European lightweight champion Craig Evans takes on Russia’s Roman Andreev on Saturday 3 February in an eliminator for the WBO lightweight title. The fight takes place at the Bolshoy Ice Dome, Adler, Russia. The fight will be on the undercard of the World Boxing Super Series . Murat Gassiev and Yunier Dorticos top the bill. The fight between Gassiev and Dorticos is available on ITV4 for British viewers with the Andreev Evans bout expected to be also shown.
Evans will be hoping 2018 will be a better year for him than 2017. In 2017 Evans fought only once beating Irishman Stephen Ormond in Belfast in his first defence of his European title. Evans got his hands on the WBO European lightweight title in Cardiff in 2016 beating Thomas Stalker. This was the third fight between Evans and Stalker with the first two ending in draws.
Inactivity and the frustration of fights falling through could be a thing of the past if things go to plan in Russia for the Welshman. Evans was only given 4 weeks’ notice but the thought of turning down the opportunity to fight in a world tight eliminator would never have crossed his mind. Tony Borg who trains Evans has stated Evans will be ready and in good shape.
Roman Andreev is 31 and has a record of 20-0 with 14 Kos. Andreev had a good amateur background with 150 fights and 135 wins. Andreev is recognised as having power in both hands and an aggressive style. Andreev will come forward at all times and this is something that will benefit Evans according to Borg.
Bookmakers have Roman Andreev as heavy favourite in this bout, despite that Evans has expressed his desire to finish the fight inside the distance but has not ruled out outboxing the Russian.
A victory for Evans would see him fight the winner between Raymundo Beltran and Paulus Moses for the WBO world lightweight title. Mexico’s Beltran and Namibia’s Moses are set to fight on February 16 in Reno, Nevada. British boxing fans will remember seeing Beltran and Moses against Ricky Burns.
Borg is eager to see promoter Frank Warren bring big bouts Evans’ way in 2018 and a win in Russia will go a long way in securing that in the future. Fighting for and potentially winning a world title will provide Evans with the big fights in the future. The possibilities would be endless in this stacked lightweight division.
Before flying out to Russia Craig Evans spoke to Ringnews24. The interview available here. https://www.ringnews24.com/2018/01/17/fired-craig-evans-looking-box-roman-andreevs-head-off-smash-face-looks-win-wbo-lightweight-eliminator/#.WnI8RK5l-Uk