By Matt Bevan (@Matt_Bevan68)
Josh Wale came through one last challenge unscathed, as he prepares to head out to France and challenge for the European bantamweight title, getting past Nicaraguan Rafael Castillo 58-56 in what was a homecoming for “The Outlaw” at the Metrodome in Barnsley.
Wale resisted to urge to get involved in a battle, despite Castillo’s best efforts and will now fully focus his attention on the fight with Georges Ory across the channel on October 26th. It was safety first for the Barnsley man who, along with the rest of his team, breathed a collective sigh of relief at the final bell.
Robbie Barrett is the new IBF European lightweight champion, as he got past Matty Fagan in an enthralling battle. The former British champion earned the victory by unanimous decision, 96-93 twice and a dismal scorecard of 98-91 turned in by the Czech official, which was incredibly harsh on Fagan.
It was a tight affair, where the momentum swung back and forward. It really could have gone either way at the final bell, as Barrett got the nod. Boxing Scene scored it in favour of the Darfield man, 95-94, after Barrett dropped Fagan in the seventh with a left hand.
Kyle Yousaf also left the Metrodome with a new belt, as he cruised to a win over Conar Blackshaw to earn the English flyweight belt. Yousaf was a level above the game Blackshaw, who was game but outgunned, and simply cruised to the win.
The Sheffield man looked excellent when he let his fists fly, however seemed content to stick in the lower gears. Blackshaw was eventually withdrawn by his corner at the end of the sixth, a hand injury the given reason for the withdrawal.
Andy Townend remained on course for a big domestic test in 2019, as he got past Henry Janes 77-74 after eight rounds. Townend cut a frustrated figure at the end, as he couldn’t dispatch the tricky Welshman who stepped in a late notice. “The KO Kid” did put him down in the seventh, but was unable to end matters in an enjoyable tear-up.
Sam O’Maison got a good four round workout, easing past Michael Williams 40-36. The English super-lightweight champion had it all his own way, as Williams offered very little, eventually getting warned by Howard Foster in the third for a lack of action.
Terri Harper impressed as she stepped up to six rounds, improving to 4-0 with an excellent stoppage of Bec Connolly. Harper looked assured and didn’t let Connolly off the hook when she hurt her midway through the third, unloaded a barrage that gave the referee no choice but to stop the fight at 1:40 of the round. It was certainly the performance of the night.
Finally, Connor Coghill retained his perfect record in the pro’s, as he got the better of Michael Horabin, who gave a honest account of himself. Coghill definitely had to work for his 40-36 win and will be in much better shape in his next fight as a result.