Monday, March 9, 2009

Photo Gallery: Jon Thaxton vs Anthony Mezaache

Last weekend in Norwich, European lightweight champion Jonathan Thaxton of England slugged it out with French challenger, Anthony Mezaache in one of the best bouts so far this year.

Photographer Justin McKie was ringside to capture all the bruising action.

Photos © Justin McKie

Click on the photos to enlarge.

At stake: Jonathan Thaxton's European Lightweight Title. Thaxton claimed the championship with a one punch 3rd round knockout of Juan Carlos Diaz Melero in October of 2008.

Preparing for battle - Thaxton looking calm and focused, as he has his hands wrapped before the contest.

Former world class kick-boxer, and current French champion, Anthony Mezaache prepares for his ring walk. The French fighter comes into the bout with a record of 14 wins, 5 defeats, 3 draws, and unbeaten in his past 7 outings.
The hometown hero, Jon "Jono" Thaxton, sporting a record of 34 wins against 8 defeats waits to enter the Norwich Showground to defend his title for the first time. Thaxton won the title at the Showground back in October of last year.

It looked like a short night might be in the offing when Thaxton put Mezaache down in the first round. A right hand behind the ear did the damage, leaving the challenger on unsteady legs when he arose.

After spitting out his mouth guard to buy some time, the challenger managed to survive the round, although found himself down 3 points on the scorecards.

Mezaache connects with his left jab as referee Massimo Barrovecchio looks on.

Mezaache lunges in with a right hand, as Thaxton tries to pull away from it.

The challenger connects with a right hand that snaps the champion's head back.
More from Mezaache as the resiliant challenger works his way back into the fight.

The action was sometimes awkward as is often the case when a soupthaw battles it out with a right handed fighter.

The challenger making good use of his jab.

More leather being traded, as neither fighter was prepared to give an inch.

Mezaache unloads with a winging right hand bomb. The challenger, who came into the bout with only 3 knockouts on his record didn't pack much pop, but he let his hands go plenty as he sensed the hometown man tiring.

Thaxton successfully times the challengers awkward ducking movements, and lands a hard left uppercut.

Tired, but desperate to hang onto his crown, the champion digs hard with a right hand as he attempts to swing the momentum back in his favour.

The challenger is relentless, and doesn't stop coming. Here he elicits a grimace out of the champion, as he lands a right hand to the body.

The fighters take turns landing jabs in the middle of the ring.

There was no let up to the action, as the determined challenger kept pressing, while the champion, his eye badly swollen battled gamely on as the fight moved into the later stages.

Both fighters are sporting the wounds of battle as the grueling contest reaches its final moments.

Thaxton ducks under a left, as he attempts to go to the body with a hook. The exhausted fighters keep throwing until the final bell.

The scores were unanimous...


For the winner and new European Lightweight Champion, Anthony Mezaache.

The new champ has his wounds tended to.


Michael Nelson said...

Good stuff. I have to grab video of this. Looks like they went to war.

dread said...

Great pics