Alex Dilmaghani (19-1, KO8) was patiently waiting for his main event slot in Bolton at the end of September, when disaster struck. His opponent, former two time World Title challenger, Francisco Fonseca (25-2-1, KO19), was taken ill in the dressing room with minutes to go to his walk on, and the fight for the WBA international super-featherweight title was subsequently scrapped. This left Dilmaghani claiming foul play was involved, and a grudge being born.
This Saturday at the York Hall in Bethnal Green, the pair are scheduled to clash again, this time with the vacant IBO 130-pound world title the prize. Channel 5 televise this Mick Hennessey promoted show in the UK.
Crayford based Dilmaghani has boxed in three different countries since turning over in 2009, and the 28 year old has also trained in Mexico with the very best, including Juan Manuel Marquez. He also spent time with revered trainer, Nacho Beristain, for which he received much praise. His only career loss was an early four round points defeat to Mickey Coveney back in June 2011. He is unbeaten in 14 since, boxing in Mexico and Canada, before returning to the UK in May this year, stopping Martin Parlagi in eight in Manchester. His breakout moment was expected to be his meeting with Fonseca, but chaos reigned on that night in the North West, leading to a grudge match this Saturday.
Fonseca has operated at a much higher level to Dilmaghani, although he has come up short in two separate World Title tilts. The 25 year old Nicaraguan ran into the gifted Gervonta Davis in August 2017 in a challenge for the IBF Title, but was knocked out in eight rounds in Las Vegas. His second opportunity saw him soundly outpointed by Tevin Farmer in December last year in another attempt at the same belt. Three straight stoppage wins have followed for Fonseca, who will arrive in London full of confidence.
Prediction: This is a tough ask for Dilmaghani, as Fonseca has mixed at a much higher level to him, and he will need to be on his mettle early on in this one. I think if he can safely negotiate the early rounds, he can take over late on for a points win.
It’s a double Fonseca affair at the York Hall, as Francisco’s brother, Freddy (27-4-1, KO18), challenges for the aforementioned WBA International Super Featherweight Title on the bill. It’s a stiff ask for Fonseca, as he faces Mullingar’s 2012 Olympic Silver Medallist, John Joe Nevin (13-0, KO4) over ten rounds.
This is the first time Nevin has been scheduled for ten rounds, and he has been raised on the usual diet of limited opposition in his professional career so far.
Fonseca has fought three times in 2019, and has lost twice. He was stopped in seven by Joseph Diaz in May in a challenge for the WBA “Gold” belt, before returning in his native Nicaragua for a routine knockout win. His last appearance saw him soundly outscored in an eight rounder in Japan by the 6-1 Masanori Rikiishi in September.
Prediction: Nevin still operates under an amateurish style, and I can’t see this one ending inside schedule. Fonseca has only been stopped once in four defeats, so I expect him to go the distance and be beaten by a wide margin.
Elsewhere on the bill, Chelsea’s Connor Marsden (3-0, KO1) steps up in a Super Lightweight six rounder against Newport, Wales’ Craig Woodruff (8-5, KO2).