The fight night all British boxing fights have been waiting for is finally here on Saturday Night at the 02, and I for one can not wait. Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom are bringing us an epic night of boxing live on Sky Sports, with a fight card consisting of puncher after puncher, and I expect to see a whole load of knockouts and TKOs.
Charlie Duffield vs Dan Azeez
The Vacant Light-Heavyweight Southern Area Title is going to be on the line in this bout between the two heavy hitting Londoners.
Charlie Duffield (7-1-0) had stopped all of the opponents he had beaten until last time out against Josip Perkovic, who took him the 4 round distance. Duffield’s one loss came as a shock TKO in round 6 against 5-18-2 journeyman Vladimir Idranyi. The worry for Duffield is that this was the only time he’s been past 4 rounds and it looked as though he couldn’t handle it, this bout is scheduled for 10.
MTK fighter Dan Azeez also fought Josip Perkovic last time out and stopped him in 4 rounds, via TKO. Azeez has a perfect record so far in his professional career with 8 wins from 8, 5 of which by KO.
Prediction: One of a few ‘fight of the night’ possibilities, I’m edging towards Azeez taking Duffield late and stopping him. But anything could happen when these two start landing.
Richard Riakporhe vs Chris Billam-Smith
This is going to be a war. Two absolute bangers going head to head for the WBA Intercontinental Cruiserweight Title. I personally believe this is going to be the most exciting fight of the night, as long as it lasts that is. A fight that will hopefully lead to the winner getting a shot at Lawrence Okolie.
Riakporhe comes into the contest with a record of 9 and 0 with 8 KOs after beating Tommy McCarthy in 4 rounds to defend his WBA Intercontinental Title, he captured from fellow prospect Sam Hyde in an 8th round TKO win on the Undercard of the Usyk vs Bellow unification bout.
Billam-Smith boasts the exact same record as Richard Riakporhe, albeit against lesser opponents. The one win that stands out on the record of Billam-Smith is his 5thround win over Robin Dupre (13-1-0), who had only lost to Luke Watkins previously.
Prediction: I believe Riakporhe will just be too good for Billam-Smith, I can see this one being a slugfest for 2 or 3 rounds, with Riakporhe winning via stoppage.
Derek Chisora vs Arthur Szpilka
Another Chisora fight, another barnstormer or another Gashi type affair? That’s the beauty of preparing to watch Chisora, you just don’t know. One thing is for sure though, if Chisora puts in one of his lethargic performances against Szpilka, he’ll be made to pay.
Chisora has looked rejuvenated since joining up with his old foe David Haye, even during his 2nd loss to headline fighter Dillian Whyte. He beat Senad Gashi last time out on points in a terrible fight, although that was through no fault of Derek, who tried to get the fight going but Gashi just wanted to run.
Szpilka comes into the fight off the back of a dubious split decision points win over fellow Pole Mariusz Wach. Prior to this and the points win over Dominick Guinn he was on a 2 fight loosing streak after being dangerously knocked out by WBC World Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder and stopped by prospect / fringe world level contender Adam Kownacki.
Prediction: The Chisora that turned up against Whyte and Takam is going to be the version we get, and I believe he will be far too much for Szpilka and get the stoppage.
Dave Allen vs David Price
Two of the most likeable British heavyweights head into the ring for a career defining fight for both, with Dave Allen hoping to move onto bigger things and David Price surely contemplating retirement if he fails to get the victory.
Dave Allen’s career took a massive upturn due to an absolute peach of an overhand right that obliterated Nick Webb and has since got himself the trainer we all knew he needed, maybe not in the shape of Darren Barker, but it seems to be working. Papi De La (however he feels) is currently on a 4 fight win streak, after his brilliant victory over former world champion Lucas Browne. Allen is also in the best shape we’ve ever seen him in, it’s amazing what taking the sportseriously and training properly can do when you undoubtably have talent.
David Price’s last outing was possibly the most bizarre heavyweight contest I’ve seen in a British boxing ring, with opponent Kash Ali biting Price on numerous occasions, finally getting disqualified after tackling him to the floor and blatantly biting the Scouser again. Price also won his fight prior to that in quite peculiar fashion, with a very premature stoppage of Tom Little.
Prediction: What subsides first? David Price’s power or Dave Allen’s granite chin? I see this fight going a very similar way to Allen’s last outing, where he rides the shots early, gets a feel for his opponent’s before stopping a fatigued David Price in the middle rounds.
Dillian Whyte vs Oscar Rivas
I am very intrigued by this fight, Oscar Rivas is relatively unknown to a lot of British boxing fans, but boxing purist know this lad can fight and is potentially, Whyte’s most difficult fight to date. It is also a contestthat should catapult the winner into the mandatory position for Deontay Wilder’s WBC World Title, although if rumours are to be trusted Wilder’s next two fights are unfortunately locked in (Ortiz, then Fury).
Whyte is one of very few heavyweights, who will fight literally anyone and possibly has the best fight catalogue in Heavyweight boxing over the last few years. He beat Chisora for a second time in his last bout, with a terrific left hook in the 11th round after an absolute war. And his two fights prior to that were a knockout win against former world champion and unbeaten at the time Lucas Browne and a points decision win to get past another former world champion in Joseph Parker.
Oscar Rivas was behind on the cards in his last outingbut pulled out a stunning 12th round TKO to get past American Bryant Jennings and beat unbeaten Fabio Maldonado via unanimous decision before that. Rivas has a brilliant record of knocking out 18 of his 26 opponents during his unbeaten professional career.
Prediction: I believe that Dillian Whyte just will not be stopped until he gets his title fight, he has that ‘eye of tiger’ so to speak and I think it will take a very special fighter to stop him getting to his goal. In my opinion Whyte will use his height, reach and likely weight advantage to null the fight early and win via points or a late stoppage.
Written by Bobby Gunn (SimBoxx).
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