By Alexey Sukachev
There was everything you could imagine in a fight - knockdowns, point deductions, rumble and major controversy - all within one twelve-round package, as Tommy Coyle of the UK and his Argentinean opponent Daniel Eduardo Brizuela produced a natural thriller and a clear-cut Fight of the Year frontrunner, which featured eight knockdowns, three point deductions and a highly questionable stoppage. After a fog of war dispersed, and shouts became less noisy, Tommy Coyle (18-2, 8 KOs) came out as the winner by way of TKO to retain his IBF International title. Time was 1:07 of the twelfth and final round.
After a slow start, Brizuela, who lost a close call to Daud Cino Yordan last year, found his distance and began applying real power. The soft spot in Coyle's defense was soon found, and it proved to be his liver section. After hurting Coyle several times with well-placed left hooks, Brizula landed a cracking right hand to put the Brit down late into the second round. Amazingly, this setback motivated Coyle to engage even more into the fisticuffs. He turned back the tide in the third, using his right hand to tag the Argentinean several times throughout the stanza. He continued his way back into the contest in the fourth round and looked dominating in the fifth. However, referee Steve Grey also warned him harshly twice for hitting below the beltline.
Just when it seemed, Coyle was in relative safety, Brizuela made his biggest throttle, having a monstrous sixth round. Hitting repeteadly to the liver section, he finally put Coyle down again in pain. Then immediately the British fighter was decked again with the same shot. Clearly hurt with a mask of pain on his face Coyle managed to get an upright stance right before the count of ten to continue fighting. The way he fought back made the sixth a frontrunner for a Round of the year. And it was so for about ten-to-fifteen minutes.
As was the case in the third, a huge letdown motivated Coyle to fight with even more zeal. And he responded, taking the seventh round. The eighth round was a thriller again. This time Coyle has been finally deducted a point for hitting way too low. The score was very much 67-62 or 66-63 - for Brizuela at this point, meaning the Brit had something to do. And he did, finally scoring with a right haymaker to send the Argentinean down hard at the very end of the round. Actions continued to go his way in the ninth, when the referee - this time without any warnings - deducted a point from Brizuela for a low blow of his own (although it was just a single shot without any previous warnings). However, Argentinean looked better in the tenth, once again troubling Coyle's liver.
The eleventh proved to be the real apex of a whole encounter. Brizuela (25-3-2, 8 KOs) started it well, and finally found the same liver section to put Coyle down in pain. And once again he beat the count. Feeling the taste of blood Brizuela rushed in and... immediately down, following a counter right from the Brit. He survived the first count but was very wobbly, and soon was knocked down again. Browsing a world of pain and despair, Brizuela got an unexpected aid from the referee, who deducted a point from Coyle for hitting after the break. Brizuela lasted the round, and started the twelfth actively. Coyle, however, turned it around and landed yet another damaging right hand to put Brizuela down. The Argentinean beat the count and looked ready to go, when Steve Gray unexpectedly waved the fight off, repeating a sad outcome of the Froch fight in what was a notch worse in skill but no way worse in drama performance.
2012 London Olympics bantamweight gold medalist Luke Campbell (5-0, 4 KOs) continued his professional education with a one-sided victory over durable traveller Scott "Iron Duck" Moises (8-9-1, 2 KOs). The fight was scheduled for eight rounds, and it was 1:38 of the eighth, when Campbell has finally stopped his opponent.
Moises didn't actually box but rather smiled and showboated the whole fight. Still, his granite chin prevented him from going down despite some clean shots from Campbell. The Olympian didn't press the action and was doing his job carefully and patiently. Moises was cut over the bridge of his nose in the fourth, was saved once by the ropes and was taking his gradual punishment with a constant smile. The final touches arrived in the eighth round. Moises was firstly put down with a left hook to the body and then was finished off with a combination of punches.
A dream of a lifetime has come true tonight at the Hull Ice Arena, where Curtis Woodhouse (22-6, 13 KOs) came through hell and some more against Darren Hamilton (14-3, 3 KOs) to acquire the latter's BBBofC British light welterweight title - one he was seeking for all these years. Scores were: 116-115, 116-114 - for Woodhouse, and 116-113 - for Hamilton. BoxingScene had it a draw 114-114.
The fight couldn't be more intriguing, matching a former English junior national and a renowned troll hunter Woodhouse, 33, with a 35-year old ex-hobo from Bristol, Avon. Hamilton was making the third defense of his belt, while Woodhouse was looking to win something big in his third and maybe his last attempt.
Both boxers started slowly. Hamilton, as awkward as they go, raised his left glove high, looking for a fast right counter. Woodhouse was more conventional, trying to use one-two combos to get inside. Hamilton wasn't fully defensive as well, looking to land his spear-like jab. And he had some success early on, despite Woodhouse looking in control. Both fighters battled hard, albeit monotonous, with neither prevailing up until the midst of the fight. Hamilton was the first to hurt Woodhouse at the end of the sixth, but the former soccer player of Sheffield United (still playing for Sheffield FC part-time in lower divisions) had a big seventh round.
The see-saw affair continued with an ever-increasing tempo in the next rounds. Woodhouse was an aggressor, who bullied Hamilton, trying to overwhelm him with his sheer activity. Hamilton looked to counter with precision and followed Curtis' attack with counters of his own. Both boxers gave their all in the closing two rounds, fighting their heart out. Woodhouse was the last to tag Hamilton and, quite possibly, it brought him a final win in what was one of the best British fights this year.
Gavin McDonnell, a twin brother of ex-IBF bantamweight titlist Jamie McDonnell, made a hard but a well-earned step forward in his career, acquiring a vacant BBBofC British super bantamweight title and closing a gap between his and his brother's achievements. McDonnell got his job done with a sixth-round stoppage of unbeaten and inexperienced challenger Leigh Wood.
The beginning was all rocky for Wood, a young fighter with just a single victory over a fighter with winning record. Wood went down almost immediately - after a slip, which was erroneously ruled a knockdown by the referee. Wood continued to fight like he has probably never done before. Angered and determined he was stalking McDonnel from pillar to post for two and a half rounds. McDonnell was firstly on the defensive but at merciless body punches. Then he tried marching forward but his opponent was relentless. McDonnell was hurt several times but Wood was unable to put him down.
The turning point was somewhere in the fourth, when McDonnell finally started to find his groove. His attacks got more and more successful, and he was able to penetrate Wood's guard. The fifth was mostly McDonnell's round as well - he landed more than his opponent delivered, although Wood also had his chances. Still the end in the sixth wasn't expected. McDonnell caught Wood with a big right hand on his way in and then followed it with a huge combo. Wood, lacking experience, ate a number of blows in succession. After several barrages, hurt and defenseless he was stopped on his feet by the referee.
McDonnell, now a British champion, is 11-0-1, with 4 KOs, while Wood suffers his first career loss and down to 11-1, with 4 KOs. Time of stoppage was 2:03.