Swifty goes to Matchroom; Derry signs with Queensberry

Stephen Smith & Derry Mathews

While British super featherweight champion Stephen 'Swifty' Smith (17-1) announced a five fight deal with Matchroom today, Phil Kirkbride of the Liverpool Echo broke the news that the City's Commonwealth lightweight champion, 'Dirty' Derry Mathews (34-8-2) has inked a similarly-lengthed contract with Queensberry Promotions.

Smith was due to defend his title against Gary Sykes in an historic triple header with British champion brothers Liam and Paul, but will now box on the undercard of Carl Froch v George Groves on November 23rd in Manchester.

Taking his place on the Echo Arena bill is Mathews, 30, who has enjoyed a long and distinguished ring career, working with promoters Warren, Hayemaker and Hatton before experiencing an Indian summer with Dave Coldwell. Exciting stoppage wins against Hull's Tommy Coyle and Driffield's Curtis Woodhouse saw the popular Liverpudlian's stock continue to rise on Sky.

Mathews posted on Twitter: "People asking why have jumped ship it's about what's best for me and my career am not getting used as a opponent for anyone am a champion."

"Plus it was a offer I couldn't refuse financially and with big fights planned I haven got long left on my career so got to get the most."

Mathews was referring to a mooted match with Dagenham lightweight Kevin Mitchell -  a 'nice little domestic dust-up', as tagged by Mitchell.

According to Sky Sports, Mathews decided to take the 'international' route instead and will therefore attempt to wrest the WBO European lightweight title from Dublin's Stephen Ormond, who won the minor strap at the Hilton in September and defended it at the Royal Lancaster last week.

Features

Simon Barclay speaks to BoxRec News from Klitschko's Champ Camp

Heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko is preparing to face Australian Alex Leapai on 26th April and as usual he has chosen the familiar surroundings of the Austrian Alps. Just hours after winning his professional debut at the Copper Box in London, 24-year old Corby cruiserweight Simon Barclay was on a plane to join up with him in what the Ukrainian calls 'Champ Camp'.

Fight Reports

Brentwood’s ‘Smokin’ Joe Mullender (6-1) got back on track with a close points win over Peckham’s Diego Burton (4-4-1) over ten rounds at the York Hall on Saturday. It was a belter of a fight on a slightly smaller than usual Goodwin bill, partly due to 'Flash' Ashley Sexton not making weight again (more on this later) and 'Big Dog' AJ Carter’s opponent, who reportedly turned up with Evo-Stick holding his mooey in place.