Barker, Bellew, Quigg: Future world champions
By JK James: Anyone who follows British boxing and in particular boxing on Sky Sports are aware that Eddie Hearn has all but secured three of his fighters world title shots. Darren Barker (25-1-0,16ko’s) has a an upcoming shot at Daniel Geale (29-1-0,15ko’s) for the IBF middleweight title, Adonis Stevenson (21-1-0,18ko’s) has reportedly been ordered to defend his WBC light heavyweight title against mandatory challenger Tony Bellew (20-1-1,12ko’s) and Scott Quigg (26-0-1,19ko’s) has been ordered to fight for the vacant WBA super bantamweight title against Yoandri Salinas(20-0-1,13ko’s).
In my opinion all three of these upcoming fights are legitimate opportunities for Matchroom fighters to win world title’s unlike the efforts of Gavin Rees in his hearty effort against Adrien Broner and the instantly forgettable fight between Lee Purdy and Devon Alexander. Here I will look at each fighters credentials in there attempt to win there maiden world championships.
Darren Barker will embark on his second surge at a world title after his first attempt failed in a 11th round KO defeat to middleweight king Sergio Martinez in 2011. The former European champion has since become a rejuvenated fighter with two impressive 4th round KO wins against Kerry Hope and Simone Rotolo , both in London. Since his defeat to Martinez, Barker has seemed to become a far more aggressive and vicious fighter more adept, it would appear, at fighting at world level. His opponent Daniel Geale has quite an impressive resume, with his only loss coming four years ago to Anthony Mundine. Since that setback Geale has went on to win 8 fights in a row defeating Felix Sturm and avenging his defeat to Mundine. He has subsequently picked up the IBF middleweight title and defended it four times. He has also picked up the WBA title and been stripped of it for refusing to face the then mandatory challenger Gennady Golovkin.
The fight will take place in the neutral venue of Atlantic City in which neither fighter will have any real support. This should allow both boxers to fight with out any thoughts of trying to impress a home support. Neither fighter has huge power but as Geale has not stopped anyone in almost 3 years, I would have to give the power edge to Barker. Clearly however Geale has managed to stay at the top for a number of years and although he has actively avoided the likes of Golovkin, he will still pose stiff opposition.
I believe Darren Barker has a great chance of defeating Daniel Geale in August and I predict a close but unanimous points victory for Barker.
Bellew will also be taking part in his second world title challenge after his first failed in an enthralling and incredibly close fight against the then newly crowned WBO champion Nathan Cleverly. The ‘Bomber’ since that setback has claimed the British title in knocking out Danny Mcintosh and then worked himself into the mandatory position for the WBC title with wins over Edison Miranda, Roberto Bolonti and eventually got past Isaac Chilemba at the second time of asking after an incredibly dour draw in Liverpool.
His future opponent Adonis Stevenson has shot into the limelight in the last month with a devastating 1st round KO of former pound for pound top 10 boxer and WBC world champion Chad Dawson. Although before this fight Stevenson had fought fairly limited opponents, he has however won 18 of his 21 wins by way of knock-out and stopped all of his last 12 foes. This would infer that Stevenson is currently on the crest of a wave and will be incredibly hard to stop in his first defence of his title. As with almost all of his fights, the event will likely take place in Montreal, Canada giving him home advantage. Having watched Bellew struggle in both his fights with Isaac Chilemba I personally also do not believe Bellew has the boxing ability to box and move to a high enough standard at world level and therefore I don’t believe he can beat Stevenson in that way. The only way I can see him winning is if Bellew uses the power he used in his amateur days and attempt to stop Stevenson Early. Although this would be risky it could make for exciting, if short, title fight. I unfortunately can see Stevenson winning the battle of the bombs and winning in a 2nd or 3rd round KO.
I am personally incredibly impressed by Scott Quigg. At only 24 years of age he has already racked up 25 wins with the only blip on his career being a draw after an accidental clach of heads against Rendall Munroe. The biggest names on his record so far have been Jason Booth and Jamie Arthur at British level and an impressive KO win over former world title challenger Munroe. His last time out was a classy stoppage of William Prado, a fighter who had previously never been halted inside the distance. Although there is much talk of a fight with Irish rival Carl Frampton, a world title is first on Quigg’s agenda.
His opponent for the vacant WBA super bantamweight title is Yoandris Salinas. Not much is known about Salinas however on first look his impressive looking record does look to be padded with little known or weak opposition. This kind of opponent could either end up being an easy nights work for Quigg or it could go the same way that Ricky Burns’ latest title defence went against Jose Gonzalez and become a real struggle. Although the fight has not been finalised hopefully Eddie Hearn can bring the fight to Manchester and create a big night of boxing with Quigg headlining. With this one we wont know until the actual night of the fight but I can see Quigg winning a clear Unanimous decision.
Having looked at all three boxers chances at winning there respective first world titles I believe both Quigg and Barker have excellent chances of bringing the gold home to add to Matchroom’s world champions, Carl Froch and Ricky Burns. This would hopefully then lead to huge fights between Barker and the likes of Martin Murray and Mathew Macklin as well as the huge domestic clash that would be Quigg vs Frampton. Although I would love to see Tony Bellew win a world title, going of his last 3 or 4 performances I just cant see it happening.
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