Sunday, June 28, 2009

British Scene: Jason Booth vs Rocky Dean Preview

Having claimed the title after stepping in on 12 days notice last time out, British super-bantamweight champion Jason Booth makes a quick first defense against the always game but limited Rocky Dean at the historic York Hall in East London on Tuesday evening.

Matt Chudley has the preview.

Check out Matt's recap of the show: Booth vs Dean Recap

Tuesday June 30

Jason Booth vs Rocky Dean (Sky 2)

By Matt Chudley

A former holder of the lightly regarded IBO flyweight title, the classy Booth looked at home in the 122lb division in thoroughly out boxing and stopping the previously unbeaten Mark Moran last time out. Booth, also the holder of the Commonwealth bantamweight title had been scheduled to challenge Lee Haskins for the British super-flyweight crown in April, but stepped up to take on Moran for the 122lb version after both Haskins and Moran's opponent Matthew Marsh pulled out.

With his future still likely to play out in the bantam and super-flyweight divisions, the Nottingham man will be looking to stay sharp but may have more trouble than expected if he is already looking ahead to bigger fights with the likes of Haskins, Malik Bouziane or a rubber match with Ian Napa.

While his eagerness to take on all comers has seen him successfully fluctuate through the weights at home it has also cost him on European title level. All three of his previous attempts at the blue belt have seen his fate resting in the hands of the judges overseas in defeats to David Guerault, Alexander Mahmutov and a technical decision loss to Mimoun Chent who had been cut by an accidental headbutt.

The 14-10-2 Dean is best known for his exciting trilogy with former British Champion Matthew Marsh. Though he may have lost all three, Dean gave a good account of himself in losing the first two fights by a couple of rounds and the third on a majority decision.

Renowned as a tough, game fighter on the UK circuit the man from the Fens will have to rely on his natural size advantage as a career featherweight and super bantam if he is to find any success against the Nottingham slickster. Dean will be looking to lean on Booth against the ropes and drag him into the trenches otherwise he will likely be picked apart by the skillful smaller man.

The co-featured British title eliminator and potentially most competitive fight on the card sees highly regarded prospect Akaash Bhatia (14-0) taking a decent step up in class against the Welsh based Jamie Arthur (14-2). Bhatia has shown flashes of potential thus far but has been matched carefully and would suddenly find himself in line to fight the likes of Martin Lindsay, Paul Appleby and John Simpson should he be successful this time out. Despite the 2 losses, Arthur has also been kept out of harms way and will find himself an underdog for the first time in his career.

In other action, former European Bantamweight champion Ian Napa (18-7) stays active against the 4-0-1 Stuey Hall over 6 rounds ahead of a July 24th challenge for the British 118lb title against Gary Davis.

Also in action is Beijing bronze medalist Darren Sutherland who takes on 2-1 Ukranian Gennady Rasalev in a super-middlewight contest over 6 rounds. With promoter Frank Maloney ready to crank up the pace, Sutherland will find himself back in the ring 10 days later in Sunderland should he come through unscathed.

e-mail Matt Chudley