THE CHANG­ING MAN

Davies now seems more fo­cused on ght­ing than talk­ing, but will this be enough to over­come Cat­ter­all, won­ders De­clan Tay­lor

Boxing News - - PREVIEWS -

THERE has been none of the usual pre­fight noise from Ohara Davies, who in­sists he is a changed man ahead of Satur­day’s (Oc­to­ber 6) cru­cial do­mes­tic show­down with fel­low super-light­weight Jack Cat­ter­all.

In the past, Davies, 26, has traded on his abil­ity to play the heel, wind­ing up fight­ers and their sup­port­ers in the build-up to fights and re­ceiv­ing plenty of air­time as a re­sult. But the Hack­ney man, still re­build­ing af­ter he was stopped inside seven hard rounds by Josh Tay­lor in July last year, has de­cided to rein it in for this fight against an­other un­beaten boxer hop­ing to make the step up to world level over the next 12 months.

Cat­ter­all, 25, mean­while, is not in­ter­ested in his op­po­nent’s new nice guy shtick ahead of a fight which has been mooted ever since Davies made the move to Frank War­ren’s Queens­berry Pro­mo­tions in Jan­uary fol­low­ing his de­par­ture from Matchroom Box­ing.

“I don’t get in­volved in it,” said the Chorley man, who meets Davies over 10 rounds at Le­ices­ter Arena, live on BT Sport 1. “I fo­cus on me. I re­spect him as a fighter but I see a lot of flaws.”

This is Cat­ter­all’s 23rd fight and fourth un­der the guid­ance of trainer Jamie Moore. Hav­ing won the WBO Euro­pean bauble back in Oc­to­ber 2014, he also claimed the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal trin­ket in March 2015. This will be his ninth de­fence of that rank­ing-boost­ing strap, and vic­tory would fur­ther ce­ment his po­si­tion at No. 2 in the WBO’S 140lb rat­ings.

But Davies said: “I’ve al­ready been on the big stage. I’m the name. He’s a re­ally good fighter but he’s been wait­ing for his big shot.”

Like Tay­lor, ex-bri­tish champ Cat­ter­all, 22-0 (12), is a highly touted south­paw with gen­uine de­signs on winning a world ti­tle. Davies, mean­while, has al­ready spo­ken about los­ing his love for the sport and has re­cently linked up with an­other new trainer in Miguel Dapen­ticul. The 18-1 (14) Lon­doner is the slight un­der­dog with the book­mak­ers, and the smart money would be on a Cat­ter­all de­ci­sion, al­though a late stop­page is not un­think­able.

In the co-fea­ture, Leeds’ Ni­cola Adams, 4-0 (3), faces the tough­est test of her ca­reer so far in the shape of for­mer WBA fe­male fly­weight ti­tle chal­lenger Is­abel Mil­lan, 22-4-1 (8), over 10-twos. The Mex­i­can is a rangy, left hand-happy counter-puncher who likes to con­trol the dis­tance be­hind her jab while catch­ing her on­rush­ing op­po­nents with right up­per­cuts. She does, how­ever, seem to be on the wane. She was beaten twice last year, and Adams should be ca­pa­ble of see­ing off the twice-stopped vis­i­tor mid­way through the fight.

How­ever, if the two-time Olympic gold medal­list fails to force an early end it will be in­ter­est­ing to see how she copes in a dis­tance fight, hav­ing never been be­yond four rounds in her life. Mil­lan, mean­while, is ex­pe­ri­enced in the field, hav­ing com­pleted 10 rounds three times and eight rounds eight times. Ex­pect her to at­tempt to make the fight a long one in the hope that Adams fades.

Lo­cal man Lyon Wood­stock Jnr, 11-0 (5), and Welling’s Archie Sharp, 13-0 (7), col­lide in a po­ten­tial do­mes­tic barn­burner, which has been stoked some­what by so­cial me­dia. Wood­stock, who has been the 10-round dis­tance once be­fore, ar­rives as favourite.

Sharp, mean­while, is promis­ing a stop­page, but he could find him­self on the wrong end of a de­ci­sion against the home fighter.

Both Wood­stock and Sharp are hop­ing to move a step closer to se­cur­ing a crack at Ib­stock’s Bri­tish super-feath­er­weight cham­pion Sam Bowen, 13-0 (9), who makes his de­but un­der War­ren on the same bill.

Else­where, young heavy­weight prospect Daniel Dubois, 8-0 (8), gets his third out­ing of the year against the durable and ex­pe­ri­enced Kevin John­son, 32-10-1 (16), in a 10-rounder. An­thony Joshua in­flicted the first inside-sched­ule de­feat on the Amer­i­can vet­eran back in May 2015 in what was “AJ’S” 13th fight. EX-WBC ti­tle chal­lenger John­son lasted fewer than five min­utes that night. Ex­pect Greenwich’s im­prov­ing Dubois to do the busi­ness sim­i­larly quickly.

THE VER­DICT Mau­rice Hooker’s WBO ti­tle is in Cat­ter­all’s sights, though he has to get past Davies first.

Photo: AC­TION IMAGES/ADAM HOLT

DAN­GER ZONE: Davies will strug­gle to re­build if he loses

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