MAGNIFICENT SUMMER AHEAD
19.06.24

MAGNIFICENT SUMMER AHEAD

By Frank Warren

EVEN THOUGH FOOTBALL is, quite naturally, dominating the sporting landscape right now – and hopefully this will prove a cause for celebration – plans are firmly in place to make this a huge summer of gloves.

Next week we will stage the media event to officially flag up the incredible Riyadh Season show that will take place at Wembley Stadium in September and, trust me, you will not be disappointed when all is revealed.

Then on Friday we make a welcome return to Belfast for an exciting and very competitive card that I will preview in depth early next week.

The big double-header for us comes in July with back-to-back shows in Birmingham and London on the 20th and 27th respectively. The Resorts World Arena and The o2 are the places to get your boxing fix across two bumper nights.

In Birmingham, we continue to build on the Magnificent Seven concept that has been so well received since we recreated it in November of last year in Manchester.

It is kind of like a UK version of the Riyadh Season events, but probably a bit more stacked, with seven significant title fights featuring on the one night and mostly 50-50 match-ups.

Because of the competitiveness of the fights, it does make for a long night of top flight boxing, but this isn’t something any true boxing fan will ever complain about.

It is proper fights from start to finish and we’ve got some belters lined up for Birmingham on the 20th at probably the most accessible arena in the country.

At middleweight, Nathan Heaney and Brad Pauls will rightly play it again after their enthralling scrap at the same arena back in March, which resulted in a draw. Nathan was obviously frustrated by the outcome because big fights hinged on him emerging victorious, but things rarely go perfectly to plan in this game.

The opportunities, particularly his goal of performing at Stoke City, will still be there if he overcomes Brad and continues to improve as he has across the last three years or so.

Brad will have other ideas and I have been very impressed with what I have seen from him. He is certainly a tough customer who is more than a match for most at middleweight.

A very popular and intriguing fight on the card is Liam Davies defending his IBO world title against the Stoke stylist Shabaz Masoud. The Telford Tiger Liam has dominated the super bantamweight scene domestically for some time now and is the standout performer in the division, outside of a certain gentleman from Japan.

He’s bagged five major title belts across his last six fights and is a genuine success story of British boxing. The fact he is up against an opponent promoted by our friends at Matchroom adds some extra spice and they will be hoping to end their recent losing streak.

I would say don’t bet too heavily on that one!

If you are looking for war then look no further than the British and Commonwealth bantamweight barnstormer between the champion Ashley Lane and our man Andrew Cain.

It has got thriller written all over it and I believe a victory will really launch the career of our Scouse Snapper to a new level and he won’t be far off world title contention.

We will get to welcome Chantelle Cameron properly to the Queensberry ranks when she fights for the WBC Interim world title at lightweight against Elhem Mekhaled. Chantelle is determined to get back to the top table and taking this interim route will force the issue.

I am very much looking forward to seeing her in action.

Two English title fights will capture the imagination. Heavyweight champion Sol Dacres will defend his belt against David Adeleye in a fight that will determine the immediate prospects of both men, with so much happening in the division.

There is also a case of youth taking on experience, with Owen Cooper defending his welterweight belt against former British ruler Ekow Essuman. Great credit goes to Owen for taking such a step up at 10-0, while Ekow will be looking to show that the old lion has lost none of his bite.

The hugely talented light heavyweight hope Ezra Taylor will also be in title action on the night and this is a division that is warming up nicely on the UK front.

The following week the Queensberry bandwagon will be rolling into London for the big heavyweight showdown between Joe Joyce and Derek Chisora, where the possibilities for the winner will be endless and the loser will have no place to go.

The full supporting cast for this one will be revealed shortly and it promises to deliver another thrilling night from start to finish.

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