Last weekend in America, on Saturday the 23rd of November in Las Vegas we saw the WBA super featherweight world title belong to Leo Santa Cruz as he beat Miguel Flores on points. The WBA super bantamweight title fight between Brandon Figueroa and Julio Ceja was less assured and ended with a split decision draw for Figueroa. Given that Carl Frampton is fighting this weekend – can we PLEASE have the trilogy for 2020??
Also, on the undercard was somebody’s brother, cruiserweight Marsellos, who was knocked out in the 4th round by Dustin Long meaning that Mrs Wilder did not have two happy sons at the end of the night.
Mrs Wilder was better served in the main event but only after her very lucky son, WBC heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder in his rematch with Luis Ortiz knocked Ortiz out in the 7th round.We have now seen Joshua lose, Fury struggle and Wilder come from behind. The narrative is beginning to develop new and more strands of action which is no bad thing but the idea that by the end of 2020 we shall have one unified world champion is beginning to look a little faded in the telling. Who wants to sit across from someone who might take their titles now? Joshua, next week, will have to get his belts back but if he doesn’t then we may have a better story to tell in the USA – where Fury is looking to base his career by all accounts. The rematch between Wilder and Fury is on the 22nd February and any unification fight may have to wait until a mandatory or two has been satisfied or we are heading towards a unified of some of the belts champion… If only 2019 has seen what we wanted… when will we ever get what we want…
Also, in the USA, in California the WBA featherweight contest between Can Xu and Manny Robles III ended with a points win for Xu.
On the same bill the super featherweight WBA title fight between Andrew Cancio and Rene Alvarado ended with Cancio retiring in the 7th round. The retirement came because of a cut eye that Cancio suffered and Californian rules meant he lost to Alvarado in an upset on points. Things got worse when Golden Boy, due to comments that Cancio had made about the promotion before the fight dropped him too! It was, however, not the only fight of the night that had been stopped due to cuts – we had already seen that in Liverpool.
Super lightweight Tom Farrell was up against a wily opponent in Sean “Masher” Dodd already, but an accidental clash of heads meant the scorecards were in play as 4 rounds had been completed – British rules – once the doctor ruled that Farrell could no longer continue and the win was given to Dodd.
The undercard continued to produce talking points as hometown lad, super welterweight Anthony Fowler got a points win over Harry Scarff, for the WBA international belt whilst the Commonwealth cruiserweight title was on the line between Craig Glover and Chris Billam-Smith. In a stoppage win that saw Glover hit the canvass three times – once in the fourth and twice in the final fifth, Billam Smith took the belt home. Another Smith – Stephen got a stay busy fight out the way in a 6 round points win over Johnny Phillips.
Lightweight James Tennyson alsogot a stoppage win in the 11th over Craig Evans in a British title eliminator before the main event. It had been a cracking night of boxing thus far. What came next has added to the narrative as it split people, widely.
The WBA and WBC Diamond super middleweight defence between Callum Smith, the holder and John Ryder, the challenger went on points to the hometown lad, Smith. In that simple statement might lie the truth. They could not see beyond the local man but only one of the judges was British. None of the judges saw the fight as most of the boxers at home, boxers round the ring, pundits round the apron or in the arena or indeed the crowd saw it. Smith winning – highly possible, by that wide margin in the scorecards, never. It’s a curse of the system that we are getting pelters – rightly so for judging… This will go down as one of them where it ought to have been closer and though it was not a robbery, Ryder was pickpocketed of a result.
In Glasgow, on the same night, featherweight Gary Rae beat Brett Fidoe on points, lightweight Eric Donovan managed the same feat against Jose Aguilar and heavyweight Kaseem Saleem stopped Shaun Duffy in the second round of a scheduled four in only his second professional contest. Super middleweight Jordan Grant got a debut win against AndyBishop and light heavyweight Darren Tarr also won on his debut on points against Lewis van Poetsch.
In Hull we saw another of the battle of the journeymen as Edvaldas Korsakas beat Arvydas Trizno on points over six rounds, Korsakas sending Trizno to the floor in the final round.
To my shame, what I did miss was the world title bout between Hannah Rankin and Patricia Bergholt where Rankin put her own IBO super welterweight belt on the line and was fighting to take the interim WBC belt home alongside it. Bergholt was too tough a nut to crack and Rankin, though winning Bergholt’s praises came back with nothing else after losing over 10 rounds on points.
Finally last night I have waited on a number of results being announced and cannot find them as yet so we have from Friday the 29th of November in Glasgow welterweight Martin Harkin’s return alongside the Scottish middleweight title fight between Trigger Wood and Paul Allison as well asinthe ever busy York Hall the British and Commonwealth title fight at super lightweight between Phillip Bowes and Akeem Ennis-Brown. I shall share the results next week
I do know that in Sheffield, the IBO featherweight contests involving Felix Williams and Josh Wale for their international title went to Wale on a majority decision whilst the IBO intercontinental title fight between Tommy Frank and Martin Tecuapetia was a points win for Frank. The return of heavyweight Kash Ali against Artur Kubiak ended with a second round stoppage for Ali; maybe there is a way back…