I’m sat watching the Dillian Whyte, 22-1 (16), versus Lucas Browne, 25-0 (22), “The Gloves are off”, but I’m waiting for this fight to grab me. It’s live on SKY Sports, it features two highly rated, hard hitting heavies; loads at stake and nobody is really sure who will win. On paper the fight should grab me by the nuts. Both men are exciting, both men have talked the talk, but, both Whyte and Browne are tainted; they’ve both failed drugs tests. That sticks with me. Obviously every person is allowed to prove their innocence but it taints their reputations. Nevertheless, the winner will surely go on to become the mandatory challenger for the WBC world heavyweight title.
Dillian Whyte goes into this fight as the underdog, in my opinion. After all he is fighting the former WBA regular world champion. Something Whyte is yet to achieve. But what goes in Whyte’s favour is his activeness, and Browne’s lack thereof. Browne has only fought three times in three years. Browne is also the older man by nine years, but his elder status doesn’t give him much more experience. It’s a bit of a make or break fight for both men and a win will propel the victor the where they believe they belong. A win for Whyte proves he’s world class, and a win for Browne proves his win two years ago wasn’t a fluke.
Frank Buglioni ,22-2-1 (15), steps into the ring to win his Lord Lonsdale Challenge Belt outright and become the first person to win the belt outright by beating undefeated fighters along the way. It’s a crying shame that Buglioni hasn’t been given the credit he is due, turning his career around after losing his tilt for the WBA regular world title at Super-Middleweight. Frank took a step back, assessed what he should change, and went for a new division and a belt he probably should never have jumped past at 168lbs.
Since his step up to Light-Heavyweight, Buglioni is unbeaten and has always found a way to win. In his time with Don Charles he has seemingly become a fitter fighter, with an engine that he can rely on until the last moments of the fight (see his last minute knock out win over Hosea Burton to claim the British title).
In the Wise Guy’s way stands Callum Johnson, 16-0 (11), the former Commonwealth games gold medallist and also former professional Commonwealth champion. Johnson will hope to test Buglioni’s apparent suspect chin and stop the champion from making history. Callum will hope that his greater amateur pedigree will see him come out victorious on the night.
The other British title fight on the undercard is Lewis Ritson, 14-0 (8), making the second defence of the title he won by beating Robbie Barrett, against Scott Cardle, 22-1-1 (7), the man who Barrett beat to become champion. For me it’s a make or break fight for Cardle. If he falls to defeat here it will be a long climb back to British level for the Lancashire man. Ritson, the younger man by four years, will have youth and freshness on his side having only competed in rounds 61 compared to Cardle’s 265. Flipping that on its head, Cardle could use his greater ring experience to, “old man” his way to a win.
Definitely keep an eye out on the undercard for Richard Riakporhe, 5-0 (4). Riakporhe was one of my prospects to look out for in 2018, having seen him fight in person twice last year and I’m glad he’s getting his chance to show his talent on the big stage. Chris Kongo is also one to zero in on. I’m looking forward to seeing them both fight on a big card!