Week three at ‘Matchroom Square Garden’, as it is becoming affectionately known, sees a bit more of a lower key show with entertaining contests nonetheless with a Commonwealth title fight topping the bill.
It’s been pretty stop start stuff for the Commonwealth Middleweight champion, Felix Cash (12-0, KO8) in his professional career so far, with the 27-year-old having just a dozen fights in a little over four years.
The former Team GB member turned over in June 2016, and it’s been steady progress ever since.
The Wokingham-based traveller first really gained exposure on a NXTGEN show in June 2018 outscoring Francis Tchoffo over eight rounds.
A dominant points win over ten against Stephen Danyo gained Cash the WBC International Silver belt.
The start of 2019 saw Cash destroy the hapless Rasheed Abolaji inside a round to add the Commonwealth belt to his collection.
Cash was last seen in November last year, and he dropped Jack Cullen twice, and overcame a cut in round three to stop the tough Bolton-man in eight rounds.
Now comes a well matched second defence of the rainbow belt for Cash as he takes on an experienced campaigner in Jason Welborn (24-8, KO7).
Welborn has regularly hovered between Super-Welterweight and Middleweight in a hard fought career against some quality operators, so a win for Cash will look good on his record.
Jason was knocked out in just his second fight by Tyan Booth, but rebounded to win ten straight before running into Frankie Gavin in January 2013, with ‘Funtime’ stopping Welborn with a body shot in the seventh in a British Welterweight title defence.
Moving up to 154lbs was next for Welborn and he scored four wins to earn another shot at the Lonsdale Belt.
Again though, he was matched tough, as Liam Smith knocked Welborn out, again with a body shot, in six in a British Super Welterweight title tilt.
2015 and 16 saw the wheels come off for Welborn, as he suffered three defeats in five outings, all on points against the likes of Matthew Macklin and Craig Cunningham. But, he was also outscored over six by journeyman William Warburton to leave his career at the crossroads.
The rejuvenation came in March 2017 though, as he upset Marcus Morrison in Manchester, coming off the canvas to take a points win.
This set up a shot at the British Middleweight title, and he seized his chance in a thrilling split decision win against Tommy Langford.
A rematch was a natural, and it was another barnburner. Welborn dropped Langford twice, but Langford rallied only for Welborn to take a split decision win.
Three months later, in December 2018, those two wins catapulted Welborn into a barely believable World title shot at Super-Welter against WBA (Super), IBF and IBO king, Jarrett Hurd.
Welborn gave a good account of himself, but Hurd was simply too strong, and a body shot accounted for him yet again in the fourth.
His last fight came in June last year, in an entertaining fight in Leeds for the vacant Commonwealth title at 154. James Metcalf would learn from other Welborn opponents, stopping the brave Black Countryman in eight with a left to the body in eight.
Jason was hit low several times during the contest though. He did consider retirement in the aftermath, but returns to Middleweight for a final shot at redemption.
Prediction: Cash is obviously much fresher than Welborn, but the Midlander possesses plenty of heart, and always brings the fight to his opponent.
After a lively first four or five rounds, I feel Cash will take over in the middle rounds, and body shots should come into play for the champion. I expect him to break Welborn’s heart in around seven or eight sessions.
It’s a debut Matchroom appearance for Zelfa Barrett (23-1, KO14) who has made the move from Frank Warren’s stable in search of the big fish at Super-Featherweight.
The Commonwealth champion’s title isn’t on the line in Essex, as ;Brown Flas’” goes in with unbeaten Irishman Eric Donovan (12-0, KO7) over ten rounds.
Barrett has come back well from a shock February 2018 defeat to Ronnie Clark, as he found himself on the floor in the sixth, and was eventually beaten via majority decision.
That is the Manchester man’s only career defeat, and he picked up the vacant Commonwealth crown in an absorbing points win over Leicester’s Lyon Woodstock.
He has made one defence since in Leeds, a ninth round stoppage of the gutsy Scot, Jordie McCorry in October last year. That remains Zelfa’s last in ring appearance.
‘Lilywhite Lightning’ Donovan is an unknown quantity, but is unbeaten in twelve fights since his debut in June 2016.
He has feasted on journeyman mainly so far though, and, at 35, time isn’t on his side in terms of fulfilling potential.
Barrett should be able to impress here and go through his repertoire to halt Donovan somewhere around halfway.
An intriguing crossroads clash comes at Super-Welterweight, where Northampton’s Kieron Conway (14-1-1, KO3) and Rotherham’s Nav Mansouri (20-3-2, KO6) clash over ten rounds with the vacant WBA Intercontinental title on the line.
Conway has seen his stock rise in his last few fights. He was unlucky to only manage a draw in a bid for Ted Cheeseman’s British belt in June last year, but has had two straight wins since, his last a decent points win against Craig O’Brien in December 2019.
Former English champion Mansouri has found himself on the road in the last couple of years, with five fights in a 14 month period coming in Spain, where he chose to base himself.
Defeated once while there, a split decision loss to Jorge Fortea, and his last fight saw him travel to Rotterdam where he lost a decision to Stephen Danyo in November last year.
Conway has a great engine, and the pick is for him to come through this one on the cards.
John Docherty (8-0, KO6) is a prospect to keep an eye on, and the Scot gets a scheduled eight-rounder for the first time against Anthony Fox (8-12-4, KO0), a man only stopped once in a dozen defeats.
Rounding off the card is another exciting prospect in Shannon Courtenay (5-0, KO2) with the Watford resident going up against Rachel Ball (5-1, KO0) over eight rounds at Super-Bantamweight.