Supporters at the Stadium of Light have not been too familiar with seeing much fight from their players in the last 12 months.
But fighters are back at the Wearside ground this weekend as promoter Phil Jeffries hosts his annual Summer Rumble show.
And this year is an exciting contest to top the will as Sunderland boxer Glenn Foot defends his English super lightweight belt against undefeated Gloucestershire talent Akeem Ennis Brown.
Brown is 8-0 so far but has only one stoppage on his record. He’s said to be a talented individual but former Prizefighter champion Glenn is by far the toughest opponent he’s faced to date.
No doubt the hometown fighter will have no issues in taking his young opponent to the trenches and seeing how he reacts under pressure.
Foot has been overdue his shot at the big time for some time now after injuries scuppered his chances of capitalizing on his Prizefighter victory. He’s a talented boxer capable of fighting however the contest goes. He’s got plenty of power but also underrated boxing skills too, after a good amateur career before he turned over to the pro side of the sport.
He tends to prefer to stand and trade with his opponents and showed that in London in his last bout when he won the English title. After conceding early rounds to Philip Bowes, Foot wore the Londoner down until the defending champion was practically running on empty.
Victory for Foot should put him in line for a British title shot, while the big promoters will no doubt be eyeing him too, with his fan-friendly style an easy selling point.
The Summer Rumble is always an enjoyable spectacle and has provided many a great bout at the Stadium of Light in its seven years of existence.
This year, one thing it really highlights is the strength in depth currently in North East boxing.
Joining Foot on the bill is Martin Ward who tunes up for a European title fight, hopefully later this year. The Durham fighter has previously held the Commonwealth strap and has also boxed for a world title.
Meanwhile, talented Darlington amateur Troy Williamson is in for his fourth paid contest, all going in his favour so far.
Other names on the bill include former Northern Area champion Peter Cope from Hartlepool as well as talented prospects such as Jay Hughes and Chris Wallace.
Doors to the show at the Stadium of Light open at 12.30pm today, with tickets available on the door.
Lewis Ritson gets a date for British title challenge
Forest Hall star Lewis Ritson has a date to look forward to.
Matchroom supremo Eddie Hearn won purse bids for his ordered British title challenge against Robbie Barrett, and he has told the British Boxing Board that he plans to stage the contest in Sheffield on September 16. The exact details are still to be announced.
It’s good News for the Ritson camp, however, as they hope to bring another Lord Lonsdale strap to the region after Thomas Ward’s brilliant effort earlier in the year to take the super bantamweight strap from Jazza Dickens in Leeds.
Barrett, 15-2-1, caused somewhat of a surprise back in April when he defeated Scott Cardle to win the lightweight British title.
Cardle was the well-backed Matchroom star, expected to ease to victory – thus winning the belt outright – before moving on towards the world stage. Barrett, from Darfield, Yorkshire, had other plans.
He’ll be a big test for Ritson, who has so far impressed in making it to 12-0 with six of those ending early.
He’s proven he has power and a ruthless side too, but is a classy, skilful boxer. Of the many talents coming through in the North East, Ritson would certainly rank very highly among them.
September 16 will be his chance to shine. With Eddie Hearn winning purse bids, there’s every chance his shot will come in front of the Sky cameras too.
Mulheron finally gets his chance
Expect bombs to fly when James Mulheron makes his UFC debut in Glasgow tonight.
The South Shields heavyweight is part of the first fight on the Glasgow main card as he takes on Justin Willis.
Mulheron is by no means small and weighed in on Saturday at 240lbs – but that was still 24lbs short of his huge American opponent.
Don’t be fooled by Mulheron’s body shape.
A quick glance at a flabby-looking Mulheron and you might presume that he’s not prioritised conditioning at all.
However, that couldn’t be further from the truth, with the big man one of the fittest fighters in the UK – regularly wearing opponents down and taking them the distance or knocking them out late.
A regular on Made4TheCage shows before signing with the UFC, he fights at an incredible pace for a heavyweight. In his own words, he’s a ‘heavyweight who moves like a welterweight’.
Mulheron is the UK number one heavyweight for a reason. He’s a well-rounded fighter, as capable when the fight is standing as he is when it goes to the mat.
Mulheron will hope to keep it standing against Willis though, and he’ll hope to produce a knockout similar to his stunning spinning back-fist knockout over Dayman Lake in 2015.
In his last fight he avenged his only defeat by beating Ruben Wolf, which showed his mental strength and self belief too.
Now Mulheron is determined to take the UFC by storm and capitalize on a somewhat open heavyweight division on mixed martial arts’ grandest stage.
Source : Chroniclelive