No announcement yet.

Action Galore in the U.K. on Saturday -- Title Fights at Three Separate Venues

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Action Galore in the U.K. on Saturday -- Title Fights at Three Separate Venues

    England’s premier promoters – Eddie Hearn (Matchroom), Frank Warren (Queensberry), and the new kid on the block, Ben Shalom (BOXXER) -- have competing shows this Saturday. The headline attractions shape up as competitive fights, especially the battle in Belfast where hometown hero Michael Conlan (18-1, 9 KOs) is very slight favorite over Mexican spoiler Luis Alberto Lopez.

    Belfast, Northern Ireland (ESPN+}

    This fight is expected to kick off first with the ring walks at 9 pm local time (4 pm ET). At stake is the IBF world featherweight title which Lopez (27-2, 15 KOs) won with a well-earned majority decision over Josh Warrington in hostile Leeds. It was Lopez’s 10th straight triumph. The Mexicali campaigner has been training in Las Vegas under Kay Koroma.

    Conlan, the two-time Olympian, fought for the WBA version of this title in March of last year in Nottingham.

    His war with Leigh Wood was the sort of fight that shortens a fighter’s career, but Conlan has shown no ill-effects. His lopsided decision over Miguel Marriaga in his last start followed a first-round blast-out of Karim Guerfi.


    In a fight slated for 12, Liverpool’s Nick Ball (17-0, 10 KOs) squares off against South Africa’s Ludumo Lamati (21-0-1, 11 KOs). The five-foot-four “Wrecking” Ball, with his buzzsaw style, has been called Britain’s most exciting fighter. In a companion 12-rounder, Belfast’s Anthony “Apache” Cacace (20-1, 7 KOs) meets Damian Wrzesinski (26-2-2), a 38-year-old Pole. Cacace has been a road warrior. This is his first fight in his hometown in eight years.

    Manchester (DAZN)

    In a rematch for the WBA world featherweight title, Mexico City’s Mauricio Lara (26-2-1 (19 KOs) squares off against Leigh Wood (26-3, 16 KOs).

    Fourteen weeks ago, Lara went into Wood’s backyard in Nottingham and stopped him in the seventh round. Lara was behind on the cards when he felled Wood with crunching left hook. Wood beat the count but his trainer Ben Davison tossed in the towel which struck many, especially Wood, as premature as less than 10 seconds remained in the round. In a previous trip to England, Lara stopped Josh Warrington in Leeds.

    At last glance, Mauricio Lara, the younger man by 10 years, was a 3/1 favorite to take the measure of Wood once again.


    In his first appearance since his controversial defeat to Josh Taylor in Glasgow in February of last year, Jack Catterall (26-1,15 KOs) opposes Irish southpaw Darragh Foley (22-4-1, 16 KOs). The Sportsman called the Catterall-Taylor fight, a split decision win for Taylor, the most controversial fight in British boxing history.

    Unlike Catterall, who may have some ring rust, Foley was in action 10 weeks ago, scoring his signature win with a third-round stoppage of favored Robbie Davies Jr.


    Adding spice to the card – assuming a suitable opponent can be found – is Terri Harper who was slated to fight Cecilia Braekhus last Saturday in the co-feature to Taylor vs. Cameron in Dublin. That match fell out when Braekhus developed flu-like symptoms following the weight-in.

    The 26-year-old Harper (13-1-1, 6 KOs) owns the WBA 154-pound world title after previously holding the WBC belt at 130 pounds.


    Lawrence Okolie (19-0, 14 KOs) makes the fourth defense of his WBO world cruiserweight title against Chris Billum-Smith (17-1, 12 KOs).

    Okolie, who blows hot and cold in terms of delivering a fan-family fight, returns to the ring two months after winning a snoozer in a mandatory defense against New Zealand’s David Light.

    These two are well-acquainted, having sparred hundreds of rounds when both were trained by Shane McGuigan. Okolie has since abandoned McGuigan in favor of SugarHill Steward. Billum-Smith is on a nice roll – he’s won eight straight – and he will have home field advantage at Vitality Stadium where extra seats have been added in expectation of a sellout, but Lawrence Okolie, at last glance, was a 4/1 favorite.