Sky's the limit for great Scottish hope Anderson
IF FIRST impressions do indeed last, then Kevin Anderson has already gone a considerable distance to ensuring he has as rosy a future in professional boxing as his manager and promoter Tommy Gilmour has predicted for him.
The 19-year-old Buckhaven welterweight made a terrific debut in the paid ranks last Saturday night, stopping Belfast’s Paul McIlwaine in two rounds at London’s famous York Hall. Such is the interest in the young Fifer’s progress, his bout was screened by Sky Sports as part of their coverage of Craig Docherty’s stunning capture of the Commonwealth super-featherweight title with an eighth-round stoppage of Dean Pithie.
So taken by Anderson’s style and performance were the TV company, they asked Gilmour to book him again for tonight’s show at the Everton Park Sports Centre in Liverpool where local boxers Michael Jones and Jamie Moore headline in a face-off for the British and Commonwealth light-middleweight belts.
Anderson takes an immediate jump up in class this evening, taking on experienced 30-year-old Polish pugilist Piotr Bartnicki in a contest scheduled for six rounds.
Bartnicki has lost six of his 21 professional contests so far, but is a dangerous puncher who stopped the decent Darren Bruce in three rounds last time out in December. It is a measure of Anderson’s confidence, however, that he is quite unfazed by the prospect.
"I don’t know anything about him, to be honest with you," said the young Scot last night. "I only just found out who I am fighting and it doesn’t really worry me.
" I let Tommy Gilmour pick the opponents and tell me when I will be in the ring. The rest is up to me.
"I’m glad to get a second fight so quickly after my debut, especially as it looks as if Sky will be featuring me again. It’s good for me to get that kind of exposure at the start of my career and hopefully build up my reputation.
"I was pleased with my debut last week. I was originally supposed to fight Keith Jones, the Welshman, but at the weigh-in he didn’t fancy the job. He was switched to fight Barry Morrison, who is fighting at light-welter and was also making his debut, and I got McIlwaine, who was to have been Barry’s opponent.
"The good thing was we both won our fights and it was a great night for Scottish boxing with Craig Docherty becoming Commonwealth super-featherweight champion. It’s an exciting time for the sport in Scotland and I want to become a big part of it."
Gilmour, who last Monday night honoured both Docherty and WBO featherweight champion Scott Harrison as top-table guests at his St Andrew’s Sporting Club show in Glasgow, is understandably buoyant about the current scene.
"Last Saturday night was as enjoyable as I’ve had in this game for a long time," said the promoter.
""I was so pleased for Craig, who has worked hard to become a champion, while Kevin and Barry had debuts as good as any you will see."
Gilmour is now open to the prospect of Docherty facing British champion Alex Arthur in what would be a tantalising unification contest between the Glasgow and Edinburgh men.
"It’s an obvious fight to happen and one people will want to see," said Gilmour.
"If the numbers add up, and they will have to now that Craig is bringing a belt to the table, then it’s a fight we are more than happy to take."
PENCIL in 28 June as the likely date for Scott Harrison’s second defence of the WBO featherweight title. It appears Sports Network have identified that Saturday night for the Cambuslang boxer’s next appearance with both the Braehead Arena and Kelvin Hall again believed to be in competition to stage the event.
Johnny Tapia remains in the frame to be Harrison’s opponent, although another strong possibility is Paulie Ayala, the 32-year-old former WBA bantamweight champion from Fort Worth in Texas.
Ayala, who was outpointed by Erik Morales in a bid for the WBC featherweight title last November, was yesterday stripped by the IBO of their super-bantamweight belt for failing to defend it within the stipulated time period. It increases speculation that the Ayala camp, promoted by Bob Arum, are in advanced negotiations with Harrison’s promoter Frank Warren to travel to Scotland this summer.
FLOYD Mayweather Junior continues his campaign to be recognised as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world tonight.
The stylish American defends his WBC lightweight title against Victoriano Sosa of the Dominican Republic in California.
The night owls among you can catch the action live on Sky Sports following their coverage of the domestic bill in Liverpool.
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