The fights before Christmas
We started with November and now move on to the festive season, as we pit two shows that take place in London during the week before Christmas, Frank Warren’s Copper Box card topped by Daniel Dubois vs Kyotaro Fujimoto, against Matchroom Boxing’s Richard Riakporhe vs Jack Massey at York Hall. We analyse the top two fights and then the ’rest’ of the card, giving each a mark out of 5. These ratings are based on level of fight, name value of the boxers involved and, of course, likely competitiveness. The highest total wins.
Frank Warren November 21 Copper Box
Daniel Dubois vs Kyotaro Fujimoto
It’s always a good thing to watch Dubois’ development, given he is one of the more exciting heavyweight prospects in the world, and still so young at 22. Japan’s Fujimoto seems fun and will help sell the fight but is small, has beaten no one of note and looks like another segment in the making for the “Dynamite” highlight reel.
Sunny Edwards vs Marcel Braithwaite
Edwards was recently considering a move down to flyweight as his team were struggling to find British super-flys who would fight him. Well, Braithwaite has stepped up for this vacant British title contest and, having only won the English belt last month, has momentum on his side. Edwards, however, looks fringe world class already and will look to win this well.
Reality TV star Tommy Fury returns, while we get another chance to see the in-form Liam Williams and some of Warren’s hot prospects.
Matchroom Boxing November 19 York Hall
Richard Riakporhe vs Jack Massey
A very good main event. Riakporhe, 6ft 5in, is only 10-0 (8) but has been featured on Sky several times, has defeated quality fighters in Sam Hyde, Tommy McCarthy and Chris Billam-Smith and now vies for the vacant British cruiserweight title. Massey is 16-0 (8) and while he has fought lesser opposition he is talented and has similar ambition. A recent scheduled British title shot at Lawrence Okolie fell through, so the Chapel-en-le-Frith will feel he has something to prove.
Fabio Wardley vs Simon Vallily
Something of a crossroads clash in that the winner out of these two heavyweights can progress to challenging for top domestic honours. Dillian Whyte-managed Wardley is 8-0, done nothing wrong so far and has travelled for world-class sparring. Vallily, now 34, was a GB amateur star who flattered to deceive at cruiserweight, but is undefeated at heavy. This is his last chance.
This show has been harmed by the rumoured Craig Richards vs Shakan Pitters clash (3.5) being delayed, but alongside the exciting likes of Shannon Courtenay and Charlie Frankham, Luther Clay vs Freddy Kiwitt should be a decent scrap.
Matchroom edges it with a deeper bill, despite the lack of a name on Dubois’ level on their event.