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British Boxing: Upcoming Fight Schedule

With Amir Khan and Joe Calzaghe making waves on British television through ITV, many fighters who should perhaps be given the same opportunity are simply not.

Fighters such as Graham Earl, who’s last stunning showdown with Michael Katsidis was broadcast on ITV4, have not been given the exposure the British public needs to make boxing the force it once was back in the days of Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn.

Here is a brief look on the upcoming British boxing scene, one that is surprisingly tasteful and exciting, and one that will hopefully begin to turn the tide to return the sport to it's former glory.

On May 26, former British Heavyweight Champions Matt Skelton and Michael Spott will rematch at the ExCel Arena in London. Skelton won the first meeting and will be a heavy favorite, but Sprott is coming off a devastating KO of Audley Harrison and cannot be discounted.

The aim for Skelton? To win well and hopefully get a shot at a world title before age finally catches up with the 40 year old former K1 fighter. This is a must win for both men and is sure to be action packed for as long as it lasts.

On the undercard, prospect and possible future rival of Amir Khan, Commonwealth Super Feather titlist Kevin Mitchell faces off against Alexander Hrulev for the WBO Super Featherweight Intercontinental belt. The undefeated Mitchell, still only 22, has a record of 26 wins with no blemishes. His opponent stands at 14-1-1. Mitchell is expected to take the title, and if he impresses should gain a world title shot in the not to distant future.

On June 8, another prospect, this time Barry Morrison of Scotland, will attempt to build on his record of 14 wins and 1 loss. After defeating Lenny Daws for the British Light Welterweight title in a thriller at Alexandra Palace in London this past January, the Scotsman will face strong opponent Colin Lynes, 28-3, at the Civic Centre in Motherwell, Scotland.

In 2005, Lynes went 12 rounds against the British, European and Commonwealth Champion at the time, Junior Witter, in a competitive losing effort but was then knocked out by Lenny Daws, who was consequently beaten by Morrison.

On June 15 at the Crystal Palace in London, British Bantamweight Champion Martin Power puts his crown at risk against comebacking ex-IBO Super Flyweight kingpin Jason Booth.

Power is coming off two straight stoppages losses to Commonwealth Champion Tshifhiwa Munyai while Booth will be in his third bout since returning from a two year layoff. This a crossroads fight that neither man can afford to lose.

July 7 will bring the popular face of "Amazing" Alex Arthur back into the frame when he squares off against the once beaten southpaw Koba Gogoladze, a Georgian now fighting out of America, for the WBO 130 lb title at Cardiff's International Arena.

Gogoladze, "The Cobra", has 20 victories to his name with 8 knockouts and defeated current British Super Feather titlist Carl Johanesson four years ago in Detroit.

Former British, Commonwealth and European Champion Arthur is coming off wins against three undefeated fighters should finally gain the WBO Super Featherweight title, formally owned by Joan Guzman, providing he holds up the excellent form he has shown since his shock defeat to Micheal Gomez in 2003.

On July 13 at Leeds Town Hall, hometown hero Carl Johanesson will challenge massive punching European Super Featherweight Champ Leva Kirakosyan in a rematch. The two faced off for the first time back in 2004 with Russian spoiler Kirakosyan crushing Johanneson in the first round.

At the Q2 Arena in London on July 14, a massive bill takes place with ex-European Champion Nicky Cook squaring off with tough Mexican-American boxer Steven Luevano for the vacant WBO Featherweight title.

On the undercard, lightweight sensation Amir Khan will challenge for his first important title when he meets Scottish slickster and Commonwealth Champion Willie Limond and undefeated Welshman Gavin Rees challenges WBA Light Welter Champion Souleymane M'Baye.

Finally the third stage of British and Commonwealth Middleweight titlist Howard Eastman’s comeback will commence on September 28 against ex-WBU and English supremo Wayne Elcock at the Aston Villa Leisure Centre in Birmingham.

Eastman will be a heavy favorite, however a loss would all but retire him. This will be a good test to see if age has finally caught up with "The Battersea Bomber" after a poor showing against Richard Williams at York Hall.

Not a bad few months of boxing, no?

About James Oakley

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