For fans of small hall boxing, Saturday night’s clash between Mark Little and Daniel Mendes is a mouth watering proposition. The men are set to contest the vacant Southern Area Cruiserweight Title in the headline bout of this weekend’s Goodwin Boxing promotion. While it’s far from the most prestigious contest to grace York Hall over the last couple of months, it’s got all the ingredients of a fight to remember.
Little AKA ‘The Boleyn Boy’ has a memorable story. Coming to boxing late in life – and purely to lose weight – he never expected to have a professional boxing career. Slimming down from 24 stone to around 14, he’s already come a long way and at 33-years-old, this title fight is by far the biggest of his career so far.
In the opposite corner is a man with a similarly unusual route into boxing. Daniel ‘D Servant’ Mendes fancies himself a poet and reportedly fought his first three bouts on a Macedonian boxing licence. Interestingly, the third of those bouts also took place in Macedonia – a 2016 loss.
Mendes does have more of an amateur background behind him than Little, but in the pro ranks their records are comparable. Mendes sports 12 wins and 2 losses to Little’s 13 wins and 1 loss. However, a loss against Nick Parpa and victories over Danny Couzens and heavyweight journeyman Phil Williams mean Mendes has taken on slightly tougher opposition.
The real appeal in the fight is that both men have shown both power and fragility. Little is a gutsy, come forward fighter with a nice rhythm to his work, but he’s liable to take a few shots on the chin too. Ossie Jervier gave the well-supported West Ham fan plenty to think about in his last outing. Equally, Mendes has those two blotches on his record and both men have been limited in terms of activity over the last two years – as most small hall fighters have been.
This title bout is a chance for one man to give some real momentum to his career and it’s hard to predict with any certainty who will seize their opportunity. Mendes has more pedigree in the sport, but at 36-years-old, having started boxing at 15, he also has plenty more miles on the clock and fewer knockouts to his name.
Despite the fact that both men only have five stoppage wins between them, four of those coming from Little, there’s every chance this could be an explosive Southern Area Title fight and it’s one we’re looking forward to. Stay tuned to Southpaw Jab as we’ll be reporting from ringside on Saturday night.
Southpaw Jab wishes all the fighters on the show the very best of luck and good health.
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