Previewing the weekend – Wilder vs Fury undercard plus Adonis Stevenson vs Oleksandr Gvozdyk
What a weekend of boxing lies ahead for World Boxing fans, with arguably one of the best cards of the year happening in Los Angeles topped by the mouth-watering clash between Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury.
Jarrett Hurd tops the undercard as he defends his IBF, IBO and WBA World Super Welterweight titles against tough Brit Jason Welborn in what can only be described as a dream opportunity for Welborn.
Hurd has really begun to stand out in the Super Welterweight division in beating established World level fighters in Austin Trout and the excellent Cuban Erislandy Lara. Hurd appears to be an improving fighter, and many see this as mission impossible for British Champion Welborn, who is coming off back to back split decision victories against Tommy Langford.
Welborn, who was arguably robbed against Matthew Macklin a couple of years back, faces an uphill struggle from the first bell against the excellent Hurd, and not many people foresee anything other than a Jarrett Hurd stoppage victory.
In a refreshing sight, a World Minimumweight strap is contested on the show, with Mark Barriga of the Philippines clashing with Californian based Mexican Carlos Licona. The pair of undefeated fighters will undoubtedly be coming into the contest full of confidence; however, based on experience over the longer distances, many would favour ‘Baby Boy’ Barriga to emerge victorious from this one.
Luis Ortiz clashes with Travis Kauffman in what many would describe as a solid test for Ortiz, who will be looking to fight his way back into the Heavyweight title picture. Many would consider Ortiz a level above Kauffman, however one punch can end it all with Heavyweight boxing, and that could well and truly be the case here.
British Olympian Joe Joyce, who has spent many rounds sparring Tyson Fury, continues his education in the pro ranks against vastly more experienced Joe Hanks over 10 rounds. Joyce will be looking to show that he is on the fast track to a World title fight as many have suggested he should be.
Fury’s cousin Isaac Lowe features in a WBC International Featherweight title fight as he awaits a shot at the British title. Chris Arreola and Julian Williams also feature on the undercard.
In Canada, we finally get to witness Adonis Stevenson clash against a man many are considering the future of the Light Heavyweight division, Oleksandr Gvozdyk.
Gvozdyk will be looking to relieve Stevenson of his 175lb title, which he has held since June of 2013 when he defeated Chad Dawson in a devastating first round knockout victory. Stevenson battled to a majority decision draw last time out against Badou Jack, in a fight many thought Stevenson lost.
Many would suggest that the Haitian born Champions time is up as he faces a massive task in beating the unbeaten Ukrainian Gvozdyk, who comes from the same Olympic setup that featured Vasyl Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk. Both of his former Olympic teammates were fast-tracked to World titles early in their career, and many would suggest that Gvozdyk will join his fellow Ukrainians in ruling the World at his respective weight class.