By: Oliver McManus
Conor Benn vs Sebastian Formella
A quieter week of boxing in comparison to the crammed schedule beforehand saw Conor Benn topping Matchroom Boxing’s latest offering in a ten round contest against Sebastian Formella.
The 24-year-old Brit has marked himself out as one of the most improved boxers of the past couple of years – certainly at ‘prospect’ level, anyway – and that shone through on Saturday night. Quite often a lot gets made of his life-and-death six rounder with Cedrick Peynaud in 2017 but he’s comfortably beyond that blip now.
Formella is an experienced boxer having won various minor titles but too much was made of the fact he went 12 rounds with Shawn Porter in August. A Shawn Porter who has only registered four knockouts since 2012. The German started similarly sluggishly to his contest with Thulani Mbenge – which always seemed a more comparable fight – and that allowed Benn to gain an instant foothold.
Yes, Benn was taking some punches from Formella but at no point did he look troubled or fazed. It quickly became apparent that his older opponent didn’t possess the power to stop Benn and nor was he throwing enough quality in volume to edge ahead on the cards.
Benn ploughed forward and tested the chin of Formella – who handled the shots well but dispiritedly engaged – but, likewise, couldn’t do enough to force the stoppage. A very good performance from Benn, who boxed with real maturity and showed he’s been learning on the job tremendously well.
Anyone for the Josh Kelly fight next?
Alen Babic vs Tom Little
Alen Babic went 6-0, and with it, a sixth stoppage in a row, by stopping Tom Little in the third round. It was a fight that taught us nothing new about Babic but you can’t deny he’s entertaining and good value for money. The Croatian swings wildly and when he misses he misses by a mile: against a quality operator he’d likely get tagged but it would be fun whilst it lasted. That’s the main attraction to Babic. He’s got an enjoyable personality and is easy on the eye to watch fight. I’m not entirely sure what Tom Little’s selling point and his last five fights have all been heavy stoppage losses: there are fights out there for him just not at this level.
Fabio Wardley vs Richard Lartey
Fellow heavyweight Fabio Wardley made quick work of Richard Lartey within two rounds to make it 10-0 for the youngster from Suffolk. Wardley is a heavy puncher – we’ve known that for a while – and his KO of Scott Saward in 2017 is well worth looking up. Lartey is becoming the Wish version of Kevin Johnson (as Ryan pointed out on Twitter) but it was clear that Wardley didn’t fancy hanging around and duly set about constructing the Ghanaian’s downfall. A wide snapping right hand caught Lartey around the temple to scramble his senses.
The Rest Of The Undercard
On the undercard Liam Davies became English champion with a points victory over Sean Cairns. Same for Jez Smith who defeated Ben Riddings in a six rounder. I’d like to see Jez face Brad Rea next.
Attention turns to Church House, in Westminster, on Saturday night (November 28th) for a fascinating heavyweight grudge match between Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce. Four belts are on the line – European, Commonwealth, British and WBC Silver – for one of the most highly anticipated domestic matches in a long, long time.