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Boxing: Gilmour aims to strike deal pitting his charge against Klitschkos

GARY CORNISH, the 6ft 7in Scottish heavyweight, could be rewarded for his weekend victory over Bulgarian Yavor Marinchev in his home city of Inverness with the opportunity to come face-to-face with the sport's undisputed heavyweight champions.

Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko lie in wait for the 25-year-old in the new year, according to Cornish's manager, Tommy Gilmour.

The Glasgow promoter is hoping to engineer a plan to gain Cornish invaluable experience, at the same time as enhancing his chances of becoming the first Scot to be crowned British heavyweight champion.

The Klitschkos hold five of the world championship belts between them, including the WBC, WBA and WBO titles, and Gilmour is keen for Cornish to learn from them first hand in sparring, in the belief that it will ultimately lead to a British title shot.

He said: "Gary needs to be tested by fellow big men who are capable of tearing his head off and letting him taste what it feels like to go in against the very best. It could be the making of him.

"We already have had an offer of sparring from both Klitschkos and it's my intention to ensure that Gary gets top-quality European sparring in the first half of next year.

"I may even take him to America to further his education, because Gary has had only 20 fights in total, including nine as an amateur.That's nothing in heavyweight terms. Guys like the British and Commonwealth champion David Price had 80 amateur bouts before turning pro."

While Gilmour believes his team have done a "reasonable job with him so far" he believes the Invernesian is still some way off being in contention for a British title bout.

"It is important that he is exposed at a much higher level first as he is still a baby in heavyweight terms," the promoter added.

"But the world is opening up for Gary and he would be an ideal man to act as Price's spy in the camp if he spars with the Klitschkos.

"I am close to Price's manager, Frank Maloney, and I'm sure that he would jump at the chance to send Gary on a reconnaissance mission ahead of a world title bout involving Price. Frank would love to have inside information on the Klitschkos and Gary would be in an ideal position to supply him with a detailed dossier.

"Maybe in exchange for such valuable information we could persuade Price to give up his British and Commonwealth titles so Gary could fight for them. Gary is a reasonably confident fellow and I think he is steadily acquiring more belief. I would hope he would have at least six fights next year."

GARY CORNISH, the 6ft 7in Scottish heavyweight, could be rewarded for his weekend victory over Bulgarian Yavor Marinchev in his home city of Inverness with the opportunity to come face-to-face with the sport's undisputed heavyweight champions.

Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko lie in wait for the 25-year-old in the new year, according to Cornish's manager, Tommy Gilmour.

The Glasgow promoter is hoping to engineer a plan to gain Cornish invaluable experience, at the same time as enhancing his chances of becoming the first Scot to be crowned British heavyweight champion.

The Klitschkos hold five of the world championship belts between them, including the WBC, WBA and WBO titles, and Gilmour is keen for Cornish to learn from them first hand in sparring, in the belief that it will ultimately lead to a British title shot.

He said: "Gary needs to be tested by fellow big men who are capable of tearing his head off and letting him taste what it feels like to go in against the very best. It could be the making of him.

"We already have had an offer of sparring from both Klitschkos and it's my intention to ensure that Gary gets top-quality European sparring in the first half of next year.

"I may even take him to America to further his education, because Gary has had only 20 fights in total, including nine as an amateur.That's nothing in heavyweight terms. Guys like the British and Commonwealth champion David Price had 80 amateur bouts before turning pro."

While Gilmour believes his team have done a "reasonable job with him so far" he believes the Invernesian is still some way off being in contention for a British title bout.

"It is important that he is exposed at a much higher level first as he is still a baby in heavyweight terms," the promoter added.

"But the world is opening up for Gary and he would be an ideal man to act as Price's spy in the camp if he spars with the Klitschkos.

"I am close to Price's manager, Frank Maloney, and I'm sure that he would jump at the chance to send Gary on a reconnaissance mission ahead of a world title bout involving Price. Frank would love to have inside information on the Klitschkos and Gary would be in an ideal position to supply him with a detailed dossier.

"Maybe in exchange for such valuable information we could persuade Price to give up his British and Commonwealth titles so Gary could fight for them. Gary is a reasonably confident fellow and I think he is steadily acquiring more belief. I would hope he would have at least six fights next year."

* Manny Pacquiao admitted Juan Manuel Marquez deserved his victory on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

With Pacquiao leading 47-46 on all three scorecards, he was caught by a shuddering right hand from his Mexican opponent at the end of the sixth round which left him on the canvas for the second time and earned Marquez a knockout win.

Pacquiao issued a statement which read: "I want to congratulate Juan Manuel. It was a good fight and he deserved the victory ."

The win ended years of frustration for 39-year-old Marquez. Their previous encounters have not been short of controversy – two Pacquiao wins and a draw – but there was no doubt about this one.

After two cagey rounds, a big right-hand sent Pacquiao to the floor and it was clear the Filipino was rattled.

A high-octane fourth followed, but in the fifth it was Pacquiao who stepped up a gear, landing a big left jab on Marquez, who touched the canvas with his glove.

With Marquez cut and hurting, Pacquiao scented blood and pressed forward in the sixth. But, in his haste to finish off Marquez, he left himself open and the Mexican produced a thundering counter-punch which left Pacquiao face down on the canvas.

* James DeGale produced one of the best performances of his fledgling professional career on Saturday night to win with a unanimous points decision against veteran Fulgencio Zuniga and claim the World Boxing Council silver super-middleweight title. DeGale has struggled to match the expectations placed on him since winning a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but he was comfortable even before knocking his opponent down in the third round in Hull.

The Colombian struggled to cope with the ferocity of DeGale's approach and the Englishman took the title after all three judges scored the contest 118-109 in his favour. The reigning European super-middleweight landed several punches in the first round and had his opponent down with a well-timed uppercut in the third.

Zuniga remained vulnerable and might have lost earlier had referee Luigi Muratore not mistakenly afforded him time to recover after thinking he had heard the bell to end the round. DeGale, who also dominated in the sixth, is awaiting a world title shot.

In other action, Chris Eubank Jr secured a second-round technical knockout of Olegs Fedotovs to extend his winning record to nine wins in succession.

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