With Los Angeles and the Fury fight a little more memory than anything else we have to cross the Atlantic tonight for any world level action. But what action it promises to be!
At Madison Square Gardens, New York, tonight, the Saturday of 8th December the WBA/WBO title fight between Vasyl Lomachenko and Jose Pedraza that is being watched by Anthony Crolla, who is the mandatory challenger, shall be yet another lesson in pitching the best against the best. I think Lomachenko is THE best boxer in the world and this promises to sizzle with excitement and show this once again to all the fans watching.
In support we have the super bantamweight action between Isaac Dogboe and Emanuel Navarrete for the WBO belt which pitches the man living in the UK up against another who should be a notch on his belt. I reckon Dogboe takes this, possibly early.
In Carson, Texas we then have incredible unification fights as welterweight Cecilia Braekhaus faces Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes for the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC and WBO belts whilst middleweight Claressa Shields faces Femke Hermans for the IBF, WBA and WBC belts. There are few that think this is anything but a likely Shields/Braekhaus double and I cannot fault their logic.
Domestically we have that level below in Sheffield where Matchroom are back in the UK with a couple of eliminators and a very decent bill.
We have featherweight Kid Galahad, back against Baraya Mairena and super bantamweight Qais Ashfaq in against Jay Carney. There will be heavy expectations that both Galahad and Ashfaq turn up and tune the rest out with a dominant display.
We also have super welterweight Josh Kelly against former world titlist David Avanesyan, for the WBA international belt. This is a real step up for Kelly and if there was ever going to be a litmus test, this is it. I expect Kelly to triumph, but we have seen the likes of Lewis Ritson come unstuck when they come up a level – will we see that here?
Then we have the highly entertaining IBF final eliminator between super featherweights Jono Carroll and Guillamme Frenois. Carroll is nothing if not colourful, adopting a Conor MacGregor pose in the weigh in and in the week of colourful fighters, this ought to be his night – ought to be…
The top of the bill clash is between super welterweight Kell Brook and Michael Zerefa in what is now a WBA eliminator. Much is always made of the Brook/Khan fight and it will be the subject of speculation right afterwards, particularly as Khan may be pursuing a Terence Crawford fight.
I reckon Brook wins, gives up on Khan, chases a title at this weight and laughs at any future problems that Amir Khan has – or they get it on next. I reckon Eddie Hearn is right – now or never guys, now or never… but things always change, don’t they – remember when AJ was the talk of the heavyweight division…
Around the country and in Bolton we have 11 fights whilst in Swindon middleweight Harlem Eubank takes on MJ Hall and in Walsall there are a further 10 contests.
Later in the weekend, on Sunday the 9th of December in Birmingham there are a further 5 fights whilst in Liverpool there are a final 4 fights on show.
Later in the week, on Friday the 14th of December in York Hall there is welterweight action for the IBF European title between Larry Ekundayo and Louis Greene alongside super lightweight IBF European title action between Darragh Foley and Akeen Ennis Brown. Joining them is middleweight Danny Dignum facing Alistair Warren. Clearly the Ekundayo, Foley, Dignum triumphs are expected.
Saturday 15th December
Madison Square Gardens, New York – the super middleweight WBA title fight between Saul Canelo Alvarez and Rocky Fielding tops the bill with lightweight Katie Taylor defending her IBF and WBA titles against Eva Wahlstrom, super featherweight Tevin Farmer against Francisco Fonseca for the IBF belt and middleweight David Lemieux faces Tureano Johnson
Brentwood – Queensberry bring us light heavyweight Willie Hutchinson against Josh Miller, the return of welterweight Bradley Skeete, heavyweight Daniel Dubois faces Razvan Cojanu and super flyweight Sunny Edwards is back against Junior Granados.
York Hall – 16 fights including heavyweight Nick Webb against Kamil Sokolowski
Bournemouth – 6 fights
Sunday 16th December
Manchester – light heavyweight Bob Ajisafe returns.