Thursday, April 30, 2009

British Scene Weekend Preview

While American boxing fans will have to make do with a less than impressive undercard as they await this Saturday night's main event between Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquaio, British fans will have a little more to look forward to.

Dave Oakes previews the full slate of bouts airing from Sunderland before Sky Box Office shifts its attention to the big show in Las Vegas.

Friday April 17

Hatton Undercard - The British Leg (SKY Box Office)

By Dave Oakes

Before the big fight starts in Vegas, there’ll be an opportunity for two of Britain’s most popular fighters to keep busy and increase their fan base on a jam-packed card from the Crowntree Leisure Centre, Sunderland, England.

Jamie Moore makes the second defence of his European title against perennial letdown Roman Dzuman. Moore starts as the hot favourite against a fighter who hasn’t won in his last four fights and always seems to find a way of losing in the big fights.

Dzuman, a natural welterweight, is looking more vulnerable these days up at light-middleweight having been stopped in his past two fights, including last time out when he was destroyed by Alexander Abraham in six one-sided rounds.

Moore will be hoping for a similar outcome on Saturday night. He’ll be looking to put on a classy show of intelligent pressure boxing to impress the huge PPV numbers expected. I can see Dzuman trying his best in the first couple of rounds before accepting his fate and being stopped sometime between rounds four and six.

Sharing top billing is European champion Rendall Munroe, who makes his PPV debut when he challenges for the Commonwealth super-bantamweight title against tough Ghanaian Isaac Nettey. Nettey is officially 3-2-1 (although it's safe to say he's had more bouts than that) in his career but can fight a bit and is as tough as old boots.

Munroe is a fast improving boxer. He’s come back well from his only career defeat against Andy Morris three years ago, when he lost on points in a British title shot at featherweight. The move down to super-bantamweight proved to be the making of him; he’s massive for the weight, carries reasonable power in both hands and can trade inside as well as box on the outside.

He’s closing in on a world title fight and has been calling out Bernard Dunne ever since the Irishman produced the performance of his career to stop Ricardo Cordoba last month. Munroe is unfortunate to be in one of the strongest divisions in boxing, it would have been much easier for him to win a world title if he’d been a natural featherweight. He may still be tempted to try his luck at 126lbs rather than take on the impressive trio of Israel Vasquez, Juan Manuel Lopez and Celestino Caballero.

Nettey won’t be a threat to Munroe but he’ll make him work hard early on and will be as brave as a lion when Munroe starts to pick up the pace from the fourth round onwards. I think Munroe will be too big, too fast and far too good for Nettey to cope with for the full twelve rounds and will stop him around the eighth round.

On the undercard…

Danny Williams and John McDermott meet again in a rematch of their putrid twelve round sleep-inducing fight of last year. Williams prevailed last time by a controversial majority points decision and McDermott has been crying about it ever since. He will finally get the chance to avenge that decision, although I’m not too sure whether he will. It all depends on which Danny Williams turns up. If he turns up weighing less than 260lbs, then he has to be considered the favourite. If he wobbles in above 260lbs, then anything could happen. The only thing guaranteed is another tedious fight between two overweight boxers that will test the resolve of every fan watching.

Olympic Bronze medallist Tony Jeffries makes his second outing in the paid ranks against a yet to be named opponent. Jeffries will be hoping for an impressive performance in front of his hometown fans.

There are also two crossroads fights on the bill, with Thomas McDonagh taking on Sam Webb and Gary Woolcombe fighting Andrew Facey. The losers of those fights will have nowhere to go in their career, whilst the winners will be looking to take a step towards a British title fight.

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