Johnston Brown

Rocky Fielding brings it Home

Rocky Fielding (27-1, 15KOs) stopped Tyron Zeuge (22-1-1, 12KOs) in the fifth round to claim the super-middleweight WBA ‘regular’ title in the Baden-Arena, Germany.

The 30-year-old Merseysider was a huge underdog going into the fight against the undefeated German, who was a shadow of himself from start to finsh.

The former champion Zeuge uncharacteristically made a fast start from the opening bell without troublling Fielding. The six foot frame of the Englishman was just too big and awkward for Tyron to hit which lead to the German getting tagged on the counter in the early exchanges.

From the third to the fifth is was all pretty much one way traffic as Fielding started to believe the WBA title is really ‘coming home’.

A heavy right from Fielding in the fourth rocked Zeuge who was breathing heavily before coming out for the fifth.

It looked inevitable that the German was on the fringes of defeat as Fielding started to really sink in his shots. A beautifully timed left uppercut pushed Zeuge onto his heels and back on the ropes before a body shot sunk Zeuge onto his knees.

As Zeuge was struggling to beat the count his trainer Juergen Braehmer threw the towel which sent Fielding into wild and emotional celebrations.

The Liverpudlian was once touted as a future star before his devastating loss to Callum Smith but this victory proved he should be considered as a big player in the super-middleweight division.

An overjoyed Fielding said after the fight: “It feels amazing, it feels brilliant, the fact that I have come to the champion’s back yard and stopped him,”

“I just stuck to the gameplan. I knew he was a very good fighter and I had a lot on it. This was my chance and what would I have done if I hadn’t done it?

“This was my dream. I left on Tuesday and said to my little boy I’d be back in Monday with the belt.”

 

Rocky can put a smile back on our proud Nations faces

This Saturday night Liverpudlian Rocky Fielding (26-1, 14KOs) travels to the city of Offenburg in Germany to take on undefeated WBA super-middleweight champion Tyron Zeuge (22-0-1, 12KOs) at the Baden-Arena.

After millions of fans witnessed England crash out of the World Cup semi-final at the hands of Croatia on Wednesday night, Rocky will be hoping to put a smile back on the faces of the nations boxing purists with a win against the old enemy.

Enland will face the dreaded 3rd/ 4th play-off match against the other beaten semi-finalists Belgium at 3PM on Saturday afternoon before Rocky Fielding makes his way to the ring in Germany. Irrespective of the result in the football our nation will take to he streets in their thousands to greet our players off the plane as hero’s.

Unfortunately boxing doesn’t quite have the same pull as the countries leading sport but there has been an unbelievable resurgence in the noble art. Thousands have been in attendance to back our unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and football stadiums have continued to sell out for our local boxers.

The 30-year-old Merseysider will not get the same reception if he were to step off the plane with the WBA title in hand but a victory will live long in the memory for him, his team, his fans and for British boxing.

It’s a massive night for Fielding and a defining one for his career. His only defeat came at the hands of World Boxing Super Series finalist Callum Smith who devastated his fellow scouser with a first round knockout.

Since that harrowing defeat in 2015 Rocky had steadied the ship and picked up decent scalps with wins over Christopher Rebrasse, John Ryder and David Brophy.

Tyron Zeuge offers a sterner test then Rocky’s recent opposition. The German is 4-years younger with only one slip up when he drew with Italian Giovanni De Carolis back in 2016 only to win a close rematch by a knockout in the twelfth.

Zeuge has a decent resumé with victories over some accomplished fighters in Montenegrin Nikola Sjekloca, Nigerian Isaac Ekpo (twice), Englishman Paul Smith.

WBA champion Zeuge is a few inches shorter then 6’1” Rocky Fielding who has fought four more bouts then the German (27). The Berlin born fighter has accumulated 36 more rounds (159) but they share a 52% knockout ratio.

On paper there isn’t much to choose between the two fighters but in reality Zeuge will be the favourite. Especially when it comes to an Englishman fighting in Germany. Now I am not suggesting that there is any corruption involved but the chances of a close decision going Fielding’s way are very slim.

Look no further than Martin Murray who lost controversial world title fights to Felix Sturm and Arthur Abraham, while Paul Smith was beaten by Zeuge last year and also ended up on the wrong end of two decisions against Abraham, while Matthew Macklin suffered a split decision loss to Sturm.

History suggests that this fight will only go one way but as the England team did in the World Cup he will need to create his own history if he is to be successful.

With all the controversial results of the past put to one side there is no denying that Zeuge has the ability to trouble Fielding. Being a fighter in his mid-twenties indicates that he is not near his best yet and will continue to develop. Fielding on the other hand has the experience but at only 30 is by no means over the hill.

I would love to see Rocky pull of a shock here and get the victory on points but I cannot see that happening. The only way the Englishman is able to walk away with the WBA strap is if he knocks Zeuge out. The German has not yet hit the canvas in his professional career but Rocky once tipped for stardom will need to produce the performance of his life.

My Prediction is a Tyron Zeuge points win but I will be routing for our Englishman to prove me wrong. Good Luck Rocky Fielding!

British Boxing Results Round-up

This Weekend we had a busy schedule with fights in Scotland, France and England. Here is a round-up of all the action starting with Scotland.

Scotland’s Josh Taylor (13-0, 11KOs) produced his best performance to date when he defeated Ukrainian veteran Viktor Postol (29-2, 12KOs) by unanimous decision at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.

All three judges scored the fight 117-110, 118-110 and 119-108 all in favour of Taylor which was a very unfair reflection of how the fight actually went. Granted the 27-year-old deserved to win the fight but Postol pushed the youngster all the way in a close and competitive fight. ‘The Iceman’ got cut above the right eye in the second round and was sent down to the canvas from a left hook late in the tenth.

In a division that has been left wide open since Crawford’s departure the Scotsman should feel optimistic about his chances of world title glory. After Taylor’s victory over an accomplished opponent he has surely cemented his status as the world number one at 140lbs.

This victory now makes Taylor the mandatory challenger for the WBC title which is currently held by Jose Ramirez. Manger Barry McGuigan said after the fight: “One of his heroes is Ken Buchanan, who went to Panama to win a world title and then unified it in Madison Square Gardens. Josh would love to do something like that.”

“It’s different in that Ken had to travel as he didn’t have the backing back here, he didn’t have broadcaster behind him like Josh. These are definitive fights when you go to these places and win. Ken had to go on the road to fight the likes of Ismael Laguna and Carlos Ortiz out there.

“I’m not worried about him fighting Jose Ramirez in New York. It will be a tough fight but I think he beats him.”

With the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) announcing three weight divisions for season 2 the successful knockout tournament is ready to announce the super-lightweight division as one of them. Regis Prograis (21-0, 16KOs) is the WBC interim champion and Kiryl Relikh (22-2, 19KOs) has the WBA strap and both are likely to be involved while Ramirez has ruled himself out. Maurice Hooker (24-0-3, 16KOs) who recently picked up the vacant WBO title against Terry Flanagan (33-1, 13KOs) is also rumoured to what to join the tournament which would surely give Team Taylor the incentive to choose the WBSS over Ramirez.

McGuigan wants to wait for the tournament to be finalized before committing Taylor to a fight with Ramirez: “I wouldn’t like to take him to the west coast of the States simply because Ramirez is very popular out there. But we’ll see what our budgets are like, we’ll see what the WBSS is like as well and see what’s available.

“There are two world titles available there so we won’t cut off our nose to spite our face. We’re keeping all out options open, which is the sensible thing to do.”

England

From the North to the South of Great Britain in London, Martin Murray (37-4-1, 17KOs) picked up his fourth win on the bounce since losing to George Groves back in 2016 cruising to victory over Mexican Roberto Garcia (41-4, 24KOs). The 35-year-old was supposed to fight Billy Joe Saunders for the WBO middleweight title but the injury prone champion had to withdraw for the second time due to ‘training injuries’.

After the unanimous decision win Murray has become the mandatory for Gennady Golovkin’s WBC belt but made it clear that he would want an insurance policy if he opted to take the Saunders route again. He said: “It’s one of them isn’t it. He’s not done me once and he has done me twice. For a third time, there would have to be some kind of insurance policy in place.”

On the undercard light-heavyweight Anthony Yarde (16-0, 15KOs) became the first man to stop Dariusz Sek (27-4-3, 9KOs) in the seventh round of a scheduled ten.

The Polish southpaw went down in the first from a left hand before the referee waved the fight off in the seventh after a bombardment of punishment from ‘The Beast’.

Also on the undercard was young heavyweight sensation Daniel Dubois (8-0, 8KOs) who went into the fifth round for the first time in his career against loud mouth Tom Little (10-6, 3KOs). Little went down in the fourth from a body shot but managed to beat the count before finally being stopped in the next round.

Frank Warren, Dubois’ promoter, said that a fight against Nathan Gorman, the WBC International and former English champion, could be on the cards within 18-months. The Hall of Famer Warren believes it will generate more money for both fighters if it happens further down the line.

“I feel ready. But I leave that up to my promoter Frank and my manager Martin Bowers, they know best for me,” Dubois said.

Paris

Sticking with the heavyweights 26-year-old Dave Allen (13-4-2, 10KOs) travelled to France with the hope of upsetting the apple cart against undefeated Parisian Tony Yoka (5-0, 4KOs). Unfortunately for the ‘White Rhino’ he was unable to pull off the shock after being stopped in the tenth and final round. To the Doncaster-man’s credit he did take the fight with only three weeks’ notice which tells you everything you need to know about the feller.

Although that was his fourth career defeat, Allen is still a tough match for anyone especially for one of the up and coming youngsters. If Warren wants to let the Dubois-Gorman fight marinate for 18-months then Allen would be an ideal opponent for either of them.

After his recent defeat Allen said: “I will genuinely fight anybody. The way boxing is right now though I have to get a couple of wins and that’s really sad. I wish I was fighting in the 50’s, they fought all the time, I would have fought Dubois this Saturday coming and Joe Joyce the next. But now you get too many losses and nobody wants to work with you and it really frustrates me, as I want to fight and fight regularly.”

Imagine what boxing would be like today if every fighter had Dave Allen’s attitude? It’s a shame they are very few and far between.

Ritson & Kelly Continue to Shine

Lightweight Lewis Ritson (16-0, 10KOs) won the British title outright after demolishing undefeated Irishman Paul Hyland Jnr (18-1, 7KOs) within a round at the Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle, England.

The 24-year-old lifted the roof off the Metro Radio Arena when he entered the ring to Blaydon Races which is a Geordie folk song.

With the crowd hyped up from ‘The Sandman’s’ intro it was time to get down to business.

Ritson was in his normal destructive mood as he walked through shots to floor his opponent three times in the first round before the fight was waved off to the delight of the passionate home fans.

Another young rising star has been born and promoter Eddie Hearn was delighted with his protégés performance. He said: “He’s won the British title in four rounds in three defences.

“We don’t know where this story ends. He doesn’t know what he has got but I haven’t heard an atmosphere like that for a long time.

“European titles, world titles, we dream big. There’s a lot of work to do but we are going to give it 100%.”

Ritson was a welterweight in the amateurs which explains why he is such a monster at lightweight. I can’t see many 135 pounders domestically wanting to step in the ring with him.

Scotsman Ricky Burns was on the same card in Newcastle when he picked up his 42nd victory in 50 professional fights. Burns is not one to avoid anybody so there is every chance of a meeting with Ritson in the near future.

Other candidates are Anthony Crolla and Luke Campbell who would also be perfect opponents that would draw a huge crowd to St James Park.

If you know anything about English football then you know that the Newcastle United fans are the most loyal in the country. So filling the 52,000 capacity stadium would not be an issue.

With the backing of Matchroom boxing and the geordie faithful behind him this down to earth kid has the potential to go to the very top.

The lightweight division is one of the best around today with two pound for pound kings currently ruling in Vasly Lomachenko and Mikey Garcia so Ritson has a mammoth task ahead of him to pick up a world title.

Where Ritson is exciting to watch his North East compatriot Josh Kelly (7-0, 5KOs) entertains the crowd with his outstanding footwork and excellent boxing skills. ‘Pretty Boy’ Kelly became the welterweight commonwealth champion when Kris George (14-2, 8KOs) retired in round seven after a dominant performance.

Kelly has already faced seasoned pros in only seven fights stopping five inside the distance. The 24-year-old is being moved at a dramatically fast pace and is already considered by many as the best welterweight in Britain.

After picking up the commonwealth title he will be knocking on the door of a top 20 place in the world which is pretty incredible considering he hasn’t reached the ten fight milestone yet.

Like with Ritson, Kelly is in another stacked division were some of the very best in the world compete. Look no further than Terrence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr as a guide to the standard he needs to reach.

Two young and different fighters from the North East of England in two of the best divisions in world boxing is something to get excited about. Granted it is still very early days but these two shining stars have an incredible fan base that even Loma, Garcia, Crawford and Spence Jr would be jealous of.

Joshua-Wilder: Are you a Pessimist or Optimist?

Breaking News this morning came from the Wilder camp that he has accepted the offer made by Team Joshua to fight on British soil this year.

The WBC heavyweight champion did not make the official announcement in an interview or press conference but of course on social media:

“BREAKING NEWS for all you Anthony Joshua fans… The $50m offer for him to fight me next in the US is still available.

“Today I even agreed to their offer to fight Joshua next in the UK. If he prefers the fight in the UK, the ball is in their court. It’s up to them to choose.”

What’s your view on the latest statement from Wilder? Is this fight really on? Are Joshua and Wilder ready to rumble or is this just another publicity stunt? Are you a pessimist or an optimist?

The Optimists

If your a glass half full type of guy then this news will be music to your ears. Wilder fans will be in a frenzy right now so if your like me I would keep their views and perspectives at a distance. Otherwise you may find yourself shouting insults at your portable devices. As referee’s always say just before the sound of the first bell, “Keep it clean fellers”.

Shelly Finkel then backed up Wilder’s announcement:

“We have agreed to the terms that Eddie (Hearn) has put out to us for a fight in the UK.

“Deontay sent an email to Joshua on Sunday night and I sent one today to Barry Hearn and Eddie telling them that we officially accept the offer to fight under the terms they gave us and to send us the contract.”

Even Wilder’s trainer Jay Deas has seconded the Wonderful Wilder and Fantastic Mr Finkel’s statement:

“They offered and we accepted. We offered $50m, which is what he said he wanted and then he turned it down.

“Then they came back with a much, much, much smaller offer for Deontay, which would have been even less than Deontay would have made in the United States, and wanted him to still travel to the UK for the fight. And we said yes.

“The reason we did is because Deontay is investing in himself. He wants this for the fans and he wants this for his legacy and he knows that being the undisputed heavyweight champ of the world will give him the financial gain as he proceeds.

“Even though we would have liked a better deal, Deontay said yes.”

Brilliant! Just Brilliant! Roll on September, October or November what ever month they have agreed to do the fight. You have played us all along you sneaky, sneaky little gits!

The Pessimists

For the Scrooge’s of the game this is nothing more than a publicity stunt from Team Wilder. Discussions have been ongoing for what feels like an eternity with the same old boring news being released every week just to keep us keen boxing enthusiasts interested.

On June 9 Eddie Hearn told a national newspaper that Anthony Joshua’s next contest will be announced in the next 48 hours. In an exclusive statement Hearn said;

“The Povetkin deal is virtually done, it’s close.

“The Wilder one is not, but we’re talking to him every day. It’s just a case of if we can get that done. Joshua would like to fight in September. The Wilder fight doesn’t really work in September, mainly because of the Canelo Alvarez fight. If Joshua fights Wilder [next] it will be October or November in the UK. If he fights Povetkin it will be in September. It will either be Povetkin then Wilder or Wilder then Povetkin. But if it is Povetkin next, then Wilder will definitely be signed before we go into that fight.”

48hours on and we hear nothing until Wilder makes an announcement past that deadline on social media? This is a publicity stunt from Team Wilder because they already know that the Povetkin deal is done.

Even rival British promoter Frank Warren was quoted saying – after the pathetic Fury performance – that the deal between Joshua and Povetkin is more or less done:

“I think Anthony Joshua is fighting Alexander Povetkin in September, so he will not fight until next year now and I think Wilder has got a mandatory.”

What ever side of the fence you sit on make sure you listen in on the Billy C Boxing show today for their views and opinions.

I would rather keep my views private so without giving too much away, “Bah Humbug”.

Hooker becomes the fourth American to win a World Title on British soil

On the night Tyson Fury (26-0, 19KOs) made a winning return back the ring Terry Flanagan (33-1, 13KOs) lost to American Maurice Hooker (24-0-3, 16KOs) to take the vacant WBO super-lightweight title at the Manchester Arena.

This was the fourth time an American has won a world title on British soil in the last 18-months after he emulated compatriots Gervonta Davis, Errol Spence Jr and Caleb Truax.

The 28-year-old Hooker from Dallas, Texas stayed on the back foot for the first half of the fight using his extra 9-inch leavers to keep Flanagan at distance.

When the Mancunian was on the balls of his feet and ducking under the jab to work the body he was causing his opponent problems. Unfortunately too many times he was getting caught regularly on the way out.

In the seventh Flanagan was able to get close enough to land a big left hand as Hooker neglected is jab. But after two head collisions the Englishman came out worse with a cut above his right his eye and forehead.

Not too be disgruntled from the cuts Flanagan continued to be the aggressor but staying flat footed only made it easier for the American to find the target.

Some rounds were hard to call so both fighters would have known deep down that the last two could be vital to the outcome of the fight.

In my opinion it was Hooker that got the better of the exchanges in the last two rounds which got him the victory. The split decision was not a surprise but the variation of the scorecards were. One judge had it 117-111 to Flanagan and the other two 115-113 and 111-117 to Hooker. No mater how wide two of the scorecards were the outcome was the right one.

Fury return 

Tyson Fury made his long awaited return after almost three years away from the ring against Sefer Seferi.

The self proclaimed ‘Gypsy King’ spent the first round clowning around with not much else after until a fight broke out ringside amongst the crowd.

When Fury did decide to up the tempo in the fourth his Albanian opponent opted out and retired in his corner before the start of the fifth.

Fury will return on August 18 hopefully against a proper opponent at least then we will be able to assess where he is at then.

Another great fight night at the Historic York Hall

York Hall has this wonderful ability to bring the best out of fighters and once again it showed the boxing faithful why it was so important that this legendary building was saved from demolition in 2004.

JD NXGEN is guided by Mathroom Boxing and is a bill that allows exciting young talent to headline small hall nights rather than being buried deep in a big names undercard.

The ‘Mecca’ of British Boxing was the perfect venue for a card sacked with London’s finest protégées. Knowledgeable boxing fans packed themselves into the small historic home of boxing on Wednesday to cheer on their favorite.

With the balconies drooped with supportive flags, beers flowing at the bar near where the fighters enter the ring and a chorus of songs echoing around the arena it was time to get down to business.

The three main stars of the night Ted Cheeseman (14-0, 9KOs), Reece Bellotti (12-1, 11KOs) and Lawrence Okolie (9-0, 7KOs) all produced performances that pumped up an already lively crowd.

Bellotti loses unbeaten record

Unfortunately for the predominantly London crowd it was the Watford fighter Bellotti that lost his ‘O’ against Mancunian Ryan Doyle. A loss for the featherweight is no big deal and he will learn more from this loss then the 12 fights before.

It was an absolute barnstormer of a fight until once again anxious referee Howard Foster waved off the fight prematurely following a right hand from Doyle that put Bellotti down in the fourth round.

Both fighters decided to have a tear-up instead of attempting to box clever. Not smart on the Londoners part especially against a more natural 130 pounder but York Hall does have this tendency to get into a fighters head. They seem to naturally want to impress the fans and take risks.

Bellotti made too many mistakes against Doyle which led to the stoppage. He continued to walk in straight lines with no head movement which resulted in him getting tagged far too often.

His distances were poor but when he found his range he looked impressive. Doyle threw a right hand that connected with the top of Bellotti’s head which rocked him before he hit the deck but Howard Foster waved off the fight before he was given the chance to recover his senses.

I’m almost certain the 27-year-old will look for a rematch but he will need to be more cautious. Congratulations to Doyle who was able to prove that he is a better fighter then many including myself gave him credit for.

Okolie becomes Commonwealth Cruiserweight Champion

The main event of the evening went according to plan and featured 25-year-old Okolie against Luke Watkins. ‘The Sauce’ entered the ring with fellow Londoner and unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua to the delight of the crowd.

The East Londoner controlled the tempo of the first two rounds using his extremely long reach while throwing solid right hand shots to the head and body. Luke ‘The Duke’ was unable to get beyond the huge frame of Okolie to cause him any trouble.

In the end it was a massive right hand that floored Watkins for the first time in the third but to his credit the Swindon fighter got back to his feet only to walk into a barrage of punches which inevitably ended the fight.

Many pundits have compared the Hackney fighter’s awkward and unpredictable style with American heavyweight Deontay Wilder. I have to agree with those comments to some extent but the former Olympian has already made improvements in only nine fights and will continue to improve unlike the WBC champion. Okolie has more than his right hand and uses his frame to good effect but he definitely looks very unorthodox like Wilder.

‘Big Cheese’ continues to shine

Super welterweight Ted Cheeseman produced another excellent display when he stopped Paul Upton in the fourth round. The Bermondsey boy blasted his opponent down to the canvas three times before the fight was finally waved off.

Eddie Hearn is looking to secure a Commonwealth title shot for the 22-year-old in his next fight. I would like to see the Londoner step up another level and face guys like Sam Eggington and Liam Williams who may still hold the commonwealth title?

The rest of the card

Danny Dignum (6-0, 2KOs) came through his toughest challenge to date when he picked himself off the canvas twice against Anthony Fox to win by one point 57-56 in the super-middleweight division.

Middleweight Felix Cash (9-0, 6KOs) went the distance against Francis Tchoffo to get the nod 80-71.

Craig ‘Spider’ Richards (12-1, 6KOs) knocked out Ivan Stupalo in the third round of a scheduled six in the light heavyweight division.

Kazakhstan welterweight Daniyar Yeleussinov (2-0, 1KO) recorded his second victory against Zoltan Szabo.

Bantamweight Sean McGoldrick (6-0, 2KOs) defeated Craig Derbyshire and Louie Lynn (2-0, 1KO) of the featherweight division knocked out Ricky Starkey in the second round.

Wednesday Night Boxing

This evening Matchroom boxing presents a JD NXGEN bill that includes three highly rated prospects at the ‘Mecca’ of British boxing, York Hall, Bethnal Green.

In the cruiserweight division we have a very intriguing match-up between two undefeated fighters in British No.2 Luke Watkins (13-0, 9KOs) and No.4 ranked Lawrence Okolie (8-0, 6KOs).

Commonwealth champion Watkins has accumulated 65 rounds in 13 bouts with a 69% knockout ratio and a combined opponent record of 99-85-4.

Hackney-born Okolie is looking for his second title in only his ninth fight after picking up the continental version of the WBA strap when he defeated another prospect Isaac Chamberlain earlier this year.

The 25-year-old has fought 25 rounds in 8 pro fights with a knockout percentage of 75 and a combined opponent record of 48-46-1.

Although Watkins does have slightly more experience he is 4-inches shorter then Okolie who also has a longer reach.

Okolie’s awkward style and long leavers will cause the 28-year-old problems but he does possess a solid right hand. The Swindon fighter has stopped nine of his thirteen opponents so it could be a matter of who lands first.

I’m expecting the usual fast start from Okolie so it wouldn’t surprise me if this one ends earlier. Watkins will need to weather storm and hope he lands a clean shot if he is to stand a chance. I’m picking the former Olympian Okolie to win by stoppage in the middle rounds.

Reece Bellotti (12-0, 11KOs) makes the third defense of his Commonwealth featherweight title against Ryan Doyle (16-2-1, 8KOs). The Watford-born fighter is gradually becoming a top contender in the 126lb division which is stacked with some excellent talent in Britain and Ireland.

Currently ranked at No.6 in the UK the 27-year-old has an impressive 98% knockout ratio after 58 rounds of boxing in just 12 fights. His combined opponent record stands at 140-182-13 which may not look great on paper but he has fought some tough journeymen which has given him valuable experience.

‘Bomber’ is up against a guy that has fought predominantly at the 130lb limit but has failed to successfully make the grade when stepping up in class. Manchester-born Doyle is a ranked outsider but is 2 inches taller and will probably come in bigger than Bellotti. Unfortunately I don’t see that making much difference as I can only see one winner and that is Reece Bellotti picking up his twelfth career stoppage.

In the super-welterweight division Bermondsey boy Ted Cheeseman (13-0, 8KOs) is also in action against undefeated Londoner Paul Upton (15-0, 3KOs). The 22-year-old is currently ranked at No.5 in Britain after only 13 fights he has fought 63 rounds with a knockout ratio of 62% and a combined opponent record of 152-104-13.

Fresh from a unanimous decision victory over the durable Carson Jones I can’t see Cheeseman slipping up against Upton. The one dangerous aspect will be that the 29-year-old is more of a natural middleweight which could pose a slight threat. But I’m going for a Cheeseman to win via stoppage.

Also on the bill we have exciting middleweight Felix Cash (8-0, 6KOs), the Kazakhstan with a big future Daniyar Yeleussinov (1-0, 1KO), Southpaw Danny Dignum (5-0, 2KOs), Sean McGoldrick (5-0, 2KOs), Louie Lynn (1-0, 1KO) and Craig ‘Spider’ Richards (11-1, 5KOs)

Looking forward to a quality night of boxing. Enjoy Ladies and Gents!

Eddie Hearn: At the moment, we are fighting Povetkin.

Eddie Hearn has made the clearest indication yet that Alexander Povetkin will be next for Anthony Joshua and not Deontay Wilder.

“At the moment, we are fighting Povetkin,” Hearn told Boxing News.

“We want to fight in September but September doesn’t work with Wilder because of Showtime.

“If we fight Wilder it would probably be October, November but if we fight Povetkin it will be September.

“All I can say is that I think this fight will get signed but it’s whether we fight Povetkin first.“

It’s been the worst kept secret that Wilder has verbally agreed that WBC No.1 challenger Dominic Breazeale will be his next opponent. This would explain the delayed negotiations between team Joshua and Wilder’s advisers and not the venue.

The WBA have put the pressure on Matchroom Boxing to get a deal agreed with Povetkin’s team or risk the fight going to purse bids. Which would be a disaster for Hearn and Joshua considering the amount of clout the Russian has behind him.

The likelihood of big Josh facing his 38-year-old mandatroy challenger next has increased day by day with time is running out for an undisputed heavyweight contest being finalised.

Hearn issued a deadline last week and Bary Hearn did meet with Shelly Finkel on Friday. Bary Hearn told Sky Sports exclusively, “I think the bluster is gone and we’re now at the stage where there’s real decisions to be made in the next few days. I’m very happy to say I’ve done my bit.

“Eddie and his team take over, as always, and the last word comes from the man himself. Wherever we go, it has to have the approval of AJ, because he’s the main man.”

Eddie Hearn has been looking at possible venues for both fights issuing this latest update: “Wembley Stadium is a venue being considered and so is the Olympic Stadium (West Ham FC) and Twickenham (England Rugby Stadium). Dates could be September 15 or 22. But Hearn did note “But the 8th is available at Old Trafford (Manchester United FC).

“That’s 15 weeks away now so to do a Wilder fight, you’d want to give it the build up it deserves. If Povetkin is September then Wilder probably won’t happen until February. That would mean we would probably go to Cardiff.

“We wanted September because there was the possibility of places like Wembley.

“But if you go October or November then it becomes Cardiff, where we have done two fights on the bounce.”

Clearly Joshua wants the fight and has left the ball in Wilder’s court to make a decision on whether he wants it now or next year. Hearn continued, “I really do think the Wilder fight will happen but it’s just whether or not it’s next.

“It won’t be any more than the one after Povetkin, that’s the maximum wait.”

I’m guessing a contract may well be signed but only IF they both win their fights against Povetkin and Breazeale first. This is a massive gamble by both camps as defeat could blow everything out of the water. I’m sure they will both have rematch clauses in place so defeat would not be a complete disaster but it would delay the fight even further plus lose a bit of glamour with the boxing faithful.

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