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 Eric Molina: If No David Price - Bring on David Haye Showdown! Del Valle Provides a Tough Litmus Test For De La Hoya, Team Says Canelo: I'm Making History - Golovkin is Older and Fought Nobody! Rosado, Monroe Exchange Harsh Words Ahead of Sept. 17 Fight Ray Edwards, Former NFL Veteran, Inks Boxing Promotional Pact Rosado-Monroe Winner Could Get Canelo Next, Says Golden Boy VP Diego De La Hoya: Just Having The Last Name is Not Enough Jermall Charlo is NOT Yet on Board For Julian Williams Defense Tommy Oosthuizen Resumes Career With a Stoppage Win Peralta Parks Cab in The Garage, Ready For Guerrero Rematch De La Hoya: Canelo in The Process of Being a Worldwide Superstar Canelo vs. Smith: Sadam Ali, Eddie Gomez Added To The Card Kid Galahad: Brook Will Beat Golovkin in Style, Box His Ears Off! Malignaggi: I Wouldn't Mind a Shot at David Peralta Next P. Fury: Brook in a Win-Win Position Against Gennady Golovkin David Price Eager To Face Joseph Parker on Joshua Card Crolla Very Motivated To Topple Jorge Linares in 'Legacy Fight' Ricky Burns, if He Beats Relikh, To Land Adrien Broner Next? Mayweather vs. Pacquiao PPV: Strange Twist in Waiter Lawsuit Lauren's Trainer: Svensson Never Fought Anyone on This Level Teddy Atlas: Nobody at 147 is in a Hurry To Face Errol Spence Abel Ramos Breaks Down Juan Jesus Rivera in Six Rounds Edwards Gaining Steam in Camp as Casimero Bout Nears "Fighting Words" - Guerrero, Angulo and the Right Time To Go Canelo: Ready To Face Golovkin? He Has To Be Ready For Me! Two Olympians Investigated For Gambling Allegations in Rio Sammy Valentin Joins WBO Drug Free Kids Movement In Tampa Canelo, Smith No Longer VADA Testing - No Cause For Concern Peralta: I Was a Sad Cab Driver, Now I'm a Happy Boxer Hasanboy Dusmatov Denies Promotional Deal, Eyes Olympics Video: J. Mayweather Discusses Gennady Golovkin vs. Kell Brook Video: Badou Jack Talks James DeGale Unification, More Photos: Shakur Stevenson Sports TMT Hat at Homecoming Parade Video: J. Mayweather Discusses Mayweather vs. Pacquiao II Ian Tims Joins MGM, Will Return Soon Chocolatito vs. Cuadras: Ryan Martin Added To The Card Video: Peralta on The Journey From Cab Driver To Contender Video: Robert Guerrero Reflects on Shocking Loss To David Peralta Langford Not Bothered By Trash Talk From Eubank Jr. and English Kovalev's Promoter: Tickets For Ward Bout Are Reasonably Priced
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement