Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith got a 4th round knockout of Hassan Mwakinyou in his return to home city of Liverpool, but it was not the perfect homecoming with the fight ending in confusion and controversy.
Smith was up against the heavy-handed Mwakinyo who had come to the UK and caused upsets against the home fighter in the past. Mwakinyo piled on the pressure in the early rounds of the fight, using fast jabs and powerful right hands, but Smith was feeling out his opponent’s rhythm and finding the openings .
Mwakinyo complained of ankle problems after a slip in the 2nd round, which seemed to impair his movement for the rest of the fight, and lead to the relatively unprovoked first knockdown in the fourth round, and the eventual second knockdown and stoppage at 1:46 into that round.
The Liverpudlian legend is ranked in the top five across multiple sanctioning bodies, and now looks more determined than ever before to claim another world championship. It looks certain that more huge fights are to come in Liam Smith’s career.
Full Undercard Results:
Natasha Jonas def. Patricia Berghult – UD (99-91, 100-90, 100-90)
It was a successful unification of the WBO and WBC Super Welterweight World Championships by ‘Miss GB’ Natasha Jonas in a 10 round barnstormer of a fight against an undefeated World Champion in Patricia Berghult. Patricia Berghult had genuine success boxing at long range in the first few rounds, but Jonas showed the heart of a champion to close the distance and land concussive shots for the rest of the fight.
Jonas turned the fight into a gritty brawl at close range, which she consistently dominated. Throughout the later rounds in the fight, Jonas made Berghult miss and landed brutal hooks to the head and the body. Jonas looked close to finding the stoppage throughout the closing rounds, but Berghult wouldn’t be put down, and kept scrapping until the final bell, meaning Miss GB had to take a wide decision on the judge’s scorecards.
Natasha Jonas was a proud representative of Liverpool in this fight, and the Liverpool crowd got behind their champion. Now she goes on to represent the sport in the biggest night in the history of women’s boxing next Saturday.
Frazer Clarke def. Pencho Tsvetkov – KO Rd 1/6 1:05
Olympic Bronze Medalist and fast-rising heavyweight sensation Frazer Clarke destroyed an opponent in Pencho Tsvetkov who had a single taste of Clarke’s power and instantly realised he didn’t want to be in the ring with him.
Clarke blasted him out in under 70 seconds and swiftly moved his thoughts on to the 4th opponent of his career, who will hopefully provide more of a contest.
Adam Azim def. Michel Cabral – KO Rd 1 (1:54)
The most electrifying young talent in world boxing Adam Azim scored his third consecutive 1st round stoppage and the 5th victory of his career in just over two minutes. Azim charged out from the first bell and claimed the centre of the ring, firing off lightning fast jabs and right hands, scoring a knockdown with a crippling hook to the body and then ending the fight with a clutch of straight right hands to Michel Cabral’s head that knocked him off his feet and rendered him unable to respond to the referee’s count to 10.
Cabral had never been stopped before in his professional career, having competed 45 rounds and taken five victories up to this point in his career. The future superstar from Slough made a massive statement with another explosive victory, showing the world that he is deadly serious when he says he plans to become the youngest World Champion in history.
Dan Azeez def. Shakan Pitters – UD (117-111, 117-112, 115,113)
British Light Heavyweight Champion Dan Azeez took a monumental unanimous decision victory over one of the best 175lb fighters in the UK in Shakan Pitters. Azeez overcame the 8-inch height difference between the pair with slick forward movement and destructive shots in a 12 round war. The fight kept a strong pace with constant action from the first bell to the final bell
The first half of the fight was highly competitive, with Pitters boxing well at range and landing with the right uppercut, while Azeez put the pressure on and landed shots from close range, as well as a set of powerful overhand rights in the 2nd round that did serious damage to Pitters. Azeez was finding more success in these rounds however, using excellent head movement while coming forward to avoid Pitters’s output and starting to build damage on Pitters with clubbing shots.
Pitters had periods of legitimate success in the later rounds, but Azeez continued to find ways to land shots and do damage. ‘Super’ Dan dictated the pace throughout the fight, putting the pressure on when he decided, and coaxing Pitters into a fight at longer range when he felt it necessary, showing outstanding ring generalship on his way to a career-defining victory.
Azeez now can rightfully claim to sit at the very top table of British Light Heavyweight boxing, and will now look towards even bigger and better things in his currently unblemished career.
Paddy Lacey def. Seamus Devlin – PTS 60-54
Former professional footballer and now 7-0 professional boxer Paddy Lacey took a comprehensive points victory over six rounds against a fiery opponent who had clashed with Lacey at the weigh-in. Lacey controlled distance well and made sure to come out better from every exchange, not leaving any question as to who won each round for the referee scoring the bout.
Nathan Quarless def. Toni Visic – PTS 60-53
Nathan Quarless sent his opponent tumbling to the canvas on the way to a totally dominant points victory. Visic is a highly experienced ring-veteran with over 50 professional fights and 20 victories, but Quarless made it look easy. The skillful scouse Cruiserweight landed shots throughout the fight and came close to putting Visic out for good at multiple points throughout the fight, but Visic showed grit and determination to reach the final bell. The referee’s scorecard reflects how Quarless won every second of every round.
Frankie Stringer def. Karl Sampson PTS 40-36
The first Liverpool native on the card took a composed victory against a fast-moving, elusive southpaw in Karl Sampson to take the second victory of his professional career. Stringer consistently held the centre of the ring and walked Sampson down with cannon-like jabs, but Sampson remained notably hard to pin down.
Stringer grew into the fight as it went on, finding more success in the 3rd and 4th round when Sampson started to slow, finishing strong and claiming victory in every single round on the referee’s scorecard.
Clark Smith def. Petar Aleksandrov – PTS 40-36
A measured, intelligent debut from the ‘Manchester Mexican’ Clark Smith against an experienced opponent in Aleksandrov, throwing neat, straight shots from the southpaw stance throughout the fight. Smith used long jabs and straight left hands throughout the fight in order to hit Aleksandrov without allowing the tough Bulgarian to land anything in return.
Smith showed some impressive punch variety in the final two rounds, working uppercuts and combinations into his output to finish the fight in serious style. This debut has put boxing on notice as to how good Clark Smith has the potential to be.
Musa Moyo def. Diego Costa – PTS 58-56
Musa Moyo managed to overcome a seriously tough, undefeated opponent in Diego Costa in a brutal, back-and-forth 6 round fight. Both men consistently landed shots throughout the fight, with Muyo being the more evasive of the pair, while Diego Costa brought formidable punch-power. Both men had success in this even fight, being reflected in the referee’s close scorecard to decide the winner. Both men will have won a lot of fans with their performances tonight.
Scott Forrest def. Dmitrij Kalinovskij – TKO Rd 3/4 (1:34)
Scott Forrest scored another devastating knockout in the first bout of the night to move his record to three wins and no defeats, with all victories coming before the final bell. He was consistently landing fast punch combinations throughout the first two rounds of the fight, with one in the third finally sending Kalinovskij to the canvas. He rose back to his feet, but an inch-perfect left hook, right uppercut combination knocked him down again and forced the referee to stop the fight.
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