News May 2019

Prizefighter - full report and scorecard


By John Evans at ringside.

Rocky Fielding wins Prizefighter

Rocky Fielding was last night crowned the 17th Prizefighter champion after an exciting night of fights at the atmospheric Liverpool Olympia. The late entrant took a grand total of just 7 minutes and 53 seconds to record 3 convincing victories and deservedly claim the £32,000 prize in front of his adoring fans.

"It’s just unbelievable - I was nowhere near the line-up nine or ten days ago but the second I knew I was in it I thought, ‘I’ll win that’.

“I’m always in great shape, I don’t fear anyone and I’ve got a good following so I’m ready to be in the big-time. I’m not going to jump the gun and say I want title shots and so-on – I’ve only had three fights before this and I know that – but as this showed, I’m always ready to fight and I’ll box anywhere and this will open big, big doors for me." said the jubilant winner.

The latest edition of the popular series had a distinct local feel. Of the eight super middleweights battling for the prize, three were proud Liverpudlian’s and each carried an interesting backstory into the tournament. With Runcorn born former world champion Robin Reid added to the mix, the scene was set for an entertaining edition of the popular series.

The first quarter final of the night saw Fielding face off against the unpredictable knockout artist P.J Maxwell. The unbeaten prospect twice turned down a place in the competition but had a late change of heart and was hoping to follow gym mate Martin Murray’s lead and claim the top prize.

There was no doubt as to who the crowd favourite was as Fielding entered the arena to a huge ovation from his supporters. After a messy beginning with Maxwell mauling forward looking to land his big punches, the tall, rangy Fielding was able to use his physical advantages and began to land more cleanly. He scored with a nice jab, right hand combination midway through the round and followed that with a clean uppercut followed by a left hand. As the second round began, Fielding continued to land the more eye catching shots and Maxwell seemed to tire quickly. He went down on a left hook midway through the round and although he beat the count, Fielding was in no mood to let him off the hook as he unleashed a barrage of left hooks and right uppercuts and a final straight right which forced the referee to save Maxwell after 2.29 of the second round.

Being drawn against Yorkshireman Wayne Reed will have held no fear for Joe Ainscough. The Liverpudlian recently returned from a near two year lay off following a horrific stabbing incident and seemed determined to just enjoy the night. Fighting in the familiar Sheffield style made famous by Naseem Hamed and Ryan Rhodes, Reed was elusive early as he boxed off the back foot and looked to counter the incoming Ainscough. The shaven headed southpaw became easier to hit as the round wore on though and allowed himself to be bullied into the ropes after eating a nice right hand. It was Ainscough’s round and he punctuated it by landing a big left hook.

Ainscough continued to plough forward in the second round but enjoyed considerably less success and in the final minute of the round Reed was able to counter with hard single shots. Whether it was a case of Reed finding his timing or Ainscough simply tiring, the final round turned into a three minute ordeal for the scouser. Reed couldn’t miss with his southpaw left hand as Ainscough suddenly struggled to close the distance. After being hurt on numerous occasions, a straight left put Ainscough down as the 10 second warning sounded. Although the Liverpudlian made it to his feet, the knockdown made things interesting on the scorecards and the possibility of a draw loomed. The scorecards read 29-28 Reed and 29-28 and a ridiculous 30-28 in favour of Joe Ainscough meaning the local fighter progressed via a split decision.

Ian John Lewis’ score of 30-28 defies belief and caused considerable anger at ringside. Reed clearly won the last round and the knockdown made it as clear a 10-8 round as you could wish to see. John Lewis somehow scored the round 10-10. Reed’s trainer Glyn Rhodes was furious with the officials and the row continued throughout the night with Reed even returning to ringside to engage in a heated debate with Sky studio guest Steve Collins. While it may just be a single scorecard on a Prizefighter show, scores like this don’t help boxing’s reputation. £32,000 isn’t an inconsiderable amount of money and Reed was denied the chance of progressing.

Only in Prizefighter could you find a former WBC world champion taking on a fIVE fight novice but that’s the situation that Robin Reid found himself in as he took on the unbeaten Tobias Webb. Despite looking in as good a condition as the day he lifted that title, a fired up Reid struggled to keep up with his younger, quicker opponent from the opening bell. Webb’s jab was an effective weapon but it was his body work which seemed to be having the biggest effect on the 40 year old, forcing him to hold on numerous occasions. Reid was unable to get into any rhythm and seem unsuited to the 3 round sprint format of the show, even when he made Webb miss he was unable to counter effectively. With his uncle Enzo Maccarinell’s shouting encouragement from ringside, 22 year old Webb fought through the tiredness and a late charge from the veteran to earn a well deserved unanimous decision via scores of 30-28, 30-27 and 29-28. Reid finished the bout with a swollen left eye, a cut to the back of the head and a sense of frustration which may well force him out of the ring for good.

The fourth fight of the night saw another resident of Liverpool in action as Carl Dilks returned from his first round defeat to James DeGale. Looking to prove he could still make an impact on the domestic scene, the tournament favourite faced the big punching Jahmaine ‘Smasher’ Smyle. The clash promised to be the pick of the first round match ups and didn’t disappoint. Dilks boxed beautifully early, keeping the on rushing Smyle at long range and picking him off with an impressive jab and straight right hand. Ominously though for Dilks, the Leicester man refused to take a backwards step and seemed unconcerned by Dilks’ power. The second round carried on where the first left off until a hard left to the body seemed to momentarily hurt the Liverpool man, his smooth boxing suddenly disappeared and he became disorganised. Smyle grabbed the opportunity presented to him and bulled forward, pushing Dilks on to the ropes. The local favourite sagged under the constant bombardment of hooks and uppercuts and looked ready to go before displaying considerable character to fire back and survive the round. As the combatants came out for the deciding round, Dilks sought to re-establish the jab and movement which bought him success in the first round and seemed to have got his legs back, keeping his back off the ropes for the main part and landing the cleaner shots.

Smyle still wouldn’t be denied though and continued to pour on the pressure, scoring with a couple of good left hooks and a well picked straight right. The pair ended the round going toe to toe. With the first two rounds being clearly shared, would the judges prefer Dilks' counter punching or Smyle’s aggression in the final round? Two of the judges preferred the Leicester mans come forward style and he claimed a 29-28, 29-28, 28-29 split decision victory and progressed to the semi finals.

So, onto the semi finals and in true Prizefighter tradition, with pre tournament favourites Dilks and Reid out, the tournament was wide open.

The first semi saw 22 year old Tobias Webb taking on Jahmaine Smyle. It didn’t take a genius to work out the tactics each man would employ. Would Webb be able to box and move and land enough hard punches to keep Smyle off or would ‘Smasher’ be able to once again withstand the punishment and eventually wear down his man? Webb was able to implement his plan in the first round as he boxed well behind his jab and threw punches in bunches when Smyle did manage to close the distance. Once again, Webb seemed to be punching with authority to the body but staying in range played into Smyle’s hands. As the second round began, Smyle continued to walk onto Webb’s shots but the painter and decorator just kept coming.

The Welshman was still moving well but slowing and although he managed to match Smyle punch for punch, he was feeling the pace as the round ended. Smyle came out for the final round with nothing to lose and continued to pour on the pressure. Webb briefly switched southpaw in an attempt to stem the tide but it soon became clear he was going to have to show his heart and match fire with fire. Bleeding from the mouth, Smyle pressed and pressed but every successful hook and right hand was met with a hard reply from Webb. In the final moments of the exciting bout, both men were desperately tired but Webb managed to a step ahead and was rewarded with a unanimous decision and place in the final. The scores read 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.

The fight to decide the second finalist saw Rocky Fielding taking on Joe Ainscough in a local derby. There seemed to be a sense of inevitability about the result before the first bell and Fielding wasted no time in stamping his authority on the bout via a sharp jab. The shorter Ainscough attempted to close the distance to work inside but wasn’t coming in behind any punches and was picked off by clean hooks and uppercuts. Ainscough was hurt by a hard left right midway through the round but managed to work his way out of the corner. It was a brief reprieve though and Fielding continued his dominance, a left hook rocked Ainscough and opened a large vertical cut over his left eye. After inspecting the damage, the referee stopped the fight after 2.24 of the very first round.

The final of the latest super middleweight edition of Prizefighter would therefore be contested between local hero Rocky Fielding and promising Swansea prospect Tobias Webb. Fielding’s two quick wins meant he was by far the fresher of the two and as he entered the ring to a mixture of the Rocky soundtrack and deafening screams from his supporters, he was the undoubted favourite. Webb must have known he was up against it, but having fought hard and displayed both his heart and skill to reach the final, was going to give his all.

Sadly for him, the tough battles earlier in the evening had taken their toll and Webb had nothing left to offer Fielding. Again making good use of his advantages in height and reach, the local man concentrated on landing an effective jab and landing slashing hooks to head and body when the Welshman entered into range. With 30 seconds remaining in the round a hard left hook seemed to take all the steam out of Webb and he sank to the canvas in slow motion. After the mandatory eight count, Webb rose only to go down again, this time from a left hook, right hook combination. Neither punch landed cleanly but exhaustion had taken its toll. At the bell, both men returned to their corners but only one would emerge for round two as Gary Lockett withdrew Webb from the fray.

To the delight of his supporters, many of whom had backed him to win at odds of around 10-1, Rocky Fielding was crowned the Prizefighter champion. While the cheque for £32,000 will no doubt be appreciated, the 23 year old will hope the exposure the victory will provide him with will prove to be far more valuable.












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