A lightweight boxing battle of Britain will take place in the Manchester Arena on October 7, with two former world champions’ elite level careers at stake. Former three weight world champion Scotsman Ricky Burns is hoping to bounce back after losing his WBA world light-welterweight title to the hands of Julius Indongo. Crolla will be back fighting in front of his home crowd for the first time since losing his second bout with the imperious highly rated Jorge Linares. With a potential world title challenge awaiting the winner, and perhaps retirement facing the loser, both men will be leaving no stone unturned.
Jermell Charlo will defend his WBC world junior-middleweight title for the second time, against talented 21-year-old mandatory challenger Erickson Lubin. The undefeated pair headline a thrilling junior middleweight card in the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, on the October 14, which includes world champions Erislandy Lara and Jarrett Hurd. After switching from long term coach Ronnie Shields to Derrick James, Charlo has put together a three fight knockout streak after disappointing in some previous bouts. Although this is Lubin’s first step up in levels in the pro ranks, he is highly rated in the US, and received ESPN’s prospect of the year last year. The combination of a champion coming off a three fight knockout streak and a young, highly rated challenger points to an explosive fight.
The two bitter heavyweight rivals will clash in the O2 Arena once again, for a boxing Christmas cracker, on December 17. Their first meeting in March was unforgettable, not just for the sour build up, but also due to the underdog Bellew pulling off an upset, claiming victory via an eleventh round TKO. Both men suffered injuries in the first bout, with Bellew breaking his hand and Haye rupturing his achilles in the sixth round. It gave the ‘Bomber’ a huge advantage. Even after losing out to Bellew last time out, Haye is the favourite going into their anticipated rematch. However, the Liverpudlian thrives off the underdog status, and claims that his style is all wrong for the former world heavyweight champion Haye.
The IBF, IBO, and WBA super world heavyweight titles will be on the line, when British heavyweight superstar Anthony Joshua faces his IBF mandatory challenger, Kubrat Pulev, in the Principality Stadium, Cardiff. Following his epic fight of the year contender against Wladimir Klitschko in Wembley Stadium, Joshua will go toe to toe in another stadium fight in front of a sell-out crowd of nearly 80,000. Many have been quick to discredit Pulev of having any chance against the unified world champion, however the Bulgarian suffered his only loss to Wladimir Klitschko, and enjoyed a successful amateur career.
A boxing purist’s delight will arrive on December 9, where two of the most technically proficient and skilful boxers go head to head at Madison Square Garden. Current WBA world super-bantamweight Rigondeaux, is stepping up two weight divisions to challenge for the Ukrainian’s WBO super-featherweight world title. With a staggering combined amateur record of 885 wins and 14 losses, including four Olympic gold medals, this fight will be a showcase of the fine arts of boxing.