The first show of 2015 is upon us, later than envisaged after the horrific injury to Anthony Crolla cancelled his 23rd Jan title shot.
You have to go back 8 weeks to December 6th for Matchroom’s last show – Prizefighter at York Hall. 10 weeks ago was Cleverly Bellew 2 – which only seemed like yesterday.
An injury sustained to Anthony Joshua resulted in him having to pull out of the scheduled bout with Kevin Johnson at the O2 this Saturday- so let’s look at who is fighting in more detail:
Kevin Mitchell v Daniel Estrada – Vacant Lightweight WBC Silver title
After missing the fight morning check-weight of his IBF final eliminator in May – The Hammer(38-2: 28KO’s) has another and some believe a final chance to become world champion.
Standing in his way is Mexican Estrada (34-3: 24KO’s) a man who was stopped in the 9th against WBC champion Omar Figueroa – on the Kell Brook v Shawn Porter undercard.
Another intriguing aspect to this contest is the 29 yr old “Tremendo” has recently linked up with Hall of Fame trainer Nacho Beristain – arguably the greatest Mexican trainer of all time.The 75 yr old has trained the likes of Juan Manuel Marquez, Oscar De La Hoya, Daniel Zaragoza and Abner Mares.
Mitchell’s trainer Tony Sims will relish the opportunity to pit-his-wits against such an illustrious name in the opposite corner – Sims I have spent time with and his knowledge for the sport is second to none. In what is expected to be an explosive affair in stages, the winner could well boil down to the man who executes his trainer’s game-plan to sublimity.
A truly mouth-watering encounter and one I cannot wait to see unfold – I’ve got Mitchell by a close decision.
John Ryder v Billi Godoy – WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight title
Another late change of opponent for Ryder (19-1: 11KO’s) is something unfortunately he has become accustom to. On this occasion it is not politics but a pull-out from Australian Les Sherrington.
His replacement is Argentinian Billi Godoy (31-3: 15KO’s) who has previously beaten Jorge Sebastien Heiland – ironically the 1st choice opponent for Ryder on this date.
I watched Godoy v Martin Rios last night, Godoy lost via stoppage and whilst I did see a tricky foe for The Gorilla – it is a fight I believe he can look great in. The 28 yr old will stand in-front of the Islington man and there will be ample opportunities for Ryder to get inside & go to town.
I’m going for a 7th round stoppage for the 26 yr old Brit and then attention can turn to climbing the WBO rankings or a big name.
I’m going to put this out there – I’d love to see Ryder v Macklin on May 9th in Birmingham. Judging by the manner of his defeat last year to Heiland, Macklin needs a tough fight to prove to himself and his doubters that he isn’t finished – who could be better than Ryder?
It’s a dangerous fight for both men but I would favour John going in to this as I do see Macklin as vulnerable – it could be the great break-out fight for him. Failing that happening, either Willie Monroe Jr #7 or Lajos Mark Nagy #5 in WBO would be the level of opposition required for The Gorilla to progress towards a mandatory position.
John Wayne Hibbert v Tyler Goodjohn – WBC International Light-Welter title
This is the one I am really looking forward to. They can’t stand each other and both have big followings who will be attendance on Saturday evening.
Hibbert (14-2: 8KO’s) holds the WBC International belt and he will have his work-cut-out against a revitalized Goodjohn (11-3: 4KO’s). El Tornado beat Ricky Boylan in a near shut-out back in October to capture the English title. Goodjohn won plenty of new fans and plaudits alike for his master-class performance – which was tactically perfect from trainer Peter Sims.
The 30 yr old Hibbert is a man not to be underestimated – all four of his past fights have come by way of knockout and he believes this fight will be no different.
Both men have aspirations of winning the British title in the foreseeable future, a defeat here would put a severe dent in their chances. Pride on the line and high stakes in a domestically deep division. I’m backing 23 yr old Goodjohn to take a win by decision.
Ricky Boylan v Tommy Martin – Vacant English Light-Welter title
In another fantastic trade-fight this Saturday we have “Pretty” Ricky Boylan facing Tommy “The Gun” Martin fighting for the vacant English Light-Welter strap.
Boylan (12-1: 4KO’s) will be hoping it is second time lucky in his quest to capture the English title – for Martin (10-0: 3KO’s) it is an opportunity to see how good he really is.
Pretty Ricky is being trained by Jamie Moore for the second consecutive fight and sacrificed life with his young family in Surrey – travelling up to Moss Side Fire Station for this camp – he needs to demonstrate it has been worthwhile.
Boylan looks in unbelievable condition for this fight and he will need to get out of the blocks much faster against Martin than he did against Goodjohn – Ricky didn’t win a round for me until the 8th.
Martin is still raw and there is an unknown quantity with him that will be fully tested this weekend – can he mix it in the domestic Light-Welter scene?
I’m going for a Boylan late stoppage – I think he has forged a great bond with Moore and the fight has come maybe a tad too soon for Martin.
Charlie Edwards and Issac Chamberlain make their professional debuts, Light-Middle prospect Ben Hall faces his toughest test to date against Southpaw experienced Ryan Toms and O’Hara Davies will be looking to go 5-0 against Lee Gibbons.
All fights will be live on Skysports from 8pm.