British Lionhearts record debut WSB victory as Cordina, Fowler, Fa and McGoldrick all triumph in 4:1 away win over USA Knockouts at ‘The Hanger’ in Orange County, California.
Many pundits are expecting the British Franchise to take the WSB by storm in their debut season, such is the strength in-depth of talent at their disposal. With a coaching set-up that is the envy of the world, the Lionhearts are well equipped to make their mark in the extremely tough Group B. They faced the first real test of their metal against the USA Knockouts.
The first bout of the evening saw the Lightweight (61kg) showdown between the USA Knockouts’ resident Texan Eric ‘Fearless’ Fowler and 20-year-old Welshman Joseph Cordina. The American southpaw tried to use his experience against his taller opponent in the early exchanges but Cordina’s measured approach and shot selection throughout the five rounds ensured the British Lionhearts got the first win on the board.
The next fight had up and coming Marquis Moore battling two-time British Champion Anthony Fowler at Middleweight (73kg). The good, quick and snappy punches of the Lionhearts’ Fowler quickly had him in the ascendency with once again the British boxer having a big height and reach advantage. The contest was over in the second round after a stunning left hand followed by a devastating overhand right sent Moore crashing to the canvas, Fowler winning by KO, 2-0 to the visitors.
Fowler declared afterwards, “He was rolling a lot so I knew that if I put my weight behind my big right hand, he would eventually walk into it. I had to keep my composure, I listened to my coaches, it was a great way to win”.
Fan favourite Kennedy Katende, now representing USA Knockouts after two seasons with Mexico Guerreros, faced Zlatko Ledic in the evening’s Light Heavyweight (85kg) bout. Quick and agile, Katende’s movement and the accuracy of his punches had the tall Ledic on the back foot throughout the first four rounds. In the fifth, Katende, sensing blood, turned on the style, unloading a huge left hand that sent his rival sprawling on the canvas. Ledic tried to continue but the after getting up was subject to another barrage of punches and the referee stepped in to stop the contest, Katende reducing his team’s deficit in the tie with a KO of his own.
“When I get in the ring, I am in for the show. I always want to put on a show”, beamed Katende after the fight.
The British Lionhearts’ Uaine Fa from Tonga was up next in the Heavyweight (91+kg) match-up, using his jab to good effect as he grew into his fight against the orthodox American Avery Gibson. Fa’s height advantage and calculating approach saw him not only extend his unbeaten WSB record to four wins but also ensured the overall victory for his team.
The Bantamweight (54kg) bout was on last with Commonwealth Games gold medallist and burgeoning talent Sean McGoldrick making his first foray in the pro ranks against experienced campaigner Braulio Avila Juarez of the USA Knockouts. This was real test of 20-year-old McGoldrick’s credentials at this level as he faced a Mexican fighter with ten fights over two WSB seasons under his belt. It was an entertaining and strategic battle between two polished performers. The positive Welshman’s speed and clever combination punches saw him just edge it to win by split decision and give the Lionhearts a convincing 4:1 victory in their first match in WSB.
“My constant pressure got to him in the later rounds. My jab was very effective. The advice of the coaches was spot on. I felt a lot fitter. He is a class fighter (Avila) but I just did my thing”, said McGoldrick after the victory.
Lee Pullen from the British Lionhearts’ coaching team said: “It was a very good night for the team. The boxers adapted superbly to the different demands of WSB and we were very happy with their performances and the result”.
The first British Lionhearts home match will be against Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, Wales, on Friday 23rd November 2012. Olympic silver medallists Fred Evans and John Joe Nevin will box alongside Andrew Selby.
USA Knockouts now travel to the ‘Daulet Sports Complex’ to lock horns with the impressive unit Astana Arlans Kazakhstan.