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18 OCTOBER 2017

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Crolla Decisions Burns/Mimmoune Defeats Eggington

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crolla-burns

By Steven Bateson

 

Anthony Crolla and Ricky Burns did twelve hard fought rounds in Manchester on Saturday night and in the end it was Crolla who scored the unanimous decision in front of his hometown fans. Burns started the first round well, working behind his excellent jab, but from the second onward Crolla was able to close the distance between them and land at will to the body. Burns was still using his jab but falling short as he tried to bring his right hand into play, Crolla sticking to his relentless gameplan of ducking into range and banging away downstairs. As the fight progressed Burns began to neglect his jab, worrying considering that is his most effective weapon, and chose instead to fight toe to toe with Crolla, trading crunching bodywork in the centre of the ring. They swapped uppercuts and Burns bloodied the nose of Crolla with some clean, crisp shots and all of a sudden it was the Scottish fighter who was enjoying some success of his own, Crolla looked to be breathing much heavier. However, Burns was unable to take full control and could not break the heart of Crolla, who answered back everything that was thrown at him and with interest. In the end it was the faster hands of Crolla that won him the day, he landed more punches given his shorter arms and was able to fire off better combinations at a closed distance. Burns rallied well in the championship rounds but having let so many of the earlier ones slip he just couldn’t make up the deficit. There may be calls for a re-match at some point but in reality Burns is far from the fighter that he once was, whilst Crolla will be looking back at the world scene and another attempt at the big time.

Official scorecards read: 117-112, 116-113, 116-114

 

Conor Benn’s undefeated rise in the pro game continued as he demolished Nathan Clarke in the first round of a scheduled six. Benn dropped Clarke heavily within a minute with a hard straight right and although Clarke beat the count it was obvious he was hurt. A left hook/right hook combo put Clarke flat on his back for a second time and the referee would have been within his rights to call it off then but instead he gave the Cheshire man one more chance. Benn closed the show with another power punching attack and the referee jumped in to prevent any more damage being caused. Benn (now 9-0 with 7 KO’s) is certainly improving with every fight and although it’s impossible to predict how far he will go it is clear that he will be one to watch at 147lbs over the next couple of years.

 

Sam Eggington surprisingly lost his European title on a split decision to Mohamed Mimmoune. All the talk pre-fight was how impressive the rise of Eggington has been and whether he could keep progressing up toward world level but his opponent had very different ideas and fully deserved his victory. Mimoune started brightly and showed classy skills and elusiveness, making Eggington miss and countering with the kind of quality that many overlooked from him. Eggington was marked around the eye as early as the second round from left hooks around the guard and the Frenchmen was dancing out of the way of any attacks that the Birmingham man tried to mount. Eggington’s relentlessness is one of his key weapons and through the middle rounds he came on strong with heavy body blows, just walking through Mimoune and pushing him back onto the ropes, busting the challenger’s nose with his thudding blows. But just as it looked as though Eggington was taking control, as he has done in so many previous fights, the challenger seemed to gain a second wind and resumed his classy combination punching, even standing with the bigger man and out punching him. Eggington is always fun to watch but he is fairly one dimensional, just walking forward an hoping to wear down his foe, and the blueprint to beat him was set by Bradley Skeete which Mimoune seems to have borrowed for the night. Rumours suggested that Eggington struggled to make the Welterweight limit and that may have played a part in his lacklustre performance, his feet were slow and timing off, but that would do a disservice to how well Mimoune fought. The result was never in doubt to anyone at ringside and the only grumbling point is that the decision was not unanimous, the judge who scored the fight to Eggington by four must have watched a different fight. Eggington may need to move up to 154lbs but time will tell, at 23 he has plenty of time to learn and adjust.

Scorecards read: 116-112 Eggington, 116-112 Mimoune, 115-113 Mimoune

 

Lewis Ritson produced a stunning performance to take out Robbie Barrett in seven rounds to win the British Lightweight title. Ritson, the underdog going in, just marched forward from the opening bell and imposed himself on Barrett with hard combinations to body and head. Barrett, who stunned Scotty Cardle in April, looked shellshocked as he ate the Ritson jab over and over again, a shot that just could not miss and set up the rest of the impressive work. The Newcastle fighter dropped Barrett in round two with a brilliant left hook, right hook combo to the jaw and it looked as though that might be all, Barrett somehow getting back up to fight on. Over the course of the next few rounds it was clear that Ritson was the bigger and stronger man and he looked unfazed by anything that Barrett tried to throw at him. Barrett was defiant and tough but he went down twice more in the sixth round from solid body blows and it was then only a matter of time. The Stefy Bull fighter tried to meet Ritson head on in round seven but he didn’t have enough power to cause any damage, finally succumbing to another left hook to the body which prompted his corner to show compassion and throw in the towel. Ritson (now 13-0 with 7 KO’s) has made a name for himself tonight and will look towards domestic showdowns with Cardle or Sean Dodd in 2018, although there may be claims based upon that performance that he is already beyond that.

 

Hosea Burton took the unbeaten record of Ratu Latianara with a first round blowout. Burton dropped Latianara, who was weighing in at Cruiser, with a short inside counter right uppercut for an eight count as the late replacement came rushing out from the first bell and then put him down a second time with an impressive left hook. Latianara made it up again but he was hurt and Burton poured it on once more, encouraging the referee to jump in and call it off. Burton is chasing the re-match with Frank Buglioni for the British Light Heavyweight belt that he lost last December so it is likely he will meet the winner of Buglioni-Johnson (on October 28th) sometime in early new year.

 

Scott Cardle outpointed Lee Connelly over six rounds to get back on the winning route. The former British Lightweight Champ (22-1-1) was fighting for the first time since losing his title to Robbie Barrett back in April and will be pleased with the win. Cardle displayed his quick hands and body punching, hurting Connelly momentarily in the fifth, but the final scorecard from the referee shows that occasionally his concentration slipped. One thing to note though is that Cardle still hasn’t sorted out his defense, he shipped far too many shots against an opponent who isn’t on his level, and if he wishes to get back to British level and beyond then that will have to be rectified. Scorecard read: 59-56

 

Commonwealth Gold medalist Charlie Flynn (9-0-1) went six rounds and scored a points victory over the tough Liam Richards. Lightweight, Flynn suffered a terrible cut back from a head clash back in April but came back with an impressive workout against a journeyman who has mixed in good company over the years. Flynn may have wished to become only the second man to stop Richards but he will be happy with the rounds in the back and the overall performance, in particular his body to head combinations.

Scorecard read: 60-54

 

Sale Cruiserweight Sam Hyde (11-0-1) kept his undefeated streak and survived an injury-plagued double knockdown as he outpointed Gheorge Danut. Hyde, in his first fight under new trainer Joe Gallgher, was in complete control for the first three rounds but an injury to his knee in round four (potentially a dislocation) took his balance away from him, stopping him from planting his feet, and allowed Danut to floor him in both rounds four and five. Hyde showed mental grit to hang tough and used his jab to keep Danut at a distance to see it out.

Referee’s scorecard:58-55

 

Manchester’s own Marcus Morrison (15-2) got back to winning ways with a fourth round stoppage over Poland’s Mariusz Biskupski. Morrison was shocked by both Jason Welborn and then Tyan Booth in successive bouts so it was important for him to get back on track, which he did here. There will be much bigger and sterner tests for the Middleweight to come but this will boost his confidence when that time comes.

 

Gorbal’s Joe Ham registered a six round shutout over Jose Aguilar to take his record to 12-0. Ham is the current Scottish Area Super Bantamweight Champion and he may very well find himself climbing the rankings toward British level soon enough.

 

Ricky Hatton-trained Jake Haigh outpointed Anthony Fox over four rounds at Light Heavyweight to start the show. Haigh moves to 7-0 as a professional and the local fighter will perhaps be stepped up in class slightly from here.




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