News April 2019

Paul Butler dominates Nieva, Farrag impresses against Booth. Aintree report


By @John_Evans79

Paul Butler is horrible, spiteful and vicious. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Butler, 15-0 (8 KO’s), cut Argentinean Oreste Bernabe Nieva in half with some brutal left hooks to the body to claim the vacant WBA intercontinental bantamweight title (as well as a high ranking with the IBF) and put himself in prime position for a world title fight with the winner of the upcoming IBF title fight between Stuart Hall and Martin Ward.

Making his bantamweight debut, 25 year old Butler immediately sensed he was stronger and quicker than Nieva and, rather than taking the sure but safe route to victory, decided to stamp his authority on matters. Nieva may have greeted the opening bell with a smile but as he sat on his stool after the opening three minutes, the smile had vanished.

The writing was on the wall when a left to the body badly hurt Nieva in the second round. The only question from that point on was how long would he last. We got our answer in the fourth round. Butler touched Nieva with three hooks to the head before sinking in a solid left to the body. Nieva crumpled to the floor and never looked like beating the count. The time was 1.25.

British and Commonwealth super flyweight champion Butler said afterwards that he is happy to stay at 8st 6lbs and will fight at Liverpool’s Echo Arena in May. Whether Hall or Ward is in the opposite corner that night depends on the nature of their fight but, on this evidence, it might not be too long until Ellesmere Port has a world champion.

After the first round of Kevin Satchell’s Commonwealth flyweight title defence against Isaac Quaye I wrote “scouting mission” in my notes. I could have written “endurance mission” after the following eleven.

Ghanaian Quaye, 25-5-1 (16 KO’s), wasn’t big or good enough to trouble Satchell, now 12-0 (2 KO’s), and the vast difference in height didn’t help the rangy Liverpudlian as he struggled to find an effective range. Every round looked the same as Satchell, who also holds the British 112lb belt, coasted to a clear, drama free decision. The scores were 120-109, 119-110 & 120-108.

After hard, draining fights with Luke Wilton and Iain Butcher, 25 year old Satchell deserved a more straightforward nights work and can now take a few weeks to decide whether to attempt to make the Lonsdale belt his own by rematching mandatory challenger Butcher or leave the domestic scene behind and look for an international test.

One last note. After the decision, one of Quaye’s team actually had the temerity to complain about being robbed.

Ryan Farrag, 11-0 (1 KO), produced the performance of the night as he knocked out Jason Booth in the fourth round of their bantamweight fight. Farrag, 26, had been a bundle of exciting energy since the fight was announced but managed to keep himself under control and produce a clever, disciplined performance. Farrag boxed on the back foot, pausing only to punch in combination.

He began looking for a looping overhand right from the first bell and it was that punch which dropped Booth heavily in the opening round and again at 2.37 of the fourth. Booth had been beginning to build up a bit of momentum but Farrag kept his concentration and found the finishing shot.

Booth, now 37-13(15 KO’s), limped out of the ring and it may be time for of the British’s scenes most decorated veterans to consider his future.

The decision of referee Jeff Hinds to score the exciting fight between Ronnie Heffron, 15-1 (5 KO’S) and John Thain, 11-1 (1 KO), in Heffron’s favour baffled almost everybody at ringside. After ten rounds of non stop action, the general thinking was that Thain deserved the nod over the hard charging Heffron by anything from a two to four round margin.

Fans in the Aintree Equestrian Centre were treated to a British level repeat of the Erislandy Lara – Alfredo Angulo fight as Thain, 26, constantly circled the ring, picking off the aggressive Heffron with an accurate jab and, it seemed, almost every other punch in his repertoire. Heffron, 23, never stopped coming and, at times, walked right through Thain’s best attempts but his punches had little effect on the talented Scot.

Heffron is now scheduled to face Joe Selkirk but an immediate rematch would satisfy everybody. Heffron himself admitted he couldn’t get started and would welcome a rematch, Thain thought he clearly won and the fans enjoyed the contest. Everyone’s a winner.

Tom Stalker decided to engage in an exciting eight round war with the tough Calum Cooper and came out with a 78-74 decision victory. Stalker, now 6-0 (2 KO’s) could have chosen to rely purely on his excellent boxing skills but seemed intent on putting on a show for his fans. Cooper never took a backward step and landed plenty of solid shots but none seemed to affect the Scouser. As a result, 29 year old Stalker felt comfortable enough to trade with the man from Birmingham from the first bell.

Lightweight Terry Flanagan eased to an eight round decision over Hungarian Georgie Mezsei but we learned nothing new about the 24 year old Mancunian. Southpaw Flanagan, 22-0 (7 KO’s) is a very good fighter and, given the chance, would make matters extremely difficult for the men placed above him in the British 135lb rankings. And that is precisely his problem. He is all risk, no reward.

Not one of Britain’s top lightweights will ever call out Flanagan and he is unlikely to be granted a big opportunity out of the blue by one of Britain’s top promoters. A former Prizefighter champion, Flanagan needs to make some noise and force the issue. Fighting Mezsei will make little to no noise. 2014 needs to be the year that ‘Turbo’ puts his foot down and stamp his authority on the division.

Matty Fagan, 5-0, once again reaped the benefits of keeping his discipline and using his boxing skills as he coasted to a six round decision over Yordan Vasilev. At times, it seemed as though Fagan may get his first stoppage as a professional as he landed at will on the tough Bulgarian. As it was, the 25 year old lightweight from Ellesmere Port settled for winning every round and can press on with his plan of making a real impact on the British scene this year.

Super bantamweight James ‘Jazza’ Dickens, 17-1 (5 KO’s), returned from his British title defeat to Kid Galahad with a six round decision over Krzysztof Rogowski. Dickens spent three rounds getting rid of six months worth or frustration and three rounds working from a perfect range and using his angles well. Frustratingly, a terrible head clash in the final few seconds of the fight left 22 year old Dickens with a badly broken nose and could mean another lay off.

Welterweight Steve Lewis, now 5-0 (2 KO’s), pounded out a four round decision over William Warburton in the show opener. Lewis works well inside and attacks the body with spite, if he masters the art of jabbing his way inside, he could become a real force at 147lbs.

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