Boxing: Three things to look out for on Friday at York Hall
Boxing returns to BT Sport tonight with a card that might may act as the launchpad for a number of careers.
The show gives some of the most exciting talent in the Queensberry stable the chance to shine and is highlighted by Ellis Zorro’s intriguing clash with Hosea Burton.
Here are three things to watch out for tonight when the live action begins at York Hall. For all the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.
Will the legend of Zorro Begin?
Last November, Ellis Zorro showed he has toughness and heart to go along with his smooth boxing skills when he outpointed Dec Spelman over eight hard, exciting rounds. In an encouraging show of support and confidence from his team, the unbeaten Zorro is stepped straight up in class again this evening when he takes on Hosea Burton in an attractive looking cruiserweight ten rounder.
Zorro only boxed three times as an amateur and didn’t even take up the sport until he tried a taster session at University while Burton is a former British champion. Unsurprisingly, ‘The Hammer’ feels he is too accomplished and experienced for the unbeaten 30-year-old but in an exclusive interview with 32Red this week, Zorro said that after watching Burton talk he felt the former British light heavyweight boss was trying to convince himself. We will soon find out. At 175lbs, Burton could be a formidable force with his long reach and devastating right hand. Whether that translates to cruiserweight remains to be seen but on paper at least, Zorro can be assured of his toughest test to date.
The fight is Zorro’s second as part of the Queensberry stable and he has already been given the opportunity to headline. Britain has a talented crop of cruiserweights but WBO world champion, Lawrence Okolie, Chris Billam-Smith and Richard Riakporhe are all campaigning at the highest level so Zorro has the time and opportunity to continue working on his craft and progressing naturally. An impressive performance against Burton will rubber stamp his status as one of the fighters to watch in a thriving 200lb division. A Zorro decision victory is priced at 5/4 whilst a Burton knockout is available at 5/1.
Piranha Biting Back
To say Ryan Garner’s career has been frustrating is an understatement. The unbeaten super featherweight has been on the verge of a breakthrough for years but consistently finds himself on the sideline for months on end. Despite that – as well as having one of the best nicknames in British boxing – he is also still one of the brightest prospects we have. The good-natured Garner is a supremely talented box fighter who earns rave reviews from those who spar him but the time has come for him to show the public exactly what he is capable of and – more importantly – do it regularly.
Garner has been a professional for almost seven years but has boxed only 15 times. He is still only 25 years old and has plenty of time to fulfil his vast potential but he needs to put together a consistent run and get into title contention. Every time Garner returns from one of his long lay-offs he starts from scratch, getting rounds under his belt against solid but limited journeymen. If Garner is matched with fighters who are determined to win we will really see the best of him and once he reaches title contention, Garner will be up and running.
Tune in tonight to see Garner in action. This time it might just be the start of something special. Find the latest fight odds here
The Animal Let Loose
I first saw Aloys Youmbi Jnr spar heavyweight prospect and 32Red ambassador Daniel Dubois at the old Peacock Gym as a 16 year old. Despite being physically outmatched at the time, Junior was just as ambitious and enthusiastic back then as he is now. Back in 2021, Junior famously jumped in on 24 hours to make his professional debut and came unstuck but he earned a great deal of respect for showing the confidence and courage to take on the challenge.
The way he has responded to that debut defeat speaks volumes. Still only 20 years old, Junior has proven himself to be an extremely heavy handed cruiserweight prospect. He fights as if he is on a seek-and-destroy mission from the moment the opening bell rings and has scored three consecutive quick victories. He can hurt people to the head and body and is as comfortable on the microphone after his fights as he is in the ring.
Junior faces Croatian Borna Grcic tonight and another stoppage looks likely. Although he has won his last two fights, both of Grcic’s career defeats have come inside the distance.
Don’t blink. Find the latest fight odds here
To see all our latest boxing markets, check out 32Red Sport here. If you’re up for a flutter on table games or the slots, be sure to check out our award-winning casino too!