In a recap of boxing results from the weekend, British fight fans were treated to a showcase of UK talent on Friday night in the Echo Arena, Liverpool.
The bill dubbed, “All or Nothing,” featured a number of super-middleweight prospects. Callum Smith the younger brother of recent world title challenger; Paul Smith Jr defeated former European champion Christopher Rebrasse over a hard fought twelve rounds.
The Frenchman made Smith work for the win, overcoming the Meryseysiders stiff jab to force his way into the fight by the midway point. Rebrasse who had previously given George Groves a tough night for the European belt, produced a determined performance backing Smith up at times and having some success landing his right hands.
However, it was Smith’s powerful hooks to the body that made the difference, dropping Rebrasse to the canvas in the tenth. One would have expected a stoppage but Rebrasse’s fantastic conditioning and competitiveness ensured he beat the count and the fight lasted the distance.
Also on the bill, undefeated Super-middleweight Rocky Fielding demonstrated his punching power with a second round stoppage of American Brian Vera. The experienced Vera holds a win over current WBO middleweight champion; Andy Lee, and he was expected to test Fielding but he was floored twice before the referee stepped in to wave the fight over.
There was some controversy about the first knockdown, a left hook from Fielding dropped Vera to the canvas, and it appeared he was waiting for the referee to begin a count but Fielding threw another left hook for good measure. It seems inconsequential as Vera was thoroughly outclassed and the responsibility lies with the referee who should have intervened sooner.
Both Smith and Fielding have passed significant tests in their careers and they may not be far away from a world title tilt. There is also the potential for a dazzling domestic clash if they should meet further down the road.
They could be accompanied on the world scene by Martin Murray who made his debut in the super-middleweight division on the same bill. Murray decided to move up from middleweight following his world title defeat by middleweight destroyer Gennady Golovkin. He looked impressive with a second round stoppage of George Beroshvii.
The Georgian was undone by Murray’s body shots, absorbing hurtful shots to the ribs in the first round, before a left hook under the elbow in the second, left Beroshvii gasping for air and unable to continue. Murray looked comfortable at the weight and with his credentials he has a lot to offer as a super-middleweight.
In other results, Tony Bellow, who has also recently moved up a division to cruiserweight stopped Ivica Bacurin in the tenth round and potentially set up a third world title shot against IBF title holder; Yoan Pablo Hernadez.
In other results from the weekend welterweight Timothy Bradley Jr. defeated Jessie Vargas by unanimous decision at the Stub Hub Center, Carson, California.
The result was not without controversy, Bradley who had dominated the fight was rocked by Vargas in the closing moments of the fight. Bradley staggered back at the same moment that a ringside official sounded the clapper to signal that there was ten seconds left in the round. The referee Pat Russell thought the final bell had sounded and stopped the fight. Vargas assumed he had won the fight by stoppage but moments later the scores of 117-111,116-112 and 115-112 were announced in favour of Bradley.
In the aftermath of the fight Vargas demanded a rematch, although it seems pointless. Bradley had dominated the fight and Vargas had offered very little up until that punch. Having fought back whilst out on his feet against Ruslan Provodnikov, Bradley would have been expected to weather any late surge in the dying moments and hang on for the win. Instead the claims for a rematch should be regarded for what they are, another footnote in boxing folklore.
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