Monday, April 27, 2009

British Scene Weekend Recap

There were two title fights in the UK this past weekend. On Friday in Wolverhampton, Don Broadhurst put his Commonwealth super-flyweight title on the line against Ghanaian Asamoah Wilson. The following night, young Scotsman Paul Appleby traveled to challenger Martin Lindsay's hometown of Belfast to defend his British featherweight crown.

Dave Oakes and Matt Chudley have all the details.

Friday April 24

Broadhurst Retains Title

By Dave Oakes

Don Broadhurst made a successful defence of his Commonwealth super-flyweight title on Saturday night after stopping the woefully inept Asamoah Wilson in the sixth round.

Broadhurst made a sloppy start to the fight and was made to pay towards the end of the first round when Wilson landed a wide left hook that sent blood streaming from Broadhurst’s nose. Despite this success Wilson looked completely out of his depth and it was clear to everyone in attendance that he was nothing more than a complete novice and had no place in the ring fighting for a championship belt.

With blood running freely from his nose, Broadhurst seemed to come out more focused at the start of the second. He opened up with a blistering body attack that seemed to unsettle the challenger and followed it up with a couple of whipping hooks to the chin that had Wilson trying desperately to move out of range.

It was a rather one-sided fight from then on; to be fair, it was from the start but became even more so after the second round. The fight settled into a routine of Broadhurst teeing off at will to body and head, and Wilson moving around like a new born foal on a wet barn floor.

Wilson only landed one telling blow after the first round; it was another wide left hook that crashed against Broadhurst’s chin at the end of the fourth, but it was a short-lived moment of success for the Ghanaian. Broadhurst simply shook it off and returned to his corner seemingly unfazed by the shot. It may have had more of an effect if it had been a shorter punch instead of the ridiculously wide unorthodox windmill shot that Wilson seemed keen on throwing.

When Broadhurst hurt Wilson at the end of the fifth with an overhand right, you could sense the end was nigh. It certainly was, Broadhurst piled on the pressure throughout the sixth round and after a sustained body assault left Wilson wilting, his trainer threw the towel in to save him from further punishment.

Broadhurst moves to 11-0 (3KO). Hopefully we’ll now see him taking a step up in class. It’d be a shame if such a talented fighter fails to get the fights needed to help him improve before he gets a world title shot.

On the undercard...

Two prospects on the undercard struggled to victories. Darren McDermott looked unfocused and slow against tough journeyman Jamie Ambler. McDermott won on points but must improve if he’s to stand any chance of beating Darren Barker when they face off next month.

Jamie Cox made hard work of Mark Lloyd by getting involved in an ugly brawl. He could have made life easier for himself by using his skill but looked rash in trying to impress his fans. He also landed numerous low blows, head butts and made a stamping gesture after Lloyd had slipped to the canvas.

He can count himself very lucky that he didn’t get disqualified, with the referee only deducting a point after one of the head butts. Cox was surprisingly behind on the referees scorecard going into the final round but turned things around by pummelling Lloyd against the ropes until the referee jumped in to stop it. Cox called out British champion Kell Brook after the fight; I think he should be more concerned about learning how to control himself and pace a fight before he thinks of fighting someone of Brook’s calibre. If he fights Brook in the same manner he fought Lloyd, he’ll get knocked out very early.

e-mail Dave Oakes

Saturday April 25

Lindsay Wins Featherweight Title

By Matt Chudley

Hometown hero Martin Lindsay claimed the British featherweight title in halting Paul Appleby at a packed out Ulster Hall in Belfast on Saturday. The end came at 2:36 of the 6th round, after the older but less experienced Lindsay had punished the reckless young Scot with his superior timing and accuracy.

Appleby, attempting to make the 2nd defense of the title he won last year, made a sluggish start to the contest, failing to even find arms and gloves with many of his punches. Meanwhile the fired up challenger, spurred on by a full house of partisan supporters made an uncharacteristically aggressive start to the fight, showing enough pop in his punches to earn the respect of the champion.

Late in the 2nd and throughout the 3rd, Appleby tried to use his size, strength and possibly some dirty tactics to gain a foothold in the fight. Leaning and shoving his opponent in addition to holding and hitting drew unfavourable chants from the home support but allowed Appleby to get in a few decent body shots.

Lindsay momentarily seemed to hurt Appleby on the ropes in the 4th with a two fisted flurry but the plucky Scot covered up and then eagerly answered back. Undeterred, the now heavily marked-up Appleby continued to march forward in the face of some accurate counter-punching from the Belfast man

In the 6th after first being caught with a significant right hand, Appleby walked into Lindsay’s much-vaunted left hook. The punch landed flush, and left the game but bloodied title holder disorientated and looking to hold on. After getting separation from referee Howard Foster, Lindsay went straight back to work in punishing the Edinburgh native with a barrage of unanswered punches until Foster was given little choice but to step in.

With age on his side, the loss will serve as an important learning experience for Appleby, who at 21 was the youngest ever fighter to hold the British featherweight title. He now knows that physical advantages alone cannot be relied upon to overcome quality opponents.

While he may have to wait to find out his next opponent, Martin Lindsay can look forward to moving to the bigger cross town Kings Hall after demonstrating that both his talents and drawing power merit it.

On the undercard…

Ryan Rhodes stopped undersized Hungarian Janos Petrovics after dropping him twice, with the second knockdown prompting a halt to the fight after 7 lackluster rounds.

Petvovics’1-0 countryman Sandor Polgar appeared out of his depth against 3-0 George Groves. Polgar was put down with a right hook in the opening seconds, and Groves finished the job shortly afterward.

Troubled former footballer Curtis Woodhouse found himself on the losing end of a controversial 6 round decision to 9-14-1 Jay Morris. Woodhouse was almost joined in losing his 0 by an overweight and unfocused Michael Maguire who received a fortunate 39-38 nod over the 6-5-1 James Ancliff.

e-mail Matt Chudley