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Burns-Vazquez unification clash announced

Promoter Frank has put together a blockbuster event ‘Rule Britannia’ on Saturday 16th March at Wembley Arena featuring some of the biggest stars in British boxing including Ricky Burns, Nathan Cleverly, George Groves, Dereck Chisora and Liam Walsh.

WBO World Lightweight Champion Burns headlines the show in a sizzling unification showdown against tough Mexican IBF World Champion Miguel Vazquez.

Burns, 27, returns to action following his tremendous 2012 when he become Scotland’s first two-weight world champion in twenty years and ended the year stopping long-time rival Kevin Mitchell inside four rounds. With thrilling wins against top fighters Roman Martinez and Michael Katsidis in his career, Burns faces yet another hard test against Vazquez, 26, who has made five defenses of his world title in a 36-fight career.

Hailing from Guadalajara, Vazquez was last in action in December on the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez card when he defeated Mercito Gesta on points to retain his belt. Vazquez became the first man to beat Breidis Prescott after the dynamite-punching Colombian destroyed Amir Khan inside a round and has only lost on points to current world champions Saul Alvarez (twice) and Timothy Bradley.

It’s been Burns’ dream to unify the title and he’s excited to finally get the opportunity.

Burns said, “This is a dream come true for me. Any boxer would be happy winning two world titles at two weights and retire, but for me I want to continue winning more world titles, unifying them and stepping up the weight divisions. Vazquez is a top fighter and one that I’ve been after a long time so I’m over the moon that it’s happening.”

All-action Welshman Cleverly, the WBO World Light-Heavyweight Champion, joint headlines the card with Burns when he puts his title on the line against mandatory challenger Robin Krasniqi.

Cleverly made a big impression in America with his KO win over Shawn Hawk last November and now he has to remove Krasniqi before he can secure fights against top US fighters Bernard Hopkins, Tavoris Cloud and Chad Dawson.

But it won’t be an easy night against the dangerous German based Serbian Krasniqi who holds the WBO International title. He has won his last four fights by KO and has never been stopped in 41 fights with only two points losses very early in his career.

“Krasniqi will be a hard defence and he’s a fighter not to be underestimated. I’ve got to beat him and in style to keep the heat on for a unification fight against Cloud, Dawson or Shumenov. Every fight is crucial for me, but there is extra pressure on this one to perform which I love because I fight best when the pressure’s on,” Cleverly said.

London star Groves aims to add the vacant European super-middleweight title to the British and Commonwealth belts that he’s already won when he faces the tough Italian based Senegalese fighter Mohammed Ali Ndiaye.

Groves, 24, put on a masterclass performance in December to outpoint the tough Road Warrior Glen Johnson over twelve rounds in London, but now has to remove Ndiaye who’s only lost once on points in 22 fights.

He said, “I’ve won the British and Commonwealth titles and the European is the next step for me towards the world title. The guys is tough and awkward, James DeGale didn’t want to fight him, but I’ve got the tools to beat him. It’s a great show to be on alongside Cleverly, Burns and Chisora and it will be a fantastic night in London.”

Exciting heavyweight Dereck Chisora has his first fight of the year on the show, strictly subject to him being successful in reapplying for his British Boxing Board of Control license.

The big-hitting Finchley star, a former British and Commonwealth Champion, will feature in a ten-round International contest with his opponent to be announced.

In February last year Chisora pushed long-reigning WBC World Champion Vitali Klitschko the hardest since Lennox Lewis and he’ll be looking to work his way back into challenging for a world title.

Liam Walsh nearly challenged Burns for his world title in December, but had to withdraw from the fight after he suffered a back injury in a car accident in the build up.

The Cromer star has now recovered and is fit and ready to fight again and he’ll defend his Commonwealth Super-Featherweight title and unbeaten record against his undefeated Canadian challenger Logan McGuinness.

Finally, Romford Cruiserweight Tony Conquest aims to exact revenge over Rotherham’s Neil Dawson to reclaim his WBO International title.

Dawson beat Conquest with a shock first round stoppage in December and he’ll be out to prove that

Promoter Frank Warren is thrilled to be put together such a big show in London.

He said, “It’s the best of British all in one night of big fights. Fans have got two of our very best world champions, Burns and Cleverly, in action with Burns in a huge unification clash against Vazquez, while Cleverly faces a hard defence against Krasniqi. Groves has the chance to add the European title to his collection and has a tough fight against Ndiaye, while Chisora is reapplying for his license and providing he gets it he’ll feature in a ten-rounder. The show will be backed up with an action packed undercard with some of the best in young British talent.”




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