Happy St Georges Day one and all, today should be a public holiday for me!
Rise Up, Manchester
Tyrone Nurse v Tyler Goodjohn
Firstly, I was very disappointed like many to not see this fight on the red button prior to the 7.30pm “Go-Live” on Skysports.
Nurse won in a great fight capturing the vacant English Light-Welter title in the process, despite a valiant effort from Goodjohn.
Credit to Nurse, he boxed superbly from what I have read. Next for him, will be progression up the ranks and a future fight for the British Title.
For Goodjohn, it is time to regroup and go again after some time off, but he should take credit from his performance and was hailed by trainer Peter Sims in the aftermath, he will undoubtedly return.
Callum Smith v Francois Bastient
Undefeated Smith, billed as one of the most exciting prospects in World Boxing disposed of Frenchman Bastient with ease.
“Mundo” returned to the ring after an enforced 6 mth absence due to hand injury, finished Bastient off with delivery of yet another brutal body-shot.
If Smith was a Mortal Kombat character, the body-shot would definitely be his finishing move.
Bastient had clearly done his homework on Smith, having his elbows tight to his chest in anticipation of forthcoming blows. But the attempts to protect his body proved to be futile as he walked on to one in the 3rd, which he never recovered from.
I like Smith, he is a modest guy and the hype that surrounds him is certainly justified, what is refreshing to see is he is almost embarrassed by the attention received.
Next up for Callum is Tobias Webb in Cardiff next month, which will provide the necessary “step-up” in development.
Elder brother Paul Smith, the current British Super Middleweight spoke about aspirations of challenging Arthur Abraham for the WBO World Title, and would consider vacating the Lonsdale belt only for Callum.
On the subject of Paul Smith and Jamie Moore as pundits for Sky, I thoroughly enjoy listening to the pair of them. It is refreshing to see an existing fighter and trainer on the panel alongside the team.
Both men raise some valid points and in my eyes are boxing’s answer to Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher.
Scott Quigg v Tshifhiwa Munyai
Scott Quigg continued his impressive form on Saturday by blasting late replacement Munyai away in 2 rounds.
Munyai who replaced Nehomar Cermeno was fortunately in the UK, fit and ready to step in at the 11th hour.
I didn’t get drawn in to the furore surrounding Munyai having an iota of a chance in causing an upset.
Quigg got the job done in emphatic fashion, the 1st knockdown in the 2nd i’m certain was streamed on the slow-motion video on the iPhone.
The manner Munyai hung in the air for a good few seconds then collapsing on the canvas wouldn’t of looked out place in a James Bond movie.
The 25yr old smelt blood and vented a flurry of punches that Howard Foster intervened on and halted the contest.
“After a performance like that, it’s got to be big fights,” he told Sky Sports News.
“We want unification fights, Leo Santa Cruz, Kiko Martinez, and obviously there is the Carl Frampton fight.
“They are the fights I want to be in and that’s what I’m looking towards in the future.
“It’s all coming together now. I’ve got to keep my feet on the ground, keep dedicated, keep focused and hopefully I can keep getting the wins and unify the division.”
The above mentioned adversaries are the exact opponents I expect to see Quigg in with, time to bed-in as a World Champion has passed, the public will demand unification fights for him here-on in.
I still favour Frampton against Quigg, although the gap between the pair of them is increasingly becoming narrower.
I expect much more social media tennis-tweets between both camps, but they should just get together and get it done.
Frampton has 1 more fight left of his 3 fight deal with BoxNation so if Santa Cruz does take his mandatory shot in the next few months, expect to see Quigg v Frampton late 2014.
For Quigg, I would like to see hunt-down the Kiko Martinez fight next; the stage would then be set for a monster 3 belt unification bout in Manchester/Belfast.
Anthony Crolla v Martin Murray
The battle of Manchester certainly lived up to its billing.
As expected favourite Murray flew out of the blocks, taking an early advantage over Crolla, demonstrating aggression and tenacity winning the early rounds.
The 29 yr old began to tire and fade as we approached the 5th, with Crolla creeping back in by winning the jab exchanges and winning key rounds.
A rally from Murray gave him the 7th by landing more stinging shots, Million Dollar took the 8th by peppering the double-jab and out-hustling his foe.
The Machine’s eye swelled in the 9th, with the petrol light fully illuminated, it was only a matter of time before Murray stuttered and ground to a halt down the stretch.
Crolla absorbed the noise pollution from the crowd like a catalytic converter, he transferred this into renewable energy to stop Murray in the 10th.
“It was even tougher than I expected,” Crolla told Sky Sports.
“No matter how tough that looked, me and John were the luckiest men in this arena.
“I prepared for this fight like no other; John put the fear of god into me. I remember how tough those sparring sessions were and I knew I had to keep a cool head in a hot kitchen.
The 27 yr old is no longer playing knock-down ginger at the door of the world Lightweight scene pursuing a title shot.
A future fight with Simsy’s gym pair of Ricky Burns or Kevin Mitchell is another huge domestic bout in the future.
Burns & Mitchell for me are a level above Crolla at this stage, 1 a former world champion, the other a title challenger.
It’s great to see the British Lightweight scene being the talk of the town, coupled with Luke Campbell accelerating in the slip-stream; further titles will grace Blighty Boxing.
DC Armory, Washington
Shawn Porter v Paulie Malignaggi
Shawn “Showtime” Porter retained his IBF title in a voluntary defence against Paulie Malignaggi.
Porter battered Malignaggi in a performance that will send shivers down the spine of the 147lb division.
“Future Legend” Paulie, who was sent to hospital in the after-math of the fight as a precaution, will no doubt seriously consider retirement in-light of this crushing defeat.
No mercy was displayed by the 26 yr old from Ohio as he became only the 3rd man to stop Malignaggi after Ricky Hatton and Amir Khan.
Next up for Porter is a mandatory defence against Kell Brook in the summer, the Sheffield man is in for the toughest test of his career.
Based on this performance, Showtime will be the favourite, Special K will have to finally deliver his potential on the world-stage.
Richard Schaefer of GoldenBoy is taking the fight with Brook as a given, talking up the probability of a show-down with Floyd Mayweather Jnr in the future.
“Clearly he’s one of the best welterweights now and I think a threat to everyone after you’ve seen what he’s done with Devon Alexander, another wonderful fighter, and following that up with Paulie Malignaggi. It’s the hottest weight class.”
“We’ll discuss it with team Porter and why not? Me as a fan, after we’ve seen what he’s done with Devon, who is an outstanding boxer, and what he’s done with Paulie, who is an outstanding boxer and Floyd is the best boxer from a boxing point of view.
“I’d love to see the match-up with someone as young, as aggressive, as relentless as Shawn Porter.”
Bernard Hopkins v Beibut Shumenov
The 49 yr old self-proclaimed Alien, became the oldest boxer to unify world titles by snatching the WBA Light-Heavy belt to keep the IBF title company.
Hopkins beat a man who is young enough to be his son via a split decision to add another chapter to an already glittering career.
The Philly native has spoke about a desire to also face Floyd Mayweather Jnr at Middleweight after he has “dealt” with Adonis Stevenson.
Superman Stevenson now boxing on Showtime is the next logical opponent for Hopkins.
“After I become the undisputed light-heavyweight champion of the world, if there was one big fight out there, I know what I would call it — 50-50,” said Hopkins.
“He wants to pass Marciano. He wants to get to 50 and I [will be] 50. That would be huge.”
“I would love to do that,” he said.
“But let me get past Stevenson first.”
This weekend we have the below fights:
Stub Hub Arena, Carson, California
Keith Thurman v Julio Diaz
Interim WBA Welter Title
Lucas Matthysse v John Molina
Vacant WBC Continental Americas Light-Welter Title
Omar Figueroa v Jerry Belmontes
WBC Lightweight Title