Gallagher Beats Bazo To Secure PBC Crown in Liverpool

Gallagher Beats Bazo To Secure PBC Crown in Liverpool

Report: Gianluca Di Caro – Photographs courtesy of Kirsty Radcliffe

 

There was a true feast of boxing action on offer Saturday night, both live and on TV, Billy Joe Saunders defending his WBO Crown in London, Saul Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin battling it out from supremacy of the Middleweight ranks is Las Vegas, yet still the Merseyside boxing fans turned out in force to support one of their own, Dayle Gallagher, as he fought for his first Championship, at the Jubilee Sports Bank in Liverpool.

Unusually instead of being the final contest of the evening, Liverpool’s unbeaten Dayle Gallagher clash with the Czech Republic’s Daniel Bazo for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) International Silver Welterweight title, was the opening pro bout.

Gallagher is fast becoming one of the top prospects in the welterweight division, on Saturday night he proved just why he is becoming one of the most talked about young fighter from the City, as throughout the battle with Bazo he showed a maturity that belied his young age, keeping a cool head and sticking to his game plan against the seriously tough and awkward Czech fighter.

Round one see both lads taking a mature and professional approach to the proceedings, tentatively testing the other out, don’t get me wrong when I say testing I don’t mean tippy-tappy stuff, but them both taking their time and picking their shots.

Round two was a totally different affair, which see both lads aggressively attacking, yet in a controlled manner, it was a all action and a great round for the fans of pugilistic arts.

More of the same in the third, and to a degree the fourth, however Gallagher’s shots were carrying more power than in the earlier rounds, Bazo definitely is no walk over and the Czech lad countered in impressive manner throughout.

As we entered the second half of the contest Bazo stepped up the pace, yet Gallagher kept his head and stuck to his game plan rigidly and patiently kept his cool, picking his shots for maximum effect.

In the sixth Bazo again tried to force Gallagher to up the pace, but the savvy Scouse lad kept his cool and countered the hard charging Czech impressively.

More of the same in the seventh BUT the eighth was fought at a scintillating pace – changing the feel of the bout from a battle to an all out war- phenomenal round!!!!

After eight very, very close fought rounds referee Christopher Kelly scorecard rightly read 79-77 in favour of Liverpool’s own Dayle Gallagher – after which PBC’s head honcho Russell Jaques presented the beautiful PBC belt.

Second pro bout see local lad Johnny McConville against Stockport’s Will Cairns in a four round Middleweight contest

Wow, what can I say these two warriors went to war right from the off, I couldn’t have kept count of the big shots thrown by both protagonists in the first if I wanted to, there were just so many, and even more impressively the amount that landed, from both protagonists.

Initially it was hard to split the pair on who had thrown more or the most powerful but a winner for that particular round became apparent in the final minute as McConville landed a pin point perfect body-shot to send Cairns down. The Stockport lad is clearly made of sterner stuff, as not only made the count but went on the attack for the final seconds of the round.

As in the first, Round two was all action with both lads dishing out vicious power shots to body and head throughout – what a round, you just couldn’t take your eyes of the action for a single second.

It hardly seems conceivable but both lads kicked up the pace even more in the third, the action was frenetic, that was until around the halfway mark when again McConville landed another sensationally powerful body shot – plaudits to Cairns as not only did he make the count but, as before, instead of covering up for the inevitable hard and fast attack by McConville turned the tables and went on a full force frontal attack the final minute or so. Have to say that round was pure pugilistic heaven to watch as both lads determinedly fought to retain centre ground as if their lives depended on it

As the seconds ticked down towards the bell, McConville summoned up another of his pin point accurate body shots to send his foe to the canvas for the third and final time – referee Chris Kelly waved the contest off on the 2:58 second mark of the third stanza

The third and final pro bout of the night see another local young lad, Martin Freeman making his pro debut against the tough and durable Marty Kayes from Belfast.

Before I get to the fight itself I just have to say that in my view Freemen a new star shone brightly for the first time last night and I feel that this youngster is destined to go right to the top in the sport, this kid is class, serious class.

Ok, the fight itself was pure joy to watch, Kayes is one savvy operator and as tough as they come. Believe me the Irishman really put Freemen to the test and the more importantly the youngster passed with flying colours.

Freeman controlled the proceedings with ease, his ring-craft was superb and his shots were incredibly accurate, have to say if that was anyone other than someone like the super tough and durable Mr Kayes sharing the ring on Saturday night the result could quite easily have been a stoppage win on his debut, but in the last 13 years only one man has managed to stop the Irishman, and that was former Team GB star Iain Weaver!

After four sublime rounds of action referee Chris Kelly rightly scored the contest 40-36 to Martin Freeman.

Congratulations to not just all the boxers, but also to Fight Club promoter Kyle Gallagher, each of his shows I’ve been to has been superb, not just the location or production of the events, but also for his care to ensure that each fight is equally matched, not over matched to give the home fighter an advantage as seems to be the norm these day, can’t wait for his next offering.

Hill Secures Celtic Crown as McIlroy Returns In Knockout Fashion in Ayr.

Hill Secures Celtic Crown as McIlroy Returns In Knockout Fashion in Ayr.

Report by Gianluca Di Caro
Photos courtesy Kevin Thorne

It may have been unseasonably wet and windy on Saturday evening, but the inclement weather didn’t deter the local fans turning out in force for three division World Champion Lee McAllister’s latest promotional offering at Ayr Town Hall on Saturday night.

Prior to the first fight of the night, MC Douglas McAdam gave a passionate, yet solemn, eulogy for Scottish Boxing Legend Toby Dixon, father of former World Champion Scott Dixon, who had sadly passed away the previous Sunday aged 87 years, followed by a ten-bell salute.

Following the ten-bell salute was the opening contest, between Prestwick’s Leon Roberts and Liverpool’s Paul Peers was an absolute barnstormer of epic proportions.

Right from the opening bell, both young warriors charged into centre ring and locked horns in a true Gladiatorial Battle Royale that thrilled the ensemble audience for the entirety of the contest.

After four all action rounds, the fans showed their appreciation, for such a truly excellent, closely fought contest, to both fighters with a standing ovation, and that’s before Referee Edward Law’s scorecards were even read out, no surprise then that when it was and showed local lad Robert’s receiving the victor’s laurels the decibel levels went through the roof.

Next up was another cracking fight between Aberdeen’s Nathan Beattie and Belfast’s Marty Kayes. Whilst not quite an all out war like the preceding bout, it was a fantastic technical contest that thrilled the fans in a different way.

The two lads clearly know each other very well, no surprise since they had sparred previously, as well as fought each other on Beattie’s debut. This personal knowledge of the others style, could easily have had a negative effect, making for a boring fight, but not in this case.

Both protagonists showcased their superb pugilistic skills and exceptional ring craft throughout the contest, as with the previous fight, many of the rounds were very close, so it wasn’t a foregone conclusion just who would have their hand raised at the end of six hard fought rounds, however the Scottish fans were not to be disappointed as it was Beattie that got the nod from scoring Referee Edward Law.

Have to say the next bout, between Irvine’s Sandy Robb and Belfast’s Ryan Kilpatrick looked like it was going to be another thrilling all out war for the first minute or so, as the dynamic duo planted themselves in centre ring trading power punch after power punch.

However, Robb’s superior experience came into play, the canny Scot dipped under the Irishman’s leading arm, before letting rip with a massive pinpoint perfect body shot to send Kilpatrick down to the canvas and take the win by first round TKO right on the one minute and thirty second mark.

Next up see the return of Irvine’s very own George McIlroy against Stockport’s Will Cairns, for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) International Silver Middleweight Championship.

The partisan crowd gave Cairns a very warm welcome, as they had for every single fighter throughout the evening, however once again the decibel levels went through the roof when their man McIlroy began his ring-walk.

Round one was a hard fought affair, both protagonists were clearly fired up and determined to become the first ever Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Champion, so much so that control of the round changed hands so often in the early stages, however that was soon to change, when McIlroy landed a powerful body shot to send Cairns to the canvas in the second half of the round.

Much to the delight of the crowd, McIlroy’s confidence grew in the early stages of round two, the canny Scot controlling the proceedings seemingly with ease, don’t get me wrong Cairns had his fair share of success in the second, just that he was being a wee bit more cautious than he had in the first.

More of the same in the third, with McIlroy seemingly controlling the majority of the action, however saying that, the shot of the round was definitely Cairns, who cleverly engineered a sensational move that see him open up the excellent guard of the Scotsman for the merest fraction of a second, but more than enough for Cairns to land a massive right to the granite chin of McIlroy.

McIlroy stepped up the pace early in the fourth, corralling Cairns in to a corner on a number of occasions, the Englishman managed to fight his way out in true style a couple of times before the Scot got through his guard and sent him to the canvas for a second time.

Following the restart McIlroy was all over Cairns like a rash, the Englishman maybe rashly decided that attack would be the best form of defense, whilst landing a few good shots this action left him open and McIlroy didn’t need a second invitation, he just walked Cairns back towards his own corner before letting rip with a massive onslaught ending with another big right to the body to send Cairns down once more.

Cairns made it to his feet but was clearly unsteady, sensibly referee Edward Law decided not to take any risk and waved the fight off on the one minute and twenty-five second mark of the fourth round.

Headline bout of the night was a second PBC Championship contest, this time between World Boxing Foundation (WBF) United Kingdom Champion Symington’s Sammy Hill and Dundalk, Ireland’s Michael Kelly for the PBC Celtic Welterweight Silver Crown.

Without doubt this proved to be the perfect fight to close out a fantastic night of pugilistic action, it was one helluva closely fought battle that could have gone either way.

In fact by three quarters of the way through I was convinced the result was going to be a draw. The all action bout see control switch not just round by round, but seemingly minute by minute.

In the penultimate round Hill stepped up the pace, just as it seemed Kelly was beginning to fade a little. This proved to be a pivotal point in the contest, as Hill went on to secure the win and his second Championship belt in as many contests by a mere two points.

Following the event promoter Lee McAllister, not only praised the boxers but also announced that he would be back in Championship action later this year, on a self-promoted event at the Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen on the 20th October.

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Fight Report: Khan, Decastro and Christopher in Knock Out Form!

Fight Report: Khan, Decastro and Christopher In Knock Out Form!

Ringside report: Gianluca Di Caro

Photos courtesy of: Joe Ibbotson

It may have been extremely windy and absolutely bucketing down with rain in Bradford on Sunday evening, but even the ridiculously inclement weather couldn’t deter around six hundred plucky fans turning out for a special four bout dinner show at the Connaught Rooms, headlined by a ten round non-championship International contest between local hero, two division World Champion Tasif Khan, and top class opponent, Ghanaian Ekow Wilson (16-2-0, 14KOs).

The atmosphere was electric when the MC announced the impending headline bout, each and everyone in attendance were on their feet enthusiastically clapping and cheering as Ekow Wilson made his way to the hallowed ring. However, in comparison the noise level went through the roof when their man Tasif Khan began his ring-walk.

Khan started hard and fast, much to the delight of the partisan crowd, and took the fight to his esteemed opponent. It was clear that Wilson hadn’t made the trip from Africa to just make up the numbers though, as he responded to every Khan attack with equal venom.

The first round was a cracker, both men standing toe-to-toe slugging it out for much it. Round two was fought in a very similar manner for much of the time, however Khan had really started to get into a dominating flow, throwing some sensational body-shots that clearly affected Wilson. Don’t get me wrong, Wilson held his own for long periods and landed some wicked shots of his own.

Round three was definitely the turning point for Khan; he started strong again and landed some fantastic shots to both head and body. By about the midway point Khan stepped up the pace and landed a seriously vicious body-shot that completed winded Wilson, forcing him to take to drop to his knees.

They definitely breed them tough in Ghana, as he made his way back to his feet before the count reached six. However Khan could sense an early victory and went straight back on the attack.

Wilson clearly wanted to protect himself from more body-shots so came in close and once again it reverted to a sensational toe-to-toe slugfest, that was until Khan did a little step back and let rip with another evil body-shot in the final minute, that forced Wilson to once again drop to his knees and catch his breath, again the tough Ghanaian was on his feet well before the count reached six.

Wilson’s team clearly switched to Plan B for the fourth round, the canny lad covering up more to protect his body, in an effort to prevent further Khan Exocets finding their target. It was a fantastic round, fought in a far more technical way than the previous ones.

More of the same in Round five, but unfortunately for Wilson, Khan once again found the smallest of gaps in his defense and landed another potentially rib breaking shot, to force the Ghanaian down to the canvas once more.

Amazingly Wilson not only made it to his feet but in the final seconds of the round made life a little difficult for the local hero.

Round six was another cracking round, once more Wilson had decided to keep Khan tied up on the inside, much to the delight of the fans as the duo went at it hammer and tongs.

The crowd, who had remained on their feet throughout the contest, were treated to one helluva seventh round, both men came out with serious intent and what followed can best be described as a full on War!

It was clear that Wilson had decided to revert back to Plan A and loading up some serious big shots, however that meant that opportunities were there for Khan, and boy oh boy did he take them when they opened up, landing some sensational body-shots once more.

As the seconds ticked down towards the final minute Wilson left a gap in his defense, Khan didn’t need a second invitation and immediately let rip with a superb short sharp shot to the body to send the Ghanaian down once more.

The crowd went absolutely mental, believing the fight was over, as Wilson struggled to get to his feet, but no, Wilson once again beat the count, just. What’s more on the restart had clearly decided attack was the best form of defense and a seriously entertaining toe-to-toe slugfest ensued until the bell.

About half way through the minute break Wilson’s corner summoned referee Matt Scriven, after which the referee turned to the officials’ table and signaled that the fight was over, what followed next was pure pandemonium, Khan, his team, which was headed up by former Two Division World Champion and current WBF Intercontinental Welterweight Champion Lee McAllister, and the fans began celebrating in style.

So enthusiastic were the celebration that it would be a good ten minutes or so before the official result could be announced and the winners hand raised, after which the TV crews from both the UK and Pakistan entered the ring along with Khan’s enthusiastic extended team, four of whom proudly carried Khan’s Championship Belts, and surrounded him as the TV commentators tried to interview him.

Eventually Khan was able to undertake the interview, in which he said.

“Ekow Wilson is a dangerous fighter with a very good record and high percentage knock out ratio; out of his sixteen wins, fourteen came by way of Knockout.

Ekow did a lot of talking in the build up to this fight, claiming he has wanted this fight for a long time, but my team had refused because we were scared, that was utter nonsense.

I didn’t respond as I wanted to let my performance in the ring do the talking for me, I respect all my opponents and all who get into the ring to fight and to a certain extent my team and I did respect his power and trained accordingly.

This fight wasn’t about titles and belts this time, it was about pride and setting the record straight, as well as making Ekow show me the respect I deserve as a fighter, we believe we did just that.

I believe at points I could have made it easier for myself and stuck to my boxing skills, but as we both promised fireworks there was no doubt at some point that’s exactly what the fans were going to get.

Again I’d like to thank everyone in attendance for making it such an electric atmosphere and a very, very special night, I really appreciate the support and my very enthusiastic fans motivate me to perform at my best.

I want to say a massive thank you to my sponsors; Kingsland Business Recovery, Broadway Solicitors, Janan Fashion, SouthPaw Fight Gear and Vista Gym, for their continued support in allowing me to give boxing 100%.

Thanks to the venue Connaught Rooms, a wonderful historic venue in my hometown, after tonight I think this could well be our new home for special events.

Also thanks to “Made in Leeds” TV, Geo News, and all other media channels in attendance, also thanks to the British & Irish Boxing Authority team for sanctioning and officiating another great event.”

Preceding Khan versus Wilson was another ten rounder, this time between unbeaten in eight and current MBC International Super Middleweight Champion Nathan Decastro and late replacement Latvian Dmitrijs Ovsjannikovs, following original opponent John Akulugu not receiving his visa in time.

Pre-Fight Decastro was so fired up, a determined mindset he later carried into the ring, clearly determined on making a massive statement ahead of his upcoming American debut fight in May.

The fight may have only lasted 34 seconds, but in that short time Decastro let rip with a handful of potential knockout shots to the head before letting rip with the literal rib-breaking shot that ended the fight so quickly.

Prior to Decasto versus Ovsjannikovs was a rematch between Scotland’s Nathan Beattie and Wales’ Anthony Christopher. The two originally met in Glasgow just a couple of weeks ago on the 4th February. On that occasion Christopher got the nod by a very close 39-38 points decision.

Beattie was clearly intent on revenge and started hard and fast, taking the fight to the Welshman. The Scotsman dominated most of the round constantly hunting down his man like a stalking Tiger throughout the three minutes.

Having clearly won the first round Beattie stepped it up a little further in the opening moments of the second, appearing intent on gaining a stoppage victory, however it was this approach that proved to be the undoing of the Scot, as in doing so he left himself open and boy oh boy did Christopher take advantage, landing a pin point perfect massive shot to the ribs to end the fight on the two minute and twenty seven second mark of the second round.

Opening up the show was due to be Chris Wood versus a returning Lee Noble in a four rounder, however that bout had to be pulled at the last minute, so instead James Higgy and Paul Smith stepped up to the plate for a four round exhibition bout.

Normally I wouldn’t cover an exhibition bout, but for this I’m going to make an exception, as this was one seriously top class and highly entertaining contest.

Both Men came to fight, this wasn’t a glorified sparring session like most exhibition matches, oh no this was one serious Battle Royale, that see both men going all out for victory from start to finish.

I really enjoyed the bout, as did the attending fans, and can only hope that one day these two will face each other again, if they do I will definitely be there for another slice of pugilistic heaven.

What a great night of fights, OK there may have only been four of them and three finished early, but in all honesty that didn’t matter one iota, I for one came away very, very satisfied, having really enjoyed each and every fight.

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