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Boxing continues to bring a massive amount of action this weekend as one of my all time favourite boxers, Tony Bellew is in the ring to make his first defence of that wonderfully green strap – the WBC cruiserweight world champion’s belt. He faces BJ Flores in what could end up being a massive banana skin in a packed Matchroom bill at the Echo Arena. Flores has let his mouth run off and at the weight in I was struck at just how haunted he looked. Bellew could end up with egg on his face or the belt going back around his waist and for me I reckon it shall be the latter. At the weigh in and the final press conference I think Flores suddenly realised what he had taken on and I expect a Bellew late stoppage.
On the undercard – and it is packed – we have Luke Campbell v Derry Mathews and this is an all-time stoater! Campbell claims it is a cross roads fight for both fighters and I could not agree more. Tommy Coyle says Campbell might well lose and I also, couldn’t agree more. This is a punter’s fight. This will probably go the distance and if Campbell gets to the 12th I think he will take it. Mathews though, as Coyle well knows, packs a very decent punch and if he hits Campbell it could be canvass time for him. As it is for the WBC international silver belt it is also a gateway to world glory for either fighter.
The British bantamweight title shall be settled between Ryan Burnett and Ryan Farrag and Burnett, being the undefeated fighter goes in as the favourite. This is another fight I reckon shall be a cracker and I expect Burnett to shade it. The lightweight fight between the highly marketable and mercurial Sean “Masher” Dodds and Francesco Patera is intriguing, and not just because like the Campbell/ Mathews fight it is for a WBC international belt. Dodds needs a win to push on after not being able to beat Scott Cardle so he goes in with plenty to lose. A fighter who was mistakenly believed to be limited, Dodds can box and I reckon this will push him to another level though he will take the win. Undefeated Tom Farrell faces Farid Hakimi for the WBA version of their international strap at super lightweight and without knowing much about either I shall plump for the home guy to take it! Lazy I know…
We also have the undefeated pairing of cruiserweights in Mairis Briedis and Simon Vallily. Briedis has 20 wins, Vallily 9 so it ought to go to Briedis? It is easier to predict that Rocky Fielding at super middleweight gets past journeyman Istvan Zeller and middleweight Scott Fitzgerald beats another journeyman Adam Jones!
In Frederikshavn, Denmark, tonight it also EBU European action as Dennis Ceylan takes on Britain’s Ryan Walsh for the vacant featherweight belt. I think Walsh shall find it tough but should pull through as I think his experience shall tell.
Domestically tonight we also have heavyweights AJ Carter and Dominic Akinlade in action in York Hall. Both should secure wins – Akinlade faces Adam Machaj who only has 1 loss on his record whilst Carter faces an easier task on paper with Ferenc Zsalek. There are also 7 contests in Bristol.
At the tail end of the week, Cyclone Promotions hit Meadowbank Stadium with the Commonwealth super lightweight contest between highly fancied Josh Taylor and Dave Ryan. Taylor is much favoured and brilliantly promoted by Barry McGuigan and though this is only his 7th professional contest is expected to take the belt; I fully expect that to happen. On the bill is also the Commonwealth heavyweight belt and Gary Cornish is sitting on the home stool waiting for an opponent.
The Celtic super lightweight contest is between two unbeaten fighters in Jason Easton and Jake Hanney. Most of Hanney’s short career has been in Australia though now he fights out of Dublin so local lad Easton has taken on a bit of an unknown. I do think, though, that he shall grasp the opportunity with a bit of Josh Taylor’s crowd behind him and take the belt. Flyweight Andrew Selby completes a massive bill as he takes on unbeaten Nicaraguan flyweight Hermogenes Elizabeth Castillo. Despite Castillo having had more than twice as many professional contests as Selby, this looks like a cracking contest from Cyclone that will be a Selby win. It is also being broadcast live on Channel Five!
The Scottish scene has a clash on that night as Prospect Boxing are in the Alona Hotel in Motherwell. We have the super lightweight clash for the Scottish title between Eddie Doyle and Shaun McShane though few people doubt that Doyle should defend the belt successfully. We also have super lightweight Gary Murray, lightweight Stephen Carroll and super welterweight Mathew Wilton awaiting opponents whilst super welterweight Michael McGurk should see past Casey Blair. Jamie Wilson sets himself up for his super bantamweight Scottish title fight in November with a super flyweight fight with journeyman Stefan Slavchev.
Also on Friday we have 7 contests at Villa Park in Birmingham.
Saturday the 22nd October
In Birmingham we have another Matchroom card with Sam Eggington facing Frankie Gavin for the WBC international welterweight title. There is super bantamweight action between Gamal Yafai and Sean Davies for the Commonwealth title. We have middleweight twinkle toes Anthony Ogogo facing Craig Cunningham for the vacant WBC international title. The English lightweight title shall be fought between Marcus Ffrench and Robbie Barrett whilst the flyweight title shall be settled between Don Broadhurst and Louis Norman. Super welterweight Brian Rose is also on the card.
On the same night in Torquay we have 3 fights, in Bolton, 18 contests with some heavyweight names included… In Manchester there are currently 6 fights.
Sunday the 23rd October
In Whitwick we have 12 fights.
Monday the 24th October
There is a Frank Warren bill at the Hilton in Mayfair with 2 fights on the card at present.