Danger man Ramabeletsa dedicates win to Mandela, Andy Jones wins debut, Olympia round-up
By Michael J Jones
It was another thrilling night last night at the Liverpool Olympia as several promising young fighters looked to gain their latest wins on Dave Coldwell’s ‘New Kids on the Dock 2’ show.
In the main event, Michael “Trouble Maker” Ramabeletsa overcame tough Welshman Paul “The Spartan” Economides in seven brutal rounds.
The featherweight bout, scheduled for eight rounds, saw Economides try and pressure the Bristol-based South African but was always up against it when faced with the bigger and heavier-handed 32-year-old.
The trouble with “The Spartan” is he doesn’t have a heavy dig (no knockout wins in 18 now) so his wins require him to out-land his opponent. The fight was fairly even after five but after a big sixth, Ramabeletsa was ready to end the contest.
As Connah’s Quay’s Economides started to mark up from the numerous jabs from his rangier foe he suffered a badly swollen left eye. By the seventh, with the eye worsening and Ramabeletsa well on top, the bout was stopped on the doctor’s advice.
The victory takes the winner’s tally to a misleading 11-10 (4) as he scores his third win on the bounce since a points defeat to streaking prospect Khalid Yafai earlier this year.
Nearly all of the tough South African’s defeats have been to top-level fighters in late-notice assignments. The plucky “Trouble Maker” has shown incredible dedication in persevering in his career after many a setback.
He dedicated his latest win in memory of former SA President Nelson Mandela who passed away last week.
Economides drops to 13-5 and can definitely come again providing he can learn to improve his defence.
Making his belated pro debut at age 30 was North Wales heavyweight Andy Jones who edged past experienced Moses Matovu by just 39-38.
With Jones taller, younger and naturally heavier, one might have expected a comfortable start to his pro campaign but he had it far from easy against the savvy Ugandan.
Fighting at the venue in which he lifted the 2009 ABA Super-heavyweight title, Jones had some rust to shed after leaving the amateur code over two years ago. Matovu, who usually competes as a cruiserweight, offered little target and had success with his quick counters.
Despite a poor 4-34-4 record, 37-year-old Matovu has benefitted from turning pro in the USA and has only been stopped on three occasions. Twice he has taken Hughie Fury the full route and by this performance one could see why.
Southpaw Jones, 23½lbs heavier at 225¼, found success with his right jab and stuck to the task; for most the decision was fully deserved after a closely-fought four-rounder.
Promising Jones will have learned far more from this than a one-round mismatch and should be back in action soon.
In a welterweight match, Mold’s all-action Cameron Halfpenny boxed to a draw with tough veteran Kevin McCauley over four rounds.
Halfpenny came in a weight division lighter than McCauley, and had boxed just twice in two years entering the bout. The vastly more-experienced Brighton man had boxed just eight days beforehand in comparison.
The bout saw plenty thrown and neither fighter overly dominate so a draw looked fair though Halfpenny clearly thought he deserved it after the result was announced. He did land the better work to be fair through much of the competitive contest. A return over six might be a good idea.
Twenty-year-old prospect Cameron is now 1-0-2 and goes by the amusing ring-moniker of “Hot Potato”. After a brace of inactivity due to cancelled fight dates and injury, the Welsh welterweight can hopefully get busy in 2014 and fulfill his considerable promise.
Local prospect Robbie Davies Jr made it four-out-of four with a six-round decision over Frenchman Renald Garrido in a light-welterweight contest but only after a scare. Although Davies Jr won clearly at 58-54, after sweeping the first two rounds, he was hurt and dropped by a right in the third and did well to ride out the storm. The Scouser recovered well to win his toughest test to date.
Former amateur star Neil Perkins is now 5-0 after a clear decision over tough and game Chris Jenkinson. Perkins is now 34-years-old and boxed sensibly against a man who, although 6-11-1, can spring an upset on occasion.
The promising southpaw piled up the points to win 40-36 after four brisk sessions.
Birkenhead’s well-supported Sean “Masher” Dodd came through against the bigger Ibrar Riyaz to make it 8-0 (2).
Dodd came in at his lightest weight in his pro career at 130lbs while Riyaz was 136¾lbs. The bout got a little rough at times with Riyaz penalised a point for pushing Dodd off in the fourth and “Masher” sustaining a cut eye following a head-clash.
Twenty-nine-year-old Dodd was always producing the cleaner work though and won by 60-54.
Jack Heath W TKO 4 Stephen Jones (featherweight)
Peter Spencer W4 Carl Allen (welterweight)
Anthony Jevons W KO 1 Sajid Khan (super-featherweight)
Dan Carr W RTD 3 Joe Tonks (light-welterweight)