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In seventh heaven!

British stars out to steal the show on Saturday night

Adam Smith Posted 15th September 2010 view comments

So after a spirited challenge Jason Booth narrowly failed to join Ricky Burns as a new world champion for Britain.

The Nottingham craftsman made a wonderful start to his challenge for Steve Molitor's IBF super-bantamweight crown, but couldn't quite sustain it. The Canadian eventually gained control of the absorbing, but not electrifying clash - due to his natural size advantage, and his edge in class.

Booth earned a draw on one card, but lost on two as his dream night petered out. Still, Jason deserves huge credit for re-building his life to even make it to this stage. There was no disgrace in failing to upset a solid champion, and at times Jason Booth gave as good as he received. I just wonder if, with a touch more self-belief and drive, he could have made this an unbelievable start to the British Boxing season.

The Magnificent Seven are rolling in and what we should see are some of the brightest and best talents in British boxing. Indeed, we hope one or two will follow along the lines of Ricky Burns and Jason Booth and fight for a world crown this season.

Adam Smith
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Meanwhile, over in Frankfurt, after a quite innovative and incredibly artistic ringwalk, the technically gifted Wladimir Klitschko continued his mightily impressive winning run. The IBF and WBO heavyweight champion successfully defended his titles against the strong, brave Samuel Peter.

The Nigerian Nightmare had floored Klitschko three times in their first meeting back in 2005, but was totally outclassedand eventually stopped in 10 in front of a huge German crowd.

Klitschko's on top of the world; he labelled David Haye a 'loser' in his post-fight interview and remains THE man to beat. He is, quite simply, very good at what he does.

After a double dose of world title action last weekend, we now turn our attention to Frank Warren's adventurous and pretty unique feast of fights in Birmingham on Saturday night.


The Magnificent Seven are rolling in and what we should see are some of the brightest and best talents in British boxing. Indeed, we hope one or two will follow along the lines of Ricky Burns and Jason Booth and fight for a world crown this season.

Matthew Macklin's a strong possibility to target just that and leads the line-up in front of his Birmingham faithful.

The exciting, hard-hitting middleweight has recently re-located to Freddie Roach's Wildcard gym, and we will surely see the benefits of the master trainer's wisdom; especially after all the top sparring Matthew has had.

Yes, he was meant to face classy Darren Barker in an almighty clash but after the Londoner's sad withdrawal due to injury, Macklin now locks horns with tough Georgian Shalva Jomardashvili for the European Middleweight title.

It's hard on fight fans that the British battle with Barker' is off, but it's been harder for Macklin. The intelligent and amiable 28-year-old dropped into the Sky Studios last week for our re-launch of Ringside and spoke with authority, sense and passion.

Macklin is a mature fighter now, and seems well-equipped to deal with setbacks. He's merely plotting another route to the top. He's re-built superbly from the dramatic loss to Jamie Moore, and exploded back into European class by wiping out hardened Amin Asikainen.

We've seen Jomardashvilli before; he pushed Martin Murray the full distance, has won 27 of 30, and is four-and-a-half years younger, but I expect Macklin to be able to deal with new business and propel himself into real contention at elite level.

Another Matthew, Hall, gets a super opportunity. After Ryan Rhodes withdrew through injury, the Manchester aggressor gets the chance to lift the European Light-Middleweight crown against the tough, experienced Lukas Konecny.


This could be a fiery encounter as both men like to rumble forward unloading hooks. It might not be for the feint-hearted! Possibly real telephone box stuff - and great for fight fans. It's a pick-em too. Hall has been stopped by Martin Concepcion and Anthony Small; Konecny's lost three of 47 - but he lasted the distance each time. The 32-year-old from the Czech Republic is tough. Hall seems to have the bit between his teeth again, so might come through a hard affair.

The most interesting fight on the bumper bill could be the re-match between British heavyweight king Derek Chisora and Commonwealth holder Sam Sexton. Their six-rounder in 2008 ended with a late stoppage win for the Finchley fighter,but Norwich's Sexton is reportedly in phenomenal shape - and will be gunning for revenge. He has hit real form too, winning Prizefighter and doing the double over tough Martin Rogan.

Chisora-Sexton's another difficult one to predict, but I lean towards the controversial British champion to repeat the feat - especially as this is scheduled for 12 rounds.

The Welsh dragons are firing again. Nathan Cleverly and Enzo Maccarinelli are back in action and bang in form.

The 23-year-old maths whizz has won all 19 and secured a 2:2 in his university degree; Cleverly by name and by nature! In the ring his intelligence and growing maturity are clear to see and he's progressed superbly to become a triple champion.

With British, Commonwealth and European honours behind him he is ever so close to a dream world title fight. It's a major test on Saturday though, against an unbeaten German who is convinced he's going to destroy Cleverly. Karo Murat hasn't come unstuck in 22 professional outings but he also hasn't faced a classy young gun like Cleverly before. The Welshman's my tip for an inside schedule win in a good battle.

Meanwhile Enzo Maccarinelli's in the re-building process. The former world cruiserweight king suffered a devastating defeat to David Haye, and then shock losses to unheralded Ola Afolabi and Denis Lebedev. His career looked over.

But Enzo has so much bottle and belief. He rebounded to win the European Cruiserweight crown away from home in Russia by blowing away Alexander Kotlobay and now meets unbeaten young German puncher Alexander Frenkel. This could be a cracking tear-up. I go for Maccarinelli early, or Frenkel late...


James DeGale steps up to meet former Commonwealth title challenger, Carl Dilks, and believes he'll steal the show. But then you wouldn't expect 'Chunky' to say anything else. I love his enthusiasm and I have long thought the Harlesden southpaw and gold medallist from Beijing has that certain X-factor needed to become a real star.

This one could be tricky, though. Dilks is decent, tough and will be bang up for pulling off the shock win. DeGale should have the razor-sharp skills and speed to deal with Dilks though; if he does it early, he'll be making quite a statement.

Kell Brook could be the star of the night. The Sheffield hopeful reminds me so much of his idol Naseem Hamed. He can talk the talk, and he can walk the walk. After 21 wins, Brook steps up to meet the accomplished Michael Jennings - a former British welterweight champion who has been victorious in 36 of 38 fights. He's highly-respected in the trade.

However the flow is with Brook and the Chorley technician might be made for Kell's fast, unusual and heavy shots. The great Miguel Cotto stopped Jennings in five; Brook will want to do it quicker. He might just.

So this Saturday will see a feast of action all night in one of the most packed and lengthy shows we've ever brought to you on Sky Box Office HD. Join us!

A final word to my friend, the 'people's champion' Ricky Hatton. Such sad news about those recent revelations and I think it brings into debate the difficulty of what happens 'post-career' - especially when a boxer goes out on a hard defeat. Ricky's currently in re-hab, and we wish him and his family all the very best during this tough time.

Comments (1)

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Joe Mitchell says...

Its a great card and worthy PPV because you would normally watch about 6 of these headline good bills once a week. But with this you get it all in one night. Will definetly buy and I am looking forward to Cleverly Murat and Chisora Sexton the most.

Posted 15:11 16th September 2010

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