Fantastic atmosphere in Leeds on Saturday evening, it demonstrated that the city still has a real passion for boxing after all these years.
It has been sometime since they have produced a star who has the ability to challenge for world honours.
The likes of Henry Wharton (who lost narrowly on points to Nigel Benn in WBC Super-Middle title bout) being one who immediately springs to mind.
Josh Warrington v Davide Dieli
Warrington (19-0: 3 KO’s) added the European Featherweight to his mantel-piece alongside the British & Commonwealth belts.
It was a blistering performance from the charged-up 23 yr old; he blew the Italian away in 4 rounds and reminded me of Joe Calzaghe in patches with the volume of punches he threw.
Warrington isn’t renowned for being a big puncher with his modest KO record, but he displayed real spite in his shots that impressed me.
Talk of a future fight with Lee Selby is natural but I feel he needs to defend his existing titles first before making the leap up to world level.
But make no mistake, he is an exciting talent and with the support of that crowd behind him, he will be one to watch in the coming years.
Ricky Burns v Alexandre Lepelley
“Rickster” (42-4: 11 KO’s) made his bow at Light-Welter with a points victory over Frenchman Lepelley.
Burns received some unjust criticism post-fight from arm-chair fans who believe he is shot; which I feel is harsh.
Yes it wasn’t his most spectacular performance but he got the win which was most important thing. The two-weight former world champion is rebuilding after 2 back to back losses and judging by the ease at which he made weight, I still believe he is better as a Lightweight contender.
With the change of trainer to Tony Sims and relocation during camp to Essex, it will take a few fights together to develop a strong understanding.
I firmly believe the change was for the best and with the assistance of one the country’s top nutritionists, they will have the 31 yr old back in his best condition.
Post-fight he spoke about some great domestic bouts that can be made and from speaking to those who train with Burns, he still has plenty to give the sport.
“Some of the rounds I think I boxed alright,” said Burns. “He was very tough and he could take a good shot, at the end of the fourth round my hands were starting to get sore. I moved up to light-welterweight but I’ve got a few big decisions to make over the next couple of weeks about that but I’m just glad to get back with a win.”
Brian Rose made his first outing since his world title defeat to Demetrius Andrade with an impressive first-round stoppage against Ignacio Lucero Fraga.
“The Lion” dropped his foe three times in a victory that will kick-started his journey on the comeback trail.
Callum Smith must be sick of hearing his name mentioned this past week. “Mundo” has found his name mentioned in countless interviews/articles in a future domestic fight with fellow Super Middleweight George Groves in 2015.
Groves is now the mandatory challenger for the WBC title which is currently held by Anthony Dirrell.
Smith will fight Nikola Sjeckloca in an eliminator for the WBC title on the Cleverly Bellew 2 undercard.
Sjeckloca is a real test for the 24 yr old having gone the distance with both Arthur Abraham and Sakio Bika in the past 18 mths.
If Smith comes through that, he will be then in line for a final eliminator for the WBC say spring 2015 and then challenge for the title late next year.
The Scouse “body-snatcher” won in a keep busy fight Saturday, scoring a third-round TKO against Rafael Sosa Pintos.
Dave Ryan beat Tyrone Nurse in a thrilling fight for the Commonwealth Light-Welter title. Nurse saw the canvas twice which proved to be decisive with Ryan taking a decision.
I will leave you with footage of Felix “Diamante” Verdejo, the next great fighter from Puerto Rico. Winning in spectacular fashion Saturday evening with a brutal KO.