Last week has all been about statements. There have been some heavyweighted shout outs, Twitter wars, negotiations and rumours but it comes down to a couple of massive heavyweight contests last week that showed we have some cracking fights for 2018 that just HAVE to be made.
It was down to the final fight of the heavyweight world title fights for the year that really kicked it off in in New York, where Deontay Wilder knocked out Bermaine Stiverne to retain his WBC belt in the very first round. Let’s be serious, this was the type of result we had hoped from Anthony Joshua the week before but had not got in his fight against Carlos Takam. Wilder’s win was a massive statement and from there we got Joshua responding, Hearn negotiating, Parker looking for some action, Bellew and Haye wondering where they stood, Whyte reminding people that he is still in there, Fury edging in and the world going crazy – 2018 looks like where it’s all at!
Matchroom and Eddie Hearn were back in Monaco at the same time with featherweight Scott Quigg stopping Oleg Yefimovich in his WBA eliminator, in the 6th round. It is now world honours for him and a big fight – possibly in the USA.
The biggest fight for me became the biggest disappointment which was the European heavyweight title fight where previously unknown champion Agit Kabayel beat Derrick Chisora by split decision. Chisora was sluggish and uninterested until the later rounds and was flattered by the judge who gave him the contest. Due to visa issues, his trainer, Don Charles, was unable to travel, and this is simply NO EXCUSE. Chisora’s future in the division is now very much in doubt. I cannot see where he goes from here apart from becoming a gateway fighter for domestic heavyweights trying to gain a foothold on the world stage.
The second biggest disappointment of the night was the WBA bantamweight title fight rematch between champion Jamie McDonnell and Liborio Solis where it was stopped in the 3rd round due to a cut McDonnell had sustained from an accidental clash of heads. Declared a no contest, there shall be no further rematch as McDonnell is going up in weight; McDonnell cut (pardon the pun) a very forlorn figure at the end of it all.
Thankfully, the WBA light heavyweight fight between Russian Dmitry Bivol and Australian challenger Trent Broadhurst lit up the night. Bivol is the latest Eastern European beast and this was simply a cracking fight. OK, it did not get past the first round but Bivol’s demolition of Broadhurst has sent out a chilling message to the rest of the division. Have we found the new Kovalev? We have certainly found a new Eastern European who scares people.
On the same night and in Manchester the Central area title defence by Darryl Sharp at middleweight saw Mathew Ryan win on points over 10 rounds and super welterweight Denton Vassell got a 4 round points win against Jordan Grannum and not Giuseppe Lauri as expected.
Last night, being Friday the 10th of November in Manchester lightweight Joe Murray got an 8th round stoppage against Nkuleloko Venganayi for the WBC international silver belt and middleweight Craig Cunningham lost the WBC international fight with Lukas Ndafoluma.