BOXING: Catley promises dogged test for Woodhall

THE PROSPECT of a pounds 1m fight against Joe Calzaghe should be enough to fire Richie Woodhall's ambitions against Glenn Catley at the Telford Ice Rink tonight.

Woodhall, the World Boxing Council super-middleweight champion, has put a seven-figure price tag on a showdown against Calzaghe, the World Boxing Organisation holder, and Catley stands in the way of Woodhall and financial security for his young family.

Having had the preparations for his first defence upset by a change of location and a revised date, as well as suffering a pay cut and being presented with a changed and different-style opponent in Catley, it would be understandable if Woodhall has gone a trifle off the boil.

But the champion is too professional to allow his focus to become clouded against Catley, the British middleweight champion who has moved up a weight, who could be a handful early in a fight which, for him, has come from nowhere.

"There's Robin Reid and Dean Francis in the super middles, but Calzaghe is the only one that really interests me," said Woodhall. "Unification with Calzaghe is what everyone wants to see. I strongly fancy my chances."

Woodhall was set to earn pounds 400,000 for defending his title against the Italian southpaw Vincenzo Nardiello in Sicily in July, but will get substantially less for tackling Catley.

When the American promoter Don King lost the right to stage Woodhall's first defence because of contractual delays, the Nardiello bout was moved to Telford, then Nardiello pulled out with an injury to hand Catley, who has 22 wins from 24 fights - with 17 inside the distance, his big opportunity.

"I've done all my training to face Nardiello, a southpaw, but Catley is orthodox," added Woodhall. "But I'm the champion of the world and, if I can't handle Catley, then I can't handle anyone.

"He is certainly more powerful than Nardiello and, if I stand toe-to- toe with him, I will come unstuck. I have got to keep him at long range and make sure I don't get drawn into a war with him. It's annoying that I'd prepared to face a southpaw but I've just got to get on with it."

Catley was ranked a modest 19th among the middleweights in his division, yet he has been cleared by the WBC emergency committee to fight Woodhall to keep alive Frank Warren's show and Sky television date.

"It's the opportunity of a lifetime," Catley said. "I know I'm going to be classed as the underdog, but I've sparred with Steve Collins and I don't believe there is anyone tougher to spar with than him."

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Sport
premier league
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Fury's Spring/Summer 2015 London Fashion Week roundup
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
News
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam