Matchroom Boxing have announced a big May 1 card featuring a heavyweight clash between Derek Chisora and Joseph Parker in the main event, Katie Taylor defending her undisputed lightweight crown against Natasha Jonas, Dmitry Bivol putting his WBA light heavyweight belt up against Craig Richards, and Chris Eubank Jr taking on Marcus Morrison.
Derek Chisora vs Joseph Parker
Chisora (32-10, 23 KO) and Parker (28-2, 21 KO) were set to meet a couple of years back, but a spider bite forced Parker out. They’ve sort of talked back-and-forth since then, and now they’re back to lined up against one another.
Chisora-Parker has been expected since Parker beat Fa — it was expected before Parker beat Fa if Parker beat Fa, which he did — and it’s a fine matchup. Chisora really never wins at this level, in all honesty, but he brings a good fight, and Parker is flawed enough to be considered vulnerable. I’d say it’s Chisora’s last chance to do something big, but it probably isn’t, however it goes. Unless he retires, he’s going to get solid fights.
Katie Taylor vs Natasha Jonas
Taylor (17-0, 6 KO) holds the WBC, WBA, IBF, and WBO belts at 135 pounds, and the matchup with former amateur rival Jonas (9-1-1, 7 KO) is one that was sort of always considered for both, but lost some steam, of course, when Jonas was upset by Viviane Obenauf in 2018.
But Jonas came back strong, winning three straight and then pushing WBC 130-pound titlist Terri Harper to a draw last August, a fight many felt Jonas should have won on the cards. Taylor got two fights in last year, beating Delfine Persoon in an August rematch, and then Miriam Gutierrez in November.
Jonas is as hot a contender as you can hope for her to be without pushing it and trying to “marinate” this any further, and given she’s 36 and Taylor’s 34, the time to do it is now.
Dmitry Bivol vs Craig Richards
Promoter Eddie Hearn said somewhat recently that Bivol (17-0, 11 KO) had a “bizarre” plan for his return. One guesses it did not involve Richards (16-1-1, 9 KO), the 30-year-old British titlist who frankly isn’t on the radar for world contender status, and that this is maybe a backup plan.
Richards beat Shakan Pitters for the British title on Dec. 18, while Bivol hasn’t fought since an Oct. 2019 win over Lenin Castillo. This is more or less a sideways step for Bivol, but it’s good to get him back in action, which is really the point here. And if he’s rusty, hey, big opportunity for Richards, who has at least ascended to top of the domestic scene in the UK.
Chris Eubank Jr vs Marcus Morrison
Eubank (29-2, 22 KO) seems to have abandoned all plans to target a fight with WBC middleweight titleholder Jermall Charlo, moving away from PBC and signing with Sauerland Event in January.
The 31-year-old Eubank last fought in Dec. 2019, beating Matt Korobov via injury stoppage in the second round, so he hasn’t really had a fight since his Feb. 2019 win over James DeGale.
The hype on Morrison (23-3, 16 KO) from a press release standpoint is “he’s won seven straight,” but the only remotely quality win in that run came against Emanuele Blandamura in 2019. Other than Blandamura, the combined incoming records of Morrison’s opponents in that stretch was 36-252-3, and he’s lost fights to guys who were 11-11-5 and 10-18-4. In all honesty, this is an awful fight for Eubank to be taking at this stage of his career; he was beating guys at this level in 2012, which was his first full year as a pro.