Boxing has a habit of throwing up a change of opponent, it’s part of the game.
But, barely 24 hours after it was announced that Darren Surtees would be fighting at the World Boxing Super Series final in Saudi Arabia that he has been handed a new foe.
The Northern Area light-welterweight champion had been matched with have-a-go Giorgi Gviniashvili on Friday, September 28 in Jeddah.
However, the Georgian has hit problems getting a visa so Surtees will now tackle Birmingham’s Kane Baker at the King Abdullah Sports City, where George Groves meet Callum Smith in the WBSS super-middleweight showpiece.
While Surtees-Baker might not have the same ring to it (pardon the pun) as Surtees-Gviniashvili it represents a tremendous opportunity for the Thornley fighter on the ITV Box Office event.
Gviniashvili was a real do-or-die merchant with 12 KO wins out of 16 and 5KO losses from 12.
Baker too has a winning record, with eight victories and four defeats.
The encouraging stat for Surtees is that every time he takes on a boxer with a 100 per cent record he comes unstuck.
Surtees, trained at East Durham College in Peterlee by David Binns, boasts a perfect record from eight contests, five of which have not required a scorecard.
Baker though prides himself of always giving it his all, with his only stoppage loss being at the fists of Conor Benn.
The 28-year-old is one of the sport’s most popular characters, having taken up boxing with no amateur experience and just some ‘white-collar’ action.
He runs his own building company, beautifully named Kane and Able, and, like Surtees, will relish this chance of a lifetime.
ITV Box Office (are there any world title fights these days NOT on a PPV platform?) will show the event from Jeddah.
The date of the final of the eight-man elimination competition was delayed from June to give Groves time to recover from surgery after dislocating his shoulder in the last round of a thrilling points win over Chris Eubank Jr in February.
Words: Roy Kelly