It’s been quite a remarkable run at the Matchroom Square Gardens and now Eddie is packing away his tent. Or is he?
I think it was in Boxing News this week that someone wrote about how having working class people battling in a ring in a millionaire’s back garden was a bit Hunger Games but it was what we needed from Matchroom. Along with Frank Warren and BT Sport, Mick Hennessy and Channel Five, the boys at MTK on YouTube and Bob Arum with his Bubble in the MGM Grand, Las Vegas we have been well enough served.
And if fights back at Eddie’s back garden, at the top of each bill like Jonas/Ball or Cheeseman/ Sam Eggington have made massive headlines then the best was left to last…
Last Saturday night, the 22nd of August, Matchroom Fight Camp gave us welterweights Luther Clay and Chris Kongo facing off for the WBO global belt in a real dust up that ended with Kongo dominating Clay and stopping him in the 9th round. Super middleweight Jack Cullen and Zak Chelli also gave us a cracking scrap andfought to a well deserved draw. We also got a new contender for most explosive heavyweight on the scene as Alen Babic blasted Shawndell Winters out in two rounds. I can see Babic getting higher media presence now and being blown up to be the equivalent of a very serious David Allen type.
The rematch of lightweight Katie Taylor against Delfine Persoon for the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO belts ended the debate. Taylor won the fight with better craft in the ring but Persoon was someone who was relentless and still deserves a world title shot. Both tough and always coming forward, Persoon was a war horse despite her advancing years and though time is not her friend the ring is no enemy.
Top of the bill shocked us all. Much has been written having a go at the man who boxed beautifully, had the big Povetkin down on the floor twice and was patiently going in for the kill until he got hit with a cliché. He also got hit with his opponent’s best punch. He was also warned by the man in the corner he brought in with plenty of big fight experience not to get complacent but the records will always show that the interim WBC title and the Diamond belt was lost by Dillian Whyte and given to Alexander Povetkin by a fifth round knockout. Another Matchroom heavyweight looking for immediate revenge…
Also in Redditch, on the same night, live on Channel Five,middleweight Michael Hennessy Jr, got a slim win against Tom Brennan, the rejuvenated cruiserweight Isaac Chamberlain stopped Anthony Wooley in the third round, and light middleweight Shakan Pitters got a very decent points win against Chad Sugden for the British title.
During the week on Wednesday the 26th of August in South Kirkby super bantamweight Lee McGregor continued to impress and stay undefeated as he stopped Ryan Walker in the fifth, and the WBO European welterweight belt went to Lewis Crocker as he stopped Louis Greene in the 7th round. This promised to be a fairly decent bill, and it really delivered again. MTK have not been mugs in terms of giving us quality domestic dust ups and a few little foreign bills during the week to keep our attention on YouTube…
Finally, down under, in Queensland, on the same night as MTK were in South Kirkby, there was a real grudge match on the go for the IBF Australasian and WBO Global belts,wheresuper welterweight Tim Tszyu settled all the arguments and dominated Jeff Horn to stop him in the 8th round after referee intervention. Tszyu was keen to be THE Boxer and not the son of one and we can really look forward globally to him stepping it up and getting bigger fights soon and seeing what he has in his fists – dynamite by the looks of it!