A quality looking contest heads a prospect-heavy Frank Warren card at York Hall, Bethnal Green this Friday night, as Chris Bourke meets Marc Leach, with the vacant British super bantamweight title up for grabs for the winner.
Bourke vs Leach will be televised live on BT Sport.
The Lonsdale Belt was vacated by Jason Cunningham after his win over Brad Foster, and it’s a cracking match-up for the title between two hot prospects. Bourke (10-0, 6 KOs) has been steadily stepping up in class since the summer of 2020, when he won the vacant Southern Area title on the cards against fellow up-and-comer, Ramez Mahmood.
The Londoner then scored an eye-catching second round knockout of Michael Ramabaletsa for the vacant WBC International strap, and last time out the southpaw got ten rounds under his belt, routing James Beech Jr impressively on the scorecards over ten rounds.
The 27-year-old steps up again now against Leach (17-1-1, 4 KOs), a man who has waited patiently for a shot domestically.
After losing on debut, Leach is unbeaten in 18, with only a draw out in Zimbabwe in 2018 his only other blip.
The Salford man came out of the shadows in October 2020, when he scored a stunning upset points win over Qais Ashfaq in a British title eliminator at featherweight, with Ashfaq down twice.
‘Livewire’ never challenged for the belt at that weight, instead he outscored Thomas Essomba and in his last outing in December 2021, he took just 26 seconds to wipe out Stefan Nicolae.
Prediction: This is a real tough one to call, with both men largely unproven, but coming off recent impressive wins. Bourke has been more active though, and is more natural at the weight, so I favour him to take a close run thing on the scorecards.
The prospects come thick and fast on the undercard.
At super featherweight, Frank Arnold (8-0-1, 2 KOs) should be able to score a stoppage win in his scheduled ten rounder with Birmingham’s Paul Holt (8-11, 2 KOs), and at light heavyweight, Karol Itauma (5-0, 3 KOs) should get knockout number four in his match set for six against Jiri Kroupa (4-0, 3 KOs) of the Czech Republic.
Jake Henty (1-0) may need all six rounds to see off Slovakia’s Henrich Herak (2-8, 1 KO) at super welterweight.
The rest of the bill is made up of four round contests.
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Reading-based super welterweight, Joshua Frankham (4-0, 1 KO) will likely need the duration to beat Dario Borosa (1-17) and at super lightweight, William Hayden (2-0) can do the same against Michael Walton (2-2).
Hampshire lightweight, Jamie Chamberlain (3-0) may also need the full four to take care of Ricky Starkey (2-22-2) and cruiserweight clashes round off the card.
Aloys Youmbi (0-1) impressed in a short notice debut defeat to Michal Soczynski and he should halt Tayar Mehmed (7-40-3, 1 KO) inside schedule. Arnold Obodai makes his debut, and he should overcome Canada’s Hassan Oseni (1-0, 1 KO) early on.