Last weekend was a cracker for all the reasons why boxing is such a great sport – great punch ups in a ring, upsets and heartache.
Last Saturday, the 25th of March in Manchester and with a packed undercard, an arena jammed with fans in full voice and the type of roar most find in a Coliseum it all unfolded, before our very eyes.
Light heavyweight Hosea Burton started us with a decent points win over Tamas Kozma – the signs were good for British boxing. It was less good for Frank Buglioni as Burton looks for a rematch to avenge his only loss.
Lightweight Katie Taylor got another decent win, over Milena Koleva, this time on points. The question raised after? When is the world title fight? Taylor reckons 2 or 3 fights to go and then she is there though some think she needs to slow down and be less eager to please. Irish boxing though, looked in pretty decent shape too.
We then saw the action taking a very unexpected turn and after some great punch ups came the addition of an upset. It was a step up for middleweight Marcus Morrison in the WBC international silver belt fight between him and the very experienced Jason Welborn and it proved too steep a step. It was a fight that pitched the old and weary in against the young and hungry. In the end, the elder was ravenous and took the belt and revitalised his career whilst Morrison’s record suddenly looked flabby; it was made all the more sweet for Welborn as he was put down in the 2nd but got up to win.
Possibly the fight of the night was the super featherweight scrap for the WBC international belt and British title between Martin Joseph Ward and Maxi Hughes. Ward came out on top on points but it was 2 sided fight that both emerged with scars.
Just before the main event it was another turn back time attempt as Brian Rose took on Jack Arnfield at middleweight. It was a points win for the younger Arnfield as Rose battled gainfully but could not manage to turn things to his favour often enough to win.
Then came the heartache and another master class from a 3 weight world champion as the rematch between Anthony Crolla v Jorge Linares for the WBA, WBC and Ring Magazine lightweight crowns was a repeat of the first fight. Like the second fight between Paul Smith and Arthur Abraham, Crolla’s chances were in the first fight and not having got the result then, he was unlikely to get the result this time. And so it proved as Linares was imperious, leading trainer Joe Gallagher to nearly pull Crolla out before the 12th round; only Crolla pleading to be kept in saw him see the final bell. The emphatic points totals of 118-109 from all three judges this time did tell the story
Over in Potsdam, Germany, Tyron Zuege beat Isaac Ekpo for the WBA and Global Boxing Union super middleweight titles in a technical decision after an accidental head butt left Zuege streaming blood. Zuege was well in the lead, we hesitate to say in command, and many will view his title as one they can take with some ease if they get him in the ring; nothing impressed people in a highly competitive weight division.
At the end of the week – Friday the 31st March we had, in Aberdeen, action involving a super featherweight fight between Christine Frazer, a debutant and Lana Cooper, lightweight Arturs Selivanov and the debut of bantamweight Billy Stuart. Results are still to filter in.