The Malta Boxing Commission announced today that Marianne Marston and Clayton Vella are the first to be issued professional boxer licenses by the Republic of Malta professional boxing sanctioning organization.
On announcing the first boxers licensed by the Malta Boxing Commission President Alexander Zammit said, “It is with pleasure that I am able to announce that the Malta Boxing Commission has today issued it’s first professional boxing licenses.
This is a historic day for boxing in Malta, one that heralds a new era that will enable Maltese professional boxers to box under their own flag, instead of having to travel overseas to pursue a career as a professional boxer.
The two boxers, Marianne Marston and Clayton Vella are talented boxers and we wish them all the success in their chosen career.”
Female boxer Marianne Marston, who received license #1, was discovered by legendary Heavyweight Champion of the World Smokin’ Joe Frazier, who after an accidental meeting invited her to try out at his gym.
Joe was so impressed with Marianne’s natural talent that he instantly signed her to his team. On making the announcement Joe went on record stating that Marianne was an exceptional natural talent and will be World Champion.
In January 2008 Marianne relocated to Philadelphia, at Joe’s request, to prepare for her professional debut, that was until his landmark North Philadelphia gym closed just a few months later.
Marianne then moved to The James Shuler Memorial Gym in West Philadelphia, where she was invited to join Cruiserweight Champion of the World Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham’s team by the Champ’s wife and manager Livvy.
Late in 2008, after watching Marianne spar Christina Leadbeater, Philadelphia promoter Ivan Cohen approached Livvy for Marianne to debut on his first show of 2009.
Marianne returned to Europe to in January 2009 to apply for the required visa, but unfortunately was refused as she had yet to fight professionally in her home country.
Marianne went to London to train at a well known gym near London Bridge, however due to the lack of pro-boxing coaches or professional boxers at the gym she soon switched to Johnny Eames’ TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town.
Marianne instantly felt at home and began training alongside such stars as Kevin Mitchell, Matthew Marsh, Tony Oakey, Billy Joe Saunders, Ian Napa, Michael Grant, Erick Ochieng and many, many more rising stars based at the famous fight factory.
Within a month of the move Marianne signed management papers with Johnny, and shortly after British promoter Steve Goodwin approached Johnny for Marianne to fight Lana Cooper. Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond their control the fight didn’t go ahead.
Marianne, who is coached by Barry Smith at the TRAD TKO, refused to give up on her dream and applied to the Malta Boxing Commission for her professional license.
On receiving her license Marianne said,”I feel so honored to be the first boxer to be licensed by the Malta Boxing Commission. That is something else.
This means so much to me, I can’t thank them enough for their support and more so their unequivocal support of Women’s Boxing.
As well as the Malta Boxing Commission I would like to thank Joe and Marvis Frazier, Steve and Livvy Cunningham, Percy ‘Buster’ Custus, Shar’ron Baker, Terry Edwards MBE, my manager Johnny Eames, coach Barry Smith and all the coaches and fighters at The James Shuler Memorial Gym in Philadelphia and the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in London for their encouragement and support over the past few years.
I owe them everything, they believed in me and my potential as a professional boxer. I intend to repay their faith in me by becoming the best boxer I possibly can.”
Also receiving his professional boxers license was Clayton Vella, who had previously fought in Malta on the unsanctioned circuit.
Clayton, who is coached by Edwin Micallef at Dixons Gym, stopped Kyle Azzopardi when the pair fought at the Orpheum Theater in Gzira in July this year.
Both Marianne and Clayton, as well as British licensed Maltese boxers Daniel Micallef and Frankie Borg, will be taking part in the inaugural professional boxing event, at the Oracle Conference Centre, St Paul’s Bay, on the 14th October.