By Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro
British Boxing is alive and kicking. Last week we were treated to one of the best domestic battles in a long, long time, Kevin Mitchell-John Murray. Last night, at the Mick Hennessy promoted event at Wembley Arena, boxing fans were treated to not just the best Heavyweight fight of the year so far but also a quality undercard absolutely rammed with top quality all action bouts.
Heading up the show was the eagerly awaited Heavyweight showdown between British and Commonwealth Champion ‘Del Boy’ Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury. In the build up to the fight there were plenty of comparing this domestic biggie with the recent Wladimir Klitschko-David ‘Hayemaker’ Haye mega fight.
Not surprising really, Tyson is tall and uses his height to great advantage, like Klitschko, whilst Del Boy relies on speed and power like Haye to overcome bigger opponents. But at the end of the day that is the only comparison that could be made, because unlike Klitschko-Haye what we got was a great fight with plenty of World class action.
The first round was a bit of an edgy affair which see Tyson using his jab to keep the stalking Del Boy at bay.
After the first break Dereck turned to his trusty bullying tactics to back Tyson onto the ropes before letting rip with a big right, Tyson breaks lose but Del Boy chase him down letting of a massive double handed salvo. Tyson gathers himself and responds with a couple of exocets of his own, Dereck stands his ground and lets of a massive right that rocks Tyson to the core. No slouch Dereck launches himself into another salvo of big lefts and rights on the fast back stepping Tyson. Great round for the Londoner.
Del Boy starts fast and continues the all out assault in the third, although this time Tyson seems prepared and stands his ground repelling the forward charging Londoner with big lefts and rights of his own. Great round for both protagonists.
More of the same in the fourth, Del Boy launching a seemingly never ending wave of double handed salvos that overwhelm the big Mancunian. With barely seconds left on the clock Dereck lunges forward and launches a scything left that rocks Tyson to the core, but before he can follow up the bell rings. Seriously great round for the Londoner.
The fifth was a sensational round full of nonstop back and forth action. Tyson takes the round in my book just because he used his size advantage to great effect.
Del Boy starts the sixth fast and takes the fight to the Mancunian. Tyson stands his ground and lets rip with a big right. Some great toe-to-toe action ensues until Tyson starts backing Dereck onto the ropes and fires off a salvo of big shots. Del Boy shrugs the big man off and lets rip with a big salvo of his own. Another close round but I feel Tyson just did enough to take it.
Round seven was more a less a repeat of the sixth, but even better! It was a great round for both but again I felt Tyson was that bit busier and landed the more meaningful shots – and plenty of them.
Del Boy piles on the pressure big time in eighth, with big lefts and rights raining down on the big Mancunian. Mid round Tyson tries to turn the table on the Londoner, who with his back to the corner post beckons Tyson to bring it on. Close round but it’s Del Boys in my book.
The pace noticeably slows in the ninth, Del Boy seems content to close up shop whilst backed onto the ropes and let Tyson use a lot on energy throwing shot after shot without much effect. Has to be Tyson’s round just because he worked hardest and threw the more meaningful shots, even if they were only catching the arms and gloves of the Londoner.
Tyson’s looking strong and again backs Del Boy up with some massive big scoring bombs at the beginning of the tenth. Around midway through Del Boy turns the table on the Mancunian, with a heavy double handed flurry he breaks loose and turns Tyson onto the ropes. Great, great round with no clear winner – they were both awesome!
The eleventh was another cracking all action round as was the twelfth and final round. I have to admit I didn’t expect to the fight to go all the the way, and to be honest it nearly didn’t.
Right from the final opening bell Del Boy goes on the attack letting rip with big lunging lefts. By about the half way mark things got a bit scrappy, not for long though as Del Boy got a little space and launched a massive exocet. Tyson shrugs it off and throws a massive flurry to force the Londoner back into a corner once again. With his quarry just where he wanted him Tyson goes in for the finish with another massive salvo.
Surprisingly both are still upright as the final bell tolls, so the judges are called upon to decide who loses his coveted ‘O’, and in this case his British and Commonwealth titles as the judges declared Tyson Fury victorious by 118-111 and 117-112 (twice) points margin.
Have to say this was the best Heavyweight bout I’ve seen in a very, very long time – in fact I think the last featured another Tyson, Mike Tyson, it was that long ago! Shame one had to lose but who knows maybe there’ll be a rematch in the near future, I hope so.
Slotted in between the main events was a four round lightweight contest featuring Enfield’s unbeaten Chris ‘The Flash’ Evangelou and Rotherham’s Jon Baguley.
A cracking all action fight in which the young Londoner was able to showcase his exceptional talent to yet another big crowd. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t all one way traffic from Evangelou, Baguley didn’t come to make up the numbers.
For four round the pair went for it a hundred and ten percent, just as I said Evangelou is an exceptional talent and it showed. His work rate and quality of punches were the telling difference that earned him a tidy 49-47 points victory.
Remember the name Chris Evangelou, I predict that this youngster is going to be huge and it’s just a matter of time before we see him in Championship action.
The main support bout for Fury-Chisora see Kilburn’s Ashley ‘Treasure’ Theophane defend his British Light Welterweight crown against former European and IBO World Lightweight Champion Jason Cook.
Cookie starts fast and takes the fight to the champ in the fist couple of rounds. Throughout Cookie looks well in control and lands some cracking big rights. Ashley fought well but Jason was far more active and landed a lot more shots.
The fourth was a much closer round, both men upped their work rate and added even more venom to their punches.
More of the same in the fifth, which was already heading towards being yet another round for Cookie even before Ashley was deducted a point for yet another low blow, his fourth in two rounds!
Round six was a much closer affair as Ashley started to up the pace and take the fight to Cookie. Some nice back and forth action ensued, Ashley started to turn the style on and land some peaches.
The tide starts to turn in the seventh, As before the pair went at it hammer and tongs for the full three minutes. The highlight of the all action round see Ashley land a cracking right, quickly followed by a crisp left-right to which Cookie countered with an equally venomous right. First clear round for Ashley in my book, but was it to be too little too late?
Round eight sees ‘Treasure’ pile on the pressure and at times looks extremely dangerous, especially when he started picking his shots. The venom in these shots was clear for all to see, the tide now flowed a hundred percent in his direction. An easy round to call in the Champ’s favour.
Ashley dominates round nine, great action throughout the round but the highlight comes with just seconds left on the clock. Ashley rocks Cookie with a huge right followed by a salvo of exocets. Somehow Cookie survives until the bell.
Starting the tenth in the same vein as the previous round Ashley stalked his quarry before launching a series of big shots, that culminated in a huge right that sends Cookie down – and out with just forty three seconds on the clock.
Great performances from both fighters, I have to admit by the midway point I thought Ashley had well and truly blown it, I was wrong.
It was another great performance by the reigning champ in the fight that preceded Theophane-Cook. Southern Area Light Middleweight Champ Ryan Toms defended his title in emphatic style against the normally oh so classy Newmarket prospect ‘Phat’ Pat McAleese.
From the off this looked like would be one helluva fight, and it was. The early exchanges were fantastic evenly matched affairs but as the round progressed Ryan switched tactics and started to really add some power to his shots.
Early in the second Ryan lands a peach of a left, quickly followed by another. Pat comes back with a cracking double handed flurry. As the round progresses Pat changes tactics and starts to box, and box beautifully. Ryan though smelled blood and starts to really load up his shots.
The third was a real lively affair, Pat again boxes beautifully but Ryan steps it up and targets the body. As the round progresses Ryan seems content to pick his shots, again targeting the body with venomous lefts. After yet another big body shot backs the Newmarket man up and lets rip with a powerful double handed flurry. Pat does well to recover from the onslaught to survive the round.
After various big exchanges in the fourth Ryan lands another big left to the body, Pat sinks down and takes the count. As soon as the count’s over Ryan is all over Pat like a rash and again lands a big left to the body, Pat goes down for the second time. As the fight resumes the writing is on the wall and it comes as no surprise when Ryan lets rip with yet another vicious left to the body. ‘Phat’ Pat goes down for the third and final time, as the referee waves the fight off at the two minutes and forty four second mark.
It may have been a short fight but it was a right royal dust-up. Ryan Toms looks ready to move up and have to say judging on this performance British Champion Prince Arron should be the next target in his sights. Now that’s a mouth watering prospect for the new season.
Heading up the Championship bouts support card see Sheffield based Qatari Kid Galahad in action against Mansfield based Latvian Pavels Senkovs.
Nice little work out for the talented Kid Galahad as Senkovs is no walk over. For five rounds Galahad barely got into second gear as he out boxed the game Latvian. The final round see Kid Galahad shift up a couple of gears and go in search of a stoppage finish. Big double handed flurries rained down on the Latvian exile for virtually every second of the final three minutes.
Excellent performance by Kid Galahad to earn a shut out 60-54 points victory.
Now having read this far you will have a good idea that this show was a bit of a blinder, and that there were some awesome performances. Now if I were to say to you that my performance of the night wasn’t Tyson Fury, wasn’t even Ashley Theophane or Ryan Toms but was three fight veteran Peter Vaughan you’d probably laugh, that is unless you were at Wembley Arena on Saturday night.
Peter Vaughan was served up as the sacrificial lamb for hot Light Middleweight prospect Phil Fury, but as everyone soon found out this was no lamb but a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
The first couple of rounds there was some great action, and most coming from young Vaughan who seemed intent to make his mark. By the third Vaughan was well in his stride and picking his shots. It wasn’t all one way traffic and there was some good toe-to-toe action midway through the round, but Vaughan’s high tempo work rate and accurate punching secured him the round, as the pair before, easily.
More of the same in the fourth, but come the fifth Vaughan shifted up a gear and really went to town, mixing it up with solid body shots and big right hands. Fury responds with some big shots of his own but nowhere near the level Vaughan was dishing out. At this point I have Vaughan five rounds up and looking to cruise to victory.
The sixth goes more or less the same way, but Vaughan digs into his well stocked arsenal of punches and starts letting rip with big rights followed by rib cracking hooks or explosive uppercuts.
Fury obviously realised his precious ‘O’ record was in serious danger as he shot out to take the fight to Vaughan in the seventh. Big mistake Vaughan catches the advancing Mancunian with a huge left and so started yet another round dominated by the young upstart Vaughan.
The eighth and final round was a cracker, Fury needed a knockout to keep his record unblemished and he knew it. This was by far Fury’s best round but again he was out boxed and out foxed by the excellent Peter Vaughan, who was magnificent throughout and thoroughly deserved the victory.
I was little surprised that referee Bob Williams scored it 78-75 as Vaughan had won every single round by a country mile, that’s not just my thoughts but that of the amassed press corps seated around me.
Waltham Abbey’s Phil Gill was next up, against Sheffield based Qatari Mo Khaled.
It took Gill a couple of rounds to get to grips with the awkward Dominic Ingle trained fighter’s switch hitting style, so Khaled took the first couple of rounds comfortably.
Once Gill had him sussed he was able to land big rights at will. Khaled switched tactics and drew Gill in, big mistake that’s where Gill is at his best and boy did he make the Qatari exile pay for that mistake.
At the end of six excellent rounds I had Gill ahead by one round, although in all honesty the third could have gone either way so wasn’t really that surprised when referee Bob Williams held both hands aloft and declared it a 57-57 draw.
Yet another top class bout preceded Gill-Khaled, this time Luton based Bulgarian Bobby George (Boris Georgiev) faced Manchester’s Tamao Dwyer.
Again it was a cracker, albeit quite one-sided. Right from the start George turned on the style and played to the gallery. As early as the second round George would look up to his many supporters after a particularly slick bit of work, no surprise really he made it look so easy.
Round after round he plain out boxed Dwyer, picking his shots before letting rip with a flurry of crisp double handed flurries.
George turned up the heat in the fourth and really went to town on the head of Dwyer, so much so that by the end of the first minute he’d opened up a cut over the left eye of the Mancunian. Referee Bob Williams was quick to notice the widening cut and called for the doctor, who declared the cut too serious to continue and handing George his second TKO finish in three pro outings.
I arrived at the Wembley Arena just as debutant Lee Markham’s bout, against the ubiquitous Matt Scriven, was about to start.
It took a round or so for the youngster to settle down, but once he turned on the class and picked off the more experienced Scriven with ease. Late in the third Markham really shook Scriven and it looked like a stoppage finish was on the cards. In the final stanza Scriven used his vast experience to keep out of trouble against the clearly talented youngster.
After four excellent rounds Lee Markham earned his first pro win by a shutout 40-36 points margin.
My final words on this most excellent (yes I know I keep saying excellent, but the bouts and the event were very much just that) event is I have covered many events, on both sides of the Atlantic, but this was my first Hennessy Sports event. If this is the level of quality of all Mick Hennessy promoted shows I can’t wait for the next, as this was quality from start to finish.