By Tom Gray: Matthew Macklin regained the European middleweight crown by dominating Shalva Jomardashvili in his home town of Birminham on Saturday night. The Georgian’s corner threw in the towel at the end of fifth round, after their charge had withstood some serious punches from the rejuvenated Macklin, who looked better than ever.
Macklin won every round in a measured but tactically excellent performance. Jomardashvili appeared durable but was tagged repeatedly by an accurate jab that set up versatile assaults in and around ring centre. The uppercut was a great weapon for Macklin, as was the body work, which was fired in from well conceived angles. Jomardashvili was always on the front foot which seemed to suit Macklin who boxed rings around him and maintained his focus in each session.
The fifth round was the best of the fight as Jomardashvili went for broke. Like a true professional Macklin bided his time and countered with a whipping left hook that landed high on the head. He followed up with an impressive burst and suddenly his durable opponent looked vulnerable and ready for the taking. Another solid cluster of punches landed for Macklin as the bell ended the round. There was no doubting who the winner was going to be but this reporter was slightly surprised to see Jomardashvili pulled out at the end of the round.
Macklin has remained unbeaten since coming out on the wrong side of a domestic classic with Jamie Moore in 2006. He has participated in world class sparring at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card gym in LA and now, at 28, looks the complete professional. His record extends to 27-2 (19 KO’s) and the sky is the limit.
Coming into this contest Macklin was ranked five by the WBA, seven by the WBO and nine by the IBF. He is more than ready for Felix Sturm (WBA Champion) or Sebastian Sylvester (IBF Champion) and the new European title holder deserves his chance at glory.
British and Commonwealth Heavyweight Title Fight: Chisora vs. Sexton
Dereck Chisora stopped Sam Sexton at 2:53 of the ninth round in an exciting heavyweight rematch. There were no knockdowns.
The power punching Chisora won the Commonwealth crown which he now adds to the British title that was ripped from Danny Williams via second round knockout in May.
Chisora combined a new fleet footed style with a fantastic left jab and found lots of success in the early going. Sexton had his moments but Chisora looked hungrier and found the target consistently with thumping right hooks to the side of the head.
The pace dropped by the mid way point and there was evidence that Chisora was beginning to struggle. Sexton picked up the pace in spots but would not, or could not, maintain his assaults. Chisora seemed more eager to fire through the fatigue while the Norwich based slugger was lacking ideas.
The end came when Chisora thumped his man with a series of big right hooks on the inside. Sexton was visibly stunned and staggered backwards as Chisora went for the finish, throwing bomb after bomb. The stoppage was almost identical to that of their first fight as referee, John Keane, jumped into save Sexton from thunderous left and right hooks that were bursting through the guard.
Chisora improves to 14-0 (9 KO’s) and could be heading towards a fabulous collision with fellow undefeated prospect, Tyson Fury. Sexton falls to 13-2 (6 KO’s) but at only 26 years of age, will definitely come again.
Light Heavyweight Fight: De Gale vs. Dilks
London’s James De Gale needed less than three minutes to dispatch Carl Dilks.
In terms of class this looked to be a tall order for Dilks before the opening bell. He had never mixed with anything resembling De Gale and was destroyed by whizzing shots from the former Olympic champion. Dilks, with his back to the ropes, could not amount any worthwhile offense which forced the referee’s intervention at 2:54 of the first round.
The 24 year old De Gale, winner of eight straight, looks special. He is being managed perfectly and will likely have several more fights to extend his professional learning curve, before breaching top level. There are persistent rumors that De Gale is struggling to make super middleweight, however a future fight against the division’s British champion, Paul Smith, may be too attractive to ignore.
This reporter sees De Gale moving up to Light Heavyweight sometime in 2011.
Questions or comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org