With a huge weekend of boxing ahead, fans are spoilt for choice with PPV’s on both sides of the pond and pound for pound greats making their return to the ring. With a stellar list of Oleksandr Usyk, Dereck Chisora, Gervonta Davis, Leo Santa Cruz and Naoya Inoue all competing on the 31st, there’s a number of fights that have gone completely under the radar, here’s three fights you may have missed.
Murat Gassiev vs Nuri Seferi
Gassiev (26-1, 19 KO’s) hasn’t been seen in a professional ring since his failed attempt to become undisputed cruiserweight champion back in July 2018, losing almost every round in a unanimous decision loss to the great Oleksandr Usyk. Since then a string of injuries and bad luck have prevented the Russian from returning and making his heavyweight debut, and with his promotional deal having just ended, the 27 year old is one of the hottest free agents in the business. The former unified 200 lbs champ is the newest edition to an already thriving heavyweight division and could feature in a number of high profile bouts in the next 12 months. Originally scheduled to face heavyweight journeyman Kevin Johnson, who was forced to withdraw due to passport issues, then one time Tyson Fury opponent Sefer Seferi who contracted Coronavirus, Gassiev will now face Nuri Seferi (41-9, 23 KO’s), brother of Sefer. The 43 year old has predominantly fought at cruiserweight during his 21 year career, only being stopped once during that time and going the distance with the likes of Marco Huck, Herbie Hide and Krzysztof Glowacki. A statement win would do wonders to get Gassiev’s career back on track and with bigger and better foes lurking in the future, finishing Seferi would be the perfect way to announce himself to the heavyweight division.
Jaime Munguia vs Tureano Johnson
Jaime Munguia (35-0, 28 KO’s) continues his assault on the middleweight division with a tough 12 round main event against Tureano Johnson (21-2-1, 15 KO’s) on a Golden Boy card on Friday the 30th. Munguia has stated his intentions of fighting for a world title in the first half of 2021, with middleweight great Gennady Golovkin a potential next opponent, and will be well aware he needs to look good in dispatching of Johnson if this is to become a reality. The former WBO light middleweight champion made his 160 lbs debut in January, stopping Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan in the 11th round of a scrappy affair. Johnson secured a career best performance last time out, stopping the previously undefeated Jason Quigley last July and has only suffered losses to heavy handed duo Curtis Stevens and Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Can the 24 year old Munguia add to his 28 KO’s and book a date with Golovkin next year? Or will Johnson shock the world again and force himself into the title picture in one of the sports toughest deivisions? This one should produce fireworks.
Savannah Marshall vs Hannah Rankin
Landing on the huge Usyk vs Chisora ppv card, Savannah Marshall (8-0, 6 KO’s) and Hannah Rankin (9-4, 2 KO’s) clash in an all British world title fight for the WBO middleweight title. Following on from Terri Harper and Natasha Jonas’ incredible all British world title fight in August, Women’s boxing is booming right now, and with the winner of this one set to face women’s boxing icon Claressa Shields next, there’s more huge fights on the horizon. In terms of the fight itself Marshall and Rankin should mesh together to create a brilliant spectacle for the fans. Marshall enjoyed a superb amateur career, claiming medals in the World Championships, European Championships and the commonwealth games and has been perfect thus far into her pro career. Rankin has fought all over the world, from Norway to the USA, and has fought for world titles in three weight classes, thus far coming up short on all three occasions. With the chance to be Britain’s first female middleweight champion up for grabs, this one definitely has the potential to steal the show on Saturday night.