Ultimate Boxxer 2: Shock, horror – competitive boxing on free TV in the UK!

By Boxing News - 10/30/2018 - Comments

Image: Ultimate Boxxer 2: Shock, horror - competitive boxing on free TV in the UK!

By Ian Aldous: This Friday night, The Indigo at London’s world-famous O2 Arena hosts the second installment of Ultimate Boxxer. Eight light-heavyweights will compete in a one-night tournament for their share of a £50k prize pot, live on SPORTbible via facebook at 8:15pm and Channel 5Spike from 10pm.

It’s rare to see many boxing events on free-to-air television in the UK these days, so Friday night’s action should appeal to die-hard fans and casual sports fans alike. You’re not going to see fights that you can easily predict a winner in – a refreshing change from boxing’s norm. What you will see are eight contenders battling over three, three-minute rounds for big money incentives at this level of the sport.

In my opinion, there’s something a little bit special about tournament boxing. The World Boxing Super Series is currently producing good, competitive fights during each and every week of its quarter-finals. Ultimate Boxxer 2 is looking to replicate something similar on a domestic level and in a shorter format one-night time-frame.

Here’s the tournament draw, announced earlier this week by Ultimate Boxxer ambassador, Paulie Malignaggi:

QF 1: Joel McIntyre (17-2) vs. Darrell Church (7-2-1)
QF 2: Sam Horsfall (2-0) vs. Dec Spelman (12-1)

QF 3: Shakan Pitters (7-0) vs. Sam Smith (5-1)
QF 4: Jordan Joseph (7-2-1) vs. *Georgii Bacon (1-1)

*Bacon is a late-replacement for John McCallum

The winner will be presented with a golden robe by British boxing legend and Ultimate Boxxer ambassador, Ricky Hatton. They’d also likely find themselves close to a British title eliminator in the near-future.

Undoubtedly the biggest back-story of the eight pugilists, is that of Dec Spelman. Earlier this year, Scunthorpe’s Spelman went to war over ten-rounds with Scott Westgarth in a bout that saw both men hit the canvas and Westgarth victorious with a unanimous decision. Tragically, Westgarth fell ill and later died. Spelman now speaks of how close he’s bonded with Westgarth’s family and even has Scott’s name on his fight shorts. He’ll be looking to win the tournament and dedicate it to Westgarth’s memory.

Interestingly, the highest-ranked competitor, Joel McIntyre, already has an English title fight scheduled on December 1st. A quarter-final defeat on Friday would be a disaster ahead of challenging for the English belt, let alone anything bigger.

I’m looking at McIntyre, Spelman or the undefeated 6’6”, Shakan Pitters to win Ultimate Boxxer 2. I just have a feeling Pitters might be able to use his height and reach to get the job done. Whoever wins will have won three fights in a night – it’s safe to say they’ll have deserved all the accolades they’ll receive.

This kind of television exposure is not something this particular group of fighters are accustomed to. It might be their one and only shot. If you want to see eight warriors lay it all on the line – tune in on Friday night.

On the undercard away from the tournament itself, undefeated prospects, Sam Hyde (13-0-1), Idris Virgo (2-0) and Youssef Khoumari (5-0) all have the opportunity to showcase themselves.

I’ll be ringside on Friday night to witness the action for BN24.

ULTIMATE BOXXER II will take place at the Indigo at The O2 on Friday 2 November, live on SPORTbible via facebook from 8:15pm and on Channel 5Spike from 10pm. Go to www.ultimateboxxer.com for further information.