Dave Oakes continues his look at Saturday's Hatton-Senchenko undercard.
Another great match-up on the undercard sees Gary Buckland defend his British super-featherweight title against former European champion Stephen Foster Jnr.
The fight is an interesting clash of styles; Buckland likes to barrel forward and put his opponents on the back foot, whereas Foster Jnr is a more controlled and classically styled boxer. It should provide for an entertaining clash.
Buckland is very strong physically but isn’t noted as a big puncher despite his one round knockout of Gary Sykes, and even though Foster Jnr is not noted as a knockout artist himself, he is the puncher in this fight and has shown previously that he can take fighters out when he connects cleanly.
I feel the fight comes down to how much Foster Jnr has left in the tank and how hungry he is. The way he surrendered his European title against Ermano Fegatilli was very poor, he never seemed to get into the fight and was a distant second by the time the final bell rang.
He’s only had two fights since, both of which were six round points wins against substandard opposition. This will be the first meaningful fight he’ll have had for 20 months and another loss here will almost certainly put an end to Foster’s career at title level.
Foster Jnr is a beautiful body puncher and it would be a smart move to target Buckland’s ribs in the hope of slowing him down in a similar way to what John Murray did a couple of years back. If Buckland’s allowed to come forward without occasionally getting stopped in his tracks, it could well prove to be a very hard night for Foster Jnr.
Both have got rock solid chins, so unless Foster Jnr can find a shot like the one he floored Leva Kirakosyan with or Buckland can find the Sykes punch again, it’s most likely the fight will go to the cards, although a late stoppage through a sustained wearing down process isn’t out of the question.
I can see this turning into a war, neither man will be taking a backwards step and the bout may well come down to who can last the pace the better. I’ve always had a soft spot for Foster Jnr, I feel he’s an underrated boxer and that he’s a better boxer then Buckland is, unfortunately for him I think this fight might well prove to be a step too far at this stage in his career. Buckland is the younger, fresher, hungrier fighter and with question marks surrounding how much Foster Jnr has left and how much he wants it, the pick is for Buckland to finish the stronger to take it on the cards.