UNSUNG hero of the week is George Jupp. The young Londoner scored a shock victory over touted Mitchell Smith only in December. He accepted a short notice assignment to box Miguel Berchelt for an Interim WBO super-featherweight title in Yucatan, Mexico. Jupp was halted in six rounds by an almighty uppercut but put in a gutsy display. There’s more to come from the 25 year old.
The big fight of the weekend was Derry Mathews challenging WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan. Mathews has had a true roller coaster ride of a career. He got this world title fight in his Liverpool home town but a fairytale ending wasn’t to be. Derry was competitive but Flanagan had the edge in speed and marshalled him to take a points victory and retain his title. Mathews has had a big punch on him but even when he caught Terry, the Mancunian took the shots well. That answers another question about Flanagan – he’s tough and proving to be an increasingly formidable world champion.
Flanagan would like a showdown with Anthony Crolla. The latter is the WBA titlist and actually went to the same school as Terry. A unification clash/local derby between the two is an appealing thought, although they are divided by having different promoters and TV backers. (Click HERE to vote for who you’d like to see Flanagan face next.)
While Terry should have appealing options ahead of him, the future for Guillermo Rigondeaux looks considerably bleaker. The Cuban was conspicuous this weekend only by his absence. He was due to box on the Flanagan-Mathews undercard against Jazza Dickens but his team failed to sort out his visa, preventing him from travelling to the UK. It’s really the last thing he needs. He only boxed once last year, a tedious outing against Drian Francisco. If he can’t get a fight with Jazza on, he’s unlikely to tempt Carl Frampton, the biggest star in the super-bantamweight division, into a bout. Rigondeaux beat Nonito Donaire well, but the Filipino has picked up the WBO strap stripped from Rigo and is unlikely to revisit the nightmare of his first encounter with the masterful Cuban. With Frampton eyeing a move up to featherweight, Rigondeaux may end up fighting for a vacant WBA title, but it’s unlikely to be against one of the division’s star names. The fear is Rigondeaux’s defining fight came and went three years ago.