For those looking to keep up to date with the plethora of boxing talent currently on show in Britain; thanks to the latest Frank Warren Promotions bill, the multitude of action involving well-known British fighters this month is conveniently packed into a single night. On the 16th March, Wembley Arena will play host to several promising match-ups, with World, European and Commonwealth titles all at stake.
London’s Wembley Arena will also open its doors a week prior to this to welcome another World Title fight, completing what is set to be a compelling month of British Boxing.
Ricky Burns Vs. Miguel Vazquez (16/3/2013)
Ricky Burns is a Caotbridge-based fighter who may have needed an introduction a few years ago. Thanks to a couple of recent high profile bouts and his newly acquired status as a champion in at two different weights, his boxing ability now precedes him. Burns is an effectively tactical fighter, who relies on movement and a telling jab in order to frustrate his opponents. His latest test is also a current Lightweight World Champion in Miguel Vazquez, with the winner hoping to unify the belts and open up a potential shot at current talk of the sport Adrien Broner.
Looking at their respective records on paper, it’s almost as if both men were destined to meet. Both have slugged it out in redeeming bouts after losses early in their career and after a slew of title defenses, both have now catapulted themselves back onto the world scene. With a title apiece, a unification bout is what now lies in store for these fighters. Boxing is, at times, a curious sport however and it can’t be argued that both men will have undoubtedly imagined which doors a win in this fight will open for them post-fight.
Rather unluckily, Vazquez was pitted against a then two-fight junior, but hot shot prospect Saul Alvarez in his professional debut, who makes up 2/3 of the blemishes on Vazquez’s record after Alvarez outdid him a second time in 2008. With a couple of early losses mirrored on Burn’s record, the pair will meet on the 16th looking to ascertain their presence on the World Stage.
Expect something of a chess match in which Burns should gradually push the points gap in his favour as the fight wears on, probably more noticeably if the fight should wane into the latter stages.
Darren Barker Vs. Simone Rotolo (9/3/2012)
Barnet-born Darren Barker has wasted little time after his defeat at the hands of the much revered Argentine star Sergio Martinez. He soon after won the IBF Inter-Continental Super Middleweight title and will make his first defense hoping to continue on the path towards another shot at a World Crown. Promoter Eddie Hearn is a busy man in the sport currently and is no doubt trying to ready his fighter for this, with former European title challenger Simone Rotolo the next test for Barker as he steadily gets his career back on track.
The bout may serve as a disappointment for many, however, even for Barker himself, given the domestic talent currently on offer on Barker’s doorstep around his current weight. Whilst one of those, Martin Murray, is currently tied up to face the man who handed Barker his sole defeat in Sergio Martinez, World Title contender Matthew Macklin remains without scheduled fight at present. In spite of this, Rotolo is the man who will face Barker on the 9th and no doubt Barker will want to impress to keep his name amongst the aforementioned.
Expect a Barker domination, as even though Rotolo is coming off the back of an eight-streak win, he appears to be little more than a ‘keep busy’ fight for Barker with little margin for upset. Barker has recently spoken of his want to fight Irishman Andy Lee this year though, whilst marking Kazakhstani tough man Gennady Golovkin as a possible opponent also, which may serve as a sign of things to come.
Those wanting more from this night of boxing have an exciting encounter between Lee Purdy and Carson Jones on the same bill. Purdy will be defending his IBF International Welterweight title against a man who was only narrowly defeated by Kell Brook recently.
Nathan Cleverly Vs Robin Krasniqi (16/3/2013)
Nathan Cleverly returns to the ring at Wembley Arena against a man who has won his last 38 fights and positioned himself as the mandatory challenger for Cleverly’s World Title. Cleverly has recently dismissed the claims that he is not a world-class operator by telling fans he is ready to clean up the Light Heavyweight division and unify the belts held there. Germany’s Robin Krasniqi is his next opponent and the man who currently hopes to quell these aspirations.
Cleverley is another fighter who is on the fringe of being in the ring with huge names, with the winner of the upcoming Bernard Hopkins and Tavoris Cloud fight being touted as a possible future opponent should he beat Krasniqi. These are names fans definitely want to see Cleverly matched with, as his tenure so far as a World Champion has been indifferent and caused a lot of question. Cleverly was first ‘installed’ as a World Champion when a scheduled match-up was called off by then champion Jürgen Brähmer. Cleverly has since done little to bolster his status in the fights proceeding this.
Cleverly has recently spoken of his desire to retire from the sport in his early 30’s and at 26, it’s a sure sign that bigger fights are beckoning should he overcome Krasniqi on the 16th. Krasniqi has lined himself up for the title challenge with a long unbeaten run, which stretches all the back to 2006. Cleverley is unquestionable his toughest test since embarking on the streak though, as will be witnessed come fight night.
George Groves Vs Ali Ndiaye (16/3/2013)
George Groves’ rise in the sport has been a steady one. Early wins against the likes of James DeGale and Glen Johnson has meant fans have watched him progress intently, nonetheless. After capturing various domestic belts, he now challenges for a European strap; a telltale sign that World Title challenges lie in his wake.
Ali Ndiaye is next up for London-based Groves, who has only been beaten once in 23 contests. Ndiaye will be stepping out of his native Italy to fight for the first time when he challenges Groves inside Wembley Arena. The atmosphere will unequivocally be in the local boy’s favour as he looks to give fans what they want on the night.
The likes of Andre Ward, Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler currently reside in the same weight class as Groves and if he should capture the European title in fashion, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be sharing a ring with the likes of the previously mentioned soon.