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.
By: Oliver McManus
Frank Warren’s latest promotion, dubbed The Time is Now, and the first under an enhanced partnership with ESPN in America took place at the Leicester Arena and played host to some of Britain’s brightest prospect;
Jack Catterall was defending his WBO Inter-Continental belt, against fellow domestic super-lightweight, Ohara Davies with the winner seeking a shot at, WBO world champion, Maurice ‘Mighty Mo’ Hooker.
Photo Credit: Frank Warren Twitter Account
The belt holder has looked rejuvenated under the tutelage of, new trainer, Jamie Moore and those trademark body shots of his would be something he looked to enforce on Ohara Davies – who was caught at the body several times in his only career loss to date, against Josh Taylor.
The bout kicked off at three minutes to eleven, UK time, but neither man looked in a rush to get to bed going by their opening exchanges as both men circled each other, slowly, from the centre of the ring before Catterall attempted to jump into the bout with a nice left hand that injected some energy into the encounter.
Both men pawed out their respective jabs with Ohara, arguably, landing the better of those across the opening rounds whilst Catterall looked target the body of his controversial counterpart – a clear game plan, from both.
The Morningside Arena became a cauldron of noise as the bout went on and whilst the first third of the fight remained cagey it was Catterall who appeared to be doing more of the composed, point-scoring work with Davies unable to really find the ignition switch and bring his right hand into play.
Fought from the centre of the ring, the game of cat and mouse continued into the second third of the bout and Ohara began to relax, finding his range and starting to let some shots go as he kept a high defensive left hand before twisting the knuckles into shots of his own – Catterall showed good defensive intuition to elude most of the shots thrown his way but both men were opting for a patient game plan, throwing the jabs repeatedly before trying to open up and land some telling punches.
Truth be told it looked as though both fighters were looking for the other to take the initiative before doing so themselves but the fifth round was the first where you could say with confidence that a fighter looked to be gaining the upper hand with Catterall working the body well, keeping his jab extended and upping the output as he looked to move into a rhythm of his own.
Davies kept his lead left foot stood on the tip toes of Catterall’s lead right in an attempt to tie him up and whilst Catterall stumbled once, the Chorley man simply reciprocated the tactic; the champion looked lighter on his feet and was throwing punches with more variety as he frequented one-twos as opposed to Ohara’s one-paced jab.
Davies had failed to back the power of his right hand throughout the bout and wasn’t landing it with any telling frequency or accuracy – the London-man wasn’t taking it to his man or really pushing his case.
The ninth round was the first time we really saw that right hand showcased by Davies who began to load up a little more, looking sprightly on his poised legs as he began to come forward a little more in the final stages of the bout; Catterall responded in turn with an increased output of his own, remaining elusive and leading with his jab but failing to double up on the promising openings.
Davies looked downtrodden when he sat down in his corner but it was still all to play for in the championship rounds of the fight with the preceding 10 being hard to score with any degree of confidence – the fight continued with the same rhythm with both men standing in the centre of the ring, patrolling the canvas but without fully committing to any big shots of their own.
Catterall continued to land the cleaner shots as he controlled the tempo of the fight, not allowing Davies to launch into any explosive salvos that we know he possesses and nullifying the threat of his opponent thanks to slicker footwork and silkier shot selection.
A fight that won’t be remembered, that failed to live up to the build-up and deliver the expected fireworks but the winner, by 118-110, 115-113, 115-115, was the man who put in the busier work, Jack Catterall!
Daniel Dubois was in with the biggest name of his short career as he took on Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson – a 15 year veteran of the sport – over the course of a scheduled 10 rounds but, with Dubois owning eight wins from eight inside the distance and Johnson a fading gatekeeper, no-one was expecting it to last the distance.
Dubois, now 21 years of age, hopped immediately to the ring with an imposing jab and Johnson looked in trouble almost immediately as he covered up against the ropes – Dubois was throwing shots but remaining at a good distance as he demonstrated his power from the early stages.
Johnson, seeking to shimmy his shoulders, was getting caught repeatedly by Dubois with several hooks landing and the occasional chipping uppercut finding their way through the guard of his American counterpart.
The English heavyweight champion has built a burgeoning reputation off the back of his mammoth jab and the shot was working well for Dubois, who was showing more energy than perhaps we’ve seen before, as he sought to engage against a negative opponent.
Throughout the rounds, Dubois kept on pressuring his man, looking to load up with big shots up against the ropes but Johnson had a wry knack of being able to, almost, absorb the punches of Dubois and keep on going – no doubt, though, all the work was coming from Daniel Dubois.
As the rounds progressed, Dubois kept on pushing and keeping up his high-tempo fight-plan. The shots themselves began to vary up with Dubois’ uppercut being used more frequently as we advanced towards the halfway stage of the bout – landing with great efficiency.
Into the fifth round we went and the pace of the bout began to slow with Dubois opting to take a breather but keeping on the front foot and being the only fighter to show any sign of aggression; the English boxer was fighting a learning fight, against a man who hadn’t really came to box and Dubois was working the angles to attempt to open his opponent up.
Rounds reminiscent of a heavy bag session, that’s all it was, Dubois kept on sending in punches and Johnson just kept on soaking them up all the while telling Dubois to “keep ‘em coming”… the heavyweight prospect duly obliged and continued to fire shots in the direction of the American but without ever finding the opportunity to fully sink his weight into the punches.
Uppercuts reigned supreme through the course of the final three rounds but the fight was subdued with the crowd failing to get behind it and the one-way traffic that Dubois was providing proving to be less eye-catching than expected pre-bout.
Not that that was his fault, Johnson showed little ambition in remaining on the ropes throughout the duration of the contest and Dubois did all that could be asked for against a wholly dour and downbeat opponent; 100 points to 91 sees Daniel ‘Dynamite’ Dubois move to 9 and 0 but the aura of explosivity just goes down a notch for the 21 year old.
Nicola Adams OBE, fighting in her fifth professional bout, was up against Isabel Millan for the interim WBO Flyweight championship and the Lioness from Leeds started off the stronger fighter against an opponent who had no real technique, so to speak, but was giving it a good go.
With Adams relaxing into the bout she caught her counterpart with some smooth shots to the body and extended her jab outwards frequently to tee up some big shots; Millan didn’t falter, showing her heart and landing some decent shots of her own to show she wasn’t just there to get paid.
A fight that had no real highlights or lowlights but instead remained at a constant rate provided the necessary rounds for Adams who didn’t have proceedings all her own way and, indeed, got caught up in some moments that required her to work through the fight as opposed to simply going through the motions – Adams had to think and whilst she looked a little less convincing then perhaps you could have expected, Millan was one of a hell of a shade tougher and more gung-ho than people would have thought.
Millan found success in the ninth round and for patches of the latter rounds but it was Nicola Adams who produced the classier output and took the decision by scores of 96-94, 97-93 and 97-93 to set up an anticipated world title shot on December 22nd.
A night of championship boxing in Leicester that provided tough tests for the highly touted men and women of Frank Warren’s stable and whilst it may not have been as high-jinks and explosive as we may have hoped, they were valuable fights for the careers of the fighters so whilst the time might not necessarily have been now, there are promising fights on the horizon – bring it on!
By: Oliver McManus
This coming Saturday the Leicester Arena will play host to a super-lightweight showdown between Jack Catterall and Ohara Davies – two contrasting personalities with Catterall typically calm, composed and business-like and Davies the flamboyant and brash counterpart.
All that seems to have been changing over the past few months with Ohara Davies retiring his former persona, OD, and seeking to rebuild a reputation that, at one point, saw him labelled the most hated boxer in Britain.
As part of Frank Warren’s ‘The Time is Now’ card, this 10 round contest is slated for the WBO Inter-Continental and WBC International belts and the evenly matched bout looks set to be an absolute barnstormer.
Catterall has looked like a new fighter since he teamed up with Jamie Moore and the Inter-Continental champion had to dig deep back in June to navigate his way past a gritty Tyrone McKenna – in McKenna’s back garden – but the 25 year old showed plenty of heart and grit to secure a points victory and also show that he’s got multiple facets to his game.
Davies, on the other hand, a week prior to Catterall vs Mckenna, bagged himself a showcase knockout against Paul Kamanga, to claim his WBC strap, with a peach of a right hand that sent his Congolese opponent slamming to the canvas.
On paper Ohara is the more explosive fighter with a more continuous punch output but Catterall packs a serious punch and when he starts to work the body of his opponent, you can tell they are in trouble.
Technically you’d back Jack with his mental fortitude perhaps standing him in better stead – indeed he is tactically astute with the ability to remain patient before enforcing a tempo his own.
The winner of this bout moves to pole position for a world title shot, jumping to the front of the queue, whilst the loser, and there is no shame in losing such a fight, will be knocking on the door for an immediate rematch – BRING IT ON!
Nicola Adams, the lioness from Leeds, will fight for the interim WBO flyweight title against Isabel Millan over the course of 10 two minute rounds with the ultimate aim being to fight Raja Amasheh, for the full title, by the end of 2018.
A genuine pioneer of female boxing, the two-time Olympic champion has kept level-headed throughout her opening four fights and although she hasn’t fought as frequently as she would have hoped, Adams is wasting no time in stamping her authority at the top of her division.
Back in May she faced Soledad del Valle Frias, a former world title challenger, with ability far better than her 13-11-4 record, at the time, suggested. There was mild controversy as the timekeeper believed the bout was set for three minute rounds but Adams showed blistering hand spend and relentless power to force the stoppage within the first round.
This is a fight that, let’s not make bones about it, Adams should win in routine fashion and if you look at the makeup of the women’s fly and super-fly divisions there are very few fighters who you wouldn’t have Adams as favourite to beat – if, indeed, any – and that’s a strong testament to her amateur pedigree and sublime skills in the ring.
Daniel Dubois will be in his ninth professional contest on the undercard as he takes on Kevin Johnson, a seasoned veteran, and whilst Johnson is past his prime – the bell probably rang on that in 2010 – to an extent that he can’t even be considered a gatekeeper anymore, I like that everyone around Dubois is openly admitting that he needs rounds and they’re guiding him in a patient fashion.
With that in mind you can’t really complain as to the quality of opposition he’s fighting because if you look at the likes of Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, Dereck Chisora, all the way throughout British heavyweights in history, he’s not at a shabby level of development by any stretch of the imagination.
Lest we forget that Johnson extended Andy Ruiz Jr to a full 10 rounds earlier this year so the chin of Kingpin is still in solid nick and if we are to believe that Dynamite is the real then he’ll be looking to explode into life with a devastating knockout over his American counterpart.
Lyon Woodstock vs Archie Sharp is a fight that you just need to say fair play to both guys for taking on the contest when they could have had far easier contests but there’s no messing around from either guy and the two will produce a sumptuous display for the fans on October 6th.
Several, seemingly, bitter exchanges between the pair on Twitter have set the tempo for this encounter with Woodstock promising a beat-down over his stablemate, looking to showcase the skills he’s put into place to considerable success over the course of his career thus far.
Woodstock, the local man, is two fights less experienced but has looked punch-perfect over the past 12-18 months with a strong performance against Paul Holt, taking to the centre of the ring and fighting from distance before claiming a shellacking knockout with ferocious hooks against the ropes. If ever there was a performance to mark yourself out as one to watch, this was it.
Nine years as an amateur, nine national junior titles, Frank Warren has called Archie Sharp the “best kept secret in British boxing” and the super featherweight has wasted no time in racking up the wins – 13 without defeat, so far – and whilst Lyon will provide the dynamite in this contest, Sharpe will focus on his fluid movement, controlling the ring from the outset and attempting to dictate the pace of the fight into a tempo more suitable for him and his puppy-like energy.
The winner of this contest will surely be in line for the British title, held by Sam Bowen, and from a neutral perspective this promises to be a really good fight, it’s got the ingredients – young, hungry, unbeaten, powerful, quick on the feet.
What more could you ask for in a fight night? Terrific action and prospects promised in every fight so let’s have it!
Jack Catterall with a Decision Win Over Joe Hughes in Bolton
By: Stewart J. Lawrence
With a tough fight going the full 12 rounds, Joe Catterall wins easily, but has to work hard throughout the entire time.
Jack Catterall retained his WBO European & Intercontinental title, by defeating Joe Hughes in a fight that failed to live up to the hype that it was billed at. As is often the case with a southpaw vs. orthodox fighter, fighters fail to ‘gel’ and this was definitely the case. Catterall was technically the better fighter, but failed to find his range and rhythm, resulting in a messy fight.
The pace started slow, with Catterall putting together the better shots and doing enough to take the early rounds. Joe Hughes was trying to push the pace, having some success and taking the second round, but Catterall showing he is technically the better boxer and used that with his ring craft to frustrate Hughes and start a commanding lead on the judge’s cards. As the rounds grew, Catterall started to show why people (in the UK) are tipping the 22 year old to be future world champion. During the 10th Catterall looked tired with Hughes still fresh, and the man from Wiltshire tried putting it on Catterall, but he couldn’t make it count, and again in the 11th and 12th Catterall’s class shown through and he easily seen the rest of the fight out. Never being in any trouble.
Catterall took the fight on the judge’s scorecards 111-117, but this flattered Joe Hughes a little, but you can’t take anything away from the Wiltshire man. He pushed Catterall all the way, but Catterall was levels above.
A solid display, and a good win against a tough opponent.
Catterall is rank No4 by the WBO, but he is far from ready to face the likes of Crawford or anyone of that caliber. After the fight, Catterall praised his opponent stating; ‘He’s a tough fighter and doesn’t stop coming forward, but I was never in trouble in there, and I knew I had to just keep working and getting my shots off’. His promoter stated that they would be looking for the British title next and targeting Tyrone Nurse. When asked (Catterall) what he would like next, he said: ‘I’d like to cancel the holiday I have, and fight on 9th July card (Fury vs. Klitschko). Keeping myself busy’.
Tyrone Nurse is facing Willie Limond on the undercard of Ricky Burns. Either of then fighters would be a huge step up for Catterall and show the fighting community whether the hype about this young man is justified.
Which way the Nurse/Limond fight goes, either would be a tough fight and the Chorley man will have to show us he has what it takes to become the next best Super lightweight of British boxing.