By Frank Warren
A FEW OF our fighters will get to chalk off a goal on their boxing bucket list next weekend when they are given the opportunity to shine at London’s venerable old York Hall.
With Anthony Yarde, Daniel Dubois and Nathan Gorman all featuring on the bill, we could well have titled the show as the Big Bash and, if those three are in the mood, blinking is not advisable.
It should be a cracking little show on February 24 – live on BoxNation and BT Sport – when our young stars will be on parade gathering more experience. I believe this represents the start of a big year for many of them and I expect a good number to be in strong positions come the end of 2018.
Anthony Yarde certainly falls into this category and I want him to be in a position by the end of the year where he is there or thereabouts at the business end of the division and on the cusp of fighting for a world title.
We are not there yet and we know there is still a lot of work to be done. I know I keep banging on about it, but as much he impresses in each fight, he still needs more experience and rounds under his belt.
This game is all about learning and he is a star pupil under an excellent tutor in Tunde Ajayi, so hopefully he will be in a really promising place when we see in 2019.
One who is ready to put his foot on the accelerator is the hugely impressive Zelfa Barrett, who is venturing down to a London ring for the first time.
His match with Ronnie Clark was an ordered fight by the board not so long ago and we wanted to still get it on. Zelfa looks like one right out of the top drawer and his uncle Pat is fine tuning a terrific talent to great effect.
This year is big for Zelfa and he has got to make this his time now as he has got more experience than the other guys.
He possesses so many attributes and I am expecting really big things from him.
Talking of big, young Daniel will encounter a different dynamic when he takes on an unbeaten opponent in DL Jones. A few people are quick to pass comment when it comes to opponents but they should remember we are navigating the career of a 20-year-old kid who has not long turned pro.
I think he is doing extremely well and coming along nicely. He is now entering into his fourth scheduled ten-rounder, has won a couple of titles already, so that tells you the quality he possesses and potential within him.
His fellow young heavy, Nathan, I’ve got to say, is becoming a better and better fighter all the time. Ricky Hatton does a great job with him and he is gaining in confidence all the time.
He is changing physically as well and it is showing in the quality of his performances. Again, by the end of the year, hopefully he will be in a strong position too.
WHILE RYAN BURNETT is being exported to Cardiff to defend the WBA version of the world bantamweight title at the end of March, fans in his native Belfast will once again be able to clap eyes on the real danger man of the division a few weeks later.
Zolani Tete will make the mandatory defence of the WBO crown against Omar Andres Narvaez at the SSE Arena on the potentially thrilling Frampton-Donaire card on April 21.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that Tete-Burnett is a fight we would love to make for the Belfast public, but overtures to that effect have been completely ignored rather than rebuffed, so far at least.
So with Ryan hitting the road to Wales, Zolani will once again be hitting his home town and wowing the locals at the same time.