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Boxing | International

Leonard Ellerbe and Gervonta Davis © Gallo Images

Davis makes mandatory defence

Gervonta Davis from Baltimore, USA, makes the first defence of his IBF junior-lightweight belt when he meets mandatory challenger Liam Walsh from England at the Copper Box Arena in London on Saturday night.

The southpaw Davis, 22, who made his pro debut in February 2013, was virtually unknown before challenging Pedroza for the IBF title in January this year.

Pedroza, who was making the third defence of his belt, was stopped in the seventh round to suffer his first defeat in what was considered an upset.

The challenger Walsh, 31, who also fights from the southpaw stance, won the Commonwealth title in his tenth fight and added the WBO European title to his collection with an eighth-round stoppage win over Domenico Urbano.

In November 2014 he won the British junior-lightweight title

Davis 17-0; 16, who was an outstanding amateur with more than 200 fights and a Golden Gloves title, is backed by Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Boxing in the similar style of Mayweather, with good defence and fast hands, he is the favourite to take the decision against Walsh 21-0; 14 who likes to work to the body and could cause problems for the champion.

On the undercard Liam’s twin brother Ryan 21-2-1; 10 defends his British featherweight title against Belfast’s Marco McCullogh 17-3; 10.


Gary Russell Jr, 26, who has a record 27-1; 16 and fights from the southpaw stance makes the second defence of his WBC featherweight belt when meets the 32-year-old Oscar Escadon 25-2; 17 from Colombia at the MGM National Harbour in Oxon Hill Maryland on Saturday night.

Using his educated jab and hand speed Russell should have enough to win a points decision over the stocky and aggressive Esacadon.

On the undercard Michigan’s Andre Dirrell 25-2; 2 16, who fights from the southpaw stance, meets Mexican-based Venezuelan Jose Uzcategui 26-1; 22 over 12 rounds and in a WBA junior-welterweight title eliminator and former two-weight world champion Rances Barthelemy 25-0; 13 of Cuba faces Belarusian Kiryl Reilikh 21-1; 19.


Omaha’s Terrence Crawford 30-0; 21 defends his WBC and WBO junior-welterweight belts against Dominican southpaw Felix Diaz 19-1; 9, who won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics, at the Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday.

The switch-hitting Crawford, 29, has scored some impressive wins against Ricky Burns, Yuriokis Gamboa, Victor Postal and John Molina Jr.

The only loss on the 33-year-old Diaz’s record came against Lamont Peterson on a disputed majority decision.

The champion has reach and height advantages over Diaz and should emerge a clear winner over 12 rounds.

On the undercard Mexican Raymundo Beltran 32-7-1; 20, who is based in Arizona, meets Peru-born Johnathan Maicelo 25-2-1nc; 12 who fights out North Bergen, New Jersey, in an IBF lightweight title eliminator.


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