Let's get it on
Promoter Eddie Hearn can't wait for Saturday Fight Night, which includes two hours of action behind the red button.
Last Updated: 02/04/13 6:28pm
We're in Liverpool for Saturday's exciting show at the Echo Arena and I'm delighted that we will be showing two hours of live action behind the red button prior to going on air at 9pm on Sky Sports.
The red button is massive for British boxing. Fans want to see seven or eight fights but it's not physically possible. We've gone from two hour shows to three and four hour shows as standard, and to now add these extra two hours on the red button is ground-breaking as it gives fans the chance to watch the biggest young talent in British boxing and follow their progress.
We can't always get those guys live on the cards and hopefully it will get a good response and we can carry it forward to all our shows.
It's nice to be able to offer this service to the fight community. It's got to work - it does carry extra cost but if it adds value for subscribers and the numbers makes sense then I think Sky would be interested in doing more of it.
People have to remember Sky is not a boxing channel, it's a sports channel that does boxing, but we want to do it really well and showcase the talent from top to bottom, and this gives us a chance to do that.
The top of the bill sees Tony Bellew take on Isaac Chilemba in a final eliminator for the WBC light-heavyweight title. It's the toughest fight of Tony's career, no doubt about that, in terms of quality of opponent. I don't want to take anything away from Nathan Cleverly but I rate Chilemba a better fighter. Both of these guys have the ability to win world titles but they're going to fight each other. Chilemba is very good, very fast and while the bookies may have it 60-40 in favour of Bellew, in America many see Chilemba as the favourite.
Yes, Bellew has beaten Miranda and Bolonti but he didn't look exceptional so this is a huge step up and he has to win on Saturday - it's a career-defining fight to go on and fight Chad Dawson.
You have to have the ability to win at this level, you can't just say you're good. No-one works harder than Tony Bellew, no-one's got more self-belief, but he also carries a huge amount of skill and power and it's putting those together that beats the likes of Isaac Chilemba. He's been over for 10 days, he's got Buddy McGirt in his corner and is promoted by Lou DiBella. They think they're nailed on to win this fight and so it could go either way.
I always say I want to make 50-50 fights but sometimes you can't. However with Anthony Crolla v Derry Mathews as chief support we've got two in the main fights on the night.
I thought Crolla would beat Mathews in their first fight I really did, but seeing the size difference in the ring and even today, I think that makes a difference. When you hurt someone and stop someone, mentally that means a lot and Crolla knows that Derry can hurt him, and Derry knows that too. So I'm going to go for Derry this time and I'll probably get that wrong as well! But it's such a great fight and I've got loads of respect for both of them, they're a great pair of lads but they are here to fight and you know what type of fight to expect.
Rocky Fielding takes on the talented Wayne Reed in the first defence of his English title in what will be the third live fight. Rocky only looked average against Carl Dilks last time and there is massive pressure on him here. He's sold nearly a thousand tickets so he's got to put in a really dominating performance. He's got to deal with people like Reed if he wants to go on and challenge for the British title, where he could get the winner of Paul Smith vs Tony Dodson, which would be a massive fight for Liverpool. But Reed is tough, game as you like so you should see another great fight.
Further down the card, Scotty Cardle is having a warm-up against a southpaw ahead of his title fight against Maxi Hughes on April 20. I wanted to get him out again to get him geared up for that fight in Blackpool.
Kal Yafai is making his debut at super-flyweight and has actually got a really tough fight against Micheal Ramabaletsa. He's better than his record suggests and he's been in with some good lads. It's a proper fight but it's supposed to be one of those to check his weight, his power and see how he carries it, and also gears him up for April 20 and also the Froch v Kessler bill.
He's got a big following going on but we just want to see what he's like at 8st 3lb.
You know, sometimes you come to a city which is a fight city, I'm talking about Glasgow, Belfast, Liverpool. You come to a press conference and it's packed and you sell 7,000 tickets at the box office. When you build any show you wonder how it's going to do, and in fight week when you've sold that many it's the greatest buzz ever. There are so many different fights it's got everything. With this amount of action it can only be a good thing and with the red button it's the icing on the cake. I can't wait for Saturday to come round.