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Bellotti Stops Cunningham In Six


By Steven Bateson


Reece Bellotti stopped Jason Cunningham in six to win the Commonwealth Featherweight Championship at York Hall on Friday night. Bellotti had to be behind on the scorecards at the time of the stoppage but his relentless pressure opened doors for him and allowed him to use his power punching to deliver the first stoppage defeat of Cunningham’s career. Bellotti is touted for big things but he looked second best early doors as he followed Cunningham around the ring with a very poor gameplan, he was too easy to hit and allowing the champion to let his shots go and score points. Bellotti was sinking shots to the body when the opportunity arose but he was loading up too much which presented Cunningham with the chances to make the challenger miss and pay with precision countering and an excellent left uppercut that he connected with time and again. But the Watford man has clear belief in his power and it was in round five that it paid dividends, he and Cunningham began to trade centre right and Bellotti nailed a right hook that dropped the champion for an eight count. Although Cunningham survived that scare and saw out the round he didn’t have enough time to recover and the challenger was straight on him at the start of the sixth. Another right hook turned Cunningham’s legs to jelly, staggering him against the ropes, and Bellotti followed up with a barrage of hooks and uppercuts that prompted the referee’s interference. It was a terrific scrap whilst it lasted and a big scalp for Bellotti in the largest test of his career so far. There is plenty to learn for the Watford man and he will not be able to just walk through every opponent like he did tonight but he is the new Commonwealth Champion and will have the Lonsdale belt on his mind next.


Eric Israel made his professional debut with an upset knockout victory over William Webber in the third round of a scheduled four. Webber started the first round brightly and seemed in control, even shaking the legs of Israel with a shot toward the end of the stanza. But a short left hand counter in round two dropped Webber and unraveled him. He survived the round and came out looking to get back on track in round three but a left hand took his legs again and this time, as he tried to stagger away, he caught a crunching right hook that decked him and finished the fight. Israel looked amateurish in places but he was awkward and clearly carries power that can changes fights.


Harlem Eubank defeated Michael Green over four rounds in the Super Lightweight division. Both fighters entered the bout undefeated but it was Eubank who did enough to record his second pro victory. Eubank showcased speed and good athleticism but his lack of amateur pedigree showed and there is plenty of work to be done, something I am sure Adam Booth will be masterminding behind the scenes. The work of Eubank was repetitive at times, jabbing to the body and searching for the overhand right, but it is early days and the fundamentals are certainly good enough for him to develop beyond this level.


Ted Cheeseman stopped Aristedes Quintero in the fifth round of their scheduled eight. It was a left to the body and then a right uppercut, left , right three punch combination that dropped Quintero for the finish halfway through the fifth stanza. Cheeseman, the current English Super Welterweight Champion, displayed his usual relentless style but demonstrated an impressive repertoire of punches and bodywork as he broke down the Panamanian, who entered this contest with a "power puncher" tag. Cheeseman (11-0 with 3 KO’s) has to be in line to contest the British title (which Liam Williams is expected to drop) and there are plenty of potential domestic matchups with the likes of JJ Metcalf, Damon Jones, Asinia Byfield and Joe Pigford among many others.


Natasha Jonas made it three from three with a third round stoppage of Marianna Gulyas in a scheduled six rounder. It was obvious from the outset that "Miss Team GB" was too good for her opposition, who despite being game was extremely outgunned. Jonas has a heavy left hand and she throws it with real venom, her southpaw stance and aggressive nature will cause her opponents plenty of problems as she steps up. Gulyas was down twice in round two from heavy body shots and combinations on the ropes but both times she was able to beat the count and continue, through guts rather than competitiveness. But it was a solid right hook to the jaw followed by a straight left rocket in round three that put Gulyas down a third time and prompted the referee to end the contest. Once again it is a case of a fighter being ready for bigger and better tests, the European/World level cannot be that far away for a fighter of this calibre and although she may feel she needs a few more learning fights in the pro game it will not be long until Jonas contests championship belts.


Surrey’s Charlie Edwards outpointed journeyman Craig Derbyshire over eight repetitive rounds at Super Flyweight. It wasn’t a sparkling performance from Edwards but given it was his first fight under the tutelage of Adam Booth it gave him a chance to try out some new skills, and there was some promising work. Edwards’ combination punching, shot selection and movement is to be admired and the former British champion will have his eyes on moving up toward Euro level. Edwards has fought for a world title already ( a 10th round stoppage at the hands of John Riel Casimero) and any talk of him getting back to that level is premature, he needs a little more time to learn and develop before then. Referee scored it: 80-72


Cruiserweight prospect Isaac Chamberlain recorded a sixth round stoppage over Ossie Jervier, registering a ninth straight victory. Chamberlain (9-0 with 4 KO’s) worked well off his jab but was a little too open at times, catching some unnecessary shots from the tough but limited Jervier. It was a left hook to the body that dropped Jervier in the sixth and although he beat the count he was struggling to breath. Chamberlain closed the distance and a right hook behind the ear had Jervier’s legs wobbling, forcing the referee to call a halt to proceedings. For Chamberlain now it has to be another step up in competition, Luke Watkins for the Commonwealth strap seems to be the near future aim.



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