Essential title footage beckon Jay Harris and Paul Butler in the event that they’re victorious in Bolton, writes Matt Bozeat
SWANSEA’S Jay Harris may shortly be stopping for yet another essential sanctioning physique title when he takes on Ricardo Sandoval in a final eliminator for the IBF flyweight title, held by Sunny Edwards.
The fight was initially set for six weeks prior to now sooner than being postponed. It’s now set for Bolton Whites Lodge on Friday night time time (June 25) and is promoted by Lee Eaton of MTK Worldwide.
Harris’ fist shot at a big belt received right here last February, when he challenged Mexican puncher Julio Cesar Martinez for the WBC strap in Texas. The fear was the Welshman may very well be out of his depth, nonetheless though scale back early and down inside the tenth from physique footage, he in no way let the champion dominate and was spirited until the last word bell.
Harris obtained 4, 5 and two rounds on the scorecards with out ever putting a dent in Martinez alongside together with his crisp combination punching. As a result of the boxing saying goes, Harris “misplaced correctly.” He had the satisfaction of turning into the first to take Martinez the full 12 rounds.
The 30-year-old has boxed as quickly as since, outpointing Liverpool’s Marcel Braithwaite over 10 rounds last October.
Subsequent is Sandoval, a 22-year-old from California who’s had 5 straight stoppages. He has obtained all 9 since Alonso Ceja, then 4-0, outpointed him on a majority over 4 rounds, nonetheless hasn’t had points all his private means.
Brent Venegas, 3-0, dropped ‘El Nino’ and pushed him to a break up over six, whereas Sandoval wanted to rally from two knockdowns to stop the 12-1-1 Marco Sustaita in 5. Sandoval is inside the midst of a learning curve, it seems.
He confirmed a cooler head via the seventh-round stoppage of Filipino gatekeeper Raymond Tabugon (22-11-1), considered a step up, in his latest outing last February. Sandoval dropped him inside the second with a fast left hook counter and went on to dish out a beating. That was the furthest Sandoval has been in his skilled occupation. It moreover means he’s been out of the ring for 16 months.
He’s steady, heavy-handed and seems for eye-catching singles, notably alongside together with his lead hand.
No question, Sandoval is an thrilling prospect, nonetheless is he ready for Harris? We don’t suppose so. The Welshman can win each by late stoppage or on elements.
Moreover in Bolton, Ellesmere Port’s Paul Butler and veteran Joseph Agbeko fight for a shot on the WBO bantamweight title, held by Filipino banger John Riel Casimero. Butler and Agbeko (38-5) are every former IBF champions at 118lbs.
Now 44, Agbeko had two spells with the belt (2007-2009 and 2010-2011), whereas Butler vacated 25 days after dethroning Stuart Hall on a break up vote in June 2015 to maneuver once more proper right down to 115lbs. There he was correctly overwhelmed in eight by South African lefty Zolani Tete in an issue for the IBF title and Butler was moreover dropped twice and outboxed by Puerto Rican boxer-puncher Emmanuel Rodriguez for the vacant IBF championship at 118lbs after weighing in heavy.
All people else the Joe Gallagher-trained Butler has confronted in his 32-2 occupation he’s been ready to outbox, collectively together with his last six opponents.
Agbeko is on a nine-fight worthwhile run, unfold over eight years since he was outpointed by Cuban southpaw Guillermo Rigondeaux in a bid for the world super-bantamweight title.
Present opposition has been a lot much less demanding for Agbeko, who was set to area Youngster Galahad in London 4 years prior to now sooner than falling unwell on the day of the fight. Agbeko is most really earlier his prime whereas Butler is on the tail-end of his, and we go for the youthful man to be too current and beat him on elements.
Had outcomes gone their means, Hosea Burton (25-2) and Liam Conroy (18-6-1) would have met inside the final of the Golden Contract. In its place, they meet on Friday night time time in an precise crossroads battle at 175lbs that has the makings of fight.
The 6ft 4ins Burton, British champion for 10 months in 2016 and now 32 years earlier, had a chronic novice apprenticeship, worthwhile the ABAs in 2009, and is a disciplined long-range boxer who does his best work early.
In distinction, Conroy is a heart-on-his-sleeve fighter with heavy arms who’s been weak early and highly effective late.
Inside the Golden Contract last September, Cumbria’s Conroy was correctly overwhelmed in 4 rounds by 2016 Olympian Serge Michel (10-1), 4 days after Burton was outpointed by Ricards Bolotniks (16-5-1) in Latvia.
The scorecards have been ludicrous, two judges scoring 98-90 and the third a shut out 100-90. For me, Bolotniks shaded it after handing Burton two standing counts inside the ninth.
We see Burton overcoming a wobble or two to win this British title eliminator on elements over 10 rounds.
The Verdict Three top quality matchups excessive this busy card.