Saturday 22 October 2016

Promoter Eddie Hearn vows to continue supporting family of tragic boxer Mike Towell

Gavin McCafferty

Published 05/10/2016 | 18:00

Fatal punch: Mike Towell Photo: Dundee Boxing Club/PA Wire
Fatal punch: Mike Towell Photo: Dundee Boxing Club/PA Wire

Eddie Hearn has predicted the boxing community will continue to rally round the grieving family of Mike Towell after pledging 24 hours of ticket sales from Saturday's world title show in Glasgow.

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All ticket money for the Ricky Burns-headlined show that come through on Thursday - one week on from Towell's fateful British title eliminator against Dale Evans - will go to support his partner Chloe Ross and their young son following his death.

Former world champion Ricky Hatton, whose fighter Kiryl Relikh challenges Burns for his WBA super lightweight title, has already helped raise about £40,000 for the Dundee boxer's family through a JustGiving page.

Hearn said: "We've all got a responsibility to help and over the next couple of months we'll be planning lots of different things for his family.

"Ricky (Hatton) has done a great thing and so have the public and we want to do our bit. It's a gesture that is needed and there will be plenty more from us.

"One thing there won't be a lack of is fundraising ideas and support for the family of Mike Towell because that is the sport of boxing through and through. There's a lot of rivalries, there's a lot of egos, there's a lot of hate in the business, but there wouldn't be anyone that wasn't devastated by that news, who didn't see that headline and feel sick. We all did.

"We know how tough our sport is, we always talk about it, but we need to make sure people are looked after who have dedicated themselves to the sport. We need to make sure that family are comfortable."

Saturday's show at The Hydro also boasts two British title fights but the main event is Burns' defence of his third world title belt against the 26-year-old Relikh.

The Coatbridge fighter is on course to face Adrien Broner in a high-profile contest if he comes through unscathed but Hearn is sure his charge will not be distracted by future possibilities.

"He's a bit too experienced for that," Hearn said. "Funny enough the Broner fight had a chance of happening this month and Ricky was the one who turned round and said 'I want to deal with the mandatory, get that out the way'.

"I said: 'He's dangerous, this kid. You are on a bit of a hiding to nothing because not many people have heard of Kyril Relikh and he's very dangerous. So you are expected to win and anything but a good win probably won't be accepted'.

"He knows that and he has trained like it is Adrien Broner. And I think it will be a great fight because this kid has no fear and he is very confident so he ain't going to care less. He is going to come for a fight.

"Ricky has got to use his experience, stay really disciplined, slowly break him down and I think he'll stop him late, but it's going to be a very tough fight."

The final media conference saw no repeat of the war of words between British heavyweight title opponents Dillian Whyte and Ian Lewison which almost spilled over into violence in a previous gathering. Scott Cardle also defends his British lightweight belt against Grimsby's Kevin Hooper on Saturday.

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