It was a weekend when so many fights did not go the scheduled distance. For some that was a fantastic result and for others just more heartache. Ironically that heartache was piled upon previous heartache…
In the small hours of Sunday the 4th of March in Brooklyn, WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder got his next chapter on the record books as a 10th round stoppage of Luis Ortiz meant he kept the belt and he kept the references to his fight with AJ on channel. It was a decent performance but the swinging at the end looked desperate and a disciplined fighter would cost Wilder a lot of rhythm. It was not, Wilder’s Klitschko moment – what a lot of nonsense. Ortiz is never Klitschko and though there are similarities, Wilder v AJ – will be the first time he has been up against a very decent fighter. That I not to take anything away from someone who has fought 40 times and stopped 39 opponents. This made Wilder the most dangerous heavyweight on the planet and THE guy that AJ must face and beat to claim he is a true champion… Roll on THAT fight!
The undercard saw Andre Dirrell lose on points to a jubilant Jose Uzcategui for the interim IBF belt and set Uzcategui on target for a shot at Caleb Truax or James DeGale. It was a rematch after the nonsense last time when Dirrell’s family assaulted Uzcategui in the ring so justice done.
The former IBF heavyweight champion, Charles Martin faced Curtis Harper and stopped him in the 1st round. Martin has been doing that since his loss to Joshua and when do we see his name up with Wilder et al? Never again perhaps but it is a shame if he keeps knocking guys out…
Over in the iconic Madison Square Gardens, the two light heavyweight title fights saw the WBO title settled round the waist of Sergey Kovalev who beat Igor Mikhalkin and the WBA belt stuck round Dmitry Bivol’s as he beat Sullivan Barrera. The next question for most people is – will they both face off in a unification fight next? My next question is, should this be the next World Boxing Super Series contest?
In Glasgow, at the SSE Hydro, we did have some crackers as super middleweight Iain Trotter lost by stoppage in the 3rd round to Marc Kerr meaning Kerr is now the Scottish champion.
Super bantamweight Joe Ham got a points win against Edwin Tellez. Super bantamweight Lee McGregor managed a fantastic win against Pablo Narvaez who replaced Scott Allan. The mailman and the railman ended up with another stoppage again due to a clash of heads with more time out of the ring for lightweight Charlie Flynn as he and Ryan Collins got another technical draw for the Celtic title. They were warned and they heeded nothing so people will see Flynn as susceptible to cuts and there is no, absolutely no, appetite to see a third fight between them. This was not a spectacle worthy of a repeat for any reason.
Lightweight Chantelle Cameron had a tremendous fight by comparison that went the distance and saw her find the points win against an unbelievably tough Myriam Dellial.
Then we got a massive low as well fancied super lightweight Jason Easton lost by stoppage and knockout in the 11th round against Glenn Foot. Foot thoroughly deserved the win and he is one guy who has worked away without the plaudits and he deserves them now! Like Ronnie Clark last week, this week was Glenn Foot’s just desserts.
The top of the bill fight for the WBC silver title between Josh Taylor and the late replacement for Humberto Soto, Winston Campos was all over after 3 rounds. I didn’t think Campos would threaten Taylor and he never did – was not an easy win but not one that stretched Taylor.
In Sheffield there were more fireworks and similar stories as top of the bill Kell Brook stopped Siarhei Rabchenko in the 2nd round – 1 quicker than Taylor. This was a massive statement from Brook and he can look forward to the big fights now – he does have Amir Khan on speed dial, I am sure.
Featherweight Kid Galahad also stopped Irving Berry in the 3rd round whilst a returning Rocky Fielding got a points win over Karel Horejsek to keep him ticking over; almot immediately there wa talk of a world title fight.
Redemption simply did not come Dave Allen’s way as he ended up with a cut in the 1st round and that ended his fight with Lenroy Thomas for the Commonwealth title in a draw. It looks like, again, it shall be REPEAT; unlike many other contests that SHOULD be one to repeat!
The supporting contest with the WBC title on the line was between Gamal Yafai and Gavin McDonnell. It did not disappoint and was the fight that went the distance and was a tremendous spectacle. In the end McDonnell proved to be too wily and too good for Yafai but it showed just how impressive this weight level is domestically AT THE MOMENT.
On the same enchanted evening in York Hall Harlem Eubank got a points win against Angel Emilov, whilst in Brentwood welterweight Larry Ekundayo also won on points over 6 rounds against Adam Grabiec.