ALL SET FOR FRIDAY 13TH
By Frank Warren
THE CARD FOR the explosive middleweight rematch between Mark Heffron and Denzel Bentley on Friday November 13 is now fully marked and we are guaranteed a good few more big bangs the week after Bonfire Night.
With our top man at 160lbs, Liam Williams, now ready to create more of his own brand of havoc at world title level against Demetrius Andrade, we have been able to part him from the British title that played such a big part of launching the reboot of the Welsh firebrand.
It is fitting to be able to attach such a prestigeous belt to a deserving fight that really couldn’t be more 50-50 than three judges coming up with the same scorecard!
It says much about the two guys that they both insisted on jumping straight back in and no thought was given to hanging on to see when crowds will be allowed back into venues. These two want to get this done and the winner crack on.
I don’t think anyone is any the wiser on how this one will go second time around. Will Mark surprise us by mixing it up a bit more? Will Denzel be prepared to engage in a full-on shootout with a renowned banger?
Friday the 13th seems an appropriate day to find out and will certainly be unlucky for someone.
The name Fury is going to be very much to the forefront over the next five weeks, with Tyson all set to make his UK return at the Royal Albert Hall on December 5 on a show that will, in part, mark my 40 years in the sport as a licenced promoter.
But before Big Brother returns to our screens on BT Sport, we have light heavyweight Tommy Fury taking his next step in the proessional ranks on the Heffron-Bentley undercard.
It has been a bit stop-start for Tommy since he made his debut on the big Warrington-Frampton Box Office production in November 2018. After another fight three months later he was off seeking fame and romance on Love Island, where he made quite a name for himself, charmed the audience and became half of a celebrity couple.
Even though he made a return to the ring last December at the Copper Box, the committments attached to being on the show and becoming public property for a period of time made it difficult for Tommy to fully devote himself to the fight game.
It is a sport where half measures will always come up short and it is not a profession you can dabble in and get away with it.
Tommy is now ready to knuckle down and really make a go of it. He has got the profile, he is nicely settled on the home front with his partner Molly Mae and he is training like trojan in tandem with Tyson.
He will need time to establish himself and learn the ropes though. I am not one who would take advantage of his profile and chuck him in too deep before his is ready. Tommy will have the development he needs, just like everyone else.
A tasty little sidedish on the menu I heartily recommend viewing is the super bantamweight clash between Chris Bourke, our unbeaten Southern Area champion, and the English champion Michael Ramabeletsa.
The Preston-based South African has a patchy record and people will point to his age of 38 in making a strong case for the home fighter being fed easy pickings. His record of 18-17 does not tell a true story and the truth of the matter is young Chris has got a helluva fight on his hands.
Take a look at Ramabeletsa’s last three opponents. Three unbeaten fighters with a combined record of 24-0. And only one of them went the distance. So don’t read too much into records where this fight is concerned.
That said, I believe Chris is a quality young fighter with a big future in front of him. The fact he is ready to jump into such a fight without questions tells you what you need to know about him and the belief his team have in him.
This is the sort of fight for Chris where he can turn the corner from being a vaunted ex-Team GB prospect into being a genuine contender.
There is a strong dash of human interest in the next fight booked on the card where Kaisy Khademi, an 8-0 super flyweight, makes his Queensberry debut against Ijaz Ahmed, with the WBO and IBF European titles at stake.
Kaisy is a great story. An Afghan refugee who fled his homeland with his family at the age of four and, after a couple of difficult years spent in Pakistan, they embarked on a perilous two-year mission to reach London, where his brother was already living.
Kaisy and his family were forced to rely on human traffickers to make the dangerous journey and, ultimately, they arrived in the UK on the back of a lorry.
This bright and articulate young man, who states his gratitude for the safe haven his family have been granted, is now a success story in his own right and he wants to be a big hit amongst the little men of the sport.
On the night we will also officially welcome Masood Abdullah to the Queenberry team when he makes his debut at super featherweight.
Abdulah enjoyed a rapid rise through the amateur ranks that culminated in him winning the National Championships (formerly ABAs) last April – having previously won gold at the Three-Nations Championships – all inside of 30 fights.
The 26-year-old Islington man concluded his amateur stint on 34 fights, having last season also won the Novices, Development and Intermediate Elites, competing in 14 fights over a four-month period.
He is clearly a talent and I am looking forward to seeing him in action.
Completing the card is featherweight whirlwind Louie Lynn, who I suspect is ready to explode onto the next level and soon be right in the mix for titles. He punches hard, he’s all-action, relentless and, in my opinion, a future star of the sport. There is nothing not to like about him.
So there is our night mapped out for Friday 13th and, if any of our fighters are superstitious types, just steer clear of ladders and black cats in the meantime!