It is the evening of contrasts across the globe as Saturday the 17th of April sparkles with contests that showcase the best in the sport alongside the gimmicks.
In Hollywood, Florida there is the little matter of the middleweight battle for the WBO strap between Demetrius Andrade and Liam Williams. Andrade’s camp is claiming he is one of the most avoided fighters on the planet whilst Williams’ camp claim he is being treated like the biggest underdog. Both have a ring of truth, but Williams has stepped forward and Andrade has a big task on his hands. You can find the majority of pundits split on this, almost exclusively on national lines. Williams will fight and scrap to win, Andrade has the better skillset and may box to the win, but you cannot put your house on an Andrade victory because Liam Williams is one tough guy who will build the shield upon which he shall go out, in the ring, should he lose.
On the same night, in San Jose, Costa Rica we have the WBA light heavyweight title on the line between Hanna Gabriels and Martha Patricia Lara Gaytan! Having had one of the best ever female world title fights in the UK last weekend, this is likely to be one of the shortest as Gaytan should be nowhere near a world title fight – in 20 fights she has 9 losses.
Back in the USA we have a card of curiosity in Atlanta, Georgia. Youtuber and loudmouth Jake Paul takes on Ben Askren in a fight that will end up with a winner. The bill is helped by heavyweight Steve Cunningham taking on debutant Frank Mir and super lightweight Regis Prograis in against Ivan Redkach. With Prograis recognising that this is more about the eyes he can attract to his career than the way it might help him towards a world title fight, this is one fight worthy of mentioning. The other two are circus sideshows; especially when Mr. Paul tries and compare himself with real boxers. Prograis has one loss on his record, in the final of the Muhammad Ali trophy in the World Boxing Super Series against Josh Taylor. He is a very, very serious boxer. This is a great opportunity for him and whilst he may be sharing a tent with some interesting acts, he should show us the serious side of a very serious sport.
In the UK, in Bolton, England, tonight Scotland’s super bantamweight Joe Ham is back against Jack Bateson in what looks like a very decent match with both around the 16/18 fight mark, but Bateson has yet to taste defeat. Will Ham introduce him to it tonight? The WBO European title is also on the line between Danny Dignum and Andrey Sirotkin with Dignum expected to protect his WBO ranking with skill.
Later on, in the week it is mainland Europe interest is piqued as we have, on Friday the 23rd of April, in Lazio, Italy the IBO super featherweight action between Michael Magnesi and Khanyile Bulana. Magnesi is defending his title and whilst he has never fought professionally outside of Italy, though he was a WSB participant – has fought at York Hall, Bulana is fighting outside of South Africa for the first time. This is more interesting for the purist than a stunning eye catching fight to watch.
On the very same night, in Cataluña, Spain, there is the EBU super lightweight fight between Sandor Martin and Kay Prospere whilst the EBU featherweight title is on the line between Andoni Gago and our very own, Gavin McDonnell. Clearly,we care about one more than the other and look forward to seeing if one half of the McDonnell brothers still have what it takes…
Saturday 24th April
The WBO featherweight title fight between Emanuel Navarrete and Christopher Diaz.
Light heavyweight Anthony Yarde is back against unbeaten Emin Atra, light heavyweight Callum Johnson takes on Emil Markic for the WBO Global title and the British and Commonwealth middleweight title fight is between Denzel Bentley and Felix Cash.
Friday 30th April
The Frankham brothers are both in the ring with Levi making his debut at super welterweight against Paul Cummings and Joshua, at the same weight, taking on Wakeem Ali in his third professional fight. Scotland’s own Kieran Smith puts his unbeaten record on the line against the also unbeaten Troy Williamson and super bantamweight Michael Conlan takes on Ionut Baluta. Top of the bill is the IBF opportunity for world honours for Sunny Edwards at flyweight as he takes on current IBF title holder Moruti Mthalane.