Terry Flanagan successfully defended his WBO Lightweight Championship with a unanimous points victory over Petr Petrov, Saturday night in Manchester.
It was a largely forgettable fight for the main event of BT Sport and Boxnation’s new partnership but Flanagan won’t care as he adds a fifth defence and moves to 33-0, surely now looking ahead to potential unification bouts.
Petrov was game and battling but struggled throughout the contest to close the distance against his taller opponent, who worked well off of his jab in most of the rounds. When Flanagan neglected his jab it allowed Petrov to work inside and throw to the body and head but unfortunately there wasn’t enough urgency to his game. Petrov suffered a cut over his eye at the end of round ten, following a clash of heads, and Flanagan was able to up the tempo as he saw the fight out with ease. Flanagan was never troubled in the fight and allowances must be made against such an awkward opponent but the Manchester fans will be hoping for more fireworks next time out.
There wasn’t a highlight reel of punches after twelve rounds, demonstrating how little action there was, but it was Flanagan with the decisive shots when all was said and done. This grueling distance fight hasn’t elevated Flanagan to great heights and it is now hard to debate just how well he competes with the best fighters in the 135lbs division.
Promoter, Frank Warren confirmed after the fight that they are looking to match Flanagan with WBC & WBA Champ, Jorge Linares or Vasyl Lomachenko later this year. Flanagan’s talent is undeniable and Linares is certainly a great fight but right now, size aside, Lomachenko would be a step too far.
Scorecards read: 116-112, a ridiculous 120-108 and 118-110
Double Olympic Champion, Nicola Adams made her highly anticipated professional debut with a four round decision win over Argentina’s Virginia Carcamo. Adams won every round and was able to showcase her impressive footwork and array of punching prowess, including a lovely right uppercut in round three. Carcamo was game but offered little more than a workout for Adams, who probably won’t be tested much until she steps up to the very top tier of the Super Flyweight division. The "Lioness" may have started with a few nerves but she soon overcame them and demonstrated why there is so much excitement surrounding her pro journey. The referee scored the bout 40-36 for Nicola Adams.
In arguably the most anticipated fight of the night, Liam Smith was a controversial winner over Liam Williams after a ninth round retirement, following a very ugly cut to Williams’ eye. Williams was ahead on all three judges’ scorecards at the time of the stoppage but his trainer, Gary Lockett, deemed his charge was not in a position to return to the fight following round nine. The WBO Interim Championship was on the line but Smith missed weight so does not win the belt, leaving it up for grabs.
Williams set a steady pace and and used his jab to control the early rounds. Smith was struggling to get his shots off and land his trademark body shots but he stuck to his task, manfully, and kept coming forward. Smith suffered a bad cut, himself, in round three off a straight left and he looked to be falling behind on the scorecards but write his heart and determination off at your peril. Williams seemed to be controlling the fight on the inside and at range, scoring with some heavy uppercuts as he negated most of his foe’s assaults. The ringside doctor assessed Smith’s cut in round 7 but ordered the fight to continue and Smith seemed to gain heart from that, upping the pace and picking some brilliant body blows that tired Williams. Both men rallied in round nine but a clash of heads staggered Williams badly and Smith followed up with a barrage, the devastating cut to Williams’ eyelid becoming apparent straight after.
A re-match is inevitable after an unfortunate injury and no boxing fan will complain about seeing that one again.It was a bloody, toe to toe contest that delivered on the hype beforehand and hopefully next time they meet the full WBO strap will be on the line.
Jack Catterall produced a one sided beatdown as he stopped Martin Gethin in 3 rounds, successfully defending his WBO Inter-Continental Championship. Catterall started brightly and went to work to the body and head, his power seemingly catching Gethin by surprise. Gethin’s nose was bloodied in round 2 and then a left uppercut, as he was ducking inside, and a right to the temple put him on the canvass. Gethin’s best days are seemingly behind him and he was outclassed in all departments, succumbing to two more knockdowns in round 3. A straight left hand had the Walsall fighter down for a third time and Gethin indicated to the referee he wanted no more. Catterall is now 17-0 and has a #2 ranking with the WBO, although a fight with British Light Welterweight Champion, Tyrone Nurse should be on his radar for the summer as we gauge his readiness for an elite step up.
Daniel Dubois lived up to the hype, ending his debut fight against Marcus Kelly in 39 seconds. The crowd were disappointed as they were hoping to see more of the 19 year old but the first left hook that landed had Kelly in all sorts of trouble. Kelly came out swinging for the fences but he was caught on the inside and then sustained a barrage in the corner, putting him on the deck. He stumbled to his feet on eight but was in no position to carry on. Dubois is a real Heavyweight prospect but there’ll be much sterner tests in the future in which we can judge just how far he can go.
Paul Butler took one step closer to a world title challenge with a fourth round stoppage over Carlos Ruiz. Butler was in control from the beginning, a class above really, and used the bout as target practice on his Argentine opponent, who has shared the ring with some very talented operators. The former IBF Bantamweight champ took a couple of rounds to find his range and then finished the fight with a straight left after a flurry trapped Ruiz on the ropes. Ruiz managed to get back up but the referee had seen enough. Butler has been treading water for some time now and it is time he stepped back up to the big time and showed what he is really capable of. The rumours continue to swirl that Butler will challenge Jamie McDonnell for the WBA strap sometime in the summer.
Giant Cruiserweight prospect, Jordan Thompson recorded an easy second round stoppage of Jevgenijs Andrejevs in a fight scheduled for four. Thompson, at 6’7, completely dwarfed his opponent and showed his superiority from the outset, bullying his his Latvian foe. The referee waved the fight off after a huge right hand sent Andrejevs spinning around the ring, turning his back on the attack. Thompson is 6-0 now with 5 early stoppages and will certainly a present a formidable challenge for anyone in the division.
Former world title challenger, Jimmy "Kilrain" Kelly scored a close fought ten round decision over Rick Godding. Godding played the role of counter puncher throughout whilst Kelly preferred to push forward on the front foot. Kelly was the busier fighter but Godding certainly landed the more eye catching punches, it was definitely a case of what you prefer to see in a boxing contest. Rounds 7 & 10 where fought toe to toe and punch for punch, both fighters trading left hooks but neither hurting the other. Godding may kick himself that he didn’t press the action a little more in the mid rounds, allowing himself to be backed up on the ropes whilst Kelly worked to the body. A re-match could certainly be in the offing although the fight was billed as an eliminator to the British Super Welterweight title. The referee scored the fight 96-95 in Kelly’s favour.
Talented Super-Featherweight, Zelfa Barrett impressed with a sixth round knockout over the durable Ross Jameson. Barrett worked beautifully off his left jab and dropped Jameson in the first with a step back and brilliant right hand to the temple as his opponent came forward. Jameson, a late replacement, showed toughness to get up and give Barrett a workout throughout but he was over matched. Barrett rocked his opponent in round 4 with a right hand and then two knockdowns in the final round finished the job, a sickening left hook ending proceedings. Barrett moves to 16-0 and will have his eyes on title bouts in the near future.
Local fighter Mark Heffron dispensed of Achilles Szabo in the second round of a scheduled eight rounder. Heffron finished the fight with a hooking right to the top of the head, Szabo rose but the referee waved it off. It was the second time Heffron (now 15-0 with 13 KO’s) has knocked Szabo out early and he will be looking for a better test next time out.
Interim WBO Super Welterweight title Liam Williams w tko 9 Liam Smith
WBO Lightweight title Terry Flanagan w pts 12 Petr Petrov
WBO Inter-Continental super lightweight title Jack Catterall w ko 3 Martin Gethin
Super Flyweight Nicola Adams w pts 4 Virginia Noemi Carcamo
Super Welterweight ’Jimmy’ Kilrain Kelly w pts 10 Rick Godding
Super Welterweight James Metcalf w rtd 5 Jason Ball
Super Middleweight Mark Heffron w tko 2 Achilles Szabo
Super Featherweight Zelfa Barrett w tko 6 Ross Jameson
Super Bantamweight Paul Butler w tko 4 Carlos Ruben Dario Ruiz
Super Welterweight Mason Cartwright w ko 1 Sam Omidi
Heavyweight Daniel Dubois w tko 1 Marcus Kelly
Cruiserweight Jordan Thompson w tko 2 Jevgenijs Andrejevs