The O2 Arena plays host to an action-packed night of boxing this Saturday, as Roberto Garcia defends his WBC Silver Middleweight title against Martin Murray on June 23, shown live on BT Sport and BoxNation.
Murray, who has had a long, storied career – winning 36 of his 41 ﬁghts – looks to end Garcia’s 13-fight winning streak dating back to 2010 with both fighters heading to the London-based arena full of confidence.
Defending champion Garcia lobbied hard for the bout on social media, calling out Martin Murray, and proving his willingness to take the bout my travelling to the U.K. – any such champion who is willing to travel is an indicator of a champion confident in his ability to retain his title away from home.
Murray – who was scheduled to challenge for Billy Joe Saunders’ WBO World middleweight title – recently spoke of his disappointment after Saunders pulled out of the original April date. The fight was rescheduled for this Saturay, only to be cancelled once again due to what many boxing fans feel is a rather convenient injury.
The St Helens fighter hopes to leave behind his recent frustrations when he challenges Mexico’s Garcia, and a win followed by a successful defence of the WBC Silver Middleweight title would put him in a mandatory position in a big money fight for Golovkin’s WBC world title.
Back in February 2015 Murray put in a courageous effort but was beaten in 11 rounds by Golovkin. A rematch with the Kazakh KO king would take away the bitter taste left by the the Saunders debacle, but Murray cannot afford to overlook Garcia, who will have aspirations of his own after stepping in to replace Saunders.
Garcia v Murray tops a packed card featuring some of the UK’s most promising young fighters including Light-Heavyweight KO artist Anthony Yarde, who is back in title action when he faces Dariusz Sek.
Unbeaten Yarde has made a name for himself winning 14 of his 15 ﬁghts inside the distance during a short – but explosive – career and is already ranked number two by the WBO.
While not the step up in class many had hoped for, he still faces a hard night when he defends the WBO Intercontinental light heavyweight title against his Poland’s Sek, who has yet to be stopped in his nine-year professional career – with only three losses out 33 contests on his record.
Sek is the ﬁrst southpaw that Yarde has faced in his amateur or professional career, which in itself may pose an interesting – if not difficult – test.
Heavyweight sensation Daniel Dubois (7-0, 7 KO’s) also features, taking on Hatfield’s Tom Little (10-5, 3 KO’s) for the vacant English Title. Dubois will be aiming to continue his seven fight KO streak when he fights at The O2 for the first time against an opponent who has attempted to get under his skin in the pre-fight build-up.
Little is looking to return to winning ways after a loss against Hungarian 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Filip Hrgovic and is convinced that he is the man to cause the upset and find the solution to diffuse ‘Dynamite’ Dubois.
Elsewhere on the card, controversial Hackney super lightweight Ohara Davies is looking to make a statement after calling out newly-crowned WBO World champion Maurice Hooker.
Davies faces WBC international super lightweight champion Paul Kamenga, after scheduled opponent Josh Leather Josh Leather withdrew from the bout to take a break from boxing.
African Kamenga has won 21 of his 22 contests and believes he can upset Davies by handing him his second career defeat.
Article by: Emmily Simcock
You can follow Emmily on Twitter at: @emmily_jane