Czech pair Tomas Salek (pictured) and Tomas Bezvoda have warned home fans and Fightzone viewers that they are coming to the UK to win when they appear at Sheffield Arena this Friday (May 28).
The East Europeans are both in tough fights but – equally – the pair also come into their respective contests in good form.
Salek will face home fighter Kash Ali for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) European Heavyweight Title, with the winner set to rise into the top 20 of the IBF’s world rankings. Rotherham’s Ali has a solitary disqualification loss on his 19 fight record and, after making noticeable progress under the tutelage of trainer Richard Towers, is set for the biggest test of his career to date.
Salek doesn’t take a backward step and can whack, evidenced by his 13 KO wins. The 22-year-old has tasted defeat just twice in 17 contests and, with 21 big KOs between them, Ali versus Salek promises to be dynamite.
“I’ve seen three of his fights,” explained Salek. “He’s a good boxer but not unbeatable. I expect a hard fight with a lot of dangerous combinations but I’m ready for the scheduled 10 rounds. I’m going to do everything for a win and I will try to win by KO.
“I’m looking forward to fighting in UK, it will be my first time. Ali is the home fighter so I can’t depend on a points win. I’m maybe not the favourite but I know I’m a better boxer than Ali and it’s the reason why I accepted this challenge. I’m not technical but I’m strong and in good shape.
“It’s really important for me to win this fight and this title. This is a respected belt and with a win I can be in the IBF ratings and only a few steps away from even bigger fights.”
Further down the card, Bezvoda will face the challenge of Mark Jeffers, who has been hailed as a nailed-on future super middleweight star. The Chorley fighter, who turned over at 18, has raced to 11-0 as a pro, and also claimed the Central Area crown in his last fight.
Bezvoda is very well regarded on the British boxing circuit, known for not giving anyone an easy night and capable of causing an upset. The experienced 33-year-old, who has nine wins (six KOs) from 23 contests, has only failed to hear the final bell once and faces Jeffers on the back of a KO win in February.
“I’ve seen his fights on video; he’s tall and looks strong. It will be a tough fight,” said Bezvoda. “I’ve lost twice before in the UK, they are always really hard matches but I’m ready for this. I’ve had enough time for preparation and will do everything to win!
“For my TKO loss, I accepted the fight only a few days before and wasn’t really in shape. Now it will be a completely different match – the fight is scheduled for 8 rounds and I’ll be ready for it. I´ve been boxing for about 17 years and have a lot of amateur experience.
“I think I have something to show and that you will like my style. I want to win and you will see that in the fight.”
Chief support on this Fight Academy card comes in the form of a Midlands Area Title fight with Wolverhampton’s Conah Walker and Walsall’s Levi Ferguson going head-to-head for the vacant crown. A well-matched affair – Conah has eight wins and a draw, with two KOs; Ferguson has been only beaten once in six – this 10-rounder promises to be keenly contested as both look to pick up their first belt.
The undercard will also feature Belfast’s Ciaran McVarnock, 10-0-1 (3), who makes a two-year ring return after taking time out from the sport to support partner Nicole, who has had her own fight with cystic fibrosis.
Also on the bill are a trio of undefeated Lancashire fighters – Josh Holmes 5-0, Dan Catlin 5-0 (2), and Zak Miller 3-0 (1); whilst Burnley’s Reece Farnhill and Blackburn’s Jack Fay will take their first steps in a professional ring.