FRIDAY NIGHT ON THE BASH IN BRENTWOOD

posted on: 24/11/2016

Skeete v Thain

By Frank Warren

BoxNation is delivering what it says on the tin on Friday evening – putting on a fight night that will appeal to genuine fans of the sport.

Of course, the Channel of Champions consistently brings the biggest names in boxing to the living rooms of our subscribers – such as Vasyl Lomachenko on Saturday night – but we also pride ourselves in providing full coverage of the game.

I am confident our show from the Brentwood Centre on Friday will tick all the boxes when it comes to entertainment value and it is one that I am certainly looking forward to.

Headlining is a home favourite of the channel, Bradley Skeete, who makes a first defence of the British title he so skilfully extracted from the grasp of Birmingham’s Sam Eggington earlier this year.

Bradley is occupying a couple of lanes on his trip to the top of the welterweight division. While it was a firm ambition of his to secure domestic honours, he has also been making his way up the world rankings, having made four defences of his WBO European title.

The 29-year-old features in the top five of both the WBO and IBF rankings and there is a big year for him in the offing in 2017.

He wants his Lonsdale belt for keeps and I understand that after he patiently went about his business and rebuilt after his sole defeat to Frankie Gavin back in 2014.

He needs another two defences after this one to get that done and he will be able to fulfil this requirement while also gathering the knowhow required at world level with some sterner examinations.

Bradley is a slave to his trade – always in supreme condition – and he is one who will benefit from our multitude of fight dates from early next year onwards.

I am a big fan of Brad – as demonstrated with an extension to his promotional agreement a few days ago – and more and more people are beginning to share my opinion.

He was a sometimes derided individual in the early stages of his career and, I have to admit, he wasn’t what you would describe as a crowd-pleaser.

To his credit, Bradley acknowledged as much himself and set about making himself more fan-friendly, while still maintaining his pretty much unique attributes.

He is now reaping his just rewards and, I have to say, it really couldn’t happen to a nicer fella.

Also out on the bash in Brentwood are our highly promising prospects Anthony Yarde – who I hope gets a few rounds under his belt against Ferenc Albert – Charlie Driscoll, Sanjeev Sahota, Nathanael Wilson, Billy Long and also a debut for the 20-year-old Harley Benn, which should be well worth a watch.

Lee Markham

As always, there will be no quarter given when Lee Markham takes to the ring to defend his English middleweight title against the tough Andrew Robinson. Last time out Robinson dropped a decision by a single point against Sam Sheedy who, on Saturday, takes on Tommy Langford for the British belt.

So this will be no routine defence for Markham, although he seems to prefer it that way.

One fight that is sure to entice the punters to put down their pints and return to their seats is the challenge of Boy Jones Jnr for the Southern Area super featherweight title.

Young Ben has been diligently learning his trade over the last nearly couple of years after entering the pro game without an amateur pedigree.

Boy Jones Jr

Even though he is still very much a work in progress, he wants to win a title while still in his teens and now he has the opportunity to do just that against Martin Hillman.

These young fighters making their way in the game need to put a marker down and prove that they should be playing a big part in the bumper package of shows that will be delivered by BT Sport and BoxNation next year.

The auditions are underway, so the boys just need to make sure they perform to the maximum and don’t fluff their lines!

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