By Brooke Streatfield
The Copper Box Arena – Matchroom – 30th January 2016:
George Groves made a successful return to the ring under new trainer Shane McGuigan with a 5th round stoppage over Italian Andrea Di Luisa.
It was Groves’s first fight back since losing to WBC Champion Badou Jack in Vegas but he dominated from the get go at the Copperbox and said he felt sharp and ready in the post fight interview with Sky.
The opening was cagey with both men looking weary of each other, Groves moved well using his strong jab that pierced the guard of Di Luisa every time he threw it – the Italian’s nose was heavily bleeding near the end of the round. It was more of the same from Groves in the second round working comfortably off the back foot and working the right hand as Di Luisa stepped into range.
Di Luisa started working more in the 3rd letting his hands go but Groves stayed with the pace and picked his shots very well, his jab still making Di Luisa’s nose pour with blood.
Di Luisa twice took a knee in the opening of the 5th round after heavy flurry of shots. The ending came after continued pressure from Groves – Referee Ian John Lewis accepted the corner’s retirement as they threw the towel in 1 minute 55 seconds into the 5th round.
The Hammersmith man’s record now reads 22 wins from 25 fights with 2 of those defeats coming against Carl Froch. Groves told sky after that he was happy with his performance and he felt sharp along with enjoying his new partnership with Shane McGuigan.
John Wayne Hibbert successfully defended his commonwealth and WBC international super-lightweight title with a 12th round stoppage over Tommy Martin.
Hibbert put on an impressive display despite him being the older of the pair – he took Tommy Martin’s unbeaten record and goes on to further defend his title this year.
The stoppage came after a flurry of shots from Hibbert caused Martin to take a knee to recover, referee Victor Loughlin waved it off shortly after, a decision that Martin was not best pleased with.
Hibbert’s relentless work rate from the beginning of the fight saw him ahead on the scorecards despite the stoppage.
Both men started the fight fast exchanging blows in the centre of the ring with an amazing chorus of fans inside the Copperbox arena. The fight turned into a bit of a tear up in the 3rd with Hibbert looking more comfortable with this style ramming in right hands and scrapping on the ropes, Martin’s nose was heavily bleeding by the end of the round. In the 4th round Martin attempted to stand and trade with Hibbert and was unsuccessful as he was bullied to the ropes and out worked when he got him there.
Martin came on top and gained a bit of a foothold in the 5th and 6th rounds working the right uppercut well and pushing Hibbert back for the first time in the fight.
Entering the later rounds where most thought that Martin’s youth would take over, in fact Hibbert’s experience from previous tough fights came into play as took control and dominated the later rounds. The constant pressure took it’s toll on Tommy Martin 1 minute and 38 seconds into the 12th and final round and after a flurry of shots Martin was forced to take a knee, the referee Victor Loughlin counted but called off the fight, Martin looked furious as he must of misheard to the count getting up on 10.
21 year old Tommy Martin will be sure to come again as he is so young with so much talent!
Islington fighter John Ryder revived his career with a clear points victory over 41 year old danger man Sergey Khomitsky. winning the WBA international middleweight title.
John Ryder overcame a deep cut over his right eye in the 2nd round to claim a clear points win on all 2 of the judges scorecards (117-112 / 116-112 / 115-113).
It was a tough fight for the Islington man to take as he needed to get his career back on track after his stoppage for the British title again Nick Blackwell last May. The Belarusian man undeniably holds power handing defeats to fellow Brits Frank Buglioni, Adam Etches and Jamie Moore.
Ryder in typical relaxed, back foot style kept his composure and managed to stay out of range/danger for most of the fight despite Khomitsky trying to spoil and hold, using his head a lot on the inside.
Ryder controlled the early rounds staying on the back foot in his trademark style jabbing well and keeping Khomitsky at a good range. After a close exchange in the 2nd round Ryder had problems with a gaping cut over the right eye causing Khomitsky to work harder and target the eye with big right hands and inside work. In the 4th round Ryder stayed on his feet and was catching Khomitsky with sharp left hands, Khomitsky wasn’t as bullish coming forward in this round but Ryder stuck to his perfectly executed game plan and saw the round out.
Ryder’s confidence came in the middle rounds as he worked his hooks to perfection and kept moving around the ring making Khomitsky look tired and sluggish. The Islington man dictated the pace in the fight making Khomitsky fight his fight. It was more of the same from Ryder in the later rounds as he stayed composed, picked his shots and used his southpaw jab to perfection. A late and desperate onslaught from Khomitsky in the final round saw an exciting exchange to end the fight on a high.
Ryder’s career revived he moves on to defend the WBA international middleweight championship as he looks to rebuild this year and get back to winning ways.
Chadwell heath fighter Ben Hall looked powerful as he won the southern area super welterweight championship off of Kris Agei-Dua with a 6th round stoppage.
Kris came out on his feet moving well and using his left hook with great effect. Ben was on the front foot from the first bell walking the Brentwood man down and proving his power with a big right hand on the bell. Hall stayed patient in the 2nd round seeing that his powerful shots were knocking Kris off balance and taking away his footwork – Hall worked his stiff jab and worked the body on the ropes bullying Kris. In the 4th round an exciting hook exchange between the pair started off the round well, Kris trying to stay on his toes but Ben walked him down and isn’t fazed by it. The left hook was working perfectly for Hall who now looked to be coming on top and looking spiteful.
The end came in the 6th round, Hall unleashed a flurry of hooks to the head and body on the ropes finally getting through with a huge right hand that looked to wobble Kris who was dazed. Referee Bob Williams stepped in 1 minute and 8 seconds into the round with Kris taking too much punishment and not returning with anything.
The Chadwell Heath man who is trained by Peter Sims looks to have a very exciting and successful career ahead of him as he is spiteful and powerful and always comes into the ring in top condition. His record reads 8-0 with 1 draw as he moves on to defend his recently won title.
Former footballer Leon Mckenzie looked impressive and powerful as he stopped Kelvin Young in the first round of his final eliminator for the English super-middleweight championship.
A huge left hand after an exciting start from Mckenzie sent Young to the canvas, he failed to make the referee’s count and Terry O’Connor called a stop to the action 43 seconds into the opening round.
Leon Mckenzie is now mandatory challenger for the English super middleweight championship currently held by Jahmaine Smyle.
Popular amateur welterweight Louis Adolphe looked in great shape in the first contest of the evening, beating well known journeyman William Warburton on a clear points victory (40 – 36).
Louis came out in the first round moving well and doubling up his jab to great effect. Warburton hung out his loose jab to try and distract Adolphe but he stayed focused and easily won the opening round.
Louis’s double jab seemed too much for Warburton in the second round as he just covered up and absorbed the pressure. Adolphe backed Warburton to the ropes well in the 2nd round working hooks to the head and body when he got him there, staying busy throughout the round and in in constant control. A big right hand at the start of the 3rd round from Adolphe rocked Warburton, his legs went stiff as he held on to survive. Adolphe continued the attack working some swinging shots to the body, with fast hands and continuous angles, Warburton had no reply.
Adolphe let his hands go in the last round trying to force the stoppage, Warburton stayed tight and awkward to hit as he moved off the back foot well with a high guard in typical style.
Referee Bob Williams scored the contest 40 points to 36 in favour of Adolphe was was in control throughout clearly winning every round.
West Ham’s Lucien Reid secured an impressive 1st round stoppage over Hungarian David Kovacs looking sharp and fit in his 4th professional contest.
Lucien came straight out from the first bell behind a sharp jab, a big right hook from Reid rocked Kovacs and a flurry of shots after sent the Hungarian to the canvas. Kovacs managed to beat referee Bob Williams’ count but Reid jumped straight back onto him with massive hooks to the head and body and continuous pressure. A huge left hand connected perfectly for Reid again as he looked totally in control and completely outclassed his opponent! A continued flurry of shots from Reid sent Kovacs to the canvas again and referee Bob Williams stepped in to stop the contest with the Hungarian in no position to continue and taking way too much pressure. The stoppage came 1 minute and 59 seconds into the first round. Lucien looked sharp, powerful and didn’t stop applying pressure from the first bell. 2016 should be a big year for the West Ham man as he moves his record to 4-0 and looks to climb the super bantamweight rankings.
Undefeated Bermondsey fighter Ted Cheeseman secured his 3rd professional victory with a 4th round stoppage over Hungarian Gergo Vari.
Cheeseman held the centre of the ring from the first bell pushing Vari onto the back foot and landing a big flush right hand. Cheeseman stalked his opponent from the start not giving him any time to breathe or get his own work off.In the opening of the 2nd round the Bermondsey man landed a solid right hand left hook and went straight back to work with the constant pressure doubling up his jab and coming through the guard of Vari with a right uppercut. Vari had no answers for Cheeseman who looked too sharp and didn’t let off the gas from start to finish. It was more of the same in the 3rd round with constant pressure from Cheeseman, he started landing well to the left side of the body well, Vari looked exhausted and had nothing to come back with. Cheeseman came out looking for the stoppage in the last round pushing Vari back with some solid straight shots – a right body shot sent Vari to the canvas as Cheeseman was overpowering him and clearly had the upper hand when it came to power. Vari made the referee’s count but Ted worked to the body again swinging in some massive hooks and another flurry of shots caused referee Ian John Lewis to stop in and stop the contest with Vari under too much pressure and taking a lot of punishment without return. The stoppage came 2 minutes and 22 seconds into the last round as Cheeseman moves his professional record to 3-0.
Rainham fighter Charlie Duffield looked powerful as he secured a 2nd round stoppage over Richard Harrison. Charlie came out strong behind a double jab immediately pushing Harrison back – as Duffield was working on the ropes he got caught with a big right hand and received a standing count. He seemed to have shaken it off in the 2nd round as he came out from the bell with a massive flurry of hooks ending in a massive right hand that knocked Harrison to the canvas. Harrison managed to beat the referee’s count and fight on but Charlie stepped straight on the gas and punished him to the body. A string of right hands from Charlie looked to wobble Harrison as he took a lot of punishment referee Bob Williams stepped in 2 minutes 13 seconds in to the 2nd round. Charlie’s record is now 2-0 as he looks to establish himself in the light heavyweight division.
Brentwood’s Martin J Ward retained his WBC international super featherweight crown with a 3rd round stoppage over Italy’s Mario Pisanti.
Martin came out strong behind his jab coming forward with fast hands from the outset. A right hand left hook from the Essex man knocked Pisanti to the canvas off balance and he managed to make the referee’s count. A big right hand in the 2nd round from Ward knocked Pisanti down again but he makes the count, Ward came on strong with some solid hooks and was outclassing the Italian with great footwork and powerful fast hands.
The stoppage came in the 3rd round after a huge onslaught of pressure and a flurry of hooks, Pisanti’s corner threw the towel in seeing him take a lot of pressure. Pisanti looked very angry at upset at the decision of his corner but it was always going to end up as a clear win for Ward who now goes on to make 2016 a big one for him. His record reads 13-0 with 2 draws.
Crystal Palace’s Craig Richards outworked Telford’s Kieron Gray over 4 round to win clearly on points. Richards dominated the fight from start to finish behind his long jab and powerful right hand. Gray tried to make it hard for him rushing in and trying to spoil on the inside but Richards kept a safe distance and used his long reach advantage to pick Gray off. Referee Bob Williams scored the contest 40 points to 36 as Richards moves his record to 3-0 as he looks to progress in 2016.
Former ABA champion Reece Bellotti dug deep to force a 7th round stoppage over Nicaraguan Elvis Guillen.
Bellotti came out on the front foot jabbing well from the start backing Elvis to the ropes and looks a class above when it came to power. A big right hand at the end of the 1st round looked to wobble Guillen but he managed to see the round out on his feet. Reece worked some great angles and heavy right hand left hook combinations to grind down his South American opponent. The stoppage came in the 7th round, a big left hook wobbled Elvis who started looking very uneasy on his feet – Reece came forward seeing that he was tired and threw everything he has and after a massive flurry of hooks referee Bob Williams stepped in with Elvis taking too much punishment. The end came 2 minutes 14 seconds into the 7th round as Reece takes his record to 5-0 with 4 KO’s – he is certainly one to watch out for in the featherweight division.
Sauerland signed Deon Jumah made his first outing on an English show as he secured a 59-56 points victory over durable and awkward opponent Colin Farricker. Jumah stayed composed and picked his shots well coming forward and staying low in stance, Farricker didn’t let him have it all his own way working the long hooks and giving Jumah something to think about in there. Jumah came out of the clash victorious on a points victory and keeps his unbeaten record intact 8-0 with 3 KO’s to his name.
Brixton’s powerful lightweight Ohara Davies made easy work of his opponent Prince Ofotsu securing a 3rd round stoppage. Davies came straight out looking confident behind his relaxed stance – his jab looked strong and even rocked Ofotsu with it. Prince looked way out of his depth from the first bell as a big left hook on the inside sent him to the canvas – he managed to make the referee’s count and continue on. A right hand at the start of the 2nd round sent Prince to the canvas again, Ohara really does have spiteful powerful at his weight. The Ghanian man fought on but was outclassed and outworked in every aspect. The stoppage came 42 seconds into the 3rd round after a powerful flurry of hooks from Davies sent Prince to the canvas again looking exhausted, referee Ian John Lewis stopped the contest without even giving him a count. Ohara showed again just how much power he has at lightweight and that he is a force to be reckoned with. His record is now an impressive 10-0 with 8 KO’s as he looks to challenge for titles in 2016.