Last weekend was a stellar one for the world of boxing and there can be no better start than Glasgow…
It may have only been his 4th fight but what a statement from Lee MacGregor as he took out Goodluck Mnema in the 4th of a scheduled 10 rounds. We expected a bold statement and he delivered. Light heavyweight Tommy Philbin gotin against Dominik Landgrafand managed to stop him in the first round!
Lightweight Chantelle Cameron also battered out a statement with a 6th round stoppage of the twice former world titlist, Natalia Vanesa Del Valle Aguirre. If this was a test, there were colours flying at the end of it. Featherweight Gary Rae got in the ring against Johnson Tellez and he bucked the trend of nightly knockouts by settling for a points win. He was not alone as debutant featherweight Eftychia Kathopouli got his first 4 rounds as a pro with a win against Domenika Novotna.
Knockout of the night went to the apparently new King of Scotland – ask his trainer, Billy Nelson as his heavyweight Martin Bakole took down DL Jones in 1 round. Billy got plenty of publicity for him and now there could be talk of even bigger fight ahead – Bakole is the real deal, trust me…
The main event was worthy of any night of boxing as Scotland saw their new pugilistic star make a platform upon which great things will be expected but by looking at what happened they shall certainly be delivered. The debate may have been about the absurdity of the score cards but the message was loud and clear – Josh Taylor won a unanimous points decision against Viktor Postol to successfully defend his WBC silver super-lightweight title and is world class. He dug deep, he came back, he dropped a very good world class operator and he made demands of himself and his management team about the next step – a world title? For me, no. I think he has risen quickly and may be ready but greed needs to take a back step and take on another Viktor Postol type before launching himself into the mix of world titles but the truly wonderful thing is, whilst boxing is on the up – Scotland is still truly part of the package.
Whilst we were salivating in Glasgow at the 02 Arena in London Frank Warren gave us more to drool over as heavyweight Daniel Dubois took out Tom Little in yet another impressive performance in 5 rounds for the English title.
On the same bill the sensational light heavyweight Anthony Yarde stopped a tough Dariusz Sek in 7 rounds – first ever stoppage for Sek – for the WBO European and Intercontinental crowns. Top of the bill middleweight action saw Roberto Garcia outclassed and outfought by Martin Murray for the WBC silver belt. Murray was never away but now world title chance number 5 is on the horizon in a display that shows defeats do not mean the end of the road. Murray joins Ricky Burns in the seriously ready older squad that could still pull off a trick or two and make their names a legacy for their futures and still secure a future for themselves and their families in the toughest sport of all.
My pick of the night, in terms of stories was the return of Mr Ohara Davies. It was an amazing display from him as he managed a second round stoppage of super lightweight Paul Kamanga for the WBC international belt. We can talk where is Josh Taylor versus where has Davies ended up, but he showed that he has taken his experience, poured it into his fists and is now ready to step up and be serious about it all – next step is a fascinating one.
We then had Dave Allen bravely being stopped in the final and tenth round against Tony Yoka in Paris. Allen was beaten up throughout and looked very much off the pace but he was such an entertainer that this loss may remind people that he adds to bills and should be back on bigger ones. It was never going to be a fairy tale ending but it was going to remind people that Cinderella’s need Ugly Sisters…
Finally, in Yucatan, Mexico, world honours this weekend for the WBC super featherweight crown went to Miguel Berchelt as he stopped Jonathan Viktor Barros in the 3rd round. Fantastic statement in this division and now we can expect some very serious matchmaking!