3 BIG CARDS THIS WEEKEND – SAUNDERS V ISUFI,
BERANCHYK V TAYLOR, & WILDER V BREAZELE
ALSO MASSIVE FIGHT IN RODRIGUEZ V INOUE
ON THE UNDERCARD IN SCOTLAND.
This weekend sees big fights across three cards in three different countries. First up is BT Sport and Frank Warren card in Stevenage England which sees Billy Joe Saunders make his step up to the Super Middleweight Division to face Shefat Isufi for the vacant WBO World Super Middleweight Title.
It will be interesting to see how BJS makes the transition as he is known as a slick boxer rather than a knockout artist and Isufi does carry power so we will see how Saunders takes the power in the next division up but I just think Billy Joe will be too good for Isufi and complete his dream of being a two weight world champion.
On the undercard Brad Foster defends his British Super Bantamweight title and fights for the Commonwealth Super Bantamweight Title against Ashley Lane, Joe Joyce has a tough test when he faces Heavyweight veteran Alexander Ustinov in a fight that will certainly look good on his record if he manages to win convincingly.
Onto Scotland and the WBSS there are two semi final fights in the second season of the tournament, the main event sees unbeaten Ivan Baranchyk puts his IBF World Super Lightweight title on the line against unbeaten Josh Taylor as he puts his WBC Silver Superlight Title up and Taylor hopes to win his first World title on the way to the final of the WBSS.
The undercard sees a massive fight in the shape of the big punching Naoya Inoue who defends his WBA World Bantamweight Title while trying to win the IBF World Bantamweight title from Emmanuel Rodriguez who has just as an impressive record as Inoue. This has real potential to outshine the main event even though all four fighters are unbeaten I believe this will be a better fight but I am expecting this card to be the best one from this weekend’s fights.
The final card of the weekend is a big heavyweight showdown in the Barclays centre New York, USA, and this one has had a bit of needle in the build up with Deontay Wilder defending his WBC World Heavyweight Title against Dominic Breazeale. In the build up Wilder said something I never thought I would here a professional fighter say and that is that he wants a Body on his record and personally I think this goes against the complete ethos of the sport.
Boxing always has and always will be regarded as a gentleman’s sport where the competitors have the utmost respect for each other after the bout, but I understand trash talking is part of the sport and me being British, it is not something we Brits like but I do know the American audience thrive on the trash talking but for me this goes past Trash Talking and goes into an unsavoury place to get into your fighters head pre fight, I don’t think I will be the only fan who doesn’t like fighters talking about killing their opponent.
To look at the fight I think it could be a lot closer than people are expecting it to be, with Breazeale having one of the shrewdest trainers out their in Virgil Hunter, and I would not be surprised if they can mastermind a plan to win this fight on points as really that is the only way I could see Breazeale winning and I am sure they will have been given confidence to do that after watching the Fury fight.
Wilder’s power has saved him a couple of times in fights he looked destined to lose on points so I have a feeling he might need that get out card again going into this fight but we also know he has the power to end the fight in any round and not matter if that means the last few seconds in round twelve. The main thing is for Breazeale to outbox wilder which is not out of the question the bigger question comes in the form of can he stay away from Wilder’s right as he just needs a sniff and it is lights out.
With all the build up I can’t wait to watch this fight and if Wilder wins then I only want to see him fight AJ next as it is long overdue now. On the Undercard is a straightforward fight as Gary Russell Jr defends his WBC World Featherweight Title against the aging Kiko Martinez which I see as a once a year routine outing for Russell Jnr ending with victory.