Last weekend saw an explosion of action and there is little doubt about where the heartache, the Cinderella story, the rise of a new name and the devastating news came from. We saw Sam Egginton lose his European title on a split decision, revelled in the stories of new boy Lewis Ritson, saw the impact of another Benn, and marvelled at what Chris Eubank Jr did in Germany.
But those four stories are only a fraction of what happened at the weekend.
Let’s begin at Manchester and live on Sky. Scottish super bantamweight Joe Ham managed a points win over Jose Aguilar, lightweight Charlie Flynn got the same against Liam Richards and light heavyweight Hosea Burton stopped Ratu Latianara in the very first round. All good wins and all expected.
The featherweight contest between Gavin McDonnell and Jozsef Ajtai ended in a McDonnell win with a first round knockout, lightweight Scott Cardle got back on track with a fully dominant points win over Lee Connelly and welterweight Connor Benn simply blew Nathan Clarke away with another first round stoppage; it was brutal. Next up for Benn is a trip stateside as he goes to fight on the first Matchroom USA card.
The British lightweight title fight between Robbie Barrett and Lewis Ritson was similarly brutal with Ritson destroying Barrett and announcing himself on the big stage. Some of knew how good Ritson was but this was proof positive that he is a very serious prospect in the lightweight division.
The agony of a split decision saw Mr Cinderella, Sam Eggington lose his European title to a tough and well-deserved Mohamed Mimoune who outboxed Eggington. After such a great run of form, Eggington needs to pick himself up off that canvass as there is no doubt he is a special type of fighter. Judging by his interviews after the fight, that is precisely what Sam is going to do!
Now I am delighted to admit, I was wrong. Ricky Burns has fights left in him. The top of the bill lightweight clash between Anthony Crolla and Ricky Burns was a treat for boxing fans. It was not a great fight but it was a very good one. I would go for the trilogy if I was Eddie Hearn but I am not. THIS is the type of skill and heart fight with so much heart and history attached that we could watch it all night, every night and is the rock upon which other events get built. Crolla won well and deserved the points win but it was close and though Burns probably lost by about 4 rounds, he was also in with a shout throughout.
Meanwhile in York Hall flyweight Andrew Selby got his points win and eliminator out the way against Maximino Flores, the Commonwealth title fight between Robin Dupre and Luke Watkins ended with Dupre stopping Watkins in the 6th whilst lightweight Chantelle Cameron, needed no longer than the first round as she stopped Bilitis Gaucher.
The talk of the night was the demolition in Stuttgart in the supermiddleweight IBO title fight as part of the World Boxing Super Series, and the quarter final between Chris Eubank Jr and Avril Yilorim. Eubank Jr did more than announce his arrival or place down a marker, it could be argued that he slapped a condemned notice on the rest of the field. Remember that Eubank picked last of the 4 seeds and this was the guy the rest wanted to avoid. They now must face a guy who knocked him clean out in 3 rounds… Suddenly this has exploded into life.
Now last night, on Friday the 13th of October and in Sheffield – middleweight Sam Sheedy met Liam Cameron to defend the Commonwealth belt. Cameron took the belt by stopping Sheedy in the 8th round.
Also on Friday, at the legendary York Hall Matchroom brought super lightweight and cousin Harleem Eubank who proved the genes go further than the son by winning over 4 rounds on points against Michael Green, super welterweight Ted Cheeseman kept up his momentum with a knockout win against Aristides Quintero in the 5th round, lightweight Natasha Jonas stopped Mariann Gulyas in the 3rd pro fight and cruiserweight Isaac Chamberlain got a 6th round stoppage over the tough and dogged Ossie Jervier.
The scheduled British title fight between super flyweight fight between Charlie Edwards and Matthew Chanda was off and Edwards kept busy with an 8 round points win against Craig Derbyshire.
The Commonwealth featherweight fight between Jason Cunningham and Reece Bellotti was supposed to be a tricky one and so it proved up until the 6th round when Bellotti caught Cunningham with a flurry of punches, sending him to the floor and getting the Commonwealth belt around his waist. These Next Generation bills are now attracting some serious belts so what next for them? It’s intriguing and not a little exciting…