News February 2010

Hatton Show: Full report from Stoke

20.02.10

Lawton’s European dream is demolished in style by Leva Kirakosyan

Scott Lawton’s (27-5-1, 6 KO’s) dreams of becoming European champion ended after 21 seconds of the third round of his title fight with Leva Kirakosyan (31-5, 21 KO’s). Lawton was surprised to have been given the chance to fight for the European title against the big punching French based Russian who was a former European champion. Kirakosyan was no stranger to these shore’s having been beaten by Michael Gomez, but having twice beaten Carl Johanneson.

Kirakosyan, the smaller man by 5 inches set about finding Lawton early on by walking forward. Lawton who was trying to keep the Russian away with his jab was finding his tough opponent walking through them. It didn’t take long for Kirakosyan to find his target when he landed a right hook to an open Lawton which sent the home fighter to the canvas within the first minute. Lawton, up on four, then spent the rest of the round on the back foot in defensive mode tying up the Russian when he made it inside Lawton’s jab.

The second round Lawton was still in survival mode as he jabbed away and then tied up the former champion on the inside. Lawton’s tactics seemed to be working until the Stoke fighter traded on the inside with 30 seconds left of the second round. Kirakosyan landed left and right hooks which sent Lawton to the ropes before landing a final left hook which left Lawton being held up by the ropes.

The referee issued a standing eight count when it seemed the fight needed stopping. Lawton, barely able to stand, was allowed to continue fighting with the bell ringing before Kirakosyan had time to inflict anymore damage.

It seemed Lawton would need longer than the standard minute break to recover and came out on wobbly legs for one last chance. The chance lasted only 21 seconds when Kirakosyan landed more unanswered hooks leaving Lawton stranded on the ropes causing referee Soren Saugmann no choice but to stop the action leaving the home fans distraught.

Lawton who had previously lost to Jon Thaxton, John Murray and Amir Khan has most likely had his last big title fight and will have to consider whether fighting for an English title is incentive enough for him to continue.

The Stoke crowd did have something to celebrate when local boy Chris Edwards (13-14-3, 4 KO’s) regained the Commonwealth flyweight title by beating Namibia’s Abmerk Shindjuu (7-2-2, 2 KO’s) over the 12 round distance.

Edwards started off the early rounds by outworking the quiet Namibian. Edwards was putting in a lot of shots although he never looked like putting the African boxer in any trouble. Edwards was also leaving himself open to the counter and on occasions Shindjuu did take advantage of this.
Edwards started to get caught too easily has the fight went on and was bleeding from the nose from the fourth round onwards. Yet the incredibly fit Stoke fighter kept coming forward throwing lots of leather. As the rounds went on Shindjuu started to counter more frequently and was landing the crisper shots which put him in a stronger position of a win.

Edwards seemed to falter towards the last quarter and entering the last round the fight seemed like the result could go either way. Both fighters came out in the final round trying to win the fight and Edwards fitness did not let him down as he sneaked the last round meaning the fight would go to the judges’ scorecards.

All three judges, John Keane, Victor Loughlin and Terry O'Connor scored the fight 115-114 in the favour of Edwards meaning the Stoke fighter won back his old belt by the narrowest of margins. Next up for Edwards could be big hitting Ashley Sexton who will fancy his chances of beating Edwards after seeing the fight.

The biggest shock of the night went to Norwich’s Danny McIntosh (10-1, 4 KO’s) who stopped the tough and rugged Tony Oakey (29-4-1, 8 KO’s) in the second round via a bizarre stoppage. McIntosh had struggled to make the weight limit the previous day but seemed in fine condition once the action started.

The taller McIntosh started early by firing in solid jabs to the oncoming Oakey. Oakey tried to land his clubbing rights on the inside but McIntosh was looking quick and managed to avoid most of what came his way in a close round.

The second round saw Oakey coming forward at McIntosh but early on McIntosh landed a counter right hook which sent Oakey down for a count. The 34 year old beat the count and did not seem in any undue trouble. Oakey tried to take the fight to McIntosh landing some right hands before McIntosh landed another straight right hand sending Oakey down for the second time. Oakey was on one knee early in the count and when the count got to eight he shook his head. The former British champion then tried to get up on nine only for referee Victor Loughlin to count Oakey out and give McIntosh the victory.

In the final full distance fight Wales Gary Buckland (17-1, 6 KO’s) faced Swedish based Ugandan Sam Rukundo (15-0-1, 6 KO’s) in a 12 round Commonwealth lightweight eliminator. It was the Welshman who was successful in a see-saw fight which went the distance.

Early on it seemed the fight would not last long when Buckland landed a right hand which sent Rukundo to the canvas for an eight count. The Ugandan managed to survive the round and did not seem in too much trouble.

After a few rounds of Buckland dominating the fight started to turn slowly as Rukundo began too slowly crawl his way back into the fight as Buckland started too tire. Both fighters staked claims in the middle rounds that could have gone either way but late on Buckland seemed to be struggling with the pace of the fight more than Rukundo.
During the last couple of rounds Buckland seemed to be on his last legs but his opponent didn’t push the pace of the fight. This enabled Buckland’s grit to carry him through to the final bell and a well-deserved victory through to landing the cleaner shots throughout the fight. The scores from the judges where Mark Green 117-111, Victor Loughlin 116-112 and Terry O’Connor 117-111 all in the favour of Buckland in a fight which was closer than the scores made it seem.

Martin Murray (17-0, 6 KO’s) warmed up for a potential English title fight with Darren McDermott by beating Shalva Jomardashvili (26-1, 19 KO’s) over a tough six rounds.
The big punching Georgian started at an impressive pace and opened up on Murray throughout the opening round. Murray was mainly on the defensive early on taking most of the shots on the arms and gloves.

The next two rounds saw Murray find his range behind the jab before switching to his usual crunching body shots. Murray seemed to have got the number of his opponent but then took his foot of the gas during the fourth to make the fight even going into the last two rounds.

Murray picked up the pace in the fifth as he went to work on the body of his opponent which continued throughout the sixth round allowing Murray to come away from the fight victorious on referee Terry O’Connor’s scorecard by 58-56.
After some shaky moments Murray put in a fine performance and after two tough fights now looks ready to step up to title level.

Joe Gallagher trained Anthony Crolla (15-2, 6 KO’s) kept himself busy with a four round victory over Jason Nesbitt(7-102-2, 5 KO’s) who weighed a good 10 lbs heavier than the young Mancunian. Crolla who was coming off the back off a victory over Michael Brodie showed off some fine boxing skills to outbox his heavier opponent over four rounds.

Nesbitt never seemed in trouble whilst Crolla seemed happy with getting the rounds under his belt before he hopefully enters the domestic title scene later this year.
Bury’s unbeaten Scott Quigg (16-0, 10 KO’s) continued his impressive run becoming the first man to stop durable Ukrainian Nikita Lukin (10-17-2, 3 KO’s) in the first round.
It took Quigg less than one minute to drop his opponent with a four punch combination which culminated with a crunching left body shot leaving Lukin crumpled on the floor for the full count with the official time for the stoppage being 57 seconds of the first round.

Quigg’s stock continues to rise and it is only a matter of time before Hatton Promotions enter him into title fights.

Stephen Foster jr (25-2-1, 16 KO’s) had his second outing in 5 weeks to outpoint tricky Yorkshire based Syrian Youssef Al Hamidi 6-24-2, 1 KO) over six rounds.

Both fighters struggled to find their range in a scrappy affair but it was Foster jr who was achieving the slightly better work. During a frustrating sixth round Foster jr threw Al Hamidi to the floor three times resulting in a talking off referee Shaun Messer.
Foster jr prevailed with referee Shaun Messer awarding the fight 59-56 with Al Hamidi once again being unfortunate losing by a large margin.

The last time Matthew Hatton (37-4-2, 14 KO’s) fought in Stoke was in November in the controversial world title fight with Lovemore N’Dou which ended a draw. Hatton shook off the disappointment of last time out by beating 20 year old Georgian Mikheil Khutsishvili (13-9-2, 4 KO’s) with a fifth round stoppage.

What seemed an easy fight on paper turned out differently in the early rounds. The young Georgian threw some wide arcing punches that landed on Hatton but resulted in a few words from the referee from slapping. Hatton was certainly not having it his own way but as the fight wore on the Manchester fighters greater experience and ability started to carry him away from his opponent.

In the third round a right hand off Hatton sent Khutsishvili to the canvas for a count and seemed to be the final nail in the coffin of the youngster. Hatton started to dominate more and in the fifth with Khutsishvili suffering a nose bleed refer Sean Messer stepped in to stop what was becoming a one sided fight. The official time of the stoppage was 2:35 of the fifth round.

Hatton can now look forward to either a European title fight or a muted fight with Mexican Saul Alvarez on the Mayweather-Mosley undercard.

Craig Watson (15-3, 5 KO’s) was having his first fight at light-welterweight and faced a good Barrie Jones (16-4, 7 KO’s) in a tough fight. Jones had the better of the early exchanges as Watson struggled to get to grips with the Welshman’s jab.

Watson started to take over in the second round as he landed a nice right hook on Jones. Watson seemed to be getting stronger as the fight went on and was showing a good variety of punches and it was no surprise when referee Sean Messer stopped the contest 1:53 of the fourth round with Watson beginning to dominate.

Watson is keen to challenge for titles and is targeting Lenny Daws and is not far from getting such a fight.

In the show closer In the show closer, Belarusia’s former European super-featherweight champion Sergei Gulyakevich (27-2, 12 KO’s) forced Georgian Nikoloz Berkatsashvili (15-4, 6 KO’s) to retire at the end of the second round. Gulyakevich fought behind a solid jab and it wasn’t long before his opponents nose was bloodied causing his corner to pull him at the end of the second round.

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