After an influx of COVID-19 cases, the British Boxing Board of Control suspended all boxing activity until February. A number of bouts have faced their inevitable postponement, including the eagerly-awaited Welterweight clash between Florian Marku and Rylan Charlton. The fight has been re-scheduled for 20th February, on the undercard of Joshua Kelly versus David Avanesyan.
In Marku’s most recent outing, he was forced to settle for a controversial draw against the obdurate Jamie Stewart. The Albanian-born fighter dropped Stewart with a whipping left hook to the body in the second round and was the aggressor throughout the 8 rounds. Retrospectively, ‘TNT’ vented his annoyance and has not been afraid to call out some of the biggest names in the 147lb domestic scene.
Last October, Rylan Charlton upset the apple cart with a mightily impressive stoppage victory over fellow Englishman, Joe Laws. ‘Pint Size Powerhouse’ made light work of the previously unbeaten Benwell prospect, sending him plunging to the canvas on 2 occasions, before closing the show with an explosive right-uppercut. Soon after his victory, Charlton became the latest addition to the Matchroom roster, after inking terms with promoter, Eddie Hearn.
The Marku-Charlton matchup was a no-brainer.
The two men are in the initial stages of their career: undefeated and hungry. Interestingly, each has picked up a draw thus far. There is unequivocally an element of intrigue and mystery attached to the bout, given that both are yet to be severely tested, and certain question marks still linger regarding various aspects of their respective games.
They pride themselves on their physical attributes, aggression and dominant come-forward style, leading me to think that the fight will take place in the centre of the ring and could turn into a war. If this materialises, it might come down to whoever is able to land the significant shots first when they engage.
Although they like to plant their feet and trade, they have also shown moments of patience, strategy and the ability to execute calculative attacks/pressure.
If one can box on the back foot, jab, move and dominate the long-range exchanges in periods, I believe that he will be victorious.
Another vital element worthy of note is that the fight is scheduled for 10 rounds. Neither man has fought a 10-round fight to date, thus, the stamina levels and conditioning of the two athletes will certainly play a part. If they are wary of this, we might see a slower pace initially, with the potential for it to explode into a blockbuster in the latter stages.
This is by no means a ‘make or break’ fight for Florian and Ryan, however the victor will definitely be propelled into the top echelon of the domestic Welterweight scene. I see Marku as the naturally slightly bigger man, but I feel that Charlton possesses the superior fundamental skills. If the bout does escalate into a dogfight, I think that Marku’s size and power could see him triumph inside the distance. However, if Charlton can utilise his greater skill set, I can envision him winning by either a late stoppage or points. It is a genuine 50/50 match-up.
Both men appear to be supremely confident and have insisted that they regard this fight as a ‘stepping stone’, in order to catapult themselves into the limelight.
“Rylan Charlton is a small body-builder; I will break his head” said Marku. “I don’t like to talk bad about people, but Rylan Charlton has said many bad things about me. I want to see what he will say face-to-face with me. I will not leave the decision to the judges”.
“I’ll wipe the floor with him. He’s in my game now and I don’t rate him as a boxer” expressed Charlton. “Look what I did to Laws on thirteen days’ notice. This time I have a full camp; I won’t be letting this go to the judges”.
My prediction: Rylan Charlton victory via ‘Points’.