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Trio to risk world hopes at Wembley

PUBLISHED: 10:30 22 July 2015

Billy Joe Saunders, Frank Buglioni and Ovill McKenzie are all in action at Wembley on Friday

Billy Joe Saunders, Frank Buglioni and Ovill McKenzie are all in action at Wembley on Friday

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Boxers bidding for title shots

Billy Joe Saunders, Frank Buglioni and Ovill McKenzie risk world title ambitions when they face imported rivals on the big Wembley bill on Friday.

Warming up for his world title bid against Andy Lee in September, Saunders risks a 21-fight unbeaten record against Frenchman Yoanna Bloyer.

Saunders, training at the West Ham BC gym in Plaistow, is looking forward to his first bout since defeating Chris Eubank Jr last November and admits his Wembley test must include “no mistakes”.

Buglioni was due to face WBA world champion Fedor Chudinov, but with the Russian injured, that bid is delayed. He now faces Mexican Fernando Castaneda for the vacant WBA Intercontinental super-middleweight title.

“This is a crucial fight, I am disappointed I’m not fighting Chudinov, but I am facing a tough Mexican and I know I have to win in style before the world title bid later this year,” said Buglioni.

Big-hitting Peacock cruiserweight McKenzie is also chasing a world title bid and meets Finland’s Janne Forsman for the vacant WBA Continental title.

“A good win will put me in line for the biggest fight of my life,” said McKenzie whose career has taken off after winning British and Commonwealth belts under the guidance of Peacock boss Martin Bowers.

Heavyweight Derek Chisora returns on the packed Queensberry promotions card against Georgian Beqa Lobjanidze and Mitchell Smith faces Dennis Tubieron.

The bill, which will be screened on BoxNation TV, also features Jamie Cox, Lee Markham, Lewis Pettit, Gary Corcoran, Ricky Godding and Boy Jones jr.

Tom Baker sounded a blunt warning to Britain’s leading light-heavyweights after a winning debut in the division at York Hall on Friday.

Ireland’s Darren Cruise was on the receiving end of Baker’s barrage in a one-sided 10-rounder that ended with the West Hammer a 100-90 winner on the scorecard of referee Robert Williams.

“I feel a lot stronger at the new weight and after one or two more wins I’ll be looking for a title chance,” said Baker who won the Southern Area super-middleweight title before moving up. “I’m 23 now and getting bigger and better. I’m after the top men in the division.”

Baker has already beaten Nathan King, a top 10-rated light-heavyweight and his 12th straight pro win came after effective jabbing allowed him to dominate a rival who had won his last three contests – and claimed a European silver medal in his amateur days.

Short range hooks and solid uppercuts shook the Roscommon boxer as Baker completed a double success for former West Ham amateurs now training under Jimmy and Mark Tibbs at the Hammers gym.

Sam McNess took just one minute 42 seconds to win his pro debut, blasting out Lincoln’s Aaron Robinson, a fighter known for surviving the distance.

McNess slammed home solid hooks to head and body with his rival floored twice, before referee Robert Williams stepped in.

“It was great to get a first round win and I can’t wait to get in the ring again,” said the 23-year-old.

Peacock gym-based Romeo Romaeo recorded his eighth straight victory when halting Latvian rival Ivans Levickis with a powerful right hook to the body in the third round.


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