One of the last weekend’s of 2014 also offers one of the most packed nights of boxing of the year, with two live cards from Las Vegas dominating Saturday night, as one of Britain’s most exciting boxers in Amir Khan makes his return to the ring at the MGM Grand, while at The Cosmopolitan, Ireland’s Andy Lee seeks to win a world title at his second attempt.
Flanagan vs TBA, Saturday night 7.00pm, BoxNation
Firstly though, in the less glamorous surroundings of the Hillsborough Leisure Center in Sheffield, British lightweight champion Terry Flanagan headlines a solid domestic card against an as yet unnamed opponent.
Unbeaten in all of his 25 professional bouts, Flanagan was due to meet Stephen Ormond in Sheffield, but Ormond was forced to pull-out last week. For the popular Flanagan, this fight is now a ticking-over affair before he defends his British title early next year against Scott Cardle.
Also on the bill in is an English bantamweight title bout between 12-1 Ryan Farrag and 5-5-2 Ashley Lane, as well as an eliminator for the British super-middleweight championship between 17-3 home favourite Liam Cameron and 15-2 Tobias Webb.
Korobov vs Lee, Saturday night 2.00am, BoxNation
Although the main event for this card is actually Timothy Bradley vs Diego Chaves, the people’s main event is a clash for the WBO middleweight title between 33-2 Andy Lee and Russia’s 24-0 Matt Korobov.
Lee scored one of the shots of the year back in June when he sensationally disposed of John Jackson in Madison Square Garden, and this is his second attempt at a world title after he lost to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in 2012.
His opponent was a decorated amateur star who won two AIBA World Championships, but despite his undefeated record has failed to fully impress in the professional ranks. Both boxers have shown they can be hurt, and this could be a case of who carries the greater power. One of the nicest men in boxing, Lee is the underdog with the bookies at 11/4, with Korobov a clear 11/4 favourite, and the winner of the fight will go onto fight London’s Billy Joe Saunders.
Timothy Bradley last fought in April when he suffered his first career defeat in his rematch with Manny Pacquiao. His loss hasn’t affected his earning potential however, as he is being paid a cool two million dollars, while his opponent Diego Chavez is pocketing just $35,000.
Although he remained undefeated for 31 fights, Bradley has looked vulnerable over the past couple of years, as he was effectively beaten twice by Pacquiao, and laboured to wins over Juan Manuel Marquez and Ruslan Provodnikov.
You have to go back over three years to November 2011 for his last decisive victory, a TKO win over Joel Casamayor, but despite his poor recent form, he is a ⅙ favourite over the 23-2 Chavez who has lost two of his last three bouts to Brandon Rios and Keith Thurman.
Also on the BoxNation bill is a fight for the interim WBA light welterweight title between 21-4 Mauricio Herrera who narrowly lost to Danny Garcia earlier this year and the 21-0 rising star Jose Benavidez, while there are also appearances on the card for Canada’s Mikael Zewski, exciting light heavyweight Sean Monaghan and lightweight Denis Shafikov.
Khan vs Alexander,Saturday night 2.00am, Sky Sports 1
29-3 Amir Khan has only fought once since April 2013 when he defeated Luis Collazo in May, and will be looking at his fight with Devon Alexander as a way to put himself firmly in line for a potential clash with either Floyd Mayweather or Kell Brook.
A former IBF welterweight champion, Alexander lost his title to Shawn Porter at the end of 2013, and will also see this fight as perhaps his last chance to remain relevant at the upper echelon of boxing. Once a red-hot prospect, Alexander’s star has waned in recent years due to a less than exciting style, but with wins over the likes of Lucas Matthysse, Marcos Maidana and Juan Urango in his past, he has proved himself as a world class operator on his day.
Khan’s chin will always be his kryptonite, as he has been dropped a number of times in his career, but Alexander hasn’t stopped an opponent since March 2010. The high output of Khan combined with the sometimes tentative nature of Alexander’s work could lead to a victory for the boy from Bolton, and he is the favourite at 4/9, with Alexander available at 9/4, but the odds of 11/2 for an Alexander stoppage could tempt some punters.
23-0 with 21 knockouts, Keith Thurman is making a big name for himself in the welterweight division, and he competes against 31-0-2 Leonard Bundu in Las Vegas, who was most recently fighting in Wolverhampton, where he inflicted the first professional defeat of Frankie Gavin’s career.
Career in pictures: Floyd Mayweather
Career in pictures: Floyd Mayweather
1/6 Floyd Mayweather
Floyd Mayweather triumphs in his rematch against Maidana last month by a unanimous decision, making easier work of his opponent than in their first bout
2/6 Floyd Mayweather
Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana square off during their press conference to promote their rematch for September 2014
3/6 Floyd Mayweather
Floyd Mayweather hands previously unbeaten Saul Alvarez a boxing lesson and leaves him slumped and desolate in his corner in September 2013
Getty Images; AP
4/6 Floyd Mayweather
Floyd Mayweather throws a jab to the face of Robert Guerrero during his comfortable win in May 2013
5/6 Floyd Mayweather
Floyd Mayweather is forced against the ropes in his last fight, against Miguel Cotto but prevailed by a unanimous decision in 2012
6/6 Floyd Mayweather
Floyd Mayweather knocks out Victor Ortiz in the fourth round of their 2011 bout at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas
Now 40-years-old, Bundu had never fought outside of Italy prior to his last two fights, but after winning his last two bouts in England in Gavin and Lee Purdy, he will travel to America with plenty of confidence that he can cause another surprise win.
Thurman looks like a supreme fighter however, having won 11 of his last 12 fights via stoppage, and he is the overwhelming favourite in this fight to continue his winning run, and put himself in the hunt for bigger fights.
Read Frank Warren:
Don't bet on Khan to land Mayweather pay day
Chisora is changed character
Chris Eubank has had his day - he should let his son have his
Unfair on Khan if career is tainted by Islamophobia
Dealing with Eubank was a nightmare
Elsewhere on the card, both the light middleweight Charlo twins are in action, with 19-0 Jermall in an IBF eliminator against Lenny Bottai, while 24-0 Jermell faces Mario Lozano.
Abner Mares, Victor Ortiz and Beibut Shumenov also compete, while keep an eye out for 14-0 London Olympian Errol Spence who is looking like one of boxing’s best prospects.
In non televised action this weekend, more Olympic athletes are in action, with 15-0 Felix Verdejo fighting in Philadelphia alongside US amateur standout Jesse Hart, while in Ukraine Olympic gold medalist Oleksandr Usyk looks for his sixth straight professional win via knockout.
Meanwhile, a good bill in Denmark features outings for Patrick Nielsen, Erik Skoglund and Richard Commey, and York Hall in London features a Matchroom FightPass card featuring the likes of former football Leon McKenzie, Johnny Garton and George Jupp.Reuse content