Sky Sports will screen a bumper double-header of international boxing this Saturday night (May 18).
Eight hours of continuous live coverage begins with the 30th installment of Prizefighter – the third edition of the cruiserweights – at the event’s spiritual home of York Hall in Bethnal Green.
Then at 12.30am, attention switches Stateside as Britain’s Lee Purdy aims to cause a major upset when he fights Devon Alexander for the IBF world welterweight title Atlantic City.
Bethnal Green’s York Hall hosts the third edition of the Betfair Prizefighter Cruiserweights, the 30th edition of Matchroom’s unique knock-out format.
It promises to be an exciting night as the big men often provide some of the best action in Prizefighter.
Half of this Saturday’s eight combatants have won fights after being on the floor while the first edition provided six knockdowns in seven fights.
They will all contend for the £32,000 winners’ cheque, as well as the £2,000 bonus on offer for every win via stoppage.
Pre-tournament favourite with bookmakers is Rotherham’s Neil Dawson (above).
He stunned Tony Conquest last time out with a first round stoppage win and victory in this edition of Prizefighter will put him first in line to fight British champion Jon-Lewis Dickinson.
The joiner had to quit the ring for five years to pay the bills but is now on the verge of breaking through and believes Prizefighter will not de-rail his title ambitions even if he loses.
Second-favourite Danny McIntosh has been sparring with Mikkel Kessler ahead of his super-fight with Carl Froch on May 25, but this will be his first professional appearance at 200lb.
He had a mixed career at light-heavy, winning a European title but knocked down four times by Nathan Cleverly and flattened by Tony Oakey, and comes into the event on the back of three successive defeats.
Wadi Camacho has already proved to be a fan favourite with four KOs in six wins, while he’s also hit the deck twice including in defeat to China Clarke last time out.
‘Macho-man’ ran out of steam that day but his decent amateur schooling means he can box as well as trade, and Prizefighter offers him an excellent route back to possible title contention.
Also featuring on the night will be unbeaten Castleford fighter Nathan Owens, Nottinghamshire’s Shane McPhilbin, Welshman Hari Miles and Belfast’s Conall Carmichael.
Heywood’s Martin Grainger has been called up at a week’s notice after Tony Conquest withdrew due to a back injury.
The action at York Hall kicks off a huge night of boxing on Sky Sports, with Lee Purdy challenging Devon Alexander for the IBF welterweight title in Atlantic City.
Following the conclusion of Prizefighter the focus shifts to Atlantic City, as Devon Alexander puts his IBF welterweight title on the line against Britain’s Lee Purdy.
The 25-year-old Purdy, from Colchester, stepped in to face Alexander on short notice after Kell Brook’s withdrawal with a foot injury, but he will enter the ring as a major underdog ahead of this world title clash.
The fight will count as American Alexander’s mandatory defence of his belt which means Brook could have to wait up to nine months for another shot at the IBF title.
Meanwhile Purdy, who currently holds the IBF international welterweight belt, fought as recently as March 10 when he stopped Mexican Cosme Rivera in round nine.
Of his 24 professional fights, the former British champion has won 20, drawn one and lost three.
Purdy is fighting outside the UK for the first time in his career and he insists the prospect of facing the American in Atlantic City does not faze him.
His more illustrious American opponent has a record of 24 wins from 25 bouts, with 13 victories coming inside the distance.
An remarkable victory would no doubt propel the man from Colchester on to the World stage, amongst the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley who compete in the 147lb category.
However, the Matchroom boxer’s form over the last 20 months since surrendering his British welterweight crown – by way of a majority points’ decision to Colin Lynes – has seen a recovery record of four straight victories, including winning the English welterweight and IBF international welterweight titles.
In the build-up to the fight, Purdy has insisted that Alexander is not an ‘elite’ fighter and he plans to dethrone the IBF welterweight champion.
The former British champion is making a big step-up in class against Alexander, a two-weight world champion with just a solitary defeat.
Alexander has been touted as a possible foe for Floyd Mayweather or Amir Khan, but Purdy is far from overawed by the American and does not think he is one of the sport’s top performers.
The Atlantic City bill also features another world class bout as IBF light welterweight champion Lamont Peterson meets ferocious Argentinian brawler Lucas Matthysse.
Peterson and Matthysse are two of the top-ranked fighters in the always competitive light welterweight division, and both have an obvious future at full welterweight, where some of the sport’s biggest money fights take place.
British Olympic star Anthony Ogogo will also be action on the Atlantic City undercard, as will Haroon Khan.
Ogogo is back in action just three weeks after making his second professional debut, when he takes on Illinois-based Puerto Rican fighter Edgar Perez.
Sky Sports will have all the action covered from Bethnal Green and Atlantic City starting at 9pm and running right through until 5am on Sunday morning.
Dave Clark introduces a bumper night of live boxing alongside Johnny Nelson and Nicky Piper at the Sky studios.
Commentary on Prizefighter comes from Ian Darke and Jim Watt, while Adam Smith leads the Sky team in Atlantic City where Nick Halling and Glenn McCrory will be on commentary duties.
Live coverage can be watched online via Sky Go and on the iPad via the Sky Sports app.
Replays of the Alexander/Purdy fight and the Prizefighter contest will be shown on across the Sky Sports channels on Sunday and Monday.
SKY SPORTS BOXING WEBSITE
Saturday 18th MayPrizefighter: Cruiserweights III LIVE: 9.00pm-12.30am – Sky Sports 1 Fight Night International LIVE: 12.30am-5.00am (Sun) – Sky Sports 1 Featuring: Devon Alexander v Lee Purdy Lamont peterson v Lucas Matthysse Anthony Ogogo v Edgar Perez
Sunday 19th MayFight Night International: Alexander v Purdy Replay: 8.30am-10.30am – Sky Sports 3 Replay: 11.00am-1.00pm – Sky Sports 1