Denton Vassell makes the first defence of his Commonwealth welterweight title tonight, when he takes on unbeaten Namibian champion Bethuel ‘Tyson’ Ushona at the Robin Park Centre in Wigan.
Vassell 26, himself unbeaten in 16 fights, 9 by KO, claimed the vacant belt by defeating Lee Purdy in April 2010 via a 12 rounds points decision.
Against Bethuel, who is also named as the current WBO African champion, Vassell will need to be in fine form to hang onto his title credentials in his first live top of the bill fight, being screened by Sky Sports 2 from 8pm.
Vassell from Manchester and trained by Bob Shannon, is a boxer of real potential and a win against the dangerous African will go some way to showing us how far he may go and should propel him into the British and European title picture.
Ushona 29, has a record of 23 fights, no losses with 8 wins by KO and is a fighter well known to Vassell’s trainer Shannon. The Manchester trainer who calls Ushona by his nickname ‘Tyson’ – as faced him before. It was 5 years ago when Shannon took his charge of the time, Glossop based Ali Nuumbembe himself a Namibian by birth over to his homeland to contest the country’s vacant welterweight title, losing on a split decision to Ushona.
Ushona is rated number 6 in the world by the WBO and will be significant step up in class for Vassell, who despite his commonwealth strap, is yet to break the British 10st 7lb top 10. A win here can change that.
Vassell himself as been likened to Mike Tyson in his style and approach to his boxing attacks, which can only make for a really tough fight against a common foe – that will bring the best out of his boxer.
“He actually fought one of my fighters Ali Nuumbembe, we went over to Namibia five years ago, so I know Tyson really well. said Shannon.
“I know him as Tyson that’s his nickname, really good fighter I’m very impressed with him.
“He beat Ali, it was a close fight, but he beat him, he is very talented, confident has a great style, he can move he can fight he can box and he is a big threat to us in a 50/50 fight ” Shannon added.
But Shannon talking to Hatton.tv also adds that we have not seen the best of Denton Vassell yet and although Ushona provides him his toughest test to date, believes it is a fight that will bring the very best out of the lad from Ancoats, who will be dedicating the fight to his father, who passed away recently.
|Vassell and Ushona weigh in
Shannon adds, that despite all the attributes of Ushona, we are yet to see the best of Vassell and that against ‘Tyson’ tonight we will get to witness the coming of age fight, that will see Vassell prevail in a tough encounter and candidate possibly for fight of the year.
“He’s got to be at his best to beat this kid, he knows what he has to do, he’s going to dedicate the fight to his father.
“We haven’t seen the best of Denton Vassell yet and this fight will bring the best out of him and he needs someone like Tyson to bring him out.”
Vassell a banker by day, says he will use the benefits of Yoga, taught by his mother Janet DaSilva, to help him win the fight and believes the traditional powers of the ancient exercise will help him achieve his dreams of becoming one of the world’s best welterweights.
“I have had 16 fights won them all, I work in a bank and whenever I need to relax I turn to yoga. It makes me a better person.
“People I am all power, speed and fitness but the yoga has made me elusive. She sits me down every day and we do stretching and breathing exercises.
“I can do stretches that most people can’t do because of the yoga mum does with me.
“Every day she stretches me out. It is so peaceful and stress relieving.”
Meanwhile the confident challenger reiterated the warnings to Vassell when he said: “I haven’t even bothered looking at Vassell. I will work him out inside a round.
“I am one of the best welterweights in the world so what he can do doesn’t concern me.”
|Matty Askins (left) and Neil Dawson weigh in
In the chief supporting bout Blackpool’s unbeaten Matty Askin takes on another unbeaten fighter in Neil Dawson.
Both boxers have won their first nine professional contests and the winner at Robin Park will collect the vacant Central Area title. Askin speaking at the press conference said that he is determined to step up to domestic title level now with a win.
“With this fight being over ten rounds, it gives people chance to see what I’m really made of against a good tough opponent.” Askins said.
Other action packed clashes feature Tom Doran, Adam Little, Rhys Roberts. Jez Wilson, Jazza Dickinson and Tom Shaw.
by Chris Maylett
Tickets for this big night of title action are available £30, £55 (Ringside) and £75 VIP Ringside, www.brandhatton.com /0844 847 2500/0161 775 7500
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