By Scott Gilfoid: In a series of clear mismatches tonight in a card at the Phones 4U Arena in Manchester, WBA super bantamweight champion Scott Quigg (28-0-2, 21 KOs) will be making a defense against #12 IBF Stephane Jamoye. Quigg is a currently a huge 20-1 favorite to whip Jamoye, who is a replacement for another fringe contender #15 IBF Paulus Ambunda that Quigg’s promoter had him scheduled to fight.
Quigg should win with ease tonight, but with him facing an over-matched opponent, his fight hasn’t attracted much attention unfortunately.
2012 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist Anthony Joshua (7-0, 7 KOs) is also on the card fighting Russian journeyman Konstantin Airich (21-9-2, 17 KOs). Joshua is a huge favorite as well with him being a 100-1 favorite.
The odd thing about the Joshua-Airich fight is that Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is calling it a step up in class from Joshua’s last fight against 47-year-old Matt Skelton. But given that Airich was recently knocked out in one round by Manuel Charr, I don’t see how you can call this a step up in class for Joshua. If a mediocre heavyweight like Charr was able to knock Airich out in one round then what does that say about Airich. This is not a step up in class for Joshua from the Skelton fight. I see it as a slight step down.
With Joshua being an Olympic gold medalist, it’s hard to understand why Hearn is matching him so softly. When you see other Olympic gold medalists like Guillermo Rigondeaux and Vasyl Lomachenko already in the thick of things as world champions with only a handful of fights under their belts, it makes you wonder why Hearn is wasting valuable time with Joshua by putting him in with 3rd tier opposition.
Granted, Joshua’s gold medal victory and all of his wins in the London Olympics were controversial in the eyes ofsome boxing fans, but still what’s up with the soft touches he’s being fed?. Hearn talks as if he feels Joshua is the real deal, and if that’s the case, shouldn’t he be fighting better opposition than Airich?
Lightweight Anthony Crolla (28-4, 11 KOs) is taking on 33-year-old journeyman Gamaliel Diaz (38-11-2, 17 KOs) on the card in the final mismatch. Crolla is only a 9-1 favorite to beat Diaz, and those are obviously still very terrible odds but it’s the best that I can see of the top three fights on tonight’s Manchester card.
Putting a card together with notable fighters is obviously a positive, but when the B-side of the card is as overmatched as the guys on this card, it’s not even sporting in my view.