Comments Off on Team Wilkey Gunning for Glory in Prizefighter – by Dave Wilkey

(JUNE 19) THE eight man line-up for the Betfair Light-Welterweight Prizefighter has now been completed and it looks to have all the credentials of another explosive night at York Hall in Bethnal Green on July 6th. Matchroom Sport provides a sold-out event packed full of young talent all looking to take home the winning £32,000 cheque with the action being broadcast live on Sky Sports. On the same evening Lightweight Kevin Mitchell makes a return in a warm up fight after a lengthy lay off before joining Matchroom Sport Promotions.


photo: Greaves, Connor, Wilkey, Weise, Naylor and Arif.

Gym mates Danny ‘Cassius’ Connor (8-5-1) and unbeaten Eren Arif (3-0) are both confident going into the competition after recently changing their training arrangements with trainer Alec Wilkey, moving from the TKO in Canning Town to Lansbury ABC in Poplar. Southern Area Champion Connor has other familiar faces to him in the competition in Chris Evangelou (9-2) who he fought and beat in his last two title fights and who will be looking to redeem himself. Also Connor’s close friend and mandatory challenger for the Southern Area title Tony Owen (14-1) who resides in the same area of South London competes in the knockout tournament.  Also in the line-up will be two fighters who last contested for the Southern Area Title at Lightweight and will be stepping up in weight and trying to claim the prize, in Liam Shinkwin (6-0-1) and Ryan Taylor (7-1-1). Another unbeaten fighter Charlie Rice(6-0) and Matty Tew (12-1) make up the draw.

Connor said, “It’s given me more of an idea who I’m fighting and what they bring but to be quite honest you’ve got 9 rounds so set a high pace and make your punches count.” ‘Cassius’ added, “I’m more mature in terms of how many rounds I’ve done but nothing is going to stop me from winning it.”

Arif, who hails from Rotherhithe, is one of the least experienced in the competition but he believes that this plays into his hands. Speaking to iFilm London he said, “I’ve only had 3 pro fights and for this to come up at such an early stage is a fantastic opportunity. I feel like I’m the underdog but I don’t think there is anyone as strong as me or who can hit as bad as me.”

Trainer Alec Wilkey will have to step aside for both fighters if they meet at any point in the tournament with Derek Grainger and former British Title holder Matthew Marsh taking control of the corners. Wilkey said, “We recently amicably left the TKO Gym and moved to Lansbury ABC where Adam and Lenny have been great and provided a great facility for Team Wilkey to train. I’d like to thank our sponsors Core Security and Glen Insurance for helping us out aswell.”  The £2000 knockout bonus that promoter Eddie Hearn added is still in effect which gives the fighters a financial incentive to go for their big punches. As a result it is sure to be another exciting night at York Hall.

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