By Phillipa Hopwood: The world number three is out of the Wuxi classic in China after losing 5-2 to Li Hang in the opening round.
The former world number one is joined on the list of casualties by former World Champion Peter Ebdon, World Open champion Mark Allen, Steve Davis, Rory Mcleod and Kurt Maflin.
The current world number one Neil Robertson eased through to the next round with a 5-3 win over Zhu Yinghui, as did his European Tour Championship final opponent John Higgins after a 5-1 win over Vinnie Calabrese.
Current world number two Mark Selby was dismissed in qualifying, after he missed the European Tour and was narrowly defeated a few days ago in the Asian Tour final. Shaun Murphy was also knocked out in the qualifying stages, whilst World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan is sitting this one out based on “personal reasons”.
By Phillipa Hopwood: Spain have successfully defended their under 21’s European championship with a 4-2 win over Italy in Israel, they are without doubt the most dominant force in football at the moment.
The Spanish national team are the holders of both the World Cup and the European Championship having won and then retained the trophy last year.
Now it seems the youngsters coming through are up to the challenge of continuing that success throughout the next ten years.
Spain faced the most successful team in this competition in the final and proved they deserved to retain the title brushing them aside with Captain Thiago Alcantara’s hat trick (his first ever hat trick) and a goal from Isco midway through the second half, this was enough to see Spain lift the trophy for the fourth time.
By Peter Wells (twitter @boxingbrains): After years of hard work and tough grafting, it took just 2lbs for Mikey Garcia to lose the WBO Featherweight title. Garcia and his camp have received plenty of criticism but it was Garcia himself who was effected the worst as he lost the chance to defend his world title for the first time.
Yet despite the disappointment there was a welcome consolation prize. An impressive 4th round stoppage of former star of the future, Juan Manuel Lopez was all that Mikey could do to improve the frustration of losing his WBO strap. With an impressive variety of punches, Garcia chopped down Lopez with considerable ease, proving that Lopez truly is a hollow version of the fighter he once was 3 years ago.
Before the fight began, I refused to read too much into the Orlando Salido defeats on Lopez’s record, instead believing that JuanMa could pull off the upset. But that tiny feeling was squashed in the 4th round, when a left hook sent the Puerto Rican to the canvas for the second and last time in the contest. Lopez came to fight, but he simply lacked the skills to compete with the brilliant counter-punching of the Mexican, Garcia.
The first round was close. Garcia dominated with his jab for the majority of the round, but Lopez fired in some powerful one-twos which caught Garcia’s attention. The next stanza was all Garcia, the jab rarely missing and suddenly JuanMa’s vulnerabilities seemed all too easy to exploit. A desperate flurry from the fists of Lopez was punished with a single, accurate right hand which left Lopez seated on the canvas.
By Shane Crawley: Kell Brook is aiming to make a statement in the re-match against Carson Jones on July 13 and he intends to send a message out to the rest of the Welterweights, Brook has been unlucky after he missed on a title clash against IBF welterweight champion Devon Alexander due to ankle and foot injuries.
Brook aim to clear up the controversy surrounding their previous fight as some thought that Jones could of won on the night, the Sheffield fighter wants to put that right and showcase his boxing abilities in emphatic fashion.
Carson Jones pushed Kell Brook all the way in their first contest, taking the Englishman all the way, pushing him hard in the last six rounds making a mess of the 27-year-old’s nose.
Kell Brook has been frustrated after pulling out of the title fight against IBF Welterweight Champion Alexander; the bout was postponed three times in total with the American pulling out of the second date with a bicep problem.