By: Tony McLean (@tony_mclean92)
Billy Joe Saunders makes the first defence of his WBO World middleweight title in the Lagoon leisure centre in Paisley, Glasgow this Saturday night. Saunders will be taking on Russian Arthur Akavov.
The fight was originally scheduled for the 26th of November in Cardiff (last weekend) but had to be pushed forward a week due to issues with paperwork from Akavov’s team. Medicals were sent in late and were also mostly in Russian. When the medicals were eventually translated it was found that they were incomplete. Promoter Frank Warren said “It would be too late to find a suitable replacement so postponing the fight was our only option.”
Saunders has not boxed since winning the WBO World title last December in Manchester from fellow Britt Andy Lee. Saunders was obviously disappointed when he was told about the fight having to be forced back a week. The title holder added: “I was ready to put on a big performance and defend my title in style, but unfortunately this latest issue was totally out of our control. I’ll be fully prepared to defend my title in Scotland next week before moving on to a blockbuster fight in 2017.”
Super lightweight Jack Catterall (16-0) defends his WBO Intercontinental title against Argentina’s Diego Gonzalo Luque (20-3-1). This will be Catterall’s fifth defence of his WBO strap and the 23-year old will be looking to push for world honours going into 2017. The rematch between Dublin’s Stephen Ormond (22-3) against Hungary’s Zoltan Szabo (12-2) is another mouth watering fight to look forward to. The first one had knockdowns and action throughout.
England’s Paul Butler (22-1) looks to continue his pursuit for another world title with new trainer Joe Gallagher when he takes on Mexico’s Alexander Cazares (13-7) in a Bantamweight contest. Super featherweight Jono Carroll (12-0) from Ireland faces Spaniard Juan Louis Gonzalez (9-3)
Scotland’s Iain Butcher (14-2) takes on Spain’s Joseafat Reyes (6-4-1) in a fight which will be the young Scot’s first at super flyweight. Edinburgh’s Tommy ‘Gun’ Phillbin (6-0) faces his toughest test to date in England’s Kelvin Young (18-7-2). Ahmed “The Black Assasin” Ibrahim looks to move to 2-0 as a pro, along with fellow Scot Paul Kean. Two more Scots look to improve their unbeaten records – Thomas Dickson and Ross Murray who have both looked impressive so far as professionals. Last but not least, Liverpool’s Steven Lewis looks to move to 15-0.by