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22 OCTOBER 2017

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The Chin Check - Season 2 Volume II


By Steven Bateson

 

Never fear, The Chin Check is here guys. Plenty of news to get through this week, lots going on and plenty of upcoming fights to look forward to. But enough blabbing, straight to it.

 

I think the biggest news of the past two weeks is Carl Frampton’s link up with Frank Warren and BT Sport. Frampton has been linked with every promotional stable on the planet but he believes Warren is the man to deliver the big fights for him in Belfast. Frampton is the marketable name that BT have been waiting for since linking up with Boxnation and they will see this as their opportunity to make an impact upon the sport. Frampton will face Horacio Garcia (33-3-1) on November 18th before trying to entice the likes of Oscar Valdez, Leo Santa Cruz etc to the table somewhere in the early new year.

 

On the same night Jamie Conlan will face Jerwin Ancajas for the IBF Super Flyweight title. Conlan is one of the sports nice guys and also guaranteed toe to toe action, it would be a great moment if he was to pull this one off and defeat the Philippines man for the strap.

 

And Jono Carroll vs Declan Geraghty II has been announced for the undercard with IBF Euro Super Feather belt on the line. The pair put on the Irish Union fight of the year 2014 and Geraghty will be looking for revenge following a DQ loss in that one.

 

I said I wouldn’t talk about the David Haye-Tony Bellew re-match until it was officially announced and alas now it has. The fight that the boxing community has supposedly been clamouring for will take place on Sunday 17th December at the O2 Arena. Funnily enough I haven’t heard anyone clamouring for the fight aside from the two men themselves, this is about boosting their bank balances once again and nothing else. The only thing I like about this fight is that it’s taking place on a Sunday, I believe this is something that should be looked into as it is in Japan, but the fight itself isn’t much of a turn on. We were drawn in by the supposed animosity first time around but after witnessing both men hug it out and declare their respect for one another after the final bell how am I supposed to suspend disbelief enough to believe it a second time? It’s rumoured the winner could meet Joseph Parker for the WBO bauble in the Spring, I suppose that can’t be any worse than watching Parker vs Fury again.

 

Stephen Smith and Juli Giner for the EBU Super Feather strap is the first undercard fight announced for Haye-Bellew II. Smith has failed twice at world level and if he doesn’t pick up the win here you would have to question where he goes from there. Both Jose Pedraza and Jason Sosa were far too much for Smith and whilst I think he’s an honest operator I think ever winning a world title would be a big ask for him.

 

Apparently Frank Warren has today poured cold water on the rumours of Billy Joe Saunders vs Amir Khan . At first I scoffed, then I laughed but then I thought about it and I see the reasoning behind it, even if I think it is ludicrous that Khan can walk straight into such a big fight after a nineteen month layoff and a brutal KO at the hands of Canelo but now it’s not happening anyway so BJS is still looking for a dance partner for December. It is very likely that Canelo and Golovkin will have an immediate re-match whilst David Lemieux is waiting on a Miguel Cotto fight and Danny Jacobs/Jermall Charlo are already signed for bouts in the next month. It’s very likely we’ll see the likes of NABO Champion Francis Lefreniere or even Conrad Cummings get the nod (Cummings is looking for a new promoter so this could sweeten a deal). When you put it like that I think I’d rather watch him fight Khan or even me, I’ve cut out carbs for four weeks and I’m in at 164lbs right now….give me a call, Frank!

 

Matchroom USA have announced their first show with new signing Daniel Jacobs taking on Luis Arias on November 11th. Jacobs was a big coup for Eddie Hearn’s new venture and there are rumours that other big names are set to follow. The co main event will see Jarrell Miller facing Mariusz Wach at Heavyweight, it’s more than likely if Miller wins we’ll see him in with some our own fighters sometime early next year. Miller is nothing more than a boisterous plodder but watching him and Dillian Whyte trash talk could at least entertain me for a little while, maybe Dereck Chisora can join in a triple threat and throw some tables around just to add to the ambience. Top Rank and Golden Boy should be watching over their shoulders at this move from Matchroom because Hearn has the power to give them a run for their money. As soon as Anthony Joshua makes the move across the Atlantic there could be a seismic shift in the promotional power plays, he has the star power to take this to the next level.

 

Frank Warren has confirmed that terms have been agreed for Gary Corcoran to challenge Jeff Horn for the WBO Welterweight title in November, an official announcement is expected soon. I’m sorry but this is quite frankly scandalous and whilst I don’t begrudge Corcoran the chance of a lifetime what sort of respect are we supposed to have for governing bodies when they sanction fights like this? Apparently Horn’s team rejected Bradley Skeete (ranked number 3) in order to face Corcoran who has never mixed at European level let alone on a world stage. The credibility of the sport takes a knock on a near enough weekly basis and this is yet another example of that.

 

Tyson Fury has today told the BBBoC "no thanks" to a potential reinstallment of his license meaning that once again a return to boxing seems extremely unlikely. I think these on/off stories will continue for quite some time as of yet but right now it seems Tyson does not wish to go down that route given his rocky relationship with the governing body. I think it’s a shame for boxing if Fury does not return to answer the questions surrounding his place at the top of the Heavyweight pile but that decision is his and his alone.

 

It was a good night of boxing in Liverpool on Saturday night with notable victories for Paul Butler, Ohara Davies, Rocky Fielding and Sean Dodd. For Butler it now appears as though he is heading for a world title tilt, which was the reason he signed with Matchroom in the first place. That means he is likely to challenge either Jamie McDonnell or Ryan Burnett (should they come through their respective upcoming defenses) and whilst his performance against Stuart Hall was impressive he is going to need a career best display in order to dethrone either of those two. Ohara Davies used poor Tom Farrell as a punchbag in a bout that showed he still is intimidating but proved very little else. Davies was outclassed by Josh Taylor in July and until he steps back near that kind of level we will have no idea just how capable he is. Rocky Fielding is expected out on December 17th to defend his British and Commonwealth in an attempt to win the Lonsdale outright before moving up in levels whilst Sean Dodd continues to prove the disbelievers wrong and may find himself in a European title fight in the new year.

 

It’s a huge weekend of boxing on these shores are for our fights, a plethora of action to choose from on a range of platforms and channels so here’s a quick run down for you and what to look out for:

 

Friday night from Edinburgh Boxnation will be screening that British Heavyweight title clash between Sam Sexton and Gary Cornish. Huge opportunity for both men to win the illustrious Lonsdale strap and I’d slightly favour Sexton on experience alone. With the likes of Daniel Dubois and Nathan Gorman on the rise I think Sexton and Cornish should grab their chance whilst they can. Stephen Simmons is also in action against Simon Barclay, who steps in as a late replacement for Matty Askin. Simmons and Askin were supposed to collide for the British Cruiserweight belt but that will have to be rearranged for a later date. Simmons was very disappointing last time I saw him in July so having another fight before Askin may just do him the world of good, although Barclay will have his own plans of upsetting the odds here.

 

Saturday night we have the huge England/Scotland war between Anthony Crolla and Ricky Burns in Manchester on Sky Sports. I think this is a brilliant bit of matchmaking that really is a 50-50 crossroads fight. The winner goes onto another potential world title whilst the loser will be staring retirement in the face. Neither man likes to take a backward step and the atmosphere will be incredible. I’m slightly leaning towards Burns right now but that could all change on fight night. I’ve heard a few disgruntled "fans" complaining about this fight but I really can’t get my head around why. These two men are above domestic level but not quite deserving of another world title shot, the fight makes sense. If people don’t like then don’t watch and don’t pay for a ticket, it is very simple. It seems to be the "in" thing right now to complain about what is on offer and yet 2017 has been one of the best years for boxing in a very long time. There is plenty of old fights on Youtube if that’s what you want, leave the present to those of us who want to watch.

 

Sam Eggington defends his EBU Welterweight strap in the chief support and Eggington, just named Young Boxer of the Year, is always guaranteed entertainment and money so keep a watch on him. I would like to see a little bit more defense from him but he really is value and at 23 he still has plenty of growing and learning to do. Frenchmen Mohamed Mimoune will be in the opposite corner and will provide a stern test but one Eggington will be looking to bulldoze through. Look, if Frank Warren can get Gary Corcoran a world title shot then the Hearns need to get one for Sam because he is just as deserving. Conor Benn will also be in action whilst Robbie Barrett makes the first defense of his British Lightweight strap against Lewis Ritson.

 

Chris Eubank Jnr travels to Stuttgart to face tough, unbeaten Turk Avni Yildrim in the second World Boxing Super Series Quarter Final. Yildrim is somewhat of an unknown quantity but we do know he is likely to outweigh Eubank by 10-20lbs on fight night. Eubank is certainly improving and although I’ve been critical of him in the past there is no room to manoeuvre in this tournament, in order to win you must face the best in your weight class. The winner of this one will meet the winner of next week’s All British affair between George Groves and Jamie Cox, so there is potential for a big domestic showdown early in the new year if results go the right way. Also if you didn’t catch a clip of the press conference for this fight today then please look online because Yildrim’s manager makes Eubank Snr look sane.

 

Channel 5 are in on the action too as they bring the next chapter of Andrew Selby’s career, who takes on veteran Maximino Flores. There are those in the industry who believe Selby is ready to contest world titles already but I’m not so sure. His skills are undeniable but he switched off and got dropped in his last fight, something he cannot afford at elite level. I think a couple more tests at fringe world stage will stand him in great stead for the challenges ahead, he most certainly doesn’t want to go looking for monstrous punching Daigo Higa right now, of whom he is closing in on the mandatory position for. Unbeaten Cruiserweights Robin Dupre and Luke Watkins will also battle for the Commonwealth belt in the co main event.

 

Big week of news and there is sure to be a lot more to come. So much so that the Chin Check might have to double up on a weekly basis, I know, I know but try to contain your excitement. Be sure to enjoy the boxing fest we have this weekend fellow fans and I’ll catch you on the other side.




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