Danny Flexen on why Archie Sharp vs Declan Geraghty is a hidden gem that could outshine the main event
Daniel Dubois is a rising star, a powerful heavyweight, so his status as the headline act this Friday on Frank Warren’s show at the Royal Albert Hall is hard to argue. Dubois already has the British title and bids for the vacant Commonwealth strap against raw Ghanaian Ebenezer Tetteh in what looks, from the brief clips I have managed to watch of the African, a mismatch destined to end early. You cannot blame Warren or Dubois for capitalising on this and passing another stage on the unbeaten Greenwich man’s ‘every belt’ journey.
Chief support sees Nicola Adams make the first defence of her WBO flyweight title and, again, the double Olympic gold medallist should be too talented for Mexican southpaw Maria Salinas. That said, this one could be competitive in parts and will likely go rounds.
So, with all due respect to those fights and undefeated middleweight Denzel Bentley taking on his first opponent with a winning record in Kelcie Ball, the hidden gem on this card has to be the super-featherweight clash between Archie Sharp and Declan Geraghty.
That Sharp was recently beaten out by Dubois for the Boxing Writers’ Young Boxer of the Year award says as much about the Welling man’s low profile as Dubois’ path of destruction. The 24-year-old, a modest type and more boxer than puncher, is 16-0 (8) and has vanquished Leon Woodstock and British title challenger Jordan McCorrry in two of his last three fights. Sharp, living up to his name, floored both and was a worth winner on each occasion.
Left-hander Geraghty isn’t on the best run of form but always comes to compete. Before a three-round stoppage loss to Marco McCullough in May, he had only been defeated by world title challengers in Jono Carroll (twice) and James Tennyson. Victories over Michael Roberts and John Quigley speak to his enduring quality, however. Even the McCullough setback was due to a monstrous right hand, quite probably the finest shot Marco has ever landed; the first two rounds had been nip and tuck.
Both men are mobile and have ability, with Sharp being a little more textbook and Geraghty employing a hands-low style. Archie can dig a bit, especially early on, but if the Dubliner can survive the first four rounds, this should develop into a gripping contest. Don’t miss it.