By Thomas Lyons
Reading’s highly regarded Asinia Byfield has been rewarded with his British title shot when he faces Ted Cheeseman, set to main event in the new season (venue or date yet to be confirmed).
Promoter Eddie Hearn announced the news on Monday, that both camps had come to an agreement to make the fight happen, possibly in September but to be arranged in the coming weeks.
Since Liam Williams vacated the title to pursue ambitions of fighting for a version of the world title, the 154lb division, domestically, has really opened up and these two huge draws and skilled operators in their own right were talked about throughout this year until the fans finally got what they deserved.
Byfield brings a variety of skill and an awkward style that Cheeseman hasn’t faced before in his 14 fights as a professional and certainly nobody as charismatic as the 29-year-old.
Cheeseman, on the other hand, has had the backing of his promoters, Matchroom whereas Byfield has had to work his way up on the small hall scene to earn his stripes at this level.
Byfield did get his opportunity to shine back in July last year when he defeated the highly touted prospect Sam McNess with events after the fight overriding what occurred in the ring.
Having boxed for the Southern area title on the night, Byfield probably hasn’t boxed anywhere near the level of Ted Cheeseman so far and stepping up in class, especially to British level and beyond is a tough test for him.
However, Byfield has made his case for such a rewarding fight with a stoppage victory over McNess and derailing his plans to become British champion at some point. Instead, the brash and flamboyant Byfield has done everything asked of him and now has an opportunity to put himself into contention for bigger titles and feature on the high-profile shows.
Similarly, the Bermondsey man, nicknamed ‘The Big Cheese’ cruised past veteran Carson Jones back in February, with a comfortable points victory and dispatched of Paul Upton on the Watkins-Okolie undercard to retain the WBA International Super-Welterweight title.
Whatever the result, both men have served the sport incredibly well and even though the winner can chase the big fights with the likes of Williams and WBO world title challenger (against Jaime Munguia) Liam Smith somewhere down the line, for the loser its back to the drawing board and come again.