There is no doubt that this weekend marks a terrific night of boxing. Dillian Whyte rematches Dereck Chisora in a highly anticipated heavyweight bout at the O2; then we have Carl Frampton challenging Josh Warrington for the IBF Featherweight title in Manchester. Unfortunately, due to competitiveness and stubbornness of promoters, we have two big fight nights falling on the same night. The best part about it? They are both pay-per-view and £20 a pop. Brilliant!
Politics in boxing is nothing new and amazingly this is something that we actually expect to happen these days. Without entering into the argument of which product is better and which is better value for money, the fact of the matter is that, in reality, neither are totally PPV worthy when you think about it. Take PPV out the equation and it still does not make that much difference. Irrespective of your beliefs, the only ones who are losing out here are the fans. In a way, the boxers themselves are being held back from earning what they could do. When you break it down, we can safely say that Whyte-Chisora is heavily aimed at the casual audience, whereas Warrington-Frampton leans more towards the hardcore fans. Make no mistake, most boxing fans have an interest in both fights, but, again, due to both being on the same night everyone loses out.
… Anyway, rant over-ish… Let’s get into the boxing itself.
Over in Manchester, it is a stacked card of boxing, which in itself is good, but knowing Frank Warren it will be the New Year before the main event starts. Nathan Gorman returns to face former World Title challenger, Razvan Cojanu. The Romanian went the distance with Joseph Parker for the WBO strap, but has since been knocked out by Luis Ortiz. A decent looking win should garner Gorman a good step up for next year.
The highlight of the card is Mark Heffron vs. Liam Williams. Fighting for the British Middleweight Title, it is undoubtedly the biggest fight of Heffron’s career to date. Williams, however, has had his taste of big fights with two brutal scraps with Liam Smith.
The main event is a different one to call. Josh Warrington has one mighty heart; there is no doubt about that. The fight will be a real test of character for Carl Frampton who desperately needs a good performance to unleash himself back onto the world stage. Both fighters weighed in inside the 9st limit and Warrington, I have to say, looks in incredible shape. We are most certainly in for a war.
Down south to London with Whyte-Chisora II and quite simply, this one will be violent. One thing I would say is that after Chisora’s brutal win over Carlos Takam, I can’t see this one being as much of a war. Of course, Whyte is going to have to dig deep and scrap when he needs to, but a non-stop war will play into Del Boy’s hands far too much.
Down the card, Carlos Takam returns to face Senad Gashi. Many may not have heard of Gashi, but this has the potential to be rather violent. It is rare to watch Takam fight without it being brutal in some way. He now faces Gashi with the one defeat to Tom Schwarz but a 100% knockout ratio.
Then we have David Price facing Tom Little. I would love to know the motivation behind Price continuing to fight. Maybe a silly statement when money is the obvious assumption, but the man is one more bad knockout from doing himself some serious damage. As a long-term fan of Price, I want him to pack it in solely because it is becoming uncomfortable to watch.
The standout fight of the card looks to be Ryan Walsh vs. Reece Bellotti for the British Featherweight Title. Since the first defeat of his career this year, Bomber Bellotti returns to fight for the Lonsdale belt and the pair were full of respect for each other ahead of the clash.
Two big nights of boxing. Two big nights of boxing that should be on separate nights. But there we have it. As a fan, you will choose which type you want to watch. In some ways, I suppose there are far worse dilemmas to find yourself in, but should the dilemma exist in the first place? Probably not.