WELSH boxing will receive an early shot in the arm in 2014 with a big time bill set for Cardiff, writes Michael Pearlman.
The show, promoted by Matchroom, will see Newbridge ace Gavin Rees return to the ring on a show headlined by St Joseph’s champion Lee Selby.
The February 1 event, announced yesterday and named ‘Reloaded’ will see 26-year old Selby battle for both British and European honours against a former world title challenger in Rendall Munroe.
Selby won the British and Commonwealth featherweight titles in 2011 and has defended the British title six times, moving him towards a potential 2014 world title opportunity.
However, having claimed the Lonsdale belt outright Selby is now searching for a first European accolade against the veteran from Leicester.
“I have vacated the Commonwealth title, but the British title will be on the line.” Selby explained.
“I think the fight with Rendall will be highly competitive early on, but then my class will
For 33-year old Monroe, it’s the right opportunity at the right time. “It’s great news,” said Munroe, who won the European and Commonwealth crowns at super-bantamweight.
“Sometimes you are due a second chance and I want to make sure that I take it.”
Former world champion Gavin Rees and Prizefighter champion Chris Jenkins will box on the Cardiff bill, plus former European champions Kerry Hope and Jason Cook make up the Welsh contingent on the home show. Olympic super-heavyweight gold medalist Anthony Joshua and Team GB’s Olympic captain Tom Stalker are also expected feature.
Meanwhile, Swansea light-heavyweight and former cruiserweight world champion Enzo Maccarinelli returns to the ring this weekend.
The Gary Lockett-trained puncher meets Courtney Fry at the Liverpool Echo Arena this Saturday in the first defence of his Commonwealth title.
"Fry is a good fighter and I hear that he's in terrific shape already to fight me which is great news and hearing this has giving me the extra motivation to train even harder," said Maccarinelli.
"He'll be looking to win the title in front of his home fans and will put on the fight of his life against me."
"He took Cleverly eight rounds before he was stopped and that was only a few years ago and that was the last loss he's had, since then he's unbeaten in five fights.
"I'd like to do a job on Fry a lot quicker than Cleverly did, but I'll have to check him out and if the opening appears early I'll jump on him."