The final British boxing event of the summer comes from the BT studios this Saturday and it could be a while before the UK’s major promoters put together a proper schedule in the ‘new normal’ era.
If this is it for the foreseeable, at least we’re going out with a bang: headliner Daniel Dubois should destroy Dutchman Ricardo Snijders, while there are potential upsets on the cards for top prospect Sunny Edwards against Thomas Essomba and former amateur star Sam Maxwell against Joe Hughes.
Dubois has been the best young heavyweight in the world for a little while now and we’re all eagerly awaiting his top-tier coming-out party against Joe Joyce set for October. For now however, we have to settle for a demolition job on leisure-centre-level late-replacement Snijders.
Greenwich’s big man is 14 fights deep into a pro career where he’s knocked out 13 opponents, 10 inside three rounds. Fellow blue-chip prospect Nathan Gorman was battered into submission in five sessions, while grizzled veteran Kevin Johnson is the only man to survive a one-sided pummeling and hear the final bell. And Dubois is still only 22 years old.
The notoriously monosyllabic destroyer has been working on his trash talking as well as his boxing during lockdown, coming out with the zinger ‘Slow Joyce’ as a slight on his Olympic silver medalist future opponent – a fight which Paddy has installed Dubois as a 1/4 favourite.
This weekend, ‘Triple D’ is as short as 1/25 to win by KO. Snijders has won 18 and only lost one, but that defeat came at cruiserweight in his only contest outside of his native Netherlands so far. The 26-year-old challenger seems tough and game but he’s way over-matched in terms of skill and size.
This bout is a doddle for Dubois and how long it lasts just depends on how much Dan wants to play with his prey before finishing it. We’ve seen ‘DDD’ go four and five rounds with lesser opponents when he’s taking his time, and I expect him to get the job done at some point in rounds 2-4 this weekend.
We hear a lot about how good Edwards is from Frank Warren, boxing pundits and Edwards himself. The younger of the ‘Croydon Klitschkos’ is so confident it’s boarding on cocky, and he’s talking about world titles when Essomba, with a record of 10 wins and five losses, might be the best challenger he’s faced.
The south London super flyweight is undoubtedly easy-on-the-eye, and he has the speed of a world class boxer, but he’s been matched lightly and dropped twice in his 14 fight career. 10-year-pro Essomba is not known as a power puncher, but he’s strong and tricky, and he’s faced top quality fighters as a pro, as an amateur and in sparring.
Edwards has only stopped four foes and I fancy him to win on points. Having said that, I’m tempted by the long odds on Essomba – Cameroons southpaw has beaten undefeated rising stars in his last two bouts. The veteran underdog can dig a bit and I like the value on the KO win.
The only fight close to 50:50 on paper is the European super lightweight title fight between Sam Maxwell and Joe Hughes. Maxwell is the slight odds-on favourite and the Liverpudlian amateur stand-out has a professional record of 13 wins with 11 KOs.
Hughes has won and lost the European title before and he’s drawn in a bout for the British belt. The Wiltshire boxer has only been outclassed by world-level opponents and he’s never been stopped.
I think this one is going the distance – I’m going with Hughes’ professional pedigree over potential but don’t rule out the draw.
The early fights of the evening feature future stars Willy Hutchinson at light heavyweight, Sam Noakes at lightweight, and David Adeleye at heavyweight. All three can add a notch to their win column from the BT studios this Saturday.
Tips for Saturday night’s boxing
22:00 Daniel Dubois Vs Ricardo Snijders: Dubois in round 2
21:00 Sunny Edwards Vs Thomas Essomba: Essomba by KO
20:00 Sam Maxwell v Joe Hughes: Hughes on points
19:00 Willy Hutchinson v Luke Blackledge: Hutchinson to win
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