THE QUEENSBERRY PAIR of Liam Davies and Ionut Baluta will contest the vacant European super bantamweight championship at the Telford International Centre on Saturday November 19, exclusively live on BT Sport.
The bumper Telford card includes David Avanesyan defending his European welterweight title for a sixth time against his mandatory challenger Jon Miguez from Spain, and will also see the return of Anthony Yarde ahead of his world title business in early 2023.
Telford native Davies, 26, has enjoyed a remarkable run since becoming a Queensberry fighter, with four straight wins resulting in a successful shot at the WBC International Silver belt and, last time out in June, becoming British champion by defeating the title holder Marc Leach via a unanimous decision to take his professional record to 12-0 (5 KOs).
The now Bushey-based Romanian Baluta, 28, holds a record of 15-3 (3 KOs) and in May he inflicted defeat on Brad Foster to become WBC International champion. A former WBO European title holder at bantamweight, Baluta has victories over Irish stars TJ Doheny and David Oliver Joyce on his record and only lost by a narrow margin to Michael Conlan.
Avanesyan (29-3-1, 17 KOs) returns to action after making short work of the previously unbeaten Oskari Metz at Wembley in March.
The 34-year-old is on a run of six stunning stoppages and remains firmly in position for a shot at the WBC world title.
Miguez (17-0, 8 KOs) fought a British fighter last time out in his home country of Spain, defeating James Moorcroft via a sixth round stoppage. The former Spanish welterweight champion won the EBU European Union title with a points success over Aitor Nieto in March of this year.
Yarde (22-2, 21 KOs) will be back in the ring for the first time since his resounding rematch victory over Lyndon Arthur in December of last year.
He is next in line for a shot at unified world champion Artur Beterbiev and this major collision at light heavyweight will take place in January. The fight was originally scheduled for October of this year but an injury sustained by the WBO, WBC and IBF champion resulted in the delay and Yarde preparing with a warm-up fight.
Local lad Davies is thrilled that he will once again enjoy home advantage and keep the boxing momentum going in Telford.
“It is good for myself and the town really, bringing boxing back,” he said. “That is what I wanted to do, it was always part of the plan and now I am in a position where it is happening, so I am grateful.
“I get a lot of feedback locally. Last time it was great, we sold a lot of tickets and it was busy. This time I am sure there will be even more eyes on it, with it being another big fight. It gives you that bit more motivation to do the business because, with it being in your hometown, you want to make sure you win in style.
“Baluta has had some good wins and he throws a lot, so I think he will be there to be hit and that will work in my favour. It will definitely be my toughest fight and they are all coming at the right time for me.
“I am on a roll now, on the way up and I will take every fight as it comes. The European title is another step up and I am more than ready.”
For his part, Baluta issued a short and sharp message to his fellow challenger for the prestigious European honour.
“I can’t wait for this fight. This belt is mine. Davies, you will feel sorry for accepting this fight.”
Also appearing on the Telford card is a fight where two prospects put it all on the line, the unbeaten super lightweight Eithan James (9-0) from Northampton goes up against Connor Parker (14-1, 1 KO), Zach Parker’s cousin from Woodville in Derbyshire, for the vacant WBO European title.
“Telford is once again playing host to what will be a quality night of fights topped by two European title clashes,” added promoter Frank Warren. “The European super bantamweight clash between Liam Davies and Ionut Baluta will be a terrific scrap as neither fighter appears to possess a reverse gear.
“Liam has made massive strides since we teamed up with him and I was so impressed with the way he dealt with a particularly tricky customer in Marc Leach to win the British title.
“Ionut, who is the more experienced of the pair, showed his class in winning his WBC belt against Brad Foster and he will rightly consider himself a world level super bantam. This fight has got all the makings of a classic in what is a highly competitive division.
“David Avanesyan will once again demonstrate why he is best in class in Europe with a staggering sixth defence of his European welterweight title against an ambitious and unbeaten opponent in Jon Miguez.
“David is obviously thinking bigger than European titles, given his run of form, but until he gets a meaningful world level fight in the diary he is rightly not going to surrender his belt.
“I am delighted to be getting Anthony Yarde out in a keep-busy fight ahead of his world title challenge in January. There is always the temptation to simply play the waiting game but, with Artur Beterbiev not currently available due to injury, Anthony needs some time in the ring.
“Eithan James and Connor Parker were originally due to fight in June, but this was postponed due to Connor picking up an injury. We are getting it on again now with the WBO European title at stake and this should be a top fight between two young prospects willing to take a significant step up in class.”
Nottingham light heavyweight Ezra Taylor (3-0, 2), Telford super lightweight Macaulay Owen (3-0, 1), Dublin lightweight Willo Hayden (4-0, 1), Liverpool super bantam Brad Strand (8-0, 3), York super welter George Davey (5-0-1) and Telford bantam Raheem Muhammed (2-0) also feature on the show.
Tickets for Davies vs Baluta at the Telford International Centre on Saturday November 19 are on sale now, available exclusively from ticketmaster.co.uk.
WBC International and vacant European Super-Bantamweight Championship 12 x 3 Minute Rounds
Liam Davies 120.7lbs vs Ionut Baluta 121.4lbs
10 x 3 Minute Rounds International Light-Heavyweight Contest
Anthony Yarde 179.2lbs vs Stefani Koykov 176.6lbs
10 x 3 Minute Rounds Super-Lightweight Contest
Eithan James 140lbs vs Keanen Wainwright 134.9lbs
6 x 3 Minute Rounds International Light-Heavyweight Contest
Ezra Taylor vs Mohamed Cherif Benchadi. To weigh-in Tomorrow
6 x 3 Minute Rounds International Lightweight
Willo Hayden 135.8lbs vs Marian Marius Istrate 133.7lbs
The Midlands Area Welterweight Championship 10 x 3 Minute Rounds
Jamie Stewart 144.5lbs vs Owen Cooper 146.5lbs
6 x 3 Minute Rounds International Super-Bantamweight Contest
Brad Strand 125.1lbs vs Darwin Martinez 128lbs
6 x 3 Minute Rounds Super-Welterweight Contest
George Davey 152.6lbs vs Paul Cummings 153.9lbs
6 x 3 Minute Rounds International Super-lightweight Contest
McCauley Owen 133.3lbs vs Eduardo Valverde 134.2lbs