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THE MICHAEL REEVES COLUMN: Scorecards needed to decide the big clashes
5:30am Saturday 7th June 2014 in Sport
WHEN Kelvin Young enters the ring at the Oasis Leisure Centre tonight to make the first defence of his IBO super-middleweight title, he will be facing an opponent he has had little time to study.
The Penhill pugilist and his trainer Richard Farnan have both said that the 27-year-old has the ability to adapt as the fight with Cameroon-born Frenchman Francis Tchoffo goes on.
They will need to. The short and stocky 26-year-old is wild and erratic, throws big-swinging punches from all angles.
What Young will have though, is a vastly superior height and reach advantage.
The champion is a stylish boxer working off the back foot and has spent plenty of time sparring WBA and IBF super-middleweight world champion Carl Froch in preparation for this contest.
And with all the awkward angles that Tchoffo, who took the fight at four days’ notice, throws his punches from, Young will have to use his agility to stay out of range.
Staying away from the big swinging arms of Tchoffo is going to be key for Young if he is to retain the title he won in December.
It will be a cagey start to the 10-round contest as both men look to figure each other out, but as the bout wears on, expect Young to start putting together some fast combinations before getting out of range again.
The champ’s trainer says that they will set a fast pace from off and that they are prepared to maintain that tempo for the duration.
If Young can do that, then maybe he might just be able to wear down his rival and claim a maiden stoppage late on.
Lawrence Bennett takes a massive step up in class when he faces Chris Keane in a British cruiserweight title eliminator.
Swindon’s Southern Area champion is going to have to go to places he has never been before if he is to put himself in line for a shot at the Lonsdale strap.
Keane is a concussive puncher and has stopped five of his 13 opponents, all within three rounds.
But the 27-year-old from Walsall can be stopped as Neil Dawson proved last year.
Bennett likes to work off the jab, a tactic which proved successful in winning the Southern Area strap in March.
Yet, he will know that he must throw more than just a jab to succeed as well as staying away from Keane’s explosive punches.
Having spoken to the West Midlander in the build up to this contest I get the impression he is very much like the Brixton Bomber Danny Williams.
On his day a fabulous boxer with power to match, but the question is does he fancy the fight? If he doesn’t then I feel Keane will just be there in body but not mind.
Michael Reeves predicts: Kelvin Young to use his boxing skills to secure a shut-out points victory over Francis Tchoffo.
If Lawrence Bennett can avoid getting tagged by Chris Keane, who has not gone beyond six rounds, early on he will secure a narrow points win.
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