Monday, September 28, 2009

British Scene Weekend Recap: Macklin Annihilates Asikainen

Matthew Macklin claimed the vacant European middleweight title this past weekend in Manchester, making quick work of Finland's Amin Asikainen. Dave Oakes has the recap.

Photo © Chris Royle

Matthew Macklin became the European middleweight champion on Friday night after a stunning first round stoppage of Amin Asikainen. Asikainen was regarded as being Macklin’s toughest challenge to date but he couldn’t survive a round against an on fire Macklin.

Both fighters started cautiously, seeming happy to take a look at each other before firing the occasional range finder. That all change just after the midway point in the round when Macklin landed a huge left hook that dropped Asikainen heavily, it looked as if the fight would end there and then as Asikainen’s head bounced off the canvas.

He managed to beat the count but was on unsteady legs, the referee allowed him to box on but it was clearly only a matter of time before he was going to get stopped. Macklin finished off the job just thirty seconds later when he sent Asikainen sprawling to the canvas after two clubbing right hooks connected to the side of Asikainen’s head. He beat the count yet again, but this time the referee had seen enough and waved the fight off.

Asikainen complained bitterly about the stoppage but his eyes looked unclear and his legs weren’t exactly sturdy either. If the referee had allowed him to box on, I feel he would’ve been dropped again almost immediately.

The win puts Macklin in a great position in the rankings; he mustn’t be too far away from a world title shot. He’s in a weight division that’s fairly devoid of big names and top class talent, so you’d have to think he’d be in with a great chance of winning a world title if he can consistently reproduce the form he’s shown in his past two fights.

He seems to be targeting a fight with Sebastian Sylvester, a fighter who’s won one and lost one against Asikainen. I think Macklin stands a very good chance of beating Sylvester, especially if his promoter can secure him hometown advantage.

Check out Chris Royle's photo gallery of the main-event: Matthew Macklin vs Amin Asikainen

On the undercard...

The undercard was a collection of mismatches that provided a few highlight reel knockouts, the main one being Cello Renda’s obliteration of the previously unbeaten Sam Horton. The light punching Horton unwisely decided to stand and trade with the extremely heavy-handed Renda; he was knocked down early in the second round but didn’t seem to learn from this and walked onto a monstrous left hook just seconds afterwards.

The shot hit him with such force that he was unconscious before he hit the canvas, the referee sensibly decided not to bother with a count and waved for medical help immediately. Thankfully, after a few worrying minutes, Horton got to his feet with nothing more than his pride hurt.

Joe Murray scored the first knockout of his fledgling career, stopping the durable Delroy Spencer in the first round. Murray was teeing off on Spencer for most of the fight forcing the referee's intervention.

The undefeated Scott Quigg kept his record intact with a two round blow-out of the hapless Nico Schroeder. Quigg looks to be a top talent but needs more competitive fights than this to help him progress.

Other results...

Martin Murray bt George Aduashvili KO 1, Mark Thompson bt Gari Abajian TKO 5, Denton Vassell bt Vasile Surcica PTS, Rhys Roberts bt Steve Gethin PTS, Anthony Crolla bt Jon Baguley PTS, Andreas Evensen bt Gianpiero Contestabile TKO 5, Graeme Higginson bt Adam Kelly PTS.

e-mail Dave Oakes