’s last fight which is not good to hear. Being a cruiserweight myself, you want people to see that it’s a booming weight division. The more interest in the division, the better.
 
“I’m excited for these two fights. It’s so exciting to be on a bill like Warrington vs. Frampton in particular. It’ll be like a home show for me and what an event that’s going to be.
 
“I’ve not really had a break out of the gym and I’m always learning. I just got back from sparring the world No. 2 Mairis Briedis in Latvia so that’s going to stand me in good stead. I’m still improving all the time.”

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Unbeaten light-middleweight Kieran Smith is enthusiastic over his Glasgow double-header, which kicks off this Saturday night on the World Boxing Super Series card.
 
‘Chopper’ (11-0-KO5) faces the experienced Peter McDonagh on November 30 with a WBC world ranking on the line but before that, there’s a slot on the undercard of Josh Taylor vs. Ryan Martin and Ryan Burnett vs. Nonito Donaire to think about.
 
Smith, who is joined on the SSE Hydro bill by MTK Global team-mates Michael McGurk, Stephen Tiffney, Troy James and Siar Ozgul, has dreams of playing a significant role in the resurgence of Scottish boxing.
 
Smith said: “This is a great card to be on. It’s extra special because obviously people like Taylor and McGurk are people I came through the ranks with when I was younger.
 
“As for competition between us, I think Taylor’s in a different league to where I’m at at this current stage so comparing our performances wouldn’t be fair.
 
“This is a massive night for Scottish boxing. We’ve got Taylor bringing it right back up after Ricky Burns. It’s going to be getting bigger and better from here.
 
“I definitely plan to be playing a part and reaching that level over the next couple of years. I want to be filling out these places myself one day.
 
“As far as Josh’s fight goes, I expect it to be cagey early on and then Josh will start getting to him. I think he’ll stop him in about round 10.”
 
Smith vs. McDonagh features on a fantastic night of boxing at the Emirates Arena with Tyrone McKenna vs. Lewis Benson and Ukahir Farooq vs. Iain Butcher for the British bantamweight title.

The likes of Conrad Cummings, Tyrone McCullagh, Paddy Gallagher, Lewis Crocker, Gary Cully, Phil Sutcliffe Jr, Sean McComb, Steven Donnelly, Padraig McCrory and Steve Collins Jr will all star on a Christmas bill at Belfast’s Titanic Exhibition Centre on December 7.
 
After MTK Global’s highly successful maiden show at the venue on October 5, a follow-up event has been confirmed and will be broadcast live and exclusive on iFL.
 
Former WBO European middleweight king Cummings continues his resurgence after missing out on the same title earlier in the year. ‘Mr Dynamite’ is closing in on a shot at the Commonwealth belt after a first-round stoppage win last time out.

A current WBO European champion – super-bantamweight McCullagh – is back at the scene of his coronation. ‘White Chocolate’ put on a boxing masterclass against the previously-unbeaten Josh Kennedy that night and is expected to graduate to world level soon.
 
Another man who sealed a title that night was Belfast local Gallagher, who halted Jay Byrne to claim the BUI Celtic super-welterweight crown. ‘Pat-Man’ seals a swift chance to follow up with further success in his hometown.
 
The city’s promising welterweight Crocker returns after cruising to 7-0 at Windsor Park and with the likes of Carl Frampton tipping ‘Croc’ as one of the brightest talents around, a fireworks display may be in the offing.
 
Another young talent looking to force his way into the ‘big time’ sooner rather than later is Naas lightweight Cully, who returns to the same venue at which he rubber-stamped his potential by joining a small handful of fighters to stop Jordan Ellison.
 
Travelling up from Dublin with a sizeable following will be the popular super-lightweight Sutcliffe Jr. ‘Sucko’ has finally shaken off an injury nightmare and will be keen to resume his push towards title shots.
 
Bidding to wrap up momentous debut years are former star amateurs McComb and Donnelly, who both took impressive bows in the U.S in October and are back among home fans for their fifth pro bouts.
 
There are also slots for the unbeaten McCrory, who looks to continue his good form having dispatched Sean McGlinchey last time out and Collins Jr; bidding to bounce back from his Celtic title defeat to Steven Ward at Windsor Park back in July.




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