Welshman looks set to rise from the Boxing grave to claim a second PrizeFighter title against a rather mediocre looking field
Finally, the long-awaited return of PrizeFighter is here. The Demolition Derby of Boxing. One of the most brutal, fast and frantic tournaments in the world of sport. Only the bravest fighters enter to claim the coveted title.
On Saturday, eight of Britain’s Lightweight hopefuls will gather at the York Guildhall vying to catapult their way up the British rankings. For some, it’s a big stepping stone towards kick-starting their professional career, for others it’s a golden opportunity to prove they still what have it takes to perform on the big stage.
For ‘Dynamo’ Gary Buckland, it’s certainly the latter. The experienced fighter has slumped to two straight defeats and now has a great opportunity to redeem himself in a format where he’s enjoyed so much success in the past.
Gary Buckland is no stranger to the tournament format. Currently ranked no.7 in the British Lightweight rankings, the Welshman has enjoyed all the riches of PrizeFighter victory before. In 2010, the 28-year-old surprised many to win the Super-Featherweight version of the competition, KO’ing a previously un-beaten Gary Sykes in the semi-final and demolishing Derry Mathews to claim victory in the final. Buckland simply tore through the field that night and I expect him to do the same come Saturday.
Since then, the Welshman has failed to transfer his PrizeFighter success into any real great honours. ‘Dynamo’ as he’s nicknamed has never looked as impressive as in 2010, which is a testament to his capabilities in the shorter format. In many ways, Buckland is made for PrizeFighter. He’s relentless in his work rate which catches a judges eye and seems to carry extra power in the 3 rounds, having been the only fighter to have KO’d Gary Sykes in his 27 fight career.
Another telling factor is that Buckland has already beaten who I deem to be his biggest threat in the tournament, Stephen Foster. The pair met in 2012, with 34-year-old Foster unable to continue after the 6th round having been on the end of some punishing blows. This could prove to be a big psychological advantage to Buckland if the two are to meet again this weekend.
Ultimately, Buckland is a league above his competitors and his valuable PrizeFighter experience will see him through the agonisingly tough moments that inevitably come in tournament fights. A KO win in the final is a definite possibility for the Welshman.
5/2 – Gary Buckland to win Prizefighter