It’s a stacked Frank Warren promoted card at Arena Birmingham this Saturday night, with British and Commonwealth super lightweight champion, Akeem Ennis-Brown, defending his belts in an intriguing clash with Sam Maxwell, the highlight. BT Sport televise live in the UK.
It has turned into a lively war of words between the two ahead of the fight with Ennis-Brown shoving Maxwell at the first face off earlier this month, as tensions boiled over.
Gloucester stylist Ennis-Brown (14-0, 1 KO) is still pretty much a well kept secret, and he first came to wider attention with an upset majority decision win over Glenn Foot to win the English title in July 2017.
Wins over Chris Jenkins (TD5), Darragh Foley (UD10) and Bilal Rehman (UD10) picked up ranking building belts for the 25-year-old, and set up a shot at Commonwealth champion, Philip Bowes, in his last contest in September 2020.
Maxwell was a decorated amateur, fighting the likes of Vasyl Lomachenko amongst others, but his professional career has yet to truly take off.
His best win as a pro came in August last year, when he took a clear win on points against former European champion, Joe Hughes.
The 32-year-old has appeared once since, taking a wide points won over eight against Ben Fields back in March.
𝗜𝗧’𝗦 𝗙𝗜𝗚𝗛𝗧 𝗪𝗘𝗘𝗞! 🥊
— Frank Warren (@frankwarren_tv) August 23, 2021
Prediction: This could be a technical and close affair, and could be scrappy at times. Maxwell may try to force the action, and this could be to his cost, and the tentative pick is for Ennis-Brown to retain via a tight points win.
Cacace defends Lonsdale belt against Woodstock
Anthony Cacace makes the first defence of the British super featherweight title since he won it in November 2019, when he meets Leicester’s Lyon Woodstock.
Their clash was due to take place last summer, but Cacace (18-1, 7 KOs) suffered an infection after dental surgery, and the two finally meet after a February meeting was shelved due to Woodstock testing positive for COVID-19.
The Belfast man won the belt in Birmingham nearly two years ago, in a mild upset split decision win over Sam Bowen.
— Frank Warren (@frankwarren_tv) August 19, 2021
It was a scrappy affair, but Bowen struggled to get to grips with Cacace’s tall and rangy style, and the decision seemed a fair one in the ‘The Apache’s’ favour.
A professional since February 2012, Cacace holds an impressive 2015 win over Ronnie Clark, stopping the Scot in the tenth and final round, but he had to wait until nearly two years later for a step-up.
A shot at British and Commonwealth titles came his way, but he came up just short against Martin J Ward in a close points loss. Since then, the 32-year-old has won three on the bounce, with the British title winning effort against Bowen his last appearance.
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With Lyon Woodstock, Cacace shouldn’t have to go looking for his opponent.
The former Midlands Area champion was a hot prospect, signing with Frank Warren in 2017, and after three wins under his new promoter, he tasted defeat for the first time in October 2018, when he was dropped and fairly outpointed by Archie Sharp, losing his WBO European strap to boot.
— Frank Warren (@frankwarren_tv) August 13, 2021
A routine comeback win earned a shot at the vacant Commonwealth crown in June 2019, but Woodstock (12-2, 5 KOs) was soundly outpointed in a bruising affair with Zelfa Barrett in Leeds. That was the last time Lyon was in action, and he desperately needs a win to get him back in contention here.
Prediction: Cacace is an awkward customer, and his busyness always gives him a decent chance in contests. Woodstock has a tendency to get caught in a tear up, and the Irishman will be sure to set Lyon some traps to test his resolve. Woodstock will be lively, but after a bright start, his challenge could fade down the stretch, allowing Cacace to retain clearly on the scorecards.
Anthony Yarde is looking to get back on track, and closer to a rematch with Lyndon Arthur, but he must first deal with Colombia’s Alex Theran in a light heavyweight encounter.
Yarde (20-2, 19 KOs) lost to Arthur in December 2020, in a fight he was expected to win, and he will need to deal with Theran (23-5, 15 KOs) to keep up with the likes of Arthur and Callum Johnson.
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Theran shouldn’t pose too many problems for the Londoner, as the 30-year-old has been stopped each time he has been defeated. His last came in December last year, knocked out in two by Yunieski Gonzalez.
Prediction: Yarde has added James Cook to his coaching staff, and should win this one in the opening few rounds.
Ahmed-Khademi meet in rematch
Ijaz Ahmed (8-2) and Kaisy Khademi rematch immediately following their February thriller, that Ahmed won by the tightest of margins, this time with the vacant British flyweight title on the line.
Khademi (8-1, 2 KOs) started as favourite in their original meeting, but Ahmed boxed with confidence to take the Afghan-born 26-year-old out of his rhythm.
Prediction: Ahmed can take the Lonsdale Belt via another tight decision win.
Northampton super lightweight, Ethan ‘Jammy’ James (5-0) takes on Senegal’s Matar Sambou (1-3, 1 KO) over six.
Prediction: James should take a points win.
Also at super lightweight, George Bance (1-0) may well need all four rounds to see off the teak-tough MJ Hall (2-61-2), and debutant William Hayden is likely to also need the distance to take the win over six against Dean Jones (1-29).
At light heavyweight, Ezra Taylor (1-0, 1 KO) can halt Ben Thomas (2-5-3, 1 KO) inside schedule in their six rounder.