Monday, November 2, 2009

British Scene Weekend Recap: Paul Smith Edges Tony Quigley

Dave Oakes recaps this past Friday's British super-middleweight title fight.

Paul Smith claimed the British super-middleweight title on Friday night after an unconvincing split decision victory over Tony Quigley.

It was a scrappy fight in which neither man seemed to settle. Barely anything happened in the first round with both men looking frightened to commit in case they were caught with a counter punch.

Quigley improved in the second round, landing three solid jabs and a nice straight right. Whilst the round was close, Quigley gave the impression he was bossing it due to that fact he was walking forwards whereas Smith seemed too anxious to try and throw anything of any note. Quigley kept switching to the southpaw stance but was having very little success and looked rather uncomfortable in doing so.

The third was yet another close round but it Quigley who was the aggressor and took the round on work-rate alone. A overhand right late in the round from Quigley looked to have hurt Smith but the television replay showed that it was more of a slip or tangle of feet that caused Smith to lose his balance.

Smith finally started throwing punches in the fourth; he landed a nice left hook that seemed to give him the confidence to get involved more. It was still a close round but it was the first round in which Smith showed glimpses of what he’s capable of.

The fight from there on in was a close and scrappy affair with both fighters putting in disjointed performances. Smith was landing the occasional left hook whilst Quigley always tried to respond with a shot of his own. Smith was cut in the fifth round after a clash of heads, it wasn’t a bad cut and with master cutsman Mick Williamson in his corner, the cut was never going to be a problem for Smith.

Round eight was probably the best of a disappointing fight. Smith landed a hurtful left hook to Quigley’s ribs and seemed to be getting the better of the champion until Quigley responded with a big uppercut that had an effect on Smith’s legs. The left hook to the body was the first body shot that Smith had landed in the fight, considering he’s well known for his body punching, it was strange that he wasn’t prepared to throw any early in the fight.

Smith finished the fight the stronger; Quigley was blowing in the final four rounds but gamely fought back whenever Smith was starting to get the better of him. Smith was also feeling the pace in the final two rounds but did enough to edge the rounds.

Despite the MC announcing that it was a majority decision, the scores actually read 116-113, 116-112 in favour of Smith and 116-114 for Quigley making Smith the winner via a split decision. I had the fight a draw (115-115) but a lot of the rounds were very hard to score and the fight could’ve gone either way.

The undercard…

Tony ‘Bomber’ Bellew destroyed Jindrich Velecky inside a round. The heavy-handed Bellew landed a left hook a minute in that shook Velecky to his boots, Bellew is a vicious finisher and went to town with a flurry of shots to head and body. Velecky survived the initial onslaught but was floored twenty seconds later by a huge right uppercut.

The ending came in bizarre fashion, Velecky beat the count but when the referee let the action commence, Velecky was staring at his corner rather than at Bellew, who sprinted across the ring and landed two straight rights that convinced the referee to stop the fight.

Bellew correctly described himself as a smashing machine after the fight. He’s quickly gaining a reputation as one of the biggest punchers in British boxing and has a nasty streak in him that will stand him in good stead when he gets to title level. Keep an eye out for him in future.

Michael Jennings went through the motions in an easy points win over Laszlo Komjathi. Jennings was originally due to fight Kell Brook for the British title but Brook pulled out earlier in the week with flu. Jennings dominated the fight from start to finish and never needed to get out of second gear.

Olympic gold medallist James DeGale smashed the brave but limited Ally Morrison to a third round stoppage. DeGale looked sharp and focused as he put together beautiful combinations that hurt Morrison every time they landed. DeGale is improving quickly and is winning over the fans who disgracefully booed him on his pro debut.

Another former amateur star on the bill looked impressive; Frankie Gavin stopped the tough Steve Saville in the second round after a one-sided beat down. Gavin hurt Saville to the body in the first round and then dropped Saville with a body shot in the second. Saville beat the count but the referee correctly waved the fight over.

Jamie Cox remained unbeaten after his opponent, Manoo Salari, retired after the third round. Cox was always in control but is still smothering his boxing and getting involved too much rather than using his skills. He’s possibly the most impatient boxer I’ve ever known, both in the ring and out off it. He needs to settle down and learn how to pace himself if he’s to stand any chance against the likes of Kell Brook, who he unwisely seems very eager to meet.

Stephen Smith, Paul’s brother, took his record to 8-0 with an easy points victory over Gary Reid. Smith has got to be considered one of the hottest prospects in Britain and is one to watch out for in the future.

Liam Smith kept his unbeaten record intact by beating Darren Gethin on points after a lacklustre performance.

Joe Selkirk stopped journeyman Alex Spitko in the fourth round to take his record to 3-0.

Tobias Webb also took his record to 3-0 after a hard fought points win over Pawel Trebinski.

e-mail Dave Oakes


boxingwriter said...

Hello Dave,

Such a tough fight to score, I scored it 117-114 for Quigley. I couldn't argue with a Smith win too strongly as it was so hard to score. I rewarded Quigley's forward movement through the middle rounds, others went for Smith's countering, which is where the scoring disparity appears to manifest.

Nice round up by the way.