Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Boxing tonight: Baluta warns Davies he will regret shooting the vacant European title

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Telford’s super bantamweight hope Liam Davies is on the verge of becoming European Champion, but he faces the fearsome Baluta

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Stylistically, you couldn’t ask for a more intriguing duel for the vacant European Super Bantamweight Championship than Liam Davies and Ionut Baluta.

Davies may benefit from his home crowd at Telford but he faces an onslaught from the Romanian, who is now battling from Bushey, Hertfordshire. Baluta can move his hands so freely that Davies will need to pick his moments very carefully if he is to deliver the power he believes will help him maintain his unbeaten record on Saturday night.

“All I can say about Liam Davies is that he will be sorry for accepting this fight,” was Baluta’s warning, and he may very well be right. “Obviously I never underestimate my opponent, but let’s face it, I’m going to be the toughest opponent Liam Davies has ever faced. He’s never fought anyone tougher than me.”

Baluta’s aggression doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll land his shots, as he revealed when he was beaten on points by Michael Conlan. He had gone into this fight after scalping two decent Irish fighters in TJ Doheny and David Oliver Joyce, not to mention being a former WBO European Bantamweight Champion.

That’s why he’s such a risk for Davies, but as Frank Warren points out, “none of the fighters seem to have reverse gear”, making it – in the words of the promoter – “a great spasm”.

“Liam has made great strides since we partnered with him and I’ve been so impressed with the way he handled a particularly tricky client at Marc Leach to win the British title,” Warren said.

“Ionut, the more experienced of the two, showed his class when he won his WBC belt against Brad Foster and he will rightly consider himself a world-class super bantam. This fight has all the makings of a classic in a hard fought division.”

The card also features Anthony Yarde and while the British light heavyweight is simply biding his time as he waits to face Artur Beterbiev in 2023 (the IBF, WBO and WBC light heavyweight champion is currently injured), he deserves credit for that he kept himself in the ring. ready. It underscores just how crucial Yardes’ fourth-round knockout against Lyndon Arthur was last December, as had he lost again in the rematch to his British rival his career would have risked taking a completely different turn.

With Beterbiev preparing to also face WBA belted Dmitry Bivol for undisputed status by the end of next year, Yarde – “the beast from the east” – could theoretically be just two fights away from shocking the entire division. The reality is he’ll probably find his level before that, but he should make relatively easy work with Stefani Koykov if he can survive the Bulgarian’s biggest shots.

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