Advertisement
Advertisement

Stephen Smith Batters Munoz, Josh Warrington Wins

By Jake Donovan

First Direct Arena, Leeds - In a fight for the Commonwealth/British featherweight titles, Josh Warrington (18-0, 2KOs) easily dominated Martin Lindsay (21-3, 8KOs) over twelve rounds to win a decision. All three judges had an identical scores of 119-110. Warrington punished Lindsay for most of the rounds with an overwhelming workrate.

Stephen Smith (19-1, 12KOs) stopped Mauricio Munoz in eight round to capture the vacant WBC silver super featherweight championship. Smith punished Munoz with shots to the head and body until Munoz had taken any damage and couldn't continue any further.

A familiar storyline played out for Josh Wale in his rematch with Gavin McDonnell; a gutty effort that fell just short of impressing the judges.

A spirited sequel between the super bantamweights failed to produce a winner, as their regional title fight ended in a 12-round split decision draw. Scores were 115-114 Wale, 115-114 McDonnell and 114-114 even, in a fight that appeared to be that close, even if the crowd seemed let down that Wale was not announced as the victor. 

McDonnell was the clear-cut winner when they met last September, and battle-tested enough to where his current unbeaten record is well-earned. Wale, on the other hand, has been forced to embrace the undesirable role of bridesmaid whenever he's stepped up in class, although the 26-year old has always given a solid account of himself. 

That very mindset spilled over into Round 13 between the super bantamweights. McDonnell thought he could get away with boxing at his leisure, but Wale forced a furious pace early in the bout. McDonnell quickly adapted, but seemed to struggle as momentum swayed back and forth through the first half of the contest. 

Wale stepped up the intensity in the middle rounds, coming dangerously close to stopping McDonnell on his feet at one point. Such an ending would have guaranteed Wale his biggest win to date. The sequence towards the end of round eight was as close as either fighter came to inflicting that level of punishment upon the other.

To his credit, McDonnell, 28, dug deep and boxed well in the later rounds - well enough to give the judges quite a bit to think about in a fight that was earlier destined for a clear-cut upset.

The late surge by the unbeaten boxer was enough to avoid a first loss, as Wale was forced to settle for a moral victory in a fight he appeared to shade. 

McDonnell's record moves to 11-0-2 (4KO), his first non-winning performance since his fifth pro bout. Wale leaves the ring with his head held high, and his record now at 16-6-2 (9KO).

Khalid Yafai had no problem turning away disinterested challenger Yaqub Kareem, scoring a 3rd round knockout in their televised opener. 

Yafai (11-0, 8KO) carried the fight for as long as it lasted, as Kareem's lone intention was to hear the bell for each round.  The strategy lasted all of two rounds, though tasting plenty of leather when he wasn't fully in retreat. 

The devastating ending came early in the third, when Yafai scored with consecutive body shots to force the bout's lone knockdown. Kareem (13-4-1, 8KO) went down, showing no interest in rising to his feet as he was counted out at 0:30 of round three.

Not to be outdone by big brother, Gamal Yafai power-punched his way to a succesful pro debut. The 22-year old forced Ricky Leach into submission in less than two minutes. Yafai (1-0, 1KO) threw with mean intentions from the opening bell, not letting up until the referee believed Leach (0-1-1, 0KO) could no longer defend himself.

The official time was 1:46 of round one. 

Promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed a quick turnaround for the younger Yafai, who will appear on the undercard of the May 31 rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves.

STILL TO COME:
Josh Warrington (17-0, 2KO) vs. Martin Lindsay (21-2, 8KO) - 12 rounds, featherweight

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by JACK1190 on 05-21-2014

Kal Yafai and his younger bro both looked great.

Post a Comment/View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines Frank Warren: British Boxing Showing Strength With Title Fights Promoter: Bradley Should Not Target Pacquiao's Shoulder Deontay Wilder is on a Mission To 'Beat Povetkin, Unify All Titles' Golovkin's Coach: No Catch-Weight For Amir Khan Cano: I Have The Experience To Beat Lucas Matthysse Barrera: With a Good Strategy, Canelo Can Beat Golovkin Arum: Gilberto Ramirez is The Complete Opposite of Chavez Jr. Daniel Roman Continues To Roll Forward, Beats Robles Thurman: Brook Went 12, Do I Stop Porter? I Plan To Hurt Him! Marquez, Sulaiman Disagree on Canelo-Khan Being Mismatch Photos/Weights: Alex Saucedo vs. Clarence Booth, More Roy Jones Jr. To Fight Again - Against a 'Fan' in Odd PPV Event! Gabriel Campillo Explains Decision To Retire From Boxing Eddie Gomez Extends Pact With Golden Boy Promotions Roman Martinez-Miguel Berchelt Lands at Poliforum Zamna, 3/12 Thurman: Khan Took 'Easier' Canelo, Brook Tougher For Him McJoe Arroyo-Jerwin Ancajas Heads To The Philippines on 4/16 Povetkin's Promoter: I Think We'll Reach Wilder Deal Without Bids McWilliams Arroyo Confident He Can Shock Roman Gonzalez Froch: I Think About a Comeback Every Day, But I'm Realistic Felix Verdejo Has April Fight Set For Puerto Rico Willie Monroe Return is Pushed Back After Opponent Snafu Santa Cruz vs. Martinez: Hunter, Mendez, Marrero Added Marquez: Khan Can Win, But Canelo Can KO Him at Any Time Roman Gonzalez-McWilliams Arroyo Done For Golovkin-Wade Avtandil Khurtsidze, Giovanni Lorenzo Set For Broadway Boxing Vargas Predicts He'll Make Sadam Ali Quit; 'Not On My Level' Wlodarczyk Faces Brudov on 3/4, Shumenov in Play For April Abel Sanchez Not Viewing Andre Ward's Inactivity as Advantage Quigg Motivated By Fear of Losing as Frampton Bout Nears Khan: Mayweather, Pacquiao Would Be Easier Than Canelo! Ballisai Replaces Kevin Mitchell in Tatli EBU Title Fight on 3/18 Pungluang Sor Singyu Retains WBO Belt With Technical Nod Win Mayweather Stumped on Who Would Win Fury vs. Wilder Floyd Mayweather: Timing Was Not Right For Amir Khan Bout Roy Jones Jr. and Kevin Mitchell: A Tale of Two Retirements McWilliams Arroyo Creeps In, Eyed For Roman Gonzalez Bout Marquez Says There Have Been Talks For Miguel Cotto Bout Photos: Povetkin Getting Jacked, in Beast Mode For Deontay Wilder Estrada's Promoter Questions Chocolatito's Pound For Pound Rank
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement