by Paul Kelly
Fight week for the last Fight Camp show is officially underway. Over the past few weeks, the boxing in Eddie Hearn’s back garden has been a roaring success. Firstly, we had a tear up between Sam Eggington and Ted Cheeseman, followed by another tightly fought contest between Terri Harper and Natasha Jonas served up a cracker in week two. Then last week we had another stellar card, headlined by Felix Cash who put on a classy performance to stop Jason Welborn defending his Commonwealth Middleweight Title in the process.
This week we see Dillian Whyte take on Alexander Povetkin in the main event, with Katie Taylor and Delfine Persoon facing off for the second time, after a fight of the year contender in 2019. Back in June when Eddie Hearn announced these four shows, this was meant to be the last one. However, after the success of all the fight cards so far, Hearn has hinted at possibly extending Fight Camp for another month. However, for the meantime, week four promises to deliver yet another entertaining night of boxing.
Kicking off the evening in an intriguing heavyweight matchup, Alen Babic takes on Shawndell Terell Winters. Babic is only a baby in professional boxing, having made his debut back in July 2019. The Croatian has only fought three times but has won each bout by knockout. Despite only being a novice in the paid ranks, the 6”1 hard-hitting heavyweight is already looking to make inroads in the division. Saturday is his toughest test to date, without a shadow of a doubt. Winters himself only has three defeats, most notably to former WBO World Champion, Joseph Parker, who stopped the American in just five rounds. Winters will believe he is too experienced for Babic, which makes for an intriguing fight as both men are coming to Fight Camp to win.
Next up in the super-middleweight division, we have Jack Cullen versus Zak Chelli. Many people are tipping this fight to steal the show, with both fighters firmly believing they have what it takes to beat the other man. Chelli’s only defeat was inflicted by Kody Davies, whilst Cullen himself has only lost twice, most notably to Felix Cash, last week’s headliner. On paper, it’s difficult to split the pair. The bookmakers have the Lancashire man as a slight favourite going into Saturday, but only just. That’s what Fight Camp has been all about, competitive fights which will deliver top-quality entertainment for boxing fans.
Next up, Luther Clay takes on Chris Kongo in a tantalising matchup. Both men are highly rated British welterweights, which makes for a great fight, as on paper it is difficult to split these two. Again, the bookmakers have edged towards Kongo as the slight favourite going into the fight. ‘2Slick’ is three years the senior of Clay, but has had less professional fights. Looking at the British welterweight rankings, Kongo is nowhere near the top ten, whilst Clay is ranked at number six (BoxRec).
The only other notable difference between the two is height. Kongo is a massive welterweight, standing at 6”0, whilst Clay is the shorter man at 5”8 ½. Size could end up being a big factor as the fight goes on, and Kongo has a huge advantage if he can use it. Clay’s sole defeat came in just his sixth fight, way back in 2017. Since then, the twenty-four-year-old hasn’t put a foot wrong in his career. This fight is another one which could easily steal the show. Although Kongo isn’t yet recognised as one of the top welterweights in Britain, like Clay is, he won’t look out of place come Saturday night.
Now onto possibly the biggest fight of the night, the rematch between Delfine Persoon and Katie Taylor. The first fight was one of the best fights of 2019. Not just in woman’s boxing, but in boxing as a whole. On that famous night in Madison Square Gardens, the Irish sensation got the nod in a majority decision victory over Persoon. That same night, was the night we saw Andy Ruiz Jr stop, Anthony Joshua, in possibly one of the biggest upsets in modern boxing history. On the night, both girls felt like they had done enough to win the fight.
The Belgian was outraged when the scorecards were read out, as she firmly believed she had done enough to become the undisputed world champion at lightweight. However, it was the thirty-four-year-old Irish superstar who got the victory, further solidifying herself as the flag bearer for woman’s boxing. This time around, Persoon is out for revenge. Taylor promises not to make the same mistakes as she did previously.
Taylor told RTE, “The first fight was too close for my liking. I’m looking to put on a more dominant performance on August 22nd and shutting up everyone that has criticised me over the last year.”
She added, “I got drawn into a bit of a fight in the first one, and sometimes that happens. I’m definitely going to be a bit more disciplined in this fight. I’m going to be ready for whatever Persoon throws at me.”
Many think this fight is the worthy main event of the Fight Camp finale, and the fans are certainly in for a treat as these two ladies put everything on the line again for the second time.
The main event of the pay-per-view Fight Camp finale sees Dillian ‘The Bodysnatcher’ Whyte take on Alexander Povetkin. Another cracking fight.
Since losing to Anthony Joshua back in December 2016, Whyte hasn’t put a foot wrong. Most notably he has beaten Derek Chisora twice, and former WBO world champion Joseph Parker, as well as some other contenders along the way.
Many people believe the thirty-two-year-old should have been given a world title shot by now, having been the mandatory challenger for the WBC belt for over one thousand days. However, that opportunity still hasn’t presented itself to Whyte, who instead has continued to take tough fights, rather than sitting back and waiting for his shot. This fight is no different.
Povetkin, the hard-hitting Russian has only lost twice in his career. Both Wladimir Klitschko and Joshua beat the now forty-year-old, whilst Michael Hunter got a draw against him last year in Saudi Arabia. But other than that, there are no blemishes on the record of the former WBA Regular World Champion.
This fight is an extremely dangerous one for Whyte, who will be without Mark Tibbs in his corner for the first time since 2016 after the pair split just a couple of months ago. ‘The Bodysnatcher’ has been training out in Portugal, setting up camp there for the past few months.
As if it wasn’t enough for Whyte to be waiting for his world title shot for three years, both the WBC Interim and Diamond belts will be on the line for the main event on Saturday night. Promoter Eddie Hearn, says Whyte is more than ready for yet another tough test. “He is ready to flick the switch and go to war,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
Whyte took to Instagram at the weekend saying, “seven days to go, I can’t wait to step back in the ring again. Make sure you guys don’t miss it, it’s going to be an all-out war, this I promise #MAXIMUMVIOLENCE.”