After the British Boxing Board of Control gave British boxing the green light to return, Queensbury Promotions, Hennessy Sports, and Matchroom Boxing have been plotting their route back.
Eddie Hearn will put on a string of four “Fight Camp” cards from the garden of Matchroom HQ in Essex, whereas Frank Warren has announced three shows from inside the BT Sport studios. Hennessy Sports have announced one fight for Aug. 22, with Shakan Pitters taking on Chad Sugden for the British light heavyweight title.
So, with what’s been announced so far, how do the fights stack up?
NB: Katie Taylor vs Amanda Serrano would make this list, however, Hearn and DiBella still need to iron out some creases on the paperwork.
5) Lerrone Richards vs Umar Sadiq
“Sniper the Boss” Richards puts his Lonsdale belt on the line in the 168 pound division for the first time. The unbeaten 27-year-old won the vacant belt in stylish fashion last November against Lennox Clarke and will be looking to stifle the momentum of challenger Umar Sadiq.
Richards (13-0, 3 KO) is a slick operator at range and looks most confident on the back foot popping out his jab from the southpaw stance. Sadiq (10-1, 6 KO) has shown he can box on the outside as well, so expect a chess match of jabs early in this one.
With the British and Commonwealth super middleweight straps up for grabs in this one, it’s the kind of fight that deserves some attention. Previously, this may have been lost down an undercard of a Dubois or Yarde show.
4) Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin
Whyte and Povetkin can lay claim to the biggest fight of the summer, as their long-awaited meeting lands in the “Matchroom Square Garden.”
I’m kind of surprised this one got over the line. Dillian Whyte has transformed into a notable draw in the UK over the past couple of years, and perhaps, if they waited a couple more months, they could have got a live gate for this one to top up their purses.
Still, the Sky Sports pay-per-view money will roll in for the “Bodysnatcher,” who will have to improve on his last outing against Mariusz Wach. Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KO) still has enough in the tank to operate as a live underdog in this one and will be hoping to drag Whyte (27-1, 18 KO) into a slugfest, nullifying his improved jab.
Both guys throw a mean left hook, and there could be some late fireworks if “Sasha” can go the distance. Whyte is once again rolling the dice.
3) Anthony Cacace vs Lyon Woodstock Jr
This is a real cracker in the super featherweight division. Cacace should enter the ring as a sizeable favourite, but the challenger for the Lonsdale belt at 130 pounds is tough, game, fit and is expected to push the champion all the way.
Cacace (18-1, 7 KO) has the IQ and power to trouble Woodstock (12-2, 5 KO), but the 26-year-old’s “warrior” instincts should force the champion to work hard for a successful defence.
The British super featherweight division is rich in talent — this is just one of the many exciting matchups to be made.
2) Ted Cheeseman vs Sam Eggington
The IBF International super welterweight strap is on the line in this domestic dust-up between two guys who have shown zero reluctance to go to war in the past.
Eggington (28-6, 17 KO) is still only 26. You never quite know what you are going to get from the Birmingham fighter, but more often than not his bravery outshines his overall skill set.
Cheeseman (15-2-1, 9 KO) is without a win in his last three, getting pummeled by Sergio Garcia and, controversially, outworked by Scott Fitzgerald. The 24-year-old showed a different string to his bow against “Madman” and would be wise to employ similar tactics — boxing on his back foot out of range — against the come-forward “Savage”.
I’ll save my omelette jokes for the staff picks feature.
1) Luther Clay vs Chris Kongo
Previously scheduled to feature on the Kelly-Avanesyan undercard, this “WBO Global” title at 147 pounds is a genuine 50/50 between a couple of hungry prospects.
Think of this as a golden ticket fight as Matchroom look to prioritise their up and coming talents. The winner will move on to some exciting domestic opportunities at welterweight; the loser will have to re-build.
There is genuine animosity between these two, with the narrative surrounding both guys’ tough upbringings on the streets of London (Kongo) and South Africa (Clay). Al Siesta, manager of Clay (13-1, 5 KO), cites the youngster growing up seeing men on the side of the road barbequing other men to eat.
When the markets opened for this fight, Clay was a 4/6 favourite. Now, after a surge towards “2 Slick”, Kongo (11-0, 6 KO) has flipped the odds and is now sitting in the 4/6 position. Clay is now the 6/5 dog.