Only one week after Mayweather v Pacquiao, boxing fans were treated to a bumper weekend of boxing. In Birmingham, Heavyweight prospect Anthony Joshua continued his winning ways with a knockout victory over Brazilian Raphael Zumbano Love. Joshua improved to 12-0 (12 KO’s) with the win, and was totally dominant throughout.
Joshua utilised a battering ram jab to keep Love on the back foot and under control before unleashing a thunderous overhand right that left the Brazilian champion floundering on the floor.
Joshua’s next opponent American Kevin Johnson was ringside after the fight and the pair engaged in some lacklustre trash talk ahead of their fight on the undercard to Kell Brook v Frankie Gavin in the O2 Arena, London on the 30th May.
Johnson marks a significant step up in class for Joshua, without being considerable risk; the American has lost on points to Vitali Klitschko, Tyson Fury and Derek Chisora but does have a dominant jab. It will be an interesting encounter in Joshua’s development as a contender.
On the same card, Matthew Macklin secured a second round knockout over the plodding Ferenc Albert with a thumping right to the body. The fight scheduled for eight rounds marked a second win on the comeback trail for Macklin, following his knockout defeat to Jorge Sebastian Heiland in November 2014. The popular and exciting middleweight will surely be aiming to secure another word title shot in the next twelve months.
Also on the card former, Olympian Luke Campbell knocked out Aboubeker Bechelaghem in the third round of a Lightweight encounter to set-up a domestic showdown with Hull’s Tommy Coyle. The pair’s public spat has gained momentum in the last number of weeks and should prove to be an interesting affair.
Liverpool’s Callum Smith destroyed Oleg Fedotovs in the first round of six rounder at super-middleweight, and will set up an encounter with Christopher Rebrasse for the WBC silver title in June.
Meanwhile in Texas, Former WBO Lightweight champion Ricky Burns was beaten on points by the former WBC Lightweight champion Omar Figueroa. The fight was an all action affair, with both fighters trading at close quarters. At times the action appeared scrappy, helped in no way by the referee’s poor approach to breaking up the clinching.
Burns was deducted a point in the 9th for spoiling and the fight ended with Figueroa winning by unanimous decision The fight was contested at Light-Welterweight indicating that perhaps Figueroa has outgrown the Lightweight division, Burns did cover himself in glory, showing fans how he can tough it out in fights but his future perhaps remains at Lightweight.
In other results, Jaime McDonnell had to climb off the canvas in the third round of his clash with Japan’s undefeated Tomoki Kameda to retain his WBA bantamweight title. Despite suffering an early knock down McDonnell utilised his physical advantages in terms of height and reach to box his way to a close unanimous decision, with all three judges scoring the bout 114-113.
Canelo Alvarez improved his record to 45-1-1 with a devastating third round knockout of James ‘Mandingo Warrior,’ Kirkland. The fight can only be described as an all-out war, but Canelo’s superior punching power saw him drop Kirkland in every round before finishing him off with a bone crunching right hand to the jaw, that left him unconscious on the canvas. On the surface the fight appears to have been a mismatch, Alvarez requires a higher quality of opponent meaning a world title challenge will be on the horizon soon.
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