Saturday evening at the Telford International Centre sees home favourite Liam Davies featuring prominently, and the British champion vies for the vacant European super bantamweight title against dangerous Romanian, Ionut Baluta. Baluta’s WBC International belt is also at stake.
BT Sport televise Davies vs Baluta live in the UK.
Davies (12-0, 5 KOs) has quickly rose up the domestic rankings, and after a spell as English champion, a pair of stoppage wins led to a vacant WBC International Silver title shot against Dixon Flores, which he came through widely on the cards.
The 26-year-old would go onto challenge for the British title in his last fight in June, and started as underdog against the champion, Marc Leach.
The Telford man was in good form though, dropping Leach in the opening round before recording a points win in front of his adoring fans.
He now takes on Baluta (15-3, KO3), who is no stranger to UK shores.
‘Il Capo’ upset Kyle Williams in 2019 before beating former world champion TJ Doheny in a points win in March 2020.
The 28-year-old followed that up with a stunning third round stoppage of David Oliver Joyce, and pushed Michael Conlan to the wire, eventually going down via majority decision.
He was last out in May, scoring another upset by outscoring Brad Foster to take the vacant WBC International crown.
Prediction: Davies impressed last time out, and if he can negotiate some rough early treatment, he can come away with a points win.
Yarde faces last hurdle before Beterbiev
Co-main event comes at light heavyweight, where Anthony Yarde keeps busy ahead of a scheduled meeting with unified world champion, Artur Beterbiev in January, with a ten rounder against Stefani Koykov.
Yarde (22-2, 21 KOs) has challenged for world honours before, losing in a spirited effort to Sergey Kovalev in 2019, and was upset via split decision by Lyndon Arthur at the back end of 2020.
Last December saw him avenge that defeat in style, knocking Arthur out in the fourth.
That saw the 31-year-old return to the top of the WBO rankings, and he has an end of January date pencilled in with WBC, IBF and WBO boss Beterbiev should he get past Koykov (14-1, 12 KOs).
The Bulgarian has only been into the sixth round during his career, and his sole loss came in his third fight, a 2019 second round knockout loss to Rene Molik.
Prediction: This is nothing more than a tick over fight for Yarde, and he should remove the visitor from battle quite swiftly here. I imagine the conclusion will come within four.
Eithan James (9-0) takes a marked step-up in class, and the Northampton native should take the vacant WBO European super lightweight title with a ten round points win against Connor Parker (14-1, 1 KO), whose only reverse came in a seventh round stoppage to Sam Maxwell for the same belt in November 2019.
Jamie Stewart (3-2-2) makes a second defence of his Midlands Area welterweight title, and he may need all ten rounds to take a tight win on the referee’s scorecard against Owen Cooper (6-0, 2 KOs), who has only boxed a six rounder previously.
In six rounders, Macauley Owen (4-0, 1 KO) can outscore Eduardo Valverde (3-7-1, 1 KO) at lightweight, while at super bantamweight, Brad Strand (8-0, 3 KOs) can do the same against Darwin Martinez (7-6-2, 6 KOs).
“You’ll see the best performance from me” 🗣
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George Davey (5-0-1) was held to a draw in his last outing against Serge Ambomo, but the welterweight should return to winning ways over the distance against Paul Cummings (3-68-1, 1 KO).
William Hayden (4-0, 1 KO) should also need the duration to take victory against Marian Marius Istrate (3-13) at lightweight.
The sole four rounder is at bantamweight, where Raheem Muhammad (2-0) should outpoint Steven Maguire (4-31-1, 2 KOs).