We begin reporting on the action from last weekend on Saturday the 14th of December, in Brentwood, with the MTK Golden Contact contest showcase of their light heavyweights.
This was the Golden Contract quarter finals with 4 x 10 round fights on one night. We got the pick of the light heavyweights in the competition between Hosea Burton and Bob Ajisafe which went the way of ahighly impressive Burton – he had Ajisafe on the canvass in 6 seconds of the fight – who dominated his man throughout and cemented his status as very firm favourite for the whole competition
In the other fights, Scotland’s Tommy Philbin hadgone up in weight to take this opportunity and that perhaps showed in his loss to Serge Michel, though he stayed in for the full 10 rounds and lost on points. Andre Sterling faced Liam Conroy and also lost on points to a very decent fighter; Sterling went down in the 7th. Finally, on the nightSteven Ward lost the WBO European title in his first round knockout loss to Ricardo Bolotniks in what looked like the English fighter being caught cold. The semi final four are now Michel, Conroy, Ward and either Burton. I reckon Burton but Ajisafe is a very experienced pro.
Over in Madison Square Gardens the WBO welterweight action between pound for pound King Terence Crawford and Egidijus Kavaliauskas ended with a very decent win for Crawford who stopped Kavaliauskas in the 9th round whilst the lightweight IBF title fight between champion Richard Commey and Teofimo Lopez ended in only the 2nd round – the champion relinquished his belt to Lopez.
Also in the legendary MSG, the 2019 rematch of all rematches at featherweight saw Michael Conlan dominate the man who “beat” him in the Olympics, Vladimir Nikitin. Nikitin was no match for the much more experienced professional Conlan and now that is avenged, Conlan, who took a risk in taking the fight, can march forward in that professional career of his – without any entranced fanfare music…
In York Hall welterweight Harley Benn got past MJ Hall on points and the WBO European title between Quiase Khademi and Pedro Matos at super flyweight went to Khademi on points, like I never said it would…
In Brisbane, Australia on Wednesday the return to the ring of Jeff Horn saw him avenge his previous defeat to Michael Zerafa for the WBA Oceania and WBO Oriental titles. It was a majority decision that raised a great deal of controversy over the margins of the win and with Zerafa having claimed he was going to end Horn’s career it was very much a grudge rematch where falling out was close on guaranteed. Zerafa was floored in the 9th round and that seems to have tipped the scales in Horn’s favour.
The following night, Sunday the 15th of December in Southsea we had lightweight Lucy Wildheart manage to get past Denisa Cicoova by stoppage I hear, in the 2nd round.
During the week, on Thursday the 19th of December in York Hall we had the next, NEXT GN show from Matchroom and it provided a lot of end of year talking points.
Super bantamweight Shannon Courtenay managed an impressive 5th round knockout of Buchra El Quaisi – next step a title surely…
The British cruiserweight title fight between Richard Riakporhe and Jack Massey topped the bill and Massey showed Riakporhe that as you go up the scales in terms of opponents you need to learn new skills and really dig deep. Riakporhe did that and got the win – possibly thanks to a 10th round knockdown which certainly helped but Riakporhe could do with going and thinking about whether he has the skills in place for the next step up.
On Friday the 20th of December in Phoenix, Arizona theWBC flyweight title fight between Julio Cesar Aguilar and Cristofer Rosales saw Aguilar dominate and beat Rosales with some ease. Aguilar, fighting for the title that he won against Sunny Edwards before losing it on a bizarre VAR style decision finally got his hands on the belt, he was due before. There were also highly impressive wins for Josh Kelly and Liam Smith on the undercard which means Kelly should get ready for David Avanesyan in a European title fight next and Smith could be back in for world honours in 2020.
The most bizarre spectacle of the night, however was Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, who came into the weight in 5 pounds over and the fight had to be negotiated, pulling out of his fight against Daniel Jacobs on his stool whilst his legendary Mexican boxer father sat ringside and shook his head. Surely there can be no more opportunities for a man who is constantly called out as a pretender and not to any throne?