By Frank Warren
We have continued the launch of our September 16 show at the Copper Box – headlined by world title action featuring Billy Joe Saunders against Willie Monroe jr – with confirmation that Daniel Dubois will be fighting for a second professional title in just his fifth fight.
Daniel will contest the Southern Area heavyweight title against AJ Carter and I strongly suspect this will represent the ideal test for him at this early stage of his career.
Carter can clearly bang a bit, with six KOs in his eight wins and the 29-year-old will not want to just play the fall guy for the new young trailblazer of the division.
Whether the man who calls himself ‘Big Dog’ can extend Daniel into new territory beyond the second round remains to be seen, but again he is a live opponent who, like the four before him, is the holder of a winning record.
As well as Anthony Yarde looking to continue his climb up the world rankings at light heavyweight with a defence of his WBO European title, there is another fascinating scrap on the cards for the big banger Joe Pigford.
With the vacant WBO European title on the line, Joe takes on the unbeaten Scot Kieran Smith, who is 10-0 with half his wins coming inside the distance.
Joe was involved in a thrilling shootout against Aarron Morgan last time out in May, forcing a brutal stoppage in the fifth round. He backs himself and his power, while not being overly concerned with taking a few along the way, so his rise up the super welterweight ladder is always going to be an entertaining one.
Winning the European title brings a world ranking, which will make the winner of this fight a strong candidate to start mixing it with the likes of Liam Smith and Liam Williams, so it is a big prize on the line for the two 24-year-olds in September.
A big clutch of our richly talented youngsters will also be featuring at the Copper Box. Ryan Garner, Lucien Reid, Archie Sharp, Zak Chelli and Jake Pettit will be banking further experience, while there are pro debuts for Hamza Sheeraz, Ryan Hatton and Umar Sadiq.
I WOULD LIKE to wish Paul Butler every success in the next phase of his career now he has moved to pastures new.
On our watch Paul was successful in seven title challenges – including the IBF World Bantamweight Title – and he is a lovely boxer and one I also like as a person.
Our parting was both mutual and cordial and the domestic title scraps he craves at bantamweight will be less painstaking to make now he is operating under the same promotional banner as the current champions.
We did actually have a deal in place for him to challenge Jamie McDonnell for the WBA regular belt but, with us paying over the odds to essentially buy him the opportunity for a third world title shot, we ultimately couldn’t agree terms with Paul for his end of the deal.
We all move on and, Paul, if you ever fancy attempting to overturn the one blot of your record, I am sure the now WBO world champion Zolani Tete – who will be returning to the ring in the autumn – will be happy to oblige.
Coming up next: Alan Hubbard’s Punchlines