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Lockett facing a Russian revolution.

Byline: Gareth Jones

GARY Lockett will face Russian champion Yuri Tsarenko when he makes his long-awaited Welsh debut at Cardiff International Arena next Saturday.

The 25-year-old Cwmbran puncher, who has claimed 13 of his 16 straight wins inside the distance, will be defending the WBO Inter-Continental lightmiddleweight belt he won in Manchester in February by knocking out previously indestructible Australian Kevin Kelly.

The 12-round bout will be the chief support to WBO super-middle king Joe Calzaghe's showdown with former IBF titleholder Charles Brewer.

Tsarenko, originally from Belarus, has boxed in Britain twice before, losing on points to London-based Ghanaian Ossie Duran and Sheffield switch-hitter Ryan Rhodes. But, like Kelly, he has never been stopped and Lockett will do well to end that record.

Wales' two other Inter-Continental champions, Newbridge youngsters Bradley Pryce and Gavin Rees, also feature on an 11-fight bill, although not in title action.

Featherweight Rees still waits for news of his opponent, but light-welter Pryce faces Dafydd Carlin, born in Brecon but raised in Belfast, over eight rounds. Carlin was outpointed by the outstanding Alex Arthur on the last CIA show a year ago.

Swansea cruiserweight Enzo Maccarinelli tackles one of Britain's most experienced operators in Hull veteran Tony Booth, whose 109 fights have seen him in with several world champions. Once a super-middleweight, Booth is now a fat 15 stone and unlikely to detain us long.

A more competitive match sees improving light-heavyweight Nathan King - five successive wins since losing his debut to Tony Oakey, now WBU champion - go in with Jamaican-born Londoner Radcliffe Green.

Calzaghe's potential next opponent, number-one-ranked Bahamian Freeman Barr, makes his British bow against the unpredictable Ojay Abrahams, although the Watford man must first survive a clash in Liverpool tonight against unbeaten Hungarian Mihaly Kotai.

British welterweight ruler Neil Sinclair meets unbeaten Ukrainian Filipp Bystrikov, while three outstanding English prospects are also booked.

Brummie welter Matthew Macklin, tipped by many as a future world star, faces Bulgarian Ilia Spassov, Southampton feather Henry Castle takes on Midlander Jason Nesbitt, while Wayne Elcock fights IBF light-middle challenger Howard Clarke.

CAPTION(S):

SPAR-TAN SURROUNDINGS Joe Calzaghe prepares for his world title defence at Newbridge Boxing Club with the help of his father and trainer, Enzo.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 13, 2002
Words:370
Previous Article:Weight watcher Joe poised to step up a division.
Next Article:Dazzo is ready to dazzle 'em.


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