By Thomas Lyons
Ahead of the big domestic dust-up between two of London’s most exciting Cruiserweight prospects, Lawrence Okolie and Isaac Chamberlain, that has divided opinion across the boxing fraternity, a packed card will be delivered at the O2 this Saturday. Knowing a win could propel their career to new heights, on the undercard, undefeated light-middleweight Ted Cheeseman (12-0, 8KOs) understands a win against Carson Jones this weekend, will elevate his position on the domestic scene, and justify his intentions to fight for big titles during the year.
Cheeseman has now been let off the leash with a tough assignment and major step up in class against Jones, who’s remembered for his classic with Kell Brook a good few years back. Its a mixture of youth and hunger in Cheeseman’s favour and the experience of Jones, who’s operated at a much higher level but arguably is coming to the back end of his career. Although this is a stiff test for Cheeseman, its an opportunity to make a statement and showcase his talent on the biggest stage, opening up the British scene of 154 pounders, including Kell Brook who’s the pick of the bunch most definitely.
Off the back of a good learning fight with Tony Dixon in December at the York Hall, Cheeseman is certainly pushing forward to be in line with a shot for the British title by the end of the year, with some domestic fights with Asinia Byfield and Joe Pigford, to name a few, on the horizon. Cheeseman respects the challenge of the American on Saturday night, and if he comes through this task, all those fights become a possibility next.
Part of a thriving stable of British talent, trained by Tony Sims, including the likes of Joe Cordina, Conor Benn, Felix Cash (who also fights on the card), Martin J Ward, down at the elite Matchroom gym, Cheeseman has done his apprenticeship as a pro and is looking to be stepped up with each fight to test the credentials that so many believe he possesses.
With the platform of Sky Sports and the WBA International title on the line, Cheeseman has the perfect opportunity to pick up another title and prove his worth to the division, as well as beating a credible name in Carson Jones. Cheeseman is in the same position as Ben Jones, who Jones stopped at the end of 2016 for the vacant WBC International Silver Super-Welterweight title, and was on the climb through the professional ranks but had to be put in his place for stepping up too soon. Most recently, Jones lost out marginally to Antonio Margarito, losing a decision in Mexico. However, Jones has come into this fight with Cheeseman with the same ambition and most importantly, with a winning mentality, which makes the test for the Bermondsey man more exciting for the general public.
Cheeseman has been linked with the JJ Metcalf fight for the vacant British title, but with Byfield taking the fight, he believes this fight is the perfect matchup to step into the world mix. This fight will undoubtedly raise his stock and profile, opening many doors for a prosperous 2018 for the 22-year-old.