The last two nights have seen the action begin to flow in Scotland and it is with heavy heart I start with Thursday night which was live on STV. The St Andrews Club at the Radisson Blu in Glasgow saw bantamweight Gary Rae beat Brett Fidoe, but not without Fidoe taking at least 1 round off him and showing what a great wee fighter he is. We then saw lightweight Martin Harkin beat James Gorman and show at least a glimpse of what might be expected in fights to come. Gorman is a difficult guy to beat and at the end the marks on Gorman’s face tell us that he was as delighted to hear that fourth bell as anyone. Dumbarton’s Harkin looks like he should be worth the watching in the next few months as this was only his second professional fight.
It breaks my heart but the shock of the night was the defeat on points of Scott Title Taker Allan. This was supposed to be the first defence of his Scottish title at bantamweight against Ukashir Farooq but something went wrong as it became a battle for a British Masters title. Scott got his ring walk back in play but he was unable to beat a guy who was only in his 3rd professional fight. Farooq fought out of his skin and deserved the win but Allan has already given notice that he will learn from this and not fall down – he’s getting back up again…
Last night, in the Crowne Plaza, Glasgow, MGM Scotland returned and got their act together with 4 decent fights. Heavyweight Jay MacFarlane made a pretty bold statement with a first round stoppage of debutant Tomas Vaicickas whilst super featherweight Stephen Tiffney went 6-0 as he KO’ed Norbert Kalucza with a massive body shot. Welterweight Gary Murray then got his 11th win with a 60-54 points win against Casey Blair. To finish off the bill super middleweight David Brophy managed a points win against journeyman Kiril Psonko.
But what of this weekend?
Well tonight, Saturday the 21st January in Preston, there is super lightweight action between Robbie Davies Jr and Zoltan Szabo for the WBA continental title. Davies has been pretty vocal about how he shall win this and I cannot see why he would not manage to do it. Having said that we have started 2017 off in a pretty weird way. We have seen DeGale slip to a draw, a previously unbeatable Pedraza get demolished and then Scott Allan lost on Thursday. I would still tip Davies for it though.
Jack Arnfield faces Mick Hall for the WBA international middleweight title on the same bill and it is likely that Arnfield for me shall take the title. Arif Shafiq at super lightweight is also on the card and takes on Andrea Maier, who is in his 6th professional contest, having won his first 5. It is a curious contest but one I think might cause Shafiq some issues – at least on paper.
January the 28th at the iconic MGM Grand, Las Vegas, USA Carl Frampton’s rematch with Leo Santa Cruz for the WBA featherweight belt with Lee Selby taking on Jonathan Barros for the IBF version of the featherweight strap whilst former Ricky Burns conqueror, Dejan Zlaticanin faces Mikey Garcia for the WBC lightweight strap.
In Fantasy Springs Casino, California, USA on the same night, meanwhile, Francisco Vargas will face Miguel Berchelt for the WBC super-featherweight title.