Two down, two to go. As we head into week 3 of Matchroom’s fight camp the fights have a lot to live up to. With two main events in Sam Eggington vs Ted Cheeseman and Natasha Jonas vs Terri Harper thrilling the nation in two separate weeks, it’s the turn of Commonwealth champion Felix Cash (12-0 KO 8) and former world title challenger Jason Welborn (24-8 KO 7) this Friday night.
Cash is on the rise in the Middleweight division, a hard-hitting fighter, Cash was last seen in November of last year where he went toe to toe with Jack Cullen in the first defence of his Commonwealth belt. The fight was certainly an outside option for a fight of the year contender, Cullen was put down in the first and seventh-round before the bout was waved off. Whilst Cash is unbeaten and has a high KO percentage since turning pro in 2016, he was caught a few times by Cullen in the bout which will give Welborn confidence.
Coming into this fight Cash has said: “He comes to fight and he’s strong. He is a tough man and he has been in with some top fighters. I will not take anything away from him, but he has also been beaten by those top operators. Every time he gets into the ring with a top operator, he seems to come up short, and I believe I am a top operator. He will make it tough for a few rounds, but I’ll get him in the end.”
Welborn has had something of a career resurgence in the past few years. After halting the meteoric rise of Manchester’s Marcus Morrison who was undefeated at the time, Welborn went on to take Tommy Langford’s British Middleweight crown via split decision before once again beating Langford again via split decision 4 months later. This led Welborn onto a surprise world title shot down at Super Welterweight against Jarrett Hurd where he was stopped in the 4th round by a body shot. Welborn was last seen in June of 2019 where he was again stopped in eight rounds by unbeaten prospect JJ Metcalf.
Welborn will be looking to stop the rot in this clash and had this to say about the contest: “He’s (Cash) been with Matchroom as soon as he turned pro. He has had the luxury of long camps and plenty of notice. When I have been working, I’ve had a calls off Errol Johnson at two weeks’ notice sometimes. When Nav Mansouri pulled out against Liam Smith I stepped in at two weeks’ notice and did what I could at the time. Life changes and I’ve got lucky with sponsorships and I’ve moved forwards. I have won a British Title, if I walked away from the sport now, I’ve got nothing left to prove. Not many people have done what I’ve done for the Black Country. He’s had it fed with a silver spoon. If I’d have had his backing, I’d have probably been a World Champion. I’ve always had the heart and the hunger for boxing. I’ve just never had the backing or the support where I can train full time. I’ve had good notice for this fight and I’m feeling good up at middleweight not having to worry about the weight so much. It’s business and at the end of the day I’m coming to do a job, the same as him. I think it’s going to be a scrap. By the time fight night comes around I’ll be ready for a good hard 12 rounds. I’m topping the bill and I’m going to make a statement in this fight.”
Also, on the card, Manchester’s Zelfa Barrett (23-1 KO 14) makes his Matchroom debut when he takes on unbeaten Irishman Eric Donovan (12-0 KO 7) in the Super Featherweight division over twelve rounds.
Barrett has made the switch from Frank Warren to Eddie Hearn and will be looking to make a statement of his intent and put the rest of the Super Featherweight division on notice. For Donovan, this is a big step up. Despite being unbeaten Donovan has only fought 3 fighters with winning records and will need to put on a career best performance to upset Barrett.
Former British title challenger Kieron Conway (14-1-1 KO 3) will also be in action in the back garden as he squares off against Navid Mansouri (20-3-2 KO 6) over ten rounds in the Super Welterweight division.
Conway boxed brilliantly against Ted Cheeseman for the British title last year and was unlucky to come away with a draw. The Northampton native was last seen in August of last year where he took a points decision over Craig O’Brien over ten rounds and is looking to get his names into the mix in a majorly talented division. For Mansouri, it’s a chance to show the Sky Sports audience what he can do and cause the upset against Conway. He is coming off a loss in November last year to Stephen Danyo in Holland via decision over 12 rounds. This will be Navids first fight in England since 2017, with most of his fights since then coming in Spain.
Everyone’s favourite 'Babyfaced Assassin' is also on the card this Friday as Shannon Courtenay (5-0 KO 2) looks to continue her good run of form against 29-year-old Rachel Ball (5-1 KO 0) in the Super Bantamweight division over eight rounds. Courtenay has built quite the fanbase and will look to further her education of the pro game with another win this coming week, the baby-faced assassin was last out in December where she stopped Buchra El Quaissi in the 5th round.
For Ball, it’s an opportunity to take hype off of Courtenay and get her name out there, she was unfortunate to drop a majority decision to unbeaten Katharina Thanderz in March 2019 in Norway and was last seen in the ring in November where she won on points over ten rounds against Bec Connolly.
Finally, Scotland’s John Docherty (8-0 KO 6) will be looking to remain unbeaten when he faces Anthony Fox (8-12-4 KO 0) in the Super Middleweight division over eight rounds. Docherty will be aiming to become only the second person to stop Fox but may have to go the distance in this one. The Montrose man was last in the ring in February when he stopped Pablo Mendoza inside the first round.
Fox has won his last two fights and is on a nice run of form but will need to be at his absolute best and probably more to get something against Docherty, he was last seen in June 2019 when he upset unbeaten Duane Sinclair on points over eight rounds.