After the sensational light heavyweight world title fight between Artur Beterbiev and Anthony Yarde thrilled fight fans just a couple of weeks ago, boxing returns to BT Sport on Friday night when some of Britain’s most promising youngsters get the chance to impress. For the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.
The card may not be studded with household names but the show has plenty to interest boxing fans.
Whether you are interested in being there for the start of a young prospect’s career, love the build up to a sure fire domestic tear up or just like watching heavyweights throw leather, there is something for you.
Here are three things to keep an eye on this Friday night.
BARNEY-SMITH’S BABY STEPS
Royston Barney-Smith has had the red carpet rolled out for him since turning professional a year ago, treading the boards on massive Tyson Fury undercards at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last December and Wembley Stadium last April. Barney-Smith may be young – he is still just 19 years old – but he will be well aware that he has been spoilt so far. This weekend it is back to the meat and potatoes of professional boxing and a shared dressing room at London’s beloved but basic York Hall.
Frank Warren has massive hopes for the precocious super featherweight and it isn’t hard to see why. Barney-Smith is a charismatic, confident, heavy handed southpaw who crammed a lot into a 50 fight amateur career – winning two European gold medals and two National titles. He has slipped effortlessly into life as a professional, scoring a couple of one sided decision victories and two confidence boosting first round stoppages. He looks like he was born to fight.
Barney-Smith will want to move as quickly as possible but he isn’t going to be thrown into a fifty-fifty battle anytime soon. He will be built slowly but surely. Nonetheless, it will be well worth following his career from the very start. If you haven’t seen him fight yet, take the chance to see him in action when he fights Lesther Lara on Friday. For the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.
CHAMBERLAIN’S THUNDER AND LIGHTNING
It is becoming increasingly difficult to talk about Mark ‘Thunder’ Chamberlain without mentioning Sam Noakes, and vice versa. The lightweight rivals don’t have a long history of bad blood and neither is the type to force a rivalry. But interest in an inevitable fight between the pair gets ratcheted up further every time either man steps foot in the ring.
Together they have combined for 21 straight victories with 17 of those coming inside the distance. Noakes stopping all 10 of his opponents whilst the heavy handed Chamberlain has finished seven of his 11 fights early. Two of the most promising, heavy handed fighters in the country fight for the same promoter, on the same television network and are both at the same stage of their careers. That doesn’t happen too often.
Boxing fans have quickly discovered that it is best not to nip to the kitchen when Chamberlain ducks between the ropes. It hasn’t taken the 24-year-old from Portsmouth long to provide plenty of evidence that he has the power to hurt or drop the man he’s facing at any moment.
On Friday night, Chamberlain gets his opportunity to further his claim of being the man to beat. He fights Vairo Lenti in his first appearance for seven months after a shoulder injury disrupted his 2022. Ring rust doesn’t seem to be an issue for the tall, rangy banger. Every time he has been forced to sit out for longer than five months, he has returned to action with a devastating knockout.
When Chamberlain and Noakes do fight – and all the talk is that the clash may happen sooner rather than later – it will be a big domestic showdown with serious title implications. Noakes has his own career to worry about and will next fight on April 15th. But he will undoubtedly have at least half an eye on Chamberlain this weekend. So should you. For the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.
HEAVY DUTY ADELEYE
Everybody loves an exciting heavyweight. Nothing is guaranteed to draw eyes to the ring more than the promise of big men letting their hands go.
The heavyweight division has been box office for years now. Fights between the division’s elite have been action packed and – these days – we seem to take it for granted that British fighters will be involved. It wasn’t always that way. The good news for British boxing fans is that the trend shows no signs of reversing. There is a large group of talented, exciting young heavyweights hot on the heels of the likes of Tyson Fury, Joe Joyce and Anthony Joshua. On Friday night, David Adeleye gets his turn in the spotlight.
Unbeaten Adeleye has stopped nine of his ten opponents and appears to be a fighter on the rise. Adeleye has power and athleticism but it seemed like something really clicked for his last time out. He looked full of confidence and comfortable with his style last time out when he demolished Mexico’s Elvis Garcia last November.
Adeleye doesn’t need to spend a second worrying what his counterparts are doing or how they are progressing. He is a big, explosive heavyweight. As long as he keeps working on his own game and producing results, it is inevitable that he will find himself in big title fights sooner rather than later. For the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.