Alan Dawson – London
Chris Eubank Jr extended his undefeated professional streak to five as he easily dispatched of Terry Carruthers on Saturday, July 7 at the Hand Arena in Clevedon, Somerset. Eubank Jr excelled in all areas where it counted… ring movement, IQ, speed and his ability to throw combinations with precision. Carruthers, though, displayed good durability and did well to hear the final bell…
Official verdict: Eubank Jr wins referee’s decision.
With his trademark aesthetically-pleasing boxing style, Eubank Jr – a chip off the old block – uppercut to perfection, threw acute body shots that caused grimacing damage and jabbed well to the braincase and the body before returning to his stool composed and as if he was enjoying a sparring session as opposed to a six round task against a journeyman with a level win/loss record.
With a swift pace, fast fists and forward steps, Eubank Jr (5-0-0, 2ko) worked his punch combinations excellently in the second round and opened up a ghastly cut on Carruthers’ face. Not only was his flurrying on point, but his uppercut continued to prove a reliable and accurate weapon. Carruthers (11-12-6, 1ko), though, was by no means a punching bag and did manage to slip and duck under some of Eubank Jr’s shots, however, the sheer precision from his opponent meant he could not block all the work and found difficulty preventing punches coming through to his body.
“I’m shocked, stunned and amazed… Carruthers is tough, bleeding,” Chris Eubank Sr, sat ringside, said to Channel 5 midway through the fight. “Christopher has his work cut out. This is the best fight I’ve seen for a few months! I’d like to hear what Al Bernstein is saying! It’s magnificent.”
Such an appraisal may have looked favourably on Carruthers as, while he was a game fighter, he was a number of levels below Eubank Sr’s son and, like he had in the preceding rounds, he targeted Carruthers’ body in the fourth round, lost the jabbing battle and could not match his combination work.
Heading into the fifth, Eubank Jr still had the complexion of a fighter entering the first session… his mouth was closed and he was breathing easily – both signs that his condition was sterling. The same, perhaps, could not be said of Carruthers as the sheer volume of shots peppered around his abdomen and ribs took their toll and his energy levels were not as high as they were earlier in the bout.
Finishing the six rounder strong, Eubank Jr looked for the stoppage, landing big shots to the head and body but Carruthers too refused to slouch from action and landed his own heavy shots. Winning a referee’s decision and receiving a standing ovation, Eubank Jr will have only added to his fanbase as, like main attraction in Somerset; Tyson Fury, he excelled in one more city stop on his boxing tour of Britain.
Alan Dawson – London
Popular Brighton-based pugilistic novice Chris Eubank Jr defeated Harry Matthews in a six round middleweight duel at the Hillsborough Leisure Centre in Sheffield on Saturday, May 12. Showing his typical wide array of punches, Eubank Jr exercised useful straights and hooks yet did not have everything his own way as Matthews was a game fighter spurred on by local support…
Official verdict: Eubank via referee’s decision.
While promoter Mick Hennessy’s premier prizefighter Tyson Fury attracts criticism for the perceived ‘domestic level’ opposition he faces, there is little question that, as a four fight novice, Eubank Jr is continuously matched tough. Not only was he propelled into six rounders from his debut professional appearance onwards, but he has also lined up against a cage fighter, an undefeated Scotsman and, in Yorkshire this weekend, an experienced local with a sterling winning record.
A cerebral fighter, Eubank Jr collected the dominant score in the opening round but rounds two and three were both competitive. Eubank Jr was patient in his punch output but his seeming tentativeness allowed Matthews to pressure, however, it was Eubank Jr who timed his shots well and also showed he was the clean puncher.
“It seems to me like he is taking it easy, he is feeling out the terrain and I think this is going well for him,” said Chris Eubank Sr, a proud father and two-weight world champion in his own right, who was sitting ringside studying his son’s performance.
Eubank Sr was not worried about Matthews’ ability to hang with Eubank Jr and, when addressing Channel 5, indicated that his offspring was simply assessing his opponent’s strengths and weaknesses: “We are yet to see if [Matthews] is the toughest opponent to date. Chris is in learning mode, feeling him out so let’s see what happens.”
The two punches Eubank Jr was dispatching most successfully were the straight right hand followed by the left hook, yet, despite the two-punch flurrying, there was little sustained aggression so Matthews was able to box back, albeit with not as much success.
“It’s a good learning fight for Eubank Jr,” said Fury, when Eubank Jr – who fought with a hashtag of #teameubank on his trunks – had completed five rounds. “From what I’ve seen from his professional outings so far there have been no mistakes.”
Whilst Eubank Jr edged the prior stanzas, there was no doubt who was the superior fighter in the sixth and final round as Eubank Jr loaded up on powerful hook punches looped in from wide. Looking for the Hollywood finish, Eubank Jr asserted himself aggressively, shook up Matthews’ foundations with hooks and uppercuts but was unable to close the show.
“I had the guy under control after three rounds,” he said in his dressing room. “I need to get rounds in so I worked on defence and foot movement so it was a great learning curve for me. I knew I could have stopped him but you don’t learn anything from throwing wild punches and getting guys out of there in one or two rounds.”
Eubank Sr added: “I really do not need to say much as his calibre says it all. I like the fact that he took his time, he stood back and felt his way around the ring. He was soaking up the experience. In terms of his [Matthews'] strength, it was a good calibre of opponent.”
With victory, Eubank Jr jumped up to 4-0-0, 2ko. Matthews fell to 12-6-1, 2ko.
Alan Dawson – London
Fast-rising British super bantamweight Abdul Barry Awad, commonly known by his fistic moniker Kid Galahad, deconstructed a game and resilient Josh Wale at the Hillsborough Leisure Centre in Sheffield on Saturday, May 12. His hand-speed, general boxing ability, precision and intuitive movement were all too much for Wale to cope with and the B-side fighter’s eyes were a swollen mess as early as the middle rounds, prompting a later stoppage.
Official verdict: Galahad via ninth round TKO.
Kid Galahad’s technique, precision and gun-slinging punching ability – a typical trait of the Ingle Gym in the Wincobank area of Sheffield – was evident from round one as the undefeated prospect dominated Josh Wale from the off. The 22-year-old boxed circles around the durable Wale, who took numerous shots clean to the right side of the jaw, the nose, the belt-line and the solar plexus.
When Wale abandoned the jab, he allowed Galahad to further enhance his own accuracy as there was no lead punch to perturb him from action. With his fists thrown from waist level, Galahad’s punching style was largely unorthodox and, as the fight progressed, the contest seemed to be more of an exhibition rather than a competitive match-up. Wale’s eyes, for instance, in the second and third rounds, were closing up due to severe swelling.
Whilst Galahad’s general hand speed raises commendation, his defensive acumen is also worthy of note. He has little guard to speak of but because his upper-body movement is so intuitive, he is able to veer away from danger whilst taking minimal damage. Wale adopted a peek-a-boo stance and was largely a come-forward type of fighter and so Galahad picked Wale apart by boxing and moving, slipping and sliding and represented a considerably frustrating opponent to square off against.
The swellings around Wale’s eyes became so severe that, by round five, one had burst and had begun to to leak claret. In round six, Galahad’s smoothness had paled somewhat, perhaps due to a natural slowing of speed but perhaps too due to Wale’s will but, despite mild issues, it was the Kid who still controlled the tempo and the style of the fight. If Wale was to turn the tide, then the primary thing to negate would have been Galahad’s left hook as a lack of a high right mitt meant Kid was able to check Josh’s jaw on numerous occasions.
Wale attempted to close the gap in round seven but, when he took the necessary steps forward into the pocket, Galahad would shove him back to mid-range where he was able to double and treble up on the jab. A second way Galahad thwarted Wale’s desire for an inside fight was to land a six to nine inch uppercut, repeatedly, onto the underside of Wale’s chin.
“The little kid is very tough and he’s one of the best [prospects] in Britain,” Channel 5‘s heavyweight star Tyson Fury announced mid-fight, before adding that “he now needs to get him [Wale] out of there.”
Indeed, for all of Galahad’s technical prowess, to really impress and help accelerate Sunday headlines, knockouts are sometimes a necessity, however, Kid – in his 11 fights prior to Wale – had only stopped four opponents. Known more for his defence, hand-speed and ring IQ, punch power was an attribute he had yet to fully level up on.
Whilst no canvassing had occurred, the referee’s inclination to stop the fight began in round nine when he temporarily halted combat in order to instruct the ringside physician to examine Wale’s cuts, which had become numerous, gory and bloody, yet the doctor declared that the lacerations did not compromise his vision or health.
A sharp-shooter, Galahad was able to tee off on Wale with two-punch combinations with ease before motioning away from danger himself. Whilst Wale would have always wanted to continue, he was, for the most part, taking un-necessary punishment when there was only going to be one winner. Between rounds nine and ten, the decision was made on Wale’s behalf to withdraw him from the contest as the durable Josh – who had only once been retired in three past losses – suffered a fourth defeat as Galahad was, largely, punch perfect.
“He’s a lot tougher than I thought he was, he took hard shots but I knew I could take him out,” said Galahad to Al Bernstein post-fight. “I wanted to see if he had strength in his punches. I picked [Wale] off, found my range, my timing, boom! I was too quick, too strong and he under-estimated my strength and also my inside fighting. I knew it was just a matter of time [before he was stopped]. Before [past opponent] Jason Booth I was only operating at 40 percent but I showed then [and now] why I’m going to be great.”
Campaigning in a quality-heavy division in both Britain and abroad, Galahad expressed his readiness and eagerness to box any of Scott Quigg, Rendall Munroe, Carlo Frampton or even Kiko Martinez: “I think I’m top [in Britain] if any of them want me, I want them.”
Chief promoter Mick Hennessy commented: “It was a masterclass. If you look at any of his opponents’ faces, this kid has power, believe it.”
With victory, Galahad rose to 12-0-0, 5ko while Wale’s wobble saw him fall to 14-4-1, 7ko.
All Pictures: Tom Casino/Showtime
Puerto Rican pair Thomas Dulorme and Jonathan Gonzalez remained undefeated with impressive victories on Friday on ShoBox: The New Generation. In the main event, Dulorme (14-0-0, 11ko), of Puerto Rico, captured the vacant NABF welterweight title with a devastating first round KO over late substitute Aris Ambriz (16-3-1, 8ko) of California. Super welterweight Gonzalez (15-0-0, 13ko), also of Puerto Rico, opened the telecast with a solid, hard-fought unanimous ten round decision over Ohio man Billy Lyell (24-11-2, 5ko) at Chumash Casino Resort.
Dulorme mostly overwhelmed Ambriz, twice knocking him down, the first time with a powerful left hook. A wobbly Ambriz, who took the fight on one week’s notice after Jose Reynoso withdrew with an injury, made it to his feet, but moments after absorbing a couple more solid shots, went down from a right hand that left him out and flat on his back.
“I was prepared physically and mentally to go ten rounds and I didn’t come in looking for a knockout, so for it to end in the first round was a present for me,” said Dulorme, who’s ranked in the top ten by both the WBA and WBC. “I’ll be back in the gym on Monday trying to learn more. That’s what I do best. Every time I step in the gym it’s all about learning.”
Gonzalez, more workman-like than spectacular, won a solid fight with continual two-way action by the scores of 98-92 and 97-93 (x 2). There were no knockdowns.
“I’m happy with the result and the way this fight went,” said Gonzalez, who is ranked by three of the four boxing organizations and was making his first start in eight months. “I expected a hard fight and I trained for a tough guy who had fought a lot of good punchers who couldn’t knock him out. We knew he was a worthy opponent.
“Lyell was tough but it was clear that I won. I felt I was in control and that I hurt him a couple times. I had a few rounds where I allowed a couple flurries, but they always hit the gloves and I was never hurt. I hope to get back into the ring again soon.”
Lyell, who comes to win, always gives his best and had his Youngstown buddy, former world champion Kelly Pavlik in his corner for introductions, had no complaints with the decision, or the scoring.
“He won, probably seven rounds to three, so I have nothing to gripe about,” Lyell said. “My plan was to go in and back him up, but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t believe how strong he was.”
ShoBox expert analyst Steve Farhood, who called the doubleheader alongside blow-by-blow announcer Al Bernstein, was impressed with both 22-year-old winners.
“Dulorme has it all as a prospect,” Farhood said. “He has a pleasing personality, good looks, and when he scores a knockout his opponent is left flat on the canvas, and that separates him from the pack. He’s as exciting a prospect as we’ve seen on ShoBox in quite a while.”
Speaking of Gonzalez, Farhood said: “The difference in this fight was clearly Gonzalez’ obvious advantages in size and strength. The fact his fight went the distance is in no way a negative because of the quality of opponent he was in with.”
On The Beak – Admin
The International Boxing Hall of Fame and Museum in Canastota, New York, announced today, December 6, the newest class of inductees to enter the Hall. Living inductees include multi-division champion Thomas “Hitman” Hearns, two-division champion Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson, “Let’s Get Ready To Rumble” ring announcer Michael Buffer, trainer Freddie Roach, broadcaster Al Bernstein and journalist Michael Katz.
“We’re extremely excited about the Class of 2012 and very much looking forward to honoring the 23rd class of inductees,” said Executive Director Edward Brophy.
The 23rd Annual Hall of Fame Weekend is scheduled for June 7-10th in Canastota, NY. Over 20 events, including a golf tournament, banquet, parade and autograph card show, are planned. An impressive celebrity lineup of boxing greats of yesterday and today will attend this year’s Induction Weekend. The highlight of the weekend will be the Official Enshrinement Ceremony on the Hall of Fame Museum Grounds in Canastota, New York on Sunday, June 10th to welcome the newest members.
The Hall of Fame also released names of posthumous honorees: Cocoa Kid in the Modern Category; Newsboy Brown, Leo Houck and Jake Kilrain in the Old-Timer Category; promoters Hugh D. McIntosh and Rip Valenti in the Non Participant Category; and James Wharton (Young Molineaux) in the Pioneer Category. Inductees were voted in by members of the Boxing Writers Association and a panel of international boxing historians.
For more information on the events planned for the 2012 International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend, please call the Hall of Fame at (315) 697-7095, visit online at www.ibhof.com, on Facebook at www.ibhof.com/InternationalBoxingHallofFame and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BoxingHall.
“To me this is an amazing accomplishment. It makes me so happy to know that I made it after all these years and so many fights. I’m thrilled! Muhammad Ali is my idol. He’s the man that got me into the boxing business. It’s great that I will be on the Hall of Fame Wall with him.”
– Thomas Hearns
“This is wonderful! This is an awesome moment for me. The Hall of Fame is the biggest award that an athlete can receive. I strived my whole career to be in the Hall. I can’t say enough. This is a dream come true, just wonderful.”
– Mark Johnson
“Oh my God. I’m so overwhelmed. I can barely speak. I’m instantly overwhelmed. When I think of all the great inductees, from legends from 100 years ago to so many great fighters and non-participants that are now being inducted, to be thought of in such great company is the greatest compliment I can receive in my career in boxing.”
– Michael Buffer
“I appreciate this very much. This the best day of my life! It’s a great honor to join trainers like Ray Arcel, Eddie Futch and Angelo Dundee in the Hall of Fame.”
– Freddie Roach
“I appreciate this very much. I’m actually kind of dumbstruck. Wow! I’m overwhelmed, really. (Hall of Fame broadcaster) Don Dunphy was a great mentor to me and a great idol. Just the thought of being in the same place as him is special. I’m very active in the sport of boxing and I have lots of things I’m looking forward to in the future and this is great because it validates the past, it validates being involved in the sport. I couldn’t be more excited. One of the unique qualities of the Boxing Hall of Fame is the fact that it places an importance on those of us who aren’t boxers but hopefully have added something to the sport.”
– Al Bernstein
“I’m very, very excited! I’m more than honored. I’m shocked to be listed with guys like Jimmy Cannon, Dan Parker, Dave Anderson and one of my all-time idols Barney Nagler. This is incredible and one of the greatest all-time honors that I could ever imagine.”
– Michael Katz
Al Bernstein – Showtime
The bantamweight doubleheader of the world title rematch between Abner Mares and Joseph Agbeko, that is supported with an undercard bout that pits Anselmo Moreno against Vic Darchinyan on Saturday, December 3 could be one of the best cards of the year, according to Showtime Boxing analyst Al Bernstein. The card at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California will be broadcast on Showtime Network at 21:00.
“The bantamweight division is one of the best in boxing and and this [event] features perhaps the four best fighters in the division,” Al said. He added: “The Mares v Agbeko rematch is obviously a potential barnburner, but the Moreno-Darchinyan fight is a main event in it’s own right.
“Moreno has been an outstanding fighter for some time but this will put him center stage to an American audience. He’s drawn a tough match with Darchinyan, who is fighting as well as ever.”
Mares and Agbeko fought earlier in the year, in August, with the bantamweight and Showtime tournament titles at stake. Mares won a decision that was marred by low blows and ineffective officiating by the referee.
Al broke the first fight down as thus: “Lost in all the controversy is the fact that this was a great fight. Mares boxed so well in the first portion of the fight and Agbeko mounted a great comeback in the second part. Hopefully, minus any controversy in this rematch, I could see Agbeko starting a little quicker and Mares figuring out a way to keep his good boxing going longer—that will make it a great fight.”
In other news
In a poll on Al Bernstein’s Facebook fan page, Al Bernsteinlive, fans are almost evenly divided on who will win the December 17 final of the Showtime Siper Six Tournament between Andre Ward and Carl Froch.
Bernstein said: “This just shows what a close fight that will be. I think it’s a dead even fight, and so do boxing fans.”
Fans can go here to log on and vote.
Tommy Barber – London
English champion Tyson Fury and defending British and Commonwealth belt holder Dereck Chisora have, on paper, what could well be one of the most gripping domestic title fights in years and there has been no shortage of smack-talk during the build-up. Fury has spoken confidently, while Chisora sees Tyson as a stepping stone…
The two Brits meet at Wembley Arena on Saturday, July 23 and the contest has all the ingredients of a big fight. It’s on terrestrial television in the UK and will have iconic Showtime commentator Al Bernstein calling the shots, is receiving pay-per-view exposure in the US and pits two hungry undefeated athletes against the other (for On The Beak editor Alan Dawson’s take on the fight, click here).
Both men, however, are already looking past the other and arguably see their immediate opponent as a stepping stone or a launchpad to a world title shot against unified champion Wladimir Klitschko who, according to reports, could well be ringside.
“If I am any good and I am going to on and win a world title I should deal with Derek Chisora quite easily and if not then obviously I am not as good as I thought I was,” Fury (14-0-0, 10ko) explained to Boxrec News. ”If I am any good I will win. If I have a close fight with Derek Chisora I am obviously not going to beat Klitschko. If I can’t beat Klitschko then I’m pointless being in the game because I don’t want to be a journeyman and just hang around at British level.”
Despite their relatively similar records, Chisora (14-0-0, 9ko) is regarded by the British bookmakers’ to have the edge on Fury, however, such odds were posted prior to the official weigh-in on Friday, when Chisora registered a career-high 261lbs which was converse to Fury’s 255.5lbs; 15lbs lighter than his rematch with John McDermott last year.
Esteemed trainer Emanuel Steward – owner of the renowned Kronk Gym in Detroit – has an intimate knowledge of both heavyweights, in particular Tyson Fury, whom he has trained and watch spar with premier big man Wladimir.
“Tyson is only 22, but he has skills,” Steward said to On The Ropes radio. “Just the fact that both of these guys have the mindset of winners, I think this is going to be one of the [good] heavyweight fights. This is the heavyweight fight I want to see myself. I know both guys personally. They’re both strong-willed guys much in the same make-up of [Muhammad] Ali and [Smokin' Joe] Frazier.
“I know most people are picking Chisora and probably because of his more professional preparation. Tyson’s sheer physical size; he’s got a good chin, good stamina, and good punch output, also… I think those factors, and being 6’ 9 compared to 6’ 1 is going to be a big problem for Dereck to overcome. I may be a little crazy, but I give a slight edge to Tyson in this fight, mainly because of the physical size and he has good stamina.”
Wladimir, who could be an interested spectator at Wembley, also backs Fury. He said in The Mirror: “He’s tall and he’s almost seven feet. For his size he is flexible and he floats around the ring. He could be a real good boxer if he stays focused because he has talent. I don’t know what he’s like inside, but he definitely has a talent for boxing.”
Such a notion, though, is rejected by rising British prospect David Price. Like Chisora and Fury, Price is also undefeated and is fast developing a reputation for his unforgiving jab and powerful right cross. Price, who could face the winner should he dispose of McDermott in a British title eliminator later this year, labels Fury “technically flawed” and cannot see past a Chisora victory.
“Dereck Chisora should win but it depends on the night and whether the talk has effected him,” Price said in the Liverpool Echo. “Fury is technically flawed yet very tough and is big and heavy. However, with his low centre of gravity, I don’t see Chisora being bullied around the ring like Fury will want to happen.”
Chisora also discounts a Fury win and, in fact, foresees a one-sided triumph for himself which will then set-up showdowns with the Price and McDermott winner and David Haye. He told The Star: “After I whup Tyson Fury, I will fight the next most eligible opponent, like the winner of David Price or John McDermott. I also hear Audley Harrison has been calling me out but he had better stay in Las Vegas because no-one would pay to see me eat him up.
“I’d also fuck up David Haye – blow his ass off. The guy disrespects the sport, talking about putting people in wheelchairs. Cut out all his talk and bullshit and I am far more vicious than him. I would walk through him. I am number one in Britain now and I have got all the belts.”