Boxing: Fight Week Preview
By Gary Kittilsen
After a sensational weekend of boxing, fight fans are gifted yet another very solid week of prizefighting. Four more major fight cards this weekend. Two in both the UK and the US.
The action kicks off in Wakefield. England as slick, Southpaw, Sean McComb puts his undefeated record on the line in the main event against 12-2 veteran Gavin Gwynne of Wales for the vacant Commonwealth lightweight title.
Gwynne is coming off of a one-sided beat-down loss to a rejuvenated James Tennyson at the Matchroom Fight Camp. He has also come up just short via decision to Joe Cordina in a competitive scrap on the Lomachenko-Campbell undercard back in the summer of 2019.
Gwynne seemed to be on the path to stardom when he outpointed a then undefeated Myron Mills back in late 2018. His career has stalled out a bit since but a win over McComb is exactly what Welshman needs to get his career back on track. The undercard also features a battle of unbeaten 130-pounders as DP Carr and Dean Dodge square off.
The action moves to London the next day as the undefeated “Pretty Boy” Josh Kelly challenges long-time veteran David Avanesyan for the EBU European welterweight Title. A belt Avanesyan won in Spain when he destroyed Kerman Lejarraga in nine rounds back in March of 2019.
Avanesyan then stopped Lejarraga in the first round six months later in the rematch. Kelly last fought in the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona in December of 2019 when he outclassed and dropped rugged veteran Winston Campos over 10-one sided rounds.
In the co-main event, Robbie Davies Jr battles Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela for the vacant IBF Inter-Continental super-lightweight title. Additionally, the Thrill returns as Jordan “The Thrill” Gill takes on former world title challenger Cesar Juarez in a featherweight scrap.
Moving to the US, former multi-division world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner returns from a two-year layoff and battles little-known Puerto Rican prospect Jovanie Santiago.
The slick Puerto Rican boxer carries surprising power and is coming off the best win of his career. A devastating first-round knockout of Juan Zegarra of Peru, just two months ago. If Broner is not well conditioned and focused, which has been an issue for him in the past, Santiago has the skills and style to be a major problem for “The Problem.”
The undercard features former two-former heavyweight title challengers as Otto Walin who lost a UD to Tyson Fury takes on Dominic Breazeale, who was stopped by then WBC champ Deontay Wilder in the first round. Former lightweight world champion Robert Easter Jr also returns. He battles Ryan Martin in a 140-pound matchup. Martin had previously fought Josh Taylor and was taken apart and stopped in seven rounds by the Scotsman.
Also, on Saturday night, the WBC 130-pound title is on the line. As current Champ Miguel Berchelt takes on former featherweight champion Oscar Valdez in what should be an all Mexican slugfest.
Berchelt captured the WBC belt back in January, of 2017 when he upset Francisco Vargas. Berchelt has successfully defended the belt six times with five of those wins coming by way of knockout.
Valdez is certainly a competent opponent who sports a perfect 28-0 record and held the WBO featherweight title from 2016 to 2019. Valdez also made six successful defenses of that title before making the move up to 130, where he has gone 2-0 (2) with two come-from-behind knockouts over both Adam Lopez and Jayson Velez.
The undercard features a litany of undefeated prospects highlighted by Brazilian KO artist Esquiva Falcao who takes on the biggest test of his young career as he battles former world title challenger Artur Akavov who was stopped in the 12th round of his world title shot against Demetrious Andrade back in 2019.
18-year-old Puerto Rican welterweight sensation Xander Zayas will also be in action as well as 130-pound prospect Gabe Flores Jr who takes the biggest challenge of his professional career when he steps in the ring with proven contender Jayson Valez in a 10-round affair.