Alan Dawson – London
The supporting card at Liverpool’s Olympia on Saturday, January 21 featured a number of notable prospects all recording strong, encouraging victories. Former mixed martial artist Dillian Whyte – a finely cut heavyweight – beat up Hastings Rasani in a four rounder and cruiserweight Danny Price showed good power in knocking Tayar Mehmed off of his feet. Kevin Satchell made Martin Power feel like a past his prime veteran as he out-classed the former domestic champion in every department. Tom Little and Gary Cornish also triumphed.
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Official verdict: Referee’s verdict of 40-36 in favour of Whyte.
A sparring partner of MMA star Rampage Jackson, Dillian ‘the Villain’ Whyte caught Rasani cold three times in the first round and clearly contained the sort of power that could trouble a battle-tested tough man. Whyte boxed well and varied his output: hooking lefts to the midsection, overhand rights to the skull and unloading on power shots… considering the punches he threw in rounds one and two, Rasani did extremely well to remain on his feet, however, the look on his face was one of a man who was feeling extraordinary pain.
Whyte, with long arms and hard fists that were extended like accurate melee weapons, old manned Hastings Rasani. Much will be made of Whyte’s attack: his sheer strength, his undoubted power, his ability to land, yet his defence, too, was astute. He kept himself protected at all times. He applied a traditional high guard where his right glove would provide a cushion to left hooks launched by Rasani and, for a 230lb, 6’4+ athlete, his upper body movement appeared as intuitive and timely as a light heavyweight.
If Rasani evaded Whyte’s lead jab, the attacker did not hesitated to follow up with a clubbing right hand that had one intention – to dent Hastings’ cheekbone. When he missed the right, though, he was found to be well off balance and almost gloved down on the canvas. What was perhaps most impressive from Whyte (4-0-0, 1ko), though, was the precision and the accuracy as, after four completed rounds, he had thrown 202 and landed 97, giving him an accuracy percentage of 48.
“I’m pleased to beat him but I wanted to use my jab more,” said Whyte, 26, to Sky Sports after his win. “I kept on hurting him… the young man in me wants to go for the kill but I’m still learning.”
His trainer, Chris Okoh, added: “He’s got a lot of ability. It’s still early days but I think he’s got a good future in the heavyweights.”
Official verdict: Four round points victory in favour of Price.
Undefeated 23-year-old Price (no relation to main event fighter David), took on Tayar Mehmed over four threes and boxed with accuracy, ring smarts whilst looking like an emerging body snatcher due to all his attention to the Bulgarian’s chest and sides. In round two’s dying moments, Price put Mehmed down with a hellacious tiger uppercut from mid-range. Mehmed managed to get to his feet but, midway through the count, the ring clock sounded and so Mehmed benefited from an immediate one minute’s respite.
Fighting with a maturity that belied his age and professional inexperience, Price threw textbook one-two combinations and demonstrated an understanding of range. Considering his technical superiority and the authority he fought with throughout the four rounds, Price (3-0-0, 1ko) finished the fight in a languid manner as he eased off the gas to conclude a victory that was never in doubt.
“I’ve sparred with David Price so hope I kept him sharp,” said the 200lber to Sky Sports. “I feel like I benefited from that [his third pro fight]. I’m excited to go on.”
Many fighters make proclamations of their domestic title intentions and beyond, when they still hold prospect status, so it was somewhat refreshing when Danny Price said that all he hopes for in 2012 is to see marked improvements in his boxing: “I don’t care where I am in December as long as I’ve improved. I want to see improvement – that’s good enough for me as I’ll get there eventually.”
Elsewhere on the card, two of Frank Maloney’s other huge heavyweights with huge potential Tom Little (3-0-0, 0ko) and Gary Cornish (5-0-0, 2ko) both recorded points wins over Remigijus Ziausys and Igoris Borucha, respectively. Super flyweight Kevin Satchell (7-0-0, 0ko) also defeated former British bantamweight titlist Martin Power in a six rounder.