‘BOMBER’ STEPS UP
Bellotti gets his biggest test against Cunningham, writes Daniel Herbert
THE latest edition of Matchroom’s NXTGEN showcase for rising fighters happens at York Hall, Bethnal Green tomorrow (Friday October 13) and features two intriguing title 12-rounders, with Sky Sports Action televising.
Main event sees experienced Doncaster southpaw Jason Cunningham, 23-3 (6), defend his Commonwealth featherweight crown against Watford’s Reece Bellotti, who has won all 10 fights while living up to his “Bomber” nickname by ending nine inside the distance.
Bellotti punches hard but this is his first scheduled 12-rounder and the furthest he has ever gone was his eighth-session stoppage of Jamie Speight last time out in July. And Cunningham will be the first southpaw he has faced in the pros.
The champion has mixed in much better company, while changing weights. In 2015 he went the distance in a British super-flyweight title fight with Khalid Yafai (now WBA king) and six months ago he won the vacant Commonwealth 126lbs belt with a split decision over Ben Jones at York Hall.
Jason also holds a win over Speight, but on points – which suggests Bellotti holds the edge in power. That can prove decisive as the Watford man wins clearly on the cards.
The other title bout is also quality as Epsom’s British super-flyweight champion Charlie Edwards, 10-1 (4), defends against Matthew Chanda, 7-1 (2), from Hackney.
Just over a year ago Edwards failed (l rsf 10) in an ambitious IBF flyweight title bid against John Riel Casimero, since when he has rebuilt with two wins, the most recent on points over Iain Butcher for the vacant national 115lbs belt.
Chanda hasn’t boxed since losing a gruelling decision to Ghana’s Duke Micah for the Commonwealth bantam title in October 2016. Dropping in weight may pay off given Matthew is only 5ft 3ns tall, but Edwards’ skills can see him retain on points.
THE VERDICT Matchroom’s NXTGEN idea will thrive with good matchups like these.
ONE TO WATCH: There is a buzz surrounding top prospect Belotti