Tuesday was an interesting day for Boxing in Europe, featuring multiple regional fight announcements, particularly in the United Kingdom and Italy.
Most notably, we received the long awaited announcement of the next opponent of Scottish star, WBO Lightweight champion Ricky "The Rickster" Burns (35-2-0), and few are pleased with the verdict.
Burns will face regional prospect Liam Walsh (13-0-0) in a locally-renown clash December 15th at the Excel Arena in London, England.
This could potentially be the last major British boxing event of the year in the UK, and this is not what fans internationally were craving from a star like Ricky Burns.
Burns beat his primary local rival Kevin Mitchell with an impressive stoppage last time out and that was that. Liam is a fighter, fun to watch but no where near world level and very inactive at a mere 13-0.
Burns should beat this fighter in an easy night's work as long as he is at his best. I'll even predict a stoppage and Burns isn't the most powerful puncher.
Given the headlining contest, the undercard did very little to really shatter my disappointment as they have already seemed to draw fan favorite Glen Johnson (51-17-2) out of retirement to showcase rising British contender George Groves (15-0-0) in the co-headliner with a far past prime but still big-name opponent.
Plus, prospect Billy Joe Saunders (15-0-0) gets another soft-touch and a perfectly drawn out sixteenth victory against Nick Brackwell (12-1-0), a weak British contender holding the BBBofC title strap.
This card will be televised by Boxnation in the United Kingdom, the home of British boxing.
But wait, we also had two major fight announcements in Italy.
EBU title holder and highly skilled contender Leonard Bundu (27-0-2) gets a fight against Ismael El Massoudi on December 1st.
For Bundu's level, it is decent, I suppose, but he is 37 and needs some challenges soon before calling it a day in, I assume, a few years. But this clash in Lombardi, Italy isn't my interest truly, rather, it is the ordered EBU/IBO title clash between undefeated contenders Emiliano Marsilli (25-0-0) and Luca Giacon (20-0-0).
Now, before over-reacting, I sadly must say nothing is confirmed but the clash is ordered and both are under OPI 2000 Promotions in Italy so expect the fight to happen sometime really late this year or early next year as the EBU has said they must reach an agreement or purse bids will be held on November 10th.
Expect to hear it announced by the next week or two, if all goes well. And, if it does go through, believe me, both of these men are quick, slick, fast-paced warriors and will give a thriller of a fight given all that is on the line.
The Italian contests may be seen on Sportitalia 2 in Italy, the biggest sports network in the country.
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