Boxing in back in the U.K this week, as Frank Warren kicks off his first post-lockdown show. Despite numerous shows already taking place globally, this signifies the first opportunity for young British talent to take the spotlight, with the card being live from BT Sport studios in Stratford, London.
The card only boasts four fights and will kick off with talented lightweight Mark Chamberlain, who looks to continue an impressive start to his pro career. Winning all four fights in 2019, but is yet to take to the ring this year. As of writing, his opponent is yet to be confirmed although it should be a convincing victory for 'Marky Boy'. The Portsmouth born southpaw has shown his power in recent bouts, putting multiple opponents on the canvas and will be looking for a spectacular finish on a big stage.
Speaking on the event, Promoter Frank Warren spoke on the journey back to boxing & where he sees the future of the sport post COVID-19:
“It has been a long haul and a trying time for everyone but we can now see the first flicker of light at the end of the tunnel. I am so excited to get going again after a period of unprecedented planning and detail to get to where we are. Unfortunately, boxing without fans at the venue is new, but I am sure temporary, normal."*
Notting Hill heavyweight David Adeleye will also get a chance to show his ability in only his second professional fight. A former England international as an amateur, there has been a lot of excitement about the start of his professional career, gaining an impressive first-round stoppage in his debut fight. This is expected to be another routine victory for Adeleye, with the experience being more important so early in his career.
The penultimate fight of the night is the WBO European super-welterweight title fight as Hamzah Sheeraz faces off against Paul Kean. This fight was originally planned for the undercard of Dubois vs Joyce, although was moved after that card was postponed due to COVID-19. The unbeaten Sheeraz has stopped his last four opponents and is currently 10-0. The highly thought of amateur made his pro debut in 2017 on the undercard of the Billy Joe Saunders vs Willie Monroe fight and has been active until this year. His opponent, Kean is Scottish Super-Welterweight champion, after convincingly defeating the experienced Jay Byrne. The scot has only lost one fight in his career and is expected to provide Sheeraz with the sternest test of his career so far.
The chance to headline the first British card back is an exciting opportunity, with this card culminating in a British & Commonwealth super bantamweight fight between Brad Foster and James Beech Jnr. Both fighters are currently unbeaten, which should make for an entertaining and closely fought card. Foster, holds two draws to his name, most recently with Lucien Reid although Foster won the rematch convincingly with Reid retiring on his stool at the end of the sixth round.
Speaking on the two fights against Reid - “You think about things more and work harder to put it right. That is what I did and when the time came I showed everyone that I wasn’t at my best in the first fight. It makes the pain of not winning a positive experience because Lucien Reid is a good fighter and it proves that I am up there with all these people who have had vast amateur experience, while I have come from nowhere really."
Beech Jnr, on the other hand, is a two-weight midlands titleholder and could provide Foster's toughest examination yet. In perhaps a modest domestic division when it comes to bundles of talent, Friday night is the chance for both fighters to not only add another title to their collection but also to receive some TV exposure that may not have been possible in normal circumstances.
*Quotation credit goes to eveningexpress.co.uk & frankwarren.com