Tonight, Saturday the 23rd of November in Las Vegas we have the long awaited big night that sees the WBC heavyweight title on the line in a fight that headlines a packed card.
On that card we have the WBA super featherweight world title fight between Carl Frampton’s What’s App buddy Leo Santa Cruz and Miguel Flores as well as the WBA super bantamweight title fight between Brandon Figueroa and Julio Ceja. These are intriguing undercard fights and I hope that Santa Cruz wins because I want to see the Frampton trilogy but Flores might just nick it whilst Figueroa looks the most likely at super bantamweight.
The big event though is Deontay Wilder in his rematch with Luis Ortiz. The elderly Miami based Cuban will hope that he can rematch better than Bermaine Stiverne did against Wilder and as a result this could be a very tricky fight for the champion. Of course, all of us wanted 2019 to be Fury again, Joshua for the first time and oblivion thereafter for Wilder but boxing does not deliver what the fans want all time … The real intrigue is that this has the potential of knocking any rematch with Fury off the table as Ortiz could be a Ruiz Jr here and beat Wilder. I agree with some that it is the first three rounds that are crucial and if Ortiz gets through them Wilder could struggle. What may be being missed is that Wilder’s fight with Fury showed a great deal of improvement in both fighters and we should be looking to see if that is continuing for Wilder with this defence against Ortiz; we could gauge nothing when he blasted Breazeale out in the first round. It’s a fascinating night ahead for boxing fans with this broadcast live on Sky overnight…
Also, in the USA, in California the Americans have another cracking card of boxing with the WBA featherweight contest between Can Xu and Manny Robles III and the super featherweight WBA title fight with Andrew Cancio against Rene Alvarado headlining. I am rooting for a Xu/Cancio double here…
But the main event tonight for British fans is the homecoming to Liverpool of Matchroom’s almost forgotten world champion, Calum Smith who brings it along with another intriguing undercard.
We have super lightweight Tom Farrell up against Sean Dodd and thiscould be the fight of the night. Masher has had a great career and been on the fringes of greatness without actually managing to step onto the big podiums successfully; but he entertains. Farrell is on his way up and the step up in opponent is spot on for him.
Hometown lad, super welterweight Anthony Fowler faces Harry Scarff, for the WBA international belt and you have to fancy Fowler here. He took a step back after his loss to Fitzgerald but now must show he has the momentum to get back on his own trajectory. This is just one step that should be an opportunity to show he was no flash in the pan who could not get through the gears.
The Commonwealth cruiserweight title is also on the line between Craig Glover and Chris Billam-Smith in another cracking fight which has also got the potential to be an absolute barnstormer. I can’t separate these two and few can – everyone is expecting a very tough and demanding contest with the biggest winners being those who bought their tickets.
We also have another great fight in lightweight James Tennyson facing Craig Evans in a British title eliminator which will probably be a Tennyson win before the main event and the WBA and WBC Diamond super middleweight defence between Callum Smith, the holder and John Ryder, the challenger.
Like the Wilder/Ortiz fight afterwards, this has the potential to backfire on the champion. People talk of Wilder/Fury II at their peril whilst Smith/anyone who is a big name at middleweight or super middleweight at Annfield is the dream. Ryder could be a bit of a nightmare as his lack of height and bulk could prove very tricky for Smith. I do think Smith wins and I do think it will be middle rounds he manages it, but I still think Ryder could prove to be more than a handful for him.
Also, in Glasgow, heavyweight Kaseem Saleem and Eric Donovan are on a 2 fight bill with no opponents named as yet at the Crowne Plaza.
Elsewhere tonight, in Oldham there are 9 fights, in York Hall 12 fights, in Worksop 6 fights, in Barnsley 9 fights and in Hull 6 fights!
In Hull we another of the battle of the journeymen as Edvaldas Korsakas takes on Arvydas Trizno. Between them they have fought 137 times with only 36 wins between them…
Of course, tonight would have seen the return of Nigel Benn in Birmingham with BIBA sanctioning the event but his withdrawal has removed that card. Without it though, we have a cracking weekend of class boxing all over the country!
Later in the week on Friday the 29th of November in Glasgow welterweight Martin Harkin returns alongside the Scottish middleweight title fight between Trigger Wood and Paul Allison and this is a tough one to call – so I won’t…
Also, on Friday in Sheffield, the IBO featherweight contests involving Felix Williams and Josh Wale for their international title is alongside the IBO intercontinental title fight between Tommy Frank and Martin Tecuapetia. Rooting for Frank and Wale here…
Intriguingly it is also the return of heavyweight Kash Ali who takes on Artur Kubiak in a fight that ought to begin his rehabilitation.
On the same night we also have, in Bournemouth, 6 fights and in the ever busy York Hall the British and Commonwealth title fight at super lightweight between Phillip Bowes and Akeem Ennis-Brown as the only named fight! It’s a great contest so hopefully a card gets built around it soon enough. We have the more experienced fighter in Bowes facing a young and up and coming pup in Ennis-Brown – what’s not to like…
Las Vegas – Catchweight contest between Carl Frampton and Tyler Mcreary, super featherweight Oscar Valdez takes on Andreas Gutierrez.
Monte Carlo – Matchroom take their annual dinner dance back to the principality with dance partners, Alexander Besputin and Radzhab Butaev in a WBA tango, welterweight Cecilia Braekhaus in against Viktoria Bustos for a unified WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO tangled web of a waltz, heavyweight Hughie Fury hopes for no banana skins on the dance floor when he takes on Pavel Sour, super featherweight Joe Cordina will hope for a better Ceilidh with Enrico Tinoco for the WBA continental belt whilst heavyweight sensation from China, Zhilei Zhang makes his Matchroom debutant’s ball.
York Hall – 16 fights
Stoke-On-Trent – 7 fights
Swindon – 11 fights
Pontypool – 7 fights
Birmingham – 2 events, one with the return of super welterweight Sam Eggington and the other a big card with super welterweight Hamzah Sheeraz fighting for the WBO European title, super lightweight Sam Maxwell in against Connor Parker for the WBO European belt, British title fights at super middleweight between Lerrone Richards and Lennox Clarke, at welterweight between Chris Jenkins and Liam Taylor and at super featherweight involving Sam Bowen and Anthony Cacace. Top of the bill is the WBO super bantamweight fight between Zolani Tete and John Riel Casimero.
Friday 6th December
Mayfair, London – 4 fights