Dan Rafael: Paul Butlin

Joshua, Mitchell share British card

November, 4, 2013
Anthony Joshua, the 2012 British Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist, and lightweight contender Kevin Mitchell will be in two of the featured bouts on the final big British show of the year, a Dec. 14 card at the ExCel London that Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn announced Monday.

Joshua (2-0, 2 KOs) blew out Paul Butlin in the second round Oct. 26 in his second pro fight, and returns for his third bout Nov. 14 in London on a card that also features the next installment of the “Prizefighter” series. But Joshua is also scheduled to be in his fourth fight on the Dec. 14 card against Dorian Darch (7-2, 1 KOs) of Wales.

Mitchell (35-2, 25 KOs), who has won two fights in a row since a fourth-round knockout loss to Ricky Burns in a September 2012 lightweight world title bout, will face Italy’s Brunet Zamora (25-1-2, 11 KOs) in a 12-rounder.

In another bout on the card, Lee Purdy (20-4-1, 13 KOs), in his first fight since being routed in by Devon Alexander in a welterweight world title fight in Atlantic City, N.J., on May 18, will challenge Leonard Bundu (29-0, 10 KOs) for the European welterweight title. Let’s see if Purdy can make 147 pounds, which he missed for his shot at Alexander, who stopped an uncompetitive Purdy in the seventh round. Purdy also missed weight for the bout he had before facing Alexander. Italy’s Bundu will be making his fifth European title defense.

Former bantamweight world titlist Jamie McDonnell (21-2-1, 9 KOs), who won a vacant title against Julio Ceja in May but was recently stripped for failing to make a due mandatory defense, is also slated to be on the card. McDonnell’s appearance, however, depends on how he comes through a Nov. 23 fight on the undercard of super middleweight titlist Carl Froch’s defense against George Groves.

Joshua set to follow up pro debut

October, 15, 2013
Anthony Joshua Scott Heavey/Getty ImagesOlympic star Anthony Joshua, who scored a first-round KO in his pro debut, will return on Oct. 5.

Anthony Joshua, the 2012 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist, is set for his second professional fight. He'll face Paul Butlin on Oct. 26 at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, England, on the Kell Brook-Vyacheslav Senchenko undercard. Joshua turned pro Oct. 5 at The O2 Arena in London, scoring a first-round knockout of Italy's Emanuele Leo.

"I was happy with my performance at the O2, but I put that behind me now and move on to Sheffield," Joshua said. "You only have one pro debut, and I ended it in spectacular fashion. Every time I step into the ring it is like an Olympic final. I prefer the pro game a bit more than the amateurs. Not neglecting the amateurs, but this feels like the real deal. When I was getting my hands wrapped it took about 30 minutes to get them properly wrapped and to fit my hands into the tight, small gloves. It is two guys coming out with their heart on their sleeve trading, and I really enjoyed it.

"To have another fight just three weeks after my debut is brilliant, exactly what I need for my progression -- keep fighting and keep learning."