With little action going on in the ring competitively, we are being inundated with pre fight interviews, getting some press conferences up on the web and rumours of who has won the purse bid for what fight and what is going on in the negotiations with that boxer and so on.
Of course, the biggest boxing news item of 2020 is likely to be the fight, not in the ring, but in the courtroom between Cyclone Promotions and Josh Taylor. Following the high profile fall out between the McGuigans and Carl Frampton this is likely to be seen as lightening that may have struck twice and causing smoke with a very significant fire behind it… Mixed metaphors aside, it seems a bigger and more high profile fight than what is on offer as we start to close January off.
Tonight, Saturday the 25th of January in Kinshasa the man who lost his crown to Tony Bellew, Ilunga Makabu faces Michal Cielak of Poland for the WBC cruiserweight title. There had been some doubt about this fight taking place but now we are all waiting with baited breath to see if Makabu can regain his crown. Makabu is only 32, has lost twice – once to Bellew and in 29 seconds on his debut – whilst Cielak is unbeaten in 19 fights. I have to favour Makabu however Cielak is likely to be a very hungry fighter and having travelled from Poland to Africa to get the belt he may well be in the right shape to bring it home with him. I still think Makabu as the skills but when here are few and far between fights to comment upon, this becomes a really attractive fight to watch…
Also, tonight in New York Stephen Fulton and Arnold Khegai are in the ring for the IBO super bantamweight crown and I reckon Fulton will shade it.
Later in the week on Thursday the 30th of January in Miami the WBO middleweight title action is between Demetrius Andrade and Luke Keeler, the IBF super featherweight title action is happening between Tevin Farmer and Joseph Diaz as well as the WBA and IBF unification fight at super bantamweight between Daniel Roman and Mirodjon Akhmadaliev. Smart money will be being placed on Andrade as the step up for Keeler is immense. An amazing opportunity that he had to grab with both hands but an opportunity nonetheless that is a little too far for him whilst Farmer should be too much for Diaz. Finally, a real battle looks on for Roman but again the opportunity afforded to his Uzbek opponent looks to be a step too far for him.
On the same night at the St Andrew’s Sporting Club, Glasgow unbeatenwelterweights Martin Harkin and James Moorcroft face each other whilst super featherweight Andy Tham is in the ring. Super welterweight Ryan Gall is also there and whilst the 50/50 headliner should be a cracking fight to watch, the other two boxers are without named opponents at the moment.
We end the week on Friday the 31st of January in Glenrothes where flyweight Emma McCulloch takes on Dani Hodges and super featherweight Eftychia Kathopouli takes on Siobhan O’Leary. It’s a great looking mini bill of boxing and I think McCulloch and Kathopouli are the most likely…
Finally, in Aldershot on Friday there are a further 7 fights
Saturday 1st February
Belfast – Ulster Hall – Lightweight Gary Cully faces Joe Fitzpatrick for the Ireland national title whilst super bantamweight David Oliver Joyce is in against Lee Haskins for the WBO European strap.
Belfast – Devenish Complex – 10 fights