By: Ste Rowen
As the heat continues to rise, along with the anticipation for yet another Matchroom PPV on Saturday, the much less hyped, but packed show in Essex’s Brentwood Centre takes place this weekend. Topping the bill sees rising British prospect, Michael McKinson up against the Russian, Evgeny Pavko for the vacant WBO European welterweight title.
Both McKinson, 16-0 (2KOs) and Pavko, 18-2-1 (13KOs) are heading into the bout coming off victories. The unbeaten southpaw went the ten-round distance with Ryan Kelly, scoring a dominant unanimous decision to claim the minor WBC ‘International Silver’ belt.
That night four months ago Michael ‘The Problem’ was living up to his nickname as he found angles Kelly could only dream of, moving in and out at speed and, if for a little more power, would most definitely have got his domestic rival out of there early.
Evgeny on the other hand was last in the ring in December 2018 where he scored a technical decision over 8-0, Fedor Vinogradov inside five rounds. Fedor had sustained had a deep cut above his right eye and as a result, his corner threw in the towel in between the 5th and 6th. Before the finish, Pavko was down on two scorecards with three to go, something that McKinson will no doubt take heart from considering how good he himself is at grinding out the points victory.
Speaking to his MTK Global, ‘The Problem’, who also previously held the WBC ‘Youth’ world title, didn’t seem too concerned with his opponent’s approach to fighting,
‘‘He’s clearly a puncher…He’s going to come over, looking to take my head off but that excites me.
Like I always do under pressure, I perform better…You’ve only seen a little bit of what I’m capable of. My potential is massive.’’
The man hoping to take the home fighter’s ‘head off’ also spoke to MTK earlier this week,
‘‘I want to prove again that Russian boxing is at a good level. I also have incentive to win titles that will become an important step for bigger fights.
I know he’s a good technical boxer and that will make it all the more interesting…I never target an early victory. The decisive blow will present itself and until then, I want to show beautiful and competent boxing.’’
Also on Saturday’s Brentwood card is another rising prospect in 10-0 (7KOs), Chantelle Cameron who steps in with Anisha ‘The Massacre’ Basheel of Malawi for the WBC ‘Silver’ lightweight strap and very possibly a future bout with undisputed 135lb female champion, Katie Taylor.
It’s a bout that could end up being the most intriguing of the night as the two women have not been shy in letting the other know what’s gonna happen. Basheel, 10-5 (KOs) has not let her five defeats (three of which came against Lolita Muzeya and all five in her first five fights) dent her confidence as she spoke to WBN,
‘‘They call me The Massacre and I’m going to massacre Cameron…I’m not coming for a holiday, I’m not coming to see London, I’m not coming for a chit-chat and tea. I’m coming all guns blazing.’’
‘Wham Bam Chan’, who’ll be fighting in her third fight in three months, replied in favour,
‘‘She’s delusional. I knew she was going to come out and start saying stuff so she can crack on, but I can’t wait to ram my fist down her throat.
I’ve got speed, power and boxing ability. She’s one dimensional, I’ll like to see what she has to say after the fight.’’
The fights will be shown live on ESPN+ and IFL TV.