The gloves came off during the week and the bums got called as the insults flew between Ohara Davies and Josh Taylor at the press conference for their fight this Saturday the 7th July, live on Channel Five. The undercard is looking stacked and stoked and it would be nice to think that a few of them would get exposure on the terrestrial TV that Cyclone have managed to pull together. It is unlikely, to be fair, as terrestrial TV have more issues to cram through than the satellite broadcasters but you never know – if it does not go beyond the 6th round…
At that show in Braehead we have middleweight Iain Trotter facing Borislav Zankov and Trotter will be favourite. Then there is Kirkintilloch’s welterweight Ally Black who will take on Pal Olah and you have to fancy Black but a few people are not so sure about Black’s preparations. We also have super bantamweight Gary Rae in against Luis Espinosa, whilst middleweight Aston Brown has Konstantin Alexandrov to defeat. Home wins shall be expected.
Welterweight Gary Murray has Gergo Vari in the other corner as there is also lightweight action between Chantelle Cameron and Bojana Libiszewska. Whilst Murray will be expected to win, I fully expect Cameron’s fight to be on TV as it is the next female fighter with a pedigree – world titles at Muay Thai and Kickboxing and a nearly girl for both London and Rio Olympics. Cameron is very much the fancied fighter for this one.
On the same bill the super lightweight IBO intercontinental title action between Jason Easton and Steve Jamoye is far from an easy match for Easton. Jamoye is a big step up for him and whilst I do think he can take that step it is a very tough ask. I think Easton shades it but Jamoye is an experienced guy who will cause him very new problems.
Top of the bill is the super lightweight Commonwealth grudge match between the aforementioned Josh Taylor and Ohara Davies. If Davies wins then he does no more than his camp expect. As Ricky Burns is in his gym and has been mentioned, mercilessly, as a future opponent for Taylor, he will want a Davies win to cut some of that out but Taylor has the world at his feet. If Taylor wins then he will start to lay claim to be the best super lightweight in Scotland and will pursue a Burns fight as a platform for the next stage – world honours. Taylor has a camp who believe he is the real deal and he is heavily backed to beat Davies. The lack of support that Davies has allegedly had from his promotional team is rather strange and perhaps people are reading too much into that as Davies is a very able guy who comes with a fearsome reputation which is clearly backed by evidence in the ring. This is a very close fight and continues the 2017 season of giving the fans what they want. This would have been a fight both would have been keen to avoid in earlier years so well done to both for taking it. Explosive? Yup… Over early? Possibly? A boxing chess match – I hope not. The winner? I can see it being one of two…
On the same night and in the Copper Box, London we have a Frank Warren bill that teases with an exhibition bout between heavyweight Hughie Fury and some Eastern European guy still to be announced. The WBO will not let their heavyweight mandatory challenger take on a live opponent so an exhibition bout is what we are going to get. Fury needs to get rid of his ring rust before the Joseph Parker fight in September and with no competitive action allowed this is the next best thing. I don’t know if we the public are up for the next best thing…
Fortunately, we have some other fights that are certainly great prospects. The heavyweight sensation that is Daniel Dubois faces Julian Fernandez with both of them unbeaten and now facing off for the WBC Youth title. Dubois is making big waves and this is a tough one for him but they would not have him in there if they did not think he could do it.
The super middleweight fight for the English belt between Darryl Williams and Jahmaine Smyle kicked off yesterday and Smyle is my favourite whilst the WBO European light heavyweight fight with Richard Baranyi and Anthony Yarde is an intriguing fight that must see Yarde start to pull away from the rest of the domestic division. This is a real test of whether he is hype or the real thing. I reckon he is very real but plaudits to Warren for getting a tough and competitive contest on the bill for the fans to see.
The British title defence at lightweight between Bradley Skeete and Dale Evans is very bitter sweet. This is the fight that was the rewards for the Mike Towell/Craig Evans fight when Towell tragically lost his life. Evans is in the ring with the support and blessing of the Towell family and many fans have made the journey from Dundee down to support the Welshman. I don’t think sentiment can help him much but I do hope that Skeete shows what he knows is needed if he wins to honour the memory of boxers who dream of achieving what is round his waist.
The WBO intercontinental title fight between Gary Corcoran and Larry Ekundayo tops the bill and in an evening of cracking fights this is a corker. Again, it is far too difficult to split these guys but rest assured a very decent contest should ensue. Corcoran is such a game fighter and with Ekundayo coming in unbeaten you might favour Ekundayo as there is not much between them in experience. I can’t really split it to be fair.
Elsewhere on Saturday we have in York Hall no less than 15 fights before on Sunday the 9th July again at York Hall the weekend continues with a further14 fights
On Monday the 10th of July and in Ekaterinburg, Russia there is the WBA cruiserweight title fight between Denis Lebedev and Mark Flanagan. There will be plenty of interest in the fight with the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight competition hoovering up potential world titlists. I think home advantage should pay a part here but it is the month of the underdog aint it Manny?
Saturday 15th July
Wembley – super featherweight action between Martin Joseph Ward and Anthony Cacace for the British and Commonwealth titles, featherweight fight between Kid Galahad and Jose Cayetano for the IBF intercontinental title, super lightweight Robbie Davies Jr faces Micha; Syrowatka for the WBA continental belt, featherweight Lee Selby defends his IBF world title against Jonathon Victor Barros whilst IBO super middleweight champion Chris Eubank Jr is up against Arthur Abraham
Blackpool – middleweight Jack Arnfield in for the WBA intercontinental crown.
York Hall – 24 fights
Forum, Inglewood, California – super featherweight title action for the WBC title between Miguel Berchect and Takashi Miura and WBA action between Jezreel Corraves and Robinson Castellanos
Kyoto, Japan – bantamweight title fight between Shinsuke Yamanaka and Luis Nery for the WBC title