While it may have been one of the year’s quietest weeks so far in terms of televised Boxing, there has been a lot going on outside the ropes over the past seven days. The UK circuit has been a buzz with new fights, news notes and show updates covering everything from super fly to heavyweight. Here’s The Mandatory Eight for March 26th.
1. Fury/Chisora 2 and the heavyweight division
The promotional push for July 26th’s heavyweight bout between Derek Chisora and Tyson Fury has kicked into full gear with the first press conference taking place this past Thursday followed by the premiere of their head to head sit-down interview series on BoxNation earlier this week. The build got off to a lively start as was to be expected, first with Fury overturning a table and storming out on the presser, and then the two trading barbs back and forth as Jim Rosenthal asked the questions. You can check out the videos here and here. Both clips contain some pretty strong wording; so don’t say you weren’t warned!
The bout will serve as a final eliminator for the WBO title held by Wladimir Klitschko, and given the current heavyweight landscape, the winner will be the most interesting fresh challenger out-there for the big man. Both these guy’s know how to sell a fight to, so whoever comes away with the W, we should be seeing a major heavyweight title tilt before the year’s out.
2. Cyclone Promotions secure two new signings
Barry McGuigan and the team behind super bantamweight ace Carl Frampton have put pen to paper on long term promotional deals for two more of Belfast boxing’s rising stars in Marco McCullough and Jamie Conlan. McCullough (8-1) was awarded best young boxer of the year by the Boxing Union of Ireland back in February, following his breakout win over former European champion Willie Casey late last year. While Conlan (10-0) has been a staple of Frampton undercards dating back to The Jackal’s first headlining bill in 2010. Jamie is a guy with real upside. He’s a good ticket seller with a very viewer friendly style of boxing. The difficulty so far has just been in matching him simply because there isn’t a whole lot out-there in Ireland, the UK or even Europe when you drop as low as super flyweight. His standout performance to date was a stoppage of the tough Mike Robinson in February of last year.
Both Mccullough and Conlan have WBO European title fight’s lined up for the ‘This Is Belfast’ bill on April 4th main evented by Carl Frampton vs Hugo Fidel Cazares. Conlan will square off with Belgium’s Benjamin Smoes (9-2) with the super flyweight belt on the line, while Mccullough will be matched with Andrei Isaeu (25-4) of Belarus at featherweight.