By Paul Kelly
After Mick Hennessy staged his first post lockdown show last weekend, it’s time for his second this Saturday night. Shakan Pitters won the British Light-Heavyweight title in just his 14th fight, on a card that saw the return of Isaac Chamberlain, who again is in action this coming weekend. Light-Heavyweight prospect, Idris Virgo, and Mick Hennessy Jr, son of the promotor, also have quick turnarounds as they are also back in the ring this Saturday night. The show is headlined by Alex Dilmaghani who faces Samir Ziani for the European Super-Featherweight title.
Both Chamberlain and Virgo’s opponents are yet to be announced, but will likely be tick over fights to keep them active before bigger fights in the New Year. It is especially important for Chamberlain to stay active, after 22 months of no fighting until last Saturday. The 26-year-old will be looking to get back in the British and European mix in 2021, after rebuilding and coming back as a completely new man this time around.
With Virgo, the former Love Island star, he is very unexposed as a professional. He looks good on the eye and is a smart talker, so it will be interesting to see his career unfold over the next couple of years.
In the Middleweight division, we have a contest between Mick Hennessy Jr and Jamie Stewart. This is the only fight on the card with two undefeated boxers facing off. Stewart only has the one fight to his name, which was a unanimous decision victory back in September 2019. Hennessy Jr is only 20-years-old, so fights like this against unbeaten fighters are what he needs to develop and learn so early on in his career.
Also featuring on the card is highly rated Irish sensation, Stephen McKenna. The 23-year-old has won all four of his professional fights by stoppage and will be hopeful of adding to that on Saturday night. He faces Kris Pilkington in a Super-Lightweight contest.
For the chief support of the evening, we have a great fight for the Southern Area Super-Flyweight title, as Ricky Little takes on Sam Cantwell. Neither fighter has fought in over a year, so inactivity has been a problem for both men so far in their careers. However, a chance like this on a televised card is exactly what both men need to kick-start their careers again.
Both men go into the fight with winning records. Little has a professional record of 5(1)-2-1 meanwhile Cantwell boasts a record of 7(3)-1-1. On paper, this is a competitive matchup between two British Super-Flyweights, hoping to progress onto bigger things in the New Year.
In the main event of this Hennessy Sport card, televised live on Channel 5, is a fight for the European Super-Featherweight title. Britain’s Alex Dilmaghani takes on number 1 rated Frenchman, Samir Ziani. The fight was meant to take place back in April, but has been put back until now due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last time out, Dilmaghani fought out a majority decision draw against Francisco Fonseca, for the vacant IBO World Super-Featherweight title in what was one of the fights of the year. That fight was back in November last year, and the 29-year-old will be looking to get back winnings ways this Saturday night.
Dilmaghani hasn’t lost since 2011 when he lost a four-rounder to journeyman Mickey Coventry, and has since rebuilt his career up to fringe world level. The Brit will go into the fight at the weekend as the favourite with the bookies, but Ziani will not be a pushover by any stretch of the imagination.
The reigning European champion himself hasn’t lost since 2016, and will be hopeful of retaining his belt on his travels to Yorkshire this weekend. The 30-year-old is a southpaw, which should be no issue to Dilmaghani, being a southpaw himself.
Dilmaghani is more than ready to take his chance this Saturday, and took to Twitter saying: “ANOTHER title fight, ANOTHER main event, against ANOTHER world level fighter which will result in ANOTHER fight of the year candidate. On Sept 5th there will be ANOTHER U.K. European champion #ANOTHERLEVEL #NOEASYFIGHTS.”
However, the champion believes he will walk away from the UK retaining his European title. He said, “I’ve had plenty of extra time to prepare for Dilmaghani since the fight was postponed and I’m ready to fight him now.
“He is in for the fight of his life so I hope he has studied and prepared himself in the meantime because he won’t know what’s hit him.”
Saturday night promises to be another all-action card, with two potential wars at the top of the bill.