Updated: Oct 15, 2020
On Saturday night, The Morningside Arena will be full as we witness the latest saga in the fighting stable of Frank Warren. There are four title fights and a host of prospects all looking to showcase improvements and swell their fanbase, with the card being shown live on BT Sport from 7.45pm.
Sam Bowen (14-0-0) headlines, defending his British super featherweight title against former Scottish lightweight champion, Jordan McCorry (17-4-1). McCorry comes into the contest on the back of a defeat, losing on points to Patrick Kinigamazi, who is naturally thrilled to be immediately fighting for a title again.
Making all the right noises, he describes this contest as a ‘breakout fight’, ‘a big fight for the British title’ and ‘… definitely a good fight..[where] I know that at one point I will just have to bite down on the gum shield and go toe-to-toe’.
The champion, Bowen, is less magnanimous in his assessment, describing the challenger as ‘a good mover’ with a ‘back-foot style’, but one who he ultimately believes he’ll ‘just be too strong for’. With 10 knockouts from his 14 fights, and with his odds of victory hovering at most bookies at 1/100, he might just be correct…
(Sam Bowen in action (L))
22-year-old WBC silver heavyweight champion Nathan Gorman (15-0-0) defends his title against the durable American Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson. Johnson is yet another unexpected replacement for Gorman, who, having dealt with the same last-minute inconvenience in the build-up to his last fight, tweeted his frustration at the adjustment:
Indeed. Although his frustration is understandable; he will have spent the last few weeks preparing for an entirely different proposition – the MMA-and-heavyweight-boxing Brazilian Johnson replaces possessing an insatiable, front-foot thirst for violence, winning 25 of his 26 victories by knockout – yet the ‘Kingpin’ is here and now and Nathan better prepare for a long night.
Kevin has only been stopped twice in 47 professional fights, the first time by Anthony Joshua. He possesses a distinguished boxing CV and represents a real step up in class. He also better suits the simmering narrative that sees Gorman fight London heavyweight Daniel Dubois by the end of this year, having taken him the full 10 rounds in a points loss within this-very-venue last October.
Frank Warren regularly enjoys teasing us that he “definitely wants to make [that fight] happen” and sat Gorman ringside for Dubois’ recent KO of his previously-point-defeated-opponent Razvan Cojanu.
Nathan critiqued his rivals performance throughout, specifically the apparent lack of head movement, with Daniel amusingly later replying that, should they ever meet in the ring, he would most certainly also knock Nathan out. A victory here is therefore vital for Gorman to not only hold Frank to account, but to further maintain and increase this fight’s appeal.
(Nathan Gorma in action (R))
Sam Maxwell (10-0-0) fights Kelvin Dotel (14-4-0) for the vacant WBO European super lightweight title. Former Team GB fighter, Maxwell, who trains in Glasgow but originates from Hackney, London, wants this title to step up into even bigger fights. He has been touted as a potential future opponent for Ohara Davis but is certainly not taking Dotel lightly.
“He has boxed at a higher level than me and in his last fight he beat an undefeated boxer. I have watched a few videos of him…he is a good all-round boxer who looks like he’s got a bit of power as well,” he said, before also adding, with the habitual, professional, idiomatic reflex that all self-promoting boxers soon acquire, that it “should be a good fight.”
Local interest will also certainly be on the Midlands Area super welterweight title clash between unbeaten regional rivals CJ Challenger (9-0-0) and Kyle Haywood (8-0-0). Both from Leicester and familiar with each other from the local amateur circuit, this fight promises to be technical and ‘one for the purists’. It is a potent mix of southpaw vs orthodox, with ‘someone’s 0 [that] has got to go’ between two fighters who only have 3 KOs between them in 17 professional fights. A great little story around this one is that on learning that the fight would be televised, Haywood quit his day job and went immediately into hyper-dedicated focus.
Describing himself now as “in a great place…the best [I have ever been] physically, mentally, everything,” he makes the valid assessment that whilst both men are not trash talkers, “it’s a fight that sells itself,” and it will certainly be compelling viewing, with an eye-catching victory for the winner set to propel him onto even bigger things.
Elsewhere on the card, Tommy Fury, the chiselled brother of Tyson, and Mark Chamberlain enter the ring for the second time as professionals: Tommy against Latvian, Maksims Ogurcovs (0-3-0), and Mark against Hungarian, Laszlo Szoke (2-2-0). Rockin’ Ryan Hatton (4-0-0) faces experienced Lithuanian Kiril Psonko (18-42-2); Hatton is a six-time junior champion from Birmingham who credits boxing as being his salvation from a life of overzealous delinquency and will be hoping that his heavy-handed brand of reformed chaos can successfully move him to 5-0. Promising unbeaten middleweight, Troy Williamson (8-0-1), fights Hungarian Yasin Hassani (4-0-1); and super featherweight Leon Woodstock (11-1-0) and light heavyweight Willy Hutchinson (6-0-0) should also feature, with their opponents unnamed at the time of writing.