Dubbed ‘March Madness’ by promoter Eddie Hearn, the month of March sees a great range of all British showdowns all over the UK across a variety of platforms.
After a fairly quiet January & February as expected, things are starting to liven up in the Boxing calendar.
Whether it be world title action at the Copperbox Arena in London or a grudge match between two prospects in Liverpool, March is set to be an outstanding month for British Boxing fans.
After some debate between the team, here’s ESBRs’ top 10 fights to look out for in the month of March:
Johnny Garton vs Chris Jenkins – Royal Albert Hall, London – British Welterweight Title – 08.03
Defending his British title for the first time since stopping Gary Corcoran last year, Johnny Garton faces off against former British title challenger and Prizefighter champion Chris Jenkins.
With both fighters on 25 fights and being almost exactly the same age, you can expect a classic scrap for the British title at the iconic Royal Albert Hall.
Jenkins who suffered a frustrating 2018, having both of his fights stopped prematurely due to cuts was out in early February in a 6 round contest. As mentioned before, Garton had the win of his career against Gary Corcoran in 2018 after featuring in an 8 round contest in the Summer.
Mikey Sakyi vs Idris Hill – Brentwood Centre, Essex – Southern Area Super Lightweight Title – 09.03
In a FOTY contender last year, Mikey Sakyi won the Southern Area Super Lightweight title in dramatic fashion, stopping the then undefeated Siar Ozgul in the final round of their bout.
Defending his title for the first time since then, Sakyi goes up against the Nigerian born Idris Hill. Fighting for his first title at the age of 34, Hill went unbeaten throughout 2018 and will be entering a 10 round contest for the 2nd time in his career.
Michael McKinson vs Ryan Kelly – Brentwood Centre, Essex – WBC International Silver Welterweight Title – 09.03
After a career best performance against Sammy McNess, Michael McKinson is looking to extend his record to 16-0 against Ryan Kelly who has only one loss on his record.
Kelly who enjoyed 4 fights and 4 wins in 2018, has won his last 3 fights by KO including winning the Central Area Super-Welterweight title. Having weighed in at 147 in his last fight, a big question in the fight is whether Kelly can have success in the Welterweight division after being situated in the division above for so long.
Lawrence Okolie vs Wadi Camacho – Copper Box Arena, London – British Cruiserweight & Commonwealth Cruiserweight Titles – 23.03
Described as a ‘warm up’ fight by Lawrence Okolie at the official press conference in February, both Okolie & Watkins will put their respective titles on the line in a ‘must-win’ for both boxers.
Having already captured but later relinquished the Commonwealth title against Luke Watkins in 2018, Okolie won the British title on the Joshua-Povetkin undercard, beating Matty Asking in a sloppy fight that was negatively received by British Boxing fans.
However, sloppy or not, Okolie has achieved a lot in the sport in less than two years as a pro and is tipped to fight Denis Lebedev this year.
Camacho on the other hand has had various setbacks during his career but captured the Commonwealth title against old foe Arfan Iqbal in his last fight. Not wasting time at the age of 33, Camacho quickly agreed to fight Okolie in a fight that would turn his career upside down if he was to win.
As well as the titles that are on the line Okolie is currently ranked in the top 10 with the WBA, putting that ranking at risk if he is to lose to Camacho.
Liam Smith vs Sam Eggington – Echo Arena, Liverpool – 30.03
Returning back to his home city of Liverpool after signing with Matchroom, Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith will come up against the tough, former British & European champion Sam Eggington.
Whilst both fighters will be competing in their 30th professional fight, Smith who came up short against major talent Jaime Munguia last Summer for the WBO Super-Welterweight title has been rumored to fight Kell Brook this year in another all-British showdown later this year.
Eggington meanwhile had a year to forget last year after moving up in weight and suffering a shock loss to Hassan Mwakinyo (11-2 at the time). Boxing in a 4 rounder last month as part of his preparation suggests that Eggington is taking this fight very seriously and has the fight to challenge for big titles again if he can upset the odds.
David Price vs Kash Ali – Echo Arena, Liverpool – 30.03
After returning to winning ways against at the back end of last year against Tom Little, David Price returns against another Brit at the end of the month as he aims for the big names in the division in 2019.
Kash Ali who has risen to 15-0, challenges Price in the biggest test of his career so far. At the age of 27, Ali made his pro debut over 7 years ago and has won the Central Area Heavyweight Title in the process.
Price on the other hand has had a few well documented losses all by some form of stoppage throughout his career as he approaches 36 and in search of another crack at a recognised heavyweight.
Anthony Fowler vs Scott Fitzgerald – Echo Arena, Liverpool – 30.03
Fitzgerald in action
Finally, we end with a bitter grudge match also taking place in Liverpool. Local lad Anthony Fowler takes on fellow Super-Welterweight Scott Fitzgerald in a rivalry which has been growing for the last few months.
Fowler who competed at the Rio 2016 Olympics will have just turned 28 come fight night and is likely to be chasing titles if he manages to get through Scott Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald meanwhile turned pro just over 3 years ago and has extended his record to 12-0 in that time compared to Fowler’s 9-0. With Fowler being tipped by many for this fight, the punching power as well as a mix of styles between both could be the pick of the bunch of ‘March Madness’.