On Saturday the 15th of June in Las Vegas the number one heavyweight in the world, Tyson Fury blew away Tom Schwarz in the 2nd round. That’s the facts as they will appear on the record books.
What is seared in the memory is the ring walk, the weigh in, the corner work where Fury was trapped, slipped every shot coming at him, twisted, turned and put Schwarz where he didn’t want to be – on the end of his jab, the switching to southpaw stance, the blasting away of a man who came to fight but found his fight was still in Germany as Fury, beautifully packaged and wonderfully alive to the possibilities, gave everyone what they wanted. There once was three, there then became two, but there is only one Tyson Fury…
If we got sublime boxing skill in Las Vegas on the same night, we got disgraceful skill in in Riga with a controversial night for the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS). It was back with the cruiserweight semi finals as Mairis Breidis elbowed Krzysztof Glowacki into submission for the interim WBO title (the WBC diamond belt having been withdrawn). Glowacki’s team are appealing in what was a blatant foul and the melee of the ending of the fight made a mockery of the contest. Breidis floored Glowacki with that elbow in the second, he claimed it was one of his old Muay Thai moves, Glowacki was ordered to his feet, continued, got knocked down twice after, the second knockdown happening after the bell sounding for the end of the second round, then got knocked down again and stopped early in the third. Breidis claimed retaliation after Glowacki had deliberately punched him in the back of the head – he had. Fair’s fair?
In the other, tamer, fight, Yuniel Dorticos knocked Andrew Tabiti in the 11th round out with a stunning blow to retain the IBF belt. The WBSS now have a massive number of issues to face – where do they have the final, do they allow Breidis to continue, will the governing body, the WBO, intervene and how much damage – if any at all – has this done?
In the UK we were though, all alternatively focused on Leeds where Frank Warren gave us super featherweight Commonwealth title action between Zelfa Barrett and Leon Woodstock with Barret coming through a very tough test to retain his title.
The super welterweight Commonwealth title action between James Metcalf and Jason Welborn saw Metcalf stopping Welborn in the 8th in a very decent undercard fight.
Top of the bill was the IBF featherweight fight between champion Josh Warrington and challenger Kid Galahad. Had Galahad taken the split decision in his favour many would not have questioned it. Many had Galahad ahead, but few admired his style and way of doing it, claiming it was very negative. Warrington struggled and whilst he won, perhaps Galahad has given better fighters a blueprint… It was not a classic, not a very good spectacle but it allows Warrington to go and unify the belts whilst Galahad might suffer a little if he cannot get a better and more decent contest at world level. He deserves it but needs to see himself as part of an entertainment package at the same time as climbing through the ropes.
In Paisley the IBO world title fight between Hannah Rankin and Sarah Curran was a tough contest for Rankin but she only went and done it! Scotland has its first female boxing world champion and her name is HANNAH RANKIN!!! It was Rankin’s third attempt to land a world title and at a third weight! Super stars have been fought and now super stardom may now beckon for the lass from Luss with a huge punch.
On the undercard lightweight Calvin McCord beat Ibrar Riyaz on points over 6 rounds, super featherweight Jordan McCrory beat Alec Bazza on points over 4, the debut of heavyweight Kaseem Saleem saw him win on points over 4 rounds against Colin “Butch” Goldhawk, super middleweight Trigger Wood got a 4 rounder win against veteran Lewis van Poetsch, welterweight Thomas Dickson beat Gary McGuire on points, the debut of super middleweight Ian O’Connor went well with a 4 round points win against Jordan Grannum and the super lightweight battle between Ahmed Ibrahim and unbeaten Martin Taylor went to Ibrahim, again on points but over the longer 10 rounds.
The action in Scotland was due to continue in Livingston where BIBA were due to return with the WBU world championship fight between Lee McAllister and Justice Addy. McAllister lost 5 stone – shades of Tyson Fury there, but the fight got cancelled. The arrangements for an open air event are complex and without the comfort of certain measures being put in place they could not get the necessary permissions in place – it has been rescheduled so it will happen at some point.
On the next night, Sunday the 16th of June in Manchester super lightweight Stephen Smith got a 6 round win against Jamie Quinn in a very low key event – bigger keys will be turning in bigger locks for him…
Last night, Friday the 21st of June in York Hall Matchroom brought a cracking and entertaining night as welterweight Connor Benn blew Jussi Koivula out in the second round to retain his WBA continental title. Koivula came out in the first and rocked Benn, pressuring him beautifully and we feared… Koivula should have been more fearful as Benn, claiming he wasn’t hurt, looked it, and channelled that aggression into a second round where he destroyed the Finn… As Mr Mathew Macklin might say, what is in the cat, is in the kitten… Now give him some milk…
Light heavyweight Craig Richards settled his long running feud with Andre Sterling by beating him on points whilst bantamweight Shannon Courtenay was back in action with an amazing performance against Valerija Sepetovska. She stopped her opponent in the second round.
In what was the continuing surprise of his career, super welterweight Ted Cheeseman drew in his British title fight against Kieron Conway. Cheeseman has lost the momentum and another British title fight is looming. Given this and his previous loss, people are beginning to turn off cheese…
In Belfast super lightweight Tyrone McKenna beat Darragh Foley for the WBC international belt and the WBO European light heavyweight belt, on the line between Steven Ward and Liam Conroy went to Ward with an 8th round stoppage.
Across the water in California the super featherweight title action between Andrew Cancio and Alberto Machedo for the WBA belt ended as it had before – Cancio won. Cancio got him out in 3 and whilst many thought their previous fight had been fluked and won by Cancio, this was nothing short of masterful!