While we all look at our calendars and ask: “Is it May yet?” in anticipation of what promises to be a blockbuster month of boxing, poor old April must act as an appetizer to whet our whiskers. As the fans and media count down the days to May 2, let’s take a look at what awaits us before that fateful date. Time to Mark Your Calendar.
Sat, Apr 4: Adonis Stevenson vs Sakio Bika for the WBC World light-heavyweight title. Kovalev’s been grabbing the headlines so Adonis & co. have come up with a super-middleweight challenger to try and steal some back. Um…… Anyway, the WBC champ might have his thunder stolen in Quebec if Artur Beterbiev has anything to do with it. Look out Gabriel Campillo.
Sat, Apr 4: Luke Blackledge vs Liam Cameron for the Commonwealth super-middleweight title. Yes, I know you’re looking up Boxrec right now but trust me: THIS may end up being the fight of the night. And it’s free to watch on VIP Boxing’s website. This is Luke and Liam’s world title and they will go all out for it.
Sat, Apr 4: Anthony Joshua vs Jason Gavern for, well, Joshua to look good again, I guess. This Newcastle show was depleted significantly when Dave Ryan vs Bradley Saunders was unfortunately shelved due to a hand injury to the latter. So The Joshua Spree continues. Gavern? The amount of time he’s taken to post U.K. holiday snaps on Twitter will probably last longer than the fight.
Fri, Apr 10: Denis Lebedev vs Youri Kalenga for the WBA World cruiserweight title. Lebedev, who had THAT injury in 2013 takes on a man who could forge a second career as a Bond henchman judging by the look of him. It won’t be pretty, it won’t be scientific but it damn sure could be entertaining.
Sat, Apr 11: Orlando Salido vs Roman Martinez for the WBO World super featherweight title. Some fights don’t need a title but I’m glad there’s something significant on the line for these two. Gunfight at the Coliseo Jose Miguel Agrelot might not be a catchy name for a film, but that’s what you’re going to get when these two hardened gladiators, who have 89 fights between them, collide. Fight of the Year candidate without question. The unorthodox yet talented Jose Gonzalez may just catch your eye on the undercard against Sharif Bogere.
Is it May yet? Dang it!
Sat, Apr 11: Josh Warrington vs Dennis Tuberion for the WBC International featherweight title. Leeds’ potential answer to Ricky Hatton will once again fight in front of some of the noisiest fans in the UK. Tyrone Nurse vs Chris Jenkins and the Martin Ward vs Maxi Hughes rematch on the undercard should be enough for you to forget a main event that looks potentially disappointing.
Sat, Apr 11: Andy Lee vs Peter Quillin for the WBO world middleweight title. Yes, I’m placing this as the main event, not that bullshit catchweight non-title farce that is Danny Garcia vs Lamont Peterson. Undercard fillers Felix Diaz, Marcus Browne and Errol Spence Jr will have my attention more than that fight which I shall not mention any more. Lee vs Quillin has questions-a-plenty and all will be answered on the night.
Thurs, Apr 16: Shinsuke Yamanaka vs Diego Santillan for the WBC World bantamweight title. Yamanaka makes the eighth defence of his title against the unbeaten Santillan. Asian boxing is on many people’s lips right now and Yamanaka deserves to be part of the conversation. I just want a Yamanaka-Komeda unification.
Sat, Apr 18: Oleksander Usyk vs Andrey Knyazev for the WBO Inter-Continental cruiserweight title. Usyk, the 2012 Olympic Heavyweight gold medallist, continues his ascent with his seventh professional contest. Huck & co. aren’t looking over their shoulders at the moment, but they will be soon.
Sat, Apr 18: Richar Abril vs Derry Mathews for the WBA World lightweight title. The Cinderella story for Mathews reaches its conclusion. The odds are monumentally stacked against him but Liverpool’s Echo Arena will do their utmost to make it uncomfortable for the champion. It would be one of the shocks of the year, if not the century, should Derry win. Look out for the return of the multi-talented Joe Selkirk on the undercard, amongst others.
Sat, Apr 18: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs Andrjzej Fonfara. What do you want me to say?
Sat, Apr 18: Terence Crawford vs Thomas Dulorme for the WBO World light-welterweight title. Crawford, for some 2014’s Fighter of the Year, looks to win a second world title but this time with an added five pounds on his back. Dulorme, on paper, looks the ideal opponent to overcome for this feat to be accomplished.
Sat, Apr 18: Lucas Matthysse vs Ruslan Provodnikov. Screw May! This is the one you should be waiting for. Like I said, some fights don’t need titles and this is one of them. It will be violent, it will be bloody and it will be brutal. If you like a war, don’t miss this one.
Fri, Apr 24: Daniel Jacobs vs Caleb Truax for the WBA World middleweight title. Illinois doesn’t stage many world title fights but on Apr 24 it gets one, maybe two depending on your like/dislike for the WBA. Anthony Dirrell defends his WBC World super-middleweight title on the same bill against Badou Jack.
Sat, Apr 25: Wladimir Klitschko vs Bryant Jennings for the WBA/WBO/IBF World heavyweight titles. The champ comes to America for the first time in seven years after being probably banished for that sleeping tablet we got when he fought Sultan Ibragimov. However! Big Wlad thrilled some of us in his last defence against Kubrat Pulev. It would be, again, one of the shocks of the century should the honest, blue collar Jennings pull it off. Not quite Buster, but close. A world heavyweight title fight at Madison Square Garden. Call me a sucker but I’ll be watching.
Thurs, Apr 30: Mickey Bey vs Denis Shafikov for the IBF World lightweight title. And to round the month off we have this intriguing world title fight pitting Bey against a Russian who likes to be known as ‘Djingis Khan’. If you haven’t seen Shafikov before, I would recommend it.
I must say, as appetisers go it’s not too shabby. There’s something for everyone.
But after all that’s said and done, May can’t come soon enough.
If I’ve missed anything then complain to me here @sbrown2pt0.
— Shaun Brown