Tomorrow night’s mouthwatering WBA International Super-Featherweight showdown between the silky southpaw smarts of Crayford’s classy Alex Dilmaghani and the atomic hitting of Nicaragua’s Two-Time IBF World Title challenger Francisco Fonseca is a front runner for this season’s most competitive match up and even the bookmakers, those shrewdest of judges, are struggling to split the pair.
The top-class collision headlines the Hennessy Sports event, in association with VIP Boxing Promotions, at the Premier Suite, University of Bolton, exclusively live on free-to-air Channel 5 from 9pm.
Bookies’ Coral and Ladbrokes both have the fight ‘pick ‘em’ at 10/11, while Betway sway marginally with home hope ‘Dilma’, placing the lethal Latino a very live 17/20 nap.
However, for those that sense that the action is unlikely to last the scheduled 12 rounds, heavy hitter Foncesa is the preferred pick with William Hill who offer appetising odds of 7/2 for him to add Dilmaghani to his list of 18 early victims. The Anglo-Iranian, who has culled five of his last seven early, is himself 5-1 to dispense with the judges.
Seldom are these blessed shores with such a high grade, even money international pairing and with Channel Five screening live on free-to-air, there’s no reason to miss out on what promises to be a potential Fight of the Year candidate.
At today’s official weigh-in, Dilmaghani weighed in a shade under the super-featherweight limit at 129.6lb (9st 3lb 10oz), while Fonseca hit the scales lighter at 129.1lb (9st 3lb 1oz).
Fonseca coach Rosendo Alvarez: ‘I’m considered the second best boxer in history behind Alexis Arguello’
Fight fans attending Friday’s salivating super-featherweight shootout between Crayford’s classy Alex Dilmaghani and Nicaragua’s hard-hitting Francisco Fonseca at the Bolton White’s Hotel will be in the presence of greatness.
Heading the lethal Latino’s corner will be ex-two weight WBA World Champion Rosendo Alvarez, one of the toughest most tenacious atoms to ever lace up.
The one they called ‘El Bufalo’ lost just four times (twice by disqualification’!) in a decorated 43 fight paid career between 1992 and 2012, that saw him contest 13 world title contests (just two losses), conquer nine world champions, register 24 knockouts and reign on the WBA’s minimum and light-flyweight thrones.
However, his greatest claim to fame came in March 1998 when he put the only stain on the great Ricardo Lopez undefeated 52 fight pro innings. In a WBA/WBC unification fight in Mexico City, Alvarez, himself undefeated in 24 at the time, dumped home favorite ‘El Finito’ heavily in round two but was restricted to an eight round technical draw after an ‘accidental head clash’.
In the inevitable rematch at the Las Vegas Hilton eight months after, Alvarez copped the rough end of a 12 round split decision.
‘I am considered the second-best boxer in the history of Nicaragua, behind only Alexis Arguello,’ beamed Rosendo, now 49, whose huge personality overshadows his diminutive 5ft 5in frame.
‘Firstly, they called me ‘El Matador’, but after breaking with my first manager, and while training in Panama, another boxer recommended to switch to ‘El Bufalo’, just before the first fight against Lopez.’
‘The first fight with Lopez in Mexico was a great experience because 60,000 people were there supporting Lopez but I never felt the pressure.
‘Three or four years before we fought, I’d watched Lopez fight on TV and I thought it was going to be impossible to beat him. I knew he was a memorable champion, very disciplined and a very accurate puncher.
‘But my preparation had been excellent and I was very confident. The biggest quality was that I was very strong, a hard puncher. I was never afraid and I adopted many skills while training in Panama. In the first Lopez match, I was robbed.
‘For our rematch, I was pressed by Don King (Lopez’ promoter) to take the fight with only one month to get ready. In that time, I had to lose 32 lbs. I couldn’t make the weight, I didn’t feel well. (Alvarez flunked the weight by almost four pounds). Nevertheless, I still think the second fight should have been drawn.’
Though the globetrotting ‘El Bufalo’ fought 17 times outside his Nicaraguan homeland (losing just three), sadly British fight followers never got to savour his savagery.
‘I’ve always liked and respected British Boxing and British boxers. My favourites are Lennox LeWIS, Ricky Hatton and Naseem Hamed,’ states Senor Alvarez who is delighted to make his British bow by piloting two-time IBF title challenger Fonseca on Friday.
‘Dilmaghani is a good southpaw boxer so Fonseca needs to put pressure on the fight. Francisco is very experienced and has trained very hard for this. He has good skills and discipline. Boxing is priority Number One in his life.
‘I won’t necessarily predict a stoppage but Fonseca will win the fight. Winning the WBA International title will lead to a new World Title shot.’
Chief support on the talent stacked card sees undefeated starlets Jack ‘The Giant Killer’ Flatley and Harry ‘Hammer Time’ Scarff fight it out over 10 rounds for the former’s English Super-Welterweight Championship. Bolton wonder Flatley, a former national amateur finalist at both junior and senior level, is yet to be beaten in 16 but the ex-England international can expect to be stretched right to the limit by 7-0 Derby six footer Scarff in a mouthwatering match-up.
Promoter Hennessy’s son, Michael Hennessy Jr, an all action middleweight who is undefeated in two, is set to feature in a six rounder.
A full undercard featuring several of Steve Wood’s rising talents is set to garnish an unmissable night of entertainment.
Passions are sure to run high when Darwen’s robust Mickey Ellison (9-2) locks horns with Manchester technician Charlie Schofield (unbeaten in 16) in a seriously spicy looking Eliminator for the English Super-Middleweight Championship.
Popular Wigan welterweight James Moorcroft and Oldham’s turbo charged Andy Kremner will be banking to triumph in separate six rounders before clashing against each other back at the Bolton Whites in December. The former goes up against Manchester circuit fighter Sam Omidi whilst the returning Kremner seeks to become the first to stop Cannock tough man Lee Gunter.
Prestwich pressure fighter Sean Ben Mulligan, beaten just once in 11, endeavours to edge yet further up the domestic super-welter rankings by prevailing in a Roses rumble with 71 fight Driffield warmonger Danny ‘Lethal’ Little.
Wigan lightweight Rhiannon Dixon makes her exciting debut over four rounds against nine fight Lithuanian Vaida Maseokaite, a regular visitor to these shores.
Stretford’s Bradley Rea, Wigan’s Andrew Fleming and Stockport’s Jack Booth are three local lads who’ll be seeking to extend their perfect slates. Middleweight Rea, described as ‘a serious talent’ by promoter Wood, will be hoping to go seven-up in an Anglo-Scottish affair with Stranraer’s significantly more seasoned Paul Allison. Also over six, Fleming, a strong super-lightweight southpaw, intends to stretch his streak to eight against an opponent still to be announced while Matthew Hatton’s all-action super-middle starlet Booth will be looking to defuse ‘Baltic Bomber’ Genadij Krejevskij from Lithuania in an intriguing international four-rounder.