By Thomas Lyons
Provided with the biggest and best platform world boxing has seen in a very long time, Shepherds Bush based fighter Mikael Lawal (5-0) is grateful for the plethora of opportunities provided by his backers, Sauerland Promotions, pioneered by brothers, Nisse and Kalle, who is the chief officer for the World Boxing Super Series. This will be his third appearance on the undercard of the major tournament and with a chance to move to 6-0, maintaining a perfect professional record, Lawal has sights on the domestic scene in what is a hotly contested Cruiserweight division right now. Lawal, who boxes out of Stonebridge ABC, was 2-0 when Team Sauerland approached him to offer a long-term professional contact.
Fresh off his unanimous points victory over Istvan Orsos in Riga, at the end of last month, ‘the Beast’ will be looking to replicate the performances he has displayed in an explosive start to his professional career. Nevertheless, now that he has returned to the UK, there will be more interest in Lawal’s ring-craft and skill on Saturday night at the Manchester Arena. I’m sure Lawal would have learned a lot being out in Latvia during fight week, keeping a close eye on the Usyk-Breidis main-event also.
Part of a stacked undercard, which features some tight 50-50 affairs, especially title fights between British Featherweight champion Ryan Walsh and hungry challenger Isaac Lowe, as well as British Middleweight holder Tommy Langford, who is back in action after his stoppage loss to Avantil Khurtsidze, against Jack Arnfield who is carrying some momentum coming into this fight. This will all build up to the eagerly anticipated grudge match between George Groves who defends his WBA ‘Super’ Super-Middleweight title against the charismatic Chris Eubank Jr, which expects fireworks from the opening bell.
However, with the domestic scene thriving with top cruiserweight prospects and contenders, especially after the ‘British Beef’ match-up between Lawrence Okolie, who prevailed against Isaac Chamberlain, there is some massive fights to be made in the future. British champion Matty Askin is set to defend his title against Steve Simmonds at York Hall on the 17 March. The mix also features the likes of Craig Kennedy, Luke Watkins, Wadi Camacho and so on. Lawal mentioned in another interview with IFL TV, that he was particularly interested in progressing his career at the correct pace, and that when the time was right, he’d more than happily jump in the ring with both Okolie and Chamberlain.