MTK Global host another show packed full of talent this Saturday at the York Hall, Bethnal Green shown live on IFL TV with Top Rank the USA for the USA viewers.
It’s a stacked bill, and it’s good to see former IBF Super Featherweight Title challenger, Liam Walsh (22-1, KO15) having a second contest of 2019 after a long period of inactivity.
After climbing the ladder as Commonwealth and WBO European Champion, defeating decent names such as Paul Appleby (RTD10) Scott Harrison (Unanimous) and Joe Murray (Majority decision), Walsh earned a shot at the IBF belt at the Copper Box in London in May 2017. Sadly for the Cromer man, the gifted Gervonta Davis was the man standing in his way, Walsh did not have enough ammunition to stop the ‘Tank’ as he was stopped inside three, one sided rounds. Walsh then went into relative obscurity, with no fight dates on the horizon until he returned in May this year with a third round body shot knockout of journeyman, Reynaldo Cajina in Brentwood to shake off the ring rust.
This Saturday, Walsh contests the vacant WBO European belt at Lightweight, with another man coming up in weight in the opposite corner. Rossington’s former British Title challenger, Maxi Hughes (19-4-2, KO4) looks to continue his progress following an unsuccessful challenge for the vacant Lonsdale Belt at Super Feather in April last year. Sam Bowen dropped Hughes twice, and forced an eighth round stoppage at the King Power Stadium in Leicester. Hughes had also lost a previous bid for the title, when Martin J Ward outscored him in March 2017.Last time out Hughes took the unbeaten record of Kieran McLaren, with a fourth round stoppage win at the Doncaster Dome in July.
Prediction: 33-year-old Walsh will be looking to make up for a hell of a lot of lost time, and will look to impress against Hughes. Walsh’s awkward style could cause Hughes multiple problems, and I can see Walsh putting the pressure on the Yorkshireman, especially to the body. I think Walsh has much left to offer, and I think he will halt Hughes around the halfway mark in this one.
Chantelle Cameron (11-0, KO7) looks to keep on the trail in pursuit of a potential future meeting with Irish superstar, Katie Taylor, as she takes on former Taylor victim, and three weight World Champion, Anahi Ester Sanchez (19-4, KO11) over ten rounds at Lightweight where the world will be watching including from ringside the self proclaimed greatest woman of all time, Claressa Shields.
This is a significant step up in class for Northamptonshire’s Cameron, who has picked up IBO and WBC Silver Titles thus far in her career, that began in May 2017. Her best win is arguably a sixth round retirement win against the tough Viviane Obenauf to win the IBO belt in December 2017.
28 year old Sanchez has won World Titles at Featherweight, Super Featherweight and Lightweight, with all three Title wins coming in her home country of Argentina. All of her losses have come on the road, in Finland she lost against Eva Wahlstrom (Unanimous), and in France against Maiva Hamadouche (TKO4). She travelled to Cardiff in October 2017 to challenge for the vacant WBA Lightweight Title against Taylor, but she failed to make weight, was dropped with a body shot in the second, and was then widely outpointed on the cards. However, Sanchez bounced back with two wins in Argentina, but in her last appearance she failed to win the WBC and WBA Super Lightweight Titles as she was outscored by American, Jessica McCaskill in Oxon Hill, USA.
Prediction: A stoppage win for Cameron would be a real statement, but I feel that she is in for a stiff test in the shape of Sanchez. The Argentine will come to win, but she may be on the receiving end of a fair few punishing attacks from the unbeaten Cameron. I favour the fresher “Wham Bam Cam” to come through via a clear points victory.
Unbeaten Michael McKinson (17-0, KO2) gets a decent test on the card against Argentina’s Luis Alberto Veron (17-0-2, KO8). It’s scheduled for ten rounds at Welterweight.
McKinson has impressed of late, and holds a win against former British Champion, Colin Lynes (TKO6), as well as decent operators Sammy McNess and Ryan Kelly (Both unanimous). In July of this year he impressed by claiming the WBO European Title with a points win against Evgeny Pavko in July.
His opponent is fighting outside of his native Argentina for the first time, and comes to London on the back of his first career blemishes after two straight draws in his last two fights. Veron drew with the 10-8-2 Marcelo Fabian Bzowski in March this year over ten, and then 11-3 Maximiliano Ricardo Veron held his namesake to a split draw in June. The Argentine has previously held the WBO Latino Title, and will look to spring a surprise against McKinson.
Prediction: McKinson isn’t a noted puncher, but likes to rack up the points. Veron is a relative unknown, but is unbeaten, and McKinson will start off with respect, before pounding out a clear points win.
Another intriguing meeting sees the unbeaten Danny Dignum (11-0, KO5) face Conrad Cummings 17-3-1, KO7) for the vacant WBO European Middleweight Title over ten rounds.
Dignum is largely untested, and has only faced one opponent with a winning record. That was in his last contest, when he outscored the 42 year old faded former European Welterweight Champion, and World Title challenger, Rafael Jackiewicz over eight rounds who is now considered a journeyman, but it was a good workout for Dignum.
It’s a good step up for Danny, with this his first test over eight. Northern Ireland’s Conrad Cummings is hardened over the ten round distance, and will come to win. In his last three fights, Cummings has won the WBO European belt with a points win against Ferenc Berki in December last year, before losing the belt in a rematch with Luke Keeler, with the Dubliner outpointing Cummings for the second time in March this year, after also winning on points in April 2018. Cummings returned with a six round points win against Adam Grabiec in Ulster last month.
Prediction: Dignum will welcome going the ten round distance here, and Cummings has never previously been stopped. I don’t see that changing here, and this could well turn into the fight of the night. The pick is for Dignum to survive his first real test and take a close points win.
Dan Azeez (9-0, KO6), the southern-area champion looks to build on his big win at the O2 Arena against Charlie Duffield with a run out ahead of a meeting with Dec Spelman next month on the light-heavyweight edition of the MTK Golden Contract.
Theres also a vacant Southern Area Super Lightweight Title on the line as Daniel Egbunike (5-0, KO3) meets Billy Allington (8-0-2, KO0)