Last Saturday the 24th of November in Monte Carlo, the annual bash in the principality from Matchroom brought some more drama and mixed results – just like a decent boxing night should.
The WBA international title fight between Michael Hunter and Alexander Ustinov at heavyweight was supposed to be Ustinov’s next stage on the world scene and it ended up being an amazing triumph for a man chasing his father’s legacy. Hunter wants the heavyweight belt his father had, and this was a triumph of a very good little guy toppling a giant as he stopped Ustinov in the 9th round. There is talk of him back out again on the 22nd December on the Whyte/Chisora undercard, but he has said he would rather have the guy proposed for that date – Carlos Takam – in January. More time to prepare for a bigger test sounds like a sensible way of doing things from here on in…
The WBA cruiserweight title fight between Denis Lebedev and Mike Wilson, was a one-sided affair as Lebedev won on points without too much trouble and a unification may be next.
The IBF intercontinental light heavyweight clash between Frank Buglioni and Fanlong Meng, was a tough watch as Buglioni was stopped with a cut and added another loss to his final tally. Surprising everyone after the fight Buglioni went on to announce his retirement from the sport and it has been a great journey but it may have been ended a bit soon? We shall see…
Top of the bill was the super flyweight showdown between reigning champion, Kal Yafai against contender Israel Gonzalez for Yafai’s WBA title. Yafai did not look good and many thought he lost the fight – not the first time I have heard that in the sterile atmosphere of Monte Carlo. Perhaps Monte Carlo wants this event more than we should be giving them it as this was not a good decision. Gonzalez was rightly upset and a rematch? Not likely.
Yafai wants bigger fights to motivate himself – makes other people wonder about his right to hold any kind of belt but he still has it and the next stage will be a bigger fight and a better atmosphere surely?
On home turf in Aberdeen super bantamweight Kristen Fraser was the first ever as she overcame Ellen Simwaka to win the Commonwealth title. This is an amazing result and whilst other female boxers have had the spotlight, attention shall now turn, surely to Fraser as she embarks on the next stage of a very rainbow laced journey.
We also had bantamweight Billy Stuart win on points against late replacement Dmytro Kostenko, Boris Crighton stopped Michal Ciach in the 2nd, debutant Andrew Smart beat Simas Volosinas on points and lightweight Elaine Greenan also got a points win against Vaida Masiokaite.
In York Hall welterweight Harley Benn stopped Petar Alexandrov in the 2nd round and then had a very emotional reunion with his father during the week -great to see and good to have a decent fight with which to progress for the young man.
Across the pond in New Jersey the light heavyweight title action for the WBA belt between Dmitry Bivol and Jean Pascal saw Bivol win on points. It was not well reported which is a shame because Bivol is an exciting fighter…
As if the weekend was not enough we then got action in Glasgow from Thursday the 29th of November in the Radisson Bu, Glasgow with a St Andrew’s Club evening which saw featherweight Craig Morgan win against Sergio Gonzalez, super featherweight Nathanial Collins and Andrew Tham in the ring with Collins winning and a tune up for Craig MacIntyre who got a points win against Hamo Aperjan.
Overnight our time on the Thursday in Queensland, Australia, middleweight action for the WBO Oriental and WBA Oceania titles saw former world champion Jeff Horn take out Anthony Mundine in the first round – it was spectacular.
Last night, Friday the 30th of November, at the Emirates in Glasgow MTK brought a full evening of boxing where super lightweight Callen McAuley got a points win against Evaldas Korsakas, bantamweight Reece McFadden got a points win over Elvis Guillan, and super middleweight David Brophy won on points against Charles Adamu.
We also had a patient WBC international silver title fight will between Kieran Smith and Evaldas Korsakas with Smith settling for a points win.
The trials and tribulations of Lewis Benson continue as he lost a 10 round decision against Tyrone Mckenna and we have to wonder where next for Benson?
The British title fight between Ukashir Farooq and Iain Butcher was a battle of Scotland and the arm raised at the end of the night was the champion’s Farooq. It was his first defence and now -where will he go?
And just to make the evening complete in Glasgow at the Crowne Plaza, Sam Kynoch brought the Celtic title fight at super welterweight between Marc Kerr and Jay Byrne, which was won by Byrne on points.
In Italy last night we also got a new Matchroom adventure that saw Tony Conquest fall to defat in his European glory quest against Fabio Tuchi whilst Joe Hughes finally did get a European belt on points against Andrea Scarpa. It left Martin J Ward with the win on points -split decision-against Devis Boschiero that sends him into world title contention.