Carl Frampton Vs Kiko Martinez 09-02-2013
Fight fans will have to wait until the second Saturday of the month for a notable fight involving a Brit, with Super Bantamweight up and comer Carl Frampton taking on Kiko Martinez in Belfast on the 9th February. Managed by Barry McGuigan, Frampton's rise has seen him pick up 15 wins in each of his 15 fights and earn himself a shot at the European title, against current holder Martinez. It's an interesting step up for the undoubtedly favoured Frampton, who has captured a Commonwealth and Inter-Continental title in the build up to this challenge.
The fight, twice postponed due to Martinez pulling out of previously arranged match-ups, is Frampton's first since his TKO win over Steve Molitor in September last year. This was a fight that Frampton viewed as a 'blessing in disguise' after the formerly arranged Martinez fight fell through, as he believed it allowed him to mature and further ready himself for a shot at the Spaniard. He also claims that Martinez doesn't want to fight him, saying, 'I still don't think he fancies it, I think he's got forced into it.'
Martinez has previously been out-pointed by British fighter Rendall Munroe on two occasions, which makes up two of the his three losses in 30 fights. He's currently unbeaten in seven bouts however, a run which includes a tenth-round KO of Nottingham-based fighter Jason Booth. Also on the bill at the Odyssey Arena is Martin Lindsay's rearranged bout with Lee Selby for the British Featherweight title.
Arien Broner Vs. Gavin Rees 16.02.2013
Welshman Gavin Rees will face his toughest opponent to date in American future pound-for-pound ranked hopeful Adrien Broner. Rees will be looking to upset the odds in this much deserved title shot in hope of capturing a World Title for the second time in his career. He previously held the WBA Light Welterweight title, before losing it in his first defence. Since, he has won a Prizefighter contest and picked up the British Lightweight Title and the European Lightweight title, on route to challenging for Broner's WBC Lightweight belt.
Broner is heavily favoured in this match-up, despite claims that he has yet to vindicate his grandiose claims of imminent superstardom. He is, at the young age of 23, already a two division World Champion however; gaining a title in his current Lightweight class in his first fight after moving up from Super Featherweight. The fight proposes added interest for British fight fans, as it may pave the way for a potential unification match-up with Scottish World Champion Ricky Burns, should both him and Broner win their upcoming bouts. First up for Broner is Gavin Rees though, who isn't the kind of fighter present just to make the numbers up. Rees' trainer Gary Lockett noted Darren Barker's commendable efforts against Sergio Martinez back in 2011 as a particular inspiration. Barker was considered a heavy underdog but was only a couple of rounds down on one scorecard going into the eleventh round – against a future hall-of-famer. With Lockett ensuring he is fired up for this encounter, expect a relentless Rees who has nothing to lose going into the fight; which always leaves margin for upset. Many consider this to be a very small margin though, with Broner improving with every outing, showing glimpses of great technical class.
Devon Alexander Vs. Kell Brook 23.02.2013
The highlight of the British boxing calender for February is unequivocal. Between these two fighters, the pair have notched up 53 wins in 54 fights; the loss coming when Alexander was deemed down on all cards when a fight with Timothy Bradley was stopped in the tenth round due to an accidental head butt. Kell Brook's contribution to the totalled 54 fights is an unbeaten run of 29 bouts. Despite Brook's better record on paper, Alexander has undoubtedly faced the better opposition. He boasts wins over Lucas Matthyse, albeit not without controversy, Marcos Maidana and Rendall Bailey.
In a much-anticipated step up in class of opponents for Kell Brook, Devon Alexander poses a tough and awkward obstacle if Brook wants to acquire his IBF Welterweight crown. British fans may recall Alexander taking on Junior Witter in 2009, with Alexander proving too slippery and awkward a target for the Yorkshire man. It could be a similarly difficult night for Brook, as the fight probably won't encompass the same 'stand and trade' styles he is used to being pitted against. Brook, however, has vowed to overcome this when he fights on US soil for only the second time.
Both fighters have come under scrutiny recently, with Alexander receiving complaints about lack of activity in his fighting style and then there was Brook's sluggishness in the final rounds of his fight with Carson Jones that raised questions about his preparation and focus. Given this, it seems both men have a lot to prove and this is the kind of fight that could go either way; exciting credentials for a title match-up.
David Price Vs. Tony Thompson 23.02.2013
Given the current lull in Heavyweight superstars in the current fighting game, there are few things to get excited about in this division. Dave Price, however, is one of them. This, in my opinion, is great match making. This is a fight that has garnered lots of interest given Thompson's status as a Heavyweight and his past opponents, not to mention the watchful eyes of Price's fans as he moves up the Heavyweight ranks. Momentarily discrediting the loss very early in his career and over ten years ago, Thompson has since only been beaten by Wladimir Klitskcho. This was on two occasions, the second coming last year in Thompson's last bout.
Although more than ten years Price's senior, Thompson poses a good test for the Liverpudlian. Despite styles making fights, it may be a good opportunity to loosely measure where Price stands in the Heavyweight division and how close he is, or rather how ready he is, for a potential Klitschko fight. Like his domestic counterpart, Tyson Fury, Price is being brought up into the sport carefully and he is slowly edging his way through tougher opponents. This shouldn't be a step too far, so expect Price to show fans why he has a bright future in the division.