Tag: Ian Napa


Marston Gets Mighty Serious Ahead Of Oct 4th Fight – Enlists ‘Dappa’ Napa As Sparring Partner


Marston Gets Mighty Serious Ahead Of Oct 4th Fight – Enlists ‘Dappa’ Napa As Sparring Partner

Woolwich, London based Super Bantamweight Marianne Marston has enlisted former British and European Bantamweight Champion Ian ‘Dappa’ Napa as her main sparring partner, as she prepares for her upcoming bout on the Dave Murphy Acourtier Events promoted mega fourteen bout show ‘NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS’, which takes place at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London on Friday 4th October.

Marianne, who back in April sensationally stopped Hungarian #1 ranked Gabriella Roman in just one minute and forty seven seconds of the first round, is being fast tracked for a WBF International title fight by her promoter Dave Murphy and World Boxing Federation President Howard Goldberg – which if everything goes according to plan will take place in London on November 30th this year.

But before then she will have to deal with Masa Bacanov, who she faces on the Demis Tonna Prize Boxing Promotions ‘Rumble in the Med Part IV – Judgement Day’ event at the Dolmen Hotel and Spa Resort in Bugibba, Malta on August 30th and against a yet to be named opponent, who she will be fighting on the mega ‘NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS’ event at York Hall on October 4th.

It’s with these key fights in mind that lead Marianne to suggest to her promoter, the aforementioned Dave Murphy, approaching her long time gym mate Ian Napa to be her regular sparring partner.

The choice of  ‘Dappa’ as a sparring partner is clearly an inspired move, during his thirteen year career Ian won seven Championship bouts, acquiring and defending the Southern Area (Flyweight) and both the British and European Bantamweight titles, as well as challenging for a World crown at Flyweight.

Not just that though, during his exceptional career Ian has fought a who’s who of Champions, including: Jason Booth, Oleg Kiryukhin and Peter Culshaw at Flyweight and Jason Booth again, Martin Power, Simone Maludrottu, Lee Haskins, Carmello Ballone, Malik Bouziane, Gary Davies, Jamie McDonnell and Stuart Hall at Bantamweight.

Speaking after their second sparring session, at the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town, a clearly pleased Marianne spoke about the new acquisition to her team.

“It’s awesome, just awesome to spar with such a talented boxer like Ian.

I can’t deny that I have been a big fan of Ian for years, even when I was living and training in Philadelphia I would never miss any of his fights.

When I came back to London I was lucky enough to train at the same gym as him, Ben Murphy and Erick ‘The Eagle” Ochieng, then shortly after I moved to the TRAD TKO their coach Bryan Lawrence also moved his team here, so we’ve sort of trained side by side for the past three years or so.

Ian’s seriously technical and has an almost impenetrable defense, he really is the perfect sparring partner for me to learn from.

Let’s face it if I can survive his constant pressure and wicked shots, as well as actually get through that defense then I’m doing pretty well.

I can’t think of any better sparring I could possibly get, don’t get me wrong I appreciate all and any sparring I get, just the sparring I get from Ian is of such high quality that I will benefit from it even more.

I seriously doubt that there will be any opponent that will test me anywhere close to the way he does.

I’ve another couple of sessions to go with Ian before I go to Malta to fight Masa (Bacanov) and then when I get back hopefully we’ll get straight back into sparring, so I can be a hundred percent ready for October 4th.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking past Masa, anything but – she’s one tough cookie that not only boxes but is also a competitive kickboxer – but I already know that I will be handed a seriously tough test on October 4th and really that’s the fight I have got Ian in to make sure I am a hundred percent ready for.

Fighting at the York Hall on such a massive bill, I mean there’s two World title fights headlining a massive fourteen fight card, it will be such a thrill and I want to give the very best account of myself I can, I don’t want to just win, I want to win in style.

I’m hoping that I can get some rounds in this time, getting first round stoppage wins is great for my record, but I want to showcase my boxing skills and to do that I really do need to get some rounds under my belt, plus it’ll be nice to give my sponsors, Optimax, Winkball, BoxFit and TRAD TKO more than just two minutes ring exposure.

Saying that I’ll do what I have to do, if that means another early stoppage finish, so it goes. I’m extremely competitive by nature and want my fight to be the one the fans go home talking about.”

Marianne Marston, against a yet to be named opponent, will feature on the Dave Murphy  Acourtier Events promoted ‘NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS’ event, headlined by Michel Trabant vs TBA and  Jennifer Retzke versus Angel McKenzie World title clashes, at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London on Friday, 4th October 2013

Tickets, priced £35 (Standard Seated) and £60 (Ringside) are available on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.comwww.mariannemarston.comwww.acourtier.com – or in person from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in Canning town – www.tkoboxinggym.com – and Ringtone Gym in Euston – www.ringtonehealthandfitness.com – or from any of the boxers taking part in the event, or  call – 07960 850645, 07809 499896 or 07557 641597 for further information.

Go online to www.Acourtier.com for additional information on the NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS event or the Acourtier stable of boxers. Follow Acourtier Events on Twitter @AcourtierEvents  – friend us at www.Facebook.com/AcourtierEvents
– and on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/acourtier-events

Follow Marianne ‘ Golden Girl’ Marston, for updates and schedule go to: Web: www.mariannemarston.com – Twitter: @MarianneMarston and Facebook: www.facebook.com/marianne.marston

TEAM AMERICA, All-Star Elite Fighting Force, Set To Invade London.


TEAM AMERICA, All-Star Elite Fighting Force, Set To Invade London.


An All-Star fighting force, code name ‘Team America’, comprising of Lightweight sensation, and the new UNBC World Light Welterweight Champion, Hammerin’ Hank Lundy, UNBC Super Middleweight Intercontinental Champion, Daphir ‘No Fear’ Smith, WBC Continental Americas Light Heavyweight Champion, Brian ‘Bionic Bull’ Cohen, Heavyweight contender, Gerald ‘The Jedi’ Nobles, Eric ‘The Outlaw’ Hunter, Tim Witherspoon Jnr, Nathalie Brown and Christina Leadbeater, are set to invade London in the coming weeks.

Following in the tradition of the American armed forces code of honour, which dictates that a fallen or captured comrade is never left behind, this veritable army of Philadelphia’s boxing elite are set to travel to London, England on what has been described as a ‘rescue mission’ of adopted daughter, Philly trained British Super Bantamweight, Marianne ‘Golden Girl’ Marston.

Supporting ‘Team America’ on this mission are some serious ‘Big Guns’ in the form of World Champions, Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham, ‘Terrible’ Tim Witherspoon, Buster Drayton, Robert ‘Bam Bam’ Hines and, hopefully, the man who ‘discovered’ and brought Marianne to America in the first place, the legendary Heavyweight Champion of the World Smokin’ Joe Frazier.

The whole operation went into the planning stages following Philadelphia boxing journalist, Kerry O’Connor, highlighting Marianne’s visa woes, which prevented her from debuting in America earlier this year, and encouraged readers to contact the American Embassy in London to lobby on her behalf.

This soon became a full blown world wide campaign culminating in many boxing luminaries, on both sides of the Atlantic, working together to create the UK vs USA two part event titled The TransAtlantic Challenge. The first event will take place in London, tentatively planned for Marianne’s birthday on the 31st October providing a British promoter partner is secured in time, with the return ‘home coming’ show planned for February 2010.

Marianne, who was trained by Smokin’ Joe and his son Marvis, until their gym closed in March 08, before becoming part of IBF Cruiserweight World Champion Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham’s team, based at the James Shuler Memorial Gym in West Philadelphia, flew back to London in February this year to unsuccessfully apply for the visa required for her professional debut on the undercard of Brian Cohen’s WBC Continental Americas title fight on the 9th May.

Promoters, Bionic Bull Promotions, offered Marianne a second chance to debut, this time on the undercard of Hammerin’ Hank Lundy’s UNBC Light Welterweight World title challenge on the 26th September, again the visa, she was advised to apply for, was refused and she was advised that now she requires a professional athletes P1 visa and would need to compete in an international event to become eligible.

Veteran boxing manager Ivan Cohen, one of the main driving forces behind Team America and the rescue mission, led a similar American invasion on London in 1984. Ivan’s charges 25 years ago, James ‘Bonecrusher’ Smith and Buster Drayton, destroyed their esteemed, and previously unbeaten, British opposition of Frank Bruno and Mark Kaylor in knockout fashion.

Ivan Cohen, who is clearly intent on producing a similar result for Team America on this sortie, mapped out his battle plan. “How could we possibly forget Marianne, we’re coming to rescue her and get her back to the United States soon. We really miss her over here. The US Embassy in England doesn’t know what it’s talking about when they say Women’s Boxing is a hobby, let them get in the ring and try it themselves. They don’t know what they are talking about.

We’re coming over to England to rescue Marianne and we’re coming in style. We’re bringing over some of the most exciting and talented fighters in America today.

We’ve got the new UNBC Champion Hammerin’ Hank Lundy, This kid can fight, he’s one of the most exciting fighters in the United States right now. Fighters are running away from him, they’re frightened of him, they’re changing weight class to get away from him.

He’s one of the most exciting fighters anyone has ever seen, he’s talked about all over the World. You see how he took the UNBC title so easily, he dominates everyone. He’s World Champion now and he’ll bring the title to England for this fight.

It’s not just Hank, all the fighters coming over to England are exciting quality fighters, fighters like Brian Cohen, Light Heavyweight/Super Middleweight. He’s got seven title belts, World belts. Daphir ‘No Fear’ Smith, the current UNBC Super Middleweight Intercontinental Champion, Heavyweight contender Gerald ‘The Jedi’ Nobles, the exciting Eric ‘The Outlaw’ Hunter and Tim Witherspoon Jnr.

We’ll also be bringing over Nathalie Brown, from Canada via Jamaica. She’s going to fight for a title against Angel McKenzie. Last but not least we’ll be bringing Marianne’s long time sparring partner, Christina Leadbeater, to fight her.

Hey, I’m telling ya Marianne can fight, I’ve seen her in the gym, my fighters have seen her in the gym. We’re coming to England to rescue her. That’s what we’re coming to do.”

Marianne’s team boss and American coach, Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham, who had sat quietly nodding his head whilst Ivan spoke burst into life as soon as he had finished. “What a great event this is going to be, I can’t wait to see Team America represent our country, but as Ivan said there’s something even bigger we will be fighting for that night, we will be fighting for a promising fighter to get a shot at pursuing her dream to become a top contender in women’s boxing in America.

I know first hand how difficult the boxing business can be, but Marianne is getting stopped before even getting in the ring and that is a shame. I know that she has a great work ethic and given the opportunity to come to America and fight professional, I believe she would give it her all. I truly hope that after this fight, she is given her visa and with that her chance at pursuing the American dream.”

Without doubt Ivan and Steve have made Team America’s objectives crystal clear, but don’t go thinking this is a solo effort by them though, it’s anything but, this is definitively a joint UK-USA operation with many British boxing ‘heavyweights’, including former Olympic coach Terry Edwards MBE, top Irish manager and trainer John Rooney Jnr, former WBC Intercontinental Cruiserweight Champion Bruce ‘Lionheart’ Scott, Former European Bantamweight Champion Ian ‘Dappa’ Napa, Erick ‘The Eagle’ Ochieng, Ben Murphy, Britain’s first European Amateur Bantamweight Champion for 47 years, Luke Campbell, and Big Brother star Angel ‘The Artist’ McKenzie, to name but a few, putting their collective weight behind Marianne and the TransAtlantic Challenge.

On the announcement of TransAtlantic challenge various of Marianne’s supporters including Karol ‘Dr KO’ Ozimkowski, Ben ‘The Entertainer’ Day, Ian ‘Dappa’ Napa, Ben Murphy, Erick ‘The Eagle’ Ochieng, Ben ‘White Sugar’ Doughty, Darren ‘Mr R&B’ Hamilton etc, dropped into Rooney’s Boxing Gym in South London, where Marianne is currently training, to show their support.

Further announcements are expected shortly as so far only Marianne and Angel McKenzie are confirmed for TEAM GB. The TransAtlantic Challenge organisers are confident that the full lineup for the British squad will be named shortly, as will be a firm date and venue for the historic London event.