Dave Oakes previews Saturday's 122lb clash between Jason Booth and Jamie Arthur (undercard preview after the jump).
Having fallen short at world level, Jason Booth returns to the domestic scene on Saturday night when he puts his British super-bantamweight title on the line against Jamie Arthur, whose Commonwealth belt will also be up for grabs.
This will be Booth’s first fight since he lost via a majority decision to IBF champion Steve Molitor last September. Booth started the better and looked to be in control early on; unfortunately for the Nottingham man, he seemed to run out of ideas from the midway stage and was tiring badly down the stretch – not a good sign for a fighter his age.
Saturday will be a good test for him and should show people what he’s got left in the tank. Arthur, whilst not being spectacular, is a solid operator and is brimming with confidence after his victory over Kris Hughes in his last bout.
Arthur has been promising to use his skills more in this fight, something I feel he’s more comfortable doing rather than the face-first approach he sometimes finds himself being drawn into.
He’s got good amateur pedigree having won the Commonwealth Games gold in 2002, becoming the first Welsh boxer since Howard Winstone to do so. He needs to box in a similar way if he’s to stand a chance against the smooth skills of Booth, who’s at his best when his opponents are aggressive and careless defensively.
The outcome of the fight depends on how much Booth has got left in the tank. If he’s still at the same level he was before the Molitor bout, and still has the desire to get back to world level, then he should have too much for Arthur to contend with.
I fancy Booth to win on points, although I wouldn’t be surprised if Arthur’s susceptibility to cuts brings proceedings to a premature end.
The undercard sees undefeated Olympic bronze medallist David Price take part in his first ten rounder. He takes on South African Osborne Machimana, whose claim to fame is a first round win over Corrie Sanders.
Machimana is a reasonable step-up in class for Price but one senses Price could finish the job very quickly if he’s in the mood to do so. I’ll be surprised if the fight goes past the fourth.
Ashley Sexton will be hoping to improve in his bout against former British champion Martin Power. Sexton was well below par in his last outing, an undeserved draw against Shinny Bayaar.
Power is always in entertaining fights but has lost six of his last eight fights and looks to have little punch resistance left. Even though Sexton is a flyweight taking on a career super-bantamweight in Power, I still fancy him to take advantage of Power’s irreversible decline and stop him inside the distance.
Another unbeaten heavyweight prospect, Tom Dallas, takes on Werner Kreiskott. He was originally due to face the wonderfully named Francis Zulu only for the Zambian to pull out at late notice.