The British and Commonwealth and British titles are up for grabs but for two super-lightweights you can already see it’s about much more. Sam Maxwell challenges Akeem Ennis-Brown at the Birmingham Arena on Saturday 28th August, with big potential rewards for the victor.
If you needed a reminder of the significance of the fight for both men you only need look at their most recent press conference. A feisty, tetchy affair Ennis-Brown pushed Maxwell in a clash fueled by genuine spite. The pair recognise everything is on the line.
Ennis-Brown and Maxwell share unbeaten records but that is largely where their similarities end.
The champion Ennis-Brown hails from Gloucester, his first coach his older brother, with early informal spars against big men in the local neighbourhood. Although limited amateur experience, he did box Ted Cheeseman in the youth ranks but his success has largely stemmed from impressive wins as a professional.
A tricky southpaw who likes to keep his hands low, he’s proved an elusive opponent for some capable contenders. Glenn Foot outmanoeuvred for the English Super Lightweight title, Chris Jenkins beaten in 2018. More recent conclusive wins. First over Bilal Rehman for the IBF European Super Lightweight title and most recently Philip Bowes for the Commonwealth and vacant British titles.
A defensive boxer capable of making his opponents pay the only slight criticism is a lack of knockout victories – he boasts just one stoppage win in fourteen professional fights.
Maxwell’s schooling is well known. A product of the Salisbury ABC gym he grew up training alongside boxers the quality of Liam Smith. A Commonwealth bronze medallist in 2014, where he lost to current Super Lightweight king, Josh Taylor, he twice fought against Vasyl Lomachenko as an amateur.