Tonight, Saturday the 8th April and on Box Nation and BT Sport, the Manchester Arena plays host to a massive evening of world level boxing. Frank Warren has brought us a fair few scraps in an evening where not one but two world championships are to be decided.
The super welterweight fight between Jimmy “Kilrain” Kelly and Rick Godding is one that is likely to keep us all entertained as Kelly is promising a great scrap. I think Kelly has enough to take the win but Godding and he should provide a great spectacle.
The WBO intercontinental scrap between Jack Caterall and Martin Gethin at super lightweight is another highly decent encounter which could end up either way to be fair. I fancy it going to Gethin but it’s another decent fight on another decent bill.
Bantamweight Paul Butler has been added to the bill but without an opponent. Zolani Tete was due to be fighting but he has a more important matter now on his hands in May so his name has been withdrawn. At this stage, it can only be a keep busy occasion and a fairly easy win for Butler that is planned.
As Katie Taylor has already shown, women’s boxing is mature enough to drop the gender. Tonight, our own latest boxing sensation sees the professional debut of Nicola Adams. She is in against Virginia Noemi Carcamo and the expectations are high that Adams shall win and win well. Taylor has raised the bar; Adams now needs to at least hit it.
The controversy of the day was Liam Smith’s failure to make the weight for his clash against Liam Williams for the interim WBO light-middleweight crown. This is the belt that Smith lost to Canelo so it was an opportunity to right his loss. Smith meekly lost the opportunity on the scales as he did not make the weight. He was then given 1 hour to sort it. With the amount of publicity recently around boiling down and losing fluids for weight he decided not to make the effort as it could have damaged him more than advantaged him. When he discovered that the rules said he had not 1 but 2 hours he was a bit cross to say the least. With 2 hours, he would have made the effort but now he has no belt to scrap for but his pride needs to be restored. If Smith wins, he wins, if Williams wins he is the interim champion. I reckon Smith by points, a hefty fine and a lesson well learnt – next up the fight again for the title.
Finally, the genuine world title fight is between Terry Flanagan and Petr Petrov for the WBO lightweight title. This is Flanagan’s fifth defence of his title and he has already been talking of the bigger fights to come. The obviously worry is that he is taking this defence too lightly but Petrov shall remind him early on not to underestimate him. I still think Flanagan wins but it shall not be an easy night for the home town boy.
Over in the US we have, in the National Harbour MGM, Maryland, USA Vasyl Lomachenko v Jason Sosa for the WBO super-featherweight title. Lomachenko by stoppage for me as I can think of no one on this planet who has the ability at this weight to do much about Lomachenko.
There is also the clash Oleksandr Usyk and Michael Hunter for the WBO cruiserweight crown. With Mairis Briedis having won last weekend this could be the decider for his next opponent now that Tony Bellew is playing at a heavier scale. I like Usyk and think he takes this possibly early on.
Also, tonight in Swindon we have welterweight Ryan Martin v Michael McKinson for the WBC Youth title. I know neither fighters so who knows! We also have in Dudley no fewer than 6 fights, in Bournemouth there are 7 fights and in York Hall the featherweight Commonwealth title fight between Ben Jones and Jason Cunningham. On paper this looks a cracker and the grande old dame of British boxing might just have the best fight of the night on its cards. I have no idea who is likely to triumph but in an evening of a great number of 50/50 fights this is a great addition.
Tomorrow night, Sunday the 9th April in Osaka, Japan we have Nehomar Cermeno against Shun Kubo for the WBA super-bantamweight belt. This would have once been of interest to Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg but now no more. Like the Jones/Cunningham fight, I have no idea! I think I shall therefore be lazy and go for the home fighter.
Saturday 15th April
Glasgow – welterweight Ally Black; super lightweight Ryan Smith v Josh Thorne; super featherweight Lewis Paulin v Luke Fash; cruiserweight Lawrence Okolie; welterweight debutant Josh Kelly v Jay Byrne; super bantamweight Joe Ham v Scott McCormack for the vacant Celtic belt; lightweight Charlie Flynn v Ryan Collins for the vacant Celtic belt; Charlie Edwards v Iain Butcher for the vacant British title; lightweight Scott Cardle defends his British belt against Robbie Barrett; and super lightweight Ricky Burns goes toe to toe in a unification fight against Julius Indongo with the IBF, IBO and WBA belts on the line.
Swindon – 8 fights including Wayne Graham v Curtis Gargano at super middleweight.
Tolworth – 9 fights; Stoke on Trent – 7 fights; Blackpool – 6 fights.
Thursday 20th April
Glasgow – light heavyweight Grant Quigley; super welterweight Sam Ball; and bantamweight Ukashir Farooq.
Friday 21st April
Southampton – super welterweight Ismail Iliev v Paul Kamanga for the IBF Youth title; super welterweight Yemar Yesmenov v Michael McGurk for the WBC Youth title; welterweight Alexandr Zhuravskiyv for the WBO Oriental title; and Vyacheslav Mirzaev for the EBC international silver title.
Manchester – lightweight Joe Murray returns and in Northampton there are 7 fights.