Ballone's manager calls Napa a "joker"


Ballone's manager calls Napa a "joker"

Press Release: London's York Hall draws some of the most ferociously partisan fans to be found anywhere. It is into this cauldron that European bantamweight champion Carmelo "The Belgian Butcher" Ballone will place himself on Friday, October 17, 2008 when he faces local hero and British champion, Ian Napa. But Ballone rides a massive wave of confidence having knocked out six straight victims and Team Ballone has left no stone unturned in it's quest to prepare their man for this most difficult assignment, as the champion has been sparring the best fighters that neighboring France has to offer. Ballone has fought the toughest bouts of his career on foreign soil and his manager Toni Buscemi has no illusions of just what dangers lie await in London. "On October 17, Carmelo will be confronted with his clone," Buscemi told Belgian newspaper Lanouvelle Gazette. "The Englishman Ian Napa is what I describe as a joker; the king of feints and evasion who can conceal his shots until the last moment.

"My only fear of fighting Napa is losing a decision. The venue will be red-hot but I hope the judges will succeed in keeping cool heads but of course, ideally Carmelo finishes the fight without having it go to a points decision."

Ballone, 21-2-1 (10), will be making the second defense of the European title won by stopping previously undefeated Eugen Sorin Tanasie last December and has vowed to follow in the footsteps of fellow Belgian and European bantamweight champion Jean Pierre Cossemyns, who defeated future world featherweight champion Hogan "Kid" Bassey in his first trip to the UK in the autumn of 1952.

Napa, 17-6 (1), has won four straight, including three defenses of the British bantamweight title, since dropping a close contest of previous European kingpin Simone Maludrottu last March and the 30 year old Hackney man is banking on a world title shot should he succeed in ripping the belt from Ballone.

Frank Maloney Promotions presents "Dapa Napa", Ian Napa vs. Carmelo Ballone for the Bantamweight Championship of Europe at York Hall, London, England on Friday, October 17, 2008.

Tickets are available by logging onto or by calling the Box Office at 0871 226 1508.  Sky Sports will televise the action live on SS1 starting at 9:30pm.