British boxing is still on a bit of a high, currently the Brits have 4 world champions to celebrate with Amir Khan (WBA Light Welterweight), Carl Froch (WBC Super Middleweight), David Haye (WBA Heavyweight) and Ricky Burns (WBO Super Bantamweight) and a number of high ranked contenders. It’s when we looking to the future that we see just how hot British boxing really is. Not only do we have fighters like John Murray on the verge of world title fights but young raw talent breaking through. This coming Saturday we see one of the most exciting young British prospects back in action in a major Sky Sports 1 show. Although the main event on “Saturday Fight Night” is Stuart Hall (10-0-1, 6KO’s) defending his British Bantamweight title against John Donnelly (12-1, 3KO’s) it’s the co-feature that really interests me.
22 year old Light Welterweight Karl Place (12-0, 7KO’s) returns to the ring to face George Watson (8-3-2, 1KO). Place is really one of the most exciting young talents in the UK and has shown plenty to be excited about so far. Stood at 5’11” Place has the natural size to fill out into perhaps even a Light Middleweight though for now he’s a tall lanky Light Welterweight with a big future ahead of himself and with VIP Promotions/Steve Wood behind him theirs no reason why he can’t become a big star.
Place debuted as a professional back in October 2008 just weeks after turning 20 and scored a 2nd round stoppage over Chris Kitson. He would follow that up over the proceeding months by beating up some of the best journeymen with points wins over Carl Allen, Johnny Greaves and Baz Carey. Those 3 fights account for 12 rounds of Place’s 40 career rounds to date. After those fights Place would defeat 3 fighters in confidence building victories before getting his most notable name to date, Steve Saville.
Saville was a limited fighter but a tough guy, although he entered on a 3 fight losing streak they had included a loss to Gary McArthur (who entered 11-0) and Frankie Gavin (who was 3-0). Place started the fight terribly and seemed to lack the defensive skill to keep Saville off him, he had his nose in the opening round and appeared to be eating Saville‘s left hand too often. Late in round Place was caught with a big shot and appeared to be wobbled. He came out for the 2nd and appeared to have calmed down as he went about breaking down Saville and beating him to the canvas in the 2nd. Saville had received hard blows to the body and head from Place who learned more in that fight than he had in his previous 7.
Since scoring the victory over Saville Place has fought 4 times, scoring wins over Michael Frontin (TKO5), experienced journeyman Billy Smith (4PTS), Maurycy Gojko (TKO3) and Danny Dontchev (6PTS). With George Watson in the opposite corner on Saturday Place competes in his first fight scheduled for 8 rounds and Watson, despite the losses on his record is a tough fight. To date Watson has only been stopped once, two fights ago by Stephen Jennings (LTKO3) and has since taking the hard hitting Carl Johanneson 8 rounds. A stoppage for place would be hugely impressive, though a win would expected and still impressive for Place.