MAKE MINE A TREBLE!
04.07.23

MAKE MINE A TREBLE!

By Frank Warren

THREE, WE ARE reliably informed by advertisers, is the magic number and we have got a very special treble of our own coming up across the next couple of months.

Telford, Bethnal Green and Wembley will play host to a cracking series of fights, culminating in the big heavyweight showdown between Zhilei Zhang and Joe Joyce, the rematch that we made official for Saturday September 23 last week.

Big Joe, of course, has got it all to do to overturn the outcome of April’s original encounter at the Copper Box. They say sequels don’t always deliver the goods, but Joe will have to be at his marauding best to retrieve his precious cargo in the shape of the WBO Interim world heavyweight title.

Should he do so – and I strongly fancy he will – he will plonk himself right back into pole position for when the WBO mandatory is called, probably early next year. I very much hope it will be Daniel Dubois in the opposite corner as unified champion, with his challenge to Oleksandr Usyk very close to being made public for late August.

We will also soon be revealing a stellar undercard for Joe’s big night at the OVO Arena, Wembley, with a number of our leading champions returning to the ring.

Before then we’ve got a sequence of real tasty tear-ups to feast our eyes on, with some proper 50-50 fights, make no mistake.

Up in Telford at the International Centre – which is a terrific venue for boxing – on Saturday July 29 we’ve got a four-belt belter between Liam Davies and Jason Cunningham with European, British and two international straps at stake.

There appears to be little love lost between the undefeated Telford native and the vastly experienced campaigner from Doncaster. They both seem to be fired up and ready for some fiery headline action.

Liam has done everything asked of him over the last couple of years since teaming up with us at Queensberry and every opportunity put in front of him he has seized in terrific style. I bet a good few people didn’t reckon he would overcome the tricky Marc Leach or the rugged Ionut Baluta, but he dealt with both comfortably over the championship distance.

In Jason he is up against a man who has seen it all across an occasionally roller coaster career and a top fella who is an absolute credit to the sport. That he has navigated a number of setbacks and put himself on the verge of world level shows what can be achieved by simply working hard and sticking at it.

He is, by and large, the challenger in this one, but don’t forget he was British and European champion and didn’t lose those belts in the ring. He fought for four belts against Brad Foster and really kickstarted his renaissance.

Also on the Telford card we’ve got our stylish young welterweight Eithan James from Northampton in a proper test against James Moorcroft for the WBO European title. It is fights like this that tend to tell us all we need to know about the genuine potential of touted prospects and it is the sort of fight that Eithan has craved for some time and he has been unlucky with a few late pull-outs that delayed his maiden title tilt.

On Friday August 18 we are back at the good old York Hall with a fantastic card headlined by Dennis McCann gunning for another title belt against the previously mentioned Ionut Baluta.

Dennis has won three titles in as many fights heading into this one and now the vacant WBO Intercontinental super bantamweight title will be on the line, along with a significant world ranking for the winner.

Ionut will be coming in full of confidence after getting the decision in his last fight, a thrilling war against Andrew Cain.

Dennis is desperate for this sort of fight, one where he will have to dig deep and show us all the obvious qualities he possesses. He is such an exciting little character who I tipped for the very top right from the start.

This will be a natural, yet perilous, step towards his destiny of becoming a world champion in the not too distant future.

The British and Commonwealth featherweight titles will be defended by our recent signing Nathaniel Collins against the talented Raza Hamza in the supporting action, along with Ryan Garner fighting for the WBC International super featherweight title.

I am so looking forward to the prospect of Ryan holding a major championship belt above his head because he is a young fighter I have backed from day one and he is now fully switched on after a couple of lapses placed his future in doubt at one point.

Ryan is precociously talented and so many good judges marked him down for stardom and now he is living up to the lofty predictions because he is coupling his natural ability with bloody hard work and complete application.

If Ryan can win this he will be up there in the world rankings and then there will be no limit to what he can achieve. And it will make me a very happy old man!

Another on the cusp of big things is our Queen of Queensberry, Raven Chapman, who takes on the also unbeaten Lila Furtado with her WBC International super featherweight title at stake.

Raven is booked in for a huge opportunity next time out so we need her at her best in Bethnal Green.

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