With over 80,000 expected at Wembley this evening Saturday the 22nd of September, we have an immense heavyweight battle that people are now, nervously, beginning to worry about. The top of the bill is clearly a worry, not just because people keep talking about bigger fights, but also because people are forgetting that the top heavyweights are at the top for good reason.
Before we get to Anthony Joshua’s next defence of all those trinkets we get some very decent undercard action with the much anticipated return of heavyweight David Price up against the unknown Sergey Kuzmin. We do know that Kuzmin is unbeaten and part of the Povetkin team whilst Price is on another comeback trail. According to Derrick Chisora, Kuzmin can bang and bang hard – this might just be another banana skin for the big Liverpudlian or it could be him back for another massive run at a title. With Manuel Charr testing positive for a doping violation, this could be a door through which Price could canter, if he can put away Kuzmin.
We also have the British cruiserweight title being settled between Matty Askin and Lawrence Okolie as the cliched young pup comes up against the seasoned campaigner. This is a fascinating contest with many narratives attached and I think Okolie may have come up against someone he may struggle to beat… alternatively…
The other massive storyline for the night is the lightweight rematch between Luke Campbell and Yvan Mendy. For the first time tonight, Campbell will have Shane McGuigan in his corner and many eyes are on whether this is a match made in heaven or further descent into the other place. I take Campbell to win but think it shall be less than easy. Mendy has improved and has beaten Campbell before. The intriguing part of this would be if Campbell suffered another loss…
A first loss may be unimaginable for the non boxing purist for Anthony Joshua but nobody in the boxing world should think this is straightforward for Anthony Joshua as he puts it all on the line against Alexander Povetkin. The IBO/WBA/WBA/WBO heavyweight clash between champion Joshua and the challenger, Povetkin may go the distance, may see Joshua hit the canvass, may end up going to Joshua in a brutal knockout or may end up with his first loss. The casual fan backs Joshua, the boxing diehard is nervous… The result should be with us after 10pm…
Tonight in Walsall has 7 fights too if you want to support the grassroots of the sport and what makes Wembley rock months later whilst in Neath BIBA brings us another 2 fights!
Later on in the week, on Thursday the 27th of September in Glasgow the St Andrew’s Club has the British bantamweight title fight between Ukashir Farooq and Jamie Wilson and many think Wilson can count himself lucky to get the chance against a highly impressive Farooq. It’s an easy call for me as I think Farooq has real potential, but you never know what might happen in a ring. Supporting we have super lightweight Dean Sutherland and the debut of Boris Crighton.
The following night, Friday the 28th of September, in Rotherham there are 7 fights whilst in Manchester super welterweight “Jimmy” Kilrain Kelly returns in amongst 3 fights but all eyes will go East… Why?
Because in Saudi Arabia it is time to get rowdy in Saudi with the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight final between WBA champion, George Groves and the challenger and much fancied Callum Smith. I fancied either Jamie Cox or Smith to take this and like the Joshua fight the closer I get to the final fight I get increasingly less confident in my faith that Smith will do it. Cox, I got very wrong, though he was a much fancied prospect but Smith has massive ability…Groves is a real survivor though… The venue aside this is a fantastic fight and I will stick with Smith, with a side order of Groves making this a tremendous contest…
Saturday 29th September
Badem-Wurtemburg – Heavyweight showdown between Erkan Terper and Robert Helenius for the IBF intercontinental belt
Liverpool – 8 fights
York Hall – 14 fights
Bracknell – heavyweight Nick Webb starts to rebuild
Walthamstow, London – super welterweight Harley Benn
Stoke-on Trent – 7 fights
Friday 5th October
Barnsley – lightweight Robbie Barrett v Matty Fagan for the IBF European belt
Belfast – welterweight Jay Byrne v Paddy Gallagher for the Celtic title and the super bantamweight showdown between the 11 fight unbeaten Tyrone McCullagh and the 11 fight unbeaten Josh Kennedy
Norwich – 2 fights