Hunting for Redemption

Hunting for Redemption

April Hunter is desperate to get back in the ring with the woman who ended her perfect record. Kirsty Bavington was victorious when the pair met in October last year, and it is a defeat that still rankles the Maverick Stars ambassador.

It has been a whirlwind few months for April since that night at the Newcastle Arena. The Geordie welterweight has switched camps from trainer Joe McNally in Liverpool to the Cheshire base of Peter Fury. The move has enabled her to train alongside world champion and friend Savannah Marshall on a daily basis.

The Geordie fighter believes huge improvements have already been under Fury’s guidance, and she cannot wait to showcase her skills in a rematch with Bavington.

“I’m on another level to Kirsty Bavington and I genuinely believe that,” said April. “I’m confident in my talent. It was a blip, I’ll put it right. I’m not being cocky or arrogant, I just genuinely believe that.”

Time to Talk at Ricky’s Club

Time to Talks at Ricky's Club

A unique initiative encouraging men to get active and to talk through their issues has been launched at Elite Community boxing club in Bolton.

In partnership with Maverick Stars Trust, 'Ricky's Club' is named after Ricky Fletcher, a friend of Elite head coach Alex Matvienko, who took his own life. The sessions are available to anyone who feels they need someone to talk to or just to listen to. 

There were 5,224 suicides in the UK in 2020. "We just want to help anyone who is feeling isolated or those that maybe just need help in getting off the sofa and out of the house," Alex said. "Socialising is important, particularly as the pandemic continues to affect everyone."

The first Ricky's Club session takes place from 7.30pm, Tuesday, 21 December at Wordsworth Mill, Wordsworth St, Bolton BL1 3ND

Time to Shine

Time to Shine

Birkenhead's Chloe Watson makes her eagerly awaited debut at London's iconic York Hall on Thursday. The 21-year-old, who trains under the guidance of boxing legend Ricky Hatton and fellow coach Blain Younis, takes on Hungarian Judit Hachbold.

A talented amateur who was part of the GB Boxing programme, Chloe won the youth Commonwealth Games and a GB title before a spell travelling led her to Australia. When COVID caused global chaos, Chloe stayed and trained down under before deciding to return home and turn pro.

Chloe, who trains alongside Maverick Stars ambassador Brad Rea, said: "I'm aiming for the top and I'm going to get there whether it's a year or ten year’s time. I'm just excited to put on a good performance and show everyone what I'm all about."

The Wasserman Boxing event, streamed live on YouTube channel Boxing Social, features other emerging talent including Harvey Horn, Martin Foru and Hosea Stewart.

Fabulous Fergo

Fabulous Fergo

Steven Ferguson claimed his first senior title after a thrilling battle in the Merseyside and Cheshire Elite ABA final. On a great night of boxing at Croxteth Sports Centre, the 26-year-old Maverick Stars ambassador, who has battled back from drug and alcohol addictions, came out on top against Old Swan ABC’s George Howden.

Steven 'Fergo' Ferguson and Maverick Stars founder Charlotte Gilley

It was give and take for much of the first round until a bit right hand from Howden resulted in a standing count for 'Fergo'. The Marybone ABC fighter quickly recovered and turned things around in the second round, scoring with clinical hooks and upper cuts. The third round was another hard-fought affair, with both men having successes, but the Kirkby man came out on top via split decision.

The victory marks an incredible turnaround for Fergo who struggled with addiction issues after leaving the army. With the help of Tom Harrison House - an initiative supported by Maverick Stars - he rediscovered his love for boxing under the guidance of Derry Mathews.

Bright Future for Female Coaches

Maverick Stars Trust is supporting ten female boxing coaches to deliver bespoke activities at their respective gyms. 

The latest initiative, where each coach receives £2,500 to create a programme based on their community’s specific needs, follows on from the residential weekend which took place at the home of GB Boxing in Sheffield earlier this year. Maverick Stars also supported that project – designed to help support and upskill female boxing coaches.

The coaches who took part in the residential course and have benefited from the extra Maverick funding, are:

Kate Newton – Rathbone (London), Igne Vaitkunaite – High Wycombe (Home Counties), Naadrah Hafeez – Gladiators (Yorkshire), Kara Mikolajczyk – Mikey’s (Midlands), Claire Salisbury – Jewellery Quarter (Midlands), Donna Harvey-Arnell – Ipswich (Eastern Counties), Louise Vidor – Bright Star (Midlands), Sally Webb – Priory Park (Midlands), Kerry Norfolk – Norwich City (Eastern Counties) and Samantha Fawcett – Warrington (Merseyside and Cheshire).

 

Title Bid for Fergo

Title Bid for Fergo

It will be something of a dream come true for Steven Ferguson when he boxes in the Merseyside and Cheshire elite ABA final this weekend. The 26-year-old Maverick Stars ambassador is focussed on a career in the ring after overcoming drug and alcohol addictions.

'Fergo' boxed as a youngster, but after a six-year spell in the army, his life descended into chaos. With the help of Tom Harrison House - an initiative supported by Maverick Stars which assists armed forces veterans struggling with addiction - he returned to the gym under the guidance of coach Derry Mathews, has lost four-and-half stone and is set to compete in his first senior title fight at super-heavyweight.

The Kirkby man said: "I'm boxing a lad called George Howden from Old Swan ABC in the final. It's always been my dream to be a boxer. Even when my life was chaos, I always believed I'd get back to boxing one day. I just want to experience as much as possible in the ring now."

Click the link below to watch Derry and Fergo (speaking before weight loss and a haircut!!)

Heartbreak for Conner

Heartbreak for Conner

It was heartbreak for Conner Tudsbury as his World Championships dream came to an end with a narrow points defeat in his quarter-final bout against Victor Schelstrate.

The Maverick Stars ambassador dominated his Belgian opponent in the opening round, controlling the contest with his jab and using his speed and mobility to great effect against the much bigger man.  Round two was a more even affair with both men having successes, but the judges favoured Shelstrate's work to set up a grand finale.  It was all square going into the third and final round, and while little between them, Conner ended up on the wrong end of a tight split.

A disappointing end for the 21year old, but it's been a huge achievement reaching the latter stages of a tournament he wasn't oirginally selected for. Conner took the opportunity to  step up to from light-heavy to cruiserweight in order to compete at his first major tournament and in doing so, he's proved he belongs at elite world level.

Brilliant Start for Conner

Brilliant Start For Conner

Conner Tudsbury made an impressive start to his first AIBA Men's World Boxing Championships with a commanding victory over Israel's Yan Zak.

The Maverick Stars ambassador won his cruiserweight contest via unanimous decision on day three of the tournament. The victory was all the more impressive considering the fact Conner stepped up from light-heavyweight to compete in Belgrade and was facing a much bigger opponent.

The 21year old GB Boxer, a product of Moss Side Fire Station Boxing Club, is back out in action in the next round on Sunday afternoon.

Follow all the action here:

2021 AIBA Men's World Boxing Championships - YouTube

 

Life Changing Chance

Life Changing Chance

Another Maverick Star will be flying the flag at the forthcoming AIBA World Boxing Championships in Serbia. Conner Tudsbury has been added to the select group of GB Boxers and joins super-heavyweight and fellow ambassador Delicious Orie at the tournament. 

Conner is set to step up a weight division to compete in the new cruiserweight (81-86kg) category. The trip to Belgrade completes a fantastic year for the 21year old Mancunian who has already competed internationally at the EUBC U22 European championships and the Socikas tournament in Lithuania where he won a gold medal.

“The opportunity [to compete at the new weight] was there so I've taken it," Conner said. "I reckon I'll be good at cruiserweight! I've got the strength, the speed, the fitness.  I'm looking forward to the World Championships. It's going to be great. It's a life changing opportunity. I want to win and bring home the gold."

Although confident he can make a huge impression at the tournament, Conner intends to compete back down in the light heavyweight division in the future.

2021 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, (26 October – 6 November 2021)

A Maverick Hunter

A Maverick Hunter

Geordie boxing prospect April Hunter has joined forces with Maverick Stars to spearhead a campaign to raise CPR awareness and provide vital defibrillators.

The unbeaten fighter joins the charity as ambassador and, along with continuing her success in the ring, is determined to succeed in highlighting a cause very close to her heart.  Her cousin Paul Gardner died on his 24th birthday whilst on holiday in 2018. The PGCPR app was set up in his name to raise funds to buy defibrillators for the North Shields area where Paul and April were born and raised.

"He [Paul] was in Ibiza with his friends and he got into difficulty in the water," April explained. "He was the only one who knew CPR. He was still breathing, his heart was still beating when he was out of the water but........even if someone knew CPR, you never know, but it would have been nice if someone there had given him the best chance.  I want to highlight the importance of CPR and defibs. It's something I want to do."

April will work with Maverick Stars while she continues in her quest for a world title. A talented footballer who was once on Newcastle's books, the 26year old fights in her home city on Saturday (16th October) on a bill which includes her friend Savanah Marshall, Chris Eubank Jr, and fellow Maverick Stars ambassador Brad Rea. All the action is live on Sky Sports.