Hughie Fury knocked out Sam Sexton in the fifth round to win the British Heavyweight Championship in Bolton on Saturday night.
Fury (now 21-1 with 11 KO’s) was dominant from the beginning, superior in every department, and knocked Sexton down in the fourth round before drilling him again in the fifth to end proceedings.
It was the jab of Fury, a staple of his arsenal, that allowed him to control the distance and pace of the bout from the opening bell. Sexton was slow and flat footed, unable to close the gap to get his own punches off, and was just eating shots as he followed the challenger around the ring. The champion’s tactic seemed to be to try and get in close before rushing Fury with wild, uncouth, attacks but the footwork of the Manchester fighter was too neat, allowing him to turn out of any potentially problematic situations and retake control from his preferred backfoot position.
A right hand counter on the ropes in the third as Sexton bustled forward was a precursor of what was to come and in the fourth stanza was when Fury upped the ante. A slick one-two combination rocked Sexton, dipping his knees, and he staggered into the ropes where another right hand sent him crashing to the floor. The legs were unsteady and Sexton was badly hurt but the bell saved him, or just delayed the inevitable.
Sexton knew he had to throw caution to the wind and he went looking for the hail mary but he still hadn’t recovered from the previous round and walked onto a tremendous fight finishing punch. Sexton was winding up, Fury up against the corner, but his defence was wide open and he ate a crunching short right. Sexton may have got back to his feet from the second knockdown but it was clear he was in position to continue and the referee rightly waved it off.
Fury looked hungrier and more determined in this performance than he has in previous outings, it seems his failed world title tilt has pushed him onto a new level and he displayed some of the capabilities that can take him beyond the domestic scene. At 23 years old Fury and his team would be justified in taking their time and boxing some of the tremendous talent we have here in Britain but it seems they will be vacating the belt and targeting the world titles once more. Logical steps would see a European belt on the horizon as he steps back up on the fringe but in a division that is currently brimming with contenders, big and difficult fights will not be hard to find.
Savanah Marshall’s second pro outing ended with a stoppage victory over Ester Konecna, the first time the Czech had been stopped . Marshall displayed terrific combination punching and showed tremendous calmness and patience when picking her shots, she is certainly one to watch as women’s boxing continues to grow domestically and internationally. The body punching was causing big trouble for Konecna and Marshall poured on the pressure with heavy blows to head and midriff, forcing the referee to step in and end the one sided mauling. Marshall owns an amateur victory over double Olympic champion and now WBC & IBF Super Middle Champion Claressa Shields (the only defeat of Shields’ career), if Marshall continues to progress well then that will be a bout that many want to see.
Reece Cartwright destroyed Juan Monzon with a vicious third round bodyshot in a Super Middleweight contest. Cartwright (now 21-1 with 12 KO’s) had been boxing well in the opening rounds, sensible against an opponent with a puncher’s record, and then he stepped it up when the opportunity presented itself. He pawed his jab out twice, followed up with a right hand that Monzon managed to catch on the gloves but that left the opening and the Leeds fight buried his left hook into the ribcage, dropping the Argentinian to the deck and unable to answer the referee’s count. It is still unknown what the optimum weight for Cartwright is but if he can successfully make 160lbs his 6’3 frame will make him a formidable task for anyone in the domestic weight division.
In a somewhat bizarre result, Peter McDonagh’s winning streak came to a halt as he drew with unbeaten Peter Kramer over ten entertaining rounds, most observers believing McDonagh was the clear victor. From the outset McDonagh controlled the pace and used range to fire out his jab, never presenting his Hungarian foe a foothold in the contest. In round three McDonagh allowed the fight to develop on the inside but still he was dominant, hitting the body well and repeatedly snapping back his opponent’s head with a sharp right uppercut. Kramer made a good fight out of it through the middle rounds and had occasional success whenever they disengaged the clinch, taking advantage of McDonagh’s low hands, but never did it look like he was swinging the fight in his favour. Perhaps you could say McDonagh allowed some of the later rounds to slip away from him, being outworked in spurts by Kramer, but you’d still have a hard time justifying the Hungarian a share of the spoils. McDonagh (now 29-28-1 with 3 KO’s) last tasted defeat in 2013 and has been enjoying quite the Indian summer in his career, for a 40 year old man his conditioning is particularly impressive. It should have been twelve victories in a row and I’m sure he and his team will be looking at re-match possibilities.
super welterweight Peter McDonagh drew 10 Peter Kramer
middleweight Reece Cartwright w ko 3 Juan Adrian Monzon
super middleweight Savannah Marshall w tko 2 Ester Konecna
super featherweight Yusuf Safa w pts 8 Jose Aguilar
super middleweight Mark Jeffers w tko 2 Pjotr Filatov
super lightweight Reece MacMillan w pts 4 Innocent Anyanwu
middleweight Nathan Heaney w tko 3 Sean Gorman
super featherweight Shabaz Masoud w tko 2 Stefan Sashov