JD NXTGEN hit the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, and the bill topper saw a massive shock.
Jordan Gill, unbeaten, and seemingly on the road to big things, suffered a massive setback when Enrique Tinoco forced Dave Caldwell to withdraw his charge after eight rounds to hand him Gill’s WBA International Featherweight Title.
Gill didn’t look right from the ring walk, and it later transpired that he was suffering from suspected food poisoning, having been unwell on the afternoon of the fight. The decision not to withdraw from the fight would prove very costly.
Take nothing away from the Mexican Tinoco though, who wasn’t to know this, and executed his game plan perfectly.
Gill began off a long jab, with Tinoco happy to attack in measured bursts. The second saw the two both change stances during the round, with Gill landing to body and head, and Tinoco finding success with a right hand.
Unsurprisingly, Tinoco’s successes came with shots to Gill’s fragile body, and, after a warning shot to the body in the third, Tinoco got the better of an exchange with a right to the body that dropped the Chatteris resident for an eight count. Gill bravely battled back in the next meeting his opponent head on, but every time his body was examined, he failed the test. The fifth saw more evidence of this, when a whipping right hand to the body put Gill down for a second time, he again beat the count.
The sixth saw an overhand right land for Enrique, and Gill again bravely tried to keep his man at bay. A heavy right hand for Gill in round seven saw a brief respite, but the eighth saw Gill unraveling again right at the end of the session, dropped by another body shot, this time a left hand. This was right on the bell, and during the minutes rest, Caldwell rightly saved his fighter for another day, and Michael Alexander accepted the corner retirement.
Hopefully a rematch can be made immediately, as Gill looked only a small percentage of himself. The Mexican though thoroughly deserved his win. Local lad, Leigh Wood made a successful first defence of the Commonwealth Featherweight Title with a one sided tenth round stoppage of former Champion, Ryan Doyle in front of a partisan home crowd.
It was a decent enough start for Wood, as he scored with a couple of right hands in the first in what was a cagey opener. Wood worked Doyle’s body to start the second, with the Manchester man struggling to gain a foothold. Wood was boxing and moving out of trouble, and Doyle wasn’t putting much together to trouble the home favourite.
Wood was growing in confidence, and he ambushed Doyle at the start of round four with a varied attack, and Doyle at least offered something in reply. It seemed like Doyle was content to take the fight into the later stages, but the pace was comfortable enough for Wood to negotiate. It was Wood dictating, backing Doyle up with power combinations in the fifth. Doyle’s left eye was damaged in the sixth, and his face was also reddening, under the constant fire of the man from nearby Gedling.
Wood sensed Doyle’s ambitions were fading, with the damage to Ryan’s eye worsening as the pace was cranked up. Doyle did land a decent right at the end of the seventh though.
Doyle was reluctant to engage, maybe wary of Wood’s power, and this led to him not being able to produce much to get into the argument. Wood was doing as he pleased, and the tenth saw a swift conclusion to proceedings. A right hand caught Doyle off balance, but massive follow up left decked the Mancunian, with the fight wisely waved off mid count by referee Ian John Lewis.
The show saw the much-anticipated debut of Sheffield’s amateur stand out, Dalton Smith, and he didn’t disappoint in dominating the limited Luka Leskovic over four rounds at Super Lightweight.
Smith showed a great variety of punches to open and throughout, bullying his Croatian opponent around the ring. His one-twos were thrown with precision, and the straight shots were the exclamation point every time, with Leskovic’s nose bloodied. Smith’s rapid combinations were far too much for Leskovic to handle, and a big overhand right in round three landed flush on the Croat’s chin.
Smith piled on the pressure in the final round, with his right hand landing several times, but Leskovic survived the onslaught to see out the fight on his feet. Referee Kevin Parker had the simple job of adjudging Smith a 40-36 victor. Terri Harper got some much-needed TV exposure and impressed in successfully defending her WBC International Lightweight Title against former World Champion, Claudia Lopez via sixth round stoppage.
Harper began well, especially on the counter with her left hand. There was a severe clash of heads in the second, which shaped the fight, with the South American coming off much the worst, the ringside doctor being summoned to examine the wound. As it was high on the head, the fight continued, with Harper largely dictating with her busy style.
A solid right connected for Harper in the third, and she enjoyed more success in round four, picking apart the Argentine on the counter, and landing with solid shots. The blood was now trickling down Lopez’s face, impairing her vision, but Harper stayed patient, landing with accurate punches at regular intervals. It was one-way traffic, with a massive right finding a home near the end of round six. Referee Kevin Parker decided he had seen enough shortly after this, and stopped the fight, with Lopez’s facial damage gradually getting worse. Nineteen year old amateur starlet, Charles Frankham, made his professional bow, coming through on points against the tough and game Greek,Tzemal Xouseinoglou.
Super Featherweight Frankham began with razor sharp one-twos, and a right hand dipped the knees of the man from Athens. Operating off a high guard, Frankham put together his punches tidily, but was caught by two meaty shots from Xouseinoglou towards the end of the second to keep him alert.
The squat visitor was proving a tricky customer, moving awkwardly with Frankham only occasionally being able to pin his man down. Xouseinoglou was certainly value for money, and wasn’t giving Frankham a moments peace, bar the odd spell of show boating.
It was four valuable rounds in the bank for the young man, who triumphed 39-37 for referee Christopher Dean. Another amateur standout, Raymond Ford, kicked off the live Sky Sports broadcast against Latvian import, Aleksandrs Birkenberg in a Super Featherweight four rounder.
The New Jersey native was lightning quick from the start, and teed off on Birkenberg almost at will, with “Savage” wasting few punches. His flurries were eye catching, but the Riga man was doing a decent job of tucking up as much as possible. It was four largely repetitive rounds, with the American former Golden Gloves Champion always in control, fighting in bursts with Birkenberg offering little by way of a return. It was an easily scored 40-36 win for Ford for referee Shaun Messer.