Tomorrow night’s Matchroom event is huge for British boxing. Despite losing Kell Brook, the O2 Arena card is stacked with UK and international talent. I am not going to predict every fight, I just thought I would say a few words on the stand-outs.
- Dave Allen def. Nick Webb via knockout R3
Dave Allen is beloved by British boxing fans for his playful on-screen personality. His gentle disposition often makes him the natural underdog in the heavyweight division.
However, ‘The White Rhino’ is a powerhouse puncher with a granite chin. Luis Ortiz and Dillian Whyte both struggled to put Allen away even when they were launching their biggest shots.
Nick Webb is coming off of a devestating KO but this British title eliminator is too big an opportunity for Allen to let it slip. Allen has had a run of bad luck lately but I think he will be back in the win column after three rounds.
- Conor Benn def. Cedrick Peynaud via decision
Rising star, Conor Benn took the acid test against Cedrick Peynaud in December 2017. Prior to the York Hall bout, Benn had despatched all of his opponents with ease. He was accustomed to being the hammer.
His first encounter with Peynaud taught him how to be the nail for a few rounds. After scraping himself up off the canvas, Benn managed to pick up the points win but it was not the victory he hoped for.
Benn and Peynaud will rematch on this July 28th card. This time though, the vacant WBA Continental Welterweight Championship is on the line.
I believe Benn will have learnt a lot from the first fight and it will show in the rematch. I predict this fight going the distance again but Benn makes it emphatic.
- Joshua Buatsi def. Andrejs Pokumeiko via TKO R2
Joshua Buatsi is amongst the crop of prospects that are being groomed for stardom. It certainly helps when the star you are trying to build holds a belt. Buatsi will look to do that on Saturday when he faces Pokumeiko for the WBA International Title.
Buatsi will no doubt add another win to his unblemished record with an early TKO over Pokumeiko.
- Carlos Takam def. Dereck Chisora via KO in R6/R7
Takam and Chisora are dangerous for anyone in the heavyweight division. Takam gave Anthony Joshua problems in his last fight and Chisora fought out a thriller with Whyte in 2016.
I forsee another heavyweight barnburner between Takam and Chisora here. The result? I think Takam finishes Chisora around the sixth or seventh round.
- Katie Taylor def. Kimberly Connor via decision
Ireland’s Katie Taylor is quickly becoming one of the biggest stars in women’s boxing. Claressa Shields is perhaps the only female boxer that is bigger right now.
Defending her lightweight titles on this huge card is another step towards superstardom for Taylor. Connor has only been finished once; back in 2011 by Amanda Serrano, Taylor’s next opponent. Based on the resumés, I see a clear victory for the Irish star here via by decision.
- Dillian Whyte def. Joseph Parker via KO R7/8
The landscape of the heavyweight division is subject to change per the result of this main event. Parker and Whyte have both faced Anthony Joshua before and the two of them want that opportunity again.
Whyte has been knocking on the door of a world title shot for some time now. Combine his resumé with the narrative of a third meeting with Joshua and it is hard to deny him that any longer.
Joseph Parker lost a lacklustre decision to Joshua in his last outing and desperately wants the chance to run it back.
With Wilder unlikely to sign for the Wembley event in April, Eddie Hearn has said the winner of this fight will get another crack at AJ. The future of the division aside, this fight is a humdinger in its own right.
Parker will look to erase the view of him as ‘gun shy’ and Whyte will come to brawl as usual. The war will likely end with a KO for Whyte, likely in round seven or eight.