last week will go down as one where many questions in the British boxing world were answered and we gathered a few new questions along the way…
We found out about good Callum Smith is, how good Anthony Joshua’s chin is, how good Kash Farooq is and how obnoxious Chris Eubank Jr can be… No wait a minute… think we already knew one of those.
It was also one where we got thrown a couple of curveball questions like will David Price box again, has Lawrence Okolie got a future in WWE and will Matty Askins get a rematch?
It all began at Wembley last Saturday the 22nd of September, when heavyweight David Price faced up to the unknown Sergey Kuzmin. It was a repeat of nights before as Price was forced, due to a bicep injury, to retire. This is yet another blow to his career and the question of whether he can actually continue is now on everyone’s lips. This is the nicest man in boxing, a man with a massive punch and someone who deserves the fates to be on his side but for whatever reason, they are not.
The British cruiserweight title was settled between Matty Askin and Lawrence Okolie after one of the worst boxing matches seen; it was no mean fight as a wrestling encounter either. It ended with a points win for Okolie. Not even Okolie liked the manner of his win and he got 3 points deducted for his wrestling style! People are questioning why he wasn’t disqualified and the people who saw it, never want to see anything like it again. Askins thinks he was robbed, people are sure he was robbed and the BBB of C have a massive fight on their hands as to whether they should sanction a champ, censure a referee and order a rematch, that nobody really wants to see apart from Askins.
The lightweight rematch between Luke Campbell and Yvan Mendy was a master class from Campbell of assured and very measured, mature boxing. Campbell showed how much he had learned and if Mendy’s team think Mendy won – as they do – they perhaps could get jobs as judges in an Askins/Okolie rematch – Campbell won this by some distance.
Then came the beats and the beast as Anthony Joshua put his brand back in the limelight with the right approach, the correct strategy and an emphatic stoppage against Alexander Povetkin to retain the IBO/WBA/WBA/WBO heavyweight belts. This was a night he got caught, he shook it off and he triumphed. April the 13th whoever gets in the ring is the question everyone wants an answer to. Joshua can sit back and watch the cat fight to fight him, as his job was done and done well.
On Thursday the 27th of September in Glasgow at the St Andrew’s Club the British bantamweight title fight between Ukashir Farooq and Jamie Wilson lasted all of 73 seconds as Farooq took no prisoners and knocked Wilson out the park. Next for Farooq should be bigger fights, better coverage and the type of hype that Lewis Ritson has enjoyed as he may be THAT good.
Supporting super lightweight Dean Sutherland got his next win and the debut of Boris Crighton went with a win for the debutant with a second round stoppage!
Last night, in Saudi Arabia the World Boxing Super Series for its first season came to an end and it was rowdy in Saudi with a Scouse accent as the super middleweight final between WBA champion, George Groves and the challenger and much fancied Callum Smith ended with a 7th round stoppage. Smith IS the best on the planet, Groves is not retiring and next up is a conundrum for James DeGale – a rematch with Groves would be great, a fight with Smith a potential loss but he may be after smaller fish…
Before we got that clash, Chris Eubank Jr returned against JJ McDonagh. I wasn’t sure about this as a fight as McDonagh appeared to me, to possibly be below Eubank’s level but comments from the younger version of the Eubank crass team showed that McDonagh, who was forced to retire with a shoulder injury, was the level above him in class. Eubank slated McDonagh in his post fight interviews and this was hardly fair on a game fighter who climbed in the ring against the young pup. I have no idea who is likely to take on Junior next and many will shy away from being associated with the publicity train they ride though the Eubank camp will start to claim that people are frightened of Junior and avoiding him; they are mentioning James DeGale and this could be the smaller stepping stone for DeGale to get back towards a bigger fight but the Eubanks call many out…