Promoter Dennis Hobson has secured a potentially career-changing opening for Commonwealth bantamweight champion Ross ‘The Boss’ Burkinshaw.
In an all-Yorkshire affair, Steel City’s Burkinshaw was due to make the maiden defence of his title against Leeds’ Terry Broadbent at the Sheffield Octagon Centre on February 21.
However, with Broadbent now out injured, Hobson has pulled off a masterstroke by securing a WBO European bantamweight opportunity for 28-year-old Burkinshaw.
Ross’ new opponent will be Belgium’s Benjamin Smoes, who enters the contest with nine wins and a draw from 13 outings, and the Sheffield promoter is eyeing a future world title route if his charge comes through unscathed.
“I’m really pleased that we’ve managed to get this title shot. It’s a prestigious belt and a great chance for Ross to become a double-champion.
“If he can win this fight then, as a European and Commonwealth champion, there’s a good chance that we can manoeuvre him into a something very big.
“This fight is no walkover though. This Belgian is here to cause an upset and Ross cannot afford to slip up. It’s going to be a great night of boxing for Sheffield and the atmosphere will be special.”
Written off by many, Burkinshaw proved the doubters wrong when he beat previously unbeaten Jason Cunningham at just three days’ notice to win the Commonwealth belt.
Not fazed by a late change of opponent, the former English flyweight champion says he is focusing on putting on a career-best performance and giving his loyal fans another title win to celebrate.
“I’m buzzing and trying to take it all in my stride,” said Ross. “Winning the Commonwealth was a big thing and this is another fantastic opportunity, if not bigger.
“I’m calm and relaxed and not bothered about the new opponent. As long as I’m one hundred per cent that’s all that matters and I’ll leave the worrying to my trainer Ryan Rhodes!
“I know this new opponent was beat when he fought for the WBO European super-flyweight belt, but I’m told he was struggling at the weight. He’ll be up for it and stronger against me.
“Everyone knows my fights are entertaining. My entrances are something special and I’ll be getting drummed and bugled into the ring, and the fight will be even better.
“This will be the first time I’ve ever boxed in the Steel City for a title. I’ve got Kell Brook coming along, Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys is wanting to come. It’s going to be amazing.”
Dennis Hobson Promotions presents Ross Burkinshaw versus Benjamin Smoes for the WBO European bantamweight title at the Sheffield Octagon Centre on February 21.
Also appearing will be Sheffield’s Uzair Najib and Muheeb Fazeldin contesting the Central Area super-bantamweight title; Dronfield’s Lewis Taylor; Sheffield’s Waleed Din, Nicolie Campbell, Ramzy Nassa, Pharys Nassa, Loua Nassa, and Razaq Najib.
For ticket information please call 01142434443 or 07413441666.