Last weekend on Saturday the 7th of November inManchester it was tears and no tantrums as we got to say goodbye to a legendary figure and watched a master class in the ring alongside it.
The undercard was pretty decent too as heavyweight Martin Bakole did exactly what he needed by stopping Rodney Hervandez in the second round before toddling back off home… to Airdrie…
Featherweight Gamal Yafai managed to stop Lee Clayton in the third round before super bantamweight Qais Ashfaq also stopped Scotland’s Joe Ham for the WBA continental title in a rerun of the 2014 Commonwealth Games Quarter Final which saw repeat for Ashfaq as he has now beaten Ham in the amateurs and in the pro ranks.
Super featherweight Terri Harper really impressed in her 9th straight win against the tough and highly difficult Viviane Obenauf as she successfully defended her IBO title. It was a very impressive points win against an awkward opponent. The Commonwealth middleweight title went back with Felix Cash as he stopped Jack Cullen in the 8th round in a decent fight that could have gone the distance.
We then had the mouth-watering super lightweight title fight between Christina Linardatou and Katie Taylor for Linardatou’s WBO title and Taylor was incredible. She boxed beautifully with a points win that was as wide as the smile on her face in becoming a two weight world champion. Having been in a place a year or so ago where people were wondering if there were big enough fights out there, she is now in a highly explosive mix that could really ignite women’s participation in the sport beyond where we are already!
The audience were all, however, there to salute Anthony Crolla in his final headline fight against Frank Urquiaga for the WBA continental belt. Crolla got a very decent points win but it was clear that Crolla was not in the right frame of mind to continue beyond it. It was not the Crolla of old and though he dug deep enough there was little left beyond a 10 round farewell. Crolla has been a magnificent example to all and he now goes back to a gym to inspire others in the way he did in the ring.
On the same night, over in Las Vegas lightweight Ryan Garcia knocked out Romero Duno in the very first round to take the WBC silver and WBA NABO belt on the undercard of the WBO light heavyweight title fight between Saul Canelo Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev. Canelo got the next weight division win to become a 4 weight Mexican champion in a fight that he was winning on the score cards but many thought he was losing – doesn’t help the idea that Nevada like him a little too much – before a cracking combination in the 11th that floored Kovalev. Well done Canelo – time to go back down to light middleweight?
Also, in Carson that night,the super flyweight action between Jerwin Ancajas and Jonathon Javier Rodriguez for the IBF belt was cancelled due to VISA issues for Rodriguez whilst the super featherweight action between Miguel Bertchelt and Jason Sosa for the WBC crown ended in a fourth round stoppage for Berchelt.
Over in San Antonio we the British boxer unable to fight under the British Boxing Board of Control, Iain Weaver lost to Christian Santibanez for the ABF American West title in a 4th round stoppage. Weaver, I believe, was also on the controversial return to the ring of Nigel Benn, undercard so we might get to see him on these shores should the event get transferred to February as BIBA wish but I am not sure how many will be trampling to ringside to see it, given the health related history.
On Thursday the 7th of November in Saitama, Japan, broadcast in the UK about lunchtime, we had the super bantamweight World Boxing Super Series Final between Nonito Donaire and Naoya Inoue for the WBA and IBF world titles which went the distance despite Donaire hitting the canvas and Inoue being cut heavily in the second round. The result was a points victory to the “Monster” and cleaning up the rest of the division must be next for him.
The WBC bantamweight title fight between Nordine Oubaali and Takuala Inoue did not go to the other Inoue but to Oubaali on points!