Wooden-Lara being postponed is a blow however two 50/50 clashes stay, writes Declan Taylor
DESPITE the postponement of the scheduled predominant occasion, Matchroom have determined to press on with their newest present at Nottingham Enviornment – with Child Galahad and Maxi Hughes now taking centre stage.
This was speculated to be one other massive evening for town’s main gentle Leigh Wooden, who was set for an eagerly awaited showdown with big-punching Mexican Mauricio Lara on the prime of the invoice.
However, when Wooden injured a bicep in sparring earlier this month, he was pressured to withdraw from the struggle, leaving the entire present hanging within the stability. The promoter, Eddie Hearn, nevertheless, determined to not cancel the whole factor and has given the remainder of the boxers on the cardboard the possibility to steal the present on DAZN as a substitute.
The brand new predominant occasion includes the returning Galahad, again for his first outing in 10 months, in an intriguing light-weight encounter with Hughes. Galahad has not been seen since he was knocked out by Kiko Martinez within the sixth spherical of their November conflict – and he’ll tackle Hughes two divisions heavier than he was that evening.
The Sheffield man had missed the burden by simply over a pound on the first time of asking in that struggle and knew his days of creating featherweight had been over. However as a substitute of chancing his arm at 130lbs, Galahad has jumped straight as much as light-weight for this one.
Hughes, in the meantime, loved the type of his profession through the Covid period, chalking up 5 massive wins for the reason that first lockdown in 2020. The most recent of these got here in March, when he outpointed Ryan Walsh over 12 on the First Direct Enviornment, Leeds. There is no such thing as a doubt who has the higher momentum right here.
This Yorkshire derby, between Rossington’s Hughes and Sheffield man Galahad, looks as if a distance struggle ready to occur however it relies upon how properly the latter can handle a much bigger, stronger opponent than he’s used to. Hughes is way extra seasoned on the weight and will probably be assured of utilizing his dimension to put on Galahad down.
The 32-year-old additionally believes Galahad could also be carrying some emotional scars because of his final outing. “He’s going to say he’s not acquired demons, however that type of knockout will carry demons,” Hughes stated. “He’s going to have demons relating to his chin – can he take a shot? Has that dented his confidence? We’ll see on the evening.”
Given his training on the Ingle Fitness center, Galahad is properly adept at dealing with southpaws and beat Jazza Dickens a 12 months in the past in his final struggle in opposition to a lefty. His artful, awkward fashion, in the meantime, will doubtless make it troublesome for Hughes to nail him down. However, having stated that, Martinez did.
There are sufficient intangibles to make this decide removed from easy. How will Galahad deal with a light-weight? How a lot will Hughes’ momentum make a distinction? Will Child ever be the identical after that defeat to Martinez? Regardless of the solutions, this appears evenly matched and near 50/50. Hughes in an in depth choice is the gun-to-head choice.
One other boxer making their debut in a brand new division on Saturday evening is Terri Harper, who faces Hannah Rankin in her super-welterweight debut. The 25-year-old continues to be rebuilding following her numbing loss to Alycia Baumgardner at super-featherweight on the identical card on which Galahad was downed by Martinez in November. She returned in March, at light-weight, and beat Yamila Abellaneda over 10 and she or he is shifting up as soon as extra on Saturday evening.
In distinction, Rankin has spent a lot of her profession mixing it as excessive as middleweight. Certainly, throughout 2020, there would have been 30lbs between the pair of them. However as is widespread in girls’s boxing, they’ve finished their fair proportion of shifting round. Once more, it makes this one a troublesome struggle to select.
Rankin has confronted – albeit misplaced to – each Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall so has blended on the highest degree. But when her and Harper had been the identical dimensions, you’ll fancy Harper to outbox the Glaswegian.
Harper has been working tirelessly below efficiency coach Danny Wilson and this struggle, in opposition to the most important opponent of her profession, would be the acid take a look at of that course of. With three stoppages in 12 outings, Rankin will not be a famous puncher so Harper will again herself to make it by the 10-round distance unscathed. If she does, she wins on factors right here.
Beneath these two fights there are six undefeated Matchroom Boxing prospects hoping to proceed their so-far serene progress.
Essentially the most established of these is 4-0 heavyweight Solomon Dacres who will participate in his first scheduled 10-rounder in opposition to Dominic Akinlade though probabilities of this going the space appear slim. Dacres’ final two outings had been eight-round factors wins over Kevin Nicolas Espindola and Kamil Sokolowski so he doesn’t have an issue going lengthy if he has to. The query mark, nevertheless, hangs over Akinlade.
The London bus driver is a former southern space heavyweight champion however has boxed solely as soon as up to now 5 years – a four-round factors win over Phil Williams in February 2020. Earlier than that he had misplaced thrice in fast succession throughout 2017, the final of which was a primary spherical stoppage by the hands of Martin Bakole. That struggle was so way back, Bakole moved to 8-0 that evening. He’s now 18-1.
How then, can Akinlade be anticipated to hold with a match and firing Dacres? It appears unlikely. A stoppage for the 28-year-old appears doubtless.
Elsewhere, Dacres’ former GB team-mate Cheavon Clarke will bid to go 3-0 in opposition to Marcos Nicolas Karalitzky the 7-5-2 Argentinean who has by no means been stopped.
Cyrus Pattinson (4-0), Rhiannon Dixon (5-0) and Nico Leivars (2-0-1) are additionally in motion whereas Rotherham southpaw Junaid Bostan, who’s 2-0 since turning professional in March, has his first struggle since signing a promotional cope with Matchroom earlier this month.
Verdict: Disgrace about Wooden-Lara however there’s nonetheless intrigue in Nottingham.