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Hooks and Jabs: Catterall’s New Deal, Spence Undercard Gets Addition

Boxing produced one of those fights last weekend that will not only go down in history but will live long in the memory for those who watched it. While Leigh Wood and Michael Conlan spent the week recovering from their Battle of Nottingham and rightfully receiving huge plaudits the sport moved on. Another week of signings, fight announcements, new contracts and news of Brit number six looking to inflict the UK’s first defeat on a certain Spaniard.

Welcome to this week’s Hooks and Jabs.

Jack Catterall has signed a promotional deal with Probellum. The 28-year-old recently lost out to Josh Taylor for the undisputed super-lightweight title. But the manner of the defeat and his performance sent his credibility through the roof.

“Everyone in boxing knows that I won the fight. I showed the world that I am the best man in the 140lbs division. I will be ringside to watch Prograis against McKenna and I really fancy a fight with the winner,” said Catterall.

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British light-heavyweight champion Dan Azeez will face unbeaten Matthew Tinker on March 26 in a 10-round international bout. The fight represents an opportunity for Azeez to gain revenge on his opponent having lost to him in the amateurs in 2014. 

“He beat me so it would be great to get one back over him in the professional ranks,” said Azeez.

The card is headlined by Richard Riakporhe v Deion Jumah at cruiserweight and will be shown live on Sky Sports.

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Veteran Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa will fight Isaac Cruz on the Errol Spence Jr-Yordenis Ugas welterweight title unification undercard on April 16 at the AT&T Stadium in Texas. Also featuring are unbeaten stars Jose Valenzuela and Cody Crowley against Francisco Vargas and Josesito Lopez, respectively. 

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Hamzah Sheeraz has committed his future to Queensbury Promotions by signing a new three-year deal with them. The towering 22-year-old makes his middleweight debut against Jez Smith tonight, for the vacant WBC International Silver trinket, after spending the first 14 fights of his career at 154lbs. 

“Before this contract is up, I want to be fighting for world titles. By then my apprenticeship and all the learning will all be done. Hopefully I can win this WBC belt and soon be up there with all the big names,” said Sheeraz.

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JJ Metcalf will attempt to succeed where five previous British opponents have failed and beat Kerman Lejarraga. The Liverpudlian will travel to Bilbao to face the Spaniard on his home turf in a fight for the vacant WBA Continental super-welterweight belt. Metcalf, 33, has lost his last two fights. He was stopped by Ted Cheeseman in the 11th round after a thriller and dropped a narrow points decision to Kieron Conway last time out in October.