It’s a stacked weekend of boxing, with exciting fights both sides of the Atlantic. The “lineal” heavyweight champion of the world returns in his Las Vegas debut, there’s an all-British world title fight in Leeds and the cruiserweights battle it out in the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series.
Tom Schwarz appears to have been handpicked for Tyson Fury‘s Top Rank/ESPN debut. The sizeable German is being “sold” on his unbeaten record, but his plodding style and height should play into the hands of the Gypsy King. The preamble between these two in Wednesday’s press conference had shades of Fury-Pianeta last year, with joviality from Schwarz seemingly disarming himself from any real self-believed threat come fight night. Fury rarely gets licked when he’s on his toes, controlling the fight at distance. There may be pressure for Fury to put on a show in his Las Vegas debut; however, this won’t be risked at the expense of the job in hand. It looks like Schwarz understands his role inside the MGM Grand.
An intriguing blend of styles makes Warrington vs Galahad unmissable. Crafted in the famous Winkobank gym in Sheffield, Kid Galahad’s boxing IQ can’t be underestimated in Leeds, with Warrington’s all-action, come-forward style the antithesis of what the challenger will offer. If Galahad engages early he’ll be chopped down over a painful twelve rounds; if he boxes off the back foot, picking and choosing when to strike, this one could be tight on the cards. Warrington’s eye may be off the ball with a reluctance to fight his mandatory challenger. I’ll be going against the grain here, for sure, but something’s in the water – boxing is all about timing inside and outside the ring.
Jesse Hart’s jump up to the land of the light heavys is off to a competitive start against Sullivan Barrera. Barrera’s only two losses have come at the hands of Andre Ward and Dmitry Bivol, the latter handed him a 12-round beat down which many believe would end the 37-year-old’s career in the upper-echelons of the 175-pound division. Barrera comes again in a huge test against Hart, who at 6ft 3″ has the natural frame to go well in this bubbling division. Hart’s got too many advantages in this fight which can’t be ignored; the challenge of Barrera is a much better bounce-back fight than what followed after his first of two defeats to Gilberto Ramirez, with his intentions clear to make a splash in this new division. Barrera should stick around, but may ultimately become frustrated.