Lee “The Banjo” Markham finally gets his big title chance and a potential breakthrough into the big time when he challenges Jahmaine Smyle for the English Super-Middleweight title on the Olivia Goodwin promoted “Ultimate Glory” bill at York Hall on Saturday 14th March.
The show marks the Goodwin’s fifth anniversary into boxing promoting and managing. The event is befitting of this celebration with no less than 6 title fights and some of London’s top prospects on the undercard.
For Markham this is the culmination of a short period of frustration for himself and his manager Steve Goodwin. Firstly Markham was moved into a mandatory position to challenge Frank Buglioni for the Southern Area strap only for Buglioni to vacate the day before purse bids were due to be opened. Markham was then made mandatory for Callum Smith’s English title. Promoter Goodwin won the purse bids but Callum Smith was forced to vacate due to injury.
Goodwin then was able to negotiate with Smyle’s team and the fight was agreed within 2 hours. “I would like to thank Clifton Mitchell and Jahmaine’s team” said Goodwin. “We do not impose any re-match or ongoing restrictive contractual clauses so it was easy to make and Clifton was great to deal with”.
“It is a great fight” said Olivia Goodwin “This is a celebration of our five years in boxing. My father only came into boxing because I wanted to do it and we never dreamed we would expand like this. It is fitting to have Lee topping the bill and having this opportunity as Lee is the first boxer my father managed”.
Markham came to Goodwin with 3 wins and a loss after losing to Gary Boulden. Under Goodwin Markham has racked up 9 straight wins with 6 stoppages winning 5 Masters titles along the way.
There is no doubt this is Markham’s toughest fight to date “This is a harder fight than Buglioni” says Lee “I know this is going to be a tough fight and I would not want it any other way”.
First Lee must overcome Lewis Van Poetsch on tomorrow’s Matchroom O2 show which is a 6 round warm up. Manager/Promoter Goodwin has formed a relationship with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom being one of the few promoters working with them on the new Fight Pass project and is grateful for Matchroom for giving Lee and his boxers the platform on the big shows and televised fight pass opportunities.
Larry “The Natural” Ekundayo will have the biggest fight of his career with a 10 round fight which is currently being finalised.
Johnny “The Pexican” Garton will be defending his Southern Area Welterweight strap with the opponent being announced next week.
Former Professional footballer Leon McKenzie has his first title fight when he battles for the International Masters Super-Middleweight strap (formerly held by Markham). Leon takes on Ivan Stupalo from Croatia. Leon has an army of support coming including many pro footballers on what is a massive night for him.
“Smokin” Joe Mullender (Middleweight) and Kris Agyei-Dua (Light-Middleweight) both have International title fights.
On the undercard Tilbury’s Matt McCarthy (10-1) takes on Stanislav Nenkov (12-10) over 8 rounds whilst former English Champion Ashley Sexton (14-2-2) makes his long awaited return to the ring at Featherweight.
Highly touted Cruiserweights Adam Hart (1-0) and Jose Lopes (2-0) continue their development. Former K1 champion Hart was devastating in his first contest and now moves up to 6 rounds whilst Lopes trained by Don Charles and described by his trainer as the new David Haye looks for another spectacular stoppage following his one round demolition of Jon Weeks last time out.
Former decorated amateur star Josh Kennedy was another who was devastating on his debut. Kennedy took on an opponent who had lost only once in 8 fights. Many thought this may be a step too far but after only 40 seconds Kennedy proved that false and he stopped his opponent in great style.
In the battle of the undefeated Ashley Hill (2-0) takes on Michael Waldron (1-0) at Light-Middleweight. Hill has looked good in his first two contests and is trained by Markham’s trainer Lenny Butcher who has high hopes for him.
The enigmatic Prince Patel has his debut at flyweight. Love him or love him fans will get to know this charismatic character. Patel takes his name from the original Pronce Naseem and hopes to follow in his footsteps and win world titles in due course. Patel is another signed to Goodwin’s management joining the fastest growing team in the country.
Promoter Olivis was full of praise for another of the undercard fighter’s “The General” Aji Sharif. Sharif lost in 2 rounds to 6 foot 8 ins Imantas Daviditus. After the fight Sharif said all he wanted to do was put things right and his manager Steve Goodwin arranged a re-match for the next show. “Aji has a heart of a lion and we hope he obtains revenge and moves on to titles by the end of 2015. It will be another great fight on a great bill.”
Completing the card is former unlicensed star Heavyweight “Superman” Louie Darling. Darling racked up 35 undefeated bouts in the unlicensed scene stopping 31 opponents. Many wanted to sign Darling but he chose the Goodwin’s to handle his career. “I could not wish for anyone better than Steve to manage me. We are going to the top together” said Darling. First Louie (trained by John Cole in Kent) must overcome war horse Moses Matovu on his debut.
Tickets for this fantastic show can be obtained at www.iboxingtickets.com or by calling 01525 851150