It was a bizarre spectacle and event in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as Amir Khan returned to action with an as expected, dominant fourth round knockout of late notice opponent, Billy Dib.
Khan was eager to get his lightning combinations working early on, as he stalked the Aussie in an attempt to pin his man down.
Dib couldn’t find success, and was constantly countered when going for attacks of his own. Case in point came in the opening minute of the second, when Khan perfectly timed a counter left, on top of Dib’s own left hand attempt.
Dib survived the count, but the gulf was evident, as Khan wasn’t troubled by the power of a man used to operating four weight classes south of Welterweight. The man from down under lasted until round four, when a rapid left right combination allowed Khan to unleash an attack that finished with a big left hand, decking Dib for the second time, with the towel immediately coming in from his corner.
Khan produced a slick performance Billy Dib. Credit: Boxing Scene
Khan picked up the WBC International Title as a result of his win, but its unclear what the plan is going forward. Khan had targeted Manny Pacquiao ahead of this contest, but it remains to be seen if that fight, or a domestic clash with Kell Brook could be arranged.
Hughie Fury made heavy weather of the limited former WBC Heavyweight Champion, Samuel Peter, in a real tough watch.
Fury started off nice and relaxed, off a fluid jab, and landed with an early right hand. Peter, by contrast, was slow and cumbersome, and Fury’s right hand connected near enough every time he threw it towards Peter’s direction. “The Nigerian Nightmare” had a point deducted in round four for a wild left hook landed a long time after the referee called a break.
It was a messy affair, with Fury becoming entangled with Peter regularly, and the Nigerian was walking a tightrope with the referee after another flouting of the rules in the fifth. A low blow followed by blatant shots behind the back of Fury’s head forced a warning from the official.
Hughie Fury stopped Samuel Peters in round 7. Credit: The Sun
Fury was being far too casual for comfort, allowing Peter to gain confidence, and launch more meaningful assaults. The end thankfully came in round seven, when, after another foul filled attack from the 38 year old, he pulled away in discomfort, with his left shoulder seemingly dislocated.
The referee gave Peter all the time in the world to recover, and he was finally pulled out by his corner
A man with a lot to say for himself, Prince Patel, was humbled in a challenge for the vacant IBO Bantamweight Title, as Michell Banquez eased his was to a wide points win.
Patel had been used to getting his own way, having beaten some shocking levels of opponent in the last eighteen months especially, and was truly found out as Banquez dominated proceedings.
Patel struggled to get his shots off, as Banquez was able to dictate with ease, and it was inevitable when the contest went the full twelve rounds as to who the winner was.
Banquez picked up the belt with two scores of 119-109 and one of 118-110 to hand the brash Patel a first professional defeat.
MTK continue to produce good quality shows, and they arrived at the Liverpool Olympia to put on a card packed full of world class talent.
Top of this bill saw James “Jazza” Dickens put on an impressive performance to outscore Australian visitor, Nathaniel May, wining the IBF European Featherweight Title in the process.
It was an absorbing contest, fought at close quarters, and you couldn’t take your eyes off the action.
Scores of 97-92, 97-91 and 96-92 saw Dickens send his home crowd happy.
The damage was down in rounds four and five, as Dickens dropped may once in each round. In a close, phone booth type fight, Dickens scored a knockdown with a short hook that appeared to be with May off balance. He repeated the trick in round five, with nothing more than a jab, that seemed to drop May with a tangle of feet.
Dickens gets decision over May. Credit: Boxing Scene
With the knockdowns in the bank, the second half of the fight was much calmer, and Dickens kept on the jab, and out of trouble, to record a solid win.
Martin Murray hit the comeback trail yet again, and had to go ten rounds with the tough Portuguese, Rui Manuel Pavanito.
St Helens’ Murray took the contest 98-92. Murray applied the pressure mainly for the first half of the fight, which allowed him to coast to victory in the second half of the contest. Uppercuts and hooks appeared to wobble Pavanito in the eighth, and he was buzzed again in the ninth, before retreating to safety.
Murray couldn’t quite manage the stoppage win in the end, with Pavanito game throughout to see the fight out on his feet. Ex WBO Lightweight Champion, Terry Flanagan, appeared early on in the broadcast in an eight rounder against the Tanzanian, Jonas Segu.
Terry Flanagan was retiring at his natural weight, following back to back defeats at Super Lightweight.
“Turbo” wasted no time in getting back into the groove, decking Segu with a rapid right/left combination as the visitor was throwing his own shot. Segu gingerly got to his feet, and survived the count and the round. Flanagan would have to wait until the fifth ro register a stoppage victory, as Segu stuck around by swinging for the fences, leaving him exhausted at the start of the fifth frame. Flanagan sensed this, and ended matters just ten seconds into the round, punishing the African in the corner, with a short left forcing Segu to sit in the corner, and see to the referee’s count.
Flanagan stopped Segu in the fifth round. Credit: Boxing Scene
Natasha Jonas continued her rebuild following a shock first professional defeat last year, with a fourth round stoppage of Bec Connolly.
“Miss GB” scored a knockdown in the opener, but it did appear to be more of a slip than a clean punch that caused it. Jonas did catch Connolly clean later on in the round though, this time there was no doubt that it was a knockdown, but Connolly again beat the count.
Jonas stepped on the pedal in round four, and, with not a lot coming back from Connolly, the referee had seen enough to stop the contest in the Liverpudlian’s favour.
At the O2 Arena in London it was another cracking Frank Warren card. Top of the bill saw Daniel Dubois halt Nathan Gorman in five rounds to become British Heavyweight Champion at just 21 years of age.
Dubois was flanked by former WBC Heavyweight Champion, Frank Bruno in the introductions, while Gorman’s WBC International belt was carried to the ring by Lineal Heavyweight Champion, Tyson Fury.
Gorman showed early hand speed in an attempt to gain respect from Dubois. Dubois landed with some sharp right hands in the opener, to maybe shade the session in what was a tense beginning.
That went out the window in the second, when both opened up and started swinging. It was a back and forth affair in the early going, with Dubois’ right hand proving a key factor, with Gorman’s left eye cut during the round. Gorman landed decent right hands of his own on the counter.
Dubois was also impressively setting his attacks up with his jab, but he right hand came into play again in round three, and several clubbing rights to the temple put the Nantwich man on the canvas, where he wisely adhered the referees count before rising. Gorman was going out on his shield, and exchanged wild punches with Dubois. who was stalking his man with menace. Gorman, to his credit, saw out the round.
The fourth was a much quieter affair, but the start of the fifth saw another big right land clean on Gorman’s temple, and Dubois was dominating the action, having the last word in exchanges as Gorman’s work was ragged. With less than half a minute remaining in the round, Dubois detonated another booming right, which left Gorman scrambling for his senses. With the cost being administered, Gorman simply couldn’t beat it, and Dubois sealed victory.
In the other Heavyweight meeting on the bill, Joe Joyce was forced to go the distance for the first time as a professional, as he struggled to get going and motivated in a largely forgettable points win against former World Title challenger, Bryant Jennings.
Joyce was caught with a meaty body shot from Jennings in the first that momentarily made “The Juggernaut” dip, but more significant blows throughout the fight simply weren’t forthcoming.
It was a paranoid performance from the 2016 Olympic Bronze Medallist, and when Jennings rallied in the seventh, Joyce told his trainer Adam Booth at the end of the round not to shout too many instructions, believing Jennings was hearing the guidance and making necessary adjustments.
Joyce retains his WBA Gold Heavyweight Title. Credit: talkSPORT
Jennings had sporadic success, and was competitive throughout, but Joyce controlled the action in the main. The tenth saw Jennings land a good right hand, but was deducted a point for a low blow soon after. The fight never looked like not going the distance.
The judges scored 118-109, 117-110 and 115-112 to see Joyce retain his spurious WBA Gold Heavyweight Title, and make in ten straight wins as a pro. The last card was more in line with how the fight went, with Jennings giving Joyce a much better argument than the other two cards suggested.
Liam Williams is a serious force up at Middleweight, and he further enhanced his credentials with an impressive second round stoppage win against Karim Achour, who had never previously been halted, standing up to massive punchers such as David Lemieux in the past.
The Welshman started with discipline, as Achour stayed in a crouched position, eating he was difficult to pin down. The second saw Williams up the ante though, landing with good shots to head and body. It was a cracker of an overhand right from Williams that stiffened the visitor’s legs, and a follow up attack put him down. Although Karim survived the count, Williams didn’t need a second invitation to finish the fight, and a jolting left to the temple put Achour down for a second time. With the Frenchman taking the count in the corner, there was no protestation when the referee stopped the contest.
Clydach Vale native Williams picked up the WBC Silver Middleweight Title with his win, and stated post fight that he now wants the biggest fights he can get, and mentioned the previously mentioned Lemieux as a possible next opponent.
Archie Sharp successfully defended his WBO European Super Featherweight Title for the first time with an absorbing points win against the Scottish Jordan McCorry. He gave Sam Bowen a decent test back in Leicester in March before being stopped in nine, and provided the same value for money in London.
Sharp started in a languid style, and landed with decent long left hooks, but had to take an overhand right in return from the Scot. At the back end of the opener, McCorry landed some meaty blows, landing cleanly on Sharp’s chin.
A right hand in the second buzzed McCorry as Sharp opened up on his opponent. Sharp was warming to his task, showboating regularly in the third, with McCorry finding it increasingly difficult to negate Sharp’s quick feet. Jordy was put down with a beautiful left to the body with power and accuracy at the end of the session, and, although in pain, he saw out the little time remaining in the round.
Sharp retains WBO European super-featherweight title after beating McCorry on points. Credit: Business Insider
McCorry is a real warrior, and was fighting through the effects of the body shot from the previous round. Every time a Sharp body shot landed, McCorry winced in pain.
The fifth saw McCorry still having designs on winning the fight, and he enjoyed good success by constantly coming forward. The second half of the fight saw Sharp a lot sharper than McCorry, who was feeling the effects of putting in a lot of early effort.
Sharp though will need to learn going forward that showboating may cost him, as in the eighth he elected to rest on the ropes, and was caught with a right hand. He was comfortable in the main though, and clearly felt that McCorry’s blows were not troubling him.
McCorry kept coming right until the final bell, with the pair receiving a well deserved applause at the conclusion.
After plenty of mutual respect between the two, all three judges tallied 98-91 for Sharp.
Sunny Edwards kicked off the live broadcast with a dominant points win against the completely outboxed Mexican, Hiram Gallardo to pick up the IBF International Super Flyweight Title.
Edwards wins the IBF international super-fly title after defeating Hiram Gallardo. Credit: South London Press
Edwards began brightly, moving in and out of range, and connecting with solid overhand rights in particular. Gallardo was mainly chasing Edwards’ shadow in the opener. The second saw Gallardo take a count, although he can consider himself unlucky, as it looked more like a slip, as a cuffing left and right landed from Edwards, with Gallardo off balance.
The pattern for the fight was set though, with Edwards hitting and not getting hit, which must have massively frustrated the visitor, who hardly registered anything of note on the Croydon man. Gallardo was a come forward type, but was picked off regularly by Edwards.
The result was academic, and all three judges were in agreement retiring the same identical 99-90 verdict to give Edwards the belt.
British Light-Middleweight contender Kieron Conway has signed a promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.
Conway, 23, turned in an impressive performance in his British title fight with reigning champion Ted Cheeseman at York Hall last month, but was left frustrated as the contest ended in a split draw.
The Kings Heath Boxing Club product was aiming to create history by becoming Northampton’s first professional British boxing champion but had to settle for a hard-fought draw with scores of 116-113 Conway, 115-114 Cheeseman and 114-114 from the judges.
It was the first time the MTK Global-managed talent had contested 12 rounds but he dug in to show his grit and last the distance while showcasing his slick boxing ability with some accurate counter-work along the way.
Conway is excited to make his mark after announcing himself in the 154lbs scene and has already set his eyes on the winner of the slated Cheeseman vs. Scott Fitzgerald Lonsdale Belt clash later this year.
“I’m over the moon to team up with Matchroom Boxing and showcase my skills on Sky Sports and DAZN,” said Conway. “I feel like my journey is only just beginning and still have so many improvements to make but this activity and experience on the big stage is going to lead me to major domestic fights that I will win in fashion and beyond.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn commented: “I’m excited to welcome Kieron Conway and I’m excited to see where his potential could take him. We had him on our Birmingham shows when he began his career and he’s always looked like he had the talent but after watching his British title fight against Ted Cheeseman recently, I think there is bundles more to come. He has great support from Northampton and I’m looking forward to seeing him in the domestic mix in what is a very exciting division.”
AHEAD OF THE weekend when Frank Warren brings his ‘Heavy Duty’ card to the o2 Arena, the Hall of Fame promoter is ready to further add to the heavyweight mix with the signing of top prospect David Adeleye to his ranks.
Adeleye is set to turn professional having enjoyed a successful stint in the amateurs, which he combined with his studies at the University of Wolverhampton, from where he graduated last year with a degree in Business Management.
The Londoner was a Junior ABA champion in 2013 and won the Senior ABA Novices in 2017 before winning the Senior ABAs the following year. He also represented England in an international against Denmark in 2018, also winning gold at the British Universities and Colleges Sport Boxing Championships.
Adeleye firmly believes his professional career has been placed in the right hands following his alliance with Frank Warren, who already has top heavyweights Daniel Dubois, Nathan Gorman, Joe Joyce and Jonathan Palata on his books as well as, of course, lineal world champion Tyson Fury.
“I am humbled and grateful to join such a highly-ranked promotional team, which is one of the best in the world,” stated the 22-year-old with experience of 30-plus amateur fights. “Frank has got Tyson Fury, Anthony Yarde, Dubois and Gorman, so it is great time.
“English boxing is at an all-time high and joining this stable now is pretty much perfect timing,” he added, before taking up the story of how he combined left hooks with lectures.
“I was juggling boxing and Uni at the same time, but I got it done because I want to be the best I can be. It was very hard because you would wake up in the morning and go to your lecture, then you would have to train again and have to get up even earlier the next day to do the jogging.
“I lived in the Uni halls as well and there were a lot of students partying, but I knew when to do what and I got through it. The educational side of things I knew would only be temporary and my boxing would be a long term thing, so I got it out of the way so I could focus solely on the boxing afterwards.
“For the last year I have been preparing for this and working with Hughie Fury, who I helped for his fight with Sam Sexton and again for Kubrat Pulev. I also sparred with Dereck Chisora for his fight with Dillian Whyte in December, but I then picked up a small hand injury that set me back a few steps.
“I’ve carried on training and I boxed in February – stopping the kid in the second round – before visiting a hand specialist to see about my injury. Everything is good now and I will be back knocking everyone out as soon as.
“I would say I will be moved along at about the speed of Daniel Dubois. Although I am not fussed who I fight, I know my lane and I am not in a rush. Frank will know the best timing and has the most experience of anyone in this game.
“He will know from the way I box the progression I should be making. I like what they have done with the likes of Daniel Dubois and Nathan Gorman, so Frank knows what he is doing with heavyweights.
“It is a great time to be a British heavyweight and I can’t wait to be part of these rivalries and dust-ups.”
Frank Warren added on his new signing: “I was determined to add David to our squad of hugely talented young fighters. I’ve seen him, he is exciting, he can punch and I think he will be a fantastic addition to the heavyweight scene.
“David is another top young heavyweight coming through, so I am happy to have him with us and I am looking forward to him making his debut and seeing him become part of what is happening with the heavyweights now.
“In a couple of years, hopefully he will be up there and ready to be part of a fight like we have got this weekend between Daniel and Nathan.”
Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London sees another cracking and packed Frank Warren promotion card.
BT Sport televise in the UK, and ESPN+ have the rights in the USA, with the top of the bill being a clash of two unbeaten young prospects. Daniel Dubois (11-0, KO10) and Nathan Gorman (16-0, KO11) clash in what is a mouth watering contest, now for the vacant British Heavyweight Title. With Dubois only 21 and Gorman 23, there is plenty of places for the loser in this one to go.
Dubois only turned professional in April 2017, and has already blasted out ten of his eleven limited opponents thus far. The only man to take “DDD” the distance is wily old veteran former World Title challenger, Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson, who went ten dull rounds with Dubois in October last year.
The same Johnson took Gorman the full ten rounds, also in Leicester, back in March. Other common opponents to the pair include David Howe, who both stopped inside a round, and former WBO Title challenger, Razvan Cojanu, who took Gorman twelve uneventful rounds in December 2018, before Dubois blasted the Romanian out inside two rounds just over three months later.
Dubois-Gorman face off. Frank Warren
Dubois was last seen in action in April, and showed that he can be tagged. The wild Richard Lartey from Ghana did manage to connect clean with Dubois, before Daniel dealt with the situation, and scored a fourth round stoppage.
Nantwich based Gorman has also mainly feasted on a diet of journeymen, and both men will see the other as the toughest opponent they have faced in their careers to date.
Prediction: The two are hard to separate, and this could mean a tentative fight as both will be reluctant to lose their unbeaten records. I think the fight could be a cagey affair, with Dubois looking for the knockout, and Gorman trying to box at range and pick Dubois off.
I can’t see Dubois scoring the knockout, as Gorman is a tricky operator, and hard to pin down, and may also have his successes landing clean on Dubois’ chin. I think it could be a close affair, and lean, ever so slightly, to a Dubois win, possibly even via split decision.
Another Heavyweight clash on the card sees a good test for a man on a fast track in Putney’s Joe Joyce (9-0, KO9).
He faces off with Bryant Jennings (24-3, KO14) a former World Title challenger with his three career defeats coming only in the highest class.
2016 Olympic Silver Medalist Joyce is a man in a hurry at 33. He has stopped all nine of his opponents, and Jennings represents the step up that Joyce needs at this point in his career. He has already picked up the Commonwealth Title, as well as the spurious WBA Gold Title. He has stoppage wins over Bermaine Stiverne and Alexander Ustinov in his last two bouts.
Bryant Jennings is a decent test for Joyce, and he will still harbour ambitions of climbing back up the Heavyweight ladder.
Joyce-Jennings face off ahead of their fight this Saturday. Credit: East Side Boxing
His three defeats have come to Wladimir Klitschko (points) and Luis Ortiz (Lost TKO7) both in 2015, and comes off a loss in his last outing in a last round stoppage defeat to upcoming Dillian Whyte opponent, Oscar Rivas. Jennings was competitive and in the fight on the cards at the time.
Prediction: It would be a real statement should Joyce stop Jennings, but I feel he may have to rely on his boxing skills instead, and may be forced to take the long route for the first time in his career. My pick is a wide points win for the Londoner.
Elsewhere on a packed card, Liam Williams (20-2-2, KO15) goes for an improvement on his world ranking with a vacant WBC Silver Middleweight Title fight against Algerian born Frenchman, Karim Achour (27-5-3, KO4). It would be a decent statement should the Welshman stop Achour, who hasn’t previously failed to see the final bell, and has lasted the distance with Martin Murray, Lukas Konecny and David Lemieux. I think Williams, with his ferocious work rate, can be the man to change this, and favour him to stop Achour just after halfway.
There is a decent scrap for the WBO European Featherweight Title as impressive unbeaten, Archie Sharp (15-0, KO8) squares off with recent British Title challenger, Jordan McCorry (18-5-1, KO4).
Scotsman McCorry was game in defeat against Sam Bowen back in March, and Sharp, with his slick boxing skills, should retain on the cards.
Sunny Edwards (11-0, KO4) vies for the vacant IBF International Super Flyweight Title against the Mexican Hilam Gallardo (12-2-2, KO4). Prospects Willy Hutchinson, Hamzah Sheeraz and Denis McCann also feature on a marathon bill.
In yet another cash for bizarre fight arrangement, Amir Khan (33-5, KO20) has his 39th professional contest this Friday night, in the King Abdullah Sports City, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Channel 5 televised live in the UK.
Khan is to be paid handsomely (reportedly £7 million) for a twelve round fight that was originally scheduled to be against the unknown 11-3-2 Indian, Neeraj Goyat, but “The Gangster” was forced to withdraw due to injuries sustained in a recent car crash.
In Steps Billy Dib (45-5, KO26), the Australian who is a long time campaigner at Super Featherweight, but will meet Khan staggeringly four divisions north of this weight class.
The ridiculous WBC “Pearl” Title was to be the prize for the victor, but this has now been withdrawn, and been replaced with the spurious WBC International strap instead.
Dib is a former IBF World Champion at Featherweight, having defeated Jorge Lacierva for the vacant belt in July 2011.
He made two successful defences of the Title, before Evgeny Gradovich relieved him of his crown in a March 2013 slit decision win. Dib would rematch Gradovich eight months later, but suffered a sixth round knockdown before being stopped in nine.
Khan-Dib face off ahead of their fight this weekend in Saudi Arabia. Credit: Boxing News 24
Dib moved up to Super Featherweight, but was stopped in three rounds in a challenge for Takashi Miura’s WBC Title in June 2015.
“The Kid” rebuilt with five low key wins, which set up a shot at the vacant IBF Title last August against Tevin Farmer in his native Australia. With home advantage secured, Dib was powerless to stop a Farmer masterclass, with the Philadelphian winning nearly every round to take the belt.
Dib’s last bout was a one round blowout of the journeyman, Surachet Tongmala in April.
Amir Khan A 2004 Olympic Silver Medallist, has also been a World Champion at Super Lightweight and Welterweight. Unheralded Breidis Prescott sledgehammered Khan to defeat in a round in 2008, and he has also been pounded to highlight reel KO defeats by Danny Garcia and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
He was controversially outpointed by Lamont Peterson in 2011, and in his last outing, he was stopped in six rounds by the superb Terence Crawford in an April challenge for the WBO Welterweight Title. Khan was down in the opener against the Nebraska man, before being unwilling to continue after a shot strayed low.
Dib is confident he can beat Khan. Credit: Boxing News 24
Quite what his motivation is at the tail end of his career is unclear. This fight only points to financial gains, and Khan is certainly not the force he once was. A grudge domestic clash with Kell Brook has long been mooted, but time is fast running out, with both seemingly on the decline.
Prediction: Even at this stage of his career, Khan should be too big and strong for Dib, who will most probably be thankful for a late notice payday. I see Khan starting off with his customary fast hands and footwork, and may even score an early knockdown. He should be able to grind down Dib, and stop him within six.
The undercard features even more bizarre matches.
Hughie Fury (22-2, KO12) has his second fight injustice under two months on the bill, but is facing a shell of a former WBC Heavyweight Champion in the Nigerian, Samuel Peter (38-7, KO31).
Peter was Champion back in 2008, which says a lot about this contest. He beat Oleg Maskaev in six rounds to lift the famous green belt. He dropped the belt, retiring in eight rounds against Vitali Klitschko seven months later.
Back to back stoppages in 2010/11 to Wladimir Klitschko and Robert Helenius relegated Peter to gatekeeper/journeyman status, where he has remained.
The 38 year old retired in three against Kubrat Pulev in December 2016, and was outscored by Mario Heredia in an eight rounder (split decision) back in April. His last bout saw him blast out the 2-12-2 Alejandro Garduno in a round in Mexico just two weeks later.
Hughie Fury takes on Samuel Peters on the undercard. Credit: BoxingScene
Fury is fourteen years Peter’s junior, and comes into this bout off a second round win against the unbeaten Chris Norrad in May.
Hughie is 2-2 in his last four fights, but these were defeats to Joseph Parker in a challenge for the WBO World Title, and Kubrat Pulev in an IBF Title Eliminator. He picked up the British Title in between defeats by stopping Sam Sexton in five rounds in May last year.
Prediction: I can see Peter seeing the going get tough in this one by halfway, and although Fury might not drop the Nigerian, Peter could well pull out of the action, and I Predict a retirement win for the Manchester man.
Other offerings on the card include a vacant WBC Silver Featherweight title contest between Filipino, Dave Penalosa (15-0, KO11) and South African, Lerat Dlamini (12-1, KO6).
The enigma that is Prince Patel (19-0-1, KO14) meets Venezuelan Michell Banquez (18-1, KO13) for the vacant IBO Bantamweight Title.
It’s a card full of talent for yet another MTK show this Friday. Their latest offering comes from the Liverpool Olympia, and features a former World Champion, and a multiple time World Title challenger.
Former WBO Lightweight Champion, (33-2, KO13), moves back down to the division, after an unsuccessful stint at 140lbs.
He is eased back in after two gruelling fights, in an eight rounder against the Tanzanian, Jonas Segu (19-8-2, KO6).
Flanagan is unbeaten at the 135 pound weight class, and won the vacant WBO belt in a two round win against Jose Zepeda, who was forced to retire through injury. “Turbo” made five defences of the Title against decent opposition including stoppage wins against Diego Magdaleno (TKO2) and Orlando Cruz (TKO8) and lints wins against Derry Mathews, Mzonke Fana and Petr Petrov.
The opportunity presented itself for Flanagan to move up in weight last June, with the vacant WBO Super Lightweight Title up for grabs against Maurice Hooker. The American proved more talented and tricky than first thought though, and handed Flanagan a first defeat with a deserved split decision win.
Flanagan takes on Jonas Segu. Credit: Frank Warren
The Manchester man went straight back in at the deep end following the reverse, entering the World Boxing Super Series, where Regis Prograis was too big and strong for him. Terry was floored in the eighth, before losing a wide decision for back to back losses.
He should get back to winning ways against Segu this weekend, with the African well travelled, but with no one of note on his ledger.
The pick is for Flanagan to shake off the rust and score a dominant points victory.
Martin Murray (37-5-1, KO17) did choose to retire after a disappointing majority points defeat to Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam last December, but the four time World Title challenger has decided to give things one last go, and he features in a ten rounder on the bill against the limited Portuguese, Rui Manuel Pavanito (10-8-1, KO5) over ten rounds at Super Middleweight.
A former British and Commonwealth Champion, Murray has challenged three times for World belts at Middleweight, where a draw in a bid for the WBA Title against Felix Sturm was his best effort. He did floor Sergio Martinez in a challenge for the WBC Title in April 2013, but ultimately was never going to get the decision in Martinez’ Argentina back yard. His third bid was thwarted by the excellent Gennady Golovkin, who stopped Murray in eleven in Monte Carlo in February 2015.
The lack of Middleweight opportunities forced Murray to move up, and he again suffered heartbreak in a split decision loss to WBO Super Middleweight Champion, Arthur Abraham in November 2015. Including this loss, Murray is 5-3 in his last eight, with further losses to George Groves, and N’Dam, and including a fortunate points win against the tough Game Rosado in April 2017. The St Helens native will look to make a real statement this Friday night.
Murray returns to the ring and takes on Rui Manuel Pavanito. Credit: Sky Sports
Pavanito is best known for a six round points defeat on these shores to Craig “Spider” Richards at Light Heavyweight in July 2017, losing by only two points in a spirited effort. He is also unbeaten in his last five, and is durable, going the ten round distance three times out of the victories. The Lisbon man has only been stopped once in his paid career, an early stoppage defeat in 2008.
Prediction: Although Pavanito is durable, he has operated at a low level. This should play into Murray’s hands, and after a competitive opening few rounds, I expect Murray to take over after halfway to stop the game visitor in the later rounds.
The bill topper is neither of the aforementioned fighters.
James “Jazza” Dickens (26-3, KO11) is a former British Champion at Super Bantamweight, and he looks to pick up the vacant IBF European Title at Featherweight against the Australian, Nathaniel May (21-1, KO12).
He picked up the Lonsdale Belt in March 2015 with a points win against Josh Wale, after falling short when giving a great account of himself two years earlier in a tenth round stoppage defeat to Kid Galahad.
Dickens has also challenged for a World Title, but had his jaw broken by Guillermo Rigondeaux in two rounds in Cardiff back in July 2016 forcing him to retire from the contest.
Jazza shipped the British belt in his next fight when his contest with Thomas Patrick Ward going to the cards due to an accidental cut sustained by Ward.
Dickens takes on Nathaniel May for the vacant IBF European Title. Credit: Liverpool Echo
Since those back to back losses, Dickens has won four straight, but at a much lower class, all via stoppage. His last outing saw a five round stoppage win against limited Tanzanian, Nasibu Ramadhani.
Nathaniel May is an unknown quantity that has compiled a decent record so far, with only one defeat on the slate, a six round points defeat to Waylon Law in just his fifth bout.
He is unbeaten in seventeen since that 2014 reverse, and has picked up various Oceanic Titles. His last two fights have taken place outside his native Australia, with an eight round points win in Belfast against Ruslan Berchuk, followed by a one round blowout of Jose Miguel Tamayo in Mexico just last month.
Dickens should have too much know how for the visitor, and I think he will start off cautiously before taking over from the middle rounds. The pick is for Dickens to pick up the vacant belt with a sound points win.
Sam Maxwell, Craig Glover, John Quigley and Natasha Jonas are also all in action on a busy card.
HEAVYWEIGHT boxing legend George Foreman insists Daniel Dubois is the future of the heavyweight division.
The former world champion and one of the most feared punchers in boxing history has been wowed by the devastating power of Dubois.
Big George cannot wait to see how British boxing’s latest KO King Dubois (11-0, 10KOs) gets on in Saturday’s (July 13) vacant British heavyweight title clash against slickster Nathan Gorman (16-0, 11KOs) at London’s o2 Arena.
Foreman has been following Daniel’s career from his Texan home and gave him ‘The Punching Preacher’s’ seal of approval, roaring: “I can’t see many opponents standing up to him for many rounds.
“It is obvious that Daniel Dubois will walk the trail of fame that only true heavyweights punchers can travel to.”
Foreman first won the world heavyweight title against Joe Frazier in 1973 and reclaimed it almost 21 years later in 1994 when he knocked out Michael Moorer and at the age of 45 became the oldest ever world heavyweight champion.
And of course, he took part in the most famous boxing match in history, ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’ when he was defeated by Muhammad Ali in 1974.
Foreman lending his support is a boost for Londoner Dubois ahead of what is one of the most intriguing domestic heavyweight title clashes for years.
Recent polls among fight fans have seen a surge in support for Nantwich’s Gorman to beat the young Londoner.
It is a fight not to be missed either in person or live on BT Sport this weekend.
Tickets for ‘Heavy Duty’ featuring Daniel Dubois v Nathan Gorman for the vacant British Heavyweight Title, plus Olympic silver medallist Joe Joyce v Bryant Jennings are on sale now. The show also features British Middleweight champion Liam Williams who clashes against France’s former European champion Karim Achour for the vacant WBC Silver middleweight crown. Super-flyweight sensation Sunny Edwards meets Mexican Hiram Gallardo for the vacant IBF super-flyweight title. WBO super-featherweight champion Archie Sharp risks his crown against Jordan McCorry. Returning after an impressive debut is Kent bantamweight Dennis McCann. Hamza Sheeraz, Mark Chamberlain, Jake Pettitt,, Mickey Burke Jr and Florian Marku add to an exciting line up and tickets are available via AXS.com, Eventim and Ticketmaster and are priced as below: