We have a busy Saturday night of boxing in England with Sky Sports broadcasting in Birmingham and BT Sport and Boxnation showing live coverage of a night in Leeds.
Starting with the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham Kal Yafai (21-0, 14KOs) headlines a bill labelled ‘The Homecoming’. The WBA world super flyweight puts his title on the line against Suguru Muranaka (25-2-1, 8KOs). The Japanese fighter is on a 10 year unbeaten streak but has never fought outside of his home county in all of his 28 bouts.
This will be Yafai’s first defence of the WBA strap since he captured the title against Luis Conception (35-5, 24KOs) in Manchester.
Bar the Conception victory Kal’s best win came against Cristofer Rosales (23-2, 15KOs) who will take on another young British rising star Andrew Selby (8-0, 5KOs) on May 26.
On the undercard Sam Eggington (20-3, 12KOs) attempts to win the EBU (European) welterweight title against current holder Ceferino Rodriguez (24-1, 12KOs). The Spaniard defeated Ahmed El Mousaoui (25-3-1, 6KOs) to win the European belt in December 2016.
It will be a very difficult night for Eggington with Rodriguez’s only defeat coming against Mohammed Mimoune (18-2, 2KOs) 2 years ago. He has fought and won in Italy, Argentina and USA so coming overseas to England won’t faze the 28 year old.
The Savage as Eggington likes to be known has been in great form of late with a KO win over now retired Paulie Malignaggi (36-8, 7KOs) in March and a TKO victory over Brummy Frankie Gavin (23-3, 14KOs) last year.
He also put in a fine performance when he stopped Shayne Singleton (23-1-1, 8KOs) who was undefeated at the time. That being said Eggington was out classed by Bradley Skeete (25-1, 11KOs) who fights Singleton next in June.
Frankie Gavin looks to put his recent defeats to Eggington and Kell Brook (36-1, 25KOs) behind him and get back to winning ways when takes on journeyman Renald Garrido (18-14-1, 3KOs). Nothing more than a victory will do for Gavin.
WBC international super bantamweight title holder Sean Davis (12-0, 0KOs) puts his belt on the line against Gamal Yafai (11-0, 4KOs).
It’s great to see two undefeated fighters step into the ring against each other on any night but with the added spice of fighting in their home towns this could be the fight of the night.
Davis won the vacant WBC international super bantamweight title against Paul Economides (20-6, 4KOs) in October last year in what was his best victory so far.
Gamal’s best performance came against Bobby Jenkinson (10-3-1, 2KOs) when he won the Commonwealth (British Empire) super bantamweight title.
In another fight which sees two undefeated fighters pitted against each other, Ryan Kelly (8-0, 3KOs) takes on Adam Harper (7-0, 0KOs) with the vacant Midlands Area super welterweight title up for grabs.
Kelly is the home fighter so this may give him a slight edge but this is a real 50/50 fight which could go either way.
Josh Kelly (1-0) will challenge himself yet again in only his second pro fight when he takes on Spaniard Jony Vina (6-1,1KO).
The 23 year old is being fast tracked in the middleweight division as he has obvious talent but his cockiness will need to be rained in by coach Adam Booth, although I’m sure he’s used to training big heads, (I mention no names)
Super middleweight Lennox Clarke (15-0,6KOs) steps in the ring against Karel Horejsek (8-7-2, 7KOs) who is a natural light heavyweight. Do not let the Czech’s record fool you as he carries power so this won’t be easy.
In the First Direct Arena in Leeds, featherweight Josh Warrington (24-0, 5KOs) finally makes his return after 10 months out against Kiko Martinez (36-7, 26KOs).
The Yorkshireman has had some impressive victories against Patrick Hyland (31-3, 15KOs), Randall Munroe (28-5-1, 11KOs) and Joel Brunker (31-2, 18KOs). This will be another tough test for Warrington as he sets his sights on the world title shot next.
The Spaniard has had more knockouts then Josh has had fights and been in the ring with the very best, Carl Frampton (23-1, 14KOs) twice, Randall Munroe twice, Scott Quigg (33-1-2, 24KOs) and current featherweight king Leo Santa Cruz (33-1-1, 18KOs).
Kiko is always the nearly man but just falls short against the elite so this will be a statement of intent if Warrington can get past him.
British super bantamweight title holder Jazza Dickens (22-2, 7KOs) takes on undefeated Thomas Patrick Ward (20-0, 2KOs).
Dickens has only lost to the number one super bantamweight Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0, 11KOs) and rising star Kid Galahad (22-0, 13KOs) so this is a really big night for Ward in front of his home crowd.
Flyweight Nicola Adams (1-0, 0KOs) will take on 18 year old Maryan Salazar (5-1, 0KOs). ‘The Lioness’ will be desperate to put on a great performance in front of her beloved fans.
Super lightweight Josh Leather (11-0, 5KOs) puts his undefeated record on the line against Irishman Phillip Sutcliffe Jnr (13-1, 8KOs).
This could be one of the fights of the night in Leeds as there really is nothing between them but I have a sneaking feeling the man from Dublin might nick the win.
Tyronne Nurse (34-2-2, 7KOs) will be hoping for a better performance then his last outing when he was fortunate to get a draw against Joe Hughes (15-2-1, 6KOs).
His opponent Andy Keates (12-6, 1KO) has lost four of his last five fights so it would be a massive shock if he could pull off a victory.
Light heavyweight Bob Ajisafe (16-3, 7KOs) will be looking to get back to winning ways after his defeat against dangerous Russian Umar Salamov (19-0, 14KOs) when he takes on Andrejs Pokumeiko (12-12-1, 8KOs).
The Lionheart as Ajisafe likes to be known should win comfortably but you never know in heavyweight boxing.
Hope you all enjoy!