Boxing: Calzaghe puts world title on line in concentrated flurry of ring action

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The Independent Online

An unprecedented 17 title fights involving British boxers will take place during the next 10 weeks starting tonight at York Hall with the type of meeting that is a rarity in the modern business.

The schedule uniquely involves fights from five different promotional outfits in live events on various SKY or ITV channels. The BBC will continue with their coverage of amateur boxing and will show highlights of the Four Nations from Dublin in early February and the Commonwealth Games in March.

At York Hall tonight the unbeaten Lenny Daws fights Colin Lynes over 12 rounds for the right to challenge for the British light-welterweight title.

Next Friday Luton's Graham Earl fights Yuri Romanov, of Belarussia, for the vacant European lightweight title at the Goresbrook Leisure Centre in Dagenham. It is the first of four European title fights scheduled before the end of March.

The following day in Nottingham - in front of a crowd in excess of 8,000 - Amir Khan will have his fifth fight, his first over six rounds, as chief support to the Michael Jennings and Young Muttley British welterweight fight. Khan will box again in February and March.

Last December Khan was part of the show from the ExCel Centre in London that featured the dire heavyweight bore between Audley Harrison and Danny Williams. Over eight million watched live on television and another large audience is expected when Williams fights Matt Skelton on 25 February. Khan will again be one of the attractions, but the anticipated return of Harrison in a role that could resemble a pantomime villain rather than an Olympic champion will be intriguing.

The best contest in the 10-week period will be the super-middleweight unification fight between Joe Calzaghe, the unbeaten World Boxing Organisation champion, and the current idol of American boxing, Jeff Lacy. They meet on 4 March in Manchester.

On 25 March Scott Harrison defends his World Boxing Organisation featherweight title against his unbeaten mandatory challenger Juan Guzman, of the Dominican Republic, in Glasgow.

In April, May and June a similarly packed schedule looks likely with double light welterweight world champion Ricky Hatton back in the ring and Sheffield' s Clinton Woods defending his International Boxing Federation light-heavyweight title. There is also the prospect of Howard Eastman and Junior Witter securing meaningful world title fights.

Punch drunk: Britain's 10 title bouts

Title fights involving British boxers in British rings between now and 31 March (GB unless stated):

27 Jan: G Earl v Y Romanov (Bela) Vacant European lightweight championship (Dagenham)

28 Jan: M Jennings v Y Muttley British welterweight (Nottingham)

10 Feb: S Dann v J Toney (Gha) Commonwealth middleweight (Plymouth)

18 Feb: A Arthur v R Burns British, Commonwealth and European super-featherweight (Edinburgh)

24 Feb: N Cook v Y Voronin (Ukr) Euro featherweight (Dagenham)

Feb 25: M Skelton v D Williams Commonwealth heavyweight (ExCel Centre)

3 March: M Hunter v M Morra (It) Euro super-bantamweight (Hartlepool)

4 March: J Calzaghe v J Lacy (US) WBO, IBF and IBO super-middleweight (Manchester)

25 March: S Harrison v J Guzman (Dom Rep) WBO featherweight (Glasgow)

31 March: C Froch v B Magee British and Commonwealth super-middleweight (Belfast)

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