By Alexey Sukachev
Liverpool - In a major domestic encounter, ever-resurrecting Derry Mathews (35-9-2, 19 KOs), fresh off his recent loss to Stephen Ormond in December 2013, got back right into mix, acquiring Martin Gethin's BBBofC British lightweight title via a split decision in a heated twelve-rounder.
Gethin (24-5-1, 11 KOs) himself was inactive since last May and was also coming off a damaging loss to Panamanian contender Ammeth Diaz. He learnt the lessons and started the bout freshly, stalking Mathews. The latter, however, quickly re-adjusted and added some angles to his tactics. His lateral movement and fast counters allowed him to take the one.
In the second, Gethin began to find more success on his march in. He delivered several well-placed shots in rounds tow and three, and after that the fight has evened up once again. Both boxers used their favorite styles - Gethin was more effective with his body shots and constant pressure, while Mathews chose to box in more reserved way,
buying his time for sudden surges.
The fight was fought mostly even, with both boxers doing their best for the win. Gethin closed the show strongly but only Dave Parris had the fight for him - 114-115. He was overruled by Phil Edwards (116-112) and Michael Alexander (117-113) who both saw it for Mathews. BoxingScene had it dead even at 114-114.
In a performance, filled in with bravado, machismo... and multiple knockdowns, Chris Eubank Jr. (15-0, 10 KOs), clearly showed what the whole buzz is all about, dropping brave Pole Robert Swierzbinkski (13-3, 3 KOs) no less than seven times en route to an easy seventh-round stoppage.
As usual, Eubank Jr, paid some tribute to the Showboating (with big "S") in the first couple of rounds. He barely threw a couple of punches in the opener in comparison with tons of punches, thrown by Swierzbinski. It didn't matter though, as Eubank Jr. landed both of his punches with conviction, while the Pole only hit the air. The pattern repeated itself in the second round but this time the British fighter landed two major uppercuts, sending Swierzbinski down for the first time.
With his legendary father at ringside, Eubank started to work more consistently in the third. He rocked the Pole a couple of times in that round, then sent him down twice in the fourth with right and left uppercuts. Eubank added another knockdown in the fifth, and two more in the sixth - mostly from his favorite punch but also sending the Pole down with a right hand to the body. Swierzbinski bravely got up every time he was put down but the end was nearing. It came at 1:03 of the seventh after yet another knockdown in favour of Eubank Jr.
Belfast native Ciaran McVarnock (2-0) got his second pro victory with a workmanlike four-round decision over Harvey Hamseley (2-9-1, 2 KOs) in a super featherweight four-rounder. The sole card read as follows: 40-37 - for the undefeated fighter.
2012 London Olympian Thomas Stalker (8-0, 2 KOs) continued his unremarkable if not steady rise in pro ranks with a decision over rugged Ryan Hardy (7-2), a feather-fisted yet very determined boxer with some spirit in him.
Boxing in his usual amateurish style, Stalker was in full control of the fight for the first four rounds. "Full control" in this sense meant, he was circling around Hardy, holding his hand very low and trying to emulate a version of Sergio Martinez, one without any punch
in a package. In the second half, Hardy started to give fits to his famed opponent, trying his best to induce some dog fight with Stalker. He had some success forcing the Olympian on the defensive but landed not to many telling blows. Stalker on the other hand didn't impress as well.
The sole score from the referee was 80-73 - for Stalker. BoxingScene have Hardy some benefit of a doubt scoring the bout closer with a 78-74 scorecard.
Undefeated lightweight contender Terry Flanagan (24-0, 8 KOs) extended his unbeaten streak and scored his second win in 2014 with an impressive second-round blowout of well-travelled Bulgarian journeyman Yordan Vasilev (16-36-2, 4 KOs). Vasilev was put down late in the first on a combination of punches. He rose on unsteady legs and somehow was allowed to continue and even survived through the first. It all ended just 15 seconds after the bell for round two after another powerful surge of the British fighter.
Unbeaten young gun Jack Catterall (8-0, 4 KOs) imposed a severe beating on Polish veteran traveler Krzysztof Szot (18-13-1, 5 KOs) but failed to land one finishing touch to get the job done, as the Pole escaped with a one-sided yet decision loss, never going down in the scheduled eight-rounder dancing tightly on the brink of technical stoppage. The sole score was 80-72 - for 20-year old Catterall.
Birmingham's Joe Costello (1-0, 1 KO) made a sensational debut to the paid ranks with a one-punch first-round knockout of ultra-durable journeyman Youssef Al Hamidi. Costello got the job done with a wicked right hand to the temple of Al Hamidi, which forced him to lose his equilibrium and to go down for a count at 2:18 of the stanza. Al
Hamidi has been previously stopped just twice in his career, which now lists as 12-68-3, 1 KO.
In an inspiring start of the Liverpudlian night of action, journeyman Alistair Warren (8-7-3, 4 KOs) pressed the action and fought on even terms with undefeated opponent Tommy Langford (9-0, 2 KOs) only to find himself on a wrong end of a cut-induced (left eye) technical decision after two minutes and 26 seconds of round five. The sole referee's card read as 50-46 - for Langford. BoxingScene had it 48-48 - a draw.