The Last time Merthyr Tydfil’s Lesiure Centre’s doors swung open for a boxing event, it was for the coronation of the towns very own Gavin Gwynne who captured the vacant Welsh title with a gritty affair in handing defeat to the always tough Henry Janes.
It was a peformance which perked the publics interest in a fighter who up until this point as been serving his apprentiship beating tough journeymen but nothing on the level of which he performed the night he fought Janes.
So it was with excitement that we viewed his next outing, showing us glimpses of what can be achived when hard work and skill come together as one with another a performance that eclipsed that of the Welsh title in a sterling display, outpointing the English champion in Myron Mills whilst taking home bragging rights for the Welsh contingency before instantly looking further afield in search for more titles.
An enticing proposition was handed to him in a Celtic title shot against Darren Traynor, one which Gwynne readily accepted before jetting off to LA in prepration for his career’s biggest test.
But although some of us were possibly looking on with jealousy, its not all palm trees and Hollywood as both he and Lee Selby introduced a tough/gruelling regime to their camp, able to gain valuable sparring ahead of their respective fights, both looking fitter and sharper for the opportunity.
Eager to unveil his teaching from the WildCard gym aswell as the tough surroundings of Maywood, it was with frustration that after disaster struck, it left the Lightweights plans in turmoil from an apparent leg injury which as momentarily subsided his momentum.
It came as a big blow for the Treharris fighter but on a larger scale, the event in its entirety as the Town’s biggest ticket seller had to pull out of the contest he was featured to star in.
This mixed with the heartbreak suffered from the loss of the sister of Kody Davies meant that he too had to also forgo his Welsh title aspirations.
All in all it meant a shuffle of the fight card from Sanigar Promotions not once, not even twice but three times as fortunes were not favoured when also Light Heavyweight Nathan Thorley had to pull out of his scheduled bout with Paddy McDonagh for the vacant Celtic title through illness in the days leading up to the event.
So it rests on the young shoulders of some of Wales’ most talented prospects to save the day, starting with one of it’s best.
It will be almost a year since one of Wales’ brightest talents have stepped through the ropes but on Saturday night Morgan Jones. will make his long awaited return.
His loss to Mose Auimatagi Jnr on the Joshua v Parker undercard was a bitter pill to swallow for the Aberdare resident, a fight which on reflection was winning handily on the scorecards until disaster struck when the New Zealander hit paydirt with a shot that stopped Jones in his tracks in his sole career loss to date.
He will be presented with a far less dangerous foe in Anthony Fox but one which will act as a good gauge to test the waters before his inevitable rise back up the ranks.
Having trained for the challenge of Kody Davies, no doubt Rhydycar will witness a sharper, more spiteful version of Jones who it doesn’t need me to state is certainly an exciting fighter whatever the occasion.
The counter puncher will have an ideal dance partner in Butkevicius that should provide some fireworks on the nights undercard.
Possibly a dark horse for fight of the night could be found in a contest between the road dog, Geraint Goodridge who will look to get his career back on track by handing defeat to the unbeaten Aaron Sutton.
it is of course a big ask but Goodridge revels in taking the role as underdog, hoping that he will be able to send the Bristolian back over the bridge with a digit in the loss column.
Sutton as looked impressive in his seven professional encounters, able to outbox each of the opposition he has faced but has yet to show a big punch in his arsenal. It remains to be seen whether this will be his first but what will be more concrete is that he will have to work for every second of every round, its not always about the dog in the fight, it can sometimes come down to the fight in the dog.
Elsewhere those of you who have bought tickets for Saturday night will be feasted with another chance to see some of Wales’ best prospects in the likes of Jake Anthony, Robbie Vernon, Sion Yaxley, Jake Tinklan, Ricky Rowlands as well as the debut of Jordan Thomas.
Doors open at 6:00 PM – First bout is at 6:30