On February 24th at Mote Park, Maidstone, two super-bantamweight prospects, Martin Hillman (10-4) and Tom McGinley (4-1), will clash for the British Challenge belt in a genuine 50-50 match-up.
Both fighters operate under the JE Promotions banner so it’s a risky yet refreshing fight for both prospects on the 55th day of the New Year.
Sidcup’s Hillman, 27, could be the slight favourite, having triple the experience in the paid ranks, and has previously bagged the International Challenge Belt at featherweight when he beat David Hoppal at the Prince Regent Hotel in Essex in February 2016.
A flurry of punches in the third-round proved too much for the hard-hitting Hungarian, who had won five of his six fights ahead of the clash.
Hillman finished 2016 by stepping up a weight to challenge Frank Warren's prospect Boy Jones Jr for the vacant Southern Area super-featherweight strap, which he bravely lost on points in a shootout with the Chingford six-footer.
He then dropped back down to 126lbs to contest for the vacant Southern Area featherweight crown against Jamie Speight, a two-weight Area titlist from Devon. His second attempt to become an Area champion was thwarted in the final round when the referee halted Hillman on a dangerous looking head swelling.
The Kent puncher bounced back with a six-round points win against Ghanaian southpaw Michael Barnor last October at Mote Park to set up a shot at the British Challenge belt next.
He announced on Facebook, “My next fight is all confirmed, going to be topping the bill at Mote Park in Maidstone, fighting for the British Challenge belt!
“This is a genuine, tough 50/50 fight against a top prospect, but I need to win it to progress on to more big fights!”
In the away corner, Chelmsford’s McGinley lost on his debut in June 2016, but has since reeled off four straight wins, culminating in a first-round knockout of debutant Kieran Holman last October.
The 30-year-old southpaw said, “I am absolutely thrilled to say I will be fighting in my first professional title fight and headlining the show on the 24th February in an eight-round super-bantamweight contest.
“I am going to give this absolutely everything I possibly have to take this belt and would mean the world if I could fill the venue with support.
“I am boxing a great fighter who has previously boxed for two Southern Area titles and this will be my toughest fight by far.”
Unbeaten heavyweight, fresh from his tear-up with Dorian Darch, which ended in a stalemate last November, Dave Jones (8-0-1) has another stiff challenge in the form of Central Area title contender David Howe (14-6) from Sheffield.
Medway's Jordan Dennis (3-0) gets another run out against the competitive Callum Ide (0-7-2).
Unbeaten prospects in action are former England International amateur Luke Gibb (3-0); Maidstone's Chris Matthews (8-0); British Challenge belt super-middleweight winner Charlie Shane (5-0); unbeaten middleweight Oli Edwards (6-0); newest signing Jack Raines (4-0); and debutant Paul Brown from Margate.
For tickets to the next show, visit https://www.facebook.com/JEsportsnetwork/ or call 07883 943994