Just seen a tweet from Steve Lillis (boxing journalist and BoxNation analyst) saying that Kenny Anderson has dropped his British 168lbs Title with Paul Smith and Tony Dodson to fight over the belt, with purse bids coming.
Anderson giving up his British belt seems a little strange. He had to fight in and out of the ring to get it in the first place and as unfortunate as he’s been with injuries (a rematch with George Groves and a bout with James DeGale both got nixxed) it surprises me that he’d give up a title than may get him bigger bouts so easily. I’ve heard no rumours of injury so I can only assume he has something bigger lined up… perhaps a bout with either of the aforementioned two, although with both looking for world title shots, talented as he is I have to think Anderson would be a step back for them.
The bout for the belt could be a decent domestic contest. The pair fought previously (you can see the video here) with Smith winning a fairly wide decision after outboxing Dodson despite some headbutt induced cuts and a late flurry. At 30 and 32 respectively neither are old but I suspect both have their best days behind them; Smith has only fought once (and against an overmatched opponent) since being demolished by George Groves in 2011 instead spending his time as an analyst and commentator for BoxNation. Dodson has been fighting frequently but is an old 32 and hasn’t really beaten anyone of note since the early 2000’s and has spent much of the last decade feeding on scraps while losing when he steps up in class. On paper Smith should win… but the question is whether his time out of the ring has hurt him. I don’t expect either to go beyond domestic contenders and champions at this stage but the bout itself should be fun.
The Ceja vs McDonnell bout is intriguing. Most of the hype will be about Ceja, a 24-0 (with 22 stoppages) 20 year old prospect. He’s got a bit of depth to his record with wins over the like of Luis Melendez, Genaro Garcia, Ronald Barrera and Cruz Carbajal while also beating prospects such as Henry Maldonado, Cesar Javier Gandara and Alejandro Morales but he’s never fought outside Mexico and never gone more than 10 rounds (and only gone there once).
McDonnell may not have the obvious power that Ceja does (although her can certainly crack a bit) and two close loses early in his career take some of a gloss off his record but he’s proven to be a fine boxer with some good wins himself (including over my personal favourite Ian Napa). He’s been the 12 round distance five times and has gone deep into fights even if they didn’t last 12. He’s likewise only ever boxed in the U.K. so a lot may come down to where the bout eventually lands but if he can avoid Ceja’s power and take the fight deep he’s got every chance here.