Tonight, is yet another where we split ourselves between the UK and across the pond. Last weekend it was Bolton and New York but this time round we have Yorkshire and Canada holding our interests as on Saturday the 19th of May we are in Toronto for the light heavyweight WBC action between Adonis Stevenson and Badou Jack. It shall be live on Sky in the middle of the night, but I expect there to be some light in the sky with some serious fireworks between these two. The inactivity displayed by Stevenson cannot be covered up by his calling out Tony Bellew and I think that may be telling in the end. Badou Jack has improved since his fight against George Groves which Groves lost rather than Jack won and he showed his mettle in that draw with James DeGale which seems to have knocked something out of DeGale. I reckon he is sending 40 year old Stevenson into retirement overnight.
Before that, the night belongs to Frank Warren and Box Nation as we have a massive bill at Elland Road, Leeds where the return of super lightweight Ohara Davies sees him face a new opponent in Melvin Wassing. I have a feeling that Davies is out for a statement night… not a date night… He needs one.
His formerly announced opponent, Christopher Sebire, now faces super lightweight Jack Caterall for the WBO intercontinental belt. Changes in opponents can be very tricky as we saw in New York last weekend so Caterall needs to be wary. Sebire is a tough guy though Caterall should have enough.
We also have welterweight Darren Tetley facing Mason Cartwright for the WBO European title and smart money is on Tetley whilst super flyweight Nicola Adams is in her native Yorkshire to take on Soledad Del Valle Frias. Frank Warren has a great prospect on his hands and should have another evening where Adams takes steps towards world glory. She should showcase her skills in the way that Savannah Marshall did last week to prove we are building depth in women’s boxing.
Top of the bill is, of course, the IBF featherweight title fight between the Welsh Mayweather Lee Selby and the Yorkshire Young Turk, Josh Warrington. This has cracker written all over it but once it has been pulled, it must deliver. Warrington is a building fighter with a home crowd that is crackers. Selby has power and skill and for me is the best in his weight division but this is a genuinely tough defence for him. He ought to be looking to unify after this but for now Warrington is like a stone in his shoe. Upon which foot that title should be rested is a tough one but Selby is expected to reign again and I cannot argue with that but Warrington is just so dangerous.
Domestically we also have in York Hall, 16 fights, in Villa Park 7 fights and in Watford 10 fights including our unsung hero of the month, Luke Fash in against Lewis Adams at lightweight.
Tomorrow night, Sunday the 20th of May in Bedford the weekend ends with 7 fights.
The week ahead is massive too and instead of looking west we shall be looking east because on Friday the 25th of May in Tokyo the bantamweight world title fight for the WBA belt between Jamie McDonnell and Naoye Inoue takes place. McDonnell has a massive opportunity and a huge task. Inoue has looked at a whole different level and the risk taken by McDonnell cannot be under estimated. He has been training in Dubai with coach Dave Coldwell, and if anyone can manage an upset he can; ask Tony Bellew! I just think this could be a step too far but massive respect to McDonnell for travelling and taking Inoue on.
On the same night in Glasgow MTK Global bring a brilliant night of boxing as super middleweight Trigger Woods makes his debut, cruiserweight Jay McFarlane is in against Rutu Latianara for the Scottish title and we have another Scottish title fight between Paul Kean and Stefan Sanderson for the super welterweight belt. McFarlane is the fancied fighter, but I have liked Latianara when I have seen him, and Kean is fancied for the super welterweight belt. Both are intriguing and decent match ups so who knows!
On the same night in Norwich there are a further 4 fights
Saturday 26th May
York Hall – 14 fights
Darlington – super bantamweight Thomas Patrick Ward is back in amongst 5 scheduled contests
Ipswich – super featherweight Liam Walsh returns in a 6 fight bill