Preview: Sanigar Events present Rumble In The Rhondda

Preview: Sanigar Events present Rumble In The Rhondda

Tomorrow night, Sanigar Events return with their first show since the summer and it will be hosted at the Rhondda Fach Sports Centre in Tylorstown.

After several injuries and pull outs to a planned show in Newport, the remaining boxers were added to ‘Rumble In The Rhondda’. However, this show has also been switched around from its original line up, having originally featured Dai Davies, Morgan Jones, Dorian Darch and Robbie Turley.

Still, there are 10 fights scheduled and have broken down what’s on offer…

Fight of the night:

In the best bout, Ebbw Vale’s Ashley Brace (4-0, 2KO) will build on her momentum by facing a former world champion in Galina Koleva Ivano (16-12-4, 2KO). As Brace is Wales’ only female boxer, the trailblazer is happily being fast tracked through a shallow bantamweight scene.

Ivano will be the second southpaw Brace has fought in the paid code and comes to Wales having never been stopped or knocked out. The Bulgarian turned professional 17 years ago, though hasn’t held a significant belt since 2009.

Still, it’s a significant step up for the Welshwoman who has been levels above her previous opposition. At 25-years-old, Brace is 13 years younger than her opponent and it’s likely she will look to set a non-stop pace and constantly exchange from the first bell to the last.

Ones to watch out for:

There are high hopes for Jamie ‘JJ’ Evans (2-0). Having gone unbeaten in 10 Welsh championships as a high-class amateur, he comes with stellar stock and pedigree. There have been enquiries made to other handy super-welterweights in Wales, aiming to speed up Evans’ assent but none have been accepted. For now, the southpaw will make do with Yorkshire’s game Danny Little (4-21-2).

Evans, who is trained by Darren Wilson, has been sparring stars Nathan Cleverly and Liam Williams, which should prepare him for another showcase. The 20-year-old can be a bag of tricks and he’s technically superb, making him a must-watch prospect for serious boxing fans.

It was only three years ago that Gavin Gwynne (1-0) had his first fight. In that time, the 26-year-old has gone from winning a Welsh novice title to the senior championships, also representing his country at international level. The all-action lightweight is a fast learner.

Unexpectedly for a six-footer, Gwynne can fight very well on the inside but under the guidance of St Joseph Boxing Club’s Tony Borg, he’s being encouraged to use his natural assets and fight at range. Gwynne’s boisterous crowd makes for a fun atmosphere and Iranian born debutant Yaddollah Ghasemi might feel a long way from home during their four rounder.

Aiming to impress:

Despite securing six straight wins, Pontypridd’s Kyle Jones (6-0) was disappointed with his latest win against the deceptive Ibrar Riyaz. The narrow margin scoreline was a reflection of the 22-year-old’s struggles with weight and he will now compete up at welterweight.

Jones, a solid operator of fundamental skills, knows he can be much better and will be eager to bounce back. The St Joseph’s Boxing Club member will lock horns with Jack Green (0-7), who is yet to win as a professional and is unlikely to take rounds off Jones, let alone cause an upset.

Ibrar Riyaz was also a tricky task for Bridgend’s Richie Canning (4-0-1), snatching a draw in his 100th outing. Canning, a neat long ranger, is yet to fight since that disputable result in March. The seven month layoff will be ended against Joe Beeden (2-45-1, 1KO) in what should be a formality, at least when analysing it on paper. After a near miss last time, Canning can’t afford another slip up against this type of adversary.

New faces on the block:

Despite owning no amateur background, Blaenavon’s Mason Jones (1-0) didn’t look disadvantaged when shining on his debut and proving too much for the very decent Marcin Cybulski. The 21-year-old super-welterweight has signed with London’s Mickey Helliet and branching out has given him excellent opportunities. Jones has spent time training at the Las Vegas gym of all-time great Floyd Mayweather. That experience, coupled with his obvious talent, should see him a comfortable winner against Paul Cummings (0-1). While there’s no need to rush Jones or any other prospect in his position, there’s just as much reason not to face too many opponents like this.

Barry Town’s 31-year-old light-heavyweight Jonathan O’Kelly will make his debut against Bulgarian import Hristo Yonev (2-2-1, 1KO), whose only other trip to British shores resulted in a first round knockout loss.

On the comeback trail:

Mountain Ash’s Tony Dixon (7-1, 2KO) has had it hard since turning professional. It finally caught up with the ‘Welsh Terrier’ in May when he was bombed out by Ireland’s Paddy Gallagher in the first round of their scrap for the Celtic belt. The outcome was the harsh reality of taking a risk and facing a high level of opposition, a necessity at title level. A move up to super-welterweight should aid the 24-year-old’s sturdiness and he will rebuild against experienced journeyman Kevin McCauley (11-126-9), who will play his part in restoring some confidence for Dixon.

Those with the ‘journeymen’ label shouldn’t always be overlooked though and one student of that lesson is Aberaman’s Anthony Trow (1-3), who was halted by an unfancied Andy Neylon inside the opening round in July. Trow is attempting to record his first win since his debut, nearly five years. The light-heavyweight, who is also a coach at ANA Boxing Club, fights the winless Scott Hillman (0-9).

The aforementioned Neylon will return to Wales and face Pontypridd’s Jermaine Asare (4-1). Two fights ago, Asare was also stunned in the first round by heavy hitting African Erik Mokonzo, so the Commonwealth Games medalist will be on guard to this visitor’s early threat.

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