By: Ste Rowen
In a London night overshadowed by the heavyweights fighting 30 miles away, unbeaten welterweight Michael McKinson defeated Evgeny Pavko in a close fight to all but the judges, and on the same card, women’s lightweight world title hopeful Chantelle Cameron proved dominant in victory over big talking, Anisha Basheel.
McKinson and Pavko went in swinging from the first bell, even if they were both struggling to land something clean.
Southpaw, McKinson remained composed under attack but Pavko was always on him through the early rounds. The Russian was stalking and keen to throw hooks when they looked available. Evgeny’s long arms were outfoxing Michael’s counter-shot game plan.
In round 6 of the scheduled 12, the pressure from Pavko was clearly the domineering factor in the fight. The home-fighter, McKinson looked as if he was struggling for ideas. Any punch thrown just saw the Russian launch forward with another volley. Dressed in golden-yellow shorts, Michael may have been good to look at, but his performance was beginning to prove below a certain level at this stage. Where the Brit appeared reluctant to counter after taking shorts, Pavko showed no fear. From round one to round ten, the bald headed, black shorted Evgeny wanted blood, and never seemed to let up.
McKinson had a much better 8th round than in all of the fight. It was clear from the shots he landed that the only route to victory for Michael was to clearly outbox the Russian for the final two rounds. But the menacing Pavko remained positive, nonplussed by a disappointing 8th, the man dressed in black shorts continued as before and looked on top as the bout headed to the 10th and final three minutes. And those final three were much more of the same, McKinson’s manoeuvring out of danger was impressive but his actual offense was poor, but for his jab.
It was clear to all that the fight was close as the final bell rang. But the final scorecards returned as 97-93, 98-92, 96-94. A tremendous fight once again marred by horrendous scorecards. Now the WBO ‘European’ champion at 147lb spoke post-fight,
‘‘I felt like I was chasing it towards the end. I thought I lost the first two rounds…I was getting caught with a lot of shots but it’s the lack of sparring.
Hopefully people will wanna fight me now. I’m a student of the game I know I can get better, but I believe I edged the fight.
I only want people who have achieved more than me cos that’s how I move forward.’’
Cecelia Braekhus, Claressa Shields, Katie Taylor, Chantelle Cameron? Arguably the most highly anticipated bout on tonight’s undercard saw rising female boxer, Cameron, formerly trained by Shane McGuigan, put on a boxing masterclass to score a unanimous decision victory over trash talking Anisha Basheel.
There was pushing at the weigh-in but once the bell went the two boxers were only interested in landing punches. Cameron, in all black, was extremely efficient with the jab, forcing Basheel, 8-5 (8KOs) on to the back foot from the start as the Malawian struggled to figure out her opponent. After a dominant 2nd round, Chantelle seemed to be allowing her foe back into the fight as she backed off looking for the counter, but towards the end of the 3rd, began to fire, and land, at will without receiving too much heavy fire back.
Anisha ‘The Massacre’ undefeated in her last eight fights was already searching for that one punch that would end the night early. Her boxing proficiency was beginning to prove to be a lot lower than promised in the pre-fight amble. In the 5th of a scheduled 10, ‘Wham Bam Chan’ forgot her jab and began to cleanly land with combinations of power punches. Testament to Basheel’s resolve that she continued to want to engage the unbeaten lightweight. The following rounds came and went with more dominance from the home fighter. Her movement as much as her punching kept her on top.
Chantelle was eager for the finish as the final round drew to a close, but even though she didn’t get it, the victory, via points, never seemed in doubt. The final scorecards were unanimous for her as 100-89 (x2), 100-90. Now 11-0 (7KOs), the WBC ‘Silver’ lightweight holder spoke immediately after on her beaten opponent and possible world title bouts,
‘‘She’s a big talker so I felt like I taught her a lesson. I wanna respect my opponents and I don’t see the point of trash talking.
I’ll just be in the gym and when I’m told I’m fighting, I’ll fight. I’m ready.’’
Tonight’s Brentwood card also saw…
Super-lightweight Harlem Eubank, cousin of Chris Eubank Jr, score a dominant points victory of 13-50-6, Michael Isaac Carrero, dropping him en route to improve to 9-0 (2KOs).
Thomas Ward continued his unbeaten run with a ‘keep-busy’ points win over Brayan Mairena. 27-0 (4KOs), the former British champion will be hoping for much more challenging bouts to see out 2019.
Battling for the Southern Area welterweight title, Shaquille Day, now 13-0 (2KOs) claimed the regional belt over worthy challenger Louis Adolpe by a single scorecard of 96-92.