British Beat: Kid Galahad And Derry Mathews Favoured For Weekend Honours

Sheffield junior featherweight Kid Galahad, 16-0, 8 KOs, will attempt to sew another badge on his rucksack this weekend when he vies for Commonwealth honours against imported Aussie wildcard Fred “The General” Mundraby, 15-1-1, 7 KOs. Having already secured British and European awards in successive fights (he has since discarded the Lonsdale belt), the tricksy Galahad should complete his triple crown bid against Aboriginal community worker Mundraby, an assured, have-a-go-type, who arrives into England on a wing and a prayer.

To offer some context: currently rate Galahad (pictured at left) as the 23rd best junior featherweight in the world; Mundraby, meanwhile, limps in at 177th. And when a fighter blows into town accompanied by a pastor rather than their trainer, as Mundraby (pictured at right) is reported to have done, the omens for a potential upset seem only marginally less foreboding than the advent of a blood moon or a raven rapping on his dressing room door. The nippy Queenslander is also a natural junior bantamweight to boot; he could probably make flyweight just by weighing in without his socks (as if any more nails were required to hammer down the coffin lid on his chances).

Galahad is a 20 to 1 on favourite to win the bout; he’s likely to do so via a late-round stoppage or a wide point margin.

Promoter Mick Hennessy must hope that Galahad catches fire with a terrestrial TV audience (and he hasn’t yet) after his latest jilting – this one at the hands of James DeGale. After watching his career hit freeze-frame amid a Sisyphean series of ABC eliminators, DeGale contemplated early retirement. He has since shelved his Derek Rose pyjamas next to his Olympic gold medal in order to sign with Eddie Hearn, who will likely offer him a jackpot payout to oppose the winner of the impending Carl Froch-George Groves rematch.

Across the Pennines meanwhile, Liverpool’s Derry Mathews challenges Martin Gethin for the Walsall man’s British lightweight crown at the Olympia on Merseyside. Both Mathews, 34-9-2, 19 KOs, and Gethin, 24-4-1, 11 KOs, are on the comeback trail after having lost their previous contests. Allied to promoter Frank Warren and TV network BoxNation, they operate outside of the Hearn/Sky Sports-affiliated sub-group that includes Ricky Burns, Anthony Crolla, Kevin Mitchell, Gavin Rees and John Murray.

Mathews, 30, has been one of the best value-for-money domestic fighters over recent years, quarrelling with the likes of Crolla, Rees, Curtis Woodhouse and Tommy Coyle in dramatic bouts. Gethin, also 30, is an unassuming blue collar fighter whose boat finally came in last year after he landed a vacant title shot against Hove fitness instructor Ben Murphy. Mathews is the 7 to 4 on favourite. This is “Dirty” Derry’s third home fixture in a row (the beauty of being a ticket-seller) and home support should help ferry Mathews to shore, perhaps via late stoppage. Gethin, for the record, has been lodged as an 11 to 8 against outsider.

19-year-old heavyweight prospect Hughie Fury, 13-0, 8 KOs, goes in with Sunderland trier Danny “Boy” Hughes, 12-2-2, 3 KOs, on the Sheffield undercard. Hughes is best known for either a) losing to Audley Harrison in a three round tournament heat or b) being the brother of a man who set fire to a North Sea ferry last year, depending on whether you read a newspaper from front to back (or vice-versa). Fury should bank a few rounds before becoming the first man to knock the husky mackem into Bolivia (or the Sunderland equivalent, which is Pennywell).

The Olympia undercard features unbeaten trio Chris Eubank, Jr., 14-0, 9 KOs, Terry Flanagan, 23-0, 7 KOs, and Tom Stalker, 7-0, 2 KOs.

After faring well in sparring against the likes of Groves, DeGale and Froch, Eubank Jr. appears ready for a midterm. Challenging encounters against fellow prospect Adam Etches, 16-0, 13 KOs, of Sheffield or County Cork’s Gary “Spike” O’ Sullivan, 16-1, 10 KOs, would enable us to cut to the chase regarding the Brighton man’s true worth as a “Simply the Best” tribute act.

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