By Alexey Sukachev
Liverpool, UK - England might very well have another world champion coming in Paul Butler (15-0, 8 KOs). The "Baby-Faced Assassin" successfully retained his WBA and WBO I/C 115lb titles with a dominant stoppage of Argentinean import Oreste Bernabe Nieva (15-3-2, 6 KOs) in four rounds.
Butler, 25, was virtually unknown a year and a half ago but has scored eight wins (including this one) since then. He has gradually become a top-rated British and European super flyweight, grabbing BBBofC British, Commonwealth and WBO/WBA I/C titles in process.
In this particular fight Butler was virtually unstoppable, using all of his vast arsenal against the South American. Butler mixed his jab with stinging right hands and left hooks to the liver. Nieva hopelessly tried to give back but nothing was going fine for him. He was repeatedly hurt in the third stanza, then beaten up bad in the fourth. Finally a big left hook to the body ended the bout at 1:25 of the round.
Butler was ranked WBO #6, IBF #9, WBC #10 and WBA #12 before. His next challenge can be a world title shot - possibly against a winner of Stuart Hall vs. Martin Ward IBF championship.
2012 Prizefighter lightweight champion Terry Flanigan improved his record to 23-0, with 7 KOs, with a tactical eight-round drubbing of overmatched Hungarian Gyorgy Mizsei Jr. (17-9, 10 KOs). Southpaw Flanigan didn't look particularly impressive but left his opponent no chances over the distance. The sole score was 80-72 - for the British boxer.
2012 London Olympian and an ex-captain of the UK Olympic squad Thomas Stalker (7-0, 2 KOs) was forced to fight for real against local journeyman Callum Cooper (7-3). Stalker showed some boxing skills, some spoiler abilities but no punch and power whatsoever against a limited boxer like Cooper. Moreover, the latter had his chances too and tagged Stalker several times during the fight. The final score - 78-75 - indicate that Stalker has and will have major problems, adapting to prizefighting, although this remains to be seen.
Light-hitting but determined flyweight Kevin Satchell continued his education with a solid third defense of his Commonwealth title against rugged but limited Ghanaian import Isaac Quaye (25-5-1, 16 KOs). Satchell dominated Quaye over twelve one-sided rounds. Scores were: 120-108, 120-109 and 119-110 - for Satchell, who is now 12-0, with 2 KOs.
Quaye, 33, while tough and sturdy, was in a different league with 25-year old Satchell in terms of pugilistic skills and reflexes. Satchell was also a bigger and wiser of the two, using his jab to keep much shorter Ghanaian at bay. The British boxer also added hard body shots to slow Quaye down. Isaac's counter attacks were very sparse, very wide and hardly successful.
There were no knockdowns and no fireworks in this workmanlike victory for the British boxer. Satchell is also the BBBofC British 112lb champion - a claim, which can be easily disputed by Scottish Iain Butcher, who almost finished Satchell last July only to lose a close unanimous decision. Other than that, Kevin is on a heat streak, getting six solid wins in a row over quality opponents over the last two years.
A single point meant world for both Ronnie Heffron and previously undefeated prospect John Thain. Heffron was on the right side of Jeff Hinds' sole score (96-95) in a light middleweight Celtic/Pinoy encounter and improves his record to 15-1, with 5 KOs, while Thain gets down to 11-1, with a single kayo.
The bout was hardly impressive. Irish Heffron (actually from Oldham, England) tried to stalked his opponent, using hard body bombs coupled with activity and brutal force. More subtle and physically bigger Thain from Edinburgh, Scotland, but partially from Filipino origin, did his best while staying outside, relying much on his jab, fine
footwork and grab-and-hold tactics in close range.
Heffron was lazy to get off but took the midst of the fight. Thain boxed relaxed but hardened considerably to take the closing rounds of the contest. No one knew for sure, who was a winner, so opinions have rightfully divided. BoxingScene had it 94-96 - for Thain.
Ryan Farrag couldn't find a better opponent to produce major fireworks against than four-division British and Commonwealth champion Jason Booth. Fighting the most prominent foe in his career, Farrag jumped over his head and scored a well-earned fourth-round stoppage - the first one in his ledger.
Farrag started surprisingly fast and strong. A big overhand right to the temple sent Booth, 36, stumbling down. He got up but never was the same. Slow and plodding he tried to overcome his reach deficit but had problems finding the target. Farrag, ten years his younger, was consistent and elusive. He had a good round two and almost knocked Booth down in the third with yet another big right hand.
The fourth was Booth's the best. He stalked Farrag and landed some good punches. But it all has gone lost at the very end of the stanza, when a major right hook to the temple dropped Booth again. The veteran tried to preserve an upright position but it was too hard for him to accomplish as the referee saw enough and waved the fight off.
Ryan Farrag is now 11-1, with 1 KO, while Jason Booth drops down to 37-13, with 15 KOs, getting stopped for the third time in his lengthy career and going just 1-7 in his last eight fights since February 2011. It can be a time for him to hang'em up.