Dave Oakes previews Saturday's British Light-Welterweight title clash between Lenny Daws and Ashley Theophane, plus takes a quick look at Tyson Fury vs Marcelo Luiz Nascimento
The other big fight on the Saturday's Wembley Arena bill sees Lenny Daws make the third defence of his second reign as British light-welterweight champion. He takes on Ashley Theophane, a fighter who has spent a large part of his career learning his trade abroad, fighting and training in both the U.S and Germany.
Theophane’s career didn’t seem to be going anywhere after two early defeats and a lacklustre draw against Daniel Thorpe. He deserves a lot of credit for the way he’s gone about turning his fortunes around, he left his comfort zone and put in hard work abroad, especially at the Wild Card gym where he’s had top class sparring.
He lost against Ali Oubaali on his U.S debut but has only lost once since then, a debatable split decision against the impressive looking Danny Garcia. The two most notable victories on his 28-4-1 (7 KO’s) record came against DeMarcus Corley and Delvin Rodriguez, beating both on points.
Daws, 29-1-2 (9 KO’s), is better known to British fans, he’s been mixing at top domestic level for five years and holds wins over fighters such as Colin Lynes, Nigel Wright, Barry Morrison (avenging the only defeat on his slate) and more recently Jason Cook.
Daws is effective at what he does albeit a touch predictable. He’s always in tremendous shape; he relentlessly moves forward, applying pressure and looks to gradually wear his opponent down.
Theophane is an awkward fighter; he can throw punches from strange angles and usually has a high punch output. Neither are big punchers, although Daws’ shots can have an accumulative effect, and both have solid chins. There’s very little to separate them apart from the experience of participating in championship fights, this will be Daws fifth title fight as opposed to Theophane’s first.
The fight may come down to who wants it the most, and history says that Daws will never be found wanting in that department. I expect a close and hard fought contest but feel Daws superior fitness and determination down the stretch will give him the tightest of points wins.
Tyson Fury rounds off an intriguing night of boxing when he takes on unbeaten Brazilian banger Marcelo Luiz Nascimento over ten rounds.
The Brazilian is an unknown quantity; he’s got eleven knockouts in thirteen fights, eight in the first round, but has been fighting nobodies. The only footage I’ve seen of him is his 30 second blow-out of Gonzalo Basile; he looked to be an upright, slow and ponderous novice.
Fury, also unbeaten in thirteen fight (nine early) needs to start facing better known fighters, there are plenty to choose from in Britain with the likes of Michael Sprott, Sam Sexton, Matt Skelton and Martin Rogan, all matches that could be made.
Obviously Nascimento carries power, and you can never rule anything out in the heavyweight division, but I’d be surprised if he caused an upset. Fury should be able to outbox Nascimento comfortably and extend his unbeaten record to fourteen straight wins.