By Ben Carey
SKY Sports have announced their first batch of televised shows for 2010. Rob Norton’s British and Commonwealth cruiserweight title rematch against David Dolan (pictured) kicks things off at the Altrincham Leisure Centre on Friday January 15.
The pair swapped five knockdowns in February but Norton ultimately prevailed on the judges’ scorecards by the rather bizarre totals of 116-109, 115-110 and 114-111. Despite the drama of the knockdowns the contest was rather scrappy and the rematch between Norton and Dolan may not be a classic either.
However, another rematch on this Hatton Promotions bill is guaranteed to produce fireworks. Middleweights Paul Samuels and Cello Renda will meet again just two months after their dramatic first contest which saw the pair share an unforgettable double knockdown in round two before Samuels rallied to stop Renda in the third. The rematch promises to be another thrilling shoot-out.
Frank Maloney stages his first televised show on January 22 at the Brentwood Centre in Essex. Ian Napa’s British bantamweight title defence against Jamie McDonnell tops the bill (for more details on this bill see previous story).
On January 29 SKY will screen Lee McAllister’s Commonwealth lightweight title defence against Samuel Amoako at Glasgow’s Bellahouston Sports Centre. As tends to be the case with Commonwealth title match-ups staged in Britain this looks a disappointing main event on paper. According to Boxrec, the unbeaten Amoako has fought only six times and has never boxed outside of Accra in Ghana. Worryingly, four of Amoako’s six opponents were winless.
If McAllister-Amoako doesn’t whet the appetite, SKY more than make up for this just 24 hours later when they broadcast the fascinating welterweight clash between legend Shane Mosley and the unbeaten Andre Berto live from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
SKY’s domestic action resumes on 5 February from the Harvey Hadden Leisure Centre in Nottingham. Local favourite Jason Booth’s British super-bantamweight defence against the all-action Matthew Marsh tops Frank Maloney’s show and should provide some quality action. The fight could be made for the European title if Leicester’s Rendall Munroe decides to vacate to concentrate on his forthcoming WBC title final eliminator.
On February 13 SKY will televise Frank Warren’s first show of 2010 which is packed with intriguing match-ups. Red hot welterweight prospect Kell Brook will provide a clearer indication of his world credentials by taking on Poland’s Krzysztof Bienias for the WBO inter-continental title. The Pole has only suffered three defeats in 42 contests. Ominously, perhaps, one of the Pole’s losses was a second round stoppage at the hands of Junior Witter in 2004. Bienias has subsequently won 17 fights on the spin since his setback against Witter so it will be interesting to see how reigning British welterweight champion Brook deals with him.
Warren’s Wembley Arena bill also features Kevin Mitchell against a still to be named opponent. Mitchell will be hoping to build on his excellent points victory over Amir Khan conqueror Breidis Prescott in December as he chases a world title shot at lightweight. Warren also stages a pair of crossroads heavyweight title clashes between prospects and veterans. Sam Sexton and Danny Williams will contest the British and Commonwealth titles whilst undefeated eccentric Derek Chisora tackles the battle-hardened Matt Skelton for the English crown.
The Olympians, James DeGale, Frankie Gavin and Billy Joe Saunders, will also be in action on February 13. All three prospects will be gradually stepped up in class in 2010 but southpaw Gavin looks likely to become the first Olympian to challenge for titles. The Birmingham man is already booked to face the seasoned Peter McDonagh which is a fine test for Gavin in just his sixth fight.
Happy New Year.