Alan Dawson – London
Three out of the four semi-finalists deserved their place in the penultimate stage of Prizefighter: Super Middleweights II, however, Joe Ainscough appeared to benefit from a hometown decision after being dominated by Wayne Reed in the quarter-final stage. Ainscough met Rocky Fielding in the first semi-final as Fielding was the only contestant in the opening round to please the home fans with a strong technical knockout over Patrick J Maxwell.
Jahmaine Smyle expended a great amount of energy during his battle with pre-tournament favourite, Carl Dilks due to his relentless power-punching and if he can maintain that style of fighting through the penultimate stage of the competition then that is testament to his conditioning. Tobias Webb, despite only five pro bouts, looked the real deal when he secured a huge scalp against former world titlist Robin Reid.
Judges verdict – Not applicable due to knockout.
Round by round summary - Out of all the Prizefighter contenders, Fielding should have the better legs as he only boxed six minutes compared to the three other semi-finalists’ full nine minute fights.
The first round began in just as much controversy as Ainscough’s quarter-final decision. Fielding appeared to score an early knockdown… Ainscough’s legs looked weak following hard head shots from Rocky. The former fell to the deck yet the referee ruled it as a slip. Fielding continued to enjoy phenomenal success… he was patient, weaving a left mitt around his own temple before stretching it out to launch a powerful volley of physical abuse for crowd favourite Ainscough to endure.
Fielding forced Ainscough into a turnbuckle and a swift combination that targetted Ainscough’s face left the latter with cuts over both eyes. Claret streamed down his face as the referee decided Ainscough had suffered enough violation. Despite the fighter’s disappointment, his corner agreed with the stoppage.
The winner, Rocky, secured his second knockout of the night and it was again in stunning fashion. His left hook was a potent weapon yet his fistic armoury also contained powerful rights as well as his measuring jab.
Judges verdict – Tobias Webb wins via unanimous decision: 30-27, 29-28, 29-28.
Round by round summary - Arguably the more powerful of all the possible match-ups this evening, the second semi-final pitted a Smyle – who has muscles popping out of his muscles – against Webb, who obliterated Reid. Smyle again showed that he was prepared to walk through punches in order to find success himself as Webb launched a one-two combination before trying to dance his way out of trouble, however, Smyle expelled a countering clip before Webb could navigate his way out of trouble.
Webb’s body-punching looked formidable. His ability to lead with the jab before doubling up with shots to the head and body kept Smyle guessing as to where to block the incoming blows. The first round must be given to Webb for his superior boxing ability. Smyle couldn’t cope with the movement of Webb. Smyle lacked any kind of lateral movement and all too often he’d plant his feet, which meant a, he was an easier target for Webb and b, he gave himself little chance of evading the punches even if he wanted to.
Webb began the second round again looking like the better technician out of the two. He looked finely balanced and possessed an aesthetically-pleasing style. Webb’s intuition was also strong as Smyle’s jabs were instantly blocked by Webb who propped up his gloves and denied Smyle access to his face due to his stiff forearms. Smyle, though, was undeterred and kept a pressured, come-forward approach. If Smyle was to find success, he’d need to back Webb onto the ropes and keep fighting on the inside. In the final minute, a toe-to-toe battle almost ensued with Smyle even clipping Webb on the chin. Smyle was dominant in the last 60 seconds but Webb’s work in the opening two minutes wins him the round. Tough three minutes to score – the judges could well be split.
Smyle introduced a switch-hitting style in the third round, he began the stanza in the southpaw stance, perhaps in an effort to confuse Webb, however, within 30 seconds he returned to his natural orthodox posture.
Webb’s movement had slowed somewhat… he may feel he was ahead on the scorecard and so was trying to conserve energy for the final. Webb landed a head shot, fighting his way off the ropes before moving around the ring. Occasionally he’d tie up, but this would last less than a second before he’d fight his way out of trouble. Smyle was being out-boxed but not out-punched as he landed a tough one-two either side of Webb’s ribs.
Fight of the night candidate. Fantastic three rounds.