This Weeks Guide To Boxing

LIKE the whole boxing world it seems like a Saudi based takeover this week with all the big boxing landing in the Middle East. So that’s what we here at Solent Sports News will cover. 

Saudi Supreme- 

Anthony Joshua Vs Francis Ngannou 

Lets start at the huge main event of Knockout Chaos with the two giants of the heavyweight division. 

First Anthony Joshua, a reignited presence in the division after fighting a massive three times in the past year.

The first of three fights was a slow return for Joshua beating Jermaine Franklin Jr by a dominant but boring decision. 

The next was a dominant KO of last minute replacement Robert Helenius after a fight week adverse drug test from original opponent Dillian Whyte. 

The last bout from Joshua showed a the fighter we all know and love against Otto Wallin (A previous Tyson Fury opponent). 

Joshua absolutely dominated exchanges eventually forcing a stoppage in round 5.

The fight showed a return of a bouncy Joshua who was more than active firing heavy but quick shots at Wallin. 

This was part down to a switch up in trainer for this fight with ex Tyson Fury trainer Ben Davison and coach Lee Wylie.

It has seen a return to a style AJ used in early bouts, one that made him a star in his early career. 

He even went as far to say “we are a product of our trainers no one trains themselves”

The link up seems to be brewing huge success so far but they now take on a entirely new challenge.

Francis Ngannou has been an absolute machine in the MMA world becoming UFC Heavyweight champion by using his heavy handed blows knocking out the divisions king Stipe Miocic. 

His boxing acumen is one that’s unknown with only 10 rounds of footage going toe to toe with world champion Tyson Fury to go off of. 

Despite knocking down Fury in this fight and arguably winning the close fight, there still is questions on Ngannou’s boxing.

Although his boxing has been questioned, his power can’t be questioned with 11 KO wins in MMA and knocking down Tyson Fury. 

The Cameroonian also comes in with no fear as he’s grown up with major challenges including, immigrating to France in a 14 month journey, being homeless in the French capital and being forced to sleep in a car park while trying to find a boxing gym. 

Francis has even put the pressure back on AJ telling reporters “I asked him if he was OK, because he looked a little nervous or something. I asked him if he was OK, because I was OK. I had no problems. I was just talking around, laughing.”

Either way both look calm and focused ready for Friday night with a shot at the winner of Usyk and Fury on the line. 

Zhieli Zhang vs Joseph Parker- 

From one set of active heavyweights to another with New Zealand taking on China. 

Starting with Parker who’s been ever present on the Saudi cards fighting on every single one he can get his hands on. 

The first was a knockout of Simon Kean on Ngannou vs Fury. 

The next was a massive underdog performance against Wilder not only competing with Wilder but  completely terminating the offence of the Bronze Bomber. 

Parkers recent link up with coach, Andy “the body puncher” Lee, has been key to creating a rejuvenated fighter since his KO loss to Joe Joyce. 

On the subject of Joyce, he is the man Zhieli Zhang has managed to put a stop to and break the iron chin of.

The 40 year old has put on two masterstroke performances closing out Joyce in the first fight then breaking the previously unbreakable chin of Joyce by knocking him out. 

Despite the two huge wins questions are still looming over Zhang on wether he can still hang with the elite at his age.

With major questions over his gas tank in later round this will be a tough outing. 

The fight will showcase a opportunity to break into the elite of the elite in the heavyweight division and potentially take on some of the main event talent. 

Rey Vargas Vs Nick Ball WBC Featherweight title-

A drop in weight next but no drop in quality with two elite Featherweights heading toward each other.

The champion Vargas comes in without a touch on his featherweight record but off the back a loss stepping up to Super Featherweight against O’Shaquie Foster.

Despite the loss at super featherweight Vargas is untouched at weights below defending his belt against Mark Magsayo.

He has eyes on unification but doesn’t want to look past Ball this week “I always want to unify the titles but I’m focusing on this fight right now”

On the other side of the ring to face Vargas is the rising Nick Ball who has looked phenomenal in the domestic scene, beating the likes of Isaac Lowe and Isaac Dogboe. 

The latest of these being Dogboe, which a lot of fans and boxing personalities have said was a coming out fight for Ball who showed his elite level by winning via Unanimous decision.

Ball won’t be taking this fight lightly saying “it’ll be a dominant performance, Brutal”

With the featherweight scene thriving after last weeks Raymond Ford victory and Luis Alberto Lopez win on the same card, both will have a big future with a win here. 

Israil Madrimov vs Magomed Kurbanov WBA Super Welterweight title- 

This is a true boxing purist dream with two world class brawlers with little profile battle it out for world title honours. 

Let us start in Russia with Magomed Kurbanov who has a stellar career seeing 25 fights and 25 wins.

The Russian boasts a victory over well known Englishmen Liam Smith.

All his fights have been based in Russia thought with some controversy surrounding recent fight with Michel Soro. 

On the other side of the canvas faces Israil Madrimov a brute in his own right with a record of 9 wins and 1 singular no contest. 

Despite some heavy wins via knockout Madrimov has been surrounded in similar controversy with Michel Soro.

This took the form of a first fight between the pair ending in TKO in the favour of Madrimov but the stoppage came well after the bell had rang. 

The second ended in a no contest after the pair collided heads causing a cut on Soro ending the fight in no contest. 

Both only fought once in 2023 so expect a potential warm into the bout but after that these two might well steal fight of the night.

Gavin Gwynne Vs Mark Chamberlain 

From the depths off Russia and Uzbekistan back to British isles in a wonderful domestic dust up. 

First up is the Welsh warrior Gavin Gwynne who has had a stellar career since taking early losses to James Tennyson and now division champion Joe Cordina.

The Welshman has come back from the depths of defeat to win the previously unthinkable British title and defend it alongside the commonwealth title. 

Hes not only come back from the depths of titles but of his own career.

After beating Sean McComb in lockdown he couldn’t get a fight and even threatened to return to a normal job saying “I told my WIFE I’d have to go back to work!”

But alas he did return to boxing and rightfully so after putting on a strong run earning his shot on this card.

He now faces Mark Chamberlain who is highly touted by Saudi Arabia.

Chamberlain has answered a call which was made specifically for him by his Exellency Turki Alalshikh. 

Recalling the story Chamberlain said “I was in my way home and Frank rung me said I’ve got a opportunity for you ill let his excellency tell you and Turki Alalshikh asked me do I want to fight March 9th”

“I said yeah sign me up” 

The record and heart of the Portsmouth based puncher is key to what Turki Alalshikh saw in him. 

His previous fight against Artjomos Ramlavs which was a all out war seeing the both go toe to toe for 10 round before Chamberlain got a brutal finish.

Mark has previously said this wasn’t his best performance but to get a stoppage in a “off” night isn’t too bad going.

Both will have a keen eye on stable mate Sam Noakes after his destruction of Lewis Sylvester last month with the winner of this likely to face Noakes.

Ones To Watch- 

The remainder of this card sees a huge talent pool of potential stars. 

Kevin Lerena a previous opponent of Daniel Dubois takes on Justis Huni a New Zealand star in the making. 

A strong 50/50 fight between Liverpool’s Jack McGann and ex commonwealth champion Louis Greene.

Ziyad “Zizo” Almaayouf Saudi Arabias first ever pro will take his fifth outing against Christian Lopez Flores.

And finally another Fury will take the stage in the form of Roman Fury who returns to take on unbeaten Martin Svrac. 

To hear our preview you can listen here-