Frank Warren on Burns, Groves-Smith, Audley, More
By Frank Warren, courtesy of The Sun
THERE will be real fireworks tonight at Wembley Arena where I'm staging a cracking fight card.
Ricky Burns has the chance to catapult himself into the elite names in the lightweight division if he beats Australian warrior Michael Katsidis for the interim WBO world title.
It could be a tough fight for the Scotsman. Katsidis — dubbed the Brit Basher — destroyed Kevin Mitchell at Upton Park last year and was involved in an exciting shootout with Graham Earl in 2007.
Katsidis has had some tough wars recently, though, against the best in Juan Manuel Marquez — who fights Manny Pacquiao next week — and Robert Guerrero, so I reckon the time is right for Burns to pull off a memorable victory.
Burns showed his heart when he came off the canvas in the first round against Rocky Martinez to win the WBO world super-featherweight title last year in a thriller. Manchester's John Murray is in the mix and if he wins his WBA world lightweight title fight against Brandon Rios on December 3 in New York and, if Burns wins, then the two could meet.
British and Commonwealth super-middleweight champion George Groves has his first fight with me and takes on tough Scouser Paul Smith in the chief support.
European champ James DeGale is the common link with both fighters.
He beat Smith to take the British title last December but lost the title in a close decision to old amateur rival Groves in May.
Heavy-handed Smith is coming off back-to-back first-round wins and has said in the build-up that styles make fights and not to go on the form line that A beat B so he will beat C.
It's going to be exciting and you can catch both fights live on BoxNation on Sky Channel 456.
Boxing's not bent
I WAS a guest in Sky's box at Lord's last year for the now infamous England v Pakistan Test match.
Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were jailed for a total of four years for their part in a spot-betting scam.
When I was at the match an old MCC duffer asked me 'are you another boxing chappy?' I said 'yes'.
He replied rather sniffily: "I used to go to fights in the days of Henry Cooper but I don't go anymore because it's all bent now." It really annoyed me and I said to him 'say that to Michael Watson or Gerald McClellan', two boxers who suffered brain injuries giving their all in fights.
I hope he reflects on what we watched at Lord's.
There are people who think boxing is crooked.
I've never seen any bent fights in my 30+ years in the sport or think of any fight that hasn't been straight. Mismatches a few, but crooked no.
Boxing isn't about no-balls, it's about real balls.
He Aud to know better
DON'T ask me why, but winning Prizefighter was Audley Harrison's springboard to a world title, now he thinks by participating in BBC's Strictly Come Dancing he will quickstep his way to a payday with one of the Klitschkos.
Since when did going on a dancing show get you a shot at a world title?
Only in the deluded world of Audley Harrison of course.
Do me a favour, Audley. You've been rumba-lled.
Bring back Nancy.
So glad to have Brad
BRADLEY SAUNDERS, a 2008 Olympian, signed professional terms with me this week.
The Durham boy was in Beijing with James DeGale and Billy Joe Saunders, who challenges for his first pro title tonight at Wembley.
Bradley had to sit out the world amateur championships because of a broken rib and missed out on qualifying for London 2012.
I'm looking forward to building him up in the North East where he can become a big attraction.