There is something in the air this week as we enter one of the biggest weekends from Friday through to Sunday morning of the boxing calendar- here in Scotland and all the way over to Los Angeles, it’s a really exciting week ahead.
The strength of the British boxing scene though is massively impressive and we have some cracking entertainment on the way and by the end of the week, there is plenty in Scotland to cheer about – and we aint talking Nation’s League…
Tonight, Saturday the 24th of November in Monte Carlo, we have some televised action in the sterile environment that does your head in watching and must be hard for boxers who are there.
Let’s begin with the WBA international title fight between Michael Hunter and Alexander Ustinov at heavyweight. Hunter was the guy who beat Martin Bakole and has taken this scrap at short notice. Ustinov, for that fact alone becomes favourite but it will be interesting to see if he manages to deal with what Bakole struggled with.
We also have the WBA cruiserweight title fight between Denis Lebedev and Mike Wilson, and of course with the recent events in the cruiserweight division it will be interesting to see who is going to step up not the void that should be left by Oleksandr Usyk. I think Lebedev could have a big say in the division from outside the World Boxing Super Series – we shall see tonight if I am right.
The IBF intercontinental light heavyweight clash between Frank Buglioni and Fanlong Meng, is part of Buglioni’s rehabilitation as he seeks to get back into world title contention, given the loss he suffered at the hands of Callum Johnson who then went on to box for a world title. Buglioni sounds in great shape for tonight so Meng, a bit of an unknown, may have a great payday and a flight home happy with the cash but without the belt.
Top of the bill is the super flyweight showdown between reigning champion, Kal Yafai in against contender Israel Gonzalez for the WBA title. Yafai had to strip to make weight but should not have too much trouble in getting past this dogged Mexican.
On home turf and up in Aberdeen SM Promotions bring super bantamweight Kristen Fraser up against Ellen Simwaka for the Commonwealth title. A married LGBT boxer, Fraser is fancied and I reckon she will be THE FIRST EVER to win a Commonwealth title.
We also have bantamweight Billy Stuart up against late replacement Dmytro Kostenko, Boris Crighton facing Michal Ciach, the debut of Andrew Smart who faces Simas Volosinas and lightweight Elaine Greenan in against Vaida Masiokaite. Home wins all round for me.
We also have, in Glasgow the first ever BIBA bill in the city that brings 2 fights into Glasgow, in York Hall welterweight Harley Benn is part of a 15 fight bill and takes on Petar Alexandrov. We also have in Dunton, 6 fights, in London, 12 fights, in Newark 3 fights and in Doncaster no fewer than 5.
Across the pond in New Jersey the light heavyweight title action for the WBA belt is between Dmitry Bivol and Jean Pascal with the smart money on Bivol.
Th week unfolds thereafter with, on Thursday the 29th of November and in the Radisson Bu, Glasgow a St Andrew’s Club evening which sees featherweight Craig Morgan, super featherweight Nathanial Collins and Andrew Tham in their ring.
The following evening, Friday the 30th of November, at the Emirates in Glasgow – MTK bring super lightweight Callen McAuley, super bantamweight Jack Turner in against Jose Aquilar, bantamweight Reece McFadden faces Elvis Guillan, and super middleweight David Brophy – who is currently without an announced opponent – returns to action. All should record home wins.
We also have super bantamweight Joe Ham in against Rafael Castillo, super welterweight Michael McGurk also waiting on news of who is in the opposite corner, whilst the WBC international silver title fight will be between Kieran Smith and Evaldas Korsakas and not Peter McDonagh as advertised! Once again home wins all round and Smith in particular will be fully worth the watch.
We also, after many trials and tribulations, have the return of Lewis Benson against Tyrone Mckenna and the British title fight between Ukashir Farooq and Iain Butcher. These are a bit harder to predict as Butcher is good and McKenna no mug. I still fancy both Benson and Farooq though…
Also, in Glasgow at the Crowne Plaza, Glasgow, Sam Kynoch brings lightweight Calvin McCord, middleweight Aston Brown, super welterweight Dean Sutherland who takes on Vinny Atkins, super welterweight Paul Kean, cruiserweight Jay McFarlane and the Celtic title fight at super welterweight between Marc Kerr and Jay Byrne. I fancy Kerr for the title and home wins in the rest of the programme.
On the same evening we also have in York Hall 15 fights including the Commonwealth title fight at middleweight between Elliot Matthews and Rasheed Aboladi. Mathews will be expected to get the win.
The evening sparkles elsewhere as we have in Liverpool 10 fights that include Sean Dodds and in Queensland, Australia, there is middleweight action for the WBO Oriental and WBA Oceania titles between former world champion Jeff Horn and Anthony Mundine. It may be last to be mentioned but this is the most fascinating – was Horn just lucky or truly talented when he beat Pacquiao??? Let’s see…
Saturday 1st December
Los Angeles – For the WBC heavyweight title we have Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury, supported by the IBF/WBA/IBO title fight at super welterweight between Jarrett Hurd and Jason Welborn, heavyweight battles between Chris Arreola and Maurenzo Smith and Luis Ortiz and Travis Kaufmann and Joe Joyce facing Joe Hanks whilst light heavyweight Anthony Yarde is there and super middleweight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr faces Alfredo Angulo
York Hall – 17 fights
Birmingham – 6 fights
Hull – 4 fights
Stoke – 4 fights
Wigan – 6 fights
Sunday 2nd December
Leeds – the return of super bantamweight Jack Bateson
Friday 7th December
Belfast – light heavyweight Steve Collins Jr and the WBO European title fight between Conrad Cummings and Brian Rose at middleweight