By Ben Jacobs
Due to visa issues, Nehomar Cermeño was forced to withdraw from his scheduled bout with Bury’s Scott Quigg next Saturday in Manchester. Instead, it will be South African Tshifhiwa Munyai who will challenge the 25-year-old for his WBA super-bantamweight title.
After weeks of preparing for the style of Panamanian Cermeño and all the experience he would have brought to the table, trainer Joe Gallagher has to now quickly study and help his fighter adjust to a completely different style.
“It´s a very good opponent,” Gallagher stressed to BoxingScene. “He’s done really well in the past when he’s been over here. He beat Martin Power twice, he beat Lee Haskins. He lost a close decision in Mexico and had a couple of good wins the year before last, so he’s a very capable fighter. He’s very tall for the weight, has quick hands, likes to fight, he can do a bit of everything really so it’s a tough fight.
“We’ve trained for nine weeks for Cermeño and his style, our training camp is finished, next week we do nothing so it’s very hard now. As you’ve called I’m in the middle of studying him and putting a game plan together to beat him. He presents different things than Cermeño.
“But Quigg’s a world champion; he’s had a great camp, looked really well. It’s a shame there’s a visa problem but we’ve got a very credible opponent.”
Munyai has been in the UK sparring with Martin Ward who was preparing to fight Stuart Hall for the IBF bantamweight title in late March. As such ‘The Atomic Spider’ won’t have to acclimatize.
“This guy has travelled around the world and he’s been in the country for five weeks, there’ll be no jet lag or any issues with him. He’s ranked in the WBA top 10. Scott Quigg can adapt to any style he faces, you saw that with [Rendall] Munroe and [Yoandris] Salinas. He’s such a professional, he’s fully focused and prepared. He’s the most professional, dedicated and fittest boxer in Britain.”
Chief support to the main event at The Phones 4u Arena is the highly anticipated domestic clash between Anthony Crolla and John Murray. Social media has been full of back and forth between fans of the two men, some of which became personal.
“There’s been a lot said before the fight but Crolla isn’t the type of kid who says much, he lets his fists do the talking,” said Joe.
“Between the two there’s been talk that John’s been in with better fighters. Yes, he has, but he has lost to them. John’s only been 12 rounds once - Anthony’s done it a number of times now. He’s been in with really good company, Michael Brodie, Andy Morris, John Watson, Willie Limond, Gavin Rees, Stephen Foster and Derry Matthews, really good quality domestic operators and Rees is a former world champion - that was a fantastic win for him last year. Crolla’s on a bit of a roll now, he had a lot of fights in a short period of time, I think the last one was in November so he’s fresh now and this fight with John Murray will bring out the best of him.
“I do fancy Crolla by stoppage in this fight. I’ve been privy to both kids; I’ve seen both of their weaknesses. He’ll be prepared to go in there to carry out the game plan and I do fancy him to win by stoppage, he’s more than capable. They’ve sparred many times and I’ve seen the times when Crolla has absolutely had John and beat him from corner to corner. He’s more than capable of fighting on the inside with Murray, and John knows that.”