There seems to be a little theme running through April as we welcome yet another son of a former world champion onto the stage, though his progress is somewhat more advanced than Campbell Hatton it could be compared to Tim Tszyu who is the Australian son of an Australian boxing star. We have, tonight, the man who has his father in Australia but his heart in a square ring as he takes yet another giant leap for his career – the Destroyer, Connor Benn.
But before we get to that, on Saturday the 10th of April, that would be tonight, over in Connecticut, there is the small matter of the IBF super flyweight action between Jerwin Ancajas and Jonathan Javier Rodriguez. Ancajas has been idle for a very long time but his challenger from Mexico has not managed to fight outside his homeland, so the thinking may be, get a lot of the ring rust off in a fairly safe defence of his title… As if anything could go wrong with that…On the same bill, former world champion Sergey Lipinets faces Jaron Ennis in what is seen as a very stiff test of Ennis’s credentials.
On the same evening in Tulsa, we get to see the WBO light heavyweight title fight between Joe Smith Jr and Maxim Vlasov. It is a fight that was postponed from February as Vlasov contracted COVID, so we are desperate to see how that has affected him.
But the main event for us all is thanks to Matchroom/Sky who shall be in The Copper Box Arena, with the return of bantamweight Ukashir Farooq, who is taking on Alexander Espinoza. This looks, on paper, a tough fight that shall push Farooq as the Nicaraguan has an impressive record but if he wants that rematch with Lee MacGregor…
We also still have the WBO middleweight title fight, but it is now between Savannah Marshall and Maria Lindberg, after Femke Hermans was forced to withdraw as one of her team tested positive for COVID. This has happened for Marshall before when her trainer, Peter Fury tested positive, so Marshall has been very sanguine about it. Lindberg, however, no matter how late in the day she was called in, is a tough fighter. Marshall showed she was the best in the world in her last outing so hopefully, this does not faze the champion.
We then have the WBA bantamweight title between Shannon Courtney and Ebanie Bridges which has lit up the evening for all the wrong reasons. If women’s boxing is to progress from the catcalls and emerge with credibility, then the approach suggested by Courtney of focussing on how the fighters fight and not how they look is the right one. There is little doubt that Bridges has brought attention on the fight through her raunchy approach and personality, but it is the taste left in the mouth afterwards that is important. This is a tough one to predict but I think Courtney wins.
Finally, the main event is the welterweight contest for the WBA continental title between Connor Benn and Samuel Vargas. Benn has grown in stature and in belief over the last few fights and carefully, with some risk, he has taken harder fights. A better calibre of opponent has found his power too hot to handle. The time has come to make a massive statement and yesterday at the weigh in it was clear to see that Benn, with his response in Spanish to taunts from Vargas, has no fear for tonight. This could be highly explosive and if Benn does it, the next step is something very, very potent indeed. Benn on points or late stoppage looks like a likely outcome…
Saturday 17th April
Middleweight battle for the WBO strap between Demetrius Andrade and Liam Williams.
San Jose, Costa Rica
The WBA light heavyweight and the WBC heavyweight title are on the line between Hanna Gabriels and Martha Patricia Lara Grayton!
IBO super featherweight action between Michael Magnesi and Khanyile Bulana
Super bantamweight Joe Ham is back against Jack Bateson and the WBO European title is on the ;ine between Danny Dignum and Andrey Sirotkin.