In Boxing News: Jeff Fenech Claims Innocence

It was referenced here yesterday that former Australian great Jeff Fenech was to appear in court on shoplifting charges. Fenech pleaded not guilty to shoplifting charges during a court appearance today. Fenech and another man, 58-year-old Francis Grech, were charged Thursday with stealing three watches worth $290 US from a jewelry store. Outside the court, Fenech said, I didn’t steal anything and I’m innocent. I didn’t know he (Grech) stole anything. Fenech’s lawyer added that in-store video will absolve his client from any wrongdoing.

In UK boxing news Danny Williams is in a confident mood ahead of his February 25 showdown with Matt Skelton: All he’s got going for him is his size and strength and he will try to do to me what he does in every fight by leaning, brawling and elbowing. I won’t let him do that because he will be chewing on my jabs. More than anything, it is Danny Williams’ sometimes fragile psyche that could be the determining factor in this bout. When the two were scheduled to meet earlier in the year Williams pulled out at the last minute – citing flu – and when Danny Williams defeated Audley Harrison earlier this month there were more than a few reports that Williams was there for the taking on the night due to his suspect conditioning, weighing in for the supposed grudge match at his heaviest weight ever.

In more UK news, the Edinburgh Evening News reports that Scotland’s Alex Arthur – European, British and Commonwealth super-featherweight champion – has had many reasons to celebrate 2005 and looks forward to big things in 2006. The only thing that may exceed Alex Arthur‘s boxing ability is his ability to generate flawless press like this. The Evening News reports that his new wife, Debbie, who also seems to get an inordinate amount of press mentions, is honing her craft as well: I won’t be in Las Vegas for decorative purposes or simply to look after our two sons although that is very important – but I know better than any outsider how to look after Alex’s dietary needs, how to ensure his training bag is properly equipped and just so. Now that’s dedication. Danny Williams could probably learn a thing or two from her.

Dan Rafael closes out the year by selecting Joel Julio as the top prospect of the year and Ricky Hatton as his fighter of the year. Well-deserved by Hatton for his victories over Kostya Tszyu and Carlos Maussa. Jermain Taylor, Winky Wright and personal favorite Jorge Arce, among others, get honorable mentions.

That’s it for today, but as always there are plenty more Boxing News Links at