If we can get our heads out the inevitable circus that sees Roy Jones Jr step back in the ring and get the chance he missed in his heyday to fight Iron Mike Tyson then we can concentrate on some serious fights.
But we shall struggle to so do.
This is because we have a serious number of media outlets dancing to the pantomime like tune of two 50 year olds trying to rekindle previous glories in an exhibition that could be very dangerous to both fighters. It is difficult not to scoff BUT these are two men who have been in the business for long enough to know the risks. If we believe that boxing is both a serious and a safe enough business we should just let this pair get it on, make their Millions – and they are reputed on several each for the fight – and move on. If it is competitive spectacle great, if it is a tragedy then people shall condemn and be what Steve Bunce calls after timers when they do the I think I might have told you so’s…
For me, if you condemn BIBA for allowing Nigel Benn a licence to fight, then you should condemn the people behind both of these former world champions for the same reason. All three had their time and the opportunity has come to recognise your body is done with elite fighting and smile about former glories. If you want to relive some of those and how these two have traded in them, Steve Bunce in his BBC column this weekend has some cracking stories to tell.
As for the headlines to come we can start with Queensberry Promotions, tonight on Saturday the 28th of November in Church House, Westminster, London, England with a night of real boxing action which includes super lightweight Jack Catterall back in action against Abderrazak Houya and he should make that an easy win for him whilst the super welterweight fight between Hamzah Sheerez and Guido Nicolas Pitto is for the WBO European title which again the smart money is likely to be on Sheerez. Whilst I have always said that Queensberry, just now, lack the headline undercard depth of Matchroom, it would be a mistake not to admit that the fights they have with the fighters they provide do not give us some good entertainment. We might not have the name recognition but there are names emerging that should be up there with some of the Matchroom undercards. Catterall and Sheerez are certainly crowd pleasers and it should be a very decent night before the big guns come out.
Talking of the big guns, top of the bill and the main event is, of course, the heavyweight action between Daniel Dubois against Joe Joyce. The cliched prediction is Dubois short and Joyce long. Nobody is predicting a chess game, and most are predicting a stoppage. Everyone is hoping for spectacle and with the most to lose, due to his age, Joyce is taking a significant risk. I lean heavily towards Dubois because as Tyson Fury says, everyone they put in front of him he knocks down. Ironically, for Joyce, the man who beat him in the Olympics, Tony Yoka staked his claim to being considered in the second tier of heavyweight contenders last night with a shut out points win against Christian Hammer. This may be the weekend that mirrors the Olympics and sees Yoka advance and Joyce stall.
The week ahead has action too with the return of the Golden Contracts and the two finals that were delayed. On Wednesday the 2nd of December in South Kirkby, we have MTK presenting super featherweight James “Jazza” Dickens up against Ryan Walsh for the WBO European title as well as that Golden Contract. I fancied Dickens before to pull off a shock and I still do.
In the other final we have, at light heavyweight, the WBO European title on the line between Ricards Bolotniks and Serge Michel. Whilst the organisers might have been hoping for an all British affair this has the makings of a really decent fight and also, an intriguing future. This could see MTK explore big markets in Europe and stretch their global significance in quite an enterprising fashion. It is an exciting fight at its heart and I cannot pick a winner so I am not going to!
Added to the bill is super welterweight Daniel Egbunike taking on Harlem Eubank which Eubank shall be expected to win.
At the tail end of the week on Friday the 4th of December in the Wembley Arena Matchroom return with lightweight James Tennyson expected to get rid of Josh O’Reilly and super middleweight Zach Parker expected to do the same with Cesar Nunez, and to add to the spice, they are fighting for the WBO international belt. It is all served as an aperitif for the main event which is the fascinating super middleweight clash between Billy Joe Saunders and Martin Murray for Saunders’ WBO world title. People will expect that Saunders will make light work of an aging Murray but writing Martin Murray off is foolish. This is a hardened warrior who has never ducked a challenge and fought the best. It, for me, is a real test of Saunders and if he wants to follow Callum Smith into then ring against the likes of Canelo he needs to make the kind of statement here that is undeniable. I expect a very tough fight and possibly either a fight of the year contender or a stoppage of the year fight…
Saturday 5th December
Church House, Westminster
Super middleweight Willy Hutchison takes on Lennox Clarke for the British and Commonwealth titles. Light heavyweight Lyndon Arthur faces Anthony Yarde for the Commonwealth belt.
The WBC and IBF titles at welterweight are on the line between Errol Spence Jr and Danny Garcia.
Friday 11th December
Super welterweight Sam Eggington faces Ashley Theophane in his final professional fight.
Heavyweight Kash Ali takes on Danny Whittaker as he continues his rehabilitation and flyweight Tommy Frank is in against Harvey Horn for the IBF European title.