By Rich Lopez
Saturday will be a huge day of boxing. Callum Smith vs John Ryder, Andrew Cancio vs Rene Alvarado II, and of course, Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz II will all take place. The weekend started early with some live boxing action. A card brought to you by Top Rank took place on ESPN+ on Friday morning. It took place at Caesars Palace Dubai in Dubai, United Arab Emirates which is starting to become a new place for boxing. The card showcased undefeated fighters from around the globe.
The main event was a ten round super lightweight bout. Undefeated Jack “El Gato” Catterall (24-0, 13 KO’s) of the United Kingdom, scored a 10 round unanimous decision over Timo Schwarzkopf (20-3, 12 KO’s) of Germany. In the opening round, Catterall, the southpaw, boxed well firing straight left hands and right hooks to the body of Schwarzkopf. In round two, Schwarzkopf picked up the pace and was able to land a right hook on Catterall that bloodied his nose. Still, Catterall was landing the cleaner punches of the two fighters. Catterall still boxed well in round three but Schwarzkopf kept coming forward taking punches well. In round four, Schwarzkopf was getting closer to Catterall and started to land right hands to the head of Catterall. At the end of the round, Catterall was cut above his right eye in what seemed to be a clash of heads. Schwarzkopf came out hard in round five and landed hard right hands. The cut on Catterall opened up more and the blood was flowing. It was a rough round for Catterall and a better one for Schwarzkopf. In rounds six and seven, Schwarzkopf didn’t come forward as much and fought the pace that Catterall wanted. Catterall went back moving side to side and landing combinations on Schwarzkopf. The body work of Catterall was taking its toll on the German. In round eight, Schwarzkopf kept coming forward but was weak. Catterall landed some hard body shots that were now starting to buckle Schwarzkopf. An exhausted Schwarzkopf came out swinging in round nine but there was nothing left in his punches. Catterall continued with his combinations to the head and body. In the final round, Catterall closed the show with his better boxing skills. Schwarzkopf took a lot of punches but made it to the final round. Catterall dominated the fight and the judges scored it 100-91, 99-92, and 99-91.
Photo Credit: Frank Warren TV Twitter Account
Catterall, who is aiming towards a world title shot in the future, did what he was supposed to do and won his second fight of the year. He will need to be more active and keep winning in order to fight the top champions in the super lightweight division.
The co-feature was in the super middleweight division. Three time Olympian Vijender Singh (11-0, 8 KO’s) of India, scored an eight round unanimous decision over the experienced Charles Adamu (33-14, 26 KO’s) of Ghana. In the first round, Singh used his reach well and landed some straight right hands to the head and body of Adamu. In round two, Singh landed a right to the body followed up with a right hand to the head that dropped Adamu. The Ghanaian got up and Singh went back to work. Singh continued to land punches and Adamu survived the round. Singh continued his attack and hammered away on Adamu in the third round. At this point, Adamu was just in survival mode. In round four, Adamu landed a right hand on Singh but there was no power in the shots. Adamu was also deducted a point in the round for head-butts. Singh continued with the attack in round five with Adamu taking heavy punches. In round six, Singh dropped Adamu for a second time with a right hand. Adamu once again got up and finished the round but took a beating. In round seven, Singh landed a right hand that hurt Adamu which caused the ref to issue a standing eight count. Singh went back to work to finish off Adamu but Adamu hung in there and survived the round. In the final round, Singh tried his best for the stoppage but Adamu showed a tough chin and a big heart. Singh won by a landslide with scores of 80-68 from all three judges.
Notably, Singh was the first Indian boxer to win a medal in the Olympics. He won the bronze medal in 2008 Olympics. This was Singh’s second win this year. He’s very popular in his country of India and he is also an actor over there. If Singh wants to make a mark in boxing, he needs to continue to stay busy and win.
In a super flyweight bout, Muhammad “Falcon” Waseem (9-1, 7 KO’s) of Pakistan, scored an eight round unanimous decision over former Light Flyweight champion Ganigan Lopez (36-10, 19 KO’s) of Mexico. Both fighters had a good opening round. Waseem was applying the pressure and landed some good shots. Lopez landed effective counter punches. It was a very close round. Lopez was effective in the second round. Waseem was coming forward but Lopez was doing a good job landing body shots and head shots on Waseem. In round three, Waseem was back pedaling and Lopez was the aggressor. Waseem had a better comeback round and he landed effective punches in the round. In round four, Waseem landed some nice flurries in the inside of Lopez’s body and showed to be the quicker of the two. Both fighters had their moments in round five. Lopez had the better counter punches in the round but Waseem landed some good shots as well. The six round was busy for both fighters again. Lopez did better and out landed Waseem. In round seven, Waseem decided to get back at Lopez. Waseem threw a lot of punches in the round and outworked Lopez. In the final round, both fighters went toe to toe and exchanged blows. It was another close round. The judge’s final tally was 77-75 (twice) and 80-73 in favor of Waseem in an entertaining fight. I agree with the 77-75 scorecards but the 80-73 score was off. This was a good stay busy fight for Waseem over a former world champion.
Another undefeated British fighter took center stage. In a super bantamweight fight, Thomas Patrick Ward (28-0, 4 KO’s) of the United Kingdom, won an eight round unanimous decision over Martin Casillas (20-11-1, 10 KO’s) of Mexico. In the first round, Ward boxed well. Casillas was the aggressor but was just following Ward around. Ward did some nice body work in the round. Ward continued the onslaught in round two, by landing body shots and hook shots on the charging Casillas. Casillas made a better effort in round three, but he was too slow for Ward. Ward continued to land punches at will on Casillas in round four. In round five, there was a slight shift in the fight and Casillas had his best round. Both men exchanged power shots in the inside and Casillas cut Ward above his left eye. Ward went back to work in round six moving side to side and boxing well. Ward was countering Casillas coming in and this continued in round seven as well. Casillas in desperation came out hard in round eight but Ward landed a nice left hook to the body to drop Casillas. The tough Mexican got up and Ward went for the attack.
Casillas hung in tough and finished the round. Ward dominated the fight and won the fight with all judges scoring it 80-71.
In a six rounder welterweight bout, another undefeated fighter was featured in the card. Rohan Date (10-0-1, 8 KO’s) of Ireland, scored a six round unanimous decision over Justice Addy (16-6-1, 14 KO’s) of Ghana. In the opening round, Date took control right away. Date applied the pressure and backed up Addy using his jab. Date also landed a few uppercuts when Addy came forward. In round two, Date continued to box well and kept up with the pressure. Date was also starting to land straight right hands of the head of Addy. Date continued with the pressure in round three. Towards the end of the round, both fights were in a clinch and Date nailed Addy with a left uppercut that floored him. Addy got up and the round ended. Addy was able to regroup in round four, but Date was still in control. Date landed some nice uppercuts in the round. If you are looking for a round to give to Addy, it might have been the 5th round as Date was less active in the round. Date closed the show in round six and came out firing with hooks to the body and head. Date went for the knockout but could not get it. Date won by scores of 60-53 (twice) and 59-54.
The opening bout of the ESPN+ telecast was a four rounder in the lightweight division. Fahad Al-Bloushi of United Arab Emirates made his pro debut and stopped Sandro Tughushi (1-6) of Batumi, Georgia in the 1st round. Al-Bloushi wasted no time. He came out fast and dropped Tughushi with a left jab to the stomach. Tughushi got up and then went down again complaining of a low blow. Tughushi got up and continued. Al-Bloushi trapped Tughushi in the corner and threw a flurry that dropped Tughushi again even though it seemed like nothing landed. Tughushi got up again and continued again. Al-Bloushi came after Tughushi and trapped him in the corner again. Al-Bloushi landed a right hook that dropped Tughushi for a 3rd time. The ref started to count but then waved the fight off. Al-Bloushi won by way of KO at 2:13 of the 1st round. A good start for Al-Bloushi in his pro debut while Tughushi seemed like he didn’t want to fight.