Ringside report: Dubois wins battle of Britain

Paul Zanon
14/07/2019 1:28pm

Photos: James Chance/Getty Images

Paul Zanon reports from ringside at the O2 as a marathon card is topped by Daniel Dubois winning the British heavyweight title with a stoppage victory against Nathan Gorman...

Before the eagerly anticipated heavyweight shootout between Daniel ‘DDD’ Dubois and Nathan Gorman, promotional giants Frank Warren, Ringstar Sports and Top Rank had a dozen undercard bouts lined up for the action-hungry boxing fans gahered a the O2.

First up was Jake Pettitt against Nicaraguan, Elvis Guillen. The Kent-based super featherweight dished out a one-sided beating to the South American, which included dropping him in the third round with a short left hook to the body. Southpaw Pettitt won 40-35 over four rounds, moving him to 6-0.

Portsmouth lightweight Mark Chamberlain took on Spanish-based Nicaraguan Sergio Gonzalez over four rounds. Shortly after the opening bell, Garcia was down from a barrage and by the second round, he was on the canvas again, sporting a reddened and bruised face. Props to Gonzalez though, he lasted the distance, losing to the Hampshire favourite 40-34. Hard hitting southpaw Chamberlain moves to 3-0.

The third contest of the night was over four rounds between welterweights Michael Williams and Micky Burke Jr. Despite Williams being a game opponent, Burke made his debut in professional boxing with an impressive 40-36 points victory. Despite lacking a bit of venom, with his fast hands he was able to force the fight in the way he wanted and put on a good, steady performance.

The first of the heavyweight clashes was between Jonathan ‘The Dancing Destroyer’ Palata and Hungarian, Ferenc Zsalek. The Sydenham resident went into destruction mode from the get-go, putting Zsalek on the canvas twice in the opening session, ending the fight in under three minutes. Palata moves to 6-0.

Following suit, explosive super welterweight Hamzah Sheeraz continued his trail of destruction by stopping Scott James in the opener. Twenty-year-old Sheeraz moves to 9-0. Can’t wait to see him out again soon - a great prospect in the making.

The sixth contest of the evening was anything but subdued. Albanian welterweight Florian Marku took on wily and game Tommy Broadbent, over a scheduled four rounds. A split second after the bell, Marku went after Broadbent with bulldozer tactics. Broadbent (8-5), used his experience to make the Albanian miss, but it was obvious that Marku was in ‘seek and destruct’ mode and would eventually catch up. With his Tyson-esque come-forward style, Marku eventually landed a crunching left hook to Broadbent’s body in the fourth round, stopping the Yorkshireman. Marku moves to 4-0 with four stoppages.

Affable Scot Willy Hutchinson put on a systematic performance to beat Croatian Josip Perkovic over six rounds, 60-54. The contest billed at super middleweight had both fighters weighing north of light heavyweight. I get the impression we’ll see the best of Hutchinson as he fights better opposition in his natural weight division. Hutchinson moved to 9-0.

Kent’s Dennis ‘The Menace’ McCann extended his record to 2-0 with a 40-36 points victory over Jerson Larios. The work rate and accuracy was McCann’s all the way, but the game Spaniard did catch his opponent on a number of occasions with left hooks to the head. Great learning fight for McCann, having had two fights in two months since his debut in May. He's aneEntertaining fighter who has a lot to offer.

With the vacant IBF International super flyweight trinket on the line, Sunny Edwards took on Mexican Hiram Gallardo over 10 rounds. In the second round, Edwards scored a knockdown, which looked more like a slip from ringside. However, Edwards confirmed over the full 30 minutes that his performance was far from lucky. Working behind his silky smooth toolkit of punches, the Croydon favourite was accurate, elusive and an absolute master of setting traps for the Spaniard to walk into, which he’d immediately capitalise on.

When all three of the judges scored the contest 99-90, it came as no surprise whatsoever. Edwards moves to 12-0. I’d love to see him against Andrew Selby at some point - and sooner rather than later.

Undefeated super featherweight Archie Sharp and Scotland’s Jordan McCorry put on a real treat for those in attendance. The Welling based fighter, defending his WBO European crown, started the first couple of rounds with slick hard counter punching, letting his opponent walk into his traps.

After connecting with a left hook to McCorry’s ribcage in the third round, it looked like the contest may come to a halt as the Cambuslang favourite took an eight count. On the contrary, however, McCorry went after his opponent and from rounds four onwards, the two engaged in a cracking fight, with enough toe-to-toe action to keep the O2 onlookers more than happy.

Sharp retained his title with 98-91 verdicts from all three judges, which was the correct result, but hats off to McCorry for engaging in a memorable tear-up. Sharp moved to 16-0.

Welsh dragon Liam Williams said he’d stop his middleweight adversary Karim Achour, and he didn’t lie. The Clydach Vale fighter destroyed the Frenchman in under two sharp rounds, gaining the WBC silver middleweight title along the way. As Williams moved to 21-2-1, his world ranking was also fortified. I look forward to his next opponent en route - perhaps - to another crack at a world title.

The penultimate fight of the night was between Putney heavyweight Joe Joyce and former world title challenger Bryant Jennings (24-3). Joyce started the opening session light on his feet, flicking out the jab, but with his hands low, which Jennings instantly took advantage of.

From the second round onwards, Joyce slowed down somewhat in terms of foot speed, but his work rate was still non-stop. Suffocating in fact. I'm not sure Joyce having his lead left down is a good thing though, as Jennings continued to counter him at will. Joyce also demonstrated a habit of dropping his right hand every time he threw the jab which, again, Jennings countered with left hooks to the head. By the end of the fight Joyce’s right cheek was somewhat red.

Overall Joyce did enough to win the fight based on work rate and punches landed. A very good learning fight for the Londoner and no doubt he’ll step up again in his next outing. The scorecards were 118-109, 117-110 and 115-112 all in favour of Joyce. I think the latter was the better reflection of the true events and the 118-109 was simply ridiculous. Joyce moves to 10-0 with nine stoppages. I wonder if he fancies a clash with Dubois?

Talking of whom, the headline act between Daniel Dubois and Nathan Gorman didn’t disappoint. With a Who’s Who of boxing ringside and Tyson Fury and Frank Bruno forming part of Dubois and Gorman’s respective entourages, when the first bell went, nobody blinked.

From the opening round, Dubois started to hunt Gorman, throwing out the ramrod jab, forcing Gorman on to the backfoot. Nantwich’s favourite boxing son came firing back though, happy to go toe to toe with the London wrecking machine. At this point, the fight was up for grabs for either fighter.

By the second round, Dubois started to unload with the one-two, with frightening accuracy, but again, Gorman kept firing back with his own arsenal. It was Dubois, however, at this point who started to show signs of making rapid headway on his opponent as he cut over the left eyebrow of Gorman with a crunching right hook.

Third round, Gorman was forced to take a knee in the opening 30 seconds from a clubbing right hand, as the blood started to flow. As Tyson Fury was on his feet urging Gorman to fight back, Dubois continued to unload the heavy artillery.

Round four, Dubois kept throwing out the jab, doubling it up and landing heavy body shots. Little back from Gorman. Fifth round, 40 seconds in, Dubois landed a crunching, looping right hand, but Gorman refused to go down and hung in there. With 30 seconds to go in the round, Dubois landed an overhand right over Gorman’s left ear, forcing him to the canvas. Although he made the count, he was on unsteady legs and the referee did the right thing to halt the contest.

Hats off to both fighters. They took a high risk fight as undefeated prospects. Gorman will come again and still has a hell of a lot to offer in the division.

Can Dubois eventually mix it at world level and become a world champion? I wouldn’t bet against it…