Leigh Wood vs Ryan Doyle is the first of Danny Flexen’s 5 UK undercard fights to watch in May
Leigh Wood vs Ryan Doyle (Nottingham, May 10)
Though he comes from Gedling in Nottinghamshire, Wood’s Commonwealth defence against Doyle is the chief support to hot prospect and flatmate Jordan Gill on this Matchroom show. That is an interesting sub-plot as intelligent pressure-fighter Doyle lost the same belt to Gill in October, before the latter relinquished, allowing awkward and slick Wood to stop Abraham Osei Bonsu for the vacant crown in March. Styles should mesh well here and it will be hard not to measure Wood, a longtime Ingle pupil now with Ian Grant, against his friend.
Jason Cunningham vs Josh Kennedy (Doncaster, May 11)
Ex-pro Stefy Bull sure knows how to provide value for money. A Central Area title fight tops the bill but there is also a very intriguing British super-bantamweight title eliminator between rangy hometown southpaw Cunningham and strong, talented Kennedy, from Folkestone. Cunningham has won domestic belts at bantam and feather but this may be his best weight, while Kennedy has only lost, on points, to the very good Tyrone McCullagh. Both are coming off defeats so have plenty to prove and to gain.
Jack Flatley vs Craig Morris (Bolton, May 11)
Steve Wood’s VIP outfit present two English title fights on the same show, with hometown fighter Jack Cullen the nominal main event as he challenges Reece Cartwright at middleweight. That said, the clash between Flatley, another Bolton man, and Ludlow’s Morris for the strap a division south should entertain. Flatley drew his first major test last year when he twice rose from the canvas to rally against touted Troy Williamson at middle. Morris is tough and has only been halted by Scott Fitzgerald – who he troubled - and is a former Midlands champ, albeit at welter.
Marco McCullough vs Declan Geraghty (Belfast, May 17)
Supporting the long-awaited return of local hero and former unified world champion, Ryan Burnett, hometowner McCullough and Dublin’s Geraghty meet for an IBF European belt at super-featherweight on this MTK Global event. McCullough has skill and heart but has been drawn into unwise brawls. Geraghty is a truly gifted left-hander, the more natural super-feather and has only lost to world title challengers James Tennyson and Jono Carroll (twice).
Brad Foster vs Ashley Lane (Stevenage, May 18)
While Billy Joe Saunders attempts to become a two-weight world champion in Lamex Stadium, these two super-bantams dispute Foster’s British and Lane’s Commonwealth belts. Undefeated former kickboxer Foster looked strong and smart in clearly beating Josh Wale for the vacant Lonsdale Belt in March, but Lane is on a winning run of six since losing eight of his first 17 pro bouts. He is determined and aggressive, making this the likely fight of the night on Frank Warren’s big card.