In what has been a busy week for British boxing with no less than four big shows taking place on British shores in seven days, Matchroom Boxing return with an interesting six fight card headlined by a trident of women’s world championship fights. There’s not many shows the world over that have been headlined by three compelling female world title fights, and it is undoubtedly a first for this country headlined by trailblazer Katie Taylor in her eleventh world title fight. Here’s a full breakdown of Saturdays card.
Thomas Whittaker Hart vs Jermaine Springer
The Tony Bellew managed Thomas Whittaker Hart (4-0, 2 KO’s) faces his first step up very early in his career as he faces Jermaine Springer (7-1, 1 KO) over eight rounds. The Scouse light heavyweight originally had ambitions of remaining in the amateur ranks until Tokyo 2020, but eventually turned pro in March 2019 instead, enjoying four victories in his first year. Yet to compete in 2020, the 25 year old trains at famed Liverpool gym Rotunda ABC under Joe McNally and was recently announced as having signed a multi fight deal with Matchroom, putting him under the same umbrella as fellow British light heavyweight contenders Joshua Buatsi, Callum Johnson and Craig Richards. The 32 year old Springer’s only loss came at the hands of the then undefeated Boris Crighton back in 2019, and the Yorkshire man has experience of handing undefeated fighters their first loss, having bested Piotr Gora (1-0, 0 KO’s) and Casey Connelly (6-0, 0 KO’s).
Kash Farooq vs Angel Aviles
It seems third times the charm for Scottish Bantamweight Kash Farooq (13-1, 6 KO’s), who has been very unfortunate in recent weeks with various pull-outs and Covid issues forcing him to withdraw from back to back shows. With no suitable opponent being found for him on the Ritson vs Vasquez bill, the 24 year old was then set to fight on the huge Chisora vs Usyk PPV card, only for his cut man to test positive for Covid the day before fight night, causing his clash with Martin Tecuapetla to be cancelled. He is now scheduled to face Mexican Angel Aviles (20-5-1, 6 KO’s) the current Mexican bantamweight champion who is on an eight fight winning streak with four of his opponents not hearing the final bell. Expect Kash to outwork and outclass the durable Mexican, possibly finding a finish to set up some big fights next year.
John Docherty vs Jack Cullen
Scotland’s John Docherty (9-0, 7 KO’s) has a unique ability to hate every opponent he faces, turning what otherwise would’ve been an interesting super middleweight contest with Jack Cullen (18-2-1, 9 KO’s) into a grudge match that has really captured the imagination. Another talented amateur representing GB and medalling at the Commonwealth games, many people believe ‘The Doc’ has a very bright future in the sport, and at just 23 hasn’t even scratched the surface. At just 27 himself, Jack Cullen is not exactly an old man either, and with a wealth of experience fighting on Matchroom shows and competing at British level, won’t be an easy nights work for Docherty. A former English middleweight champion and one time commonwealth title challenger, ‘Little Lever’s meat cleaver’ has been in with the likes of John Harding Jr, Felix Cash and Zak Chelli and will know a loss here could signal the end of his run with Matchroom.
Rachel Ball vs Jorgelina Guanini
Rachel Ball’s (6-1, 0 KO’s) maiden world title shot has been anything but plain sailing, but after coming up on small hall shows and often being brought in as the ‘opponent’ she wouldn’t have it any other way. After her original opponent Ebanie Bridges pulled out with a shoulder injury, IBF super flyweight champion Jorgelina Guanini (9-1-2, 1 KO) stepped in on ten days notice to save the day. However, after missing the check weight and then weighing even heavier when she was given another chance the next day, the bout will now not be for the WBA bantamweight title. Negotiations are on-going between promoter Eddie Hearn and the WBA to try and make the bout a WBA super bantamweight title fight. Ball earned the opportunity to fight for her first world title after a brilliant decision win over hot prospect Shannon Courtenay at Matchroom Fight Camp.
Terri Harper vs Katharina Thanderz
In her last bout Terri Harper (10-0-1, 5 KO’s) was in many peoples eyes fortunate to come away with a draw and her WBC world title after a thrilling ten rounds with former Olympian Natasha Jonas. In a testament to the growing strength of women’s boxing it doesn’t get any easier for Harper, as her second defence sees her come against undefeated mandatory challenger, Norwegian Katharina Thanderz (13-0, 2 KO’s). A former European and WBC international Super featherweight champion, the 32 year old has great pedigree and holds impressive wins over the likes of Rachel Ball and Danila Ramos. In what is perhaps the most stacked division in women’s boxing, a win here could lead to huge unifications down the line with the likes of Mikaela Mayer (WBO), Maiva Hamadouche (IBF) and recent Matchroom signing Hyun-Mi Choi (WBA), as well as the possibility of stepping up to lightweight to face a certain Irish lady you may have heard of…
Katie Taylor vs Miriam Gutierrez
The queen of women’s boxing makes her second appearance of 2020, as she puts her undisputed lightweight world championships on the line against WBA mandatory challenger Miriam Gutierrez (13-0, 5 KO’s). What Katie Taylor (16-0, 6 KO’s) has done not just for women’s boxing or Irish boxing, but for boxing as a whole is extraordinary, the thought of three women’s fights headlining a major show in this country would quite simply never have happened without her. Her last performance put any doubts about her close June 2019 clash with Delfine Persoon firmly in the rear view mirror, with a dominant showing in the rematch ending all talk of a robbery at MSG. Gutierrez will offer a firm test for the 34 year old, having marched to thirteen wins quite comfortably while picking up the European and WBA interim lightweight belts along the way. And while there’s always the worry that one day father time will catch up with the former Olympic gold medallist, expect another vintage Katie Taylor performance to round off an iconic night in women’s sporting history.