By: William Holmes
Wembley Stadium in London, England and the Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino in Macau, China were the host sites for today’s HBO World Championship Boxing double header. The Donaire and Vetyeka fight was shown on tape delay since it occurred earlier this morning.
Macau was the host for three featherweight title fights. Evgeny Gradovich (19-0) won a decision over Alexander Miskirtchian (24-3-1) with scores of 117-110, 117-110, and 118-110 and Nicholas Walters (23-0) retained his WBA “regular” title with a devastating 5th round knockout of Vic Darchinyan (39-7).
The WBA Featherweight Title bout between Nonito Donaire (32-2) and Simpiwe Vetyeka (26-2) opened up today’s broadcast and Robin Leach served as the ring announcer. There appeared to be more empty seats than expected in Macau.
Both boxers come out cautious throwing mainly jabs, but Donaire connected with the first combination of the night with a straight right left to the body combination. Donaire landed another body head combination and crisp straight right near the end of the round. A clash of heads occurred near the end of the round and Donaire went down to one knee. A bad cut opened up over the left eyelid of Donaire as he walked back to the corner.
Vetyeka had a solid second round and had an accurate jab. Donaire hit Vetyeka with a low blow and that was followed by another head butt. Donaire was taken to the doctor by the referee to look at his cut. Blood was flowing from Donaire’s eyelid at the end of the second round, and it ended with another head butt.
Donaire rushed out aggressively at the start of the third round and was bouncing in and out of Vetyeka’s range while landing several pop shots. The crowd starting to chant loudly for Nonito, but Vetyeka was landing straight right hands of his own. Vetyeka was staggered by a right hand from Donaire at the end of the round, and Donaire was clearly loading up on his punches.
Vetyeka started the fourth round by landing some solid jabs and had Donaire backed up against the ropes while connected with shots to the body and head. Donaire scored a knockdown seemingly out of nowhere with his patented left hook. Vetyeka was able to get back to his feet, but Donaire cam right at him in an effort to stop the fight. The referee momentarily halted the action inside the ring to allow the ring side doctor to view Donaire’s cut, again, but the round was allowed to end.
The referee did not allow the bout to continue after the fourth round. Donaire won a technical decision with scores of 39-36 on all three scorecards.
Carl Froch (32-2) and George Groves (20-1) met for the IBF/WBA Super Middleweight Title before 80,000 rabid fans in Wembley stadium in London, England. George Groves was the first main to enter the ring and Froch walked in second, and it was Froch who was met with more boos of the two.
Both boxers looked a little tight at the beginning of the first round. Groves was landing his jab in the first and Froch was warned for punched behind the head. The first round was close, but it was Groves who appeared to land more jabs.
Both boxers continued to throw mainly jabs in the second round, but it was Groves who was the more accurate puncher of the two. Groves was beginning to land his right hand at the end of the second round.
The crowd was whistling the jab fest in the third round, but Froch and Groves immediately answered with a good exchange in the middle that featured both boxers landing good punches. But it was Groves who was landing the cleaner shots and he was landing his left hook on Froch when he came forward. Groves punctuated the third round with a right cross near the end.
Groves showed good head movement and foot movement in the fourth round and was still landing more punches than Froch when they exchanged. Groves was also landing his 1-2 combinations, but looked to be the more tired fighter.
Froch began to turn the tide of the fight in the fifth round with good body work and was beginning to land crisp shots. Froch’s body shots slowed Groves down, and Froch continued to pick up the pace in the sixth round. He did significant damage to Groves when his back was against the ropes and was applying the pressure.
Groves was landing his counter left hook in the seventh round, but Froch ended the seventh with a clean lead right hand.
Groves and Froch were exchanging freely in the eighth round, and Groves was connecting with short left hooks. But Froch appeared to have the heavier hands and connected with a clean right cross right at the chin of George Groves and sent him crashing to the mat. Groves’ knee was awkwardly caught beneath his body and the referee immediately waived off the bout.
Carl Froch wins by a convincing knockout at 2:34 of the eighth round.