By Frank Warren
JOE JOYCE AND Lyndon Arthur succeeded in turbo-charging their prospects for 2021 and it is my intention for opportunity to knock loudly for a good few more in the year to come.
Forget the form guide, the highlight reels and the hype. The only way to truly discover who is ready to make the next big move is to put the front runners in together and let the best of the crop fight the best.
Joe and Lyndon should serve as an inspiration to others. Those who perhaps had their formative fights away from the bright lights or without the benefit of a broadcasting powerhouse them.
This has not been a hindrance to them, due to the fact they took an opportunity to jump the queue and will now forge full steam ahead into even bigger fights. In the case of Joe, he has proved he is the one ready to push on immediately to world title level and I am excited to push him forward towards a mandatory shot having successfully lobbied the WBO for him to occupy the No.2 spot previously owned by Daniel.
We will see what happens this weekend between Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev, but it would appear certain the WBO will enforce their mandatory on whoever is the unified heavyweight champion. The No.1 contender is Oleksandr Usyk, followed by Joe. If Joshua wins he wants to fight Tyson Fury and if Pulev wins he has to fight Joshua again, so there is every chance the WBO title will become up for grabs.
Joe winning and pushing himself to the forefront of our heavyweight regiment only serves to increase the strength of our challenge. He is ready to lead the assault, while Daniel remains an exceptional young contender who will certainly come again in seeking to conquer the heavyweight elite, closely followed by his former foe Nathan Gorman and the less experienced, but hugely promising, David Adeleye.
You can say much the same for our light heavyweight pecking order, where Lyndon is now in pole position. He grasped his big chance, backed himself and will reap his rewards.
Every promotional company in the world has its poster boys or girls. Ones who capture the imagination of the broadcasters and public as they climb the rankings. Other fighters should use this as an incentive to knock them off their promotional perch.
Here at Queensberry we have no hesitation in making the 50-50 fights the fighters should want and the fans want to see. The truth of the matter is there are no losers in the long run because both the winner and the loser benefit hugely from the experience and return stronger.
I want to continue making fights like we have delivered in the last couple of weeks on a regular basis, where everything is in play for everyone.
Doing this provides life-changing opportunities for our fighters, while strengthening our base moving forward to carry on making bigger fights as the winners crack on and losers regroup and prosper once again.
This is not to say we will rush our younger contingent because we won’t and they will be given the experience needed. But if a fighter is considered ready then he should be ready to grab a Golden Ticket and propel himself towards major title success.
Talk of a rematch between Lyndon and Anthony came from the fighters themselves in the post-fight interview. If they want to do it again we will be happy to oblige and it will be a big fight to look forward to for next year.
Provision was made in both contracts for a return fight. If Lyndon had lost and felt hard done by, he too could have called for a rematch. It was not a one-way ticket and, as it turns out, they both appear ready to play it again.
We have got two big players in the light heavyweight division on our books with ambitions to reach the very top. We are backing them both to realise their career goals and will make sure we play our part.
Another light heavy of huge promise made his debut on Saturday. Karol Itauma, an Olympic youth gold medallist, took his first steps as a pro and, I have to say, first impressions are favourable. The 2016 Olympian Muhammad Ali also looked the part in having his second fight at featherweight and his first with Anthony Farnell in his corner.
As fighters, those two are kindred spirits and should work well together.
The big bang we were expecting from the light heavies in fact came from a super bantamweight. Chris Bourke, already Southern Area champion, doubled his belt count by picking up the WBC International title with a destructive stoppage of Michael Ramabeletsa.
The Preston man, who hails from South Africa, is an acid test for young hopefuls and everybody imagined Chris would have his work cut out against a dangerous opponent. He and his team had no hesitation in accepting the fight and they were right to do so.
Once Chris had him rocking he did not let him off the hook and scored a statement-making second round finish.
Dennis McCann enjoyed an incredibly valuable eight rounds against Pedro Matos. The Portuguese was drafted in to give Dennis a tough time and he did just that.
Our little Menace will learn so much more from clocking up the rounds and not having it all his own way than he would have done from executing another show-stopping finish. Dennis has got to move through the levels and there will be no skipping lessons for him – cheeky smile, or not!
The shows are now done for the year with us reaching the end of a busy period featuring 11 fight nights since July 10. It has been a challenging yet rewarding spell where we more than did our bit in bringing boxing back to the box.
Next time out we would like to welcome you, in person, for more 50-50 fights that really get people talking.