Last weekend brought a curtain down on an unbelievable beginning to 2018 and the end to an exceptional season. Right to the end it kept giving us surprises and talking points that are difficult to ignore and keep people like me very busy…
Let us begin in in Cardiff with Matchroom presenting their latest NEXTGEN show.
As we all expected, lightweight Scott Cardle ticked over with a 6 round points win against Michael Mooney whilst super bantamweight Gamal Yafai also got his win against the tough journeyman Jose Aguilar by stopping him in the 3rd round.
The welterweight clash between the allegedly exciting Daniyar Yeleussinov and Gabor Gorbics avoided any real fireworks and I, amongst many others, remain to be convinced by Yeleussinov as a professional contender.
The upset of the night – and it was a really upsetting sight – was in the WBA international title fight between Natasha Jonas and Viviane Obenauf at super featherweight. I said it was no walkover and this proved prophetic as Jonas was unable to deal with Obenauf who stopped her in the 4th round as trainer Joe Gallagher threw in the towel. Jonas is on the ropes here and who know what the future may hold for her but on that showing there will be no showdown with Katie Taylor.
The headline of the night was the lightweight Commonwealth fight between Joe Cordina and Sean Masher Dodds. Dodds came to win but Cordina showed unbelievable class and now that he has captured the Commonwealth belt bigger fights might await. Before that he still needs rounds and to be tested. A Scott Cardle fight for the British title might be next and that looks a great fight though will Cardle want to be a stepping stone again?
In Atlantic City there was further upset when the light heavyweight title fight between Sergey Kovalev and Eleider Alvarez for the WBO title ended with Alvarez stopping Kovalev and taking the belt. This was nowhere in the script and Kovalev was ahead on the cards before being stopped. He will, like Jonas above, need to reflect and make major decisions. Unlike Jonas he has won world honours and is a massive presence on the world stage… It’s a fascinating thought that he might be at the end of his journey.
In the other light heavyweight title fight, on the same bill, Dmitry Bivol made no mistake against Isaac Chilemba for the WBA crown and he now has a new unification fight to contemplate!