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Last night at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow, everything kind of went according to plan as heavyweight Gary Cornish was back with a win against Tomas Mrazek on points, super lightweight James Thomson beat Liam Richards and Shaun Dick made a successful professional debut against Kristian Laight. The Scottish lightweight title went to Ryan Collins who beat Andrew Mackay for it and I have a funny feeling that wasn’t quite what was expected to happen…
Tonight, Saturday the 25th June we have a massive bill in the 02 as Eddie Hearn brings the Anthony Joshua juggernaut home again.
Let’s begin with the middleweight contest between Anthony Ogogu and Franc Radnic. Ogogu got back in the ring on the recent Ricky Burns undercard and this should prove to be little more than the next step on his ladder that leads to a title. I expect Ogogu to make light work of this one.
Then we have super flyweight Khalid Yafai who is in against Jozsef Aitai. I reckon this is another Yafai exercise rather than a test and should see him move on and get some very decent exposure on the Sky bill.
Super lightweight Connor Benn has already done the verbal sparring with Chris Eubank Sr and the fight he had with Luke Kelehar in Glasgow showed he could mix it. This evening he faces Lukas Radic and I don’t expect the same fireworks as he got with Kelehar but the same result – a Benn win.
Heavyweight Dillian Whyte is expected to get through Ivica Baurin with some ease as he makes a case for being the Bodysnatcher on the lips of big hitters like Fury and eventually Joshua as he tries to make a case for getting a shot at a World title that he believes he deserves to get. I think he is likely to be a real story in the heavyweight division and tonight will be the beginning of a successful chapter within it.
Then we get to the big events which include British middleweight title fight between Chris Eubank Jr and Tom Doran. Now I rate Eubank Jr and think he is already world class. Doran is a tough fight for him though and he should expect to be challenged and bullied. I still think he will win but this could be a very awkward evening for him. He seriously needs to avoid being too marked at the end of it and I think Doran might take Jr the distance.
The WBC silver super lightweight fight is between John Wayne Hibbert and Andre Scarpa. I just think Hibbert has too much for Scarpa and it ought to be another successful British result for the night!
Then we have what is the main event for the non boxing fans – the IBF heavyweight title fight between Anthony Joshua and Dominic Breazeale. Joshua has a massive following and this will be, I am sure, a win for Joshua in the first 6 rounds. The thing is that the more Joshua fights the more his opponents look to see how to stay in the ring with him, the more awkward they will get and more successful they become. I don’t think Breazeale has it to beat Joshua but I do think he shall, as Dillian Whyte did before him, cause the big guy issues. There is coming a time when Joshua will be in the ring for a full 12 rounds but tonight for me is not the night. The time will come though and it may be soon as Joshua is still poetry in motion but also a fighter learning his trade.
OK so now the fight of the night for real and true boxing fans – the WBA international super middleweight title eliminator between Martin Murray and George Groves. This is the fight of the night as it is a genuine 50-50 fight between two fighters who will put everything on the line to take the next step back in redemption. I have my heart on a Murray win as I think he is the genuine article. Groves was always the cocky wee guy that I wanted Carl Froch to demolish. His excuses over the loss to Badou Jack where he claimed his trainer was to blame was also a little sour but I have head that says Groves shall start well, take a lead and that Murray who starts slowly and builds will be unable to make up the ground. I hope it goes the distance only because 12 rounds between these 2 guys should be great to watch. I do reckon it shall be a win for Groves as I think he will be too much early on but I do hope neither say retirement at the end of it all
In Glasgow we also have a great MGM Scotland bill at Bellahouston where super featherweight Michael Roberts takes on Antonio Horvatic, with Roberts a definite favourite. We also have flyweight Adam McKenzie taking on Craig Derbyshire with McKenzie the guy we all reckon will win, bantamweight Jamie Wilson facing Brett Fidoe with Wilson expected to come through, flyweight Ross Murray will take on Sergey Tasimov and Murray will take that whilst super featherweight Thomas Dickson has to get past Ibrar Riyaz and he should.
It’s a really packed bill as it includes lightweight Steven Beattie against Joe Dicker – they have had 3 pro fights between them – Beattie should get the nod. Then welterweight Michael McGurk faces Sam Wall with a McGurk win most likely and cruiserweight Ratu Lamanara makes his debut against Rolandas Cesna – debutant win is on the cards.
We also have welterweight action between Gary Murray and Nathan Hardy and Murray will surely make that his own contest whilst a middleweight contest sees Marc Kerr back and if he gets an opponent that should be him back with another win. Finally the light heavyweight clash between Tommy Philbin and Chris Nixon ought to be another Philbin win.
In Gateshead there are another 10 fights whilst in Middleton we have a fascinating contest between two journeymen in Darryl Sharp v William Warburton. Both have been in Scotland recently and I have seen both twice – Darryl’s girlfriend’s shouting in my ears from Grangemouth is STILL ringing round my head! I can’t call this but can’t wait to see who wins!
In the USA and in New York, Keith Thurman faces Shawn Porter for the WBA welterweight title. Lots of interest in this contest and I am in the Thurman camp but it is another genuine 50/50 fight which has got people really salivating.
It all goes a little quiet again as the following week we have 7 fights in Essex on Friday the 1st and 8 in Oldham on Saturday the 2nd…