Tonight, Saturday the 21st of April, whilst I am sitting watching my 10 year old onstage in Ayr we have what we ha hoped would be avoided – a clash of two massive boxing bills. It’s Queensberry versus Matchroom, BT Sport v Sky Sport and Warren v Hearn. It is difficult for the stay at home crowd to choose between these two heavyweight promoters but if I was to score the action on cards alone then Hearn has the first round. The second round, the fights themselves could be absolutely explosive and credit must be given to both promoters for such a massive night of boxing in both Belfast and Liverpool.
Firstly, in Belfast Queensberry Promotions brings us middleweight action between Conrad Cummings and Luke Keeler for the WBO European belt. This is a cracker and should make for an exciting entrée for the night.
We also have the bantamweight barnstormer between Zolani Tete and Omar Andres Narvaez for the WBO title. Tete is highly impressive and has left a little message out there for Ryan Burnett. If Burnett is a serious player at world level – he needs to be the man who beats THIS man… Tete always pleases the eye and brings an A game…
But top of the bill, Carl Frampton is in an intriguing contest with the second most famous Filipino fighter in Nonito Donaire for the interim WBO featherweight belt. This is redemption for Frampton and a massive fight for him. Donaire may be getting to the twilight years but he is a live and very dangerous opponent. Frampton could make a huge statement tonight and we all expect it. Anything less would be giving too much debate over to the doubters.
Meanwhile, in Liverpool Matchroom have packed the arena with some great fights and to be fair to the Belfast bill, many of the fighters in Liverpool are known because of the intense promotion and dominance in broadcasting of Sky. The undercard in Belfast may be just as juicy as Liverpool’s but name recognition is higher in the Matchroom stable.
They have their own bantamweight sensation, Qais Ashfaq in against Ricky Starkey which should be the next step on the ladder for Ashfaq.
Cruiserweight action is between Craig Glover and Edinburgh’s own Ratu Latianara; this is a fascinating contest and if Glover thinks all he has to do is turn up he is in for a massive shock.
Connor Benn returns at welterweight against Chris Truman and should continue the boxing story of one son making his own progress in the business about himself rather than his famous dad whilst super welterweight Anthony Fowler continues his own journey against Ryan Toms and should be showcasing himself once again at home. The excitement of super welterweight Sam Eggington is back and in against Achilles Szabo and should make light work there whilst super featherweight Natasha Jonas faces Taoussy L’Hadji – does that lassie ever stop smiling? Big night again for Jonas as she seeks to impress as much as win and we can expect smiles at the end, I am sure.
Then not one but two massive headlines. The Commonwealth lightweight title fight between Sean “Masher” Dodd and Tommy Coyle is a brilliant contest waiting for a bell. I cannot split them, don’t want to split them and cannot wait for them to sort it out themselves.
Finally, the return of King Khan as Amir Khan is back at welterweight against Phil LeGreco. This is huge. Khan needs to demonstrate he has what it takes to win world titles and I reckon if he does not take out Greco early it could be a long night for him.
For both Frampton and Khan tonight is similar and similarly huge. It has to be devastating performances for both or the world will shrug and move on, Kell Brook, who will be at ringside in Liverpool will not be bothered, Leo Santa Cruz will continue to dodge a third fight and those contests may fade but this is the opportunity to be back, really back and dictate terms for all fights.
I think both Frampton and Khan will show they have what it takes but the world awaits and there is no doubt it is hungry for both guys to show their mettle.
Also, tonight it is a busy place the UK, as we have, in Sheffield, 5 fights, in Walsall, 6 fights and in Weston-Super-Mare no fewer than 7 fights.
In Epsom Downs our friends at BIBA bring 2 fights whilst in my own home town of Ayr and just along from where I shall be sitting watching my daughter perform, BIBA bring welterweight Sammy Hill against Prince Ofutso for the PBC international belt, middleweight George McIlroy in against Godwin Cudjoe for the PBC international title, super lightweight Nathan Beattie in against Dinars Skripkins, super flyweight Dillon Zammit faces Dmitrijs Paramonjka whilst heavyweight Lee Kellet is up against Mathew Ellis and lightweight Leon Roberts is in against Marty Keyes.
Saturday 28th April
Brentwood – 16 fights including the BUI Celtic clash at upper lightweight between Sean Creagh and Kirkintilloch’s Ally Black
York Hall – 24 fights
South Shields – 9 fights
Derby – BIBA bring super middleweight action for the PBC international belt between Nathan Decaster and Philip Kotey
Colchester – BIBA again with upper welterweight title action between Tommy Jacobs and Matar Sambou for the WBF European, International and British Masters Bronze belts.
Friday 4th May
Walsall – middleweight Tommy Langford against Jason Welborn for the British title and heavyweight Dave Allen, now out the Commonwealth title picture is back at a small hall fight.
Derby – lightweight English title action between Myron Mills and Marcus Ffrench in amongst 5 fights