Alan Dawson – London
Colossal-sized British heavyweight David Price, 29, enhanced his unblemished record to 15-0-0, 13ko on Friday, November 30 at Aintree Equestrian Centre in Liverpool as the British and Commonwealth title holder knocked Matt Skelton down and out in swift fashion. Skelton put it on him during brief moments but, when Price flurried, his fists looked fast and powerful.
Official verdict: Price by way of 2nd Rd KO.
Within moments of the opening bell, Matt Skelton (28-7-0, 23ko) enjoyed something rare. He had David Price against the ropes and snapped his neck back twice with short-range punching. In the same minute, after Price attempted to occupy the middle of the ring, it happened again. And again.
Eventually, Price settled into his groove, operated behind his range-finding jab and followed up with his signature shot – a dynamite overhand right. The longer the round wore on, the more it became clear it was Price’s stanza… barring the first minute, it was he who controlled the pace, the distance and forced Skelton to taste a sample of his power.
Round two initially lacked activity largely because of the challenger’s style. It was not pretty and hasn’t been in his preceding outings, but it has proved effective on a respectable level. The notable action included an uppercut that was thrown well by Price but handled even better by Skelton. The veteran managed to maneuvre out of a mid-round flurry but a later unrelenting bombardment proved a cul de sac for Skelton.
Price pounded away at Skelton’s ribs, shellacking his midsection before the challenger crumpled to the canvas. His corner threw in the towel yet the referee had his back to the blue corner and started counting… all the way up to ten. Skelton was kayoed, Price triumphant and an undefeated knockout-winning run continued.
Commenting on the initial attack from Skelton, Price said to Box Nation: “Matt put it on me straight away, we didn’t expect that.” He added: “It was a bit scrappy at times. I made a statement by taking him out in two rounds. I’ve done a professional job I think.”
Welterweight ace Ronnie Heffron is aiming to destroy his hero Ricky Hatton‘s gym mate Denton Vassell on Friday, 30 November to become Commonwealth champion. The 22-year-old Oldham fighter faces unbeaten champion Vassell on the big Manchester Arena card that features the professional heavyweight debut of former cricketer Freddie Flintoff.
Hatton makes his return to the ring tomorrow night, also at the Manchester Arena, against Vyacheslav Senchenko and Bob Shannon, trainer of Hatton and Vassell, has said that with Vassell training alongside The Hitman it has shown him what’s needed to get to the top.
But special talent Heffron, who’s unbeaten in eleven fights, and has been hailed as the new Ricky Hatton with his exciting, all-action, style says this won’t help him: “Ricky’s a big hero of mine, as well as a lot of other boxers of my generation, and one of the main reasons that I got into boxing,” said Heffron. “I used to go to all his big fight nights in Manchester and said that one day that will be me in there headlining the big cards and now I’m there in the main event against Vassell.
“I know that Ricky’s been training and sparring with Vassell and giving him advice which has probably given him a boost, but that won’t do him any good when he’s in the ring against me. At the end of the day it’s just me and him in there. No disrespect to Vassell, he’s unbeaten and the champion, but this is my time now where I come out and prove that I’m the real thing by ripping the title from him.
“It’s going to be a great fight for the fans and BoxNation viewers, I’m sure Flintoff will be a big hit in his pro debut, but the fight fans will get a real tear up between me and Vassell.”
Tommy Barber – London
Nathan Cleverly extended his reign as WBO light heavyweight world champion as he won every round against challenger Tommy Karpency at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales on Saturday, February 25. Cleverly’s conditioning and left hooks to the body overshadowed anything Karpency did, who failed to really pull the trigger and showed sparring partner instincts by surviving to hear the final bell.
Official verdict: Cleverly wins by way of unanimous decision.
Wales is two-thirds of it’s way into completing a unique sporting hat-trick in a single weekend as, following on from the Welsh national rugby union team’s last-gasp 19-12 victory over England at Twickenham in the Six Nations, and on the eve of Cardiff City Football Club’s attempt to claim the League Cup against Liverpool on Sunday, Nathan Cleverly smashed his way through American challenger Tommy Karpency to make a successful third defence of the WBO light heavyweight world title.
With his chin tucked in and his gloves protecting, Cleverly showed good hand-speed and fought on the front-foot as he assessed Karpency, who was able to hook around the champion’s head-high guard. A piston-like jab, an accurate overhand right and sporadic head movement gave Cleverly the win in the first stanza.
In the second round, Cleverly popped the one-two combination out with increasing regularity, while also thudding his left into Karpency’s ribs. Bossing the contest with his punch output and retention of the centre of the ring, Karpency was limited to minor flurries which landed on the Welshman’s gloves.
Karpency had a better third round, landing shots to the champion’s face but his own midsection was reddening due to Cleverly’s continued attention to the body. Cleverly is oft criticised for being perceived as a fighter with vast holes in his defensive game but versus Tommy, his guard did it’s job of blocking and parrying. His attack, as has been his tradition, was his best asset as he systematically beat Karpency up with a pressure-fighting tactic.
Such physical abuse had taken it’s toll on Karpency as, between rounds, his father/trainer implored Tommy to back Cleverly up but the fighter had the look of a beaten man, shook his head and said he was too tired – a clear consequence of all the body shots Cleverly had pounded him with. Midway through the fifth, Karpency kept his right arm down, as if to protect his side from Cleverly’s left hand but, when he did so, Cleverly would instead target the head, forcing Karpency to raise his guard again.
In the sixth, Clev combined the left hook to the body with the uppercut. Karpency did throw more, buoyed by the motivation from his corner, but Cleverly’s unwilting pressure yielded rewards as he forced Karpency into retreat with hook shots and left uppercuts. Right hands directed flush onto the jaw in the seventh made the challenger think twice about re-entering an exchange of slugs and he remained timid on the outside.
Cleverly had Karpency backed against the red corner for much of round nine as the opponent covered up, only returning single fire shots while a furious Cleverly changed into a higher gear, laying shot after shot after shot onto the American like he was his trainer’s mitts in the gym at Planet Fitness in Aberbargoed. The sustained attack finally made Karpency accept he couldn’t take it and he motioned away from the danger zone.
Showing good energy, incredible fitness, swift fists and a relentless punch output, Cleverly closed the fight like he had started it, in the ascendancy, with the ten scores in all the rounds to shut Karpency out completely. The challenger landed a paltry 87 shots from 692 thrown (a 13 percent success rate) which paled in comparison to the 374 punches Cleverly landed from a staggering 987 thrown (38 percent).
“I can tell you one thing,” began Clev – who has shared a ring with Tony Bellew and Karo Murat – to BoxNation after his points triumph. “Out of every light heavyweights I’ve fought, he hits the hardest and I’ve met some big punchers.
“I landed a few body shots, I thought he was wilting but he has good experience and he began to relax. He’s strong and very durable. I had to settle for points in the end. I didn’t take too many shots. There’s plenty more to come from me,” he added.
Prominent British boxing promoter Frank Warren commented that he still hopes to land Cleverly a unification fight in a football stadium. He said: “Hopefully we’ll go for a unification fight… I’ve been talking to Golden Boy about Bernard Hopkins but I think Chad Dawson may have [Hopkins'] number.
“I think Hopkins will bring out the best in Cleverly, we’d do a great show in Millennium Stadium or in Cardiff City.”
Cleverly preserved his unbeaten streak in professional boxing and moves to 24-0-0, 11ko.
Tommy Barber – London
Enzo Maccarinelli blasted Ciaren Healy out in just two rounds, digging a number of debilitating shots into the sides of the Northern Irishman’s body and canvassing him twice before to winning a referee’s stoppage in the second round of his stay-busy fight at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales on Saturday, February 25. Maccarinelli now takes on Shane McPhilbin next month and has targeted a future fight with compatriot Nathan Cleverly.
Official verdict: Maccarinelli wins due to a referee’s stoppage.
Enzo Mac held back the tears as the tough Welshman struggled to compose himself due to the recent passing of his father, however, he was far from compassionate when in the ring as he exhibited a brutal body-punching clinic by hooking power shots to either side of Healy’s midriff. One of the heaviest hitters in British boxing, Maccarinelli’s dedication to the body was one that paid near instant dividends as Healy, twice fallen in the second round, was prevented from continued participation in the contest as the referee deemed Healy in no fit position to continue.
“Everyone knows I’m a left hook fighter,” said Maccarinelli to BoxNation following the official announcement of his second round technical knockout triumph.
“[Trainer] Enzo Calzaghe has been working on my right hook more… I could have got the first round win but it was due to a lack of rounds. [experience into his comeback].”
There is no rest for the 31-year-old, a former champion of the WBO and lesser regarded WBU cruiserweight world championship, as Maccarinelli returns to the ring on March 23, making a one-fight light heavyweight exit to box at cruiserweight again as he challenges current British championship incumbent Shane McPhilbin at the Civic Hall in Wolverhampton.
“I want to fight at light heavyweight but I’ve always wanted that British championship, I’ve never had it, so when [promoter] Francis [Warren] offered Shane McPhilbin I wanted it.”
On his plans beyond McPhilbin, Maccarinelli sent a warning to fellow Welshman Nathan Cleverly, who took on Tommy Karpency in the Motorpoint Arena’s main event. He said: “I feel like I’m comfortable and capable beating any of the world champion, so a dust-up with Nathan Cleverly would be massive and it would be a massive dust-up as well.”
Maccarinelli is now 34-5-0, 27ko.
Tommy Barber – London
Prospect checker Paul Morby lasted the full eight round distance with emerging super welterweight pugilist Liam Smith on Saturday, February 25 at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales, however, there was little boxing from the opponent by the fight’s end as he resorted to spoiling as Smith’s superiority had shone from opening bell to closing due to a good work-rate, sterling precision and wise shot selection.
Official verdict: Referee’s decision awarded to Smith.
Boxing in blue trunks with gold trim, Smith sought to attack Morby effectively as early as the opening round. He fought on the front-foot while Morby danced around the ring’s periphery, he kept his gloves high in an orthodox guard, scored with the right cross shot and flurried well. Morby, meanwhile, adopted the posture of a sharp-shooter yet his punching was by no means as precise and, by the round’s end, that languid stance had transformed into a shell as attempted to block Beefy’s bombardment.
Morby had more success with his jab in round two yet the more eye-catching and, indeed, damaging blows came from Smith, whose finest shot was a hooking right that cracked into Morby’s cheekbone.
A textbook one-two combination (range-finding jab followed up with an accurate overhand right), together with his left hook punch that was causing Morby problems, were both highlights of Smith’s arsenal in round three. One additional advantage was his neat footwork. He led with his left foot and edged three inches forward with every movement, always keen to close the gap and take the fight to a retreating yet resilient journeyman.
In the fourth, there was holding as Morby attempted to deflate Smith’s confidence with spoiling tactics. Indeed, the undefeated Liverpudlian was buoyed by his ability to find the target and in the fourth round alone he landed with check uppercuts, tortuous straight shots into the torso, hooking punches into the midsection and further uppercuts to the chin – all in one swift flurry.
By the fifth, it was clear that Morby’s intention was to earn his cheque by going the distance as he got his earmuff guard up – abandoning the low hand style he began the bout with – and simply refused to trade with Smith, who saw a vast majority of his shots parried by Morby’s gloves.
Morby was deducted a point in the sixth round due to excessive holding. In the penultimate stanza, Smith upped the tempo, stuck his jab onto the 32-year-old southpaw and also landed with power when he threw his right cross, the uppercut and the right hook. Any chance he had of obtaining the stoppage, though, was twice taken away from him as the third man in the ring – rightly – ordered Morby to his corner in order to 1: have the waist-line and back-protector in his trunks re-aligned and then, moments later, 2: have his glove re-taped into position. On both occasions, Morby will have gained additional seconds to recuperate…
The solid shots continued into the eighth and, when the chimes of the ring bell concluded the contest, there was only one man who was having his arm raised – Smith. Even though he wasn’t able to stop Morby (who has only been knocked out by heavy-hitting super middleweight Kenny Anderson and light heavyweight prospect Frank Buglioni), the fact he – who normally operates within the confines of the super welterweight division – was able to dominate Morby despite his physical disadvantage was impressive.
Smith’s trainer Joe Gallagher, who has overseen the 23-year-old’s last three fights, told BoxNation that “it was a great performance” from his fighter. He added: “His shot selection was great, so was his timing. His name could be on everybody’s lips by the end of the year, he’s got that much potential.”
With the victory, Smith saw his record propel to 9-0-1, 4ko.
Alan Dawson – London
Boxing in a professional and – aside from a blip in the fifth – a disciplined manner, Kevin Mitchell secured a well-deserved ten round points victory over game lightweight adversary Felix Lora. At London’s York Hall venue in Bethnal Green on Friday, February 10, Mitchell worked the jab, patiently waited to unleash the power shots and landed accurately, all while frustrating Felix due to his consistent avoidance of the Spain-based boxer’s shots.
Official verdict: Mitchell wins a 98-92 points decision.
Following another lengthy absence from the ring, Kevin ‘The Mighty’ Mitchell returned like he had never left. With a raucous noise filling the intimate and grimy York Hall, the East End favourite produced a masterclass in hit and don’t get hit as he struck Lora with heavy artillery while remaining a thoroughly evasive target. The footwork was impressive, the speed of hand proved problematic for his opponent and he scored with left hooks to the face, incredibly accurate jabbing and heavy right hands.
Lora’s work, in comparison to the Dagenham Destroyer, seemed wild and written from a script the Londoner had previously read from as he used upper body movement and foot movement to peel himself away from the Dominican’s fists. Mitchell’s pure boxing strategy paid near instant dividends as Lora was dropped in the second round from a countering left hand that he never saw coming. Lora remained on his knees for the count of eight but swiftly jumped up to continue the contest.
Using the outskirts of the ring, Mitchell’s precision when it came to stepping in and firing a jab or a one-two with an uppercut was in stark contrast to Lora’s inability to land anything meaningful in the fourth. In the fifth, Lora fought with bad intentions… he was angry, loaded up on the haymaking right hands, but still, there was little of note that landed as the home fighter sped away.
A slip on a wet piece of canvas by Mitchell at the end of the fifth seemed to rattle the 27-year-old who appeared loathe to return to the red corner. When the ring bell ended the round, there was a moment of afters as both prizefighters pushed their foreheads into the other. Referee Richard Davies required no second invitation to intervene, though, and pushed Mitchell to the blue corner.
Between rounds, Mitchell had been calmed and, like he was doing in rounds one to four, boxed with more discipline in the sixth. He regained the role of ring general by operating behind his jab that, for Lora, was annoyingly accurate as every time he attempted to throw the wild right, Mitchell would stick a glove in his mouth.
A good listener, Mitchell had been implored by head cornerman Jimmy Tibbs to “jab, jab, jab and the big punch will come”. The big one didn’t in round seven, but the jabbing certainly did as Kevin bloodied the Spain-based fighter’s nose. In rounds eight and nine, Mitchell boxed professionally, with the sort of defensive ability he demonstrated against Breidis Prescott, while landing an astonishingly high number of his jabs.
In the tenth and final round, Lora came out aggressive but settled down in the second minute. When Lora sought to club a right hand over the top, Mitchell eased his way out of the danger zone and into safety. With his back against the ropes, he ducked one, twice, thrice – all successfully – under the swinging fists of Lora. In the final minute, Mitchell turned the tables on Lora by staggering and dazing Lora who was mere moments from collapsing because of the sheer force of the overhand right. However, a clinch managed to restore the senses and Lora was able to last the distance.
“I knew I could have put him out and wanted to show in the tenth that I could do that but I wanted to save myself for the Burns fight,” Mitchell commented after the announcement of his win. Speaking to BoxNation and after it was revealed he would make an appearance on the George Groves v Kenny Anderson undercard on March 16, Mitchell then sent a message to 135lb rival and current WBO lightweight world championship incumbent; Ricky Burns: “Let’s get it on, champ!”
Mitchell’s trainer Jimmy Tibbs was elated to see his ward get the rounds in. He said: “Obviously I’m very pleased with the ten rounds, he boxed to orders, he got him down in the second round… he let him back in the fight just because he wanted to. That’s Kevin.”
With the win, Mitchell moved to 33-1-0, 24ko.
Alan Dawson – London
Well schooled boxer Bradley Skeete produced another clinic in stick-and-move tactics against Laszlo Komjathi at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London on Friday, February 10. Komjathi was never in the fight despite his come-forward nature as he struggled to impose himself on the constant mover. Skeete, though, was able to win a knockdown in the third, but the knockout eluded him…
Official verdict: Skeete wins referee’s decision.
In classic Bradley Skeete fashion, the Penge pug boxed with great finesse, great fluidity and rhythm and, when he did attack, he posed a clear threat to the fighter imported from Hungary, Laszlo Komjathi.
Having been in the ring with Giuseppi Lauri, Michael Jennings, Rafal Jackiewicz, Marcos Maidana and Andriy Kotelnik, Komjathi had been in with some elite names, building up great experience. Like he had done against the aforementioned, he came forward against Skeete, which played into the Englishman’s advantages as he picked off his man with clever two to three punch combos; the jab/right cross move working marvelously for the rangy welterweight who, by the third round, was beginning to back Komjathi up.
Right hands forced onto the jawline and unorthodox punches fired from awkward angles troubled Komjathi who touched the canvas with his glove and was forced to take a mandatory eight count during the third’s proceedings, however, Skeete was unable to force the pressure and so allowed Komjathi ample time to recover.
In rounds four and five, Komjathi was back to boxing on the front-foot while Skeete continued to amass rounds with the double-jab and the right cross, his ability to use the whole space of the ring and also his patience. While Skeete has obvious athleticism, his defensive acumen is also built up on an ability to parry, something that appeared instinctive rather than looking to maneuver out of the pocket.
During the sixth round, Skeete momentarily switched from orthodox to southpaw to back again in a highlight of his ease with Laszlo. He also incorporated the uppercut with increasing regularity into his fistic repertoire yet there was a distinct lack of bodywork as he exclusively targeted the head.
In the seventh, Skeete took heed of the advice from his corner and put his front foot forward and began striking Komjathi with enhanced power. When Skeete boxed, he was brilliant. He could pick Komjathi off with solitary jabs and two-punch flurries without getting his face dirty, he moved around the ring’s periphery with grace, yet the trouble was, he did this for always. It gets the wins – like it did over eight threes versus Komjathi – but it quietened the York Hall audience who saw Skeete could trouble, dent and put Komjathi on the deck but persisted with the box-and-move strategy.
“You saw I put him down but after I hurt my hand,” Skeete explained to BoxNation when asked if he thought he could have gotten rid of his seventh pro opponent. “He’s got the hardest head! I live clean, I only got the call Tuesday to fight so I took it. I got eight rounds in. It’s all learning. I’m not blowing them all away but it’s putting me in good stead.”
Skeete moved to 7-0-0, 2ko with the triumph.
Alan Dawson – London
Journeyman fighter Ryan Clark attempted to play down Frank Buglioni‘s power by engaging in kidology but it was not long before that was punched out of him as Buglioni, who boxed with power in the opening round, changed gears in the third and had his opponent down at the York Hall in Bethnal Green, London on Friday, February 10. Buglioni sold tickets in their hundreds and next boxes at Wembley Arena on March 16.
Official verdict: Buglioni wins points decision over four threes.
Popular pugilist Frank Buglioni – an emerging gate attraction having sold 400 tickets for a venue that holds little over 1,000 when he is not even the main event – had already shown that he was heavy-handed during his first two fights, as is evidenced by the early knockouts in each and, against Clark, he peppered the body with heavy Grant leather.
Within the first 30 seconds, Clark’s midsection, as well as the sides of his arms, were fiercely red due to the systematic abuse. But that was the sole notable quality of Clark’s during the swordsmanship in the first – his punch resistance. Buglioni, in contrast, produced power, a mature shot selection, intuitive head movement and was consistently the ring general.
In the second, Clark showboated, raised his arms and goaded Buglioni onto him, claiming he was unhurt… that machismo was pounded out of him by the third as he was canvassed by the burgeoning 22-year-old. When he got to his feet, Buglioni stalked his prey looking for the early finish and Clark resorted to spoiling. Clark, though, recovered and boxed his way out of trouble as he gained success by catching Frank with an uppercut, as well as a succession of overhand rights and a left.
For a big man, Buglioni had good speed, demonstrated in the fourth when he would land a two-punch move, duck and step back before Clark had thrown so he managed to evade the shot completely. Buglioni finished well, never letting up on the tempo and aggression he began the fight with and there was never a question over who’s arm would be raised by the third man in the ring as the prospect won a one-sided referee’s decision .
“It was a great fight, a great learning fight,” Buglioni, who raised the roof with his performance, said to BoxNation. “We thought there was a few shots that could hurt him but I might have got caught up trying to please the crowd. It’s something I’m definitely going to learn from this one. I got hit with those four shots [in the third round], and that’s four too many. I need to keep my head a little more.”
Renowned coach Mark Tibbs, who trains his fighters out of the TRAD TKO gym as well as the Peacock gym in Canning Town, commented: “Frank loves a war! He loves a fight. I still want him to have a war and a fight but I want him to tuck up and roll.
“We don’t take shots like that in training.”
Buglioni, who is now 3-0-0, 2ko, got his pro career off to a storming start with a deuce of first round blowouts but with the four rounds against Clark he will have learned more and also has some things – defence, namely – to go back to Canning Town and work on with Tibbs and father Jimmy Tibbs.
Alan Dawson – London
In the most highly-anticipated debutant appearance since Frank Buglioni’s breakthrough to the paid ranks last year, ex amateur star Bradley Saunders boxed resilient Jason Nesbitt and triumphed by way of second round technical knockout. Eager to impress, Saunders got off to a storming start and displayed an eyebrow-raising body-punching attack. However, the stoppage at the York Hall on February 10 was, to criticise the referee, far too early…
Direct link to article.
Official verdict: Morgan wins second round technical knockout.
With an illustrious amateur background behind him, Bradley Saunders fought for pay for the first time on the Kevin Mitchell versus Felix Lora undercard in, surprisingly for a debutant, a contest slated for six threes. In the opening three minutes, he showed precisely why he was so successful as an amateur as he showed great poise, accuracy and bombarded his opponent’s body with tough, near debilitating punches.
When he switched focus to the mush, he staggered Nesbitt, forcing his man to take steps back in retreat. Saunders, when in full swing, was very aggressive, he threw right uppercuts, a get-away-from-me jab and followed that up with an authoritative right cross to form a fluid combination.
Like the first round, Saunders showed it was he who had the more monstrous power as he again dug heavy leather into Nesbitt’s body. One, a fierce punch straight into the solar plexus, backed him into a corner… Saunders motioned into the corner, threw another shot that did not land cleanly and the referee interjected, waved the fight off as Saunders won a technical knockout. Considering Nesbitt’s battle-hardened nature, the decision to stop the seasoned journeyman was premature.
Saunders, relieved with the win that moves him to 1-0-0, 1ko as a professional, on top of his 183 amateur fights with just 19 losses, said to BoxNation: “This was a change for me and this was nervous for me, more nervous than all my amateur fights, including the world amateur championships!”
Praising Nesbitt’s ability to endure, he added: “The shots I hit him with, they hurt my hand, that shows how tough he is!”
Alan Dawson – London
Billy Morgan, a product of the ever-productive conveyor belt of London’s boxing talent – the TRAD TKO gym, outboxed Dan Naylor at the home of British boxing; York Hall in Bethnal Green on Friday, February 10. Morgan appeared to fade in the final round as Naylor’s greater endurance took hold but it was Morgan who produced sterling work in all the rounds prior.
Official verdict: Morgan wins referee’s decision (60-55).
For a novice prizefighter, Billy Morgan has been matched with journeymen of a remarkably high calibre… Sid Razak and Robin Deakin are renowned for their durability and their ability to put prospects in check. Morgan, though, like he had done in all five of his fights prior to Naylor, did not even lose a round as he coasted to victory.
In the first stanza with Naylor, that winning run continued as he owned the role of ring general, showed a boxing nous that belied his relative inexperience and his flurrying completely perturbed his opponent when the going got tough. In the second, Naylor employed an earmuff guard yet Morgan picked his shots wisely, crunching left hands onto the jaw, right cross shots onto the chin and jabs into the nose.
An accurate three-punch combo landed with aplomb in the third as Morgan continued to assert his authority. Morgan, very much an East End lad as he was born and raised in nearby Canning Town; the home of the famous TRAD TKO gym, varied his attack as Naylor was forced to defend shots in swift succession from the head to body.
Naylor, as trial-horses go, was not from the school of those whom box to survive, to make their opponent struggle… instead, he wanted to fight yet this worked against him as he was overwhelmed in corners and trapped against the ropes. In the final moments of the fourth round, Morgan forced him into the red corner and unleashed power shots: overhand rights from long-range, point-blank left hands and precise chin-bound uppercuts all scored in a well-timed flurry.
In the final rounds, Naylor – the fitter of the two as Morgan had never fought beyond four rounds – upped his tempo and it became a pace Morgan was uncomfortable with, failing to match Naylor punch for punch, compromising his own defence and even suffered a cut around his eye that wept mildly until the contest’s end, however, that lag in the sixth did not offset four to five thoroughly dominating stanzas as Morgan got the official win.
“I don’t think I let the fight slip, but I was concentrating on the right hand too much,” said Morgan, explaining the loss to BoxNation after the referee, Richard James Davies, gave him the nod,
Morgan’s strength, conditioner and assistant second, Mark Tibbs, said: “He changed tactics himself, which shows a good thinking fighter. The other guy was walking off with his shots so Billy tried to bring him in. This is welcome to boxing now!”
“I’m 21 so I’ve got some learning to do! It’s learning, y’know, it’s learning,” Morgan added.
“Billy, you boxed fantastically smart,” Tibbs said to his fighter. “You got a cut – it’s the fight game, mate.”
With the win, Morgan extended his record to 6-0-0, 0ko.