By Jake Donovan
All fighters made weight for Saturday's big show in Leeds, England. There was little drama during Friday's weigh-in, save for a brief trash-talk and forehead-to-forehead staredown between undercard rivals Isaac Lowe and Jamie Speight.
Headlining the bill, local favorite Josh Warrington puts his unbeaten record on the line as he faces Australia's Joel Brunker in a scheduled 12-round featherweight clash. Warringto (21-0, 4KOs) was bang on the 126 lb. limit, while Brunker checked in at a lean and ready 125 lbs.
Warrington plays the First District Arena in his hometown for the fourth time in his past five fights. His most recent win came in April, scoring a 12-round decision over Dennis Tubieron.
Brunker fights outside of Australia for the fourth time in his career. His only loss came in his lone other trek to England, suffering a 9th round knockout at the hands of Lee Selby in their featherweight title eliminator last October. Selby went on to claim the featheweight title with a win over Evgeny Gradovich in May, while Brunker has since rebounded with a 2nd round knockout in Australia this past February.
In chief support, Martin Murray guns for a regional title in his scheduled 12-round super middleweight clash with Colombia's Jose Miguel Torres.
Both fighters weighed in at 167 lbs.
Murray fights for the third time in 10 weeks, the span marking both his venture into the super middleweight division and his signing with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing. Both moves were made following his third attempt at a middleweight crown, suffering an 11th round stoppage at the hands of Gennady Golovkin in February.
While civility was present throughout the weigh-in event, the lone display of disrespect came shortly after Lowe (10-0, 3KOs; 126.5 lbs.) and Speight (13-7, 1KO; 126.4 lbs.) had to be separated after their obligatory staredown. A round of trash talk prompted Lowe to pitch forward, pressing his forehead directly against that of Speight before their camps intervened to avoid further incident.
Also on the undercard:
Tony Bellew—a late edition to the show after Gavin McDonnell was scratched—continues his quest for a cruiserweight title, as he faces Latvian journeyman Arturs Kulikauskis (16-26-5, 8KOs) in a scheduled eight-round clash.
The well-traveled Kulikauskis weighed 192 lbs. for his first trip back to the U.K. since April '13. Bellew (24-2-1, 15KOs) weighed 199 lbs. in search of his fifth consecutive win since moving up from the light heavyweight division.
Stuart Hall continues on the comeback trail following a stretch that left the former bantamweight titlist winless in three straight fights. The 35-year old aims for his second consecutive win since title losses to Paul Butler and Randy Caballero, as he meets Arnoldo Solano in a scheduled six-round super bantamweight tilt. Hall (17-4-2, 7KOs) weighed 120.5 lbs.; Solano (14-10, 0KOs) checked in at 122.6 lbs.
The show will air live on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom.
Josh Warrington, 126 lbs. vs. Joel Brunker, 125 lbs.
Martin Murray 167 lbs. vs. Jose Miguel Torres 167 lbs.
Tony Bellew 199 lbs. vs. Arturs Kuliakauskis, 192 lbs.
Isaac Lowe, 126.5 lbs. vs. Jamie Speight, 126.4 lbs.
Andy Townsend 129.5 lbs. vs. Lee Glover, 129.6 lbs.
Stuart Hall, 120.5 lbs. vs. Arnoldo Solano, 122.6 lbs.
Kal Yafal, 116.25 lbs. vs. Aron Juarez, 117 lbs.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com
Facebook Page: JakeBScene