Today at 4pm EDT on Sky Sports from the UK, the always-fun Prizefighter tournament is back for another round of three-round fights, with eight men vying to shoot into domestic contention and get a nice payday, to boot. This time, it's the super middleweights in action.
Here are the first round matchups, and this would be what the bracket looks like:
Patrick J. Maxwell (16-3-1, 11 KO) v. Rocky Fielding (3-0, 0 KO)
Joe Ainscough (7-2-1, 1 KO) v. Wayne Reed (5-1, 2 KO)
Carl Dilks (14-3, 5 KO) v. Jahmaine Smyle (3-1, 3 KO)
Robin Reid (40-6-1, 27 KO) v. Tobias Webb (4-0-1, 0 KO)
The tournament has several storylines. Dilks is the odds-on favorite at 5/2, but is coming off of a blowout, first round TKO loss to James DeGale in September, and there's always a question of how that will affect a fighter. His opponent, Jahmaine Smyle, says he aims to knock people out. And his mom makes his trunks fancy.
Robin Reid retired after a 2007 loss to Carl Froch, but returned to the sport on February 26. It wasn't easy sailing -- the 40-year-old Reid won a four round decision on a 39-38 score over Jamie Ambler (9-46-2, 3 KO). Reid, in his day, was far more skilled than anyone in this field, but it's not his day anymore. His opponent Tobias Webb is the nephew of Enzo Maccarinelli.
Joe Ainscough made his own return to the sport just 11 days ago, two years after his last fight and a stabbing that had doctors telling him he'd never fight again. He's also a short notice replacement in the field, taking the spot of veteran Adrian Dodson, who hadn't fought since 2003 and couldn't get into good enough shape for the tournament. His opponent is Wayne Reed, who has a win over Smyle already.
Fielding is a 23-year-old local boy from Liverpool, where the event is being held, and was option number three for his spot. Tony Quigley pulled out with weight issues and was replaced by Kenny Anderson, who buzzed the hell out of George Groves in November, a bit less than two months after Fielding turned pro. Anderson also had weight problems and had to relinquish his spot, giving the youngster a big opportunity just six months into his career.
And then there's Patrick J. Maxwell, who...doesn't really have a story here, he's just in the tournament and looking to win. The 32-year-old was born in the Bronx, actually, but resides in Sheffield and has been based in the UK for his entire 13-year career, with just three fights elsewhere -- one in Spain, two in the States. His first fight in a year came just 18 days ago.
Wild card: Kelvin Young (6-1, 0 KO) is the first alternate should a winning fighter have to pull out of the tournament due to a cut or other injury.
We'll be here with live coverage and conversation for those in the UK who will be watching, or those in the US who will be watching through various means. You really never know what's going to happen with Prizefighter, which makes it one of the most unique experiences in televised boxing. Honestly, if you'd told me when they first started the concept that it would catch on as well as it has, I'd have dismissed the idea without a second though. But it works.