After two action packed boxing weekends in the UK with the Chris Eubank Jr. – Liam Smith and Artur Beterbiev – Anthony Yarde promotions we head back to a sense of tranquility this weekend with no major event here.
Next week, we look forward to the build-up for British 2022 Young Fighter/Prospect of the Year Adam ‘The Assassin’ Azim (7-0, 6 KO’s) who returns to the ring on Saturday (11th). The exciting lightweight faces South American Santos Reyes (12-0, 3 KO’s) in one of his first step up fights. The BOXXER promoted card will air on Sky Sports in the UK and also features female lightweight prospect ‘Sweet’ Caroline Dubois (5-0, 4 KO’s) facing Argentine champion Yamila Belen Abellaneda (15-5-1, 3 KO’s). Super-middleweight Zak Chelli, English Middleweight Champion Tyler Denny and rising cruiserweight Viddal Riley, amongst others, will also show.
Promoted as ‘Wild Card’ the event has a number of grudge matches and should be entertaining fare. It will be staged at the Wembley Arena, London. Adam Azim promises much after registering his sixth consecutive knockout victory recently, and clearly looks one to watch.
Over the last week the most significant announcement was the Queensberry Promotions finalisation and media release of world ranked heavyweight Joe ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce meeting Chinese Zhilei ‘Big Bang’ Zhang on 15 April at London’s Copper Box Arena.
‘Juggernaut’ Joyce (15-0, 14 KO’s) is coming hot off his September victory against New Zealander Joseph Parker and as ‘Interim’ champion is the #1 contender for the WBO heavyweight title. Zhang (24-1-1, 19 KO’s) had his first loss by decision to Croatian Filip Hrgovic in a heavy handed contest in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia last August on the undercard of the Usyk-Joshua rematch.
As a 6ft 6” southpaw, and at age 39, Zhang is also a former top amateur and Olympic medallist like Joyce, and this will give us a greater appreciation of both fighter’s prospects of challenging the winner of Usyk v Fury when it finally happens.
Joyce, age 37, is in pole position for a challenge and Zhang not far behind. It’s an excellent match.
An announcement was also made today by Matchroom Boxing of Anthony Joshua making a comeback against American Jermaine Franklin at London’s O2 Arena on 1 April . This should be a well attended event but surely marking time for Joshua. More to follow.