November ended well, with a number of big fights that may not have quite taken the breath away but did provide the type of entertainment upon which we can hope that fighters build, contests develop and the future remains rosy…
At the beginning of last weekend on Friday the 29th of November in Glasgow welterweight Martin Harkin’s return was successful as he got a points win over 6 rounds against William Warburton, whist super lightweight Ahmed Mweva beat Josue Bendana on points and super middleweight Ian O’Connor got a second fight and a first draw in a 4 rounder against Ben Thomas. Bantamweight Arran McGarvie managed a first round stoppage of Steven Maguire in his second pro fight and welterweight Abie Tweedie made a successful debut stopping Gary McGuire in the second round whilst the middleweight fight between Trigger Wood and Sam Omidi ended with a points win for Wood.
In Las Vegas the catchweight contest between Carl Frampton and Tyler Mcreary, ended in a points win for Frampton, future talk of world title fights at a third weight and two fractured hands. On the same bill, super featherweight Oscar Valdez stopped Adam Lopez in the 7th round. The interim WBO super welterweight crown went to Patrick Teixeira on points against Carlos Adames with Adames tasting the canvass in the 7th.
The Matchroom Monte Carlo show did actually serve up some decent stuff though the return of Hughie Fury has been delayed thanks to a virus stopping his return to the ring.
Top of the bill was a ferocious scrap between the two Russians, Alexander Besputin and Radzhab Butaev for the WBA title at welterweight. Besputin deservedly won on points but it was a very competitive affair.
The welterweight unified clash between Cecilia Braekhaus against Viktoria Bustos was in little doubt throughout as Braekhaus showed why she is the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO champion. A fight with Katie Taylor is still on and this is mouthwatering. Taylor has already given us such entertainment and classic fights that this would add to her legacy in the sport beautifully.
Also, on the packed undercard, super featherweight Joe Cordina managed a very decent win against the very tough and durable Mario Enrico Tinoco for the WBA continental belt. Cordina had to dig deep and it was the right type of fight for someone looking to move up and move on.
Finally, the heavyweight sensation from China, Zhilei Zhang did indeed make his Matchroom debut in against Andriy Rudenko in a first fight for his new stable that was a reasonable enough introduction if lacking in spectacle.
In Birmingham the return of super welterweight Sam Eggington saw him with another win as his opponent Daniel Urbanski retired in the second round.
Also, in Birmingham, we had super welterweight Hamzah Sheeraz fighting for the WBO European title against Ryan Kelly and winning in a 6th round stoppage and super lightweight Sam Maxwell stopping Connor Parker for the WBO European belt in the 7th round.
The British title fights at super middleweight between Lerrone Richards and Lennox Clarke, at welterweight between Chris Jenkins and Liam Taylor and at super featherweight involving Sam Bowen and Anthony Cacace were an interesting bunch of contests. One was ruled a technical draw due to a clash of heads, and the other two were split decision wins – for Cacace for the super featherweight belt, and for Lerrone Richards for the super middleweight belt, which was also for the Commonwealth title. The draw came in the British and Commonwealth welterweight title fight between Jenkins and Taylor, Jenkins being the one with the cut.
Top of the bill was a real shock as well as the anticipated treat as the WBO super bantamweight fight between Zolani Tete and John Riel Casimero ended in the third round as Tete was blown away by Casimero and beaten for the 4th time in his career.