Ultimate Boxxer returns this Friday night for its fourth instalment.
It’s a Cruiserweight edition of the event this time around, and it takes place outside of London for the first time. It’s another £50,000 prize fund up for grabs at ICE Arena in Altrincham, Manchester, as eight contenders vie for the Golden Robe.
BT Sport and Boxnation are the UK channels to see the fast paced action unfold.
Tournament favourite is six foot two, Nigerian born, Mikael Lawal (9-0, KO6) and he kicks off his campaign against the fledgling Wolverhampton professional, Antony Woolery (1-1, KO0). This looks like a plum draw for Lawal, who has already fought in four different countries in his nine fight career. Lawal has appeared on World Boxing Super Series cards in Latvia, Germany and Saudi Arabia, so the North West shouldn’t phase him.
34 year old former semi-pro footballer Woolery is very green, and lost on his debut in November 2017 to Lithuanian trial horse, Dmitrij Kalinovskij, who won every round of four that night in Bilston. Woolery did return in June last year, and won every round against Remigijus Ziausys in Willenhall.
The pick here is for the heavy handed Lawal, to stop the over matched Woolery, maybe inside the first session.
Quarter final number two sees unbeaten Lincolnshire prospect, Dan Cooper (7-0-1, KO2) take on Kent Kauppinen (5-14, KO3), who has faced two other men in the field previously, and was stopped on his debut by inaugural Ultimate Boxxer winner, Shakan Pitters in May last year.
Swadlincote based Kauppinen has previously dabbled in MMA, appearing in several Bellator events. He is durable, and his only other stoppage loss of fourteen was a sixth and final round stoppage against Chris Billam-Smith in December 2018.
Cooper is a former Leicester Tigers Rugby player, and only has one blemish on his record. This was a draw with the previously mentioned Dmitrij Kalinovskij, over four rounds, although Cooper broke a hand in the first round of that bout.
I can’t see Cooper budging the durable Kauppinen, and Kent should hear the final bell. Cooper should be able to win every round for a comfortable passage to the semi-finals.
Former Commonwealth Champion, Tony Conquest (18-3, KO6) boasts the most experience of the field, but has his hands full against the young, hungry, Newcastle Under-Lyme resident, Rhasian Earlington (5-0, KO1).
Conquest though, starts as second favourite in this match, with 21 year old Earlington a warm 10/19 favourite with tournament partner, Mansionbet. Romford’s Conquest has been largely inactive in the last few years, and comes off a stoppage loss against Fabio Turchi in Italy at the back end of 2018.
Earlington has come up on the usual journeymen, and a short and sweet three round distance should be right up the Staffordshire man’s street.
I think that the freshness of Earlington spells trouble for 35 year old Conquest. Earlington can take this one on the cards.
In the final contest of the quarters, Preston’s Damian Chambers (7-0, KO4) is an interesting addition to the tournament. All of the Matthew Hatton trained banger’s fights either go the distance, or one round, with all of his knockouts being scored in the opening frame.
These statistics don’t bode well then for his opponent Matt Sen (5-1, KO1) with the Wolverhampton man’s sole loss coming inside a round against the 0-4 Taha Mirhosseini in November last year. This remains the Iranian’s sole career win, and he has been stopped four times since.
I can see Chambers not looking to do any over time, and he can launch a spiteful early attack to stop Sen in the opener.
This for me would leave Lawal to meet Cooper in the first semi final, and I believe Lawal will have too much for the Nigerian, who should come through on points.
Earlington and Chambers is a harder one to call. Chambers is something of a banger, where as Earlington has slick boxing skills. I lean towards Earlington to shade this on the cards, after overcoming a tricky start.
I think Lawal can justify his favouritism by stopping a tiring Earlington in the final.