At the O2 Arena in London it was another cracking Frank Warren card. Top of the bill saw Daniel Dubois halt Nathan Gorman in five rounds to become British Heavyweight Champion at just 21 years of age.
Dubois was flanked by former WBC Heavyweight Champion, Frank Bruno in the introductions, while Gorman’s WBC International belt was carried to the ring by Lineal Heavyweight Champion, Tyson Fury.
Gorman showed early hand speed in an attempt to gain respect from Dubois. Dubois landed with some sharp right hands in the opener, to maybe shade the session in what was a tense beginning.
That went out the window in the second, when both opened up and started swinging. It was a back and forth affair in the early going, with Dubois’ right hand proving a key factor, with Gorman’s left eye cut during the round. Gorman landed decent right hands of his own on the counter.
Dubois was also impressively setting his attacks up with his jab, but he right hand came into play again in round three, and several clubbing rights to the temple put the Nantwich man on the canvas, where he wisely adhered the referees count before rising. Gorman was going out on his shield, and exchanged wild punches with Dubois. who was stalking his man with menace. Gorman, to his credit, saw out the round.
The fourth was a much quieter affair, but the start of the fifth saw another big right land clean on Gorman’s temple, and Dubois was dominating the action, having the last word in exchanges as Gorman’s work was ragged. With less than half a minute remaining in the round, Dubois detonated another booming right, which left Gorman scrambling for his senses. With the cost being administered, Gorman simply couldn’t beat it, and Dubois sealed victory.
In the other Heavyweight meeting on the bill, Joe Joyce was forced to go the distance for the first time as a professional, as he struggled to get going and motivated in a largely forgettable points win against former World Title challenger, Bryant Jennings.
Joyce was caught with a meaty body shot from Jennings in the first that momentarily made “The Juggernaut” dip, but more significant blows throughout the fight simply weren’t forthcoming.
It was a paranoid performance from the 2016 Olympic Bronze Medallist, and when Jennings rallied in the seventh, Joyce told his trainer Adam Booth at the end of the round not to shout too many instructions, believing Jennings was hearing the guidance and making necessary adjustments.
Jennings had sporadic success, and was competitive throughout, but Joyce controlled the action in the main. The tenth saw Jennings land a good right hand, but was deducted a point for a low blow soon after. The fight never looked like not going the distance.
The judges scored 118-109, 117-110 and 115-112 to see Joyce retain his spurious WBA Gold Heavyweight Title, and make in ten straight wins as a pro. The last card was more in line with how the fight went, with Jennings giving Joyce a much better argument than the other two cards suggested.
Liam Williams is a serious force up at Middleweight, and he further enhanced his credentials with an impressive second round stoppage win against Karim Achour, who had never previously been halted, standing up to massive punchers such as David Lemieux in the past.
The Welshman started with discipline, as Achour stayed in a crouched position, eating he was difficult to pin down. The second saw Williams up the ante though, landing with good shots to head and body. It was a cracker of an overhand right from Williams that stiffened the visitor’s legs, and a follow up attack put him down. Although Karim survived the count, Williams didn’t need a second invitation to finish the fight, and a jolting left to the temple put Achour down for a second time. With the Frenchman taking the count in the corner, there was no protestation when the referee stopped the contest.
Clydach Vale native Williams picked up the WBC Silver Middleweight Title with his win, and stated post fight that he now wants the biggest fights he can get, and mentioned the previously mentioned Lemieux as a possible next opponent.
Archie Sharp successfully defended his WBO European Super Featherweight Title for the first time with an absorbing points win against the Scottish Jordan McCorry. He gave Sam Bowen a decent test back in Leicester in March before being stopped in nine, and provided the same value for money in London.
Sharp started in a languid style, and landed with decent long left hooks, but had to take an overhand right in return from the Scot. At the back end of the opener, McCorry landed some meaty blows, landing cleanly on Sharp’s chin.
A right hand in the second buzzed McCorry as Sharp opened up on his opponent. Sharp was warming to his task, showboating regularly in the third, with McCorry finding it increasingly difficult to negate Sharp’s quick feet. Jordy was put down with a beautiful left to the body with power and accuracy at the end of the session, and, although in pain, he saw out the little time remaining in the round.
McCorry is a real warrior, and was fighting through the effects of the body shot from the previous round. Every time a Sharp body shot landed, McCorry winced in pain.
The fifth saw McCorry still having designs on winning the fight, and he enjoyed good success by constantly coming forward. The second half of the fight saw Sharp a lot sharper than McCorry, who was feeling the effects of putting in a lot of early effort.
Sharp though will need to learn going forward that showboating may cost him, as in the eighth he elected to rest on the ropes, and was caught with a right hand. He was comfortable in the main though, and clearly felt that McCorry’s blows were not troubling him.
McCorry kept coming right until the final bell, with the pair receiving a well deserved applause at the conclusion.
After plenty of mutual respect between the two, all three judges tallied 98-91 for Sharp.
Sunny Edwards kicked off the live broadcast with a dominant points win against the completely outboxed Mexican, Hiram Gallardo to pick up the IBF International Super Flyweight Title.
Edwards began brightly, moving in and out of range, and connecting with solid overhand rights in particular. Gallardo was mainly chasing Edwards’ shadow in the opener. The second saw Gallardo take a count, although he can consider himself unlucky, as it looked more like a slip, as a cuffing left and right landed from Edwards, with Gallardo off balance.
The pattern for the fight was set though, with Edwards hitting and not getting hit, which must have massively frustrated the visitor, who hardly registered anything of note on the Croydon man. Gallardo was a come forward type, but was picked off regularly by Edwards.
The result was academic, and all three judges were in agreement retiring the same identical 99-90 verdict to give Edwards the belt.