Today at 3:30 pm EDT on Sky Sports in the UK, the Prizefighter tournament returns with what may be the best and most talented field of fighters in its history, as eight lightweights will compete in a one-night tournament, and Matchroom Boxing has also lined up a special super middleweight fight, pitting Rocky Fielding (a former tournament winner) against Carl Dilks.
Jamie Spence (10-3, 2 KO) vs Derry Mathews (30-7-1, 16 KO)
Spence, 28, has won five straight since his last loss, which came in 2009 against Karl Place. He most recently fought on September 8, which was his first bout since April 2011. At 33-1, Spence is the overall underdog to win the tournament.
Patrick Walsh (10-1, 3 KO) vs Terry Flannigan (15-0, 4 KO)
Flannigan won the English super featherweight title in May, and defended it on September 22. That 9/22 fight went a full ten rounds, so he's coming back very fast. Walsh, 30, has actually never made the lightweight limit in his career, his lowest weigh-in at 137¾, and often fighting as a welterweight or above. In his last fight in June, he weighed in at 148½.
Anthony Crolla (23-3, 9 KO) vs Stephen Jennings (5-1-1, 2 KO)
Jennings hasn't fought since July 2011, when he lost to Derry Mathews. He's 0-1-1 in his last two.
Gary Sykes (20-2, 5 KO) vs Tommy Coyle (13-0, 4 KO)
Sykes hasn't fought since March, as he was absurdly scheduled to face Adrien Broner on the Khan-Peterson II card before that was called off. This will be Sykes' second go in a Prizefighter -- the first time out, he was shocked by Gary Buckland with a TKO-1 loss in the semifinals, in a super featherweight tournament in November 2011. If Sykes and Crolla win as expected, their semifinal fight would also be a rematch. Sykes outpointed Crolla in 2009.
Our focus will be on the Baysangurov-Konecny main event on BoxNation, but this will start later and I know many of you will be watching Prizefighter instead anyway, so here's a discussion home for this show. I'll be watching this one myself, outside of the main event from Ukraine.