Boxing: Walker faces huge task to claim title

Steve Bunce@bigdaddybunce
Sunday 06 October 2013 03:24

It has been a very long time since a British boxer started as such a massive underdog in a title fight at home, but that is the case tonight at Alexandra Palace.

David Walker found out two months ago that he had managed to secure a European light-middleweight title fight against Russia's Roman Karmazin after attempts to secure him a British title fight fell apart because of the growing friction between promoters on the BBC and Sky.

Tonight's fight is the largest in the capital since last May's dreadful affair at the now demolished London Arena involving Naseem Hamed, and if Walker were to pull off a stunning victory his next fight would be truly enormous.

However, Karmazin has lost just once - and that was controversial - in a career that has seen him steadily establish himself as the best active fighter at his weight in Europe.

By comparison, Walker had to survive two sickening knock-downs before finally dropping and stopping Spencer Fearon to win the Southern Area light-middleweight title.

But on the night and on big occasions, British underdogs have a proven, tested record and when the first bell sounds this evening in front of an optimistically anticipated crowd of 5,000, Walker will have to obey the strict orders of the men in charge of his unlikely assent.

Karmazin, who is three years older at 30, can often be one-paced and, providing Walker can get through the opening rounds, there is a slight chance that he can pull off something amazing, the longer the fight goes on, but it is only just a slight chance.

The World Boxing Federation middleweight champion, Damon Hague, has pulled out of his fight against Howard Clarke on the same bill after succumbing to a viral infection.

In Belfast, Brian Magee defends his International Boxing Organisation super-middleweight title against Argentina's Omar Gonzalez.

Walker will be live on the BBC and Magee live on Sky in the first ever Saturday night head-to-head between the two broadcasters.

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