There were huge victories for some, heartbreak for others and 2 debut’s – as 2015 opened with a bang.
Ricky Boylan v Tommy Martin
Martin(11-0: 3KO’s) captured the English Light-Welter title with a points victory over Boylan (12-2: 4KO’s).
The Gun – flew out of the blocks like a whippet and jumped on Boylan, throwing blistering combos. This took Pretty Ricky by surprise and he looked very slow and sluggish in comparison.
Boylan didn’t put Martin under any real duress throughout and I was hoping he would let his hands go – but it didn’t happen.
20 yr old Martin faded in the mid-rounds which gave the 26 yr old Boylan some success – but not enough to force the needed stoppage to prevail.
A second-wind ensued for the younger man as he out hustled Ricky to take a majority decision.
A disappointing night for Boylan with two back to back defeats – he needs to go back to the drawing board and regroup. Martin surprised many with his victory as he demonstrated ability-wise he belonged at this level.
John Wayne Hibbert v Tyler Goodjohn
Tyler Goodjohn (11-4: 4KO’s) must have some Mexican blood – I’m convinced.
If he hasn’t already, I strongly suggest he checks a family tree website to confirm. He and Brandon Rios are the first two who spring to mind who smile sadistically as they get hit!
That guy has the biggest heart in British boxing – no question. Brave, fearless and despite being beaten by the very impressive Hibbert (14-2: 9KO’s), he never gave up coming forward.
The 30 yr old put in the performance of his career displaying great footwork, moving in and out of range unloading on Goodjohn. He cut him above the left eye in the 2nd – then put the 23 yr old down in the 3rd. Credit to El Tornado – his resolve refused to be broken in the face of adversity.
As the cut got progressively worse and restricted Goodjohn’s vision – Hibbert stepped up the pace unloading more crisp combos, it only seemed like a matter of time before the referee intervened and halted the contest.
The end of the 7th saw the official walk to Tyler’s corner to tell trainer Peter Sims that the 8th would be his final round – as the cut was severe. John Wayne showed no mercy as he unloaded a combo that rocked Tyler’s head back, the ref halted the contest as trainer Sims threw the towel in just after.
Hibbert spoke candidly of Goodjohn post-fight burying the hatchet. He made a real statement Saturday and a fight with the winner of Bradley Saunders & Dave Ryan should be made for the summer.
John Ryder v Billi Godoy
The Gorilla (20-1: 12KO’s) scored a stunning KO to wipe out Godoy (31-4: 15KO’s) who came purely to survive.
In what was a fight that wasn’t the most exciting spectacle due to spoiler tactics deployed by the Argie – Ryder received in my eyes some brutal and outrageously harsh criticism post-fight.
Could John have stepped up the pace and gone through the gears?
He will admit that himself when he watches it back – but from Sky and in particular Glenn McCroy, the criticism leveled at him wasn’t remotely constructive.
To say he was awful when Godoy had no interest what-so-ever in trading and purely counter-punched, was unjust. It is always going to be difficult to look dazzling against a dull opponent.
Jim Watt questioned his motivation which is ridiculous as the man trains like a dog in the gym, lives the life and is motivated beyond belief to seize his chance.
This is the same guy remember who took Billy Joe Saunders the distance – who is now on the verge of a world-title shot – so it’s crystal clear how close he is.
But to not sound like a broken-record, he needs that “break-out” fight.
In life we encounter controllable’s and uncontrollable’s – John having the card announced with talks ongoing with Jorge Sebastien Heiland, (who is now pursuing a title shot), to then have Les Sherrington announced and to end of up facing Godoy – this was uncontrollable – as was Sergey Khomistky being under-contract previously with a rival promoter, which scuppering that fight.
All Ryder can do is concentrate on the controllable aspects; living the life, training his arse off and being fully motivated to reach his desired destination. He has faith in his team to deliver the right fight and now it is over to Tony Sims & Eddie Hearn to carve out the best route possible.
What John needs in my eyes is to feel fear, have an opponent who he knows is going to turn-up wanting to take his head-off – this will produce THE performance to silence all of the critics who turned on him this weekend.
He is due to be out again at the O2 end of April so watch this space….
Kevin Mitchell v Daniel Estrada
They say save the best till last and this was the case here.
Mitchell (39-2: 29KO’s) produced a career-best performance as he battered Estrada (34-4: 23KO’s).
The Hammer will be feeling buoyed with that victory and confident it will be third-time-lucky in his quest to become world champion. The 30 yr old bullied and threw Estrada round the ring like a rag-doll.
Estrada was down in the 3rd and the East-End favourite was in complete control throughout.
Technically he was stunning landing crippling combos of hooks and upper-cuts which rocked the Mexican continuously.
As Tremendo’s face was beaten to a pulp, huge shots landed that were unanswered and a stiff uppercut was suffice for the ref to halt a further onslaught in the 8th.
In this form Mitchell is serious contender on the world stage. The reunion with trainer Tony Sims cannot be underestimated – Sims knows how to keep him focused and get the very best out of Kevin.
With this contest being a final-eliminator, a fight with WBC champion Jorge Linares will be due autumn this year. Matchroom will of course apply pressure for that fight to take place sooner but I suspect Linares will have a voluntary first.
“I will win it,” Mitchell told Sky Sports.
“I’m 30 years of age now and I’m maturing as a person. This year we’re going to do it. Look at all my career fights and look at how I just performed.
“I can feel it in there. If I can feel it you must be able to see it. It means my life, for my kids, it’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of since the age of 10.”
Tony Sims also spoke to Sky post-fight:
“He’s had problems throughout his career, ups and downs,” he said.
“When he got beaten, he obviously wasn’t in shape and that was down to him but he’s back in love with the sport.
“He’s a great fighter, definitely world title material, I’ve told him all along that all he’s got to do is get in shape and work hard in the gym. He proved it tonight that he’s different class.”
Charlie Edwards and Issac Chamberlain both made their professional debuts with wins.
O’Hara Davies continued his rapid progression with a stunning 1st round KO – he needs to be stepped up.
Prospect Ben Hall endured a tough fight against rugged veteran Ryan Toms. Hall won the first three rounds comfortably for Toms’ to comeback winning the 4th & 5th, I felt round 6 was a draw so I had Hall winning by a round but it was given as a draw.