With just over five weeks to go until the league launches its exciting new Challenger Fight Night Series at the East Grinstead Sports Club the interest in the first Queensbury show of 2012 is really starting to gain momentum. Topping the shows packed card of action on February 18th will be the clash for the novice Queensbury Welterweight title held by Warlingham's Tom Knight, but the exciting undercard has the potential to steal the show with a number of fights that could produce fireworks.
Returning to the league after his impressive debut back in September on the league's big Epsom Downs Racecourse promotion The Reckoning, Crawley lightweight Tobiano Mancuso gets his second outing in the league when he faces off against Felipe Abelha from Redhill. Mancuso's swarming all action style was just to much for previous opponent David Evans from the Walkers gym in Sidcup but Abelha should prove sterner opposition and with his coach from the Like2Fight gym Ricky Andrews confident his charge can produce the win it looks like being a busy little affair between the two lighter fighters.
Also returning to action and in search of redemption Redhill's Ben Davies will be hungrier than ever to record his first notch in the league's win column after coming off back to back losses. Davies was the man that stepped up to the plate at only a few days notice to face fearsome Middleweight Lewis Pinto back in September and then last time out succumbed to another early onslaught in November from Margate's Stevie Little. But Davies is back and confident he can rectify the mistakes of his previous two starts and return to winning ways. The man hoping to hand Davies his hat trick of defeats will be Hastings Rian Witcomb who will not be intimidated at all by the stocky slugger after going the distance last time out with undefeated Middleweight Jimmy Mizon, and although Witcomb was second best in that clash did what very few men had done before in hearing the final bell.
Following in the footsteps of stablemates Sam Holloway and Stevie Little, O'Neil boxing products Jason Chay, Marc Beresford, Jason Gray and Benji Smith will all make their first Queensbury appearances at the show. Light Heavyweight Chay will enter his contest after recording two impressive victories outside of the league and will be hoping he can make it a hat trick of victories on the 18th when he tackles Norfolks Josh Lamb who represents the notoriously tough Sparta gym. Lamb will enter the bout with the edge in experience and has sparred Chay previously before the fight had been confirmed which proved highly competitve, so this encounter could be candidate for fight of the night.
In Cruiserweight action Beresford, Gray and Smith will also face tough opposition when the enter the Queensbury ring for the first time. Beresford will tangle with Queensbury veteran Danny Edwards who returns to competition after edging out Ian Garwood back in June 2011 and will be looking to stake his claim in the division for one of the vacant titles, but Beresford will not be intimidated coming from Margate's talented O'Neils camp that has many top level operators so he should be well prepared for the battle. And joining Beresford on the night will be Margate debutants Benji Smith and Jason Gray who will be making their first competitive starts on the show. Smith will meet fellow debutant Jeff Sampson from Dartford who has been itching to make his debut in the league and will definitely be ready to fight in what promises to be a baptism by fire for both men, and Gray will get his opportunity when he takes on first timer Stephen Hamilton from the Like2Fight gym. Hamilton who has only been involved in the sport for eight month's has been eager to test his abilities in the ring for several months and with his team finally ready to let their man of the leash, it looks like being an entertaining contest as both men will be looking to emerge winners.
And finally Oxted's Roo Abbott will be hoping his 2012 season starts better than his 2011 finished when he looks to get back on form after suffering his first defeat back in September at the hands of Mitcham's Steve Dixon. Abbott burst onto the scene in June last year with an impressive debut performance stopping Gravesend's Ronnie Ward in round two of their scheduled contest in a fight that saw both men visit the floor. Abbott unfortunately was brought back down to earth with a bump when Dixon proved to strong in their Super Middleweight encounter forcing Abbott to go back to the drawing board. But Abbott seems to have taken the defeat in his stride and will now attempt to end the unbeaten run of Oxfords Karl 'The Truth' Williams when the pair lock horns. Williams will no doubt have other ideas after posting his first league victory back in November on the league's big Fearless promotion, and with the Super Middleweight division growing in depth and several of the lower title available the winner of this battle could move on to bigger things.
To find out more about the full Challenger line up check out the fight card in the events section and ticket for the show are priced at £30 for the standard seating and £40 for the ringside seats.