Anthony Joshua extended his perfect run to 12 wins and 12 knockouts from 12 fights with a routine second round stoppage over Raphael Zumbano Love at the weekend.
AJ will be back in action before the end of the month as he steps up a level to face the durable American Kevin Johnson but this fight is just one in a long line of intriguing bouts involving top British talent.
Here’s a quick preview of five fights to prick the interests of the British boxing public in the coming weeks.
Andre Dirrell v James DeGale (May 24)
Chunky’s war of words and potential domestic dust up with George Groves have been put firmly to one side as the Londoner travels to Boston, USA to take on Andre Dirrell for the vacant IBF Super Middleweight belt.
Dirrell’s only defeat came against the man who vacated that strap – Carl Froch – and the hard-hitting American goes into the bout as slight favourite at evens. DeGale believes he is the best in the division, though and at odds of 5/6 could go some way to proving those boasts.
Kell Brook v Frankie Gavin (May 30)
Like DeGale, Brook craves a big British bout, this time with nemesis Amir Khan, but the Special One is also being forced to wait so will instead defend his IBF Welterweight title against Commonwealth title holder Gavin.
Funtime may have lost only once in his 23-fight career, but he has yet to share a ring with anyone of Brook’s talents and is the rank outsider at 5/1.
Lee Selby v Evgeny Gradovich (May 30)
The Barry Boy Assassin gets a well deserved title shot against IBF Featherweight champ Evgeny Gradovich and after his impressive ninth-round KO of Joel Brunker in last year’s eliminator the 28-year-old will be confident of inflicting a first defeat upon the Mexican Russian.
Gradovich makes his fifth defence of his title, but after only drawing with Jayson Velez last time out he looks an unattractive option with 2/5 favourite Selby on home soil.
Amir Khan v Chris Algieri (May 31)
The King makes his return to the ring looking to convince Floyd Mayweather that his career swansong should be a battle with the Bolton bomber.
Khan has reeled of impressive wins over Carlos Molina, Julio Diaz, Luis Collazo and Devon Alexander since back-to-back defeats and is expected to make light work of Algieri, despite the New Yorker’s sole defeat coming against many Pacquiao. Khan is 1/16 to win but an impressive victory might just make Money sit up and take notice.
Andre Ward v Paul Smith (June 21)
Undefeated Andre Ward ends his two-year absence from the ring to take on Paul Smith and while the fight might be a spectacle it’s difficult to see what either man gains.
Ward’s reputation is unlikely to be enhanced with a victory over a man who has already lost to Groves, DeGale, Steven Bendall and more recently twice to Arthur Abraham and while there may be a noteworthy payday in it for Gavin, at 32 he should be taking fights where more is on the line.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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