By Ben Carey
Larry Olubamiwo will be pushed towards a British heavyweight title shot because his promoter fears time might catch up.
‘The War Machine’, 31, takes a step up in class when he meets Irish puncher Scott Belshaw at Brentwood Centre on Friday 22nd January. Olubamiwo (6-1) knows an impressive performance against Belshaw (10-3) will put him in the title picture.
The Londoner’s promoter Frank Maloney said: “I am going to start moving Larry up in class this year. If he keeps making progress he should be in a position to fight for the British title by the end of 2010.”
“People might say I am rushing Larry, but he doesn’t have as much time on his side as younger fighters in my stable like Tom Dallas (24) and David Price (26).”
Five of Olubamiwo’s six victims have failed to last two rounds but this has been assembled against a mediocre diet of domestic and eastern European trailhorses. The Hackney slugger was made to look one-dimensional when losing his unbeaten record against journeyman Daniil Peretyatko in a six-round points loss in March but is unlikely to have to go looking for the aggressive Belshaw.
Maloney added: “Belshaw has critics but can hit. I promoted him early on and had real hopes, but our relationship never really worked out. It is a big chance for him to prove me wrong for giving him his contract back. He has lost a couple recently but that was against Tyson Fury and Audley Harrison (both TKO2). If Larry does as good a job then he deserves to be up there.”
Top of the bill is Ian Napa’s (19-7) British bantamweight title defence against Jamie McDonnell (12-2-1). On the same bill Cheshunt’s cocky Ashley Sexton (8-0) faces fellow extrovert Usman Ahmed (6-2-1) in a clash for the vacant English flyweight championship.
On the comeback trail is former British super-featherweight champion Carl Johanneson (27-4) who boxes for the first time since his defeat to Kevin Mitchell in March 2008.
Tickets for this show, priced £80 and £35 are available on line www.frankmaloney.com or 0871 226 1508.