The first boxing weekend of December is a quiet one compared to the intense November, but there are still two televised bills, as the Prizefighter series continues on Sky Sports, while on BoxNation Jean Pascal fights ahead of an expected 2015 clash with one of the best boxers on the planet.
Prizefighter: The Lightweights III, Saturday night 8.00pm, Sky Sports
The ever popular Prizefighter returns with the third instalment of the lightweight division, as eight fighters battle for the £32,000 prize, which will be obtained by the winner of three fights in one night.
While the list of boxers involved is not as star-studded as in recent editions of the tournament, there are several intriguing prospects included, plus former champions looking for redemption, and a smattering of Britain’s most entertaining gatekeepers.
Four fights take place during the quarter-final stages, and the draw already made with the first clash of the night between 7-2 Craig Whyatt against 6-1 Lee Martin.
Whyatt started his career with five straight victories, but has lost two of his last four against average opposition, while the technical Martin’s lone loss was a TKO defeat in his last bout against Ian Bailey.
With Whyatt’s last three victories coming via stoppage, and the apparent lack of power of Martin who has finished none of his opponents, this could be a chance for Craig to stop his rot of recent losses.
Luton’s 11-1-1 Michael Devine fought 11-8-1 Danny ‘Cassius’ Connor back in September, with the fight finishing as a technical draw after two rounds due to a cut suffered by Connor.
Prior to that bout, Devine had won eight straight against journeyman opposition after his only career loss to Mark Alexander, while this is Connor’s second Prizefighter appearance after reaching the final of the light-welterweight instalment in July 2013.
The two rematch here, with Connor having faced by far the better opposition in his career so far, having beaten the likes of Chris Evangelou twice, and Tyler Goodjohn, and his Prizefighter experience, and whirlwind style could see him as a dark horse to win the entire competition at 6/1.
Manchester’s former European super featherweight champion Stephen Foster Jr puts his 33-5-1 record on the line against unknown 3-0 Australian Jono Carroll, who qualified for Prizefighter after Declan Geraghty was disqualified in the fourth round of their fight last month,
Although Foster has the experience, he hasn’t beaten anybody of note since spectacularly winning the European title against Levan Kirakosyan in 2010, and fans of Prizefighter will recall the then 2-0 Larry Ekundayo defeating a 21-2 Craig McEwan in the first round of the competition back in November 2012.
However, Carroll’s two wins other than the Geraghty fight in which he was losing on the scorecards came against boxers with a combined 1-10-1 record, which suggests he may not have the experience to upset the veteran Mancunian.
The wide 3/1 favourite to win the entire event is Gary Buckland, who has lost three of his last four bouts, albeit against excellent opposition in Richard Commey, Gavin Rees and Stephen Smith.
Buckland did defeat Rees during that period however, and he will remember fondly his last Prizefighter experience, as he won it in November 2010 defeating Stevie Bell, before remarkably knocking out both Gary Sykes and Derry Mathews to ignite his boxing career.
The 28-5 Welshman faces 10-5-1 Floyd Moore, who has won seven of his fights via knockout, but has also lost three fights by the same method. Moore has dropped his last two fights, including a stoppage defeat in September, and Buckland will be confident his power over this format will see him comfortably qualify for the semi-final stage.
Also on the bill is an eliminator for the British super featherweight title between 10-0-1 Martin Joseph Ward, and 13-1-1 Maxi Hughes.
Ward started his career at lightweight, but the drop down to super feather has seen an increase in power, although he will have to be at his best to defeat the skilful Hughes who has won five in a row since his only professional defeat to Scott Cardle.
Exciting lightweight prospect Ohara Davies also fights on the bill, while Ajose Olusegun returns to the ring after an 18 month absence.
Pascal vs Bolonti, Saturday night 12.00am, BoxNation
Former world champion Jean Pascal is expected to face Sergey Kovalev early next year, but he has to defeat Argentina’s Roberto Bolonti first, who brings a 35-3 record to the table.
Pascal (29-2) dominated Lucian Bute back in January without ever looking good himself, and will be looking to dominate his South American opponent who most recently lost against Germany’s Juergen Braehmer for the WBA light heavyweight title.
Bolonti, who has won 24 of his fights via knockout also lost to Tony Bellew on points in November 2012, and the Argentinian has never won outside of his home country.
The Canadian Pascal fights in front of his home fans in Montreal, and will want to revist the best performances of his earlier career, which saw him defeat the likes of Chad Dawson, while also drawing with Bernard Hopkins and pushing Carl Froch close.
In non-televised action this weekend, Canada’s heavy hitter David Lemieux looks for the 31st stoppage win of his career against Gabriel Rosado, while New Zealand’s heavyweight hope Joseph Parker is also in action.
Elsewhere, Jack Culcay, Braehmer and Denis Boytsov all fight in Germany, and there are British cards taking place in Coventry, Liverpool and Staffordshire.Reuse content