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Selby stops Munroe; Buckland defeats Rees; Joshua destroys Darch

British featherweight champion Lee Selby (18-1, 7 KO’s) had an easy time defeating former World title challenger Rendall Munroe (27-4-1, 11 KO’s) by a 7th round stoppage on Saturday night to win the vacant European featherweight strap at the Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. The fight was one-sided, but the stoppage was somewhat controversial due to referee Ian John Lewis halting it while Munroe was still upright and not quite out of it.

The official time of the stoppage was 1:31 of the round. Munroe wasn’t going anywhere even if he had survived the round, because he couldn’t handle the speed, power and size of Selby. Munroe was a very good fighter at one time, but he didn’t look it tonight. He looked like a fighter past his prime facing someone much too good for him. Leading up to the stoppage, Selby hurt Munroe with a right hand that sent him backwards into the corner where he was taking shots until Lewis stopped the fight.

After the match, Selby’s promoter Eddie Hearn talked of wanting to build him up towards an eventual world title shot. He’s not ready to put Selby in with any of the featherweight world champions yet, but he plans on making that move in the near future.

Heavyweight prospect Anthony Joshua (4-0, 4 KO’s) had little problems in beating up and stopping Dorian Darch (7-3, 1 KO’s) in the 2nd round. Joshua, looking considerably heavier than in his previous fight last November, hurt Darch with a right hand to the head in the 2nd round. Joshua then hit him with a left hook to the head causing him to back up and collapse with his back against the ropes. The referee had no choice but to stop the fight after seeing how hurt Darch was when he fell against the ropes.

In the 1st round, Joshua hurt Darch in a similar way after hitting him hard with a right hand to the head. Darch backed up to the ropes and was badly hurt. But instead of looking to land one perfectly placed shot to get him out of there, Joshua threw a series of arm punches that didn’t have enough power to take Darch out. Darch was then able to make it off the ropes to get out of the round. As the bell sounded to end the round, Joshua hit Darch with a hard right hand to the head.

There was a lot to criticize in Joshua’s performance. He was kind of slow and lumbering on his feet. His defense was less than superb, and he didn’t look confident when he was getting hit back. Like in his other fights, Joshua tended to push his shots, throw arm punches and fight flat-footed. He’s not as quick or as explosive as heavyweights like Deontay Wilder or Wladimir Klitschko, and you have to wonder how he’s react getting hit hard by one of those type of heavyweights. And with the weight that Joshua has put on, it could be a major problem for him when he’s forced to fight deep into a bout. He looks too heavy now with all the muscles that he has. Sooner or later one of his opponents will take him deep and test his chin.

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Gary Buckland SD 12 Gavin Rees
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