Adam Harper will look to return to the ring for the first time in nearly two years with a victory over Anthony Fowler writes Oliver McManus.
Harper’s prolonged absence from the sport was caused by a perceived brain abnormality – prompting an initial retirement – before the Tewkesbury boxer was given the all clear from the British Boxing Board of Control.
BCB’s man is no stranger to being an underdog having flown out to Australia in order to contest the vacant Commonwealth title with Michael Zerafa (22-2). On the night Zerafa was the better man and took the title on points over twelve rounds but Harper was to learn plenty from the night and will look to put that in place on Friday.
His last fight was a 2018 Fight of the Year contender against Billy Bird (18-1) with the pair involved in an absolutely frenetic bout for the vacant English super welterweight strap.
Harper went into Bird’s backyard in Brentwood and fought at a hard, fast pace for ten rounds to upset the applecart and take a majority decision.
Against Fowler he’ll be hoping to replicate that heart and grit as he returns to Brentwood, albeit in different circumstances, with a similar job in his hands.
Rio Olympian Anthony Fowler has moved to 12-1 since his pro debut in May 2017 with a sole loss coming at the hands of Scott Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald applied pressure throughout that contest and really looked to disrupt the rhythm of Fowler over those ten rounds.
Since that defeat Anthony Fowler has racked up three wins including two domestic names in Brian Rose and Harry Scarff.
The experienced Kane Baker will be looking to showcase that maturity when up against Aqib Fiaz: an opponent ten years younger than him.
Birmingham’s Baker will be in his 20th pro contest (13-6 to date) and is adamant will see a new and improved fighter on Friday night as he looks to keep pushing forward.
Back in November he challenged for the English lightweight title against Myron Mills but the champion just pipped it via a majority decision. Baker secured a deserved rematch that was initially scheduled for April. Of course the pandemic interfered with those plans but, against Aqib Fiaz, there’s the chance to raise some eyebrows live on Sky instead.
It is one of those fights where we know Baker has been before – against a prospect on away ground but always game and always looking to remain on the front foot. Over the years we’ve seen him come close against Sanjeev Sahota (77-76) and go hell for leather with Darren Surtees.
The highlight of his career to date came when he captured the Midlands Area title against an undefeated opponent in Ishmael Ellis (9-0) but a win on Friday night could see further glory come his way.
Young Aqib Fiaz has looked impressive in his five fights to date and was snapped up by Matchroom earlier this year. The 20 year old is trained by Jamie Moore and Nigel Travis and has already developed a fierce reputation up in Lancashire. this is going to be a cracker.