It’s a stacked card at Wembley Arena this Saturday, with the undercard providing plenty of intrigue, along with some familiar faces to BT Sport viewers.
A clash for the vacant Commonwealth Super Middleweight Title is the highlight, with New Malden’s Lerrone Richards (11-0, KO3) taking a significant step up to challenge for the famous rainbow belt. The vacant WBO International Title will also be up for grabs.
His co-challenger is Tommy Langford (21-3, KO6). The Devon born Midlander has previously held the British and Commonwealth Titles at Middleweight, but is 3-3 in his last six outings, and seemingly on the slide as a result of some gruelling recent fights. This has been highlighted in a two-year period since 2017, when first, Langford lost his unbeaten record in a five-round demolition at the heavy hands of Avtandil Khurtsidze, in a tilt at the interim WBO Middleweight Title in Leicester.
After two comeback wins, including an impressive defence of his British Title against Jack Arnfield (W PTS) Langford surprisingly shipped his belt in a thriller of a split decision defeat to Jason Welborn in a Midlands derby. A rematch was a natural, but Tommy was down twice in the first three round in a nightmare start. He was on shaky legs at several points in the fight but rallied in the second half. It would be a repeat win for Welborn however, as he nicked another split decision win.
He shook off some rust last month with six round points win against Baptiste Castegnaro in Walsall.
26-year-old Richards is largely untested and is a southpaw stylist. He has only fought past six rounds once, when he comfortably outpointed Rhys Pagan to win the WBO European Title in November 2017 over ten rounds. He hasn’t boxed for over a year, with his last outing six round points win against Chris Dutton in Liverpool in March 2018.
Prediction: Although Richards is vastly inexperienced compared to his opponent, and coming off a long layoff, he is a natural Super Middleweight, and has low mileage on the clock. If he can negate Langford’s point scoring shots in the early going, I think he can triumph on the cards to pick up a first major Title.
Sunny Edwards (10-0, KO3) looks to build on his superb 2018, as he faces Portuguese import, Pedro Matos (7-1, KO1) on the bill, over ten rounds at Super Flyweight.
Edwards enjoyed four wins last year and ended the year by turning in a punch perfect performance in defeating Ryan Farrag in October. He won every round on two cards to win the WBO European Title, in a fight that was predicted to be a lot closer than it was. Edwards backed this up in December 2018 but was forced to get off the canvas in round two, before widely outscoring the dangerous Junior Granados.
His opponent on Saturday shouldn’t pose too many problems for him. Pedro Matos fights outside of Portugal for the first time, and the Lisbon man holds a less than impressive record. His sole loss came in October 2017, when stopped in seven rounds by Juan Hinostoza, who held a 5-8-1 record at the time of their meeting. He came back with six round points win against Elvis Guillen in May last year.
Prediction: This should be a routine run out for Edwards. Both men don’t possess knockout power, so my pick is for Sunny to cruise his way to a point win.
There are also several hot prospects appearing on the card.
Chorley’s Jack Catterall (23-0, KO12) patiently waits for his shot at the WBO Super Lightweight Title, and Champion Maurice Hooker, as he takes part in an eight rounder against Miroslav Serban (10-2, KO5). Catterall has been high up the WBO rankings for some time now and has been waiting for his shot at the World Time to arrive. He was last seen seeing off O’Hara Davies in October 2018, in a drab affair that Catterall won on points. Czech Serban shouldn’t cause many obstacles for Jack, although he did drop Paul Hyland Junior in his last fight in February, before succumbing to a point defeat.
Catterall should be able to dictate the pace in this one to secure a simple point win.
Another man for which big things are expected is Welling’s Archie Sharp (14-0, KO7). The Super Featherweight looks to build on an impressive win against domestic rival, Lyon Woodstock at the back end of 2018, and takes part in an eight rounder against Spanish based Argentine, Sergio Gonzalez (10-14-5, KO7). Sharp dropped Woodstock in the opening round in Leicester, before going on to deservedly outscore his foe.
Gonzalez’s last outing came against Woodstock last month, giving Lyon a stern workout over eight, losing widely on the referee’s scorecard.
This should be the same outcome here, and I favour Sharp to handily outscore his continental opposition.
Zak Chelli (6-0, KO3) and Jimmy Smith (7-1, KO0) meet for the vacant Southern Area Title at Super Middle.
Smith’s sole defeat came in March last year, when journeyman Yailton Neves outscored him over six rounds. Chelli is another touted prospect and has made a bright start to his career. He should be able to negotiate the test of Smith, and a point win should be the likely outcome for the Fulham based Chelli.