Dubois of Queensberry vs Hrgovic of Matchroom is one compelling option (Picture: Getty)
In his latest column, the former Olympian and heavyweight contender puts together his ideal Matchroom vs Queensberry card and reacts to the shocking sparring rumours emerging from the Tyson Fury camp…
My dream Matchroom vs Queensberry card
Boxing fans have another huge event to look forward to with plans for a Matchroom vs Queensberry card finally in place.
Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren will pick five of their best and there will a lot of pride and bragging rights on the line when it happens.
Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury are the two biggest names from those ships but realistically, if that fight is to ever happen, it will be its own thing, it’s just too big to be part of something like this. But there are brilliant options out there to fill out a stacked card.
At heavyweight, I think the best option is Filip Hrgovic against Daniel Dubois. That’s a huge fight that would also have major ramifications for future title shots.
There are a few good options at heavyweight, you could even look at Johnny Fisher against Moses Itauma. When you look at that fight, Johnny has a bit more experience and it probably wouldn’t benefit him too much at this stage of his career. Moses is so good for his age and there won’t be people queuing up to fight him.
Frazer Clarke’s Queensberry vs Matchroom card
Daniel Dubois vs Filip Hrgovic
Anthony Yarde vs Callum Smith
Hamzah Sheeraz vs Felix Cash
Nick Ball vs Josh Warrington
Liam Davies vs Shabaz Masoud
Callum Smith vs Anthony Yarde would be absolutely huge – that is a fight good enough to headline any card. Down the weights, Felix Cash vs Hamzah Sheeraz at middleweight would be a great match up. It would be great to keep as many of those fights between British fighters to give it that extra edge.
Nick Ball at featherweight has a couple of great options, Mauricio Lara and Josh Warrington are both with Matchroom and both would be terrific scraps. Liam Davies and Shabaz Masoud is another great option.
It’s amazing for the sport. This is something that has been years in the making. Never mind one card, it would be great to see a five versus five show at least once a year. Let’s make it a regular tournament. There are no shortage of great options. Hopefully the BOXXER fighters can get involved so I can have a piece of it.
Sparring rumours in the Fury camp
Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk is getting closer and this week there were some random rumours about Fury getting knocked down in training by one of his sparring partners in Jai Opetaia.
Sparring is sparring and someone getting hurt or knocked down in those sessions is nothing strange, it’s par for the course. If we are honest, all of that stuff is something for the media to talk about, something for fans to talk about on social media.
Opetaia sparred five rounds with Fury in Saudi Arabia (Picture: Getty)
But ultimately, everyone gets put down in sparring eventually. It happens to everyone. Whether that one did happen or not, we’ll probably never know. The only people who do know in those situations are the ones who were in the room at the time. And those people, they live by the proper code that whatever happens in sparring in the gym stays in the gym. You sometimes hear stories of people telling a few tales but for the most part, it stays behind closed doors.
It makes no odds at the end of the day. Some people are fantastic in sparring then look terrible in the ring. Some fighters can look terrible in sparring sessions then look fantastic on night.
Sparring doesn’t decide fights
People buy into sparring way too much, it’s a means to an end. It’s a drill that is done to try and get someone familiar with being back in the ring again, to sharpen yourself up and practise things. It allows you to see what works and what doesn’t. That’s the whole point of it. You can never read too much into what happens there.
Fury currently in camp for his showdown with Usyk on 17 February (Picture: Getty)
Credit should go to Jai and his team for releasing that statement that rubbished the whole thing. It gave people something to talk about for a few days but it will all disappear quickly.
Jai and his team seem like the real deal, proper fighting people who know that what happens in the gym stays there. All that matters is what happens on fight night. What happens in the gym is for the gym.
There is always a bit of a lull, when big fights are announced it does go a bit quiet in the weeks leading up to it. Simply because people are hard at work. They haven’t got time to mess about with the media all the time so people end up clinging onto whatever they can.
I get it, people have a job to do and it still promotes the fight. But the quicker fight week comes about, the better.