MGM make BoxNation debut

Martin Chesnutt
02/10/2016 7:29pm

Martin Chesnutt was ringside for Boxing Monthly online on Saturday night, as MGM made their BoxNation debut and Glasgow paid tribute to Mike Towell ...

The boxing community had spent the majority of Friday hoping they wouldn’t hear the news that was unfortunately confirmed later that evening. ‘Iron’ Mike Towell had passed away following injuries sustained during his fight with Dale Evans on Thursday night in Glasgow.

With many people in a reflective mood, boxing returned to Scotland's largest city on Saturday night.

The crowd stood in silence while BoxNation presenter Steve Bunce said a few words about Mike Towell and our sport, before a ten-bell salute was given, followed by a round of applause.

However, as Buncey explained at the event and to television viewers, we don’t make excuses for boxing, the toughest of sports, rather we commemorate the death and life. Although this type of tragedy will likely not be the last of its kind, we have to move forward and hopefully learn what we can from the situation.

The growth of the MGM promotional brand has been impressively steady, and the opportunity to work with BoxNation is a huge one. The promoter did their best to oblige hopes of a televised fan-friendly show by putting many of its top names on the bill.

BoxNation brought their broadcasting ‘A-Team’ to Glasgow, and an extra touch of glamour was added with the presence of Amir Khan, who was interviewed ringside before happily spending time signing autographs and posing for photos with a substantial queue of fans.

The undercard included Guisborough twin brothers Kallum and Josh Leather. Their extremely vocal army were rewarded with Kallum winning a four-round decision against tough Fonz Alexander on his debut, while Josh moved to 11-0 with a fourth round stoppage of Gyorgy Mizsei Jr.

Edinburgh welterweight Lewis Benson was relaxed in the ring and a relatively comfortable winner, taking his record to 7-0. The scorecards were wide but his opponent, Lukas Janik, was in the mood for a brawl, banging his chest and moving forward for much of the fight. Benson showed poise throughout the six rounds, and it will be interesting to see him in with somebody closer to his own skill level.

Stephen Ormond was stopped in the fifth round on his debut as a MGM fighter. A few people ringside commented on his condition, wondering if he was carrying too much weight, but he pressed forward looking to impose himself on his opponent, Zoltan Szabo. However, the Hungarian was not intimidated, planting two big right hands on Ormond in the first round, with one dropping him. After several back and forth rounds, a left to the body was too much for Ormond, and failing to beat the ten count confirmed the upset.

John Thain, who was interviewed by Boxing Monthly earlier this week, won his British welterweight title eliminator, but the 99-91 scorecard had a few people shaking their heads as Nathan Brough was extremely competitive throughout the ten rounds. I scored it by two rounds to Thain based on him being busier and more consistent with his work. The scorecards were 98-93, 96-94, 99-91, and 96-94 felt about right.

Edinburgh’s Stephen ‘Monster’ Simmons won comfortably, with opponent Lars Buchholz and his corner deciding that three rounds of back-pedalling and blocking were enough. Simmons stalked and mixed up his punches, keeping his wits about him, wary of the occasional Buchholz haymaker. Where does Simmons, 15-1, fit in to the cruiserweight picture? Who knows, but at age 32 with four successive victories and a keen promoter behind him, 2017 will likely be a make or break year.

The star boxer on the evening was David Brophy. Always in fantastic condition, it’s obvious that he is a religious trainer, but questions have been asked about his power and ability to mix at a higher level. Normally a super-middleweight, his bout with Kelvin Young was officially announced as a light-heavyweight contest. The extra weight seemed to agree with Brophy, and there was a sense of urgency in his work, as he jumped on his opponent from the go. A ferocious second round uppercut stunned Young enough to force the referee to stop the fight, with no complaints.