Next stop for Matchroom is the O2 Arena in London this Saturday. In a packed bill that contains some of the brightest talents on these shores & some fights that will mould many of their careers.
It’s going to be a busy night for trainers Peter and Tony Sims with five fighters between them competing on the card.
Let’s assess the bouts in detail:
“Pretty” Ricky Boylan v Tyler “El Tornado” Goodjohn
This for me could be fight of the night. El Tornado (10-3: 4 KO’s) will be hoping it is 2nd time lucky in his quest for the English Light Welter title.
The 23 yr old lost to Tyrone Nurse in a cracking fight earlier this year, but one thing is guaranteed with Goodjohn; he comes to fight. Goodjohn reminds me of Brandon Rios in the way he grins at the sight of his own blood & thrives being in a genuine tear-up.
Undefeated Pretty Ricky (12-0: 4 KO’s) agreed to fight with Goodjohn after an amusing exchange between them too place on Twitter.
The 26 yr old has not faced so far what you would consider stern test and this Saturday will be his first one. Boylan is regarded as one top talents in Britain at 140lbs and I’m looking forward to seeing how he will cope with the pressure Goodjohn will apply.
Both have had world-class sparring in the lead up to this fight and with two noisy fan base’s supporting them; I’m confident the fight will live up to expectations.
John “The Gorilla” Ryder v Theopus Tetteh
Firstly I’m disappointed for Ryder (18-1: 10 KO’s) that due to circumstances beyond his control he isn’t facing Sergey Khomistky on Saturday.
The 26 yr old only found out recently that Khomistky was under contract with a rival promoter who has exercised his right to activate a 1 fight option.It is like knowing you are out for dinner tonight, you have been looking forward to having a steak for weeks & get to the restaurant to only find out they’ve got none left.
It is frustrating of course for The Gorilla but I admire his attitude; he has shrugged this off and is fully focused on blasting the Ghanaian away.
What do we know about Tetteh?
He is 16-6 with 9 KO’s; he lost to Lee Purdy in 2010 on the same bill Ryder made his professional debut. With the WBO Inter-Continental belt up for grabs; there is plenty here to motivate the Islington man.
I’m confident Ryder will put on a great performance and use this as a springboard for some big fights in 2015.
Lee Selby v Joel Brunker – IBF Featherweight Final Eliminator
Make no mistake about it; this is the acid test for the Welshman. Selby (19-1: 7 KO’s) for me has always flattered to deceive; I’ve seen glimpses of his ability that make me believe he can mix it at World Level. On other occasions however he has boxed ok and I often I question whether he would look out of his depth with Vasyl Lomachenko, Jhonny Gonzalez or Nonito Donaire.
Aussie Brunker (27-0: 15 KO’s) is here to grasp that mandatory position for himself and prove Selby is a hype job. Brunker is rated #3 in the IBF, Selby is #6 and for me it is another 50-50 fight.
How hard does Brunker punch? Can Selby out-box him?
It makes for a mouth-watering contest and the winner will face champion Evgeny Gradovich in spring.
Anthony Joshua v Denis Bakhtov – WBC International Heavyweight title
It will be exactly a year on Saturday since Joshua (8-0: 8 KO’s) made his professional debut. It has been an exciting journey already with the 24 yr old frighteningly still in 1st gear.
We constantly hear the term “stepping up” regarding opposition for the 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist; but he is progressing faster than anyone envisaged.
Next up to attempt to give the man-mountain some rounds is Bakhtov (38-9: 25 KO’s).
Darth Vader (yes that is his alias) has been in with Konstantin Airich – who Joshua knocked out in 3, Manuel Charr and further back Danny Williams.
I expect nothing less than a KO which will serve as an early birthday present for Joshua – he turns 25 next week.
Joshua participated in an open-workout Monday in his hometown of Watford and spoke to Skysports about facing the likes of David Price, Dereck Chisora and David Haye:
“I work hard. You have to be confident in your ability. I believe I can compete with these guys at a high level, probably get a win, but is it about competing with these guys in a tough fight, 12 rounds, coming out battered and bruised – or you bide your time?
“When the time is right, these fights will happen. Right now October 11 is my priority and in the future, on a piece of paper, these names are on a tick list down the line and hopefully we can do it at Vicarage Road or Wembley. Somewhere special.”
Young prospect Ben Hall (4-0) faces Simon Henry (3-0) on the undercard. Fantastic moment for Hall and his family seeing him fight for the first time on a big card. From what I’ve seen and heard; it won’t be his last.
Light-Welters Tommy Martin and John Wayne Hibbert will both have eyes on the Boylan v Goodjohn fight after they dispatch opposition of their own.
O’Hara Davies, Phillip Bowes and Erick Ochieng are all in action to complete the exciting bill.