Since Frank Warren’s Boxnation has announced their multi-million pound deal with BT Sports, there have been questions surrounding what fights we will be seeing if they want to truly capitalize on the opportunity they have here and take it with both hands.
Today was the day they launched their schedule for 2017 and we were left with some extremely positive outcomes. Frank has previously stated he would be looking to put on 30 live shows over the course of 2017 and the beginning quarter is certainly looking good!
With the announcement that they will be launching 30 live shows in 2017, Matchroom Sport announcing their schedule of fights, ITV back in the mix and Barry McGuigan leading the pack for Channel 5, you can expect us to have boxing on our TV’s almost every week.
After Eddie Hearn’s recent landmark move to sign his first professional female boxer, Warren openly stated women’s boxing was not for him and investing his time in the female side of the sport is something he most definitely would not be doing.
He has however now signed double Olympic gold medalist Nicola Adams to his stable in hope to join the growing movement of female boxing. She will be making her debut on April 8th and then fighting on the 13 May, Warren has also stated he will be eyeing up world title honors for her very soon.
The card she will be added to on the 13th May will be in Leeds, headlined by Warrens new signing Josh Warrington. He will be facing Marco McCullough in hope of continuing his undefeated record and looking to target a world title shot in the latter stages of the year.
Possibly the most exciting news to be announced today was the domestic clash between Liam Smith and undefeated British Super Welterweight champion Liam Williams at the Manchester Arena April 8th.
Liam Smith 23-1-1 was last seen in action when he was stopped by Canelo Alvarez and lost his WBO Super Welterweight belt however its rumored to be on the line when he takes on Williams 16-0-1.
Smith is part of the Smith brothers who have all won British titles in their weight classes and is also trained by former Ring Magazine trainer of the year Joe Gallagher. This will be an absolutely class fight with both fighters needing to get this win to move on to the next step and cement themselves up there with the big names of the division.
Undefeated WBO Lightweight champion Terry Flanagan 32-0 (13ko’s) will also be added to the Manchester card as he defends his title against Petr Petrov 38-4-2 (19ko’s).
Petrov is a Russian born Spanish citizen and should not pose much of a threat to Terry Flanagan. Coming in aged 33 and being found out whenever he has previously stepped up to the world stage, it’s not the announcement everyone was hoping for.
Terry is an extremely underrated fighter and hasn’t received the exposure he deserves, but you can’t argue the fact its down to poor matchmaking. He is still a world champion in a division full of extreme talent and its frustrating to see him against poor opponents again and again.
Petrov’s most recent loss was against Dejan Zlaticanin who has gone on to become the WBC Lightweight champion and is someone Flanagan will be keeping a close eye on in the near future.
Hughie Fury was also active at today’s press conference although there was nothing announced for him. He did however repeatedly express his interest in a fight with the WBO Heavyweight champion Joseph Parker.
Hughie is still one of the bright prospects of the division being undefeated with a record of 20-0 (10ko’s) and still just aged 22. Parker is also undefeated with a more tried and tested resume, a record of 22-0-0 (18ko’s) would have him as the slight favourite.
An announcement between the pair is imminent apparently and we are expected to have the news released next week, but it’s looking extremely likely that the fight will be going ahead, it’s just a matter of when they decide to announce it.
Undefeated British middleweight champion Tommy Langford 18-0 will be defending his title against Craig Cunningham 17-1 who is coming off the back of a career best performance as he stopped former Olympic medalist Anthony Ogogo in a huge upset.
Langford will be looking to put on an impressive performance as he struggled to get past tricky middleweight Sam Sheedy at the end of last year and especially if he is still looking to grab the world title shot against fellow stablemate Billy Joe Saunders.
The rematch of George Jupp v Mitchell Smith is also penciled in with Bradley Skeete v Shayne Singleton topping the bill at the Copper Box Arena on May 6th.
British Super Lightweight champion Tyrone Nurse will be defending his British title against Joe Hughes also on April 22nd. Warren is also targetting a world title shot as he wants Paul Butler to face Matchroom world champion Jamie McDonnell.
The announcement of Billy Joe Saunders next world title defence is also going to be announced next week, could it be their first pay per view event with a double world title header of Billy Joe Saunders & Hughie Fury both fighting with world honors on the line?