By Steven Bateson
Dillian Whyte defeated Joseph Parker at the O2 in London on Saturday night, taking one step closer to fighting for a world championship.
Whyte weathered a final round battering and knockdown from Parker to outwork, outhustle and outperform the former world champion over the twelve round distance, flooring the New Zealander for the first time in his career during the contest.
Parker came out looking to make a statement and his faster hands were making a big impression, banging to the body of Whyte and then making the Londoner miss wildly on the counter.
Whyte seemed to feel some of the early body work and should have been two rounds down however a clash of heads at the end of the second sent Parker to the floor and the referee, bizarrely, ruled it a knockdown and therefore awarded Whyte a 10-8 round.
From there it was an extremely lacklustre performance from Parker, bar the final round, as Whyte began to make his extra weight and power count. In close, Whyte was making it untidy and using his head, elbow and forearm to frustrate Parker during the multiple clinches. A straight right in the fourth did stun Whyte but then he answered back and pushed down on Parker, sapping his strength.
Parker was looking sluggish and tired in the sixth as Whyte took control, his shots having far more devil in them than his counterpart. As the fight progressed both men were feeling the pace but Parker was not pushing the fight or throwing enough to win any of the rounds, Whyte able to keep control.
In the ninth Parker came forward and launched a big uppercut but missed and ate a huge left hook that dropped him for the first time in his career. He rose immediately and was able to fight back when Whyte poured it on but it was now very clear that Parker was streets behind on the scorecards.
Whyte was beginning to flag dangerously in the eleventh and was badly buzzed by an uppercut from Parker. He was able to withstand the onslaught but his legs were barely keeping him up, setting up for a grandstand finish.
Parker came out for the kill in the twelfth as both men laid it all on the line. A huge right hand dropped Whyte to his knee and although he was able to rise, he was barely functioning. Parker poured it on and seemed like he might just pull off the miracle but Whyte was able to cling on and just about see it through to the end.
It was an entertaining heavyweight scrap but for Dillian Whyte now a world championship bout should be within his grasp, whether it be Deontay Wilder or a rematch with Anthony Joshua. For Parker he will have to reassess, his performance left a lot to the imagination in parts and he will be left to rue the what if he had fought the whole fight like he did the twelfth round.
Scorecards read: 113-112, 115-110, 114-111
Dereck Chisora knocked out Carlos Takam in the eighth round of a fight of the year contender.
It was an all out war from the get go and Chisora survived one hell of an onsalught to record the biggest win of is career, propelling him right back into world contention when he seemingly looked on the verge of the end.
The first round was like something out of a film as both men just met head on and went to war. Takam was able to push Chisora back onto the ropes and blasted away to body and head but the Finchley man absorbed everything thrown at him and answered back in kind, slamming shots into Takam’s body.
The second round continued in the phonebox formula as both men poured it on, giving the crowd every penny’s worth, and they swung for the fences. Hooks to head and body could not miss as the two behemoths loaded up with everything they had.
Chisora worked off his jab well in the third but then sustained three solid left hooks in a short stint from Takam, neither man keeping their defense tight as they continued to opt for the slugfest. Takam was still pressing forward but the frenetic pace of the first three rounds had visibly tired him and although he pushed Chisora back on the ropes he ate a right to the temple and a left hook counter as Chisora walked him on.
In the fifth, Chisora was now looking tired and Takam took centre stage once more but then the firefight broke out once more. Neither man was able to keep control for long and just when it seemed as though one was gaining the upperhand, the other answered back with a bombardment of their own.
A left hand a straight right seemed to momentarily stun Chisora in the sixth and he was forced to take a steady stream of punishment but just as the referee was taking a look he fired back and seized the initiative. Takam was game and stood for the fight but almost seemed stunned that Chisora was not wilting in any shape or form.
The war of attrition continued into the seventh but it was the eighth when Chisora ripped up the script, defied the odds, and pushed himself onward to another huge fight. Takam ploughed forward and they traded shots only for a right hand from Chisora to catch him high on the head and send him falling to the floor. Takam looked shaken and although he rose it was clear he was feeling the effects of the bout. The referee waved the fight on and Chisora rushed back into the fray, driving home a pearl of a right hand on the button that dropped Takam again and ended the fight.
Chisora by knockout was on very few betting coupons but tonight he’s shown exactly what he is capable of. Throughout his career he has been looked upon as somewhat of an enigma but if Chisora performs like this he is a handful for any Heavyweight in the world. This is one of the best Heavyweight fights of recent memory and I’d recommend anybody to watch this, I’ll be viewing again and again.
Katie Taylor successfully defended her IBF and WBA Lightweight Championships as she blew away America’s Kimberly Connor in the third round.
Taylor, defending her titles for the third time, was on the front foot from the opening bell and opening up with her trademark blistering combinations to head and body. The handspeed was something to behold as she repeatedly sank left hooks into Connor’s midsection and then moved upstairs with heavier blows.
Connor looked a little shellshocked and was trying to absorb the onslaught but she was just too open for Taylor’s shots, the defending champion finding a home for almost everything she threw inside the first two rounds. A headclash did raise a substantial swelling under Taylor’s eye at the end of the second and that gave the challenger a little more confidence entering the third, something that ultimately led to her downfall.
Connor was starting to open up a little more, finding a home for a few eye-catching single punches, but her eagerness to push forward left her open to a right hand from Taylor that seemed to take her legs away. Connor tried to tuck up and fight the champion off but Taylor smelled the blood in the water and a right hand to the side of the head and left hook had Connor’s legs wobbling once more. The American was in big trouble now and Taylor landed another brutal right/left combo before another punishing right forced the referee to dive in and stop the fight.
Connor was gritty but she wasn’t on Taylor’s level, very few fighters are, and now Taylor will move onto another title defense on the 6th October in America against Cindy Serrano. It was a great performance from Taylor and it seems the only fights that could possible challenge the Irish superstar is against the other world champion’s in the sport. The superlatives to throw at Taylor are endless, there is very little if anything she does wrong, and any boxing fan should rejoice in appreciation of her talent.
Conor Benn recorded a second career victory over Cedric Peynaud, this time in much more convincing fashion as he boxed to a unanimous ten round decision to win the WBA Continental Welterweight strap.
Peynaud came out swinging from the get go, just like he did last December, and had plenty of success early doors. He was pressuring Benn, who was trying to slip and dodge, and scored a heavy left hand at the end of the first stanza to show that he was here to prove he was the better fighter.
In the second both men met head on and began to swing the heavy artillery, defying Benn’s pre-fight prediction that he would box, and they swapped hard shots. Benn scored a big left in close and then a trade-off led to Peynaud falling to the deck. The referee, wrongly, ruled it a knockdown but Peynaud wasn’t hurt in the slightest and ended the round on the front foot once more. Peynaud’s decision to box southpaw seemed to throw any Benn gameplan out of the window, he looked almost torn between the idea of brawling or boxing.
Benn was too easy to hit and ate three successive right hooks in the third round as Peynaud continued to up the ante. It looked as though the Englishman hadn’t learn his lesson from the first fight and was watching rounds slip away from him as his French opponent was able to score shots almost at will, Benn standing in range for far too long. But Benn started to find his own range in the fourth, hitting the body well, and it was becoming obvious that Peynaud’s tank was a lot more emptier than it had been early on, the frenetic pace taking its toll.
Benn’s timing was increasing and he landed a crisp right lead uppercut in the fifth before they re-engaged in a war centre-ring in the sixth. Both men had their success and Benn’s defense was looking lax once more but he roared into life at the start of the seventh and a straight right to the body dropped Peynaud for an eight count. Benn was now in the driving seat and looked dominant fighting from range, his jab becoming a more prominent feature, as he pulled away from Peynaud down the stretch.
The Frenchmen senses the bout slipping away and marched forward to swing the fight in his favour, only to walk onto a peach of a right hand in the ninth that dropped him to one knee for another standing eight count. Benn was looking more relaxed and assured in his capabilities and although Peynaud fought valiantly until the final bell there was only one clear winner when all was said and done.
Benn was perhaps gifted a decision in December but he earned this one here tonight. He and his team will have to tighten up his defense, he cannot afford to take that many punches at a higher level, but at 21 years old and after only 13 pro fights (13-0 with 9 KO’s) he still has plenty of time to develop into a true 147lbs contender. The two fights with Peynaud will have taught him so much about the pro game.
Scorecards read: 98-91, 98-90, 97-90
Joshua Buatsi wasted no time in ripping through Andrejs Pokumeiko, stopping the Latvian in the very first round of a scheduled eight to capture the vacant WBA International Championship.
Pokumeiko elected to stand in the centre of the ring and trade with Buatsi from the outset, perhaps bravely or foolishly, and was quickly undone. Buatsi hit a right hand to the body and then scored a left hook as Pokumeiko tried to duck out of range. Pokumeiko was buzzed and strated throwing shots in reaction, only to be dumped on the canvass by a right hand/left hook combo.
The Latvian rose and quickly went back into battle mode but was soon on the receiving end of a second and more sinister left hook from Buatsi, prompting the referee to spare Pokumeiko any more punishment.
Buatsi (now 7-0 with 5 KO’s) has captured the first title of his professional career here but he is now ready for serious tests. He has proven his credentials, as an amateur and now professional, so promoter Eddie Hearn has to be directing him toward domestic level opponents at the very least.
Dave Allen knocked Nick Webb out in the fourth round of their British Heavyweight Championship eliminator, the biggest win of Allen’s career by far.
Webb had dominated the fight up until the finish but in the Heavyweight division one punch truly can change everything and that was never more true than here this evening. This fight was made at short notice and there were those who questioned Allen’s fitness, very few predicted him to win, but he silenced his doubters in the most shocking way possible, landing the picture perfect punch to reinvigorate his profession.
Webb, entering the bout undefeated, started well and was working excellently off his jab whilst Allen seemed happy to tuck up and absorb what was coming his way. Webb was looking to land heavy right hands to the head and body but nothing that seemed to be bother Allen, his granite chin on display once more.
Webb was starting to put combinations together, the straight right uppercut through the guard paying dividends, but Allen continued to press forward and force Webb to throw punches. The fight was following the same pattern through the third, Allen’s occasional output looking telegraphed whilst Webb was able to keep him off using the jab.
But the fight turned in the fourth as Allen started to hit the body and then scored a big overhand right that finally caught Webb’s attention. Webb continued to try and keep control but then another left hand to the body forced him to drop his hands and Allen swung a hail mary of right hand that sent Nick Webb crashing across the middle ropes. The referee should have waved it off immediately, Webb was done, but he gave the fighter the chance to recover only for Webb to stagger upwards on jelly legs before crashing to the deck.
Allen, who had talked about retirement before the fight, is one of the sport’s most popular fighters and this victory will mean the world to him. Hopefully it inspires him to get into the gym and work hard ahead of what should now be a tilt at the Lonsdale belt.
Anthony Fowler scored a knockout of the year contender on Craig O’Brien in the sixth round of a scheduled eight at Super Welterweight. Fowler, an amateur standout, was facing the toughest test of his professional career so far but dominated the contest from start to finish before detonating a brutal left hook finish.
O’Brien was looking to frustrate Fowler with movement and occasional raiding shots but Fowler stalked cerebrally and attacked the body with precision at every opportunity. Fowler’s key punches were the jab and then straight hand to the midsection and after the first couple of rounds the impact on O’Brien was already starting to tell, his arms dropping lower to protect his vulnerability. A left hook to the jaw in round three had O’Brien holding on and was a precursor to what was to come. A straight right in the fourth had O’Brien showing signs of discomfort and then another left hook as they traded punches in the fifth had the Irishman backing off. The bell sounded to start round six and Fowler moved quickly, dipping low and feinting, and then launched a ferocious hook that left O’Brien slumped on the bottom rope, prompting the referee to wave it off immediately.
Fowler’s body punching was brutal, he barely threw toward the head in the first six months, and he showed patience to wear his opponent down. There were moments when Fowler looked a little ponderous however it was an overall impressive display and extends his unbeaten run to 7-0 (5 KO’s). Championship bouts should now be on the horizon for former Team GB fighter.
Frank Buglioni returned to action, following his devastating first round loss to Callum Johnson in March, and got back to winning ways by forcing Emmanuel Feuzeu to retire at the end of the sixth round. Buglioni is looking to rebuild and push himself back into domestic contention so expect tougher tests for him next time out, this was more of a confidence booster. He did show a good range of punches in this bout, however, and his power was on point as per usual.
Charlie Duffield made it two wins for two from hometown fighters as he dispatched Reinis Porozovs inside the distance. Duffield, a southpaw Light Havyweight, is now 6-1 and has knocked out every opponent he has beaten thus far.
London’s Richard Riakporhe took a six round decision over the seasoned Elvis Dube, in the opening bout, to extend his unbeaten record to 7-0 (5 KO’s) in the Cruiserweight ranks.