Mathews’ win further propels Brits at Lightweight
Matthews’ victory, a prelude to a summer of British dominance at lightweight?
With his nail-biting defeat of Tony Luis this past Saturday night, Liverpool’s Derry Mathews may have just initiated the rise of British lightweights. Kevin Mitchell will be challenging for a world title next month and Anthony Crolla is due to a world title encounter too.
So, it is plausible to conclude that Britain may have three world champions in the same weight division at some point within the next four or five months.
In my view, Kevin Mitchell is destined to become a world champion. His last two performances have been nothing short of world class.
That said, WBC title holder Jorge Linares will be a tougher opponent than Mitchell’s last two victims. Linares’ two most recent outings ended with impressive knock-out victories for the Venezuelan. And subsequently he will be feeling confident and unnerved by the prospect of facing the ‘Hammer’ on May 30th.
Mitchell can boast of having faced more accomplished opposition, with names such as: Breidis Prescott, Michael Katsidis, John Murray and Ricky Burns. The only stand-out name Linares has faced is Antonio DeMarco and he was utterly outclassed there.
My expectation is for Kevin to triumph on points; hopefully this sets up a domestic showdown with Luke Campbell or the perennial underdog Anthony Crolla. A showdown with Mathews would also be a tantalising prospect but the existing promotional divide seemingly prohibits it from transpiring.
Anthony Crolla has cleaned up domestically with comprehensive victories over Gavin Rees, Gary Sykes and John Murray to his name. He was also desperately unlucky not to be announced the winner of his second epic with Mathews.
Crolla’s above domestic level now, consequently it is high-time he received his shot. Now, he was promised a shot by Mathews earlier this year but again one still has to overcome a serious promotional feud to make the fight. So, it may be easier to target IBF champion Mickey Bey instead. Assuming he emerges victorious next week.
Unfortunately Crolla is no longer rated in the top 15 by any of the governing bodies and will need a tune-up fight prior to fighting to achieve his dream. This is desperately unfortunate considering his story, which needs no further explanation.
Ultimately, an outsider such as myself cannot claim to know if Anthony is going to get a shot this summer but with a proactive promoter at his disposal, one is optimistic that he just might get a crack. And one accordingly gives him a a decent chance of beating Bey, if he is to be the opponent.
Only time will tell if Kevin Mitchell and Anthony Crolla can emulate Derry Mathews’ feat. But Kevin certainly has momentum on his side and Anthony did before the act of thuggery that hospitalised him.
We all like a good underdog story and people always inform me that Anthony is the nicest guy you could meet, from what I’ve seen and heard of him, I certainly believe it without much hesitation.
I for one pray that Britain will have three world lightweight champions, by the beginning of Autumn, as this would guarantee exciting nights ahead for British boxing fans.
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