The Sheffield Arena sees the first 2022 instalment of Matchroom’s NXTGEN series, and in the bill topper, Dalton Smith vies for the vacant British super lightweight title when he takes on Sam O’maison in a Steel City derby.
DAZN televise Smith vs O’maison live worldwide.
Smith (11-0, 9 KOs) is one of Britain’s hottest prospects, and he has made almost faultless progress to date as a professional.
‘Thunder’ turned over in May 2019, and after a points win on debut, he won seven straight via the early route, including an English title with a sixth round stoppage of Lee Appleyard in May last year.
The 25-year-old Yorkshireman has fought twice already this year, stopping Ray Moylette in the final round of ten to win the vacant WBC International Silver belt, and in his last fight, he halted Mauro Perouene in six.
O’maison (17-3-1, 7 KOs) is a former English champion at ten stone, winning the title with a third round stoppage of Kevin Hooper in April 2018, but 2019 saw him draw with Kay Prospere, before being outscored in a rematch.
The 31-year-old only returned to action in May after well over 18 months off, and he outpointed Serge Ambomo over four.
Prediction: This contest looks made for Smith to look good in claiming the Lonsdale Belt. O’maison has been out of action for a while, and Smith will surely take advantage of this by testing his chin early. There could be an early knockdown, and I expect Smith to get the job done before halfway.
Ryan rematches Farias
Sandy Ryan (3-1, 2 KOs) was seemingly set for big things after turning professional, but the former Commonwealth Games champion as an amateur was upset in her last contest against former world champion, Erica Anabella Farias (27-5, 10 KOs).
The Argentine took a deserved points win in the original meeting, but it was a gruelling affair, and the pair do it again in a rematch.
Prediction: My gut feeling is that Ryan would have learned several lessons from her defeat, and will make the adjustments to win clearly on the cards this time and claim the vacant WBC International super lightweight title.
Thompson tackles Ducar
Jordan Thompson goes for his first professional title, and the Manchester man takes on Vasil Ducar for the vacant IBF European cruiserweight title.
Ducar (11-5-1, 10 KOs) is durable, and took Chris Billam-Smith the distance. The Czech has only been halted once, a retirement defeat after ten to Mike Perez in March.
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Prediction: Thompson (13-0, 11 KOs) is heavy handed, but may need all ten rounds to get the job done here.
Conway, Hatton, Fisher feature
Ahead of a slot on the big Canelo vs Golovkin III bill against Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams, Kieron Conway (17-2-1, 3 KOs) ticks over, and he should deal with Germany’s Aro Schwartz (19-5-1, 13 KOs) over the distance at super welterweight.
Campbell Hatton (7-0, 2 KOs) has his third outing of the year, and the lightweight should defeat Michal Dufek (34-23-2, 22 KOs) on the cards.
Johnny Fisher (5-0, 4 KOs) was taken the distance for the first time as a pro in his last outing, and the Romford heavyweight may well need the long route again to see off Michal Reissinger (3-1, 2 KOs).
Hopey Price (7-0, 3 KOs) is also in action, and the Leeds native can also score a points win against Nicaragua’s Alexander Mejia (18-3, 7 KOs).
At super featherweight, Aqib Fiaz (8-0) will also likely need the duration against the tried and tested Jordan Ellison (13-40-3, 1 KO).
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Mansfield bantamweight, Nico Leivars (2-0) should record a scorecard win against Angel Gabriel Chavez (3-3, 3 KOs).
Unbeaten light heavyweight, Callum Beardow (5-0) and undefeated middleweight, Junaid Bostan (1-0) feature against opponents still to be confirmed.