British middleweight champion James DeGale takes a last minute warm up fight against French journeyman Alpay Kobal tonight, prior to his proposed April 9 clash with commonwealth rival champion George Groves.
DeGale making his first ring appearance of the year, makes a good support appearance to Ricky Burns’ WBO super-featherweight title defence against Joseph Laryea.
With George Groves having his own tune up fight last Saturday in Yorkshire, it shows that the two Londoners don’t mind travelling the country to get fights and with tensions riding high between both fighters and there camps.
The British Boxing Board of Control have called for the fight to be set for April 9 giving both only a month to prepare. This date may well be changed but if not both will want to be in the best fighting shape possible in a battle both crave and what promises to be one of the fights of 2011.
DeGale has not boxed since winning the Lonsdale belt from Liverpool’s Paul Smith in December and shouldn’t have too much trouble in getting Kobal out of there as and when he pleases, although a few rounds under his belt wouldn’t do him any harm and could be a chance to showcase his boxing skills.
The 34-year-old Frenchman, a light-heavyweight, has won just seven out of 21 professional contests (five KOs) and has not tasted victory in his last five fights.
This will only be the second time he has boxed outside of France. His first venture abroad ended with a points defeat at the hands of unbeaten German Dustin Dirks – although Kobal did not win a round on any of the three cards.
full fight card
THE WBO WORLD SUPER-FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
RICKY BURNS V JOESEPH LARYEA RICKY BURNS (Coatbridge, Scotland) WBO World Champion 30-2-0 (7) JOESEPH LARYEA (Accra, Ghana) WBO I/C Champion 16-2-0 (11)
8 X 3 Minute Rounds International Super-Middleweight Contest JAMES DeGALE V ALPAY KOBAL JAMES DeGALE (Harlesden, England) British and Olympic Champion 9-0-0 (7)
8 X 3 Minute Rounds Super-Featherweight Contest STEVEN ORMOND V MICKEY COVENEY STEVEN ORMOND (Dublin, Ireland) 8-0-0 (7) MICKEY COVENEY (West Ham, England) 10-12-0 (2)
6 X 3 Minute Rounds Super-Featherweight Contest PAUL APPLEBY V YOUSEF AL HAMIDI PAUL APPLEBY (Sth Queensferry) Former British Champion 14-2-0 (9) YOUSEF AL HAMIDI (Dewsbury, England) 8-29-2 (1)
4 X 3 Minute Rounds Light-Middleweight Contest JOHN THAIN V KEVIN McCAULEY JOHN THAIN (Edinburgh) 3-0-0 KEVIN McCAULEY (Halesowen, England) 9-22-3
4 X 3 Minute Rounds Light-Heavyweight Contest CALLUM JOHNSON V JODY MEIKLE CALLUM JOHNSON (Lincoln / Scotland) Scotland’s Commonwealth Games Champion 1-0-0 (1) JODY MEIKLE (Scunthorpe, England) 0-3-0
4 X 3 Minute Rounds Super-Featherweight Contest CRAIG EVANS V SID RAZAK CRAIG EVANS (Blackwood, Wales) 2-0-0 (1) SID RAZAK (Birmingham, England) 6-58-0 (2)
4 X 3 Minute Rounds Cruiserweight Contest STEPHEN SIMMONS V NICK OKOTH STEPHEN SIMMONS (Edinburgh) NICK OKOTH (Battersea, England) Commonwealth Games Bronze Medallist 10-32-5 (2) Pro-Debut
4 X 3 Minute Rounds Featherweight Contest JONATHAN SLOWEY V DAN CARR JONATHAN SLOWEY (Glasgow) 1-0-0 DAN CARR (Trowbridge, England) 1-8-0 BRAEHEAD ARENA, GLASGOW DRAFT RUNNING ORDER Fight # 1 – 18.00 hrs
4 X 3 Minute Rounds Light-Middleweight Contest JOHN THAIN V KEVIN McCAULEY Fight # 2 – 18.20 hrs 4 X 3 Minute Rounds Cruiserweight Contest STEPHEN SIMMONS V NICK OKOTH Fight # 3 – 18.40 hrs 8 X 3 Minute Rounds Super-Featherweight Contest STEVEN ORMOND V MICKEY COVENEY Fight # 4 – 19.15 hrs
6 X 3 Minute Rounds Super-Featherweight Contest PAUL APPLEBY V YOUSEF AL HAMIDI Fight # 5 – 19.35 hrs
4 X 3 Minute Rounds Super-Featherweight Contest CRAIG EVANS V SID RAZAK Fight # 6 – Floater pre-20:00 hrs 4 X 3 Minute Rounds
Featherweight Contest JONATHAN SLOWEY V DAN CARR