By: Oliver McManus
Saturday night sees, British champion, Sam Bowen in the first defence of his title as he fights Jordan McCorry. Taking place at the Leicester Arena, newly rebranded as ‘Morningside’, the contest headlines Frank Warren’s second show of 2019.
Bowen, aged 26, claimed the British belt last April with a convincing victory over Maxi Hughes in which he dropped his opponent on two occasions – an emphatic display in which everything seemed to piece together nicely. Carl Greaves’ protégé had to learn his trade on the off-beat small hall scene of Yorkshire and the Midlands. Off the back of that victory, however, he has secured the backing of Warren and BT Sport to really progress his career.
Scheduled to fight Ronnie Clark last October and, more recently, on February 23rd, the Scotsman has withdrawn on both occasions resulting in this, relatively late notice, fight against McCorry. The Ibstock man managed to stay busy in October with a comfortable victory over Horacio Alfredo Cabral, for the WBO Intercontinental belt, in which Bowen mercilessly targeted the Argentine’s body.
Up against McCorry, then, Bowen has a real opportunity to showcase the best of his abilities with his deceptive, energy sapping, punch power hidden behind constant shuffling footwork and a firm jab. Get the win on Saturday and Bowen can start to set his sights higher than his domestic contenders as the push for more titles continues.
McCorry, of course, isn’t coming into the fight as a knock-over job and will be confident his experience should be enough to see off the threat of Bowen. The Cambuslang resident is a two-weight Scottish Area champion having held the lightweight version between 2014 and 2015 before adding the featherweight belt in 2017.
The last two years have seen McCorry picking up the wins to advance his record to 17-4-1. An impressive showing against Jamie McGuire, in which he recovered from a first round knockdown, saw a 98-93 decision go the way of Jordy. A double helping of second round knockouts over, usually durable, Rafael Castillo and Reynaldo Mora give credence for his confidence.
His last fight, however, was a gravely disappointing display out in Switzerland against Patrick Kinigamazi. Losing a unanimous decision over 12 rounds for the World Boxing Federation crown, McCorry’s technique was lacking against an unknown quantity of opponent. He’ll be hoping to rediscover his previous form if he is to upset the odds against a formidable Sam Bowen.
Nathan Gorman will be looking to move to sixteen wins on the trot since turning professional, on Saturday night. Confusion surrounds quite who he’ll be facing with, scheduled opponent, Fabio Maldonado seemingly drafted in to fight Oleksandr Teslenko. Teslenko, for clarity, was originally meant to fight a returning Ian Lewison. Christopher Lovejoy then declared to the world, via Instagram, that he had accept “100 bands” to step in, on five days’ notice, and face Gorman.
I’m told, by people with better knowledge of slang than me, that 100 bands is around $100,000 so that figure seems highly questionable. As it happens Lovejoy has since reneged on his statement and confirmed it won’t be him in the opposite corner. Currently the official line is that Maldonado will be in Leicester come Saturday evening though it seems increasingly unlikely the former UFC fighter will turn up.
Should the Brazilian opt to proceed with the bout then it’ll be his first contest since an uninspiring loss to Oscar Rivas last December. The Steel Hillbilly has built a padded record to now sit 26-1 in the heavyweight division with 25 of those victories coming via knockout. Only six of those have had winning records and 14 were winless.
Sam Maxwell, on the other hand, has got a definite fight in the form of Sadbri Sediri. The unbeaten French fighter, 10-0-1, steps up to the plate after Kelvin Dotel withdrew from the contest earlier in the week.
Maxwell, himself unbeaten in ten professional fights, has built a burgeoning reputation with the distinguished amateur settling into the paid ranks with ease. Imperiously heavy handed, the Mersey-man has seen off eight of his opponents inside the distance. In December he became only the second man to knockout Jamie Quinn and did so with menace and spite – a mini statement but a statement, nonetheless.
Sediri will be stepping up to super lightweight for this fight, with the WBO European belt on the line, but has been inactive since June. His contests have come across the gymnasiums of eastern France against your archetypal journeyman. Against Maxwell he’ll be in the biggest fight of his career – past or, probably, future.