The ultimate guide to the Froch v Groves undercard

Thursday, 29, May, 2014
DeGale faces off against Gonzales

Anthony Joshua
Won: 5 Lost: 0
v
Matt Legg
Won: 7 Lost: 2

London 2012 gold medallist Anthony Joshua will continue his rise through the domestic heavyweight ranks when he opens up the Unfinished Business show at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night.

The 24-year-old is yet to go beyond two rounds with all five of his professional fights ending in knockout victories inside six minutes.

Joshua’s opponent Matt Legg has only had nine pro fights himself but has already mixed it up with one of the sport’s biggest names.

The Buckinghamshire fighter was stopped in three rounds by multi-weight world champion and legend, James “Lights Out” Toney, at Matchroom’s Prizefighter show at Bethnal Green’s York Hall last November.

*****

Kevin Mitchell
Won: 37 Lost: 2
v
Ghislain Maduma
Won: 16 Lost: 0

Victory here will see Essex lightweight Kevin Mitchell back in the mix for a world title fight and mandatory challenger for a shot at IBF champion Miguel Vazquez.

Mitchell has been on the periphery of world honours before but hasn’t quite made the step up to make his mark. He was stopped in three rounds by tough Aussie gladiator Michael Katsidis at West Ham’s Upton Park in 2010 and was beaten two years later by Ricky Burns in four rounds when he fought for the Scotsman’s WBO crown.

But Mitchell isn’t nicknamed The Hammer for nothing with 27 of his wins ending inside the distance.

Maduma fights out of Montreal and brings an undefeated record to Wembley Stadium.

The Canadian holds the North American Boxing Federation lightweight crown and successfully defended it in February with a stoppage win in the third round against John Carlo Aparicio.

*****

Jamie McDonnell
Won: 23 Lost: 2 Drawn: 1
v
Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat
Won: 52 Lost: 2

Froch v Groves isn’t the only world title fight at Wembley Stadium with Doncaster’s Jamie McDonnell aiming to become a two time world champion in the Bantamweight division with the vacant WBA title up for grabs.

McDonnell’s career turnaround has been remarkable with the Yorkshireman seemingly treading water on the domestic scene a few years ago.

Back to back defeats to Chris Edwards and Lee Haskins looked like they might relegate McDonnell to journeyman status but actually proved to be the start of his career renaissance.

A win over Ian Napa served up a double helping of titles with McDonnell winning the British Bantamweight belt and the vacant Commonwealth crown.

A superb performance against Jerome Arnould in Cannes followed with McDonnell capturing the European Bantamweight with a tenth round stoppage before winning the IBF Bantamweight world title on points over Julio Ceja at Doncaster Rovers last year.

But triumph turned to heartbreak when McDonnell was stripped of his title by the IBF without making a defence.

On paper, Thailand’s Na Rachawat looks an awesome prospect for McDonnell with just two defeats in 54 fights and over 30 knockout victories.

But the 31-year-old has never fought outside his homeland in over a decade as a pro and McDonnell is easily his toughest test to date.

*****

James DeGale
Won: 18 Lost: 1
v
Brandon Gonzales
Won: 18 Lost: 0 Drawn: 1

A win for James DeGale will put the Londoner back on the world title map with the victor of this bout becoming the mandatory challenger for either Carl Froch or George Groves.

DeGale has had beef with Groves before – The pair had a simmering feud in the amateur ranks which rumbled on into the professional game with Groves winning a decision over the Olympic gold medallist in a grudge match at the O2 Arena in 2011.

The defeat hit DeGale hard and sent “Chunky” into no-man’s land with a series of out of the spotlight comeback fights in places like Kent, Hull and Quebec.

But eight wins on the spin has put DeGale back into the world rankings and on the verge of a world title shot against the winner of the Unfinished Business main event.

Gonzales has never fought outside of the USA and, in his biggest test to date, could only manage a draw over ten rounds against Thomas Oosthuizen in Connecticut last June.