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19 JULY 2018

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The Chin Check VII

By Steven Bateson


Well another week has passed and it isn’t really my domain to talk about but there has to be a brief mention of the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor superfight. There are a lot of fans of this bout and there are a lot of detractors. I see both sides of the coin but personally I think it’s a gross mismatch that has been manufactured in order to make ludicrous money. In saying that, will I watch it? You’re damn right just like everybody else who says that they won’t. There’s no point in lying about it, nobody will view you any different, because one way or another on August 26th we are all going to be tuned in.


But back to the UK scene (I’m back in my station) and first off I’d like to offer congratulations to Ryan Burnett for his flawless performance last Saturday as he dethroned Lee Haskins as the IBF Bantamweight Champion. But what on earth was Clark Sammartino doing scoring the fight to Haskins? It has later come out that it was a case of mistaken identity because he didn’t know which fighter was which?!? I mean pull the other one here, is that an actual wind up? These judges are "vetted" and put in charge of world title fights but they don’t know who is who? You’re messing with the livelihoods of the professionals in that ring and there needs to be stricter measures to ensure that this kind of thing does not happen again. Thankfully the overall decision was correct and Burnett can look forward to more big nights in the future.


Let it not be said that I don’t hold up my hands when I am proved wrong, I am happy to give credit where it is due and this week I have to give props to Poxon Sports and ITV Box Office for the additions they have made to the Eubank Jnr-Abraham card on July 15th. European Featherweight Champ, Dennis Ceylan will take on Sheffield’s Kid Galahad in what should be a real benchmark for where Galahad can go. Ceylan outpointed Ryan Walsh last year and he fought to a technical draw with Issac Lowe earlier this year so he will present problems to Galahad, who still houses aspirations of being a world champion. We’ve got Anthony Cacace & Martin J Ward in a British-Commonwealth title super feather clash, Robbie Davies Jnr vs Michal Syrowatka in a WBA Continental fight and then today the announcement that Lee Selby will make his mandatory IBF Featherweight defense against Jonathan Barros.


I’m not selling that as an amazing PPV lineup, it really isn’t, but it certainly lines up as well as some of the efforts that have been offered by Sky over the years and a lot more value for money than ITV’s first foray into PPV in February.


In conjunction with Selby’s announcement there was also one from Carl Frampton on Wednesday, he will be returning to Belfast to face the tough, hard hitting Mexican, Andres Gutierrez on July 29th. For some it was a disappointing announcement for two reasons; one it wasn’t at Windsor Park (Frampton could sell that stadium out in a heartbeat) and the other was the level of competition. I’ll admit I expected someone different but Gutierrez is no mug and will stand toe to toe with Frampton all night, he has lost only one bout, so the Irish fans can expect fireworks. Frampton made it known that he still wants the third Leo Santa Cruz fight but with him and Selby both scheduled for fights in July I have to wonder if a domestic showdown come be imminent? That would be a spectacular clash of styles and would land perfectly around November time, Cardiff anyone?


Eddie Hearn confirmed on Twitter this week that a deal has been reached for Rocky Fielding’s first British title defense against Jamie Cox in September. No date or venue has been announced yet but this one has domestic classic written all over it. Both men like a tear up and carry legitimate power but I would think Fielding will try to box his way to victory, given his vulnerability in the chin department and Cox’s heavy hands. Credit where it is due for this one, these are the types of fights we need for the Lonsdale belt.


David Haye was fined £25,000 for his behaviour in the build up to the Tony Bellew fight. I’m sure that has made a massive dent in his giant purse and will stop him from acting like a petulant child, oh you mean he’s been doing that for years? My mistake I didn’t realise, I thought it was a one off. Yet again the British Boxing Board have done very little to deter these kinds of action so expect a few more when Mr Haye returns at the end of the year.


Onto this weekend’s action and let’s start off with Paul Smith, who challenges WBA Regular Super Middleweight Champion Tyron Zeuge in Germany on Saturday night. As a fellow scouser I will be fully in the corner of Smith and hoping he brings the strap home but as I have said before there is no way on earth he is deserving of this shot. It is a byproduct of the Eddie Hearn-Sauerland relationship and nothing more. Zeuge, at 25, should be far too young and fresh for Smith but in reality we don’t know how good he is. This will be, arguably, his sternest test to date and if he cannot pass it then he does not belong at world level. For Smith it represents a last chance saloon, he’s tried and failed on the world stage several times, and a win here could open an unlikely gateway to huge domestic unifications with George Groves, James DeGale or even Eubank Jnr (He will never fight his brother Callum so we can rule that one out). Sky Sports will screen this around 10pm tomorrow night.


Boxnation & BT Sports are live from Belfast with a card headlined by Paddy Barnes fighting for the WBO European Flyweight Title against experienced Silvio Olteanu. Barnes was an amateur standout and has aspirations of being a world champion but so far he hasn’t been able to get out of first gear, this may be more of a challenge for him. Craig Evans-Stephen Ormond and Jono Carroll vs John Quigley are the two fights I urge you to watch, they could be real show stealers. Belfast is an amazing fight city, we saw that last week, and we can expect a raucous crowd once again here.


I’d just like to take a moment to offer my condolences to the family of Errol Christie, who lost his battle with cancer this week and sadly passed away at the age of 53. Christie was a phenomenal amateur boxer , maybe the best we have ever produced, and although he never hit the heights as a professional you only have to read the countless accounts and stories this week from ex boxers and those in the business to appreciate just how highly regarded he was. Rest in Peace, Errol.


For this week’s "Turn back time" I decided to pick out one of Christie’s more polished professional bouts, in this video alone you can see some of the talent he possessed.



Have a great weekend boxateers

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