It may only have been the last week in April, but it was like M & S and Carlsberg were out in metaphorical force, long before it was Christmas. Last weekend saw one tremendous upset and a brilliant return whilst we ended the week with a new British world champion.
Last Saturday, in the iconic York Hall on the 24th of April, the return of light heavyweight saw Callum Johnson take on Emil Markic for the WBO Global title. Johnson blasted out the man ranked number 15 by the WBO in 2 rounds. Johnson’s lay off had been longer than most, but his return was, by anyone’s standards, much shorter!
The British and Commonwealth middleweight title fight which headlined between Denzel Bentley and Felix Cash was a bit of a shock. I said that we ought to be in for a treat, no matter the result, and thought it might be a 12 round chess match. Instead, Cash caught Bentley in the 3rd and stopped him with a flurry that would have stopped an oncoming train.
On the undercard heavyweight David Adeleye, was exceptionally fortunate to come away with a win over the massively experienced Kamil Sokolowski. It was a fantastic fight and Sokolowski deserved a win. The future of a man who has little doubt in his abilities is being questioned and he needs to amend that performance by getting back out and convincing people rather than putting in under par performances that don’t match his boasts.
Meanwhile over in Florida, the WBO featherweight title fight between Emanuel Navarrete and Christopher Diaz almost went the distance bur Navarrete, wildly ahead in the fight stopped a game and brave Diaz in the 12th and final round.
Last night, back at the York Hall, on Friday the 30th of April the widely admired Frankham cousins were both in the ring with Levi Frankham winning his debut at super welterweight against Paul Cummings and Joshua Frankham, at the same weight, beating Naheem Ali on points in his third professional fight.
Scotland’s own Kieran Smith lost his unbeaten record against his opponent, the unbeaten Troy Williamson. It was a very brutal knockout which came in the 6th round. Smith had 16 straight wins before this fight and there may now be thoughts about how to rebuild a career that shone so brightly.
Super bantamweight Michael Conlan then struggled at times against Ionut Baluta, but the win was deserved though tight. The draw from one of the judges did worry Conlan a little, when he heard it, but Baluta deserved credit for taking the fight to Conlan who has plenty to mull over as he tries to get his first world title chance.
Finally, the top of the bill world title clash for the IBF flyweight title saw Sunny Edwards take the belt from champion Moruti Mthalane. Please remember that everyone said that this was a big ask for Edwards. In the end he shut Mthalane out with a masterclass at the weight to take the belt back to the Edwards’ house – his brother, Charlie had once held it! I don’t think many predicted it would go the way it did and whilst the showboating in the final round was questionable, the rest of the performance was not.