Of all the bills that are coming our way in the next few months this is one tonight at the 02, London, Saturday the 24th of March which is a genuinely fascinating one. Eddie Hearn and Matchroom have put together quite a brilliant night of entertainment that finishes with a clash that a few years ago would have been avoided. During the rest of the night there are a few other fights that also in times gone past would have never seen the light of day.
There are also a few fights that may finish early or are simply keeping the fighters ticking over. We begin those with heavyweight Derrick Chisora taking on Zakaria Azzouzi who has a 14-2-2 record but is unlikely to give Chisora any trouble whatsoever. Super welterweight Anthony Fowler faces Kalilou Dembele who is unbeaten but again Fowler aint there to get beaten up. We also have super middleweight Craig “Spider” Richards in against Ivan Stupalo and late addition super middleweight Jamie Cox back in the ring after his World Boxing Super Series exploits to take on Harry Mathews. Neither Richards nor Cox will be expected to struggle.
Then come the real struggles to pick.
In just less than a month from his last British title fight where he blasted Joe Murray inside the first round, a fully fit, fresh and raring to go lightweight Lewis Ritson defends his British title against former holder of the belt, Scott Cardle. Like a throwback fighter from the 70’s Ritson is keeping busy, not with 6 round journeyman fights but real tests of his character and a championship fight. Cardle is a tough guy and if Ritson is all we say he is, he will win this and retain his belt. It would then be another defence to keep the Lonsdale on the mantelpiece and I have to say that I am taking him to win this, but it will be the tough test he has been looking for. After this another fight in 2018 and then world honours for 2019?
Now on the cusp of making history tonight, light heavyweight Frank Buglioni defends his British title against Callum Johnson, who is putting his own Commonwealth belt on the line too, and is bidding to become the very first fighter in the history of that illustrious belt to win it and then defend it three times against four unbeaten fighters. That bit of history may make him more determined, but he could not have picked a tougher fight than the postponed defence against Commonwealth Champion Johnson. I like a bit of history me, but this is a genuine 50/50 that could go either way, and many are struggling to pick a winner.
Finally, the heavyweight action between Dillian Whyte who defends the WBC Silver belt, and Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne finishes the night in what promises to be explosive fashion. Whyte winning simply keeps him on the pathway to the WBC showdown if Deontay Wilder can be convinced he aint a peasant. If Browne wins then he is right back in the mix and could get a shot at the Joshua/Parker winner. I believe that this might be the controversial talking point of the night. I do not think Whyte wins easily and I am unsure if Browne has the skills to stay away long enough from Whyte to knock him out; but it’s heavyweights. I do not think it goes the distance but who wins?
The 3 massive 50/50s could go either way and this makes tonight’s bill a real contest based piece of entertainment. These are not fighters ducking things and for Ritson, Buglioni and Whyte they have picked real dangerous Saturday nights – this is what boxing should be all the time…
Also, tonight in Birmingham we have welterweight action as Craig Morris faces Andy Keates for the IBO Continental belt and middleweights Andrew Robinson and Nicky Jenman are in the ring for their IBO continental belt. Probably a cheaper night out than the one in the 02 and as I am not very familiar with any of the 4 fighters I aint able to call anything but good to see Birmingham competing with the big boys!
And they do not just stop at one show in the Midlands as also in Birmingham, at Villa Park there are a further 7 fights available to nip along and see.
Later in the week on Thursday the 29th of March in Doncaster we also have a further 6 fights.
Saturday 31st March
Cardiff – Matchroom are back with THE bill of the first 3 months of 2018, as light heavyweight Joshua Buatsi is back, lightweight Anthony Crolla takes on Edson Ramirez, lightweight Joe Cordina takes on Andy Townsend for the WBA international belt, welterweight Josh Kelly faces Carlos Modina for the WBA international belt, bantamweight Ryan Burnett is in against Yonfrez Parejo for the WBA world title, heavyweight Alexander Povetkin and David Price face off for the WBA intercontinental title and with the IBO, IBF, WBA Super and WBO heavyweight championships of the world at stake, Anthony Joshua takes on Joseph Parker.
Liverpool – super lightweight Michal Syrowatka and Robbie Davies Jr contest the WBA continental title
Preston – 14 fights
Nottingham – 5 fights
Friday 6th April
Hull – 11 fights