Big time Boxing returns to the iconic Royal Albert Hall in London this Friday, as Frank Warren stages his first show of 2019 following the late cancellation of his Leicester show last month.
A fight bound for that card in the East Midlands now ends up on this bill, as a co-headline attraction, and Daniel Dubois continues his ascent up the Heavyweight ranks. BT Sport is the place to watch the action in the UK.
Anthony Yarde (17-0, KO16) v Travis Reeves (17-3-2, KO7) – 10 Rounds, WBO Intercontinental Light Heavyweight Title
Anthony Yarde again faces an underwhelming opponent, as he looks to make major moves in 2019. A fight with current WBO boss, Sergey Kovalev is the aim that has been discussed for Londoner Yarde, but he first must negotiate what should be a simple hurdle in Baltimore’s Travis Reeves.
This was a match scheduled to take place in Leicester last month, but the card was rescheduled for this month, with Yarde’s contest moved to The Royal Albert Hall. If Yarde is to go for World Titles, then it will be a massive leap, as he has faced nowhere near world class opposition in his career thus far.
The only man to take Yarde the distance since his debut in 2015 is Stanislavs Makarenko, who was knocked down, but survived the four round distance to lose every round on the referee’s card.
Since then it’s been pretty average opposition at best, but Yarde has dealt with every test that has come his way with the minimum of fuss. His last outing came at the Brentwood Centre in October 2018, where Walter Sequiera was dispatched in four rounds, down three times.
American Travis Reeves isn’t expected to be any different to any other foe Yarde has faced. The original opponent was meant to be Mehdi Amar, who recently took WBC Champion, Oleksandr Gvozdyk the twelve round distance, but the fight fell through. Reeves is a significant downgrade.
A professional since 2013, Reeves lost on debut, drew his second fight and shaded a split decision in his third outing. His best known performance ended in defeat in March last year, as he was stopped in the final round against former World Title challenger, Karo Murat in Germany. He has won two on the bounce since, both by unanimous decision.
Prediction: Yarde will fancy and want an early night, to hopefully send a final statement to the big boys of the Light Heavyweight division. I can see Reeves shipping a lot of punishment, before being rescued by the referee in around four rounds.
Daniel Dubois (9-0, KO8) v Razvan Cojanu (16-5, KO9) 10 Rounds, Heavyweight
In the co headline fight, Daniel Dubois continues his step up in the Heavyweight division, this time in a ten rounder against the former WBO World Title challenger in Romanian, Razvan Cojanu.
After an eight fight knockout streak against area level opponents, Dubois’ last outing saw him step up a level in facing former World Title challenger, Kevin Johnson in Leicester last October. It was a drab affair, but much needed for the 21 year old’s education, as the wily veteran Johnson used all of his ring craft and guile to survive for ten rounds, only sharing one round on referee Shaun Messer’s card.
Dubois should have learned more in this fight, than his other eight combined, and should lead to a more polished and measured performance this Friday.
The aim will be to beat his current domestic rival, Nathan Gorman’s result against Cojanu when they met in December 2018. In a fight to forget, Cojanu was intent on survival, and went down widely on the score cards.
Cojanu has lost a lot of ambition since a late notice defeat in a challenge for Joseph Parker’s WBO belt in May 2017. He is currently on a three fight losing streak, also being knocked out in two rounds before coming second best to Gorman.
Prediction: Dubois will load up in the early stages in an attempt to break the Romanians heart. If he cant get the job done inside three rounds, it’s likely he will have to go the long route, which could make this a tough watch. The hope is Dubois can shift Cojanu inside the distance before the halfway mark.