posted on: 26/05/2017

By Frank Warren

Sam McNess

No matter how hard you try, it is simply not always possible to keep everybody happy.

When it comes to mapping out a big show, such as at the Copper Box last Saturday, you have to factor in many variables when compiling the running order.

To give yourself a bit of leeway and to ensure the live broadcast contains action from start to finish, a couple of bouts are nominated as floaters. These would be slotted into the TV schedule in the event of an early finish or two ahead of the main event.

Getting a big TV break in front of a packed house was something we hoped would happen for both Sam McNess and Sunny Edwards ahead of Liam Walsh’s world title shot against Gervonta Davis.

Unfortunately, it was not to be on this occasion and I understand the disappointment the boys must have felt. Sam, for example, sold a lot of tickets and it would have been ideal to have got him out there in front of a huge television audience, but we are governed by TV timings and, much as we would like to get everyone on, TV are always going to choose title fights and 50-50 contests like Joe Pigford v Aarron Morgan, which was a humdinger.

Sam’s big night will come on July 8 when he challenges for the Southern Area title on the Billy Joe Saunders -Avtandil Khurtsidze fascinating WBO world middleweight title bill and he will be part of the TV running order. Sunny too is a huge talent and his time will come soon enough. We have so many top young fighters and they will all get their chance to shine on the big stage.

What a great shoot-out the Pigford-Morgan match turned out to be!

However, one thing Joe will have learned is that he needs to work on his defence. He has clearly got a good chin and he absorbed what came his way, but that isn’t really what boxing is supposed to be about.

It is about hitting and not getting hit. Not about being hit and hitting back harder, but it did make for a cracking fight for the fans.

It is now onwards and upwards for Joe and there are some great fights out there for him in the super lightweight division, which we will be sure to make.

The penny – not to mention a good few pounds – has finally got to drop for Mitchell Smith.

He weighed in on Saturday above the agreed limit at a staggering 139lbs – just one pound short of super lightweight – and it is just not good enough.

Mitchell always talks a good game, but he needs to seriously liven himself because he is getting left behind and has been for a little while now. He had the world at his feet not so long ago when he was voted Young Boxer of the Year, but his lack of discipline since could cost him dearly.

He should be being talked about in the same breath as the likes of Anthony Yarde, Zelfa Barrett and Lyon Woodstock, in fact his should be ahead of them, but he is in danger of dropping off the radar altogether.

We will get him the big fights, but he has got to show the dedication and work ethic in training to prove that he deserves them. Mitchell should consider himself in last chance saloon because if he doesn’t take the sport seriously, he cannot expect anyone to take him seriously.

He needs to wise up quickly because there is a huge talent there, but talent on its own is not sufficient..

Conlan v Chanez

The big fights continue to roll on BoxNation and we are delighted to feature the second professional contest of Michael Conlan, who made such an impact on his debut at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in March. His roadshow now stops in Chicago where he takes on Alfredo Chanez, who is the holder of an even record after eight fights.

It is all about learning at the moment for the brother of our own Jamie Conlan, but it will be well worth watching him do it on his way tothe very top.

Coverage from the UIC Pavilion in Chicago begins at 1.30am (Saturday morning) live and exclusive on BoxNation


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