Sonny Bill makes it 7-0 by dominating Welliver
By Michael J Jones
Former Rugby star Sonny Bill Williams gave a chunk of experience (not to mention weight) to American opponent Chauncy Welliver but still dominated to win a clear unanimous decision after eight one-sided rounds in Sydney.
Williams is now 7-0 (3) and looked good picking his shots intelligently behind a busy jab. The 302lb Welliver soaked up a steady stream of punches but rarely threatened to turn the tide.
After some early mocking by boxing fans of the amateurish traits of Sonny Bill, it's impressive how seasoned he appeared against an opponent with some ten times the ammount of pro contests. Welliver, now 55-11-5, had said before the fight he was in his best shape for a while but could do nothing against the quick hands and punch selection of the New Zealander.
This was also the 29 year old's first bout in two years. Last time out the 6'3" Williams had beaten Frans Botha on points over ten rounds.
Also on the Allphones Arena bill, another former Rugby player Willis Meehan made it 3-0 (2) with a crushing second-round knock-out of Freddie Miller. Willis, the son of former top contender Kali Meehan, is a 6'5" southpaw who looks very useful...especially when you think he is just 19-years-old.
Also on the bill, fellow Rugby players Liam Messam and Paul Gallen both scored wins. Rugby players turning to boxing appears to be fast becoming a trend in Australia.
Jaded Jeff Lacy predictably slaughtered by Cuban puncher Mosley Jr scores KO
By Michael J Jones
LAST night at the Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, the sad demise of former world champion Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy continued as he was stopped brutally by Cuban puncher Sullivan Barrera. The Saint Petersburg veteran showed nothing much more than heart in slumping to his sixth defeat in his 14 year career.
Jolted Jeff had suffered a similar defeat last year to another Miami-based Cuban in Umberto Savigne but any notion he may finally retire was scuppered when he resurfaced for a points win in December. Taking on the 6’2, naturally bigger Barrera always looked a bad match up for the faded “Left Hook” and so it turned out to be.
The bout started with the hard-punching Cuban looking to set up his power punches. Already it was glaringly obvious Lacy, now 37-years-old, didn’t have the size, speed or power to make any impact on Barrera. It came as no surprise when Jeff was floored and pummelled in the first though he made it through…just.
Through the second and third rounds the pace slowed a shade though the Cuban was clearly getting the better of most of the exchanges. Lacy, who has never been the same since a twelve-round drubbing to Joe Calzaghe nine years ago, bravely tried to turn the tide but it was only a matter of time before Barrera’s power told.
In the fourth, Barrera pounced on his weary prey again. Lacy was backed up, took some meaty head shots before the ref sensibly waved it off at 2:05 of the round. Lacy now slumps to 27-6 (18) and needs to get out of the sport immediately. He surely can’t take another shellacking like this again.
For Barrera he is now 15-0 (10) and surely can’t take too much pride in last night’s performance though he is clearly talented and can hit.
For the record, Lacy scaled 168¼lbs while Barrera was heavier at 172½lbs.
In the nominal main event, Canada’s Tony Luis floored and out-scored Philly’s Karl Dargan to win the WBC Continental Americas lightweight title. Luis, nicknamed “The Lightning”, raised his record to 19-2 (7) by scores of 99-90 and two counts of 97-92. Dargan slipped to his first defeat and is now 17-1 (9).
Also on the bill, Shane Mosley Jr stopped winless Rafael Machado in the third. The son of the welterweight and light-middleweight great is now 3-1 with all wins coming inside schedule.
The middleweight prospect is 6’1, 24-years-old and won his debut fight in 34 seconds. His only defeat so far was on a split decision to Marchristopher Adkins.
Capital Punishment: 02 running order
The full scheduled running order for Matchroom's "Capital Punishment" show tomorrow night at the London 02 arena, is as follows:
LEE MARKHAM VS LEWIS VAN POETSCH
6 x 3 mins Super Middleweight Contest
BEN HALL VS RYAN TOMS
6 x 3 mins Light Middleweight Contest
ISAAC CHAMBERLAIN VS MOSES MATOVU
4 x 3 mins Cruiserweight Contest
OHARA DAVIES VS LEE GIBBONS
6 x 3 mins Lightweight Contest
CHARLIE EDWARDS VS CRAIG DERBYSHIRE
4 x 3 mins Super Flyweight Contest
TOMMY MARTIN VS RICKY BOYLAN
10 x 3 mins vacant English Light Welterweight title
JOHN RYDER VS BILLI GODOY
12 x 3 mins WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight title
JOHN WAYNE HIBBERT VS TYLER GOODJOHN
10 x 3 mins WBC International Light Welterweight title
KEVIN MITCHELL VS DANIEL ESTRADA
12 x 3 mins vacant WBC Silver Lightweight title
VIDEO Kevin Mitchell and Daniel Estrada weigh in
iFLTV present the official weigh in for Kevin Mitchell vs Daniel Estrada, ahead of their clash tomorrow night at the London 02 arena. The fight will be aired live on Sky Sports tomorrow night:
VIDEO Boylan and Martin get nasty at weigh in
iFLTV present the official weigh in for Tommy Martin and Ricky Boylan ahead of their clash tomorrow at the 02 in London:
Jon-Lewis Dickinson raring for Simmons test, talks recent dip in form and tips McKenzie to KO Askin
By Michael J Jones
ENTERING 2014, Birtley cruiserweight Jon-Lewis Dickinson was solidifying his reputation as one of the premier 200lb fighters in Europe after several successful British title defences. The 6’4” British champion would continue his good form in his first bout of the year in March when dismantling big-hitting Neil Dawson in ten rounds. In doing so, Dickinson would make the coveted Lonsdale belt his own and looked set for more big fight success through the year.
However, in what started out as a great year quickly turned sour. Facing new Commonwealth champion Ovill McKenzie just three months after Dawson, Dickinson was made the slight favourite entering the dual title show-down. With advantages in height, reach and youth coupled with home advantage, the stage looked set for another dominant performance…but McKenzie had other ideas.
“Looking back I know I wasn’t mentally right for the fight” Jon-Lewis tells Livefight ahead of his April comeback bout versus Stephen Simmons. “Trying to stick to a game-plan when your mind isn’t 100% on the job just isn’t right. I didn’t get enough time to prepare, I was planning a wedding and a trip away for my stag and the McKenzie fight ended up being put behind those things. I realise now that was wrong and I should never have even taken the fight it just wasn’t the right time.”
In the early exchanges, McKenzie showed he meant business throwing hard flurries of shots and was soon piercing the high guard of the British champion with alarming regularity. Dickinson was clearly struggling to get into gear but it was still a huge shock at the end of the second when a left-right dropped him heavily. The count continued after the bell where the ref deemed the stunned Geordie unfit to continue.
In a huge show of sportsmanship, the beaten man made sure there was no angry back-lash from the home crowd; raising his victor’s hand to acknowledge the better man had won fair and square.
“I’ve got nothing against anyone I fight” says Dickinson playing down the classy moment modestly. “They’ve not hurt my family or anything; it’s simply a fight. We go in there to do our best and fair play to him. I was very disappointed to lose but I take my hat off to Ovill McKenzie.”
“I had a brilliant start to the year by beating Dawson to win the British title outright but the rest of the year unfortunately didn’t go my way but I’ve learnt from it and taken some positives away from my defeat to McKenzie and to Courtney Fry.”
Five months after the McKenzie disaster, the 28 year old faced experienced Londoner Fry at Gateshead in a ten round contest for the British Masters cruiserweight title. It seemed a relatively safe comeback fight for Dickinson. Fry at 39 was coming off three straight defeats but the former amateur star turned up in shape and fired up for the match as Dickinson soon found himself engaged in a bitterly-contested war.
“Courtney Fry really surprised me that night” comments Jon-Lewis who was dropped twice in the first by the tenacious Fry. “I’ve been watching videos of Fry for years; even from when he was an amateur up to most of his pro fights and I’ve never seen him box like that. I suppose I under-estimated him; I never expected him to come out all guns blazing and carry that kind of power.”
After the disastrous start, the plucky Geordie regrouped to edge most of the middle rounds and even the fight on the cards but a harsh call from the ref’ late in the contest left Jon-Lewis with even more to do to claw back victory.
“I still don’t know now why the ref took that point away” reveals a still-bemused Dickinson. “Some said it was because of a low blow, others suggested it may have been for holding but I either way I never got a warning and it cost me on the scorecard.”
The tense fight went the full ten rounds where Fry was adjudged the winner by a single point at 95-94. Without the point deduction it would have been an even draw though Jon-Lewis is philosophical about his last two defeats.
“I look at both (defeats) as fights I’ve learned from. The McKenzie fight I just think why on earth was I getting that close to him so early? I shouldn’t have been anywhere near him but I know it’s because I wasn’t mentally right. After that I got married and had my honeymoon in Mexico. I came back at 16st 7 so had one stone and three pounds to shift.”
“For the McKenzie fight I hated every minute of training but for Fry I loved it again. Usually I may have to wear a sweat suit to shift those last few pounds but before Fry I was wearing the suit almost every day. I had too much weight to lose and I think that cost me and I think that’s maybe the reason I went over early on. This time I’ve not put as much on and am now just above 15st and that’s as high as I’ll go (ahead of the Simmons fight).”
“Another thing I’ve learned is…I’ve always seen Courtney Fry as a light-heavyweight who I didn’t think carried much power. He told me afterwards he walks around at over 15st and has always had to boil down to light-heavyweight. I thought he may have moved up for lack of motivation but I was wrong he was big and strong at the weight. At these higher weights everyone hits hard.”
I make the point that Fry’s recent defeats were perhaps of the misleading variety; a stoppage loss to Commonwealth champion Enzo Maccarinelli can be forgiven, a surprise defeat over four rounds to decent Nathan King could be attributed to the shorter distance while the 19-6 Fry’s last defeat came to the faded, but still useful, boxing great Roy Jones Jr.
“Fry’s definitely been around” agrees Dickinson. “In the amateurs he was in the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games, the ABA champion, he was really a top bloke at light-heavyweight and you can’t take that experience away.”
For the former British ruler there will be no safe comeback route. On April 4th he will face tough Scot Stephen Simmons over ten for the “Simbo Monster’s” WBC International Silver title. The fight will be broadcast live on Sky Sports as part of a huge bill featuring Jon-Lewis’ younger brother Travis, Bradley Saunders facing Commonwealth champion Dave Ryan and rising heavyweight star Anthony Joshua.
“I’ve always looked at Simmons as a fight I wanted” reveals the 15-4 (4) contender. “He’s a good fighter, is strong and can box too but his style will suit me. I watched his fight last year with Wadi Camacho and Simmons was getting out-boxed until the last round (when he knocked Wadi out). When you think China Clarke had given Camacho a boxing lesson not long before I feel my boxing ability and speed will pay off.”
It seems likely to this writer that Simmons, after seeing Dickinson stopped early by McKenzie and floored in the first by Fry, may well come out firing bombs from the start of the April 4 bout. Dickinson though says he isn’t concerned. He welcomes those tactics from the 11-0 Edinburgh fighter.
“He’ll probably go for it early but let him; I know I can take a shot” insists the Birtley man confidently. “Ovill McKenzie has a lot of power early and I honestly think Fry hurt me because of that extra weight I had to shift. Even though I lost to Fry I take positives from it; I got up twice early and took it to the wire, I’ve seen many men give up in lesser positions so I think I showed a lot of heart and determination in that fight.”
“I’m raring to go and am really looking forward to the (Simmons) fight” continues Jon-Lewis. “The tickets are flying out fast and it’s great to be on Sky Sports who promote their events brilliantly and always put on cracking shows. Boxing on Sky Sports makes it a little more special as they do build up pieces and film you training etc and that gives you that bit more motivation and makes you a little more determined knowing that you’re on a big show and everyone is going to see it.”
“The last time I boxed at the Metro Radio Arena (in the losing bout vs McKenzie) I felt a bit flat as only half of the Arena was full but I know this time, with Travis, Bradley Saunders and Anthony Joshua on the bill, it will be full to capacity and the place will be electric.”
On March 14th, British and Commonwealth champion Ovill McKenzie defends against Matty Askin in a clash between former Dickinson opponents. The tall Geordie took the unbeaten record of the big-punching Askin three years ago by clear decision. Based on their respective results against Dickinson there only looks one winner but boxing is rarely that straight forward…
“Matty just has got to get in there and stay well away from McKenzie early on and not get involved. To win, Matty has to be very disciplined, have a good game-plan and stick to it but I just see him getting too involved at some point and McKenzie stopping him. Ovill McKenzie we know is a dangerous puncher and I see him winning in the middle rounds.”
“I still believe that when I’m 100% physically and mentally right I’ve got it in me to beat McKenzie. I’ve learned from my recent defeats and I know I’m ready to win more titles. My future is still bright.”
Bradley Saunders and Anthony Joshua will headline a huge show at the Metro Radio Arena as Matchroom bring live Sky Sports boxing to Newcastle on April 4.
Saunders will take on Dave Ryan for the Commonwealth Light Welterweight title, while Joshua will be fighting in his 11th pro fight.
Tickets are priced £40, £60, £100 and £150 VIP
Tickets are on general sale now with £40, £60 and £100 tickets available from the Metro Radio Arena at metroradioarena.co.uk and on 0844 493 6666
VIP tickets are available exclusively from Matchroom Boxing
The dramatic bout between Dickinson and Courtney Fry-
Juan Manuel Marquez: Mitchell is good, but loses to Estrada
MARQUEZ: ESTRADA IS HERE TO WIN
Mexican legend in town and expects a great fight on Saturday
Juan Manuel Marquez has backed Daniel Estrada to defeat Kevin Mitchell when the pair clash at The O2 on Saturday night (January 31), live on Sky Sports.
The Mexican legend is part of Team Estrada as he takes on Mitchell for the WBC Silver Lightweight title in a final eliminator the World strap.
Estrada challenged Omar Figueroa for that title in August in Los Angeles, giving the champion everything he could handle in an entertaining nine round fight on the undercard of Kell Brook’s World title win over Shawn Porter, and four-weight World king Marquez is backing his man to land a second shot at the crown – but knows that Mitchell poses a tough challenge.
“That’s a dream that Daniel has,” said Marquez. “He fought for the World title against Omar Figueroa, it didn’t go well but he wants to vindicate himself with the WBC Silver belt which will open the door to another World title fight. He comes with that dream, to win and then to fight for the World title again. I think that Mitchell wants the same thing.
“The most important thing here is to come and win with the mentality that he wants to fight for the World title. He comes motivated and with this big hope to win. Every fighter’s dream is to fight for the World title. That’s why he is here in England.
“Mitchell is a good fighter, he’s a man who has kept himself at a good level in terms of his style of boxing. I think it’s a difficult fight for Daniel, difficult because of Mitchell’s style and also because the fight is in his country. It’s an interesting and important fight and it will be good for the fans watching. I always say that when a Mexican is in the ring he’s going to put on a good show, and he wants the victory, that’s why fans enjoy fights involving Mexicans.”
Marquez joined Estrada in his ten week training camp with hall of fame trainer Nacho Beristáin, and he is in no doubt that ‘Tremendo’ is in the best shape possible to earn the win.
“I trained or went running with him often and it was a good training camp,” said Marquez. “He comes here in good condition, he comes to win, like all fighters do. He’s doing very well in terms of his condition. It was a tough and hard training camp and he’s here to put on a great fight.
“Daniel wanted to run in the mountains to be in great shape and get that strength and we’re hoping to see the results of that on Saturday.
“I form part of his team and I also have something to do with the promotion of Daniel with Fernando Beltrán and Zanfer Promotions. At the same time I support him in terms of training and what he has to do as a boxer. We help him outside of boxing as well.”
Estrada’s clash with Mitchell is part of a great line-up of action at The O2 as John Ryder defends his WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight title against Billi Godoy.
There’s a tasty pair of Light Welterweight bouts as John Wayne Hibbert and Tyler Goodjohn meet for Hibbert’s WBC International strap and Tommy Martin and Ricky Boylan square up for the vacant English title.
Team GB star Charlie Edwards makes his hotly anticipated pro debut on the bill, as does Cruiserweight Isaac Chamberlain, as Ohara Davies, Ben Hall and Lee Markham make their first appearances in 2015.
Only £40 tickets are available for the show at www.theO2.co.uk and on 0844 856 0202.
Listless Lacy set for another Cuban catastrophe on ill-advised return this Friday
By Michael J Jones
THIS Friday in Connecticut, former world super-middleweight champion Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy continues his latest comeback when facing Cuban prospect Sullivan Barrera over eight rounds. Now 37-years-old, the aging Saint Petersburg native was expected to retire after a crushing loss last year to Umberto Savigne yet scored a low-key win in December to set up his latest bout.
Worryingly for Lacy, Friday’s opponent Barrera is, just like Savigne, another tall, hard punching Cuban with an out-standing amateur pedigree. Entering the Savigne bout last July, Lacy’s only stoppage loss was on a corner retirement to boxing great Roy Jones Jr, yet the Cuban utterly destroyed the Florida veteran, flooring the smaller Lacy in the first before brutally dispatching him in the next.
The confidence, punching power and hand-speed has long left the former IBF champion….sadly it looks like his granite jaw has also now left the building. It’s yet another sad chapter in the once highly touted fighter known as “Left Hook”.
After compiling a terrific 209-12 record in the amateurs, the former US champion and Olympian turned pro almost exactly 14 years ago (to the date of the Barrera contest). After impressing with a string of venomous knock-outs, the exciting super-middleweight puncher was paired with Syd Vanderpool in October 2004 with the vacant IBF belt on the line.
Lacy would power to an eight-round stoppage and would make four successful defences before running into the whirling fists of Welshman Joe Calzaghe. The March 2006 unification bout saw long-time WBO champion Calzaghe face his less-experienced IBF rival Lacy in an eagerly-awaited battle of unbeatens.
While many tipped Lacy to wreck Calzaghe’s perfect record, the Welsh southpaw put in a career best performance to out-box, out-fight and punish the plodding American who slumped to a land-slide defeat in Manchester.
Since that infamous loss, Lacy has gone just 6-4 (1) in nine long years. While defeats to Jermain Taylor and Jones Jr can be excused, a wide decision loss to Pennsylvanian journeyman Dhafir Smith in 2010 provided a glaring indication of Lacy’s sad decline.
Three years after the Smith humiliation though the former champion resurfaced in late 2013 with a win.
The Savigne loss would be only the second bout of his latest comeback. The eight round win Lacy scored in December came against the limited Martin Verdin, just 20-16-2 entering the fight.
Jeff Lacy’s overall record now stands at 27-5 and it’s hard to believe he is being allowed to face another dangerous puncher who surely must be favoured to do something similar to what his countryman did six months ago.
Lacy was a good fighter in his prime but shouldn’t be allowed to put himself in potential further harm facing younger bigger guys wanting his name on their promising records.
The bout goes ahead at the Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket. Sullivan Barrera is currently 14-0 (9) and beat both Chad Dawson and Beibut Shumenov in a celebrated amateur career. The Cuban won all four bouts last year including three inside schedule. At 32 he is only a few years younger than Lacy but far fresher. Expect another punishing night for poor Jeff…