Mauricio Lara finally becomes world champion
BBN writer Anish Parekh provided readers with a round by round account of the Leigh Wood vs Mauricio Lara WBA super featherweight title fight in Nottingham on Saturday night, February 18.
Mauricio Lara stuns a raucous Nottingham crowd as he stops Leigh Wood in the 7th with a stunning one punch knockout to become new WBA super featherweight champion, in what was a punishing and brutally entertaining fight.
Wood vs Lara
R1: Wood starts well with a solid right hand but Lara does returns fire with a left to the body and right hook to the head. Wood who looked sharp and dangerous, ready to punish Lara for any error he might make.
R2: A big second round for lara who bangs to the body, catches wood with a heavy hook to the head on the inside. A right hand to the head that shakes, more pounding body shots wood and a flurry to end the round as a cut appears of left eye of Wood.
R3: Wood comes into the third focussed and retains good form and fundamentals making life hard for Lara to find openings before landing a nice left hook and straight right. Three more big right hands land for Wood as Lara fails to capitalise on his momentum.
R4: A left and right hook for lara that land flush as he rediscovers a use for his jab but Woods own jab keeps Lara at bay before landing four chopping right hands that raise cheers in the crowd and keep Lara off balance and unable to land anything in return.
R5: The size, power and length appear to trouble lara as he struggles to overpower him thebway he did Warrington. Crisp right hands and left hooks land to Lara's head but the Mexican slugger does manage to have success with a couple of winging shots that Wood doesn't look to comfortable with absorbing.
R6: Super stuff by Wood again as he lands jab-crosses repeatedly before stepping away and evading numerous wild hooks at an increasingly frustrated Lara who could be unravelling.
R7: Wood has some fine rhythm to his boxing and is nullifying Lara who is lacking in ideas. But out of nowhere Lara beats Wood to the punch and connects with a massive left hook that heavily floors Wood. The Nottingham man gamely returns to his feet before the count of 10 but his unsteady legs and glassy eyes are enough evidence for trainer Ben Davison to throw in the towel and save his charge from anymore punishment, much to Wood's dismay and disappointment.
A delighted Lara is in tears at the end and is roundly booed during his celebrations as the crowd is stunned and dumbfounded by the sudden brutal end to this contest.
It was a spectacular fight full of action which could lead to a rematch that the Nottingham crowd would surely be interested in seeing again.
Smith vs Allington
Dalton Smith wins by unanimous decision in a Scrappy contest against trickier than expected Billy Allington.
The singing and chanting to the drums and trumpets almost became the most entertaining part of this fight as the Nottingham crowd filled the arena with a celebratory atmosphere.
Smith won the fight decisively but was made to work hard against Allington whose mixture of unorthodox style, lateral movement and spoiler tactics made him hard to nail down until the latter rounds where an 8th round knock down gave the crowd something to cheer.
Allington attempted to engage with a little more frequency but was often punished by the crisper punching Smith who wobbled his adversary numerous times thereafter with crunching uppercuts in the 8th round and right hands in the 9th that staggered him.
It wasn't for a lack of trying that Smith didn't close the show and he continued to plough forward in the 12th but couldn't dispatch of the tough Allington who was relieved to hear the final bell despite losing 120-107 on all cards.
Following the fight Smith admitted to being complacent and lacking in the focus required to be at his absolute best.
Tougher tests lie ahead for him and this fight will have provided him with lessons to prepare for them.
Cully vs Flores
Gary Cully defeated Wilfredo Flores with ease by TKO in the second round.
The freakishly tall Cully towered over his opponent as he started the fight confidently darting in with southpaw jab, on his toes and landing 1-2s early, leaving his opponent with his left eye marked and cut. He showed a super understanding of distance and displayed fine reflexes to avoid being hit with any punches from Flores despite keeping his hands low.
The difference in quality was stark and it seemed that the 'Diva' had made demands of himself to have an early night as he heavily floored Flores in the second and despite him rising to his feet, Cully showed a ruthless streak to pile on the punishment and force the referee to call halt the contest.
The popular Irishman has some star quality and was impressed an appreciative Nottingham crowd to take his record to 16-0 with 10 stoppages.
Clarke vs Duffus
Cheavon Clarke came through his toughest test yet by overcoming a tricky Israel Duffus by unanimous decision.
Duffus showed his ambition from the first bell, planting his feet and landing with two solid right hands which stunned Clarke early on, whilst remaining elusive.
The visitors confidence was such that he even switched to southpaw to bamboozle Clarke and land flush left and rights to the head.
However from the third round onwards Clarke pumped out his jab with authority to reduce the distance and elect to fight in-close with his opponent, showing Bursts of explosiveness to land 4 knockdowns in rounds 5, 6, 7 and 10 with Duffus being fortunate that the bell to end each round was near.
It was a good victory where Clarke demonstrated power, a solid chin, decent head movement and stamina throughout as he showed that he is developing nicely as a pro.
The scores were 98-88, 98-94 x2.
Yafai vs Alberto Ruiz
Gamal Yafai lost a surprising decision to Argentinian opponent Diego Alberto Ruiz.
Sometimes you watch a fight where you can ask no more of the loser. Gamal Yafai was game throughout and after a solid opening round, succumbed to a knockdown in the 2nd round that drastically swayed the momentum of the fight in Ruiz' favour.
The tough Argentinian scored a second knockdown in the third and looked on course for an early night but the valiant Brummie threatened to turn the tide in the fourth with a hook to the head and body that hurt his opponent and had him complaining to the referee.
Yafai elected to make this a dog fight and take Ruiz into the trenches but found an undeterred and determined foe in front of him and often came off second best in exchanges as evidenced at the end of the 8th round which sent sweat flying across the ring.
Despite the crude punching style of Ruiz which consisted of winging, crunching hooks, he did make an adjustment by demonstrating cultured footwork to avoid being trapped again the ropes and firing back with huge shots of his own.
By the last round Yafai was in desperate need for a knockout and chased Ruiz around the ring. Despite his effort, his energy reserves depleted, and punch resistance reduced as his Argetine opponent added the exclamation point to his victory by knocking down Yafai one more time and earn a hard fought and entertaining unanimous decision.
99-98, 97-90, 96-91.
Bowen vs Gomes
Bowen destroys Gomes in the first round of his debut.
Aaron Bowen broke from tradition of most debutants by taking on a potential banana skin with a winning record, in a 6th rounder.
Clearly already a big ticket seller, a raucous Legion of fans startled me with their noise as they cheered David Diamante's announcement of Bowen and the singing and chanting started immediately as the first bell sounded.
The 6 rounds however, are unneeded as Bowen looked composed and confident, as he instantly looked the superior boxer and began landing bludgeoning blows on Gomes, culminating with a ferocious left hook to the body which sent His opponent to the canvas, writhing in pain for the 10 count and leaving his fans in joyful spirits.
Bostan vs Kramer
Bostan demonstrates why he is so highly touted by stopping Peter Kramer in the 7th round of a one-sided affair. He unleashed his array of impressive skills, by throwing every shot in the book and often landing at will on his over-matched foe.
Kramer showed toughness and willingness throughout but whenever he let his hands go l, was often punished with swift counters to head and body.
The national amateur champion showed unique ability to throw flurries from unorthodox angles whilst retaining his balance and relying on his impressive reflexes to remain elusive.
Bostan eventually piled on the pressure in the 7th round, connecting flush with a big right hand and following up with a barrage on blows that forced the referee to interject and waive off the contest.
Conway vs Silva
Conway starts the bout sharp with fluid, relaxed movement landing fast, flashy jabs and taking his chance to land big right hands. He looks to hurt Silva against the ropes with an uppercut towards the end of the round.
Conway asserts himself again in the second and lands a huge right hand, despite following up with carefully timed shots, can't find the big one to finish the Gentleman.
Silva showed signs of life by landing a right hand but it only enraged Conway who once again piled forwards and landed malicious right hands. Silva survives the round but will do well to make it through the next.
All Conway again in the 4th as he lands with intent and wobbles Silva. Despite putclassing his opponent, Conway has done well to stay disciplined and retain excellent upper body movement.
More of the same in the 5th as Conway continues to pummel and punish Silva. The visitor is marked up, bruised and tired. His corner wouldn't be blamed for pulling him out at this stage.
Whilst Conway's head movement is purposeful, Silva's is involuntary as it bobs around in the 6th round, signifying exhaustion that makes you wonder how he is still standing. He still does well to evade Conway's shots who wins the round but looks to have reduced his intensity to preserve a bit of energy.
It threatens to go a bit stale in the 7th and Conway continues to search for the big shot to conclude the fight but Silva manages to survive this sustained beating. There are words of encouragement from his corner but there is no pop in Silva's punches and its hard to understand why the referee or corner are allowing the fight to carry on.
Ultimately, Silva does hear the final bell which is testimony to his heart and toughness, and despite never hitting the canvas, is utterly outclassed and dominated as Conway impresses enroute to winning an 80-72 points decision.
Cooper vs Maxwell
The arena is almost empty foe the first boutbof the evening but there's a unique air of anticipation that always precedes a big fight night.
Maxwell looks the considerably bigger man and in terrific shape ahead of this contest.
That doesn't deter Cooper in the first round as he mixes his attack between body and head.
However, maxwell uses his jab to decent effect and shows willingness to slug with Cooper on the inside to take the round.
Maxwell altered his strategy in the 2nd, throwing it as a range finder and with less authority, to measure Cooper before whipping numerous straight right hands that found the target repeatedly.
A lack of discipline and sloppiness allows Coopwr to land some good solid jabs that remind Maxwell that he won't have it all his own way in the 3rd round but still lands his share of meaningful shots that hurt his opponent.
A change of tact from Maxwell again in round 4 as he decides to plant his feet and throw with greater authority. He has to ship a few punches himself from a game Cooper but punctuated his superiority with a crunching right hand whilst against the ropes.
Despite audible encouragement to "dig them in, Sean", it's Maxwell who has great success with body shots in the 5th round as he lands repeatedly and Cooper looked on the verge of wilting.
In the final round, Maxwell does everything he can to end the contest before the final bell, mixing his attack from head to body, utilising power shots and flurries but can't find the telling shot to pierce the high guard defence of Cooper.
It matters little as Sam Maxwell wins a whitewash 60-54 victory and improve his record to 17-1