It has been a funny old year and much has been predicted and much of that has been shockingly wrong. It has made previewing anything decidedly difficult but surely there is one fight tonight that simply cannot go wrong?
Tonight, Saturday the 27th of February inMiami, Florida, we have the WBC flyweight title fight between Julio Cesar Martinez and McWilliams Acroyo which is likely to go Martinez’s way? Smart money, if there is such a thing anymore, suggests that Martinez should win on points.
It is the chief support for the return of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez as he takes on Avni Yilidrim for the WBC and WBA super middleweight belts. I saw this week this fight described as an administrative fight, rather than a competitive one as it is a mandatory fight before Alvarez targets the two belts at super middleweight that he does not have. He is a class above anyone and Yilidrim, inactive for two years is in a surprisingly elevated position. Nothing surely can go wrong for Alvarez? Surely? Can it?
Elsewhere in the world in Kazakhstan and fresh from his fight with The Mountain, cruiserweight Steven Ward is in against Kamshybek Kunkabayev for the WBO Asia Pacific title with the expectation that Ward, though a serious fighter is unlikely to be over gaining much more than the pay cheque.
In Auckland, New Zealand, former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker takes on Junior Fa for the WBO Oriental title and the expectation the winner takes on the winner of Aleksandr Usyk and Joe Joyce who will, fight for the interim WBO title in the shadow of the huge unification battle expected between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury.
Over here, at the Copper Box, London we have Frank Warren as Queensberry Promotions bringing us light heavyweight Tommy Fury, taking on Scott Williams in a fight where Fury, looking impressive at the weigh in, has an opportunity to hone his skills and get his 5th win. We also have the WBO and IBF European title fight at super flyweight between Quaise Khademi and Ijaz Ahmed with a win touted for Khademi.
Topping the bill is the British super featherweight title fight between Anthony Cacace and Leon Woodstock. With Carl Frampton’s title fight off, this British battle becomes the fight of the night and Cacace is eying world honours after whilst Woodstock knows how massive an opportunity this is. It makes for intrigue, battle and another genuine 50/50? I think so and given what has been happening in 2021, there is little point in predicting things… so I won’t!
Later on, on the Friday, the 5th of March we have a couple of overseas fights that have caught the eye with Clarissa Shields taking on Marie Eve Dicaire with the big four – the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO – super welterweight belts on the line – can she come through or are the shocks happening in the men’s game also likely to happen in the women’s game too?
In Nantes, Heavyweight Olympian, Tony Yoka returns as he takes on Joel Tambwe Djeko for the vacant EBU belt. Yoka is a fringe contender, much talked about and an opportunity to see if the hype is right or the skills are set and ready for world title honours will be in the ring.
Saturday 6th March
It is Matchroom’s turn next week as super featherweight Campbell Hatton makes his professional debut, heavyweight Fabio Wardley steps it up against Eric Molina, welterweight Chris Kongo takes on Michael McKinson for the WBO Global belt and top of the bill is the return of super welterweight Ted Cheeseman in against James Metcalf for the British title.
Friday 12th March
British lightweight title action between Maxi Hughes and Paul Hyland Jr, the EBU bantamweight title fight between Karim Guerfi and our own Lee MacGregor and the WBO European welterweight title fight between Lewis Crocker and Deniz Ilbay.