Callum Smith vs Rocky Fielding, Tim Bradley vs Brandon Rios - boxing on TV this weekend

A busy weekend of boxing is in store

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The Independent Online

Cox vs Albert, Saturday night 5pm, BoxNation

The National Stadium, Dublin hosts the first televised boxing card of the weekend where undefeated super middleweight prospect Jamie Cox meets Ferenc Albert in the main event.

19-0 as a professional, Cox returned from a near two year injury absence last February, and has won both of his comeback bouts by first round stoppage.

A gold medalist from the 2006 Commonwealth Games, the 29-year-old sparred with Canelo Alvarez earlier this year and looks for his 20th consecutive victory against Albert.

20-7 across a two year career, Albert has won ten successive fights in 2015, but the majority of those victories seem to have occurred in Hungary’s equivalent of Fitness First.

Expect another dominant victory from Cox, who is anticipating a world title opportunity early next year.

14-0 super flyweight Jamie Conlan meets Argentine journeyman Adrian Dimas Garzon in main event of the undercard.

Conlan was dropped twice in his last bout against Junior Granados, but showed courage to eke out a narrow victory over the Mexican.

He should find life easier against Garzon who has lost eight of his last nine bouts, and most recently fought two weeks ago in Chile.

Further entertainment in Dublin should come from a cruiserweight clash between Ian Tims and Michael Sweeney, and Peter McDonagh and Dean Byrne will meet over ten rounds for the vacant Irish welterweight title.

Elsewhere, Jamie Kavanagh battles Oszkar Fiko at lightweight, while Indian star Vijender Singh competes for the second time in a professional ring against 2-0 Dean Gillen.

Smith vs Fielding, Saturday night 8pm, Sky Sports 1

One of the most eagerly awaited domestic clashes of recent memory will emanate from Liverpool’s Echo Arena on Saturday night, where either Callum Smith or Rocky Fielding will prove to be the master of Merseyside and the new British super middleweight champion.

This has all the makings of an exceptional fight, as both are undefeated, powerful, and has the confidence in their respective abilities to win convincingly.

Part of Liverpool’s famous Smith fighting family, 17-0 Callum is the youngest of the four brothers, but was tipped to be the best from his early amateur days.

After narrowly missing out on qualification for the London 2012 Olympic Games, Smith turned professional later that year and made a name for himself in 2013 when he enjoyed six first round stoppages, most notably over the tough Patrick Mendy.

Since that string of knockouts, the 25-year-old has achieved impressive victories over the likes of Vladine Biosse and Nikola Sjekloca, but failed to dazzle in his last bout with Christopher Rebrasse despite winning widely on the scorecards.

Smith struggled with the consistent pressure of the Frenchman, which would have been noticed by Fielding who has boxed solely on the front-foot during the majority of his 21 career victories.

Now 28, Fielding rose to prominence in March 2011 when he won Prizefighter after just three previous wins, and has since proceeded to build an undefeated record over the past four years.

A former English and Commonwealth super middleweight champion, Fielding’s best performances have been saved against his toughest opponents, which bodes well for his clash with Smith.

Convincing victories over Brian Vera, Noe Gonzalez and Luke Blackledge have previously showcased not only Fielding’s power, but his temperament as well.

Smith is the better pure boxer, but it remains to be seen just how well he will react when being hit clean with power shots.

The Joe Gallagher trained fighter is not a naturally defensive competitor, but will have to be on his guard against Fielding who has fast hands and a deceptively complex boxing brain.

Oliver Harrison has turned Fielding from a one-dimensional hitter into a well rounded boxer, but his protege will also have to utilise a stoic defence as Smith carries power, especially from his left hook.

Despite Fielding’s four extra victories and three year age advantage, Smith is the heavy betting favourite at 2/7, with his opponent available at very generous odds of 3/1.

Shrewd tipsters may enjoy the 11/8 for the fight to go the distance as bouts of this magnitude tend to be cagey affairs, rather than reckless shootouts.

The British lightweight title will be contested for on the undercard, where champion Scott Cardle defends his belt for the first time against Sean Todd.

18-0, Cardle won the title last May against Craig Evans, and was scheduled to defend against Gary Buckland six weeks ago in Liverpool.

After an injury forced Cardle to withdraw, the relatively unknown Sean Todd stepped in to face Buckland in what proved to be a number one contenders bout.

Although Todd had won just once since December 2013, the 31-year-old defeated Buckland on points to earn an unexpected tilt at the British title.

Despite that victory, Cardle’s superior past has made him the heavy favourite with the bookies at 2/9, with Dodd available at a healthy 5/1.

Former two-weight world champion Ricky Burns also features on the undercard against Josh King, while undefeated middleweights Tom Doran and Rod Smith will also clash.

Bradley vs Rios, Saturday night 1.30am, BoxNation

Las Vegas, Nevada shall host the last televised action of the weekend when WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley defends his title against Brandon Rios.

Bradley was once tipped as a potential superstar, yet has never made the transition into the mainstream despite holding victories over many former greats.

The 32-year-old has officially triumphed over Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez, Ruslan Provodnikov, Devon Alexander and Lamont Peterson, but has not convincingly defeated an opponent since his November 2011 stoppage of Joel Casamayor.

Over his last six bouts, Bradley has arguably lost twice to Pacquiao, narrowly beat Provodnikov and Marquez, drew with Diego Chaves and was almost finished by Jessie Vargas in the last round of their bout in June.

Perhaps realising that time is running out, Bradley has changed trainer for the Rios fight, and is now coached by Teddy Atlas.

Rios too has been improving his preparations ahead of this key contest, but the 33-2-1 former WBA lightweight champion has only fought four times since October 2012, and lost two of those bouts to Mike Alvarado and Manny Pacquiao.

The 29-year-old is a hard puncher and has an even harder head, but he may well be the perfect opponent for Bradley to look impressive against.

For all his recent bravery in the ring, Bradley works best when he thinks about his boxing, and he will have all the time to do so against Rios who has lived a full life in the sport despite his relatively young age.

This bout could prove to be a case of who is the fresher man after many recent wars, and the betting experts believe that the ¼ favourite Bradley will be rather than the 4/1 underdog.

The WBO featherweight title will also be on the line in Las Vegas, as champion Vasyl Lomachenko defends against Romulo Koasicha.

Since losing his professional debut in October 2013, Lomachenko has won all five of his subsequent bouts, and the two-time Olympic gold medalist is expected to impress against Koasicha, who lost to Lee Selby last year.

Ryo Murata, another London 2012 Olympic gold medalist will also feature on the undercard where he looks for his eighth straight win against Gunnar Jackson.

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