Joe Cordina took a unanimous decision over Sean Dodd to win the vacant Commonwealth Championships in his eighth professional fight at the Ice Arena, Cardiff on Saturday night.
Cordina (now 8-0 with 6 KO’s) started brightly behind his jab, popping it to head and body, and then putting together flashy combinations whilst Dodd tried to tuck up on the ropes. As the fight progressed, however, Dodd was able to turn the bout into more of a dogfight and too often he was able to bully Cordina back against the ropes and work away to head and body. Cordina was never bothered by anything Dodd threw his way but his defense will need work as he progresses up the lightweight ranks.
Cordina was hitting the body well throughout the bout and when he had time and space he showed levels in ability to his opposition but he did look far from comfortable whenever Dodd was able to apply pressure. In the third round Dodd caught Cordina flush with a left hook out of the clinch and then a chopping right on the ropes, the kind of blows that a heavier handed fighter may have severely worried the Welsh prospect with.
In the fifth, Cordina banged away with a furious left/right hook combo to the body, momentarily winding Dodd, but the veteran from Birkenhead weathered the storm and came back on strong toward the end of the round. Cordina then began to time Dodd’s raiding tactics a little better in the sixth, snapping an uppercut straight through the guard as Dodd stepped in, but never was he able to establish dominance in any of the rounds or break the will and determination of his foe.
Many of the following rounds followed a similar pattern as Cordina started fast, putting Dodd on the backfoot with lightning combinations, only for Dodd to brawl and maul his way back into it with rushing tactics. In the tenth it seemed as though Dodd was finally wilting from persistent body attacks but then he fought back as a firefight broke out, both men taunting one another whilst trading thunderous shots.
Dodd fought valiantly until the end and made more of a fight than many in the industry predicted, he was far from outclassed and showed that he still has a part to play in the domestic lightweight division.
In the end it was a clear but uncomfortable nights work for Cordina, who will have learnt a great deal from this fight, and he will be looking ahead to bigger and even more challenging fights in the future. A potential scrap with British champion Lewis Ritson could be mouthwatering but Cordina probably needs a few defences of his new title before that kind of fight gets made.
Scorecards read: 119-109, 117-112, 120-109 (scorecards perhaps a little generous)
Sean McGoldrick took an eight round decision over Dylan McDonagh in a battle of the unbeaten Bantamweights. It was an entertaining back and forth encounter between the two Celtic prospects but it was McGoldrick’s superior handspeed, punch variety and body work that allowed him to pull away down the stretch. The British Bantamweight belt is currently up for grabs and McGoldrick could find himself in the frame for a shot after only seven professional fights. Scorecard read: 78-76
Viviane Obenauf stunned Natasha Jonas and ripped up her world title aspirations with a fourth round stoppage, winning the WBA International Super Featherweight title in the process.
Jonas entered as a huge betting favourite, a lot of pre-fight talk pointed toward an eventual showdown with amateur rival Katie Taylor, but nobody gave Obenauf a copy of the script. Jonas was guilty of moving backward in straight lines in the first two rounds, caught frequently by raiding tactics from her Brazilian born opponent. Jonas seemed to have settled behind her jab in round three but then a left hand caught her on the top of the head and shocked her senses, soon followed by a right hand counter punch that dumped the Liverpudlian on the canvass. Jonas rose, her legs unsteady, and she chose to go punch for punch with Obenauf until a short, jutting, right hand on the button sent her down again. Jonas made it to the end of the round but it was clear she was in big trouble.
Jonas, known for her big punching, came out swinging in the fourth but her punch for punch tactic played right into Obenauf’s hands and yet another solid right dropped "Miss Team GB". The referee could have stopped the bout there and then but he gave Jonas the chance to fight on, but soon she was trapped back on the ropes and a flurry of unanswered punishing blows prompted Joe Gallagher to throw in the towel for the massive upset. A world title challenge may now beckon for Obenauf whilst Jonas must go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate her next move.
Daniyar Yeleussinov made it three professional wins from three by defeating Gabor Gorbics over six one sided, unmemorable rounds. Yeleussinov, the 2016 Olympic Gold medallist, has an excellent skill set, he controlled every minute of this fight, however he has not yet ignited as a professional. When he lets his hands go he looks like a superstar but all too often he looks overly relaxed, perhaps due to a sub standard of opposition, and his power isn’t overly punishing in a weight division where he will face fighters with dynamite in their fists. It could be that the better calibre of opponent will bring the best out of him but right now the jury is still out on the Kazakh. Scorecards read: 60-54
Hard-hitting American Anthony Sims Jnr began life under the Matchroom banner with a four round hammering of Stanislav Eschner. Sims dropped his man in the second and then poured on the beatdown in the fourth stanza, the referee intervening and declaring the Czech unable to defend himself. Sims (15-0 with 14 KO’s) has the potential to make waves at 175, he’s sparred the biggest names in the sport, and with a British based promoter there could be some tasty rivalries to ignite.
Exciting prospect Jordan Gill just steamrolled through David Berna, ironing out the Hungarian in the very first round. Gill (now 21-0 with 5 KO’s) will now challenge Ryan Doyle for the Commonwealth title in October, announced on Twitter by Eddie Hearn.
Talented southpaw Super Middleweight Kody Davies extended his unbeaten run as he took a six round decision over Anthony Fox. Davies’ team believe their man is capable of great things but the Gavin Rees trained fighter (now 6-0 with 2 KO’s) will need to be examined more thoroughly before any conclusion can be made. Referee scored the fight: 60-56
Newport’s Daniel Barton took a four round decision over Yailton Neves to extend his ledger to three wins and one draw.
Cardiff’s Nathan Thorley kept up his unbeaten record but was forced to work hard for it by Cameroon’s Emmanuel Moussinga, taking a four round decision. Thorley (now 11-0 with 5 KO’s) will be pushing his way into domestic contention at 175lbs before long but he may need a sterner test or two before then. Referee scored the fight: 38-36
Gamal Yafai was back to winning ways with a third round body shot stoppage over Jose Aguilar. Yafai, who lost last time out to Gavin McDonnell, is also looking to rebuild his career and will box again on September 8th in Birmingham.
Former British Lightweight Champion, Scott Cardle opened up the show with a points victory over Worcester’s Michael Mooney. Cardle (now 22-1-1 with 7 KO’s) is with a new training team now as he attempts to rebuild toward domestic level.