It’s another big Matchroom weekend with all eyes on the Manchester Arena on Saturday the 15th of May as we have not one but three European title fights; none of them headline! The cancelation of the Terri Harper unification bout has opened the way for Joshua Buatsi to take centre stage and have quite an array of European level boxers support him.
Lerrone Richards takes his next step up for the vacant EBU crown against Giovanni de Carolis at super middleweight. De Carolis enters the fray with some decent fights on his record and the likelihood is that this shall go the distance but Richards, a very able southpaw should have enough to take the win but could be seriously challenged in the fight by an experienced operator.
The EBU title is also on the line at cruiserweight between Tommy McCarthy and Alexander Jur. McCarthy has been on the road to get back in the groove and comes to the contest after four decent wins. McCarthy is defending the title and this ought to be a straightforward defence against a guy who is aging and does not possess the best punch resistance.
We also have at super bantamweight Gamal Yafai in against Jason Cunningham in his first defence of his EBU title which he won on the road in Italy. Cunningham is fighting his second Yafai brother and thinking is that he is unlikely to do much more than take another loss to the family, though it might go to points.
Top of the bill is the return of light heavyweight Joshua Buatsi taking on Daniel Blenda Dos Santos Buatsi cuts a determined figure who is promising to get through his opponent to set up bigger and better things. Tonight, is for the WBA international title. Dos Santos’ record is at best modest and he is not likely to prove too much of a taxing evening for the Olympian who has taken his usually calm and understated demeanour and given it a bit of a makeover for this fight.
On the same evening in Carson, USA, we haveat super bantamweight Brandon Figueroa against Luis Nery for the WBC and WBA super titles. Having both won, last time out, on the same evening, on the same bill, you have to wonder if the deal was done in the corridor straight after, but whatever the machinations of the fight. This is a mouth-watering contest as the styles of both suggest a real battle in the centre of the ring. There is also the history of Nery’s last two fights where banned substances and losing his belt on the scales in the rematch adds to the narrative. Nery looks the most likely and next up, some would suggest would be the WBO champion Stephen Fulton, for three of the four belts. Mouth-watering.
Oh, and somewhere the regular WBA heavyweight title is being fought over between Manuel Charr and Chris Lovejoy. It’s a farce and not a distraction. Given the state of Lovejoy at the weigh in if Charr, after four years out the ring, does not knock the unbeaten Lovejoy out, then serious questions shall be raised. Once more. And nobody shall notice. Again.
Later on in the week, on Friday the 21st of May in Sheffield, there are 10 fights in a car park! Signalling the return of boxing at grass roots level with decent fighters getting a run out, nobody could be happier…
Saturday 22nd May
And live on Channel Five we have super lightweight Stephen McKenna, super welterweight Michael Hennessy Jr in against Paul Cummings, light heavyweight Shakan Pitters taking on Jermaine Springer and middleweight Sam Eggington topping the bill in a WBC silver title fight against Carlos Molina.
Super lightweight pride of Scotland Josh Taylor takes on Jose Carlos Ramirez for all four belts – WBA, WBA, WBC and IBF. We also have the WBC silver fight between Jose Zepada and Henry Lundy at the same weight.
Wednesday 26th May
In Australia, somewhere Justis Huni, Australia’s Gold Medal hope for the Tokyo Olympics faces Christian Ndzie Tsoye for the Australian title.
Friday 28th May
Sheffield – back at the car park
Heavyweight Kash Ali is back for the IBF European belt against Tomas Salek.