SO early is it in the career of Cyrus Pattinson, his next opponent, Chris Jenkins, admits he knew very little about the Newcastle prospect before being offered the chance to fight him and had, until that point, seen no footage of him whatsoever.
That has changed since the fight was made, of course, and now Jenkins, having both spoken to others and caught up, believes he knows exactly what to expect from Pattinson on Saturday (March 18) in Newcastle. He knows it will not be easy. He knows he will be an underdog. And he knows why, despite boasting just five fights to his name, Cyrus Pattinson is considered one of the best prospects in the country right now.
No fault of Jenkins’, any lack of awareness regarding Pattinson can be attributed to many things. On the one hand, it could be a sad indictment of where British boxing is headed in general, with nowhere near as much emphasis placed on amateur stars and prospects as there used to be and little attention paid to them until they are of pay-per-view-moneymaking age. Then again, maybe Jenkins’ unawareness speaks more to the fact he deems this fight, against a 5-0 prospect, to be a step down from the sort of fights he has both been taking recently and was eyeing for his future.
Which is to say, regardless of Pattinson’s potential, Jenkins knows his name, at this point, isn’t yet as established as those of his last three opponents: Tyrone McKenna, Florian Marku and Julius Indongo. That Jenkins won only of those three fights, however, should tell Jenkins where he is in his career currently and why an upset win over someone like Pattinson is probably vital at this stage.
The single win in that aforementioned run came against Indongo, who was long past his best, last February. The two other fights, meanwhile, against Marku and McKenna, ended in disappointment for Jenkins, with him stopped in four rounds by Marku and on the receiving end of a contentious decision against McKenna.
Now, at 34, he goes again, all the better for the activity he has had of late yet dented, perhaps, by the run of hard fights and recent setbacks. He calls boxing a “matter of timing” and accepts that Pattinson, in choosing to fight him in only his sixth fight, will be hoping he has got his timing spot on and that he can take advantage of the damage done to Jenkins in a tough 11-year pro career.
So far in his own career, Pattinson, 5-0 (3), has been faultless. Turning pro with a second-round stoppage of Yoncho Markov in June 2021, the 28-year-old has since gone the six-round distance twice and, more recently, stopped both Dimitri Trenel, who was 8-0 at the time, and Jorick Luisetto, who was 12-4. Those aren’t bad wins for a fighter of Pattinson’s limited pro experience, but it’s still fair to say a 10-rounder against Jenkins, irrespective of his age and recent form, is a sizeable step up for the Newcastle man.
It is a test most will be expecting him to ace, too, even if on the night he will no doubt find himself pushed hard by Jenkins, 23-6-3 (8), particularly early when Jenkins will know he needs to gain Pattinson’s respect. In the end, though, Pattinson’s relative freshness and sharper skills should see him triumph late when at last Jenkin’s fire has burned out and he requires saving from himself as much as his opponent.
On the Newcastle undercard there is another step up for an unbeaten prospect, this time in the form of Hopey Price, 9-0 (3), fighting Thomas Masson, 20-5-1 (7), at super-bantamweight. Masson, a Frenchman, fought Daigo Higa for the WBC flyweight title in 2017 (losing by seventh-round stoppage) and was also the European champion at that weight. He is a long way from that sort of form now, at 32 and at super-bantamweight, but he should still provide a decent test for Price, a Yorkshireman who has been matched sensibly since turning pro in 2019.
Also on the Newcastle bill is what appears to be a well-matched fight at heavyweight between unbeaten novices Solomon Dacres, 5-0 (1), and Robert Ismay, 11-0 (4). Dacres is from Warley in the West Midlands and Ismay is from Newcastle. They meet with the vacant English heavyweight title on the line.