Natasha Jonas and Marie-Eve Dicaire hit the scales to weigh in for their world title unification in Manchester.
With Dicaire, the IBF titlist, more established in the super-welterweight division, the Canadian has promised to make her advantages in size and weight tell.
Relaxed and smiling, Dicaire did weigh in heavier, 10st 12lbs 5oz to Jonas’ 10st 9lbs.
But Jonas insists regardless of Dicaire’s size her own speed will tell. “There’s a lot of things that are advantages that I think I’ve got,” Jonas said. “Just fight smart and stick to the game plan.
“I know how good she is,” she added. “I just have to be better.”
Dicaire had no intention of revealing her approach to tomorrow’s fight. “Can you keep a secret? Me too,” she quipped.
“I’m going to listen to my corner, and I’m going to stick to the game plan,” she continued. “Don’t worry I’m going to bring those belts back home.”
For Jonas, this fight will decide the leading boxer in their division. “At the moment I’m number two and that’s not the place I want to be,” she said.
Kaisee Benjamin promises to be a determined challenge for British super-welterweight champion Dalton Smith in the chief support to the Jonas-Dicaire unification clash.
Benjamin, coming down to the division, weighed in at 9st 13lbs. Rising Sheffield star Dalton Smith also made weight easily at 9st 13lbs 5oz.
“I felt great,” Benjamin declared. “I’ll let my hands do the talking.
“I’m confident otherwise I wouldn’t be here. I’ve come to take the opportunity with both hands.”
Smith echoed his challenger’s confidence. “I can prove I can adapt,” he said. “I’m prepared for it all, I’m prepared for any style.”
Frazer Clarke is known as ‘Big Fraze’ for good reason. The Burton heavyweight and Olympic bronze medallist scaled 19st 5lbs 5oz, with Saturday’s veteran opponent Kamil Sokołowski 17st 5lbs.
Sokolowski calmly gazed back at Clarke, unruffled. Renowned as one of the toughest journeymen on the circuit the UK-based Pole has fought the best operators in Britain and overseas. Clarke will measure himself against them as well on Saturday.
A fighter with a clear height advantage is local man Bradley Rea (11lbs 4lbs 5oz) who challenges Tyler Denny (11st 5lbs 5oz) for the English title.
Ross McGuigan (13st 12lbs 5oz) doesn’t come with the same kind of media fanfare as Saturday’s opponent Viddal Riley (14st 4lbs), a skilled boxer who has also built a large social media following. Nevertheless, Peckham’s McGuigan cut an imposing figure and both men are putting unbeaten records on the line at the AO Arena tomorrow.
Hatton prepares to say goodbye
Ricky Hatton is preparing to make what could be a final appearance in a boxing ring at the Manchester Arena, the site of so many of his great nights of old.
It won’t be a real fight but it will be an exhibition with fellow boxing legend Marco Antonio Barrera over eight two-minute rounds, with no headguards and no decision.
It takes place on Saturday on a separate promotion but the same television broadcast as the BOXXER Fight Night.
They had a ceremonial weigh-in on Friday with Barrera scaling 11st 7lbs and Hatton 11st 6lbs.
For Hatton in particular it marked the completion of a remarkable physical transformation. He had ballooned in weight. Now he looks in fine condition and promises training for this occasion has had a major impact on his overall well-being.
“It’s taken a long time to get in the shape that I got in,” Hatton said. “It’s made me look after myself and I’m feeling a lot happier and better for it.
“Everyone’s getting a better Ricky Hatton. ‘Ricky Fatton’ is in the past.”
Barrera will trade punches with him tomorrow but has also welcomed the change he’s seeing in Hatton. He insists that while it’s an exhibition, they will make it a spectacle.
“We take this seriously. It’s a sport. We show respect to the sport,” Barrera said. “I want to leave knowing that I put up a great show.”
Losing so much weight, improving his own well-being, is the victory Hatton was looking for. “I’m a former fighter, I train professional fighters, but I also see myself as an ambassador for mental health,” Hatton said.
“Physically, mentally, Ricky Hatton is a happy Ricky Hatton these days.
“My second home at the Manchester Arena in front of my fans, I’m sharing the ring with my great friend and legend Marco Antonio Barrera, what is there not to enjoy?”
Watch the Jonas vs Dicaire show and the Hatton-Barrera exhibition this Saturday live on Sky Sports Arena from 7pm and Sky Sports Main Event at 10pm.