Meager Dominates/Walker Struggles

03.06.04 - By Elliot Worsell & Gavin Macleod: Well-schooled Lightweight, Lee ‘Macho Man’ Meager 16-0 (6 KO's) equalled the margin of victory conjured up by domestic rival ‘Dynamite’ Dean Phillips, as he dominated teak tough Kenyan Michael Muya 9-6 (2 KO's) over 8 rounds, running out a 78-75 victor.

It was a workmanlike, ultra professional performance from Meager, as he effortlessly shifted through the gears, and proved to have far too much variation and natural ability for the rugged and lanky Kenyan. Muya’s last fight was merely two weeks ago, and there were worries from numerous sections that a cut he suffered in that contest may resurface in the heat of battle against Meager. The cut required numerous stitches, but thankfully didn’t rear its ugly head against Meager.

Ultimately, what did rear its head, much to the disapproval of Muya, were the fast fists of Lee Meager. Meager came out popping the jab into the face of the tall Kenyan, and forced the pace and tempo of the affair throughout. He introduced body shots as the fight progressed in an attempt to stop Muya retreating, and eventually slow the robust African down. As early as the third round Muya was occasionally dropping his gloves, backing to the ropes, and shooting glances towards Meager and his own corner. Although never seriously hurt, Muya was being deterred by Salford man’s workaholic approach to his art. A nicely picked left hook to the body from Meager in the 4th also appeared to bring about some form of reaction from Muya, as he found himself being outworked on the inside, as Meager came weaving in. The ability to use good head movement and slip incoming counters is a portion of Meager’s game that was extremely impressive in Nottingham.

Muya had occasional success when Meager let his defences slip inside, and the Kenyan shot some raking right hands and left hooks in – but on the whole, the ever thinking Meager was ticking over, sussing out ways to contain Muya. A quality right uppercut from Meager in the 7th caught the renowned jaw of Muya flush, and momentarily staggered him – Meager, sensing a surprise stoppage win could be in the offing stepped on the gas and worked Muya over to head and body. Muya deserved to see the final bell though, and despite a busy and excitable last round from Meager, was always in there pitching, chucking leather in Lee’s direction in the hope of clasping the winning ticket. It never came though, and Meager was rightly awarded a comprehensive 78-75 points verdict.

Walker scrapes through another unwelcome war

Bermondsey brawler David ‘Kid Dynamite’ Walker 21-2-1 (10 KO's) cut a sad figure as he narrowly scraped by modest pro Kevin Phelan 6-3 (1 KO) over six rounds. The 27 year old Walker, a decent ABA champion as an amateur, and a European title challenger as a professional, looked confident and upbeat enough going in, but just couldn’t get to grips with the gangly, up right style of his opponent and found himself in a position he’s seemingly got used to throughout his four year career. Up against it.

Credit must therefore go to Phelan, who looked quite classy at times, as he pinged back the bruised and battered head of Walker with flashy uppercuts. Walker was rolling and ducking, in an attempt to get within range and unload bombs on Phelan. But in truth, these were the wrong tactics. Cut badly, high on the forehead, as early as the second round, Walker was always facing an uphill struggle. By taking such a gung-ho approach to his duty, he was always liable to get caught and hurt by the bigger man, growing in confidence once the sight of claret filled up the frail features of Walker.

In the third, with trainer Rob McCracken demanding Walker to get behind his jab and box and move, Phelan took it upon himself to make a substantial mark on the former two times Southern Area titleholder, in the form of a cracking right uppercut, left hook combination that dipped and wobbled the battle worn legs of Walker. Walker, of course, participant in so many domestic wars, had been there before, and even in the face of such adversity, was all heart and determination. He fired back at Phelan with some heavy looking right hands, one in particular that shook up the lanky Slough based light middleweight and had the knowledgeable Nottingham crowd up on their feet.

Ultimately, Walker’s superior work rate and will to win saw him successfully through the finishing line. Though it was mighty close. The last session was fought at a ferocious pace, with both combatants informed that they needed a big round to claim victory in a close battle. Walker, fighting through a blurry shield of black, blue and red, dragged himself towards the points win, as he took the fight to Phelan and out landed the 26 year old with decent right and left hooks as they wailed away in close.

The ever-exciting Walker was given the fight by a 59-57 points margin, but knew he’d made harder work of Phelan than need be. The recurring image of David Walker sitting ringside, faced minced up following a gruelling, great for TV fight, watching his Hennessy Sports team-mates duke it out, is not a pretty sight. Walker’s often commended for his many enthralling domestic battles, but what is deemed great for TV Networks, is by no means healthy for David Walker.

Barrett out guns Down to win decision

Former Irish amateur star Francis Barrett 15-2 (2) won a unanimous ten round decision over the Brendan Ingle trained Gavin Down 28-4 (13) to claim the lesser regarded European Union Light-welterweight title in what was a fantastic toe-to-toe slugfest.

The fight set off at a furious pace with Barrett coming straight out and landing three big shots which immediately forced Down to hold on. After getting on his bike Down was able to regain his bearings and got behind his boxing, continually landing counter rights against the continually incoming southpaw Barrett. On the occasions he missed Barrett, he was subjected to a ponding on the inside as barrett just kept the fists punching.

Rounds two and three were split, with Barrett's workrate and aggression forcing Down to the ropes throughout the second hence rendering Down's jab and long reach ineffective. As DOwn would flick out a jab he would sit on his heels just a moment too soon enabling Barrett to walk him down and unleash a high volume of shots. In round three however, Down found more success from the outside as he slammed home a left hook followed by a perfect straight right that briefly halted barrett in his tracks. Indeed the shot was one of the best of the night and while Down's power is not exactly world class, credit should be given to the tremendous chin that barrett possess.

Four and five went to Barrett, outworking Down who was now marked up under his left eye and bleeding from the nose. It seemed that no matter what Down landed Barrett could just press on through it before landing good shots of his own. It now felt as though Barrett was in control but in a testament to how much Down wanted the title, he came back to claim round six. With Barrett waving in Down he found himself on the end of a swift right uppercut-left hook combination that sent him staggering into Gavin. And with that the sixth ended and people were wondering which way the contest would swing in the seventh.

The following rounds proved that the sixth was Down's last stand. Throughout the next four rounds he would be worn down by Barrett, who was now working more effectively to the bidy, most notably with the left hook which was chipping away at Down's resilience for the rest of the night. Looking ever more tired it was evident that the fight had already been won by the tenth but Down tried to summon up everything he had left in the hope of turning the tide. Standing to trade with Barrett he could not match the punch output coming his way and was fighting the lactic acid in his arms as well as the rugged lefty who stood before him. In the end it was a thrilling contest which was scored 97-94 by all three judges with British Eastsides card reading 98-93 in Barretts favour.

Cadman blows away awkward Ani in two rounds

Waltham Abbey Middleweight Daniel Cadman 6-0 (2 KO’s) appears to be reaping the rewards of newly discovered punch power. After four straight points victories to kick off his pro career, he’s since smoked capable journeymen Mike Duffield, and now Joel Ani in one and two rounds respectively.

Following a slight delay, due to queries regarding the length of the contest, Cadman and Ani settled down into their four rounder, and Cadman was quickly in command. Upright, but with a crisp jab and impressive shot selection, the former Repton representative was picking Ani off in between his opponent’s wild, uncultured swings.

Ani recently gave Leicester banger Martin Concepcion a decent tussle over 3 rounds, flooring the Leicester prospect in the first. However, Cadman wasn’t in the mood for being messed around by the unorthodox Tottenham based spoiler, and stamped his authority on him decisively in the second round. Following an untidy scene to begin the round, with Ani tripping up and bringing Cadman down with him in a heap, the young Hennessy prospect displayed serious intentions as he got back to his feet. Starching Ani with a solitary right hand aimed high on the temple. Ani crashed on the floor, and should be commended for trying to get to his feet. ‘Trying’ being the operative word. Ani’s legs betrayed him, and the proud Nigerian born fighter endured a couple more tumbles before pulling himself upright – from where the referee duly waved the contest over.

Results roundup -

Light welterweight: Talented amateur John O’Donnell, making only his second pro appearance, out pointed tough veteran David Hines over four rounds. Southpaw O’Donnell, a two times Jr. ABA champion, was in control throughout the contest, showing impressive variation and shot selection to head and body. The youngest professional in the UK swept every round and claimed a 40-36 points win.

Light welterweight: Young Manchester talent John Murray notched up his sixth win from six starts against Nobby Nobbs’ journeyman Anthony Hanna, taking a clear cut 40-36 points win over the four scheduled rounds. Murray was commanding from the outset, and even hurt the ever dependable and super durable Hanna on various occasions throughout the fight.

Light Heavyweight: English champion Steve Spartacus 16-1 (9) bounced back from his shock defeat to Ovill McKenzie last time out to blow away the usually game journeyman Varuzhan Davytan in one round. Spartacus brushed through his challengers attempts to start a jab contest before landing a deadly straight right hand which promptly dumped Davytan on the seat of his pants. He rose at 8 and the fight was waved on but Spartacus caught Daytan in the corner and thudded home a bludgeoning right hook downstairs which crumpled the Aremnian where he stood. It was at this point that the fight was waved off. Afterwards Spartacus shouted down to the press row "Who's else has done that to him!?" in reference to his first round win.

Cruiserweight: Coleman Barrett, cousin of Francis, kept up his winning record, now 3-0, by winning a comfortable 60-54 decision over Terry Morrill in a contest made for six two minute rounds. Morrill offered little in reply to Barrett's speed and punch variety but Barrett will need to find a knockout punch from somewhere if he is to make a real impact on the 190lb scene.

Article posted on 03.06.2004

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