By Alexey Sukachev
Echo Arena, Liverpool - Irishman Stephen Ormond (16-1, 7 KOs) spoiled this night of boxing for Frank Warren and roaring Liverpudlian crowd by upsetting pre-fight favorite Derry Matthews (34-9-2, 19 KOs), who failed in a futile attempt to acquire Ormond's WBO European lightweight title. Ormond won a convincing decision with almost identical scores: 98-93 (twice) and 98-92. BoxingScene is an agreement with the latter score.
WBO #14 Ormond looked a fighter of a lighter weight but fougth like a big man against fragile but power-punching Matthews. Sensing that his chance is inside, where Matthews couldn't fully use his reach advantage, Ormond rushed in and soon found that almost non-existant jab of the Brit is not enough to prevent him from coming into close quarters. After the first round, won by Matthews, Ormond imposed his will and style of boxing on Derry, forcing him to fight mostly at the ropes.
The Irishman used body movement to become quite a slippery targter, while Matthews cannot get going and suffered significantly from relentless pressure of the guest fighter. Body punches were also in the pack for Ormond, who delivered them nicely in the midst of the fight to finally stop Matthews in his tracks. Later on Ormond and Matthews, both 30, traded punches, but surprisingly the Irishman's power was on par with Matthews, giving him the edge even in moments of pure brawling.
Highly regarded British super flyweight prospect Paul Butler (14-0, 7 KOs) continued his transition onto the world scene with a solid victory over Mexican Ruben Montoya (12-2-1, 8 KOs) to add a vacant WBA I/C 115lb title to his already owned WBO I/C super flyweight belt with a dominant unanimous decision.
Montoya came in aggressive. Nothing was known of a fighter, nicknamed Huracan, from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, but nothing good was expected from a tough Mexican import. Montoya, 27, lived up to the expectations, going straight to work from round one. However, his aggressiveness lacked serious punching power, his technique was ultimately raw, and he was on receiving end of majority of the punches. During the first half Butler, 25, was very light on his feet, avoiding bein cracked, jabbing his way out and landing soft multipunch combinations to trouble the Mexican.
In the midst of the fight, Butler showed signs of fatigue, and the Mexican turned berserk. It didn't help much him though. The British fighter slipped off his punches, bobbing and weaving at the ropes, blocking the rest of Montoya's blows. When he weathered another stormwave, Butler came back big with pitty-pat but precise combinations to the head and body of the Mexican. Both combatants had their moments down the strech but it was Butler, who finished the fight strongly, hurting the Mexican several times in the twelfth and final round. Final scores were: 120-108, 120-109 and 118-110 - for the WBO #6, WBC #10 and IBF #12 super flyweight. BoxingScene had it closer: 117-111 - also for Butler.
Liverpool's Joe Selkirk (12-0, 6 KOs) captured his first career belt with the thrid-round stoppage of late sub Zoltan Sera of Hungary (Boxrec listed his record 12-0, 8KOs, coming in, while BoxNation displayed 12-1 record for the Hungarian). Selkirk, 28, 2007 ABA welterweight titleholder, is now the WBO Eruopean light middleweight champion.
Amazingly, Sera, also 28, started his career on June 1, scored twelve wins over just six months against very poor local opposition and captured the Hungarian national middleweight title in process. Meanwhile, Selkirk's last bout occured on June 28. Selkirk started aggressively and soon hurt Sera for the first time. The Hungarian bravely fought on with a big cut over his right eye. Despite a severe bleeding the fight went on to the second round. The Hungarian was very active but missed almost all of his punches. Selkirk moved well, jabbing his way out and tagging Sera time and again. In the third, the one-sided contest (Sera had some mild success once in the second though) continued up until the second minute, when Selkirk caught Sera with a boncrushing left hook to the liver followed by the right hand, which saw Sera down. The Hungarian got up but referee Mikael Hook chose to call it off for good. Official time was 2:25 of the third.
Merseyside's Liam Smith, one of four fighting Smith brothers (which also include Callum, Paul and Stephen Smith), successfully retained his BBBofC light middleweight title with a spectacular stoppage of veteran domestic contender Mark Thompson (25-4, 15 KOs) in four rounds.
Thompson, 32, was on a back foot from the starting bell. Smith was aggressive, trying to land his big right hands, but the heavily tattoed Lancashire native did a good job, avoiding damaging blows. He also jabbed well and sticked it into the champion's head several times during the second round. Thompson kicked off the third from where he left, but Smith gradually improved his game to get the better of several exchanges. Finally, Smith pinned Thompson to the ropes, then landed a huge right hook and a left uppercut, when Mark was already down. Thompson was up at the count of five but soon was put down with two big right hands again. He was once again hit when he was on canvas. The fight went on nevertheless, and Thompson was lucky to survive till the bell. Immediately after the break, Smith, 25, jumped on his opponent, swinging freely and soon forced referee to Phil Edwards to wave it off at 0:13 of the round, with Thompson being still rather wobbly. Smith is now 16-0-1, with 6 KOs.
Kill or be killed. It doesn't matter, on which edge Enzo Maccarinelli finishes his fights - he will produce fireworks (in one way or another) in both cases. He proved it once again in his hard-fought seventh-round stoppage of veteran domestic contender Courtney Fry (18-4, 6 KOs), a fight, which saw both combatants having their chances with only Fry going down. Maccarinelli is now 38-6, 30 KOs, competing lighter, in the light heavyweight division.
The fight was first scheduled over twelve rounds for the Macca's Commonwealth title but its distance was reduced to ten rounds after Fry came overweight at the official weigh-in yesterday. Fry didn't show any signs of rehydration and neither did Maccarinelli. Both boxers exchanged heavy leather in the first but it was the former WBO cruiserweight champion, now 33, who delivered the decisive punch after a huge right-left combo to the head of Fry that saw him on the canvas late into the first.
Fry was eating shots in rounds two and three as well, the right hand of Maccarinelli penetrating his guard with ease. However, the 38-year old challenger dished out some punishment to the champ too. Fry enjoyed a great round four, hurting Enzo with several heavy blows, including a major right uppercut, which stiffened the Welshman's legs for a moment.
Macca came big in the fifth. Fry, on the other hand, started the sixth very good, tagging Maccarinelli with several painful punches. When he looked to be finally finding the groove, Maccarinelli came back with a short counter left hook to the cin, which had Fry down again. The latter was also hurt badly late into the sixth. Early into the seventh, Maccarinelli went in for kill, landed another couple of shots (right hand was particularly damaging) to have Fry's corner throwing in a towel to signalize the stoppage. A nice win for a shaky but determined former champion, who looks for bigger shots at 175 lbs.
In a six-round lightweight contest, Matty Fagan moved to 4-0 but still has to wait for his first stoppage win after a convincing, albeit unspectacular and workmanlike, victory over professional tester Youssef Al Hamidi (12-63-3, 1 KO). The sole score was 60-55 - for Fagan. It has com as no surprise that Fagan was unable to halt his opponent, as Al Hamidi was stopped just twice in 78 fights.
--------------------Tags: Enzo Maccarinelli , Derry Mathews , Liam Smith , Paul Butler , Stephen Ormond , Joe Selkirk