ALL BOXED OFF FOR JULY 8
By Frank Warren
It is now less than four weeks away until we make a welcome return to the Copper Box Arena in London for a show which, even without its headline act, I am sure will not be short on drama and a few plot twists.
The response to the card, I have to say, has been terrific even with the unfortunate absence of Billy Joe Saunders from the top of the bill.
It is a cracking line-up with some potentially fascinating scraps on it, but we did lose our scheduled bill-topper and people have been offered the opportunity for refunds if they wish.
The fact that very few people have taken up this option tells you all you need to know about the card and it is a show I am confident will deliver the goods for the fans.
There will be five titles being fought for on the night and, in the case of three of them, it is our young fighters making a challenge and taking a significant step up.
We will learn more about the credentials of Anthony Yarde when he takes on the 18-1 Richard Baranyi for the WBO European title, as well as our young super welterweight Sam McNess when he makes a play for the Southern Area title against the 12-1 champion Asinia Byfield.
Success in these fights will see these two really able to push on.
I wouldn’t imagine there were any complaints when it was announced that Darryll Williams and Jahmaine Smyle would do it all again after their epic encounter for the English title in Leicester back in April.
It went the distance last time, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is a case of last man standing this time around because these two will leave it all in the ring, a characteristic shared by Gary Corcoran who makes a challenge for the vacant WBO Intercontinental title in just his second fight at welterweight against the unbeaten Larry Ekundayo.
Billy Joe’s misfortune opened the door for Bradley Skeete to make his third defence of his British title against the tough Welshman Dale Evans in what is sure to be an eye-catching scrap for the fans.
It doesn’t carry the prestige of a world title fight, but it was a case of us trying to make the best out of bad situation that was out of our control.
It will be a poignant occasion for Evans, whose right to this fight was secured in ultimately tragic circumstances over Mike Towell in an eliminator in September of last year and he is determined to honour the memory of the young Scot with a victory over an outstanding champion.
In terms of forward planning, we are now in the process of sorting out Bill’s next defence of his world title for September and we will soon be in position to make announcements over the next moves for the likes of Terry Flanagan and Josh Warrington.
More from Frank tomorrow on the Belfast boys and a tribute to the late Errol Christie