A RETURN TO THE HOME CORNER FOR PHILLIPS: PREVIEW
There are several British prospects on this card, but one fighter especially catches my eye and that is Johnny ‘The Matador’ Phillips, who is interestingly in the home corner. Philips has not won since 2018, but an indicator of a winning intention is that this is being contested at super-feather meaning Phillips has been working hard in the gym keeping his weight down on his own terms, rather than jumping at opportunities on away soil. These paydays must be hard to turn down, regardless of the weight category.
Phillips, who fights out of Sandhurst in Surrey, will be competing in the super-featherweight division and returns to the ring after last having an outing just over a month ago in March. That took place a long way from home up north in Bolton. Phillips holds a record of 5 wins with 2 KOs to his name and 9 defeats with just one coming by stoppage against popular Scouser Robbie Davies Jr. (20-3-0) in Liverpool. It is important to keep in mind, Phillips stepped up to super-lightweight for this bout when many of his previous fights have been at lightweight and below.
This is a fighter not afraid to go into the opponent’s back-yard, but this time he has the home advantage behind him in the more familiar area of Bracknell, where he has fought before. Phillips is actively seeking his first win since 2018, potentially to project himself into the away corner again against another big name, or to start building himself towards a domestic title.
Phillips gained recognition during the lockdown period featuring on a major promotional card in Matchroom’s ‘Fight Camp’ broadcasted by SKY and then later got another call from Matchroom to return as an opponent Ibrahim Nadim.
He has shared rounds with notable opponents such as Stephen Smith, Nathaniel Wilson, Hopey Price and Davies Jr. as mentioned. This is certainly a fighter who is not short of experience and whoever faces him in the opposite corner will have a hard, gruelling night's work.
Also on the card is featherweight Andre Grant (8-0-0) from Farnborough, Surrey will be stepping up to 8 rounds for the first time in his career. This is a crucial step up to Andre’s development and will be interesting to see how he handles the increased rounds.
Light-heavyweight Bryce Goodridge (5-0-0) from Basingstoke returns in his second 6 rounder against an experienced opponent in Darryl Sharp and will be looking to extend his unbeaten record while continuing to learn in the ring.
Another light-heavyweight also on the card is Chris ‘The Spartan’ Davies (15-0-0) from Richmond, London. He will be keeping the ring-rust off and staying busy ahead of his Southern Area Title fight that will take place in the super-middleweight division in June against William Webber (8-1-0).
23 year-old super-lightweight Connor Gray (3-0-0) from Wiltshire continues to move at a firm pace at this early stage of his career, he will be fighting in his second 6 round bout despite only having 3 professional fights in total. This should be respected and Gray is a name to keep an eye on for the future.
Super-welterweight Fynnlie Judd from Basingstoke, Hampshire (2-0-0) is also 23 years of age, goes into his third professional fight as he navigates the early part of his career. It is scheduled for 4 rounds against Paul Cummings who has over 60 bouts to his name.
Luke Pearson from Godstone, Surrey (4-0-0) heads into his fifth professional fight in the super-bantamweight division which is also scheduled for 4 rounds.
There is only one debutant on this card, featherweight Ciaran ‘Fearless’ Flanagan from Didcot, Oxfordshire. He takes on Jake Pollard who has only been stopped twice in his 33 fight career. This will be a challenging debut facing someone with the superior ring-experience compared to Fearless Flanagan.
Southpaw middleweight Ryan Maycock (5-1-0) from Hertfordshire returns on the bill for his first fight since 2017. After being inactive since 2017, it will be interesting to see if that will impact Maycock’s performance.
This is yet another intriguing night of boxing with pretty much all 9 fighters having the potential to go on to bigger and better things should they prevail. The two fights that really stand out to me are Johnny Phillips being in the home corner and Chris Davies fighting before his title fight.