DailySport reports from Wembley on a great bill of fights

A scheduled 11 bouts for a great line up was cut to ten when Carl Frampton had to pull out due to an infection. The balance of those fighting certainly didn’t disappoint a vastly populated Wembley Arena.


Bradley Skeete put on a very fluid performance to beat Dee Mitchell and left no doubt on the judges score card that he was not only the winner of every round, but also ready to face more challenging opponents. Same goes for Bradley Saunders. He took on 38 year old veteran Michael Kelly, who although a game opponent had lost the last of his six bouts and Bradley was able to open him up and secure a good win by TKO in the fifth. Bradley is a great talent, and with his hand injury seemingly operational, I would like to see him pushed to the next leveland certainly have a go at an area title in the near future.


Steve Collins Jr made his debut. A largely muscular rugby player, fighting at cruiserweight was certainly not in the leagues of his father, but with no professional boxing experience behind him, I don’t think anybody was expecting to see Carl Thompson reincarnated. Collins was far stronger and confident than his opponent Paul Morris, but it looked liked his muscle mass was restricting fluid movement and speed. Early days. His dad was ringside, proudly applauding his win, and I congratulate him, as any boxer to step through those ropes and take on the challenge.


The Derek Chisora bout was somewhat interesting and controversial. Del Boy was taking on an unbeaten Malik Scott, who in 36 fights had only one draw to blemish his record. Scott did an excellent job of sliding a great number of Chisora’s lunging hooks, and although Del Boy was landing the more noticeable power shots, Scott, regarded by many, was on track for winning the ten round bout. The controversy came in round six, when Chisora landed a lovely right hook just over Scott’s ear, scrambling his equilibrium. Scott went down on one knee and in his mind thought he came up for the count of nine. The referee unfortunately saw his rise fully extended at the count of ten and counted him out. Even on replay, it looks like he made a count of 9.5. If any fighter is in a title fight, I would have thought you would have bounced up right on the count of eight to leave no doubt in the referee’s mind, unless you were genuinely hurt beyond that count. I think for the sake of mistiming his rise, he threw away a genuine opportunity.

Team Tibbs however left no doubt in anybody’s mind that they are looking to achieve bigger and better things, by coming away with a 100% success record. Tom Baker extended his record to 5-0, by picking up his first KO victory against Dean Walker. Baker looked huge. I had to double check the programme to confirm he was fighting as a middleweight, as he looked, at the minimum a light heavyweight. The left right combination from Baker sent Walker crashing to the canvas, picking up a nasty cut, and never fully regaining his senses.


Billy Morgan took on Ashley Mayall for what was an explosive bout. Morgan picked up a cut in the first round, and then repaid the favour in the second. In the third Morgan was losing a great deal of blood and the referee called the doctor over to the corner to inspect the nasty gash. The fight was halted and it went to the score cards. Thankfully Billy had done enough to convince the judges that he would be the victor and gained a technical decision, extending his record to 9-0.


Frank Buglioni’s ride was unfortunately not so easy. Taking on Lithuanian journeyman Kirill Psonko, Buglioni ate a fair few straight right hands. The better work was coming from Buglioni, and although the shots he took looked far worse than they were due to the amount of sweat being amassed in his mop of hair, and that sweat flying at the slightest head punch being absorbed. However, it would be great to see a little more lateral movement from Frank as he obviously has the power to back up any punch.


The headliner bout for the evening featured two unbeaten fighters, battling for the WBO International Middleweight Title. With both Billy Joe Saunders and Gary O’Sullivan unbeaten, and both being title holders, it had all the makings for a great fight. However, from the first round, Billy Joe put on a masterclass. He was showing how to slip a punch, counter, work off the ropes, punch whilst retreating and displaying great hand speed. The overall encapsulation of Billy Joe’s performance was ‘talent’. O’Sullivan was relentless with his quest for crawling back the points, but Billy Joe was simply two levels above his opponent. The advice from his trainer Jimmy Tibbs was strongly adhered to. ‘Box his head off and make him miss’, or ‘Don’t get involved unless it’s on your terms’, were evidently a great script to follow. Billy won the bout 119-110 on one score card, and 120-109 on the other two. A stern message has been sent out to John Ryder, and this has whet the appetite of the showdown in September to the boxing fraternity at large.


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