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 George Foreman Warns: If Canelo Overconfident, Khan Can Win Trainer: Tyson Fury Will NOT Retire, Likely Targets Joshua Next Khan Would Reject Mayweather: I'll Mess With Him Like He Did Me Sanchez: I'm Confident Golovkin KO's 'Diva' Canelo in 8 or 9 Luis Ortiz Back on Track After Greg Cohen Withdraws Lawsuit Flint-born Dirrell Brothers Fighting Through Anger, Frustration Bob Arum: It's Obvious Floyd Mayweather is Coming Back De La Hoya: Golovkin Didn't Want Lara - And Canelo Beat Him! Gilberto Ramirez-Dominik Britsch on Crawford-Postol HBO PPV De La Hoya: I Thought Pacquiao Would Be Easy, Canelo in Tough! Gassiev Warns Povetkin: Wilder Punches Harder Than Klitschko Verdejo Not Worried About Critics, Intends To Fulfill Expectations Freddie Roach Says Frankie Gomez in 'Best Shape' For Herrera Amir Khan Stands To Pocket 13 Million in Canelo Showdown Brown on PBC: We're Giving Fans What They Want and Expect Examining the Badou Jack-Lucian Bute Scorecards Anthony Joshua-Zhang Zhilei Eyed For The Future in China? Glen Tapia Ready For David Lemieux, Feels A lot Stronger at 160 Bute Wants the Winner of DeGale-Jack Unification Fight Photos: Anthony Crolla vs. Ismael Barroso Open Workouts Examining the James DeGale-Porky Medina Scorecards Hearn Wants Joshua to Become Pay-Per-View Star in America ALA Promotions Prez: Magsayo Will Never Be Another Pacquiao De La Hoya Breaks Down Speed vs. Power Fights of The Past Curtis Stevens on The Trainer Switch To John David Jackson Team Verdejo Bring in Nutrionists, Sports Psychologists For 6/11 DeGale: I Showed Medina Levels, He Doesn't Deserve Rematch Garcia: If Golovkin Will Face Floyd at 154, Then Face Canelo at 155 Magdaleno To Apply Pressure For Nonito Donaire Title Shot Tommy Coyle Calls To Avenge Luke Campbell KO Loss Video: Hearn Talks Judging Issues in Boxing, Crolla vs. Barroso Amir Khan Followed Strict Diet Switch For Showdown With Canelo Video: Hearn Excited About Mayweather vs. Matchroom Card Shane Mosley Makes Heroic Rescue Of Baby in Freeway Wreck Video: Eddie Hearn Talks DeGale vs. Jack, Smith, More Garcia: Amir Khan Will Not Be an Easy Fight For Canelo "Fighting Words" - On Francisco Vargas’ Positive Drug Test Bute on Jack Draw: I Started Too Late Yet Again Matthysse To Sit Down With De La Hoya in Vegas, Discuss Future Mayweather, Hearn in Talks For TMT vs. Matchroom Card
Latest Boxing Video Video: Hearn Talks Judging Issues in Boxing, Crolla vs. Barroso Video: Hearn Excited About Mayweather vs. Matchroom Card Video: Eddie Hearn Talks DeGale vs. Jack, Smith, More Video: James DeGale on Mayweather, Hearn Rift, Jack, More Video: Callum Smith Breaks Down DeGale-Medina, Jack-Bute Video: Badou Jack Feels Robbed, Looks To The Future Video: James DeGale Shakes Head at Rogelio Medina Outing Video: Malignaggi on Mayweather, Canelo-Khan, Ward-Kovalev Video: Rogelio Medina Sounds Off on James DeGale Loss Video: Lucian Bute Reflects on Jack Draw, Discusses Future
Recent Top Stories
Latest Active Forum Threads