RYAN RHODES believes this Friday night’s ‘The World Awaits’ event in Rotherham is set to be one of the best non-televised shows British boxing has ever seen.
Denaby Main’s Terri Harper vies to become the UK’s youngest ever female professional world champion when she tops the bill against tough and experienced South African Nozipho Bell at a sold out Magna Centre.
A stellar undercard also sees Gavin McDonnell return to action following his WBA super-bantamweight title challenge against Daniel Roman last October, whilst former English and Commonwealth title rulers Lee Apppleyard and Jason Cunningham also appear.
Rhodes, who co-promotes alongside Stefy Bull, knows all about big nights having shared the ring with the likes of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez during a glittering 17-year career at light-middleweight and middleweight.
And he feels that away from the watchful gaze of millions on networks such as BT Sport and Sky, Friday’s event is as good as it gets.
“Look at the card. You’ve got English champions, British champions, Commonwealth champions, European champions and former world title challengers on this show and the only that’s missing from this event is TV,” Rhodes told Wednesday’s press conference.
“For two promoters like myself and Stefy to put on a world title and not get the support from TV is credit to ourselves and what we do and also to the boxers who want to fight on the promotions that we stage.
“My job after being a fighter was to train, manage and promote champions. After hanging my gloves up seven years ago, I moved into training and I’ve been promoting and putting shows for four years but I never even dreamt I’d helping put on a world title fight.”
For the aforementioned Stefy Bull, Friday’s bill presents more than just a great non-TV card and the biggest event he’s been involved in as a promoter, it also means a chance to make history.
Bull co-trained Doncaster’s Jamie McDonnell to IBF title glory in 2013 and victory for Harper this week will mean Stefy being the first person in British boxing to train both male and female world champions.
“It’s something that will make me very proud and even if I never do anything else in boxing again, it’ll be an achievement that no one can take away from me,” he said.
“It’s also big for Ray Doyle, who also trains Terri. He’s had a British champion with Robbie Barrett, he’s had Jason Cunningham as Commonwealth champion and he’s English champions, but a world title is massive. These are the nights we’re in the sport for.”
Stefy Bull Promotions in association with Ryan Rhodes’s 26RR Promotions presents an evening of professional boxing entitled ‘The World Awaits’ on Friday 19 July at the Magna Centre, Rotherham.
As well Harper v Bell, Doncaster’s two-time world title challenger Gavin McDonnell returns to action, Lee Appleyard boxes in his hometown for the first time, Jason Cunningham keeps busy ahead of a potential British super-bantamweight title shot, and unbeaten Sheffield prospect Callum ‘Hitman’ Hancock continues his education.
Also in action are debutants Callum Beardow and Cam Shaw, Sheffield’s Jamaican-born puncher Nicolie Campbell and fast-rising super-lightweight Levi Kinsiona.