What’s Next For Parker, Foster & Maxwell
By Oliver McManus
A rather long night of boxing from Queensbury Promotions on Friday night saw key wins for Zach Parker, Brad Foster and Sam Maxwell with prospects also advancing their records along the way. Sunny Edwards’ world title challenge against Moruti Mthalane and Mick Conlan vs Ionut Baluta were announced mid-show and, as always, one eye is firmly fixed on ‘what’s next’ for the winners.
Topping the bill was Zach Parker in his Queensbury debut and the super middleweight moved to 20-0 with a win over Vaughn Alexander. He boxed really well to stop Alexander inside the distance and any cobwebs or concerns were firmly swept aside. Parker has long flirted with the WBO and added their International title to his #1 ranking with this victory. Warren has long-established ties with the governing body and, you assume, Parker will look to be enforced as the mandatory for the winner of Canelo Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders.
With that in the back pocket it’s about staying busy; turning to the WBO rankings and Erik Bazinyan (#5, 25-0) stands out as a decent challenge for the 26 year old. Bazinyan, at one point, looked poised to face Saunders when the Canadian was ranked #1 back in May 2019. That contest never materialised (Saunders faced Marcelo Coceres instead) and the Armenian-born fighter has fought twice since with two stoppage victories.
Another Candian, Ryan Ford (17-6), is no stranger to Frank Warren having been scheduled to face Anthony Yarde previously. Ford has since floated between light-heavyweight and 168lbs but holds a win over, Golden Contract runner-up, Serge Michel. The experienced 39 year old had a spell boxing in Russia and Germany and has mixed it with high-calibre opposition: Fedor Chudinov, Andrey Sitorkin, Joshua Buatsi and Alsambek Idigov have all shared the ring with Ford. A good option if Parker wants a bout just to loosen up.
Brad Foster kicked off a new chapter in his career having already won the British title outright. The supremely talented 23 year old has turned his attention to the continent and picked up the IBF International title with a really comfortable win over Alvaro Rodriguez.
If we start proceedings, again, just by looking at the IBF ratings then there’s plenty of potential for Foster to solidify his reputation with the organisation. Foster, currently ranked 10th, would be well-matched against a number of his fellow ranked fighters but Bruno Tarimo stands out as a decent option. The Tanzanian, based in Australia, has a series of good wins over domestic opponents including Joel Brunker and Nathaniel May but, if Frank Warren busted out the Australian dollars, you’d imagine Foster has his number.
The really intriguing fight would be against compatriot Gamal Yafai for the European super bantamweight title. Yafai is ranked ninth with the IBF so presumably some lofty status could be wangled into the fight deal but Yafai-Foster / Foster-Yafai is one of the most attractive domestic fights across the lower weight divisions. Two really engaging styles that would make for an entertaining twelve rounds and, whoever wins, you can guarantee it would be a real learning opportunity for both men.
Sam Maxwell was treated to ten rounds of classic Ben Fields and had to deal with some unorthodox tactics to take the points victory. The obvious call for his next is Akeem Ennis Brown for the British and Commonwealth titles; Ennis Brown had to withdraw from Friday night’s fight due to injury. That’s the sort of contest that, whilst an absolutely superb fight, you don’t quite know whether it’ll live to see another day. If it does then Maxwell will be facing the polar-opposite to Fields and that may well suit him more as he gets more time to think and set his shots.
If, for whatever reason, that doesn’t get rearranged then there are a variety of domestic options available. Let us be characteristically curveball in nature and put forward a couple of French namesL Abderrazak Houra and Bastien Ballesta. Houra has been utilised before by Queensbury when facing Jack Catterall back in November 2020 whilst Ballesta is a smooth southpaw who has gone 22-0-1 picking up wins against domestic opponents such as Renald Garrido.
It’s Danny Ball here and the welterweight fought hard to beat Sam Gilley over a close ten rounds. From the perspective of a purist I’d love to see it again but I don’t suspect that will be the case. Luckily for Ball, and for Gilley, the 147lb division is packed domestically and there’s an unsettled score that Ball might wish to pursue. Back in 2019 he drew with Kaisee Benjamin over ten rounds when the Midlands Area title was at stake: is it unrealistic for that rematch to be made? Maybe but it would be another entertaining fight, that’s for sure!
Dennis McCann continued to look mature beyond his years as the 20 year old breezed to an eight round points victory over Luis Moreno. The Menace hasn’t been in deep waters yet as a professional – taking every opponent comfortably in his stride. A nice step up would be against Kyle Williams, former English champion and British challenger, who was last seen in the ring against Charlie Edwards. If McCann was to beat Williams, in only his tenth contest, it would be a real statement of intent.
Photo Credit: Frank Warren