Plus full recap of tonight's undercard action.
Matchroom’s latest boxing card came to us from the great fighting city of Liverpool’s Echo Arena this evening. Here is breakdown of all tonight’s undercard action...
In recent times the British 154-pound scene has been nothing more than a gift that keeps on giving. And, in tonight’s chief support Ted Cheeseman and Troy Williamson gave us a potential fight of the year contender. It was Williamson however who captured the coveted Lord Lonsdale belt and will be taking it home to Darlington this evening. We were all expecting this fight to be good, but these two warriors gave us a classic which will be seen in the same light as Moore vs Macklin or Arthur vs Gomez in years to come. Neither man was willing to yield, both fought for the centre of the ring right from the off. The fight swang like a pendulum in every single round. But it was Williamson who took the win with this brutal knockout in the tenth.
Our first fight saw Liverpool’s own Luke Willis move to 10-0. The classy Liverpudlian fought his way to a majority decision win over Rylan Charlton. It was a fight of two halves, Willis ploughed his way to a big lead, racking up the early rounds heavily. However, Charlton came back hard in the second half. But it wasn’t enough to prevail over Willis, who always looked one step ahead. It was a classy performance from Willis, who will certainly look to domestic honours in the not too distant future.
The second stanza saw Kieron Conway edge a razor thing decision in a great domestic dust-up over JJ Metcalf. The man from Northampton spoilt Metcalf’s homecoming. Handing him back to back losses after Metcalf lost to Ted Cheeseman in March. All three scoring judges awarded Conway the fight with scores of 96-94 and 96-95 twice. Conway won the fight from range, keeping busy enough to set up enough attacks, Metcalf’s work rate and nastiness always kept him the fight. They say styles make fights, and this was a great domestic dust-up. Rematch? Perhaps. It is more likely, however. That Conway may well be on his way to take on the winner of Ted Cheeseman vs Troy Williamson for the British super-welterweight title.
Shannon Courtentay’s week went from bad to worse as she lost a majority decision to Jamie Mitchell. The scoring judges awarded the fight to the American with scores of 97-93, 96-94 and 95-95. With this win Mitchell wins the WBA Women’s World Bantamweight crown, a crown which Courtenay lost on the scales. The former champion stating that menstruation led to the weight gain which she was unable to shed. Courtenay was sporting a knee brace on her right knee, which was further hindered by the high work rate of Mitchell. A work rate that ultimately won her the fight. Courtenay did make things uncomfortable in the later rounds, but it wasn’t enough. The former champ seemed shocked at the verdict, and was quick to call out for an immediate rematch. Mitchell, whilst put out by her competitors comments, was only too quick to oblige.
In the next outing, Britain saw the professional debut of one of its most promising stars for many years. Liverpool’s own Peter McGrail oozed class as he finessed his way to a 60-54 victory over Ed Harrison. McGrail almost got his man out of there late in the fight with persistent work to the body. Of course there will be tougher tests ahead for the young man. But it is easy for all to see why he is being dubbed by many as ‘The British Lomachenko’.