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Kevin Mitchell Wins, Jenkins Wins Prizefighter Tourney

By Alexey Sukachev

Welshman Chris Jenkins (10-0, 5 KOs) put an exclamation mark to his already impressive performance at this Prizefighter series, blowing away durable Danny Connor (10-6-1) in just two rounds and getting the main prize of the tourney. Jenkins, 24, who had some amateur honours in his past, didn't look like a puncher in the previous two fights, despite landing numerous blows and going 60-54 (x3) on combined scorecards, but he looked like a puncher when it was needed most - in the final. Jenkins started throwing leather from the opening bell and just couldn't stop doing that. Some of them landed cleanly. One that hurt Connor, was an overhand right followed by a left hook to the liver section. Down he went in pain but lasted to the bell. In the second stanza, soon after the start of the round, Jenkins landed another massive right hand to have Connor reeling to the ropes and then finished him off there. Connor was counted out on one knee at 0:40 of the round - for the first time in his career. Jenkins got his most impressive win to date.

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Kevin Mitchell, 28, a perennial WBO super featherweight and lightweight contender and former two-time world title challenger, came back with a win over Frenchman Sebastien Benito (10-7, 3 KOs) after ten months out of the ring following his TKO 4 loss to the reigning WBO champion Ricky Burns. Mitchell (now 34-2, 24 KOs) looked a bit rusty and unfocused and didn't show the same fire, he was known of in the past, cruising to a workmanlike decision over right. The sole score was 80-71 - in his favor.

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Chris Jenkins (now 9-0, 4 KOs) became the second finalist of the Prizefighter series with a convincing win over tough but inexperienced Eren Arif (now 4-1, no KOs). Jenkins looked a superior fighter with his sharp volume punching. He threw numerous punches, landed many of them and didn't let Arif to land punches of his own. Jenkins took the first and the third rounds cleanly but ate a big right uppercut by his opponent to be a bit rocked in the second stanza. It didn't help Arif though, as he lost the bout with identical scores: 30-27 - for Jenkins. BoxingScene was in agreement - 30-27.

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Danny Connor (10-5-1) became the first finalist of these Prizefighter light welterweight series with a deserved but thrilling win over Ryan Taylor (8-2-1, 3 KOs) in three rounds. Connor didn't start particularly well, moving backwards, landing rarely, being pressed by Taylor. Taylor was aggressive and landed better shots in both of the first rounds. it looked like the fight was withing his grab, when in the third his over-anxiety played a bad trick with him, when he ran into a hard right hand by Connor and immediately went down. Connor jumped on Taylor and scored another knockdown before the final bell in what was a Taylor's fight. He did just enough, capturing it with close scores: 30-26, 29-27 and 28-27. BoxingScene was in agreement with the last score: 28-27 - for Connor.

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Former top amateur Chris Jenkins (8-0, 4 KOs) of Wales moved forward with a one-sided unanimous decision over durable but limited Tony Owen (14-2, 2 KOs). Rounds were similar between each other, as Jenkins was tough, very active and fairly sharp. Owen tried to trade punches with a better fighter but he lacked both speed and power to prevent Jenkins to move on with his volume punching. The latter landed numerous head blows, but Owen, despite being hurt, was game and survived till the final bell. All three judges scored it 30-27, and so did BoxingScene - for Jenkins.

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BBBofC Southern Area lightweight champion Liam Shinkwin, 27, was a betting favorite, coming into his fight with fellow undefeated recent rookie Eren Arif, also 27, but the Londoner upset the odds by scoring an effective, crowd-pleasing UD 3 with scores 30-26 (x2) and 29-27 - in his favour.

Arif (now 4-0) started hugely, winging his punches with blistering speed, and rocked his foe a couple of times with these wild swings. Shinkwin (now 6-1-1) did a bit better in the second with his jab and lateral movement. In the third, however, Arif was unstoppable, throwing (and landing) one punch after another. He also dropped Shinkwin hard during the second minute and almost stopped his in the closing seconds. BoxingScene had it 30-26 - for Arif.

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In a second quarterfinal, two once-defeated fighters clashed horns, and Ryan Taylor (8-1-1, 3 KOs) came victorious with a UD 3 over Matty Tew (12-2, 3 KOs), who was coming off his first career loss (by a KO) this March. The first round was even, with both participants losing much power in frenetic exchanges. Tew, 30, was better in the second with his well-placed power punches. Taylor, 25, looked superior in the third but failed to see, how he had hurt Tew with his body punch, and didn't finish the show. Nevertheless, scores wer 29-28 - in his favour. BoxingScene had it 29-29 - a draw.

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At the same time with Darren Hamilton defending his BBBofC British light welterweight title against former Prizefighter winner Adil Anwar (who took top honours in the competition in 2012), BBBofC Southern Area 140lb champion Danny Connor (9-5-3) looked sharp enough to become the first semifinalist of the new Prizefighter 140lb series by outpointing previously undefeated youngster Chrlie Rice (6-1, 1 KO) with a unanimous decision.

Rice's opposition's overall record was just 20-299-7 coming in, while Connor, who was just 0-4-1 at the start of his pro career, was coming very strong lately. Rice started very aggressively and also very amateurishly. At least he was active though, while Connor mostly moved backwards. The second round saw a twist with Connor's jab becoming more and more effective. He also mixed it with hard body shots. In the third Rice started fast and landed a number of crisp blows but his opponent closed the show better. At the end scores were: 30-27 and 29-28 (x2) - all for Connor. BoxingScene disagreed, awarding this bout to Rice - 30-28.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Mick Higgs on 07-07-2013

Chris Jenkins certainly deserves a shot at Welsh area champion Jason Cook next. This fight should be made within 2 months!

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