Tonight, Saturday the 23rd of March we have some great action on TV and in the ring. I may well be glued to Sky for a couple of the Matchroom fights but there is something going on in Spain that I shall have half an eye out for. In Bilbao the EBU welterweight action is between Kerman Lejarraga and David Avanesyan. Lejarraga has already despatched Bradley Skeete and Frankie Gavin, both in circumstances that put British boxing in a bad light. For Skeete it was the expectation that he would turn up and take the title – I was very guilty of that – and the bizarre ferry trip and lack of a trainer for Gavin. I hope and expect Lejarraga to have a tougher time tonight against a former interim world champion, but this could catapult him out of Europe and into very exalted company – he deserves it.
Also in Pennsylvania we have the light heavyweight WBC title fight between the man who was the last in the ring with light heavy king, Adonis Stevenson, before he ended up in a coma, Oleksandr Gvozdyk who takes on Doudou Ngumbu in his first defence. In what should be a perfunctory defence the question everyone is asking is can Gvozdyk put what happened to Stevenson behind him and keep his career on track? We are about to find out…
At home in Liverpool that Matchroom bill looks very, very tasty. We have the super bantamweight returning with a fight he should win against Fadhili Majiha, cruiserweight Craig Glover facing Vaclav Pejsar, again expected to win and the heavyweight clash between David Price and Kash Ali. It all got very tasty at the press conference and the weigh in. Ali is unbeaten but fought nobody of the pedigree of Price. Price sounds like a different animal and this looks like it could be over in seconds. If nothing else happens tonight, the next phase of Price’s career keeps us coming back for more and we shall see where it is likely to be headed tonight. I have the popcorn in the micro…
There is also Commonwealth title action at super lightweight between Phillip Bowes and Tom Farrell.Not sure how this one will go but it should be competitive.
We also have the return of the biggest smile in UK boxing as lightweight Natasha Jonas makes a return to take on Feriche Mashauri. Jonas lost he last fight, she was due to work towards a Katie Taylor rematch and it all went pear shaped. Tonight, is redemption and the pathway towards that Taylor fight has been opened by Taylor herself so Jonas knows what is at stake here…
We then have the second grudge match of the evening which is between super welterweights Anthony Fowler and fellow former Team GB pal Scott Fitzgerald. They have been at it on social media and this looks both feisty and real. Fowler will enter the ring as favourite but betting against Fitzgerald might be daft – until the first and second bells. We shall truly see which one is going up and which one might be regrouping after this – hard and tough one to call.
The British and European title fight between Joe Hughes and Robbie Davies Jr is another tough one to call. Hughes has the back story and ability – it would be another dream come true for him as he failed to get hold of the British belt before, but Davies Jr is a cracking fighter. I love a good story so will back Hughes but…
Finally, the top of the bill is the super welterweight clash between friends, colleagues and former sparring partners, Liam Smith and Sam Eggington. Smith has moved from Frank Warren for this, Eggington needs a decent performance here. I think it is a win, win fight for the pair of them. I think Smith will edge it, Eggington will look good, Smith will move on and up and Eggington will get a European shot afterward at the very least.
Elsewhere in Stoke -on-Trent we have9 fights, in Rotherham there are 5 fights, whilst in Blackburn there are 10 fights and in Southampton a further 4 fights.
Later in the week on Friday the 5th of April, ESPN bring WBO European title action in Dubai… At featherweight David Oliver Joyce takes on Stephen Tiffney, the Scot. We shall be in Tiffney’s corner for this one though it is very tough – not as tough as trying to work out why a European title fight is in Dubai… Did the World Boxing Super Series make such big numbers?
Saturday 6th April
York Hall – 19 fights
Paisley – Kynoch boxing is back with a full bill including lightweight Gary Ducie, light heavyweight Piotr Gora and heavyweight Kaseem Saleem – all in their debuts, bantamweight Gary Rae, lightweight Ahmed Ibrahim, heavyweight Jay McFarlane and super featherweight Monty Ogilvie
Derby – BIBA bring EBL European and WBL European title action between Paul Peers and Grigorijs Dunecs in amongst 4 fights
Friday 12th April
Bellshill – middleweight Paul Allison, flyweight Neil McCubbin and the light weight contest between Regiu Clackin and Michael Mooney and the lightweight clash between David Jamieson and Rob parry
Los Angeles – The big ask – Anthony Crolla takes on Vasiliy Lomachenko for the WBA super and WBO lightweight titles.