There was plenty of action on the undercard to the seismic shock in the main event in New York.
Callum Smith did as expected and handed out a three round beating to Hasan N’Dam N’Jikam.
Smith successfully defended his WBA (Super) and Ring Magazine Titles with a third round stoppage of the Monte Carlo based Cameroonian.
“Mundo” began with authority, and N”Dam mostly tried to evade Smith’s punches in the first round. His work came to nothing though, as Smith decked him with half a minute to go in the first with a sweet counter left hand.
N’Dam visited the canvas again early in the second, with another counter left doing the damage. The size difference was simply too much for the challenger to handle, and he spent the rest of the round mainly in survival mode.
The conclusion wasn’t far in coming, and in round three Smith stalked his opponent, trapping his man on the ropes and teeing off. Right at the end of the round, a massive right hand connected with N’Dam coming in, and he was again on the deck. Although the referee counted, he waved it off due to N’Dam being on unsteady legs.
WBA, IBF and WBO queen Katie Taylor became Undisputed Lightweight Champion, but in controversial circumstances, as she was tested to the limit for arguably the first time in her career.
WBC Champion, Delfine Persoon certainly had a right to think she had done enough to burst the Irishwoman’s bubble, but the judges saw differently.
Taylor started well enough, and there was always a school of thought that Persoon would be simple overwhelmed, having not fought in a fight of this magnitude previously.
Persoon though, to her credit, came forward from the start, and at times walked through what Taylor had to offer. The Belgian was relentless, but by halfway, Katie was up on all three cards, and enjoying the fact that Persoon had suffered damage to her left eye in the sixth.
This didn’t deter Persoon who rallied brilliantly, driving Taylor back to the ropes in the eighth as the Bray native visibly was running out of gas. Persoon also dominated the final round, a right hand landing right on the target, as Taylor’s defence crumbled.
It was left to the judges in the end, with Don Trella scoring the fight a 95-95 draw, but judges John Poturaj and Allen Nace saw Taylor a 96-94 victor to relieve Persoon of her WBC belt. Persoon and her team were understandably disgusted at the decision and hastily left the ring.
A rematch would stir massive interest, but post fight, Taylor had her sights more set on Amanda Serrano, than pursuing a sequel with Persoon.
Josh Kelly suffered a first blemish on his record, as Ray Robinson earned a majority draw with the Sunderland man over ten rounds.
Rounds were hard to score, with Kelly employing a languid style, without a jab, which allowed Robinson to steal rounds. In the end all three judges were near enough in agreement. One judge tallied 96-95 for Kelly, over ruled by the other two who saw a 95-95 draw.
Austin Williams spectacularly stopped Quadeer Jenkins in a Middleweight four rounder. Although Jenkins began swinging, he was ultimately Put in his place by the ruthless Williams.
Williams first landed with a chopping rich hand that made Jenkins wince in pain, before dropping to the canvas for a count of nine. There would be no let up, and a salvo on the ropes, ending with a body shot, ended matters with just under fifty seconds of the opener remaining.
Joshua Buatsi continues to impress, and notched another short route victory, this time with a stoppage win over former World Title challenger, Marco Antonio Periban.
Periban began cautiously, and although Buatsi started with fast hands, he struggled to land cleanly. A big left hand got through in round two from Buatsi, that forced the Mexican to shake his head to indicate he hadn’t been hurt.
Periban was wily, and proving difficult for Buatsi to land flush, but in round four, the 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist made the fight ending breakthrough. A short right hand on the ear of Periban forced him to drop to a knee. After surviving the count, a follow up Buatsi barrage, particularly with hard right hands, forced the referee’s intervention.
The preliminaries at MSG began with Humberside hard man, Tommy Coyle, who fulfilled dream fighting in New York, but was ultimately outgunned by former WBO Champion, Chris Algieri.
After a quiet opener, Coyle sprang into life in the second, buzzing Algieri with a hard right hand, followed by a left. The New Yorker was stunned for some time, and managed to negotiate the round. This would be as good as it got for Coyle, as Algieri eventually got on top, highlighted by a fourth round knockdown with a sickening left hand body shot. Tommy kicked his feet in pain, and managed to survive the count, but Algieri had clearly turned the screw.
Although Coyle gave as good as he got, evident by the damage done to Algieri’s face, he was under attack himself, and he started to unravel around the halfway mark. Algieri upped the ante, and the punch volume increased in intensity. So much so, that by the end of the eighth session, Coyle’s trainer, Jamie Moore had seen enough, and compassionately pulled his charge out of the contest. This was much to Coyle’s dismay, but it was an impeccable call from Moore.