Oh, what a night – plenty of world title action and a massive, and I mean MASSIVE return to the ring this weekend…
Tonight, Saturday the 9th of June in the Staples Centre, Los Angeles we have some huge fights with WBA featherweight action between Abner Mares and Leo Santa Cruz sitting at the top of that tree. Cruz could be on a showdown road with Carl Frampton if he wins and we all hope he does but this is no tick over fight and there are apparently, plenty of people who think this might be more than tricky… I just can’t find many…
There is also, on the same bill, super welterweight action between Jermell Charlo and Austin Trout for the WBC crown and many this side of the pond will be watching with interest. Charlo has the bookie’s vote as Trout tries once again to win a world title.
In the same town but at the MGM Grand, Los Angeles the welterweight action between Terence Crawford and Jeff Horn for the WBO strap will test the resolve and ability of the Australian as he faces someone who, for many, is the pound for pound king. There are plenty others who would wear that crown with pride but the Crawford bandwagon is a very strong and able one, giving Horn, who many think is simply keeping a world title warm, little chance against Crawford.
It is at home though, at the Manchester Arena, this very night, that Frank Warren brings an amazing evening of boxing that cannot fail to whet the appetite for true boxing fans. The irony may be that the world title fight is NOT the headline act… Just shows you big that headliner is… and believe me he is big… though not as big as he once was, of course…
Before that though we have super featherweight Zelfa Barrett, in against Edwin Tellez and many – especially former foe, Ronnie “The Shark” Clark, scoffing at the choice of opponent as Barrett is expected to win comfortably.
We have a real dust up on our hands when unbeaten middleweights Troy Williamson and Jack Flatley clash and I am not sure who comes out of this one intact, heavyweight Nathan Gorman is back to face Sean Turner, with everyone expecting another good performance from Gorman.
Middleweight Mark Heffron is up against Andrew Robinson, whilst the WBC international super welterweight strap will be decided between James Metcalf and Jorge Fortea. As always home advantage will hopefully pull the guys through, but both of these are tough fights.
The world title fight?
It is the cracking WBO scrap for the super lightweight belt between unbeaten Terry Flanagan and Maurice Hooker. ookerHookerFlanagan is everyone’s pick for this as he moves in weight to get a second world title at a second weight and to be fair I cannot see him losing – then again we can all get it wrong…
Finally, with 5 stone and a foot advantage we have the much anticipated heavyweight return of the world’s lineal champion, Tyson Fury against Sefer Seferi. This is the fight I expected, I could have done with it against a bigger guy but this is about rounds, being pushed and showing he is back. Will it go the distance? No… Do I expect a Fury win, yes. Will it show us anything? Only that Tyson Fury can still box. Is it important, yes. What happens if Fury loses? … THAT would be the headline of the year… Will he…?
Meanwhile we also have in Millenhall bantamweight title action for the English strap between Thomas Essomba and Kyle Williams in amongst 7 fights whilst there are in Stoke on Trent also another 7 fights as well as in Liverpool BIBA bringing in another 10 fights for your live viewing pleasure!
During the week it gets tasty because on Friday the 15th of June in Kuala Lumpur welterweight title action between Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Mathysse for the WBA title will tell us if the fighting Senator is still wanting to scrap. I am a big Pacquiao fan, but this is a story that needs an end at some point…
On the same night at York Hall Hayemaker brings super middleweight Savannah Marshall – still without an opponent – the female Commonwealth battle between Sam SJ Smith and Anisha Basheel for the lightweight belt and heavyweight Joe Joyce is down to defend his Commonwealth title against Richard Lartey. Smith looks the most likely as indeed does Joyce.
A few have questioned the Joe Joyce fight – not least Mr Billy Nelson – and to be fair to the Juggernaut, he has hardly ducked people to date and perhaps an easier fight is due to him but it’s for a belt and he is looking to move on. The interim fights will have been a nightmare to get right as people will be avoiding him so let’s see what he does with a lesser name. It is also a test of the Hayemaker brand on Friday as this is all without the Sky/ Matchroom backing that came with Bellew/Haye.
Finally, this week, also on Friday in Middleton we have 6 fights which include the scrap for the Central area super welterweight belt between Evaldas Korsakas and Denton Vassell.
Saturday 16th June
Frisco – IBF welterweight action between Errol Spence Jr and Carlos Ocampo, as well as the super bantamweight title fight between Daniel Roman and Moises Flores
Newcastle – light heavyweight Hosea Burton, super lightweight Glenn Foot, lightweight Ricky Burns, the English cruiserweight title fight between Arfan Iqbal and Simon Vallily, WBA continental super flyweight battle between Charlie Edwards and Anthony Nelson, WBC international fight between Gavin McDonnell and Stuart Hall, the Commonwealth and WBA international title fight between Josh Kelly and Kris George and the lightweight British title fight between Lewis Ritson and Paul Hyland JR all from Eddie Hearn and Matchroom…
Doncaster – 9 fights
Paisley – MTK bring super welterweight Craig Kelly against Lewis Van Poetsch, super lightweight Calvin McCord v Kristian Light, super lightweight Dean Sutherland faces Victor Edagha, super welterweight John Thain against Chris Jenkinson, bantamweight Ukashir Farooq is back in the ring to take on Elvis Guillen, bantamweight Iain Butcher faces Jose Aguilar, flyweight Ross Murray is up for Georgi Georgiev, lightweight Thomas Dickson has to get past Jamie Quinn, super featherweight Monty Ogilvie faces Joe Ducker, the Scottish cruiserweight title is between Jay MacFarlane and Ratu Latianara, the WBC silver female title will be decided between Hannah Rankin and Sakka Turunen and top of the bill is Craig MacIntyre v Henry James for the Celtic super lightweight title.
Bolton – 9 fights
Bournemouth – 6 fights
Friday 22nd June
Detroit – A feast of female boxing at middleweight as the vacant IBF and WBA titles will be fought over by Claressa Shields and Hanna Gabriels whilst on the same bill, the WBC and WBO titles are up for grabs between Christina Hammer and Tori Nelson
Middleton – a cracking night as the super middleweight title in the Central area is between Darryl Sharp and Harry Mathews and Curtis Gargano with no wins so far fights Callum Ide, with no wins…
Kirby-in-Ashfield – 6 fights