FROM TELFORD TO MIAMI
By Frank Warren
FROM THE TOWN of Telford to the city of Miami in southeastern Florida is our unlikely double-helping of boxing via BT Sport on Saturday night.
Stateside, Daniel Dubois is hot favourite to part the unbeaten American Trevor Bryan from his WBA heavyweight championship in what would represent a crucial chip to get himself in and amongst the heavyweight high rollers.
Of course, Daniel cannot and will not be complacent or consider this assignment a done deal. Bryan is supremely confident and he too views this as his breakthrough fight.
My personal feeling is that Daniel will, indeed, have too much for ‘The Dream’ and it wouldn’t surprise me if the champion was put to sleep inside a few rounds. However, you just don’t know how things will play out on the night or what gameplan Bryan will adopt to nullify the obvious threat presented by our man.
As always, it seems, in the heavyweight division, the stakes are very high. A recognised world championship belt is on the line but, naturally, everyone is fully aware that the WBA also has a ‘super champion’, currently Oleksandr Usyk.
This is the bigger picture. Capturing this belt would place Daniel right in line for a shot at Usyk – or Anthony Joshua, depending on the outcome of the rematch – and with the WBA scaling back on their previous scattergun approach to titles, unifying their own world titles might not be too far down the track.
If Daniel is successful there is no great rush. Usyk and Joshua has now been pushed back well into August apparently, so the winner would probably not be back in action until December and there will be a clamour for the next one to be against Tyson Fury.
So Daniel would be able to really get himself ready and keep busy in big fights against top ten heavies so when his time does come he has the right level of experience.
The real bonus for the fans on Saturday night is there will be no need to steel yourself for an all-nighter or to be setting the alarm for an ungodly hour.
Once the two British title battles are done in Telford, BT Sport will be crossing over to Miami, where I understand the ring walks will be taking place at around 11.30pm. This has been facilitated for the benefit of UK fight fans and it makes for a bumper night of boxing without the need for excess coffee.
Talking of Telford, there are two cracking 50-50s headlining the card. At super bantamweight, Liam Davies will have most of the arena behind him when he challenges Marc Leach for his Lonsdale belt.
Liam might have the height advantage, but it will still be a tall order for him against the skilful and fleet-footed Leach, who was so impressive in defeating Chris Bourke last time out.
There is so much for Liam to play for in this one. Win this belt and there will be so many lucrative opportunities going forward against our talented clutch of super bantams, not least against either from the forthcoming collision between European champion Jason Cunningham and former two-weight world champion Zolani Tete.
The other British title being fought for on Saturday is at super flyweight and we can pretty much guarantee this one being a close run thing.
Ijaz Ahmed and Kaisy Khademi will be trading blows for a third time following a narrow victory for Ijaz first time around and then a draw in August of last year. It was a thrilling fight in Birmingham, making this rematch fully deserving of headline treatment in Telford.
Also worth catching on Saturday is the return to the ring of Willy Hutchinson, who reports himself fully recharged and rebooted after taking a first defeat to Lennox Clarke in a mandated British title match at super middleweight in March 2021.
The gifted Willy is rightly returning to his more natural poundage of light heavyweight and, once he is back up and running, there are great fights to be had in this division.
He has been training out in Malaga for the last four months and is now desperate to put himself right back in the thick of it and show us that we were right to have such high hopes for him.
Live coverage from Telford begins at 7pm on BT Sport 1, coverage switches to Miami at 11pm with Bryan vs Dubois scheduled for 11:30pm UK time.