What next for the likes of Bellew, DeGale and Joshua?
It was a star-studded night of British boxing in Liverpool last weekend with a host of big-name fighters keeping their careers on track as they go in search of world glory.
This week sees another big night of championship boxing as Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury go head-to-head and Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr look to settle their differences.
But first we look back at the winners from last weekend’s action and where the likes of Tony Bellew, Anthony Joshua and James DeGale go next in their search for world honours…
After gaining revenge on rival Nathan Cleverly in Saturday night’s main event, next on the agenda for the Evertonian is a trip to Hollywood to star in Rocky Balboa spin-off Creed.
But after that Bellew will be on the hunt for a world title shot and a stadium fight at the home of his beloved Everton, with WBO world champion Marco Huck firmly in his sights. Huck would be the 4/11 favourite for any potential fight with the Bomber 9/4 to win the WBO cruiserweight strap.
Another sparkling display from the heavyweight prospect to cap what has been a stellar start to his pro career. Veteran fighter Michael Sprott just did not know what had hit him as AJ moved his record to 10-0 with 10 KO victories.
Now’s the time to step him up though and Eddie Hearn has already revealed American Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson, who has taken Vitali Klitschko, Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora all 12 rounds, is his likely opponent. That would be an excellent test for the Olympic gold medallist but on his current form it’s hard to look past another stoppage victory as goes in search of world glory.
Arguably the most impressive performance from a fighter on the Liverpool card, the Olympic gold medallist put in an accomplished display against a man who had never been stopped in Marco Antonio Periban.
DeGale retained his mandatory position for Carl Froch’s IBF world title with the third round stoppage victory but with the Nottingham man looking for a bout in Las Vegas, his British rival is more than likely going to be fighting for the vacant title. And on Saturday night’s performance he has every chance of keeping the belt in Britain.
Groves kept his own world title ambitions alive with a stoppage win over Denis Douglin but the Londoner, unlike rival DeGale was far from impressive. Groves is mandatory for Anthony Dirrell’s WBC title and is 5/4 to finally become a world champion by beating the American. That fight is likely to take place early next year but with another rumoured bust-up with DeGale backstage in Liverpool, we are on a collision course to Groves v DeGale II at some point in the futute.
Even Carl Froch, who was a pundit for Sky Sports, was excited by that prospect and said he would fight the winner! Exciting times ahead in the British super-middleweight division!
The Liverpool fighter was in the toughest test of his career against Nikola Sjekloca but he stood up to the test and passed it with flying colours. Smith, who has thrown his own name into the mix in the super-middleweight division, now faces a final eliminator for the WBC belt and is on course to meet Groves somewhere in the near future.
And taking the performances of both men into consideration from the weekend, it’s hard not to fancy Smith going all the way.
The WBA super-bantamweight champion never seemed to be in any danger during his unanimous points victory over Hidenori Otake but he was made to work by his Japanese opponent. Otake was tough as old boots and took every shot in the book from Quigg but the Bury fighter’s victory was never in doubt.
Nothing but a huge fight will do now for Quigg with unification bouts against Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz firmly on the agenda. Quigg is 11/8 with Ladbrokes to win any potential bout with Frampton, who is the 4/7 favourite for victory.
McDonnell retained his WBA title with a 10th round stoppage win against Argentine Javier Chacon and sets up a unification bout with WBO champion Tomoki Kameda in Las Vegas.
The Doncaster fighter’s name will be up in lights on the strip in March as he bids to bring home another world title for Britain.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £100 in free bets.