Butler impresses. Ormond wears down Mathews. Echo Arena report
British and Commonwealth super flyweight champion Paul Butler made his fifth appearance of a successful year as he out-boxed, out thought and out fought Mexican opponent Ruben Montoya over twelve rounds at Liverpool’s Echo Arena.
With no European title at super flyweight, opponents like Montoya are the perfect step up from British level for Butler. The Mexican was tough, ambitious and aggressive and posed the 25 year old from Ellesmere Port a couple of early questions. Once Butler, now 14-0 (7 KO’s), solved those problems, he was able to fight at a pace that suited him and showed his versatility to beat Montoya at range, on the back foot and when fighting off the ropes. He was extremely impressive.
Butler badly damaged his left hand early in the fight but barely put a foot wrong as he cruised to a unanimous decision. The scores were 120:109, 120:108 and 118:110. He added the WBA intercontinental belt to his WBO version.
In the gym, Butler has been helping young Ciaran McVarnock prepare for his debut and at times, the fight resembled his sparring sessions with the Irish youngster [McVarnock won a debut four round decision later in the night]. Butler would lay back on the ropes, slipping and catching Montoya’s punches before firing back with blistering, two handed combinations. ‘The Baby Faced Assassin’ is at his best when putting his punches together and, had his hands held up, would have been able to put more of a dent in Montoya. As it was, he was forced to fight through the pain and outbox the Mexican.
Butler’s damaged hand will allow his team plenty of time to map out a plan of attack. A large contingent of fans mad the short trip to Liverpool and there is a real sense of momentum building behind him. His trainer, Anthony Farnell, has stated that he would happily allow Butler to face the long reigning WBO champion, Omar Narvaez. On this evidence Butler might have too much speed, variety and determination for the 38 year old Argentinean.
It was a mixed night for Farnell. His light middleweight hope Mark Thompson was stopped in the fourth round of his British and Commonwealth fight with the extremely impressive Liam Smith, 16-0-1 (6 KO’s). ‘Beefy’ looked good when beating Erick Ochieng for the vacant title in September but looked to have taken his game to another level last night.
He ruthlessly walked Thompson down behind his tight, high held guard and scored with sharp straight punches. He couldn’t miss when he put his right hand behind a spiteful jab and used a nice short uppercut when the two fought at close range. The right hands put Thompson down twice towards the end of the third round and Smith jumped off his stool to end matters 13 seconds into round four.
Smith has agreed a new long term contract with Warren and looks more than ready for the likes of European champion Sergey Rabchenko and former British champion, and WBO mandatory challenger, Brian Rose.
WBO European lightweight champion Stephen Ormond, 16-1 (7KO’s), claimed the biggest win of his career with a convincing ten round decision victory over a strangely flat and subdued Derry Mathews.
This was the sixth training camp Mathews has forced his body through over the past 14 months and he appears to be in severe need of a break. Ormond, 30, was full of life and energy and was extremely fired up for the biggest night of his career.
To compound matters for 30 year old Commonwealth champion Mathews, now 34-9-2 (19 KO’s), the popular scouser damaged his right hand early in the fight, robbing him of the power he needed to keep the aggressive Irishman off. From the fourth round, Ormond upped his workrate and the fight fell in to a pattern. Mathews never appeared to be troubled by anything Ormond threw; he was simply outworked unable to respond to the sheer volume coming his way.
The scores were 98:93, 98:93 and 98:92
Enzo Maccarinelli’s punching power was the deciding factor in his 7th round stoppage of Courtney Fry. Fry boxed well and was able to land short, snappy punches but was eventually outgunned by the Commonwealth light heavyweight champion.
Despite the concerns which now seem to accompany 33 year old Maccarinelli, now 38-6 (30 KO’s), to the ring every time he fights the Welshman looked solid last night. Former Olympian Fry may have been able to land punches but there were none of the alarming wobbles which have plagued hiss recent performances. Should Tony Bellew decide to step up to cruiserweight following his defeat to Adonis Stevenson, Maccarinelli would be Britain’s top man at 175lbs. Few would have predicted that possible twelve months ago and both Enzo and his trainer, Gary Lockett, deserve the upmost credit.
Fry was floored by a straight right hand, left hook combination in the first round and another left hook in the sixth. The writing was on the wall as the bell sounded for the seventh round and Fry’s trainer, Paul Stevenson, threw in the towel with Fry under heavy fire.
Joe Selkirk battered previously unbeaten Hungarian Zoltan Sera for three and a half rounds before referee Mikael Hook bought matters to an end. Everybody knows how talented Selkirk, 12-0 (6 KO’s), is and his quick heavy hands and sharp reflexes were on full display last night. Everybody also knows that the 28 year old Liverpudlian needs to be more active. This was a good start, but the real test for Selkirk will be to carry this momentum forward into 2014.
Selkirk won the WBO European light middleweight title.
Matty Fagan, 4-0, finally used his boxing skills and easily outpointed Youseff Al Hamidi over six rounds. So far in his career, the 25 year old lightweight from Ellesmere Port has allowed himself to be dragged into messy brawls and has been cut and dropped. Last night, things began to come together and he showed the skills that trainer Anthony Farnell talks about. Some good head movement and punch picking carried him to a 60-55 points victory.
Ciaron McVarnock, 21, made his professional debut with a four round decision, 39-37, over Ivan Ruiz Garrido as the BoxNation crew tidied away the television equipment. It can’t have been easy for for Belfast born featherweight to wait around all night for his debut and he came out looking stiff. A left hook woke him up in the first round and from that point he began to relax and box well.
Things didn’t go well for Manchester cruiserweight Liam Cullen as his return to action following a three year lay off resulted in a painful four round defeat to Danni Griffiths. Cullen showed an unbelievable chin to survive the first round and although his timing seemed to be coming back towards the end of the fight, the score of 40-37 told the story.
Light Middleweight - John Thain bt Max Maxwell 60-55
Welterweight - Josh McClaren bt Dan Carr 40-37
Lightweight – Craig Evans bt Andoni Alonso 79-74
Middleweight – Liam Williams Technical Draw Tyan Booth (Accidental head clash)