Hellraiser Boxing - Chris Waddams picks some fighters out from the small hall scene to keep an eye on this year.
Hellraiser Boxing News | Small Hall Fighters To Look Out For 2018
Chris Waddams picks some fighters out from the small hall scene to keep an eye on this year.

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Small Hall Fighters To Look Out For 2018

by Chris Waddams

This is my list of boxing novices and prospects I believe you should all keep an eye out for in 2018. As always there are certain rules I have put on myself for this list and they are:

  • They must have had 10 fights or fewer
  • If they’ve been hyped already with one of the big promoters they won’t be included in this list
  • I’m excluding all Team Southpaw Jab members who fall into the above categories to try and show a non-bias side, but we all know that they’re all red-hot and you should be following their careers closely anyway!
  • I also have to have seen them fight or train, I’m not going on reputations

So in no particular order, I give you my fighters to look out for in 2018:

Gelasius Taaru

The 4-0 Berkshire man had a busy debut year, winning 3 of his 4 fights by KO. This boxer puncher who is promoted by Hellraiser, actually got a mention in the Boxing News’ fighters to look out for. Operating at Featherweight don’t be surprised if you see him in title fights down at Super-Bantamweight when they come along

Andre Sterling

Andre Sterling is a man on a mission. Having only made his debut last April on the DoveBox card at Crystal Palace, the 4-0 Light-Heavyweight is already looking for title opportunities. When I interviewed him after his first KO win back in October he told me that he’s not interested in Challenge Belts and wants a Southern Area title shot soon or even a jump straight to the English title! Don’t be fooled by his record only having one KO on it, this South London native carries power in both hands so don’t be surprised when that KO percentage rises soon

Denzel Mensah

I was lucky enough to see Denzel’s pro debut back in October (all 44 seconds of it) and I was also lucky enough to interview this hugely popular Middleweight once I was able to get him away from what seemed his hundreds of adoring fans! That night Denzel fought Casey Blair who many will know as a very durable journeyman who at the time of their fight had only been stopped 7 times in 33 losses. Mensah must have a thing about 44 seconds, as his second pro fight finished at the exact same time as his first!

Louis Greene

The Medway Mauler is one that many probably haven’t heard of, mainly because he’s not really on social media! (If anyone knows otherwise, please @ tag him so I can follow him). 8-0 with a 50% KO rate the 25 year old Welterweight picked up the Southern Area title in his last fight against the durable Freddy Kiwitt in a small hall classic! Kiwitt felt hard done by at the end of the 10th but I believe the right man won and Greene now has his first defence on the 3rd March against Joe Hayes, which could again turn into a small hall classic!

Fabio Wardley

Fabio Wardley is a name that could fly under the radar for a long time to come because as it stands he could end up in the “Who wants him” pile. 6’ 5” with speed and reflexes normally reserved for those of a smaller frame and weight class, Wardley can easily go to the top of the domestic scene. An often called upon sparring partner for the current British Heavyweight Champion Sam Sexton goes to prove how highly regarded Wardley is by Graham Everett and the rest of Sexton’s team down in Norwich. Only 23 with plenty of time on his hands; don’t be surprised if you see Fabio in there with Dubois or Gorman in a few years time.

Jumanne Camero

One of several hugely touted prospects from Barry O’Connell’s State of Mind gym in Hammersmith, Jumanne propelled himself to the front of that list last July when he picked up the vacant Southern Area Lightweight crown when he stopped David Birmingham in round 6 of the scheduled 10. Standing at 5’ 11” Camero is uniquely tall for a Lightweight and is still only 23, so don’t be surprised if you see him going through the divisions before he reaches his full potential.

Connor Vian

The Croydon native has had a busy first 12 months in boxing, almost rushing to his 6-0 position he finds himself in now. Strong and compact in the ring, the only thing missing from Vian’s record is a stoppage win. But I’m sure they will come once he steps up in class and opposition. Operating at Welterweight don’t be surprised if he is a Super-Lightweight when the title chances come, and they will come soon if he continues on this quick pace!

Dean Richardson

5 fights, 5 wins, 5 KO’s. “Deano” is already making a big name for himself in the pro ranks. Out of all the names on this list, Richardson’s may be one you have heard of as he has appeared on two of George Groves’ undercards and is scheduled to take on Kevin McCauley on the upcoming Hayemaker Ringstar promoted show next month. If he can improve his record to 6 wins with 6 KO’s against McCauley then the boxing world best sit up and take notice – in 158 losses McCauley has only been stopped 11 times. Some of the big hitters he has taken the distance include Aaron Morgan, Tony Milch, Freddy Kiwitt (twice), Robbie Davies Jr, Bradley Saunders, Bradley Skeete, John Wayne Hibbert and Liam Smith to name but a few.

Bradley Smith

Smith took a little time out from Boxing at the tail end of last year, saying he had fallen out of love with the sport and needed to recharge his batteries. I remember thinking at the time that it would be a crying shame if we never saw him boxing again. Thankfully it didn’t take him long to find that spark and love for the game again. A very likeable guy with an impressive 7-0 record, Smith returns to the ring this March and will be hoping to make up for lost time and get himself into title contention in 2018

Richard Riakporhe

5 wins with 4 KO’s and no defeats, Riakporhe is going under the radar in what is turning into a hotbed of a division at Cruiserweight. Standing at 6’ 5” his only fight that went the distance was his debut against Jason Jones, a journeyman who has never been stopped. Riakporhe recently said he was offered the chance to fight Lawrence Okolie just to have Okolie’s team make a U turn and pull out of the fight. It won’t be long until this guy is being mentioned alongside some of the other big names within the Cruiserweight division.

Keep an eye out for these fighters in 2018, and if you aren’t a small hall regular, get your arse down to York Hall, Brentwood, The Camden Centre or wherever a show is on and enjoy seeing tomorrow’s big stars learn their trade.

How does Chris’s list compare to yours? Who did he miss? Get in touch with us on Twitter or Facebook.

Posted: 19th Jan 2018

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