By Richard Cawley
British Beef might be the headline for Eddie Hearn’s big show at Greenwich’s 02 next month – but Ted Cheeseman has nothing but respect
for Carson Jones.
Bermondsey’s rising super-welterweight talent knows that his clash with the seasoned American is set to push his name firmly into the mix for more high-profile bouts in 2018.
And Cheeseman, a top amateur star for Fisher, name-checks Stourbridge’s Sam Eggington, dethroned as European champion in October, as a quality domestic bout that should be easy to make provided he emerges unscathed from the biggest test of his career.
Brixton’s Isaac Chamberlain and former GB Olympian Lawrence Okolie top the bill on February 3 as their war of words ends in a physical confrontation – that needle being exploited by promoter Hearn.
But every bit as intriguing is the 22-year-old Cheeseman, 12-0 in the pro ranks, facing Jones, 31. The Oklahoman has boxed 302 rounds in a 14-year career and holds a 40-12-3 record.
“When Tony [Sims, trainer] texted me his name I told him that would be a good fight,” explained the South Londoner. “He wanted to go and have a look at a few videos and then came back and said we’ll have it.
“It is perfect for me. If I put in a good performance it is going to boost my career so much, it will put me on the world and international scene.
“All training camps are hard. This one will have a little bit more spite in my head because if I win this it is going to open the door to some massive fights.
“Jones is fit, strong and knows all the tricks. Even in his last one against Antonio Margarito he was coming on strong and Margarito wanted to pull out because of a cut – it went to the scorecards [ruled a technical draw] rather than him being stopped.
“He is 31 and I feel the time is right for me. As long as I turn up on the night and perform then I get the win 10 times out of 10. I need to make weight right.”
Cheeseman’s crossroads scrap has every chance of outshining cruiserweights Chamberlain and Okolie, who are putting their unbeaten records on the line.
“Everyone is talking about my fight – it would steal the show if those two weren’t British boxers,” said Cheeseman. “I don’t feel like I’m taking a risk. If it is a risk, then it is a calculated risk.
“I’m confident I’ll beat most people if I’m fit and ready. I’m sort of experienced – I’ve had 10-rounders and eight-rounders – and he is vastly experienced.
“If you put our two fights together then Okolie and Chamberlain is two novices. They are going to sell the show because Okolie is a GB Olympian. I know as long as I keep winning then my time will come. I’m not too far away from topping the bill.
‘I didn’t expect it to be this quick, but I’m happy it has been this quick.”
Cheeseman and Jones will also be contesting the WBA international belt, meaning that the winner gatecrashes the top-15 in that organisation’s rankings.
The plan at one stage had been for Cheeseman to box JJ Metcalf for the vacant domestic title, but the British Boxing Board of Control wanted to make it a final eliminator.
“I’d love to win the British title but it is politics,” said Cheeseman. “The board chose another eliminator – business-wise and sports-wise it doesn’t work right for us. I’ve got better options with this fight.
“Metcalf hasn’t really been tested. Jones had a really, really close fight with Kell Brook the first time and stopped Brian Rose in a round. Everyone knows Carson Jones if you’re a boxing fan.”
* Isaac Dogboe has won the interim WBO world super-bantamweight title after stopping Mexican Cesar Juarez on Saturday in Ghana.
The 23-year-old was raised in Stockwell but has boxed extensively in Accra since kicking off his career in the States.
Ghana-born Dogboe is 18-0 after his latest victory at the Bukom Boxing Arena.