Hobson dominates Swaby this time + undercard review

28.05.04 - By Ben Carey: Huddersfield’s Mark Hobson promised a total domination beforehand, and the British and Commonwealth cruiserweight champion was as good as his word as he emphatically halted Lee Swaby in six one-sided rounds at the Huddersfield Sports Centre last night. A booming right hand buckled Swaby’s legs against the ropes, and after Hobson let leash with a succession of follow-up rights, referee Terry O’Connor jumped in to call a halt to the action at 1.02 of round 6. Swaby was doing his best to cover up and ride out the storm, but with precious little coming back, the man in the middle made a well-timed intervention to bring about the Lincoln boxer’s first stoppage loss in 6 years.

This was a result that few could have predicted given Hobson’s narrow 96-95 points victory over Swaby after twice hauling himself up off the floor in this same ring two years ago. With this representing Swaby’s only defeat in 12 previous outings, many were tipping the Lincoln man to go one better and become the city’s first British boxing champion. But despite entering the ring in magnificent shape and looking supremely confident beforehand Swaby never got going. Hobson never allowed him too.

The fighters were backed by tremendous support which made for a cracking atmosphere inside this compact venue. The fans had little cheer about in the opener though as both boxers, as if to underline the importance of this fight, were reluctant to commit themselves through fear of being punished for a mistake in what amounted to a cagey start. Hobson, the taller man by 3 inches, looked to make use of his height and reach advantages by shooting out his jab that for the main fell short. Towards the end of the first Hobson unleashed his first purposeful right hand of the evening – it was a sign of things to come. Swaby was content to have a look but scored with a sharp left which forced Hobson to hold at the end of the stanza.

Swaby looked to command the centre of the ring at the start of the second and found the target with a left hand but was immediately forced to take a right in return from Hobson who always seems happy to engage his opponents in a tear-up should so they wish. Appearing to be boxing to a plan however, Swaby boxed on the back foot for the remainder of the round. Seizing the initiative, Hobson pressed the action and landed a left hook and a right to the body whilst comfortably avoiding Swaby’s retaliatory swipes.

The challenger had success with a short left-right inside in the early stages of round 3 but a big right hand from Hobson forced him back into his defensive shell whereby he was put under considerable pressure for the first time in the contest. Two more rights from Hobson thudded home as he pinned Swaby in a neutral corner in what were anxious moments for the Lincoln man’s vociferous followers. Swaby was in danger of being overwhelmed but a left hand that caught Hobson coming in was a reminder to the champion that he couldn’t afford to get careless. This was more like it from Swaby yet he simply had to do more.

Hobson had established control but was guilty of being a little too eager during the fourth. After absorbing a left from Swaby the Huddersfield slugger came roaring back but was off-target with a succession of rights. The champion was really loading up now but dangled his left hand worryingly down by his side. A left hook from Hobson did get home though forcing Swaby to tie him up.

The champion had won every round so far in a dominant display and piled home the pressure in the fifth. Another socking right hand sent sweat spraying from Swaby’s face who continued to display a sound chin. The challenger ate more right hands from Hobson as he ominously stood with his back towards the ropes but sprung to life with two lefts in what was now a fleeting display of aggression.

Hobson looked booked for a landslide points victory unless Swaby could somehow discover a way to address the tide. In truth though Hobson never allowed him to gain a moment’s foothold in the fight. Eager to live up to his tag as one of the most improved fighters in Britain, Hobson upped the tempo in search of the finish and duly achieved this in the sixth. The right hand that culminated in Swaby’s downfall would probably have floored most cruiserweights in Britain. Indeed, in hindsight, the Lincoln southpaw may have been better off taking a count in a bid to clear the cobwebs from his head. Instead he was subjected to a torrid pounding that brought a sudden end to his British title aspirations. A dejected Swaby said:

"I trained so hard for this fight and I was up for it in the dressing room beforehand. I think I did OK in the first round, but then he changed his tactics and I couldn't work him out.I couldn't get my shots off and I couldn't fight the kind of fight I wanted to. That is why Hobson is the champion because he can do what it takes to succeed.”

In contrast, this was an immensely satisfying win for Mark Hobson who provided further evidence to demonstrate that once he gets into a rhythm he is a uncompromising force to dislodge. The Huddersfield champion’s latest victory means he is only one win away from securing the coveted Lonsdale belt. A delighted Hobson told British Eastside afterwards:

“I wanted to come out and swarm all over him, win every round and try and dominate him. I knew I hurt him and I didn’t want to let him off the hook but he was quite wriggly. I hurt him a few times but he managed to wriggle out of it but it was a good performance. I want one more now (defence) to secure the belt (Lonsdale). Whatever happens in my career afterwards I’ll always have that.”

After last night’s performance, the British and Commonwealth titles should be the very least of the 28-year-old’s ambitions.

Undercard review by Ben Carey & Spud Woollatt

Home-town hero Dale Robinson returned to winning ways following his narrow points loss to IBO super-flyweight boss Jason Booth in March with a comfortable 59-55 decision over former Commonwealth bantamweight title challenger Moses Kinyua. In fact, pocket-dynamo Dale had more difficulty in fending off an unhappy Tommy Gilmour outside of the ropes than he did in coping with Kinyua in the ring.

Concerned manager Gilmour was less than amused when Robinson revealed afterwards that he had boxed whilst carrying a niggling injury to his right hand. With big fights potentially in the pipeline against Johnny Armour, Damaen Kelly, Peter Culshaw and a mouthwatering rematch with Jason Booth, Robinson can ill-afford a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Thankfully, Robinson was never extended by his Kenyan opponent who was stopped in 7 rounds by Nicky Booth in July 2002. Kinyua used plenty of lateral movement in an attempt to frustrate the local favourite but was still caught with some solid, single left-hands to the mid-section. Robinson stalked his man throughout, boxing well within himself, but pleasingly doubled up on the jab. He was met by an occasional left in return as Kinyua did just enough to keep himself in the fight. The Kenyan decided to remain stationary for long enough to plant his feet in the 5th but soon saw the error of the ways as Robinson let loose with a barrage of left hooks that sent him scurrying to the ropes. Dale finished the fight with a slight knick under his right eye but his workrate made him a worthy winner.

Those who stayed around for the show closer witnessed James Hare continue his rehabilitation following his shock 10th round loss to Cosme Rivera in December with a rather perplexing fifth round stoppage over Malik Cherchari. In the early stages the smooth boxing Hare easily countered the onrushing Cherchari who was not making the best of his height and reach advantages. However, the Frenchman stepped on the gas in the third and his speed seemed to take Hare by surprise. Cherchari, who had previously failed in a French light-middleweight title challenge against Brice Faradji a year ago, was catching the normally elusive Yorkshireman uncharacteristically.

However, by the fourth Cherchari’s successes were now sporadic with Hare back in command. The confusion began at the end of the round. One of Cherchari’s cornermen surprisingly decided to throw in the towel to spark a 3-way disagreement between his assistant and the fighter himself. Thinking the fight was over, Hare’s supporters began to leave the arena only for the bell to sound to signal the start of round 5. But with all parties now in agreement that the contest should be terminated the fight was promptly waved off at the start of the 5th without a punch being thrown. Hare improves to 30-1 (17) and will probably be back challenging for title honours in the very near future.

Other Results

Barking’s Mark Callaghan booked a probable British super-bantamweight title shot against Michael Hunter with a 60-56 points win over Walsall trier Steve Gethin. Callaghan was the busier of the two but never looked likely to win inside schedule.

Hot Scottish welterweight prospect Kevin Anderson displayed chilling punch power in disposing of Gateshead’s Danny Moir in the first round. The North East fighter elected to go toe-to-toe with Anderson and even appeared to momentarily shake him with a left hook. As if angered by his opponent’s cheek, Anderson promptly dumped Moir on the canvas with a beautifully timed left hook. Moir rose gingerly but was soon re-acquainted with the mat seconds later, again as a result of taking a flush left hook bang on the mush.

Moir was determined to go out on his shield but after taking a solid right from Anderson that made him sag, referee Chris Kelly had seen enough. The exciting Scot improves to 10-0 (7) and can dispose of opposition like Moir for fun.

Liverpool light-middle Graham Delehedy looks like one to watch after he crushed 72-fight veteran Ernie Smith in 3 impressive rounds. The normally durable Smith was under constant fire from Delehedy who worked the left hook to head and body with aplomb. A sustained volley of blows, thrown with accuracy in close, rocked Smith’s head back to bring about the intervention midway through the third. The Scouser, backed by a noisy contingent of supporters, improves to 4-0, all by knockout and looks to possess a hefty whack.

There was a shock in the opening bout of the evening when Plymouth journeyman Jon Harrison inflicted the first pro defeat on Pontefract’s Adrian Clegg with a deserved 39-38 points win at light-middleweight. Clegg was unbeaten in 4 going into this but allowed himself to be outworked despite appearing to shake his opponent with a right hand in round 2.

Article posted on 28.05.2004

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