Matchroom promote out in Spain this Friday night, and the Bilbao Arena plays host to a night of championship action. At the head of affairs, local favourite, Kerman Lejarraga, defends his European super welterweight title for the first time, as he faces English hope, Jack Flatley.
Lejarraga (33-2, 25 KOs) is a massive puncher and always looks for an early ending, and he’ll be hoping to push on towards world level after setbacks at welterweight when he faces Flatley (17-1-1, 4 KOs) live own DAZN.
‘Revolver’ first came to wider prominence in April 2018, when he wiped out the respected Bradley Skeete in two rounds to win the vacant European strap at ten stone seven.
Another impressive knockout win followed seven months later, when the Spaniard knocked out former amateur standout, Frankie Gavin in four rounds and he was tipped for big things.
His world came crashing down though in March 2019, suffering his first loss in a ninth round stoppage defeat to the hard-hitting David Avanesyan.
Lejarraga aimed to prove that win for the Russian was a fluke, but ‘Ava’ repeated the trick six months later, and this time inside a round in an emphatic display.
The 29-year-old has won five on the spin since that rematch reverse and a move to 154 pounds, although he has had wobbles, down twice to the unheralded Jez Smith back in April, before rallying to stop the Englishman in seven frames.
Last time out, Lejarraga claimed the vacant European belt at super welterweight, taking a tight technical decision win on the cards against Dylan Charrat in Barcelona in September after suffering a cut eye.
Flatley got off the canvas twice in the opening round of his eight round clash with Troy Williamson in June 2018, and earned a draw against the current British champion, and is also a former English champion.
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The 27-year-old’s only defeat to date is a September 2019 points defeat to Harry Scarff that cost him that belt.
He has only fought twice since and won both, his last a six round points victory against Peter Kramer in September.
Prediction: Lejarraga is a pressure fighter, and it’s usually fighters that carry power that trouble him. With only four early wins on his slate, Flatley may struggle to keep the Spaniard at bay. I favour the champion to retain in around six.
The undercard is a pretty sparse affair. Campbell Hatton could probably welcome a much less publicised assignment, and the lightweight takes on Hungary’s Attila Csereklye (10-24, 8 KOs) over six rounds.
Hatton (4-0) has had a storm of publicity so far as the son of the legendary Ricky Hatton, and has been added to some massive bills in his four fight pro career.
Prediction: Csereklye has been halted 13 times in his 24 losses, so Hatton could well force his first early victory.
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Damian Biacho (11-0, 2 KOs) defends his Spanish super middleweight title for the first time, and the 30-year-old can take a points win over ten against Guillermo Rivero (8-0-1, 1 KO).
In a super lightweight eight rounder, Jonathan Alonso (20-1, 7 KOs) can take care of Belgian, Mohamed El Marcouchi (28-2, 11 KOs) on the cards, and at lightweight, Samuel Carmona (5-0, 3 KOs) can do the same against Luis Fernando Villa Padilla (13-2-2, 2 KOs), also over eight.
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Jhon Jader Obregon (8-0, 4 KOs) has a six round assignment against Welshman, Gerome Warburton (8-0-1, 1 KO) in what could be a close middleweight clash shaded by Oregon.