TV date for Team Block’s rising boxing stars

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK -- Anthony Johnson, who is set to fight for the Queensbury League British title for Team Block
NEW KID ON THE BLOCK -- Anthony Johnson, who is set to fight for the Queensbury League British title for Team Block
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The reputation of the Hucknall and Bulwell-based Team Block boxing academy has been boosted by TV bookings for two of their fighters.

Anthony Johnson and James Maltby have bouts lined up on their debuts in the UK’s premier boxing league as part of cards to be shown on British Eurosport.

The Queensbury League, launched in 2010, offers up-and-coming, semi-professional British boxers a platform to showcase their talents.

In nine weight-categories, there are five titles to be won, including the Queensbury British title, which Johnson is gunning for at light-heavyweight.

He takes on the highly-ranked and unbeaten Yisan Rodriguez, of London, on the Capital Shakedown Card scheduled for Saturday 15th March at the famous Alexandra Palace arena in London.

Rodriguez will be a tough nut to crack, but Johnson has impressed league officials in open trials.

Ranked the third best amateur in England in his weight category, Johnson has won all three of his fights since turning semi-pro, including one by a brilliant 25-second knockout against Liverpool’s Ryan Hennessy,

Maltby is also making his debut in the Queensbury League after a successful transition from amateur status, where he won 15 of his 17 fights, including 13 by a knockout.

He has been earmarked to go for the English title on Thursday 8th May, also in London, after victory over Curtis Goode, of The Bronx gym in Nottingham, in his sole contest so far since entering the semi-professional scene.

The Queensbury League is run by Ross Minter, a professional boxer who is the 35-year-old son of Alan Minter, one of the best fighters England has produced.

Minter snr was world middlewight champion in 1980, only surrendering his crown to the great Marvin Hagler, and also won a bronze medal at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

The league boasts fast, exciting, competitive boxing over three, four or five two-minute rounds and is the ideal platform for Team Block, which is run by Bulwell’s former British cruiserweight champion Shane McPhilbin (28).

The Team Block academy, which houses about 15 fighters on the semi-professional circuit, went through the whole of 2013 unbeaten.

Another of their rising stars, 22-year-old welterweight Jack McCormack, continues his bid to turn pro next week (Saturday 15th February) when he fights in Stoke for the area title.

If that goes to plan, McCormack will then contest an eliminator for the British title in Nottingham on Saturday 1st March.

On the same bill will be Team Block stablemate Russ Cartlidge in a tough warm-up fight before defending his semi-pro Organised International Boxing Association (OIBA) British lightweight title.

Later in March, on Saturday the 15th, Team Block’s star female fighter, Tania Lockhart, hopes to extend her unbeaten run in a bout at Leeds.