Great night of boxing in some quarters. Others had some what subdued fights for me, with plenty to prove if they are to cut it at the top.
Let’s get stuck straight in.
Lee Selby v Ryan Walsh
A somewhat ugly performance from Selby. Who wasn’t given it on a plate by the stubborn Ryan Walsh, looked sloppy at times. Caught by Walsh all the 1st round and suffering a cut in the third due to a clash of heads. He knew he was going to have to dig deep and grind out a result. As the fight wore on, he threw some decent combinations but never really like troubling Walsh or indeed getting the stoppage. Selby got the decision in the end after controlling the latter rounds. Selby in winning a unanimous decision, defended his British & Commonwealth title. He is now looking to move up to the next level to face Rendall Munroe in a European Featherweight title bout. Selby will need to really come out of the blocks in that one, show much more than he did last night or he will struggle.
Selby needs a big performance against Munroe next
Kevin Mitchell v Marco Lopez
Mitchell in his 2nd outgoing since his defeat to Ricky Burns last year, looked good against a poor Lopez. Lopez, looked in shocking shape for a professional boxer, never looked like troubling the man from Romford. Mitchell, who controlled the tempo and pace of the fight from start to finish. He scored two knock downs in 5th and 6th before the fight was finally stopped by the referee. This tees up a mouth-watering matchup with Derry Mathews, rumoured to be December this year. I’d have to back Mathews due to his punching power and ability to stop anyone in the Lightweight division. It’s a fight that makes sense for both parties whilst Burns is recovering from his jaw injury and his sights set on immediate rematch with Beltran.
Mitchell back on track after setback, Mathews next?
Luke Campbell v Neil Hepper
Another explosive 1st round victory by Olympian Luke Campbell. A technically perfect body shot, folded Hepper up like a pair of freshly pressed trousers. Lightening fast hands and movement, a friend of mine compared him to Amir Khan when he was 1st starting out. Let’s hope he can take a punch better. Challenge for his team now is at what pace to continue his progress at. He needs to get some rounds in the bank, but the quality of his opposition will continue to be this level for at least his next 5-10 fights. Campbell, we need to be patient with but I expect him to be challenging for the British title this time next year. Very impressive and I look forward to his next outing.
Another stoppage for Campbell
Scott Quigg v Yoandris Salinas
Quigg’s first “defence” of his recently obtained WBA Super Bantamweight title resulted in an average show from the man from Bury. A poor 1st 5 rounds, Quigg who never really got going until the 2nd half of the fight, took time to get himself in to gear. Salinas dictating the tempo and pace of the fight from the outset. Quigg began to impose himself much more in the final 5/6 rounds, but he made it more of a contest than it should of been. Salinas proved to be an awkward customer, constantly putting the theatrics on. Spending the final part of the fight turning his back on Quigg and complaining to the ref. This made me want Quigg to KO him even more. One would argue that if Quigg had started like he finished, he could of got the stoppage. His combinations were good when he began to unload them. But with the draw as a final decision, there was minimal grounds to grumble. I had Quigg by a round. He will need to raise his performance significantly in his next encounters as the big fights will come thick and fast. Another slow start against better opposition will result in him losing. Joe Gallagher and himself must go back to the drawing board on their tactical approach after watching this fight back.
Time for Quigg to change his approach…
Anthony Joshua v Emanuele Leo
The long awaited, much hyped debut of Heavyweight Joshua was made. Explosive finish, stopping him in round 1. Leo, whilst he will never be world champion anytime soon, was 8-0 so was no complete whipping boy. But Joshua disposed of him with ease. Got behind the jab when he had the opportunity and blew him away with his first real combination thrown. Few nerves from Joshua, which was to be expected with the pressure that has been placed on him. But what is apparent is the sheer power he possesses. With 8oz gloves and no headguard, one would understand it was a surreal experience for him. But once Joshua settled and let the hands fly, the ref had to rightly step in before Leo was badly hurt. After the fight, it was discussed by promoter Hearn that other than his expected outing on the Brook v Senchenko card, he intends to get Joshua out twice more before the year is out. Possibly on Froch v Groves undercard and an international bow in Germany on the Barker v Sturm bill. This will aid him no end. What is key to the development of Joshua and Campbell is the amount of rounds they can accumulate in the bank. They need to both bee in with opponents who can soak up the punches, and take them 5-6 rounds. They will learn so much from that. This stage of a young pro’s development is imperative that they aren’t thrust in to dangerous fights too soon due to public clamour and expectation. It will help Joshua not headlining in his next few fights, so he can go out and get the job done with no undue pressure. The finish, was impressive, as I expected.
Man mountain Joshua
Internationally, we had two notable match-ups. In Moscow triple Heavyweight Champion Wladmir Klitschko v Alexander Povetkin & in Orlando Miguel Cotto v Delvin Rodriguez.
Klitschko v Povetkin
IBF, WBO & WBA World Champion Klitschko won a one sided victory against undefeated challenger Povetkin in front of a 15,000 crowd at the Olympic Stadium. This was Klitschko’s 15th defence of his belts and his record now stands at 61 victories in 64 fights. Povetkin never posed any threat, being knocked three times in the 7th. Resulted in an overwhelming 119-104 victory to Wladimir who picked up a cool £11m for the fight. At 37 yr old, one would question how many fights he has left & whether the hunger still burns strong. The competition out there currently is poor. Fury & Haye being the only two attractive propositions currently in the ring and financially. But how much does he want either fight? Not very much in my eyes.
I’d be pulling the same face if I picked up £11m for one nights work…
Cotto v Rodriguez
Miguel Cotto, 3 weight World Champion of Puerto Rico, scored a devastating 3rd round KO victory over Delvin Rodriguez. After back to back defeats to Floyd Mayweather and Austin Trout. Cotto took a break from boxing, and hired Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, who orchestrated his defeat to Manny Pacquiao. Roach who before the fight spoke about wanting Cotto to get back to being the aggressive direct fighter he once was. It appears that the chemistry is working as this felt like we were watching Cotto of 7 years ago. Rodriguez who has suffered 5 defeats prior to this was hardly in the class of his previous two opponents. Never the less, you are only as good as your last fight and Cotto looked sharp. Does this mean he can go in with Mayweather again? No chance. What Roach will bring is a freshness and new approach on how to get him back to his best style in the ring. Using Juan Manuel Marquez as a poster boy for the seasoned veteran, Cotto proved there is plenty of life in the old dog left. I’d like to see him in with Canelo next, especially with Roach in his corner it would make for a fascinating encounter. The only thing, and it’s a large one that could scupper that would be the Top Rank/HBO and Goldenboy/Showtime situation. It seems that we are destined to never see any crossover fights of the two respective promoters, which is a shame. I’d love to see them agree a fight and it going to a bidding situation for which Network shows it. Highly unlikely after the acrimonious split Goldenboy had from a long term relationship with HBO. In light of that, the winner of Bradley/Marquez or even him moving up to face Sergio Martinez at Middleweight has been discussed. Cotto could comfortably make 160. I for one, look forward to seeing modern day Gladiator Cotto in action again. If not for his boxing, for his hashtag #WarCotto. Superb!
Check out the Rodriguez KO below.
Right, that’s all from me this evening.
I’m off to polish off more of this Garlic Chicken I cooked…
I apologise in advance to whoever has to speak to me tomorrow.
Tune in later this week for a blog dedicated to a British boxing great.
- Quigg Retains WBA Title. (spoutingaboutsports.wordpress.com)
- Observations from “Carpe-Diem” (kingashley.wordpress.com)