The Friday Faceup

Savannah Marshall stands tall against Zambian challenger Lolita Muzeya.
Photo: BOXXER/Lawrence Lustig

After three spectacular weeks of boxing with two big heavyweight pay-per-view showdowns attracting the masses, regular domestic service is resumed this weekend. The Joshua-Usyk & Wilder-Fury Box Office events attracted a frenzy of activity and publicity combined with multiple promotions padding TV schedules around those two monster fights.

This weekend the second BOXXER promotion televised live on Sky Sports (Saturday 7:30pm BST) provides the principal attraction.

Almost by fate it happens to be taking place in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in NE England, the focus of the football world for the last week due to the multi-million pound Arab buyout of Newcastle United Football Club. The timing of BOXXER CEO Ben Shalom and Sky couldn’t have been better with a captive sporting audience focused on the city.

The card features nine bouts with the standouts being female WBO world middleweight champion Savannah Marshall (10-0, 8 KO’s) defending her title against Zambian Lolita Muzeya (16-0, 8 KO’s). London Olympian, Marshall is regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world but said “I’m expecting a tough fight from Lolita. I’d be a fool to overlook anyone and she’s unbeaten…I’m expecting her to come (forward) and I’m expecting the best version of Lolita”.

Muzeya in response said “I’m excited for Saturday…this is a big opportunity”. However, look for Marshall to win within six tough 2 minute rounds and set up a potential showdown with American female megastar Claressa Shields.

At heavyweight, The Gypsy King’s cousin Hughie Fury (25-3, 14 KO’s) makes a long awaited comeback to the ring against perennial contender Christian Hammer (26-7, 16 KO’s). The 27 year old Fury has marked time since December 2020 and now needs to make some inroads into the division’s elite.

The Romanian, Hammer has fought in good company but apart from a victory against David Price when last in England has usually come up short. He is capable though, with a good KO percentage and will provide a stern test. The contest will show us exactly where Fury is at, and we expect him to prevail over twelve rounds.

Stealing the majority of the pre-fight headlines is the return of Chris Eubank Jr (30-2-0, 22 KO’s) against German Wanik Awdigan (28-0-1, 11 KO’s) in an international middleweight contest.

The Brighton man was due to launch the return of big time boxing back on Sky in their new partnership with BOXXER three weeks ago but had to stand down after two opponents were forced to withdraw; the second Anatoli Muratov on the day of the fight ! Eubank now gets the opportunity to get a much needed win against Awdigan who’s been talking a good fight this week but not fought at the same level.

The 32 year old Eubank Jr (promoted by Wasserman Boxing) has not boxed since May but still ranked #8 by The Ring magazine in the world middleweight (11st 6lb/160lb) division. He provides the ideal personality and big fight attraction to bolster the Newcastle promotion and will be looking to win impressively towards a third ‘world’ title shot. This should be a convincing win for the Brighton man by mid-round KO.

Home town favourite Lewis Ritson was due to face Hank Lundy but had to withdraw on Thursday due to illness. The remaining card should though provide sufficient entertainment for Utilita Arena, Newcastle crowd and those tuning into Sky Sports. Enjoy !

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