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Chin Check - Volume IV

By Steven Bateson


It’s the most important time of the week once again, left you all hanging a little for this one but absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that.


First thing is first and I’d just like to offer my sincerest and heartfelt condolences and prayers to the victims of the Manchester terror attacks. You may think this has nothing to do with boxing but we’re all human and we are all bonded. Manchester has and always will be a great fight city and once again they show their strength and warrior spirit in the face of adversity.


And now we have to look ahead to tomorrow night. Kell Brook and Errol Spence Jnr collide for Brook’s IBF Welterweight Title at Bramall Lane in what many are tipping as a fight of the year candidate. This is a legitimate 50-50 fight and these are the bouts we as fight fans want to see on a regular basis. I’m backing Brook because I think his ability is often slept on but let’s be honest, Spence is the real deal and no result in this one is going to shock me; I mean will Brook’s eye hold up after the Golovkin fight? Can he successfully boil back down in weight when so many fighters have struggled to do the same over the years? And just how good is Spence, is he ready for a boxer the calibre of Brook in the champion’s own backyard?


I would advise anyone that hasn’t already done so to get on the blower to Sky Box Office (I’m not on commission by the way but I feel I should be) and order this event because it will deliver. George Groves, one of my favourite fighters, has a 4th opportunity to finally win a world title on the undercard as well Dave Allen going after the Commonwealth strap, the Matchroom debut of unheralded 168lb’er Jamie Cox and appearances from Lawrence Okolie and Joe Cordina. This is another monumental night for British boxing, we’re in the driving seat right now, and I, for one, cannot wait.


If you can’t wait that long for some action (who can?) then tune into Spike TV & Channel 5 tonight for the vacant British Cruiserweight clash between Matty Askin and Craig Kennedy. The Cruiser division is often dismissed but it throws up some exciting bouts and I’m hoping we may get a little pearler. On the undercard; Andrew Selby will take on Cristofer Rosales in a WBC Flyweight eliminator. Selby has looked fantastic since turning pro but Rosales (who went the distance with Kal Yafai) should provide much more of a test than Selby is used to. I expect Selby to come through with a victory and I’m also tipping Kennedy to win his bout.


Some big British news in the 140lbs division this week as it was announced that Ohara Davies and Josh Taylor will fight on July 8th in Glasgow. Both men have been touted as future world champions so this is great for boxing to see two young lions colliding early doors in their careers instead of this rubbish we see nowadays where fighters put it off until both have reached world level (one usually fails along the way) so they deserve credit for that. Cyclone Promotions are putting this fight on and I’m predicting one to remember, as the fight gets closer I’ll man up and tip someone for the win. In a division that also boasts Jack Catterall, Tyrone Nurse and Robbie Davies Jnr there is an abundance of quality domestic fights we should be treated to over the next year or so.


Heavyweight news (cmon you knew it was coming) and Eddie Hearn has said Anthony Joshua’s next fight will be announced in "3-4 weeks". The re-match with Wlad K is the expected outcome and if it’s anything like the first (it very rarely is) then we are in for another rollercoaster. The Wembley show was near enough perfect so it has a lot to live up to if they go that route again but I’m fully behind them giving it another whirl.


Joseph Parker is expected at ringside tomorrow night in Sheffield to announce the next defence of his WBO Heavyweight strap. I’d say considering it is a Matchroom show then the most likely delivery will be that he’s taking on Tony Bellew but I could be wrong. Personally I’d love to see Parker fight Deontay Wilder over here in a unification bout on the same night as AJ-Klit II but I’m purely fantasizing now. I wouldn’t mind being a matchmaker but Eddie Hearn won’t even respond to my tweets.


Callum Smith is finally fighting for a world title! I mean he’s been mandatory challenger for nearly seventeen years ( about eighteen months) so it’s about time. Put September 9th in your diary for when he meets Anthony Dirrell for the WBC Super Middlweight Championship. Dirrell is solid but unspectacular and if Smith turns up on song (not those treading water performances he has put in of late) then we should be celebrating yet another 168lb champion.


Talking about the Super Mids and James DeGale and Badou Jack have been throwing shade at one another on Twitter. It’s been four months since their disputed draw and since then Jack has moved up to Light Heavyweight whilst neither man has actually bothered to book themselves in for another fight. I keep hearing horrible rumours of DeGale- Eubank Jnr and I’m really not even going to insult your intelligence by trying to sell that as anything other than preposterous. Jack-DeGale II is a fight we’d all love to see but for now I guess they’re just sticking to their "Tweef".


Amir Khan is still talking up a fight with Kell Brook, I don’t think anyone is listening anymore but he continues to talk about it anyway. Now he’s telling us that he’s one of the very few names capable of selling out Wembley. Aye right; once they’ve made room for his over-inflated ego I don’t think they’ll even have room for his opponent.


Also not strictly British news but Michael Conlan fights tonight in his second pro outing. The Republic of Ireland fighter looked brilliant in his debut and I’m expecting huge things from him in the Super Bantam division. You can catch him on Boxnation from 1:30am. If you haven’t seen him fight then tune in, the hype is real.


Not a long one this week, quite frankly I’m sweltering under the heat and despite the massive night of boxing tomorrow there hasn’t been a plethora of news from a British perspective. Enjoy your bank holiday boxateers and more importantly enjoy the boxing. See you on the flip.

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