Boxing returned to the Welsh capital after a two-year absence on Saturday evening. The new Ice Arena Wales played host to a night of high drama, knock-outs and wonderful skills. Headlined by the IBF World bantamweight title between Bristol’s Lee Haskins and Mexican challenger Ivan Morales. Here is my ringside report on the undercard fights that took place.
Belfast brawler Paddy Gallagher, 27, came to the Welsh capital and spoiled local celebrations with a thunderous right hand in the first round. Wales’ Tony Dixon, 23, entered the ring with an undefeated record and the two men seemed well matched, it was hard to call a winner coming into the contest.
The pace was fast and both traded hooks and body-shots. Both can punch though the power edge looked to be with Dixon. With around twenty seconds remaining Gallagher unleashed a flurry of punches, followed by a chopping right hand that sent Tony crashing to the canvas. It appeared to take away his equilibrium and though he made it to his feet, he was on shaky legs, referee Bob Williams waved it off. A great result for Paddy Gallagher who won the vacant BBBofC Celtic welterweight title.
Paddy Gallagher’s record rises to 10-2, 6 KOs while Tony Dixon drops to 7-1, 2 KOs.
Aberdare’s Light heavyweight Morgan Jones, scored a third round stoppage over game substitute Richard Harrison. Harrison, 30, of Chessington, Surrey was unable to land his own shot’s as Jones employed fantastic hit and move tactics early. Jones, who trains out of St.Joseph’s Gym in Newport, South Wales, boxed superbly using his longer range with sharp, fast accurate shots. To watch him move and box was like watching poetry in motion.
Harrison had to grit his teeth at several points, as he was getting tagged repeatedly and when he tried to reply, he was hitting thin air. Bloodied and battered, the merciful ending came in the third with Harrison unable to defend himself against the latest blistering assault.
The orthodox Jones, 25, really looks to possess an abundance of talent and is one to keep an eye on, as the future looks very bright.
Morgan Jones remains unbeaten at 7-0, 3 KOs while Richard Harrison drops to 1-5.
All the way from Honduras, Miguel Gonzalez was bouncing and dancing towards the ring and once the fight, with Edinburgh’s Josh Taylor, got under way, he was soon bouncing around on the floor. Taylor known as “The Tartan Tornado” looked the stronger, bigger man and showed good hand speed. At the halfway mark, of the round, a straight pinpoint right dropped Gonzalez and he couldn’t beat referee Reece Carter’s count. 25-year-old, super lightweight Taylor will certainly have tougher contests ahead, though on this brief showing looks to have a lot of natural ability.
Josh Taylor’s record improves to 5-0, 5 KOs while Miguel Gonzalez is now 13-12, 11 KOs.
6’4″ Light Heavyweight Nathan Thorley, 23, took on experienced veteran Elvis Dube, 37, over four rounds. Dube was a late substitute for Anthony Trow. “Thunder” Thorley used his considerable height and reach advantages to outbox the slower, shorter Derbyshire man.
Dube had some success in the third and Thorley was cut above the left eye. The fourth round saw Thorley box and move and keep the eye protected. Referee Reece Carter scored the contest 40-36 in favour of the Cardiff man.
Nathan Thorley is now 5-0, 2 KOs while Elvis Dube 7-50-2, 5 KOs.
Northern Ireland’s Conrad Cummings kept his unbeaten record intact, with a sixth round stoppage of local boxer Frankie Borg. The former Welsh middleweight champion started well, circling and boxing but as the rounds went on it was Conrad who was the busier. His power causing Borg problem’s in the third from a left hand. The fourth and fifth were competitive, with both men landing solid combinations. However, the power seemed to be with Cummings who dropped his opponent with a straight left and right. Frankie beat the count and seemed to recover well.
In the sixth, a solid left shook Borg to the core and referee Martin Williams rightly called a halt to proceedings. Cummings is a bit one-paced but methodical, it will be interesting to see where the 24-year-old goes from here.
Conrad Cummings record is now 9-0-1, 4 KOs while Frankie Borg drops to 9-6, 3 KOs.
The promotion opened with a six-round contest between Cardiff’s Mitch Buckland and Frenchman Mohamed Larabi. The Tony Borg trained, 22-year-old boxer controlled the fight with a southpaw jab and his opponent’s face was marked up, as early as the second round. Buckland was always a step-a-head, busier and more accurate. Larabi was game but not in the same class.
Mitch was often able to slip any attacks and his left hooks snapped Mohamed’s head back in the second. He did well to see out the contest, as a left hook come uppercut buckled his legs in the final round. The 28-year-old Laribi gave it a go but was outgunned in every department by the Cardiffian. Referee Martin Williams official score was 60-54 in favour of Mitch Buckland, who will be looking to get in the British title mix at Super Lightweight.
Mitch Buckland’s record is now a perfect 11-0, 2 KOs while Mohamed Larabi fall’s to 4-8-1, 2 KOs.
Check-out more superb photography by Sophie Merlo here: Sophie Merlo
The show was promoted by Cyclone Promotions and Sanigar Events and was broadcast on Spike and Channel 5 in the UK.
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