MTK Global returns to the Emirates Arena in Glasgow this Friday in an event that features a number of young Scottish prospects.
The card has been hit with a few last minute changes, with the Celtic Bantamweight title fight no longer taking place between champion Scott Allan and local rival Iain Butcher who was struggling to make the bantamweight limit. Allan took to social media to say Butcher offered to fight at featherweight which Allan refused.
MTK have been unable to source a new opponent for Allan however Butcher now faces Irish champion Carl McDonald in a non title fight. Butcher headlined the last MTK Glasgow show when he suffered a defeat against highly rated British Bantamweight champion Kash Farooq by unanimous decision.
WBC International Silver Super Welterweight champion Kieran Smith was due to face English champion Adam Harper. Harper pulled out earlier this week, Smith now has a non title fight against Jan Balog in a scheduled 8 rounder.
Smith told ESBR he doesn't know much about Balog, "I do not know much about him, I am just focused on performing to the best of my ability, show everyone the hard work been put in the gym the last 12 weeks of camp. I owe my supporters a good performance after all this happening in the last week. They thought I was defending my title when they bought tickets but really it does not matter to a lot of them they just turn out to support me and watch a night of good boxing which MTK Glasgow show always is!
"I don’t have any fans, as of yet, I would say they're all friends, friends of friends and family. I appreciate them all turning out so much, spending their hard earned cash to watch me."
When asked about the recent MTK deal with ESPN, Smith said, "MTK shows are going to be huge soon. They are taking over and I am just grateful I am part of it all."
If Smith comes through this bout his aim is to be involved in more title fights.
"Now the future plans for me are make sure I win on Friday and go back and sit with MTK and talk about defending my title or moving on up to other titles, we will sit and discuss the options available."
(McGurk in action (L))
Former WBC youth silver champion Michael McGurk also had a late change of opponent. Originally scheduled to meet Konrad Stempkowski, McGurk now matches up against Evaldas Korsakas who Kieran Smith defeated in November to win the WBC International Silver Super Welterweight title.
McGurk has had a difficult time in the past year and a half due to injuries, fighting once in that period which he won back in November against Miguel Aguillar.
McGurk is raring to get back into action, "I’m buzzing to get back in there and kick start a big year off, I’m hoping to be out several times this year and chasing down those big title fights, I’m eager to get those big fights as soon as possible."
McGurk hopes that MTK's recent deal with Top Rank and ESPN will open up possibilities for him. "It’s a huge step for MTK to sign such a big deal with Top Rank, hopefully that means MTK fighters will be travelling to America and vice versa, I’d love to go over there to fight."
Former Commonwealth Super Middleweight champion David Brophy takes on Vladimir Belujsky in a 6 rounder. Brophy's only suffered two defeats in his career to Rocky Fielding and Geroge Groves and will be looking to get back into title contention fights again.
Lewis Benson returns to the ring having announced his retirement after his loss to Tyrone McKenna at the MTK Glasgow show in November. It was a close decision loss to McKenna, in a bout which a lot of observers thought Benson won. Its good to see he is continuing with his boxing career as he takes on Zoltan Szabo.
Several former Scotland amateur stars are on the card, in the embryonic stage of their careers. Reece McFadden is a two time Commonwealth Bronze medallist, Nathaniel Collins is the 2017 Scottish elite champion, Callen McAulay is a former 3 times Scottish amateur champion and British champion, Craig Morgan was a youth champion and debutant Jack Turner is another former Scottish champion.
This will be Collins fourth fight, last time out he won by DQ due to Ricky Starkey holding throughout until the referee had seen enough and stopped it in the 3rd round. He will be hoping to showcase his skills a bit more clearly this time against Tzemal Xouseinoglou.
(Reece McFadden (L))
Morgan also has his fourth fight when he takes on Jose Aguilar in a four rounder.
Reece McFadden will fight Stefan Sashev in his second pro fight on Friday, he then gets married on Saturday, so a busy weekend ahead.
McFadden told me he was hoping to have a quick nights work "Yes I'm hoping to get him out there early. I am really enjoying the pro game a lot once I am back after my wedding and honeymoon I’ll be chasing titles."
IFL TV will be streaming the card live on their website.
The full card as it stands:
Michael McGurk (11-0) v Evaldas Korsakas (9-6-2)
Kieran Smith (13-0) v Jan Balog (12-45-1)
Lewis Benson (10-2) v Zoltan Szabo (25-17)
Iain Butcher (18-4) v Carl McDonald (5-2)
David Brophy (21-2-1) v Vladimir Belujsky (5-1-1)
Callen McAulay (6-0) v TBA
Reece McFadden (1-0) v Stefan Sashev (5-19-1)
Jack Turner (debut) v Stefan Nicolae (2-15)
Craig Morgan (3-0) v Jose Aguilar (16-56-5)
Nathaniel Collins (3-0) v Tzemal Xouseinoglou (1-3-1)
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