ISAAC CHAMBERLAIN (9-1, 4 KOs) has been told that he is going to taste defeat for the second time in his pro career when he meets Luke Watkins (13-1, 9 early) at London’s Copper Box Arena on Saturday night. The Brixton-based boxer fights for the first time since a drab decision defeat to Lawrence Okolie in February and Paddy Fitzpatrick has warned “Chambo” that his man will heap further misery on him.
John Ryder tops the bill in a world title eliminator against Andrey Sirotkin yet the clash between Chamberlain and Watkins could steal the show if they bring their best form as both bid to make a return to winning ways. Funnily enough, they both lost to Okolie in their most recent fights, Watkins was stopped in three in June, so will both want to close out the year with a win.
After studying Chamberlain, Fitzpatrick told the Swindon Advertiser that his charge has the tools to spring a minor upset. “Chamberlain is a big fan of Floyd Mayweather and you can tell with the way he rolls his shoulders, he throws lead right hands over the top and doubles up on his hooks,” he said.
“He’s very Floyd like. I think they fully believe they will be a lot quicker than Duke and I think they fully believe that he has better footwork. They’ll be shocked with both. He won’t be much quicker than Luke and any advantage he has in speed, Luke has excellent timing, which will deal with speed.”
Indeed, the trainer believes that this fight will set up a potential rematch Okolie, who looked dire when beating Matty Askin for the British cruiserweight title last time out. “I think the winner of this fight is number two in Britain,” he said. “It’s down to whoever wins. It’s an excellent fight.”
Anthony Yarde’s (17-0, 16 KOs) victory over Walter Gabriel Sequeira at the Brentwood Centre in Essex may have been marred by crownd trouible yet the 27-year-old light-heavyweight believes it is another positive step in his journey towards a world title.
“He was a tough rival, but I took him out in four rounds,” he said when speaking to the Ilford Recorder. “It was a good experience, now it’s onwards and upwards. Sequeira was awkward and I had to work him out. This was only my 17th professional fight and I only had 12 amateur bouts before that, so I am still doing my apprenticeship.”
WBC heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) is working around the clock to ensure that he nets a signature win over former world Champion Tyson Fury at the Staples Centre on December 1. Wilder posted a video of himself training in the early hours on his Instagram account and has used it to taunt Fury.
‘It’s 2:35 am here Alabama time. It’s 12:35 am California time. While you sleep I WORK! While you work I’m WORKING harder,’ he wrote before breaking out a bit of poetry. ‘You’ll never compete nor will you beat the Bronze Bomber.’
His fans will hope that he is not left chasing shadows come fight night as it is highly likely that the “Gypsy King” will try to move and box early to negate the American’s power.
Saul Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) did not waste any time after beating Gennady Golovkin last month, the Mexican is moving up to 168lbs to challenge Rocky Fielding for one of the WBA’s many titles and the 28-year-old has adopted a new look.
Alvarez uploaded some training footage to Instagram and it showed that he has shorn off his trademark ginger hair; he is preparing in his usual base in San Diego and believes that netting another title in a new division will highlight his pound-for-pound credentials.
Dillian Whyte is waiting on news of an opponent for his outing at London’s O2 on December 22 after revealing that Derek Chisora priced himself out of a rematch. Former world title challenger Dominic Breazeale (19-1, 17 KOs) was one of the names in the frame, but the American has told Sky Sports that he is out of the Whyte sweepstakes for the time being.
“We got to a point where there was back and forth negotiations,” he said. “I invited him to come out and fight in New York. He didn’t want to do that, so it got close enough to where we were almost going to call the fight.”
Breazeale was demolished in seven by Anthony Joshua at the O2 in 2016 yet he is hopeful of beating Whyte to a WBC title shot should Wilder overcome Fury in December. “As of right now, he is trying to fight a battle with the WBC to force his way into becoming the WBC mandatory,” he said.
“The only way to do that is to beat the WBC mandatory challenger, which I am, and I voluntarily put it up and said ‘Hey listen, let’s give the fans what they want to see’. Unfortunately it didn’t come through.”
He added: “If it had been up to me the UK fans would have seen it already. Dillian Whyte would have it boxed off in December or earlier in this year in the summer. But if it goes my way, me and Dillian Whyte will be in the ring, come the spring of 2019.”
In the meantime, he will appear on a Lou DiBella-promoted bill in New York on the same night as Whyte’s fight in order to keep himself busy ahead of what he hopes will be a productive 2019.