It looks as though boxing has found itself a new venue. I have, obviously no idea what the costs and/or profit were on the enterprise but with 500 punters in the venue and Sky broadcasting it live on pay per view, as Matchroom, once again gave depth to their viewing treats, but Gibraltar gave us everything – including a crowd!
On Saturday the 27th of March, there we saw the rematch between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin for the interim WBC world title ending with revenge for Whyte. It was a dominant performance, ended in the fourth round by both the referee and the towel being thrown in. Whyte was a master of the ring, a modest and reflective man out of it and back in the mix of the heavyweight division.
It was all the sweeter as the fighters he represents and manages had a very mixed night by comparison on the rock.
Whyte backed Chris Kongo lost on points to Michael McKinson for the WBO Global welterweight title. Kongo hit the deck early and never really recovered from that, but the unbeaten record has gone so a bounce back fight on an undercard somewhere looks like it should be next up!
I was not alone in thinking that Whyte’ s heavyweight prospect and double Olympian, Erik Pfeiffer had taken a tough fight against Nick Webb and so it proved. Webb swarmed him from the opening bell. The contest was rightly ended in the second round and Webb showed that he was much more than prospect fodder.
Whyte did have success with his other heavyweight Fabio Wardley who really was in a fight with Eric Molina until the fifth round when Wardley caught Molina, sending him to the floor. Molina opted to stay there, and we saw the first fight of the night where retiral was mentioned, right afterwards.
The British super welterweight title fight between Ted Cheeseman and James Metcalf ended with the continued redemption of Cheeseman. It was an absolute cracker of a fight and every British title fight should be like this – thoroughly competitive and tough, ending in a win in dramatic fashion. An 11th round stoppage will be shown in the history books, but the fact was that Metcalf was a huge participant in the fight of the night.
We also saw Campbell Hatton with a shut out performance, win his first professional fight against Jesus Ruiz. It was great to hear how they plan to bring him on and do so gently rather than throw him into a mix which is beyond his knowledge base, but he looked very good.
Finally, a nod to Kane Barker who was also on the undercard. After some great performances as an away fighter, it was good to note that someone who pushes his opponent hard and does more than a journeyman would, got his reward for tough and impressive performances – more of that please.
Back home in the Copper Box, London the second night of action in a row from Queensberry Promotions saw heavyweight Nathan Gorman stop Pavel Sour in the second round.
The WBC international silver featherweight belt was taken by Louie Lynn in his points win over Sebastian Perez in a fight that Lynn was technically the better and physically the stronger; really impressive.
The British and Commonwealth super middleweight crowns were fought over by the man who headlined and was supposed to have his coronation, Scotland’s Willie Hutchison. Unfortunately, for him, he met Lennox Clarke. It ended with Hutchison losing his unbeaten record in a fifth round stoppage which saw Clarke not only showing how to beat the Scot, but he also did so with tremendous guile. The ending was brutal and impressive, just like the sport.
And then, during the week, in Newcastle, New South Wales, on Wednesday the 31st of March the WBO Global super welterweight action between the son of Kosta Tszyu, Tim Tszyu, against Dennis Hogan lasted all of five rounds. Tszyu, like the young Hatton, looked every inch the protégé of his father as he stopped Hogan in the fifth. Tszyu should be looking for world honours soon.