One look at the shows undercard further illustrates Eddie Hearn’s commitment to his value for money model that gives some of Britain’s most exciting fighters a platform to grow and earn in the public eye.
Here we will review the highlights of an undercard stacked in significance and local interest, which will see a raucous atmosphere assured.
Adam Etches v Sergey Khomitsky (12 x 3mins IBF International Middleweight Title)
Adam Etches, 18-0 (15KO’s), faces the stiffest test of his young career when he faces seasoned campaigner Sergey Khomitsky, 29-11 (12KO’s), in front of what promises to be militant support for one of Britain’s top ticket sellers.
The big punching Sheffield native has amassed such a following without the assistance of the red carpet treatment, happy to let his all action style speak for itself.
Khomitsky will be no stranger to British boxing fans, having developed into somewhat of a Lovemore N’Dou figure for the aspiring middle and super middleweights within the British Isles, Martin Murray, Jamie Moore, Ryan Rhodes, Frank Buglioni and Nick Blackwell have all faced the 40-year old with varying results.
If you’re ready for the next level, you beat the tough Belarusian.
However, if there’s a chink in that armour he will expose it, as super middleweight prospect Frank Buglioni found to his detriment when stopped in 6 rounds in April of last year.
Etches will know only too well the dangers this fight presents, but most of all the rewards it promises should he come through it in style on his biggest stage to date.
Hats off to Matchroom and Hatton promotions for coming together to give the grounded 24-year old the opportunity his personality and talent deserves. It’s win-win for all parties concerned, especially Kell Brook, who couldn’t wish for a better support act to warm up the crowd.
Expect a barmy atmosphere and an Etches win, after some sticky periods as he works out the wily veteran.
Gavin McDonnell v Oleksander Yegorov (12 x 3mins Vacant EBU Super Bantamweight Title)
When Gavin McDonnell, 12-0-2 (4KO’s), steps into the ring on Saturday night, he will be looking to make good on a promise that was laughed out of the changing rooms, the night identical twin and current WBA World bantamweight champion Jamie, claimed the European version of the bantamweight crown in France 5 years ago.
It was the motivation Gavin – who has proceeded to follow in his sibling’s footsteps, only one step ahead – needed, to amass a 14-fight unbeaten record. The highlight of which came when the 28-year old out-boxed and dropped former World title challenger Vusi Malinga en-route to a convincing 12 round points victory in Hull Ice Arena in October 2014.
McDonnell faces unbeaten Ukrainian Oleksander Yegorov, 13-0-1 (6KO’s), who is fighting out of his native country for the first time. There is little to be said about the Eastern European who is somewhat of an unknown in British circles at least, they breed them tough and polished in the Ukraine that much is a given.
The McDonnell’s don’t tend to do complacency, so Gavin will be ideally prepared and ready to work for 12 rounds at a pace. If Yegorov can live with the work rate and take the play away from the home fighter, he is a better fighter than his record suggests.
McDonnell on points should be a fair assumption here.
Frankie Gavin v Bogdan Mitic (10 x 3mins Welterweight Contest)
Frankie Gavin, 21-1 (13KO’s), appears in his Matchroom promotional debut, ready to drop the ‘fun-time Frankie’ image and make a statement of his intention to realise the potential his obvious talents have promised.
The 29-year old will tune up against a modest opponent in Serbian Bogdan Mitic, 20-6 (13KO’s), in the hope of sharpening his tools ahead of a massive bout with South African, Chris Van Heerden, scheduled for 9th May in Birmingham.
Matchroom have backed the former World amateur champion to spearhead their foray into the Midlands in the hope of creating yet another hotbed on the British boxing scene.
I’ve said it before, but it is worth saying again, Frankie Gavin has all the tools to go to the very top. The only person stopping him making an impression in the welterweight division is himself.
It’s a big night for Gavin and I am backing him to make a statement here and deal with Mitic inside the 10 rounds.
Kal Yafai v Cristofer Rosales (10 x 3mins Flyweight Contest)
The last time we seen Kal Yafai, 13-0 (9KO’s), he was punch perfect when taking apart the experienced and teak tough Nicaraguan Everth Briceno over the 12 round distance at super flyweight.
This time out Yafai drops to flyweight to take on yet another Nicaraguan in Cristofer Rosales, 10-1 (7KO’s), in a surprising move for a man who looked big at the 115lbs limit.
Whether this is a permanent move for the Birmingham man remains to be seen, however, if he can make the weight comfortably he could prove a real force in a division that includes sparring partner and British, Commonwealth and European champion Kevin Satchell and the more lucrative and beatable Zou Shiming further afield.
Eddie Hearn I’m sure has a plan for Yafai, who like Gavin is a key ingredient to the Matchroom recipe for inspiring the vast midlands area.
It will be interesting to see how Yafai reacts to having to shed the extra weight and whether or not this will affect his ability to explode in a similar fashion that has seen him have success in the past.
I don’t see any risks being taken with a fighter of his potential, so it’s a fair assumption to believe all is well, if that is the case, poor Cristofer Rosales could be in trouble.
Stephen Smith v Jacek Wylezol (6 x 3mins Super Featherweight Contest)
Jordan Gill, 12-0 (2KO’s) v Barrington Brown, 6-9-3 (2KO’s) (6 x 3mins Super Featherweight Contest)
Charlie Edwards, 1-0 (1KO) v Mikheil Soloninkini, 3-7-1 (1KO) (6/4 x 3mins Super Flyweight Contest)
Nadeem Siddique, 23-2 (7KO’s) v Laszlo Fekete, 9-6-1 (7KO’s) (4 x 3mins Light Welterweight Contest)
Kyle Yousaf, 1-0 (0KO’s) v Stefan Slavchev, 6-13-1 (4KO’s) (4 x 3mins Bantamweight Contest)