Domestically, 2016 finished with 2 bills in Glasgow and 2017 shall begin with 2 bills in Glasgow.
First up, we have the St Andrews Club at the Radisson Blu in Glasgow on Thursday the 19th January. Top of the bill is the “Scott Allen show” as the diminutive firecracker is back to defend his Scottish title at bantamweight against Ukashir Farooq. Allen is on a mission for a world title and this will be a mere stepping stone on his way to the top, of that he is absolutely certain. So am I. I expect a comfortable points win and hope he gets his ring walk back in play for the STV cameras who shall be there to see him.
On the same bill bantamweight Gary Rae is expected to beat Brett Fidoe and super lightweight Martin Harkin faces and should beat James Gorman.
The following evening, in the Crowne Plaza, Glasgow, MGM Scotland are back with 4 contests and we have opponents for 2 of them. Heavyweight Jay MacFarlane will take on Tomas Vaicickas and be expected to triumph, super featherweight Stephen Tiffney shall have the same burden on his shoulders as he faces Norbert Kalucza. To finish off the bill we expect super middleweight David Brophy and welterweight Gary Murray. Both are great additions to the evening and Brophy in particular shall be expected to give us some impressive action.
But! Before all that overnight tonight it is Chunky time!
Probably the best current boxer in the UK, James DeGale goes in against Badou Jack for the IBF/WBC super middleweight unification fight that has lit up the internet. The majority of the pundits are looking for a DeGale win on points and I cannot disagree. DeGale has said, don’t be surprised if I stop this guy and I would be. DeGale has the opportunity of sweeping all before him and I would not be surprised if he were to do that, but he is a class boxer and not necessarily a knockout merchant; he has the skills and the heart to make it all happen. He does need to sort out the concentration for 12 rounds and if he was ever to lose – again – then it would be because he did the switch off thing, of which he is terribly guilty. Once Jack is out the way DeGale needs to come back to the UK, cement his legacy and walk tall on his islands as he is about to do on the world stage.
If the main event is a cracker, then the support act is a bit special too. Jose Pedraza, who recently beat Stephen Smith, defends his IBF super featherweight title against a very dangerous Gervonta Davis. Davis looks like a kid who could make a dent in the division but will, in my opinion become a notch on Pedraza’s belt. Smith will want another crack at a world title and a rematch would be great though the likes of Lomachenko might tempt a very impressive operator in Pedraza – as long as he keeps his belts overnight tonight. I don’t expect any less.
Saturday 21st January – Preston
Super lightweight action between Robbie Davies Jr and Zoltan Szabo for the WBA continental title. Jack Arnfield faces Mick Hall for the WBA international middleweight title. Arif Shafiq at super lightweight is also on the bill.