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24 NOVEMBER 2017

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Josh Kelly impresses in Newcastle


"Pretty Boy" Josh Kelly made a huge statement as the headline act, demolishing Tom Whitfield within one round. Kelly started the fight with an almost arrogance as he kept his hands low and strutted around the ring but the finish was nothing short of spectacular. He caught Whitfield with a left hook, backing his opponent onto the ropes, and followed up with another. Whitfield was dazed but then suffered seven more successive left hooks, rendering him completely unable to continue. It was a sublime, mesmerising finish, very Roy Jones Jnr esque, and it left everybody watching in stunned disbelief. The Adam Booth trained fighter has a touch of Prince Naseem, Joe Calzaghe about him and he certainly has a very, very bright future in front of him. Eddie Hearn has to move this man quickly because he does not need to be hanging around with opposition that cannot challenge him. There’ll be those who think they need to be careful but the progression of this kind of talent should not be hindered.

 

The NXTGEN series is a great idea from Eddie Hearn and Matchroom, it is extremely important to allow this future talent to nurture and develop in front of the public. I would like to see a few more competitive fights on the live shows, however, and I am sure that is something that will be addressed in the coming months. The Matchroom stable is fantastic and the level of the former Team GB amateurs is outstanding, it is hard to decide who the top prospects really are.

 

Jordan King remains undefeated with a four round decision over Adam Jones. It was a scrappy fight, not exactly a crowd pleaser, but King did enough to secure victory and take himself to 9-0. King has to step up in class in order to know how far he can go in the 168lbs division, messy and experienced opponents like Jones will not teach him or us how good he can potentially be. Referee scored it 39-36

 

Anthony Fowler recorded another victory, moving to 2-0 with a 4th round stoppage over the tough Nikoloz Gvajava. Gvajava was downed twice in round three from hard, straight, body shots but showed his grit to get back up and continue into the next stanza; where he was finally undone by another devastating right hand blow to the abdomen. Fowler has a raw style, some may say he is erratic, but there is no doubting that he has a very exciting career in front of him. He is a very big 154lber, likely to go to 160, and his strength and power are extremely intimidating, he has potential elite star written all over him. He’ll have to tighten his defense as he climbs the ranks, trainer Dave Coldwell will help him with that, but he is an aggressive fighter and that should not be stifle, boxing fans love a guy like Fowler who likes to stand a trade. The former Team GB captain was given a good workout here but he needs to be stepped up big time from here, he doesn’t need to be treading water for too long. Domestic level titles should be on the agenda by the year end and early into next.

 

Tasha Jonas made a blistering start to her professional career with a first round TKO over Poland’s Monika Antonik. Jonas was on the front foot from the first bell and looked strong and accurate, her southpaw stance gave her opponent absolutely no chance to settle into the fight. Jonas looks to be carrying power and the two time European Gold Medalist is a fantastic addition to the paid ranks. I am a big fan of "Miss GB" and I think the Liverpudlian could go very far in the pro game, I don’t want to talk up a fight with Katie Taylor just yet because she is making her own way but that would be something special down the line. It is important to note that Tasha is another fabulous ambassador for women’s boxing, she brings a happy and media friendly style that will only attract more attention to the female game, which is a great thing.

 

Local Super Featherweight, Jamie Humble gave his hometown crowd a cheer when he beat Alex Bazza over four rounds. Humble moves to 4-0 (1 early) with this shutout victory over an opponent that has yet to register a win in 28 fights.

 

Warren Baister was declared the winner via 2nd round stoppage over Imantas Davidaitis, the Lithuanian was unable to continue following a deep cut on his cheek. Baister looked good in spurts although he will be frustrated that he was unable to pick up a clean victory. Davidaitis claimed the cut was caused by an elbow but replays showed that it was a flurry of punches on the inside from Baister that did the damage. Baister is undefeated at 7-0 with 5 KO’s and there are plenty of tasty domestic fights that could be made, the likes of Lawrence Okolie and Isaac Chamberlain are definite rivals whilst a North East derby with Simon Vallily would be an interesting affair.

 

It has been nearly two years since the last time Bradley Saunders last fought but the County Durham 140lber wasted no time at all in securing a first round stoppage over Ireland’s Casey Blair. A right hand stunned Blair and he was forced onto the ropes where he took a barrage of shots before his corner threw in the towel, prompting the referee to stop the fight. Saunders suffered his first and only defeat last time out, via DQ, but he is back to winning ways here, although the fight didn’t last long enough to know how far he can go. Saunders’ ability has never been in question but his brittle hands have plagued his career thus far, we can only wait to see if the two hand graft procedures he has undergone will help him change things around.

 

Stuart Hall registered a six round decision over the game but overmatched Jose Aguilar. Hall coasted a lot of the fight but showed enough to demonstrate that there is still something left in the tank. The former IBF Bantamweight boss is potentially still a viable opponent for the likes of Lee Haskins or even Ryan Burnett and Jamie McDonnell. Hall is a hard working, come forward, fighter and was unlucky to lose a contentious decision to Haskins last year but one has to wonder if the Darlington man can reach world level once more.

 

Middlesbrough’s Simon Vaillily picked up an uncomfortable six round decision over Blaise Mendouo. Vallily seemed in control early doors with his superior ability but the Commonwealth gold medalist gassed badly and was out on his feet in the fifth round, had he taken a big punch then his career could have been completely derailed. The Cruiserweight has talent, that much is obvious, and his only loss was when he stepped up in class against now world champ, Mairis Breidis but he’ll need to get back on form if he is to challenge even at domestic level on the back of this. Referee scored it 58-57

 

Ashington’s Darren Reay picked up his second career victory with a four round shutout over the veteran Fonz Alexander in the Super Lightweight division.

 

Gateshead’s Kris Pilkington fought out a four round draw with journeyman Anthony Mooney. This was an expected victory for the North East lightweight but the experienced Mooney took a share of the spoils. Pilkington is now 1-0-1 whilst Mooney’s record reads 8-32-1

 

Kyle Redfearn moved to 4-0 with a second round stoppage of Slovakia’s Martin Orsuliak, the fight was set for six. Ferryhill’s Redfearn could be looking at Area Title fights in the coming months.




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