It was a tartan feast of boxing on the first weekend of June with bills in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Paisley but before we get into them let’s round up the first Friday evening of the month – the 2nd of June at Brentwood that saw Bradley Skeete do what he said on the tin and stop Shayne Singleton to retain his title. Skeete was imperious and his 5th round stoppage must put him in the frame for moving on and making better fights and bigger matches in his division.
On the same bill Joe Mullender got his hands on the English title on a split decision win over home boy, Lee Markham. It was a decent scrap and now Mullender moves on as Markham will scratch his head and try and get onto another decent platform.
Media fuss of the fortnight, Harley Benn, estranged son and half-brother of Nigel and Connor, got a points win over Paul Cummings. The Benn saga has played out over YouTube and social media which is never nice and I refuse to get involved or make comment because Harley’s mum looks like she could pack a punch or two…
Saturday the 3rd, in Meadowbank, was very splendid thanks to a very full bill from MTK Global, which saw a triumph for light heavyweight Tommy Philbin who got a first round stoppage win against Carl Wild. Whilst Wild was a late replacement and never really tested Philbin, the Scot got what he needed and did a very professional job; titles next?
The bill also saw middleweight Iain Trotter take a points win over journeyman Casey Blair, as he eased to 3-0 and things look smooth and good for Trotter. Super lightweight Thomas Dickson was the shock loss of the night as he lost on points over 4 rounds to Ivan Godor who should never have manged to beat him. Super featherweight Lewis Paulin keeps marching on as he stopped wily warhorse Antonio Horvatic and moves to 10-0. Super featherweight Monty Ogilvie got his second professional win by stopping Ricky Leach and on a night of impressive performances from some of the stable, Ogilvie might be the one we are talking up more in 2018.
Rival promoters, Willie Limond Promotions, in Paisley had welterweight Sam Allan winning on his debut against Mathew Ashmole on points. It was all brotherly love as his bro, Scott “titletaker” Allan got his points win against Dimitrijs Gutman.
Elsewhere on the undercard, super bantamweight Gary Rae got a points win against Jose Aguilar, highly fancied heavyweight Ian Millarview also managed a points win against Tomas Mrazek. Super lightweight Ryan Smith won on points against Chris Adaway, super bantamweight Ukashir Farooq, fighting at featherweight won on points against Michael Barnor, highly experienced welterweight Frankie Gavin got a stoppage win, as you would expect, over Felix Matamaros, and welterweight Stewart Burt also as expected, got a points win against the wily William Warburton.
Welterweight Craig McIntyre was due to be up against Nathan Hardy for the British International Masters Belt, however McIntyre ended up facing journeyman Lukasz Janik who he knocked out. MacIntyre really needs something to test him and here is hoping next time up there is a bigger challenge for him.
Super welterweight sensation Kieran Smith managed a points win over Bradley Pryce at the top of the bill for the British International Masters belt. A top of the bill appearance and a top of the bill performance; next? – another title for the Scot who is now 10-0.
Up north, in Aberdeen, the BIBA action saw a Lee McAllister promotion seal a world title for the Aberdonian. I am very impressed by the way as to how these fights are reported as we get full details on the BIBA website!
Before the big contests, super flyweight Andy Cuthbert who was supposed to be facing Thomas Murry but Murry had to be replaced by Marty Kayes. Cuthbert got a points win in an exhibition match.
Lightweight Nathan Beattie blasted Igor Dubovs in the first round for the International Masters Novice title after a body shot took the wind out of Dubovs’ sails and the gallant opponent indicated that he was unable to continue.
There are two big contests to end the night as cruiserweight Sandy Robb had the task of taking the British Masters Silver title against champion, James Higgy. Robb stopped Higgy in the 4th round, again with a powerful body shot.
Lee McAllister was up against Frank Dodzi for the full WBF welterweight belt and McAllister managed to come through with a 3rd round stoppage win and McAllister takes his third WBF world title. Once again, a body shot did the damage! It took a towel coming in to close it but it was certainly a granite time in the Granite City.
Following the bumper weekend in Scotland we headed across the Irish sea to a feast of action in Belfast. Matchroom delivered an evening of exceptional boxing as well as the top of the bill which gave us a massive return with a fantastic IBF win for Ryan Burnett.
We started though with Paddy Gallagher managing to stop Craig Kelly in their welterweight showdown in the 3rd round. It took some vicious body shots to stop the man from Paisley and Kelly will hopefully have made enough to make the trip over worthwhile.
We also saw Ian Tims hit the canvass in the 3rd round against Luke Watkins. The referee stepped in to stop the contest leaving Tims not too pleased but it was the right decision and Watkins walks off with the Irish cruiserweight title.
We also saw super featherweight James Tennyson as the picture of patience as late replacement, Ryan Doyle did not come out for the 7th round after having tested Tennyson in every previous round. It had been a very competitive fight up until then and Doyle, who had taken the fight at short notice, but was in training – for a 6 round fight, had seen his chances come and go so stopped it before taking further punishment. It left us with admiration for Tennyson and the hope of seeing Doyle again.
We then headed for the world of the bizarre. Firstly, the cruiserweight debut of Mike Perez ended after 29 seconds as Viktor Biscak was swung at five times, hit three times and went down once. Once was enough and Biscak left on a wheelchair claiming an ankle injury. Clearly overpaid…
Then the bizarrely named IBF East/West lightweight title battle was another first round stoppage as Patrick Hyland Jr simply blitzed Adam Dingsdale after hurting him and sending him to the floor twice in quick succession. This was the platform on which to make a statement and Hyland Jr made it bold and quick.
Former Commonwealth Gold medallist, Sean McGoldrick got a points win against Rikki Starkey in a fight from which Starkey walked away with more credit than McGoldrick. This was not a great performance and McGoldrick needs to step up. Starkey was awkward and difficult but a man with an amateur pedigree like McGoldrick’s should have been able to take this without too much fear; in the end, he may have scared himself.
Finally, the top of the bill was Lee Haskins against Ryan Burnett for the IBF bantamweight belt. From the opening bell Burnett dominated in a one-sided contest that was recorded on the evening as a score draw. God Bless the 80-year-old, highly experienced judge who had to ask a photographer who was who – and then got it wrong. Not like it was vital and important but hey ho – the right guy won and we have seen a review of the scores to allow it to be declared, and recorded, properly.