BT Sport & ESPN+ Boxing Preview: Edwards vs. Granados, Skeete vs. Ramirez
By: Oliver McManus
Frank Warren returns to the Brentwood Centre this Saturday for a precursor, if you will, to the mammoth Josh Warrington vs Carl Frampton bill on December 22nd. Make no mistake, however, December 15th features some of Britain’s best prospects in action.
Daniel Dubois was originally slated to top the bill in a step-up contest against Razvan Cojanu in a 10 round encounter but, subsequently, has contracted the flu and the bout is set to be rescheduled.
Nonetheless the show still goes on with Sunny Edwards looking to cap off a sensational 2018 by winning the vacant WBO Inter-Continental super flyweight belt against Junior Granados. At the back-end of October, Edwards retained the European version of the title with a comprehensive out-boxing of Ryan Farrag.
Claiming all but one round across the three scorecards, Edwards boxed well of the back foot and was as flamboyant as ever in his footwork, enabling him to jump in and out of the pocket. Taking the step up against Junior Granados is a sign of Edwards’ desire to progress at a fast-rate and the 22 year old now headlines a show for the second time in seven weeks.
Ranked thirteenth with the World Boxing Organization, Sunny looked to enhance his standing with the organization ahead of a 2019 that should see him pushing for higher honours.
Junior Granados, 16-5-1, possesses ability far greater than his record would suggest and despite a relative inactivity, the Mexican will be coming to fight. A trademark brawler, Granados is at his most dangerous when stood stock-square in the center of the ring, throwing with a degree of relaxation.
Holding good power for his weight, Granados throws with a menacing intent to the body and dropped Jamie Conlan twice back in 2017 when the pair were embroiled in a war. The expectation is that Grandos will try to replicate that game-plan, starting off by trying to shock Edwards into freezing.
The British fighter, however, has looked crisp throughout his professional career thus far and has adapted well to the opponents in front of him so will be more than confident of another peerless display come Saturday night.
Bradley Skeete will enter the ring for the second time since his European title defeat to Kerman Lejarraga in April. The Prince from Penge will face Diego Ramirez, 16 and 2, from Argentina over a scheduled 10 rounds.
Skeete looked impressive during his comeback win over Fernando Valencia, dropping his counterpart on two occasions, en route to finishing the bout in the third round. Valencia, 8-6 at the time, had never been stopped whilst Skeete looked relaxed and comfortable in the ring.
Having suffered such a devastating defeat out in Bilbao, you’d forgive Skeete for wanting to ease back into the motions but the welterweight has restated his desire to get back in the immediate mix for that European title. Returning to the WBO rankings last month, Skeete finds himself 13th with the organization, with a plethora of potential opponents ahead of him.
In Ramirez, Skeete will face his first southpaw opponent since Frankie Gavin in 2014 – the a unanimous points decision loss – but for a man of Skeete’s experience and ability this should go down as a minor footnote as opposed to anything particular foreshadowing.
The Argentine, 24 years of age, has already fought five times over the course of the last 12 months and, in the process, has amassed 48 rounds. A former interim WBO Latino Welterweight champion, Ramirez has also held the WBC equivalent but fell unstuck when fighting Demian Fernandez in October.
In that fight Ramirez held a significant height advantage over his compatriot competitor but failed to take advantage, planting his feet into the canvas a little too much and failing to nullify the aggression of Fernandez.
From the two fights with footage available it is hard to see the problems he will pose for Skeete but, then again, that’s the whole point. Ramirez provides a perfect opportunity for Skeete to go into the New Year full of belief and confidence, searching once more for the big fights.
Also on the bill at Brentwood are the highly-touted Willy Hutchinson and Caoimhin Agyarko who take on unbeaten counterparts – Josh Miller and Yasin Hassani, both 3-0, respectively. Harvey Horn will look to cap off a frustrating 2018 with a win over Christian Narvaez with Ryan Garner and Hamzah Sheeraz also in bouts of six scheduled rounds. Completing the card are Jake Pettitt, Mark Chamberlain and James Branch.
The show must go on, and it does… live on BT Sport from 8.30pm in the UK and ESPN+ from 3.30pm E/T.