Graig Evans V Roman Andreev
The Shortest queue in boxing right now could be the one willing to face Eastern European star Roman Andreev. It says a lot about the heart and fighting spirit of Blackwood’s Craig Evans that he was more then willing to venture into Russia to follow his dream of becoming a world champion.
Despite suffering frustrating periods of inactivity, the talented Welsh stylist was in no doubt that he had the ability to secure a future world title shot against WBO belt holder Terry Flanagan. Evans is no stranger to fighting on the road and looked very much unfazed as the bell sounded to begin the scheduled 12 round contest.
Evans ability to take a shot is without question but his boxing brain is very much underrated. Evans southpaw jab began to find its home early on, Andreev had his success but seemed to smother his work at times.
Evans began to turn his lead hand into hooks and uppercuts during the second round, his team which included master trainer Tony Borg, must have been extremely happy with the start the Welshman had made.
Evans was firmly in counter punch mode throughout the third as again he scored with hooks and uppercuts on an advancing Andreev. Craig Evans was without a shadow of doubt showing that he belonged at world level and that the criticism of his opportunity from some quarters was grossly unfair.
Round 4 was an effective round for the Russian who’s use of the head left Evans with a cut above his right eye.
Round 5 saw Evans shipping some heavy body shots from the Russian but also finding the target himself with sharp counters. Tony Borg implored Craig to use
his jab, which when thrown was a very effective weapon.
Evans lateral movement and shot selection seemed to trouble Andreev at this stage of the contest While certainly posing a considerable threat with his left hook, the man from Eastern Europe was guilty at times of following Craig around the ring of being open to counter hooks and uppercuts. Evans soon landed his best shot of the fight, a crisp left hand. His southpaw tactics and ring generalship really seemed to be frustrating Andreev who began to load up and miss numerous times.
Round 9 began quite tentatively until a right hand hurt Evans and sent him back to the ropes. A follow up barrage from Andreev, which included a huge right hook, was enough for the referee at 1-19 to stop the fight. A courageous Craig Evans finished the fight on his feet
and deserves a huge amount of respect for taking on such a a tough assignment. He did Wales proud. Expect to see Roman Andreev fighting for a world title very soon.
Article by Michale Ward
Watch full fight below…