Today at 3 p.m. EST on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom, European bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell defends against Spain's Ivan Pozo in what may be his final fight before trying to move into a world title shot.
First off, don't blame me for the banner -- I didn't spell it "Bozo."
McDonnell (18-2-1, 7 KO) has become one of the UK's standout fighters since 2010, when he upset Ian Napa in a close and debated decision in January of that year. But since that win, which left questions, he's gone on a bit of a tear. He took Napa's scheduled European title shot and stopped Jerome Arnould two months later on the road in France, and then rattled off a string of wins over Rodrigo Bracco, Stephane Jamoye, Nick Otieno, and Stuart Hall.
His opponent today is Ivan Pozo (32-6-1, 20 KO), a 32-year-old Spaniard who was second choice for this fight. Originally, McDonnell was supposed to face Malik Bouziane. This is actually the second time both have been scheduled to face McDonnell -- before the Jamoye fight in January 2011, McDonnell ran through a string of scheduled opponents, including both Bouziane and Pozo. Pozo pulled out with a blood infection that time.
Pozo has been stopped four times in his six losses and frankly should not be a major test for McDonnell today in Sheffield. He did hold the European flyweight championship from July 2005 until July 2006, but since 2008 he's fought just four times, giong 3-1 with no wins of note, and a TKO loss to a .500 fighter.
In the co-feature from Sheffield, heavyweight prospect Tom Dallas (15-1, 11 KO) looks to bounce back from a TKO-2 loss to David Price, facing 45-year-old Matt Skelton (25-6, 20 KO). Skelton was thought to be retired, and hasn't fought since a Prizefighter tournament in October 2010, which was won by Michael Sprott. Skelton did make it to the final, so I guess there's that.
Still, Dallas, 26, is untested and had a ton of trouble with journeyman Zack Page in his last win, back in May 2011, in a fight I thought Page clearly won. By all rights, the 6'6" Dallas should beat Skelton, but maybe Dallas just isn't very good. He's a clear league behind the likes of Price or Tyson Fury in the "tall British prospect" world.