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Fight Preview: Skeete Looks To Win British Belt Outright, Yarde Targets European Glory

The 8th of July looked ruined for boxing fans when Billy Joe Saunders was forced to reschedule his fight after his opponent, Avtandil Khurtsidze, was arrested and detained for alleged links to organised crime gangs in Russia.

However, Frank Warren does not like to disappoint and ‘The Future is now’ is certainly not going to be disappointing.
Showcasing his growing stable of young and exciting talent that has got many a boxing fan talking; this Saturday we will see the likes of Bradley Skeete, Anthony Yarde and Daniel Dubois, plus many more, face off at the Copper Box Arena in London.

Bradley Skeete v Dale Evans

Bradley Skeete will have the chance to win his British Welterweight strap outright, headlining the bill and facing Welshman Dale Evans.

‘Super’ Skeete (26-1-0) from Penge defended the belt in a spectacular performance against Shayne Singleton in Brentwood last month in a classy performance that proved he is heading in the right direction towards a world level fight. He also successfully defended it against John Thaine and originally claimed the prestigious Lord Londsdale belt in March 2016, defeating firm favourite Sam Eggington.

If he beats Dale Evans he will move one step closer to a shot at World honours, with already high rankings for both the WBO and IBF titles. And it looks as though the odds are in his favour, with many a man ( and the bookies) behind him to win, including Peter Fury.

“It has always been my dream to win the British belt outright,” Skeete said at the announcement press conference. “I have worked incredibly hard to get into this position and I want to get the beautiful belt for keeps. I want to move up in levels and I’ll be able to do this after I win; I’m a stubborn man!

“I proved I was levels above Shayne Singleton and I’ll do the same against Dale Evans. He is a strong opponent and will give his all to take the belt from me, but I’ll have an answer for everything he throws at me.”
And he is firmly looking to the future. He told Ringnews24: “I’m training for the future rather than for Dale Evans. Domestically, I’ve already proven I’m better than everybody. I’ve world title dreams and if I can’t beat Dale Evans, I’m wasting my time.”

But Dale ‘Big Boy’ Evans (13-3-2) is also a confident and motivated man, and the 25- year-old from Wales thinks he has what it takes for an upset.

Evans who has also previously beaten Eggington back in 2013 before Eggington avenged the loss by defeating Evans more recently in 2015, in a defence of the title that Skeete took off him and that Evans is after for the second time this weekend.
The Welshman is keen to win the title in tribute to the late Mike Towell who passed away after being injured in a final Eliminator for the British title with the Evans in October 2016.

“Bradley is a class operator and is the champion for a reason, but this is my opportunity to propel myself onto another level. Many people see me as the underdog going into this fight but that will only make me more determined,” he said in the press conference.

He also admits that on his first attempt at gaining the title against Eggington he just was not fit enough but this time he is more than ready.

“He’s definitely underestimating me because he’s already talking about his next one,” Evans told the South Wales Argus.

“He is forgetting he has got a really tough task in beating me. They think it’s going to be like his last one where he blew Shayne Singleton away in five rounds. I can promise him that won’t be the case with me – he’s not going to stop me.”

Anthony Yarde v Richard Baranyi
Light heavyweight Anthony Yarde (11-0-0) also challenges Richard Baranyi (18-1-0) for the WBO European Belt.
A rather large step up the Yarde, Baranyi is currently ranked 10th in the WBO rankings and currently holds the European title, winning it in December 2016 by unanimous decision. He has already successfully defended his title once in Hungary back in December and doesn’t have any plans on letting it go.

He has previously also twice held the Hungary Light heavyweight title, losing it once back in 2015 in the only loss on his record against Pablo Sosa, before gaining it back in mid-2015. He will be a good rival for Yarde and has had more stoppage wins than Yarde has had fights altogether.

However, looking at the physical stats, the Hungarian is the slightly shorter man and has a much lower KO percentage, than Essex’s Yarde who returns to his birth place of Hackney for the action on Saturday.

‘The Beast’,Yarde, who has impressed with his unrivalled punch power so far in his career, has a 91% KO rate, with only his second fight making it to points decision. His appeal continues to grow, with him coasting through many of his fights so far, including his last fight when he beat Chris Hobbs, who he knocked to the canvas six times throughout the fight, before it was stopped.

The 25-year-old, who only turned professional two years ago, seems unfazed by the challenge, telling The Independent: “Everybody knows I’m a fan of food, so I’ve been calling him ‘chicken biryani. At the press conference, I’m planning to put a plate of biryani in front of him, sprinkle it with some salt and then eat it in front of him,” he said.

But despite the front, Yarde knows this will be the hardest test he has faced thus far.

“I hope he doesn’t take things too personally,” Yarde added. “I’m sure he’s a nice guy, I’m sure he’s a boxer. He’s a step up. He’s not a European champion for no reason. And on fight night we’ll see what he is really made of.”

He also believes every fight from now on should be a step up. At the initial press conference, he added: “I believe every fight from now should be a step-up. My opponent has had more knockout wins than I’ve had fights! I don’t believe in rushing but I’m massively motivated to get another belt around my waist.

“Baranyi is the Champion and he is coming to my back yard to defend his belt. I respect him for that but this is a golden opportunity to add another belt to my collection and send a message to the rest of the division. I’m developing at the perfect rate.”

“There will be a lot of eyes on me and it’s an added pressure that I thrive off. It’s just another fight and I’m 100% confident that I’ll win. A lot of people will be tuning in to watch the manner in which I win and how impressive I look.”

Daniel Dubois v Mauricio Barragan – WBC Youth Title

Dynamite Daniel Dubois (3-0-0) also returns for his fourth fight, against Mauricio Barragan (15-1-0) in a last-minute change of opponent. The 19-year old heavyweight sensation was due to fight Julian Fernandez for the title but he has dropped out, leaving Uruguay’s Barragan to face the 6ft 5 youngster.

Initially planning to compete in the 2020 Olympis, Dubois turned professional this year, and left fans gobsmacked when his first fight lasted just 35 seconds.

He has not spent too much time in the ring in his two following fights, knocking out his second opponent in 48 seconds of round 2 and his third in 40 seconds of the first.

The Greenwich fighter faces the more experienced 29-year-old who is only slightly shorter at 6ft 3. Back in Uruguay he is known as ‘El Demoledor’ or ‘The Demolisher’ and it will be great to see Dubois take on someone who is more possibly going to be slightly more competition that he has previously faced.

Also on the card is Lyon Woodstock who looks to move to 10-0, Gary Corcoran faces Larry Ekundayo for the vacant WBO Intercontinental Welterweight strap, and Darryll Williams and Jahmaine Smyle rematch for the English Super-Middleweight belt after their epic showdown back in April. Sam McNess also get his first pro title shot against Southern Area Super-Welterweight Champion Asinia Byfield after a tense press conference face off.

By Charlotte Prior. You can follow her on Twitter on @CharlotteLily89

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