Joe Maphosa’s intriguing Tyneside tussle with Louis Norman is off – but the show will still go on for ‘Smokin’ Joe’.
The unbeaten Teessider had been matched with the former English champion and the British title challenger over six rounds at the ‘Christmas Cracker’ in Dunston on Saturday night.
However, there was a serious blow earlier today when his Leicester opponent pulled out through illness.
Thankfully, Manchester super-flyweight Steve Maguire has answered an SOS to step in at the 11th hour and tackle the 26-year-old over four rounds at the Lancastrian Suite.
If the name sounds familiar, it should.
Maguire was Maphosa’s opponent at South Shields back in April, where the Imran Naeem-trained prospect registered the first stoppage success of his career at two minutes, 50 seconds of the fourth and final round.
Early on, the Manchester debutant proved a worthy foe, moving well only to be decked by a right-hand in the fourth by the Tees Active Academy graduate.
The southpaw was straight up, only to be stopped by referee Ron Kearney just short of the last bell after being rocked by a head combination.
Since then, Maphosa has impressed again, this time defeating Hungary’s Gyula Doda in Leicester at the start of last month for his sixth straight paid win.
Saturday’s promotion should have marked a step up in rounds and in calibre of opponent for the Frank Warren talent, but a longer fight will have to wait as Imran explained.
“Louis has been laid low unfortunately,” said the NPBA trainer. “He was in contact this morning to say he’s not well enough to box.
“It can’t be helped and we wish Louis a quick recovery.
“Fortunately, Steven has agreed to step in and while it’s not the fight we were looking forward to or a six-rounder at least Joe has a bout and his eight-week camp will have an end product.
“It is frustrating for Joe who had been up for the fight with Louis.
“But this is boxing and it’s now about being switched on to the contest in front of him.
“We are still focused and ready to end the year on a positive with a win and a dazzling performance.”
Maphosa v Maguire forms a quarter of a four-bout bill promoted by Steve Wraith and Phil Jeffries.
The main fight is Lawrence Osueke’s six-rounder with Hungary’s Norbert Szekerers.
Elsewhere, new Tyneside professional Anth Ornsby makes his pro debut against Slovakia’s Rudolf Durica.
There is another four rounder as Triple T, ‘Turbo’ Terry Tyers faces Polish-born Nottingham light-middleweight, Patryk Buczek.
Words: Roy Kelly