Johnston Brown

Joe Cordina Headlines in Cardiff against Sean Dodd

Exciting lightweight prospect Joe Cordina (7-0, 6KO) headlines a NXGEN bill at the Ice Arena Wales on Saturday night against one of the most likeable characters in British boxing Sean Dodd (15-3-1, 3KOs) for the commonwealth title.

Cordina is a former Olympian who represented Team GB at the Rio Olympics in 2016 before turning professional in April of last year. The 26-year-old looks to have a bright future and is being fast-tracked through the 135lb division.

With six knockouts in seven pro fights the ‘Welsh Wizard’ has accumulated only 18 rounds of boxing so the challenge of Merseysider Sean Dodd will be his toughest to date.

Dodd who is a former commonwealth lightweight champion and a two-time British title challenger brings a wealth of experience to the plate. Fan favourite ‘Masher’ Dodd always try’s to take his opponents into uncharted waters so this will be a big step up for the Welshman.

Earlier in the year Dodd lost the rainbow title to Tommy Coyle by TKO in the sixth round so the 34-year-old will be eager to defy the odds and capture the title for a second time.

The young Welshman is competing in his first scheduled 12-rounder and has never been past the fourth. Dodd will look to force the fight  into the middle rounds to test Cordina’s conditioning.

As long as Cordina doesn’t waste unnecessary energy trying to take Dodd out early he should be able to dictate the pace of the fight. Questions will be asked of the home fighter but with the crowd and his natural ability this fight should end inside the distance in Cordina’s favour.

Undercard

‘Miss GB’ Natasha Jonas (6-0, 5KOs) is moving up the rankings at a fast pace with Katie Taylor her target as she takes on Brazilian Viviane Obenauf (12-4, 6KOs).

Olympic gold medalist Daniyar Yeleussinov (2-0, 1KO) will want to impress the Welsh crowd and show why he is being touted as one of the world’s very best prospects. The Kazakh southpaw should pick up his third victory against Hungarian Gabor Gorbics (24-11, 4KOs).

Unbeaten Welsh duo Sean McGoldrick and Koby Davies will be in action, while the hard-hitting light-heavyweight talent from across the Atlantic Anthony Sims will be on show plus Jordan Gill and a few others complete a stacked lineup.

Fury vs Wilder: A possibility or just another publicity stunt?

The self proclaimed ‘Gypsy King’ Tyson Fury (26-0, 19KOs) claims to be in talks with Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39KOs) about a possible fight in December.

The former unified world heavyweight champion announced on his social media page that a fight with the WBC champion is ‘very close to being done’.

We all know that Fury likes to keep himself relevant by posting controversial comments on his social media page but does his latest statement actually have some substance to it or is he once again pulling everyone’s chain?

After almost three years out of the ring Fury made his comeback in June when he stopped Sefer Seferi in a joke of a fight at the Manchester Arena. The 29-year-old will be back in action again on the Frampton-Jackson undercard when he takes on Francesco Pianeta at Windsor Park in Belfast on August 18.

This morning Fury took to his Twitter page, saying: “I can confirm that me and Deontay Wilder are in negotiations. [It is] very close to being done.

“I can reveal that negotiations have been very strong for December. We are almost done with this deal.

“But I won’t be looking over Francesco Pianeta. He is going to give me the right fight and the right work to prepare me for Wilder.”

Wilder is currently without an opponent after negotiations broke down with current unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Rumours have circulated for months that the number one contender for the WBC belt Dominic Breazeale will be the ‘Bronze Bomber’ next fight. With that being said the WBC have not made this a mandatory so Wilder is free to cherry pick an opponent in the meantime.

That does open the door for someone like Tyson Fury to fight in December with the winner still in a position to take on AJ at Wembley in April to become undisputed heavyweight champion.

Sounds great but I can’t help but think this is just talk with no substance or as Sal ‘Rocky’ Cenicola likes to put it “the fluff without the stuff”. Only time will tell just how serious these talks are but I won’t be holding my breathe.

Whyte survives a late scare to beat Parker on Points

Dillian Whyte (24-1, 17KOs) survived a late onslaught from Joseph Parker (24-2, 17KOs) to win on points at the O2 Arena in Greenwich, London.

On an excellent night of boxing under the ‘Big tent’ in London home fighter Whyte produced a gritty performance against New Zealander Parker to win by unanimous decision. All three judges scored the fight in favour of Whyte 113-112, 115-110 & 114-111.

Parker edged the opening round using his hand speed to good effect and making the Londoner miss wildly on a couple of occasions although he got caught to the body when trying to move out of range.

The second round was pretty even until Parker was adjudged to have been knocked down with only seconds to spare. After looking at the replays it looked like a culmination of a loss of footing and a clash of heads.

Whyte who came in over 16lbs heavier was starting to make his extra weight count by taking the centre of ring. Parker was unable to push the Brixton slugger back and ended up getting caught with a right hand uppercut in the third.

A pattern was being to emerge with Parker continuing to get tagged to the body on the way out of an exchange and Whyte using rough tactics to disrupt Parker’s rhythm. Every time the Kiwi was able to sustain any sort of pressure in he fourth and fifth Whyte would respond with something better.

Parker was starting to look dispondant with the occasional glare over to his corner as Whyte produced one of his best rounds in the sixth landing an eye catching right uppercut.

Both men started to look gassed in the seventh and eighth but it was Whyte who looked unsteady on his feet that continued to be the aggressor with Parker unwillingly to engage.

If the first knockdown was unjust the second one that put Parker to the canvas in the ninth was anything but. The former WBO champion had never been down in his professional career but was on the end of an almighty left hook that put him down hard. To his credit he was able to beat the count and hold on.

The knockdown seemed to help Parker as he managed to steady the ship and box his way through round ten without any real concern.

Parker now needed to produce the best six minutes of his career if he was going to get anything out of the fight and to his credit he did exactly that. A huge right uppercut rocked an exhausted Whyte back onto his heels but Parker was unable to find the space to do enough significant damage.

Into the twelfth and final round and the young lad from New Zealand went for broke. The ‘Body Snatcher’ was hurt with a big right hand that pushed him back onto the ropes early in the round. Although Whyte managed to stay on his feet he was looking like a man on the verge of hitting the deck.

With 25 seconds to go Parker nailed Whyte with another big right hand but this time the Londoner did hit the canvas. In a state of desperation Whyte managed to pick himself off the floor and hold on for dear life to the sound of the final bell.

Nothing short of a terrific tear-up between two of the top heavyweights around today. Joseph Parker can hold his head up high but he definitely has plenty to work on although this experience will leave him in good stead. Dillian Whyte can now look forward to his next challenge what ever that might be. Surely one more victory against a high ranked opponent will put him next in line for a title shot in 2019. Who knows if Wilder avoids Joshua again then we could see Joshua-Whyte at Wembley in April.

Whyte vs Parker – Breakdown and Predictions

This Saturday night Dillian Whyte (23-1, 17KOs) headlines once again under the ‘Big Tent’ in Greenwich, London against New Zealander Joseph Parker (24-1, 18KOs).

When this fight was announced it came completely out of the blue and was a pleasant surprise for all boxing fans because they are two of the best five heavyweights in the world. Parker look set to fight Bryant Jennings in early June and Whyte was controversially dropped from the WBC mandatory position for Dominic Breazeale. Whyte then lost a purse bid to fight Kubrat Pulev in a mandatory IBF title eliminator. All these factors accumulated to both fighters deciding to a fight each other rather than jump through hoops for the governing bodies.

If you pay attention to the world rankings of any of the four major governing bodies it would give you a remarkably conflicting outcome. The likes of Tony Bellew and Jarrell Miller have no business being above either of these two. You could make a case for Alexander Povetkin or even Tyson Fury on past results but not at this moment in time.

What makes this fight so intriguing is the fact that there are no belts on the line and none of the powers that be have ordered this fight. This is all about showing the boxing world who is the most realistic challenger to the two world champions irrespective of what the rankings say we all know the winner of this fight should be next in line for a title shot.

Breakdown

Whyte from Brixton, South-East London has a varied world ranking but without question he is the current No.2 in Britain. The 30-year-old has fought 110 rounds in 24 bouts and has a 71% knockout ratio with a combined opponent record of 336-273-32. Since making his professional debut in 2011 the orthodox Jamaican-native has fought some credible opposition. Before his seventh round knockout defeat against Anthony Joshua he picked up an impressive knockout win over veteran Brian Minto.

The Brixton slugger became the first man to beat Dave Allen in an points win before making fellow South-East Londoner Ian Lewison retire in the tenth. In 2016 Whyte defeated Dereck Chisora in the domestic fight of the year by split decision that could have gone either way. Whyte’s winning streak continued when he put Malcolm Tann and Robert Helenius to the sword catapulting himself into a potential title shot.

In Whyte’s last appearance he produced the knockout of the year so far when he put Australian Lucas Browne to sleep in the sixth round of a scheduled twelve. Whyte looked set to face Wilder before the WBC intervened requesting another eliminatior against Luis Ortiz.

Kiwi Parker is the obvious ranked No.1 in New Zealand but also has a mixed world ranking like his opponent Whyte. In 25 bouts Parker has accumulated 135 rounds of boxing with a 72% knockout ratio and an impressive combined opponent record of 553-108-14.

After turning professional in 2012 the 26-year-old has fought some accomplished names like Frans Botha, Brian Minto, Sherman Williams and Kali Meehan. A unanimous decision over Carlos Takan – who will be on the undercard at the O2 against Dereck Chisora – in 2016 made other heavyweights take notice before knocking out German Alexander Dimitrenko in three.

Two dubious points decision victories over Andy Ruiz when he picked up the vacant WBO title in his own back yard and Hughie Fury in Manchester, England exposed chinks in his armour.

Predictions 

Both fighters have only one blemish on their professional records which of course came at the hands of Anthony Joshua. That being said they can take positives from their performances. Whyte being the first to rock Joshua and Parker was the first to go the 12 round distance with the undefeated unified champion. There is no doubt they have both been Joshua’s toughest challenges to date with the exception of Wladimir Klitschko.

Neither fighter will have a height advantage as both stand at 6’4” but Whyte does have the slightly longer reach of 78 inches to Parker’s 76”. The Londoner fights tall and does possess a decent jab but Parker showed in the first round against AJ that he has an excellent jab when firing his shots in low.

The New Zealander looks to have the fastest hands in the division so will throw combinations to out-punch Whyte. Maybe his best way to get close is to fight low and target the body. This could leave Parker open to Whyte’s left hook which we saw can be devastating since the shoulder operation against Lucas Browne.

Not many will disagree that both have solid chins but Parker edges Whyte considering his KO defeat to Joshua. Although that fight was a long time ago and it was a completely different type of fight to the one Parker had with AJ.

This really is a tight one to call and a lot will depend on which style Parker decides to implement. If he stays low with the jab, uses his hand speed and incorporates clever footwork with in and out combinations he could walk away with a points victory. If he decides to trade with Whyte and it ends up in a slugfest then the ‘Body Snatcher’ could well find the space to land one of his trademark left hooks or tag the body to slow down Parker in the latter stages of the fight.

At some point there will be a furious exchange which will suite Whyte better than Parker. It’s going to be a close one but I’m edging towards a fast start from Parker and for Whyte to come back after a rocking or even flooring Parker which will change the whole complexion of the fight. Whyte to win by a late stoppage.

Enjoy the fight ladies and gents!

Rumour has it Groves vs Smith on for September 29 in Saudi Arabia?

The World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) are ready to make a announcement in the next few days that WBA super middleweight champion George Groves (28-3, 20KOs) and fellow Brit Callum Smith (24-0, 17KOs) will finally meet for their final on September 29 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? 

There have been many announcements and rumours surrounding this fight for months now and both fighters must be eager to get a date and venue confirmed so they can concentrate on training and being fight ready. But Jeddah, Saudi Arabia?

It’s difficult to be critical of the WBSS as it really has been a breathe of fresh air for the sport but it’s hard to contemplate why on earth 2 British fighters should travel so far for the final? The only reason why the organisers would take the route of fighting in the 10,000 seater venue in Jeddah can only be for the money.

Considering the recent success of British fighters competing against eachother in football stadiums all over the country with attendances from 30,000 plus it does seem odd that Jeddah, Saudi Arabia would even be considered.

Cast your minds back to before Oleksandr Usyk systematically destroyed Murat Gassiev in Moscow to become the undisputed cruiserweigt champion and first Muhammad Ali trophy winner. Their final was supposed to take place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia until Usyk got injured.

The contract that was signed in London between Comosa AG and The General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia to stage the cruiserweight final must have had a clause that guarantees them one of the finals which would explain the bizarre choice of location.

The most irritating thing for the boxing fans of both Groves and Smith is they will either have to pay a fortune to travel out to Saudi Arabia or have to pay for the fight and watch it at home. Maybe the WBSS are more interested in PPV sales rather then selling tickets which could also explain their decision.

To put a positive spin on things we will finally be able to see what Saudi Arabia have to offer boxing. There have been plenty of fights that have fallen by the waist line when it come to the crunch of actually agreeing a fight in the Middle East. Neither fighter will have an advantage as both come from England and the time difference is only 2-hours in front of BST.

What ever decision is made by Comosa AG you really have to tip one’s hat to them for producing an excellent season one of WBSS boxing.

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.

Load More

Lost Password

Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.