Tonight, Saturday the 25th of November and in Madison Square Gardens, New York we have the return of the Krusher as light heavyweight former champion, Sergey Kovalev meets Vyacheslav Shabranskyy for the WBO title. This is the first time we have seen Kovalev since his two defeats at the hands of Andre Ward. Kovalev is heavily fancied and given Ward’s retiral he needs to win to become more important in the division in which he was once supreme. I reckon he will manage this fight, but he really needs a statement. It is very important that Kovalev is relevant because he is a massive presence in the light heavyweight division. I think we shall see him back at his best; and he needs to be as this is a very real test.
In Aberdeen we have super bantamweight Billy Stuart now up against Ricky Leach, bantamweight Kristen Fraser faces Claire Ciantar, super middleweight Chris Ryder also has a new opponent in Myles Vale whilst super lightweight Liall MacKenzie will take on veteran William Warburton and super featherweight Darren Traynor has Isaac Nettey to face. You can assume that home fighters shall expect to get the nod but, as always, we hope for very competitive fights and some controversy – t’would be more exciting.
In Portsmouth meanwhile, there is some welterweight action between Michael McKinson and Colin Lynes for the WBC international silver belt and the WBC international super lightweight fight between Paul Kamanga and Christopher Sebire. These are very competitive contests and should be worth the price of admission.
In a very busy domestic evening of boxing we also have, in Doncaster the lightweight fight between Lee Appleyard and Zoltan Szabo and super welterweight contest between Curtis Woodhouse and Lewis Van Poetsch. Appleyard and Woodhouse shall be expected to win.
It continues to be very busy for fight fans as we have in York Hall, 14 fights, in Nottingham, 6 fights and in Bilston 5 fights.
On Monday, Frank Warren has announced some title action in London as super flyweight Sunny Edwards takes on Ross Murray for the WBO European title and super middleweight Lerrone Richards faces Rhys Pagan for their WBO European title. Edwards and Murray are both unbeaten and whilst Richards may think he has the easier task, there is likely to be a lot riding on each contest and it is a neat little two fight bill that whets the appetite well.
Later in the week, on Thursday the 30th of November, in Chigwell super middleweight Harley Benn is back before, on Friday the 1st of December in Middlesbrough welterweight Chris Wood takes on Will Cairns for the International Masters Bronze title in a BIBA sanctioned event. We also have, in York Hall the middleweight fight between Elliott Mathews and Grant Dennis is for the English title. In Belfast, we get Steve Collins Jr back in a ring against Istvan Orsos. In Birmingham we have light heavyweight Liam Conroy taking on Chris Hobbs for the English title which could be another great fight. In Bristol City we end the week with a further 7 fights.
Friday looks a cracking night right across the country. But all the domestic contests that fill our week are part of an amazing series of action that is testimony to the health of boxing in the UK in 2017 and should be an amazing week of boxing for fight fans who take the trouble to support the sport by buying tickets.
Saturday 2nd December
Madison Square Gardens, New York – light middleweight Miguel Cotto v Sadam Ali for the WBO title, super bantamweight Rey Vargas v Oscar Negrete for the WBC belt.
Brentwood – cruiserweight Tony Conquest, featherweight Ashley Sexton and heavyweight David Price
York Hall – 21 fights
Darlington – 6 fights
Wigan – 7 fights
Villa Park – 4 fights
Liverpool – BIBA event with welterweight Dayle Gallagher in for the PBC international Silver belt.