by Chris Milton
On September the 18th, the British boxing public will potentially have one of the biggest and most exciting cards ever to have graced our shores. Fresh off his new TV deal with Sky Sports, Frank Warren has loaded most of his starts onto one card in the hope of reigniting British Boxing.
Top of the bill is the grudge match between EBU middleweight champ Matthew Macklin and challenger Darren Barker. Both of these guys have been calling each other out for months, and with another eight weeks to go before they face each other in the ring, I expect the verbal hostilities to go up a gear or two. I expect the action to be even better.
Looking at the bill, I don’t really know what the co main event is! In my mind, the main event isn’t really the best fight on the card. That distinction belongs to the WBO interim super silver emeritus bog brush title fight between Nathan Cleverly and lightly pencilled in Karo Murat. Both fighters are exciting prospects, both unbeaten and both will be looking to solidify their claims of a top 10 ranking and hopefully push on for a full title shot after this. Cleverly’s EBU title will also be on the line, and this is a massive fight for both men.
We then move onto Kell Brook vs. Michael Jennings. US fans will remember Jennings after he was butchered by Miguel Cotto in his comeback fight after Margarito. This fight has been postponed multiple times. Many believe Brook to be the best prospect in UK boxing, who’s also the #1 WBO contender for Manny Pacquiao. Many expect Pacquiao to drop the belt soon which could possibly make this fight a title fight or ensure that Brook’s very next fight would be for the title. He can’t afford to slip-up against the dangerous and hungry Jennings, who is drinking in the last chance saloon.
Also on the bill is a British and Commonwealth title fight rematch between Derek Chisora and Sam Sexton. Sexton will be looking to avenge his 6th round TKO loss in the first meeting between the two. Sexton has vastly improved his skills and was involved in two UK fight of the year contenders with Martin Rogan last year. Chisora can bang, but has he taken his eye off the ball? Only time will tell but I expect fireworks from this one.
Digging deeper on the card and we have another two EBU title fights from Wales on Enzo Maccarinelli against the dreaded TBA in a cruiserweight contest, and Salford man Ryan Rhodes in against the extremely over-matched Lukas Konecny who’s only claim to fame is losing to Sergio Dzinzurik in a close fight a few years back. Hopefully, both Brits continue to rebuild their careers. There is talk this morning in the UK that should Rhodes win this fight he will be heading to Mexico to fight Margarito for the vacant 154 belt, assuming Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. doesn’t get there first. The pressure is on both fighters.
Rounding off the bill is the continuing career of Olympic Gold Medallist James DeGale against an unnamed opponent, and Don Broadhurst who is looking to reignite his career after his loss to Lee Haskins last time out in what can only be called a less than thrilling encounter.
Finally, we have what I perceive to be the most intriguing fight on the card. Former world Amateur champion Frankie Gavin against former professional footballer Curtis Woodhouse. To most, Woodhouse can be looked at as a bit of a side show, he will never reach Euro level but in just Gavin’s eighth professional fight he is being thrown into the hardest fight of his career, with the rumours of Gavin’s less than enthusiastic gym sessions, it could very well become a crossroads fight.
All in all, it’s a fantastic card yet its on Sky PPV. Warren has a chance to really build some stars with this show and the other Saturday night slots he now has with Sky TV. However, I feel totally under-whelmed by the fact it’s a PPV night. Sure, it’s an amazing card for the Hardcore fan, but will the man on the street really pay for fighters they will not have heard of?
Credit has to go to Frank Warren for actually putting the card on but we could be looking at the start of a new golden age in British boxing, but I fear the general public will never get to hear about it.