Home Boxing News Fury, Eubank and Haskins Victorious in West Country

Fury, Eubank and Haskins Victorious in West Country

Fury, Eubank and Haskins Victorious in West Country


By Chris Adams at ringside


Mick Hennessy teamed up with Chris Sanigar to bring big time boxing to Clevedon, Somerset and an impressive crowd of around 3000 people turned out to see the Manchester heavyweight Tyson Fury notch his nineteenth straight win as a professional (14 by KO) against the tough but declining New York veteran, Vinny Maddalone (now 35-8) and picked up the WBO Intercontinental Title in the process, a belt which will place him prominently on the radar screen of full WBO champion, Wladimir Klitschko. victorious.


There have been a lot of question marks over the progress of Tyson Fury but this was a positive step in the right direction. Having weighed in at 17st 7 ½ lb, Tyson looked very lean and the confidence he seemed to take from his new found fitness and attitude, was clearly on display as he made his entrance singing along to Phil Collins ‘In the Air Tonight’. Maddalone had entered first to the Rocky theme and appeared confident, but the mood in the Hand Arena suggested that this was very much the Tyson Fury show.


As the first round started, the sheer size of the task in front of Maddalone became apparent as he moved forward trying to move his head but Fury quickly established that telegraph pole of a left jab and got his distance. When Maddalone advanced, Fury brought the right uppercut underneath with venom. Maddalone tried to get low and come over the top with a looping right hand but his glove would only find Fury’s shoulder. Maddalone seemed to look for that punch throughout the contest but Fury seemed to be making a more conscious effort to keep his chin tucked into his left should after getting clocked with that punch in previous bouts. As Maddalone stood off trying to find an answer, Fury unleashed a long left hook followed by a straight right hand which caught Maddalone flush. It was early but the writing appeared to be on the wall for the courageous Maddalone, Fury continued to assert his dominance with a double jab backhand which appeared to hurt Maddalone towards the end of the round.


Rounds two and three brought more of the same as the ever pressing Maddalone met hard resistance in the form of that fast ramrod jab and even at this stage Maddalone’s face was starting to show the badges of conflict. Fury used good variety and a good left hook in round three seemed to have the veteran once again.


In round four Tyson really began to turn the screw as Maddalone struggled to close the distance, although he was always pressing, there seemed to be an acceptance that this wasn’t going to be his night. Tyson consolidated this point with a vicious body attack from both hands which really seemed to let the air out of the American’s tyres. Another big right hand upstairs opened a nasty cut below the left eye of Maddalone. As Vinny made his way back to his corner at the conclusion of the round, a few members of the press questioned whether Vinny would be allowed out for the fifth and as his trainer climbed into the ring his features bore a disconsolate look.


Maddalone did come out for the fifth round but Tyson knew he was close to a finish and started at a real pace, landing a variety of shots to head and body. Vinny stumbled across the ring after an attempt at another overhand right and midway through the round, Ian John Lewis wisely stepped between the two and halted the contest. Vinny Maddalone may have been outclassed and outgunned but he never gave in and he certainly earned his paycheque tonight.


For Fury it was an impressive display which showed improvement. At only 23 years old he is effectively a baby for a heavyweight but his level of opposition does need to be stepped up a notch now in order to draw further improvement from him. Mick Hennessy mentioned Tomas Adamek in the post fight interview but while that would undoubtedly be an excellent fight, I believe if Tyson is truly on the road to Klitschko, he needs to fight a taller opponent who can question his technique from that perspective and offer another test in his ring education.


On the undercard, Chris Eubank Jr found stiff resistance from tough Birmingham journeyman, Terry Carruthers and had to work hard for his 59-57 verdict but will have learned a lot in the process. Eubank Jr came out very compact in the first and a confident Terry Carruthers began working hard right from the bell. Eubank Jr was very accurate with his jab and moved well to defuse the aggression of Carruthers, and as the round wore on he became busier landing one excellent four punch combination where he tagged his opponent hard to head and body. Carruthers finished round one with a bad cut on the outside of his right eyebrow and early in the second the referee would indicated that it was caused by a punch.


Perhaps feeling a sense of urgency, Carruthers came out quick for the second and caught Eubank Jr with a hard, long right hand, which caused him to stumble slightly, although it was hard to tell if he was hurt, or off balance. The punch drew a response from the crowd and Eubank Jr clearly felt the need to respond as he came back with hard shots from both hands targeting head and body. Carruthers gamely fought back and there was a sense that Eubank Jr was just becoming a bit disorganised, allowing the Birmingham man to outwork him and take the round.


Buoyant from his success, Carruthers started busy once again and landed first with the jab and then with a stiff left hook. Eubank Jr again felt the need to respond but struggled to land consistently when he upped the pace. He did find success to the body though and looked much more in control when he closed Carruthers down with his jab. As he made his way back to the corner, he made his way slowly back to the corner and paused to pose for the crowd.


In the fourth and fifth rounds, Eubank Jr took better control of the action, asserting his jab and showing an educated attack to the body, which was impressive for a fighter with such little experience. Carruthers was always firing back and, as in each round, was given opportunities to land as Eubank Jr indulged in a bit of posturing or stopped to admire his work. He undoubtedly has some of his Father’s charisma and confidence but he will need to nip this habit in the bud as the levels go up. In the final stanza, Eubank Jr came out busy and aggressive, landing the better quality of punches but Terry Carruthers was never discouraged and was always firing back. As the bell sounded Carruthers immediately offered his hand to the referees hand but received only a respectful pat on the head and Grant Wallace raised the hand of Chris Eubank Jr. This received a few scattered boos from the crowd but it was the right decision for the majority. Carruthers should be proud of the part he played in such a crowd pleasing fight.


Also on the undercard, local favourite Lee Haskins won a clear unanimous decision over a frustrated Stuart Hall to lift the European Bantamweight Title and open the door to bigger opportunities. Both weighed in at the just below the 8st 6lbs limit but Stuart Hall looked slightly the bigger man in the ring. Unfortunately, he struggled to make his size tell as Haskins consistently showed excellent ring generalship and marshalled the aggressive Hall throughout the contest. Lee Haskins has an unusual style for a professional, especially in Britain, where he leans and sways out of range, offering an open target but using quick movement to tag his opponent and get away. Stuart Hall lacked the movement and intensity about his work to really force his way into the fight. Haskins worked with speed but was hitting hard enough to keep Hall at bay and cause his right eye of Hall to start to close. Hall did enjoy some success, most notably in the fourth where he landed a right hand which seemed to surprise Haskins and Hall quickly followed it up with a left hook and another right hand to take the round on my card. His successes were few and far between however and throughout the fight Haskins repeatedly picked his man off with the southpaw jab and the long back hand. When Hall would up the pace and come forward, he caught a clipping right hook and Haskins would pivot away to freedom. The footwork from Haskins was very impressive and often neutralised the Darlington fighter, giving him problems all night. In rounds five and six, Hall was spending too long stood in front of Haskins and was getting picked off, he needed to up the pace and drag Haskins into a scrap but he seemed unable to do so.


Round seven was very impressive from Haskins, his best of the fight. He surprised Hall several times by stepping through with the left hand from distance, completely switching his stance and then working away. Hall landed a good left hook but Haskins was growing in confidence and began to hold his feet just outside of range and tag Hall with combinations. My round notes read ‘Magic from Haskins’ and it really was good to watch.


In the next round though Haskins appeared tired from his efforts and Hall enjoyed more success. He came out fast and pinned Haskins to the ropes, landing to the body. Haskins moved away and re-established his distance but his output was lacking and Hall took the round clearly with a number of solid right hands from range.


In the closing rounds Hall would press but as soon as he seemed to be gaining any momentum Haskins simply widened the gap, used lateral movement and Hall would quickly drop back down the gears as he struggled to find the target consistently. Haskins appeared to be tiring from the sheer effort of concentration that his style involves but, in my opinion, he was consistently producing the better work.


At the final bell there appeared to be a brief exchange between the two men as an offered glove was misinterpreted but that was quickly resolved. Hall had endured a frustrating night but had been game the full 12 rounds.


Terry O’Connor and Mark Green cards read 118-110 (as did mine) while Ian John Lewis had them a point closer at 117-111. Hopefully this will provide a springboard for Lee Haskins and he can look towards a bigger fights and maybe even a world title tilt.


Also on the undercard, Lenny Daws proved too strong for a courageous Dean Mills. Daws controlled the fight at distance and Mills struggled to find a way to get his shots off without getting tagged hard. His resistance was broken in the seventh when a hard left hook landed and he went down in a delayed fashion. He rose bravely but the referee wisely stopped the contest at 39 seconds of the round.


Tamuka Mucha made a successful start to his pro career taking a 40-36 decision over Liam Griffiths. Michael Ramabelesta won a close six three’s over Ashley Lane after an excellent, crowd-pleasing contest. Both fighters had their moments but Ramabelesta’s cleaner punching just shaded it, 58-57, to the obvious disappointment of Northampton’s Lane. Phil Fury boxed well behind the jab to beat Andrew Patterson 60-55 over six three’s to move to 11(3)-2. Ricky Pow also made good use of the jab to dominate a playful Jody Meikle and every round on the ref’s card, and move to 8(6)-0.


All told it was an excellent nights boxing with competitive contests from start to finish. It was great to see shows of this magnitude taking place in Clevedon and I hope we will see promoters coming back to the southwest.


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