By Shawn Smith
Ontario's most prolific promoter is back at it next weekend with another showcase of some of Ontario's finest young talent.
United Promotions returns on May 14 with a card headlined by Ontario's Brandon Cook, Kevin Higson, Josh O'Reilly and Jessie Wilcox.
Headlining the card will be Ajax, Ontario's Brandon Cook (16-0), who will defend his WBA Intercontinental Super Welterweight title against Davide Doria (14-2-1).
Cook has been out of action since November of 2015 with hand and wrist injuries. United Promotions' Tyler Buxton said that many high powers will be watching to see if Cook is ready to take the next step.
"Once you're ranked in the top 10, every fight matters," Buxton said. "People in Germany, people in the WBA are watching."
Cook is currently ranked #8 in the super welterweight division of the WBA, and will be eyeing Jack Culcay's interim WBA World Super Welterweight title with a win on May 14.
Co-headlining will be a rematch between Hamilton's Kevin Higson (7-0) and Junmar Emon (6-3-0). The two first fought in March of 2015, with Higson taking a disputed decision. This time, the fight will be over 10 rounds with the Canadian super welterweight title on the line.
"The first fight with Higson wasn't for the title, so I thought it made sense to have the fight," Buxton said. "The first time was over eight rounds; with 10 rounds I think Higson can make a statement that he is better than Brandon Brewer."
The rivalry between Brewer and the United Promotions' super welterweights has been on going, with Brewer angling for a shot at Cook's championship, while Buxton has been trying to line up a fight between Higson and Brewer.
Josh O'Reilly (5-0) will continue to look for his first stoppage as a professional, as he takes on Imre Nagy (14-7-0). Nagy isn't a stranger to fighting in Ontario, as he fought O'Reilly's stablemate Steven Wilcox in 2014. Wilcox was able to finish Nagy in seven rounds.
"He refused to quit against Wilcox and I think he's going to push Josh (O'Reilly) just as hard," Buxton said. "Josh doesn't have the knockouts he is looking for, but he's still making the transition from amateurs to the pros and he has an opportunity to make a statement."
Former Canadian national team member Jessie Wilcox (3-0) continues his transition to the professional ranks, as he'll take on Flávio Michel (3-1-0). Buxton hasn't been shy about his intentions to push the 24-year-old into tough fights as he develops. Like Cook, Wilcox also suffered some injury setbacks in 2015, but hopes to get back on track this year.
"We're hoping Jessie can go out there, get the ring rust off and then get him out of there," Buxton said.