Kell Brook returned home to Sheffield tonight to successfully defend his IBF World welterweight belt against Jo Jo Dan, with a 4th round stoppage.
Once more the undercard was packed with a host of live fighters, very much fixated on progression and eager to impress on such an important night.
Sergey Khomitsky KO4 Adam Etches
Brit basher and veteran Belarusian middleweight Sergey Khomitsky once more brought his bucket of water with him to Sheffield and gleefully doused the home faithful’s hopes once more, knocking out home favourite Adam Etches in the 4th round of their IBF international middleweight title fight.
The Motorpoint arena fell deathly silent as Khomitsky detonated a single right hand from hell, which knocked Etches out cold before he reached the canvas. Referee Howard Foster waved the contest off immediately, with Etches in need of urgent medical attention.
Thankfully, the young Yorkshireman was able to leave the ring on his own two feet, greeted by a wonderful reception from his loyal fans, who, like me, were still trying to process what had happened.
Etches looked composed from the outset, working confidently behind an impressive jab that allowed him to control the action and bring in the power punches as the round progressed.
This was mature stuff from the youngster who was unflinching when under fire, coolly blockings shots and spinning out of range, before returning to the jab. Throughout the 2nd and 3rd rounds, Etches backed the veteran up with his authoritative punches, clean shots, which could be felt from the second row.
Then it happened…
That once in a lifetime shot that most fighters see whistle past its target, detonated and crushed Adam Etches, his aspirations for the short-term future at least.
Sergey Khomitsky, now 30-11-3 (13KO’s) did it again and I don’t imagine his phone will be ringing off the hook, following that display.
Adam Etches, now 18-1 (15KO’s) was impressive and will come back stronger from the experience I have no doubt.
That’s boxing unfortunately.
Gavin McDonnell UD12 Oleksandr Yegorov
Gavin McDonnell, now 13-0-2 (4KO’s), collected the vacant EBU Super Bantamweight title, outpointing game Ukrainian Oleksandr Yegorov, 13-1-1 (6KO’s), over 12 competitive and enjoyable rounds.
In doing so he made good on a promise made 5 years ago in France, that he would replicate the success of his twin brother Jamie and claim the European belt.
The bout began, as it would go on, nip and tuck and hard to split. Developing a pattern of both fighters taking turns to work, unwilling to allow the other to land a series of blows without riposte.
However, it was McDonnell who took charge through the first five rounds on the whole, having notable success with his long reaching right hand, which found a frequent home on Yegorov’s chin.
The exception was the 3rd, which the Ukrainian established his foothold pushing the home fighter back and landing clean straight shots as McDonnell touched the ropes.
From here on in, you picked what you liked between McDonnell landing the classier shots with the fluid constant movement and Yegorov marching forward and pumping out punching in short sharp bursts.
The judges voted unanimously in the favour of Gavin McDonnell with scores of 117-111, 118-110 and 118-109 (I had 116-114 GMc), which seemed unfair to the travelling Ukrainian who contributed well to a lively scrap.
Frankie Gavin PTS10 Bogdan Mitic
Frankie Gavin, 22-1 (13KO’s), sealed his first win under the Matchroom promotional banner, with a victory in cruise control over the game, but ultimately outclassed Bogdan Mitic, 20-7 (13KO’s).
This was always going to be a warm-up contest for the former World amateur champion, who returns in his hometown of Birmingham on 9th May to challenge Chris van Heerden for the IBF international welterweight title.
That is just how it played out, with Gavin controlling the distance between the fighters throughout the contest, landing frequently with the lead left hand to make a swelled impression on the visitors’ stubborn face.
Gavin may not always be dramatic, but in terms of technique he is a joy to watch. Typified by a 5th round, which saw him, go through the repertoire, punctuated by a lovely straight left that staggered Mitic momentarily.
Perhaps realizing that this was not the moment to throw caution to the wind, Gavin coolly boxed his way to a shut out victory, 100-90, on the referee’s scorecard.
Kal Yafai PTS8 Cristofer Rosales
Stephen Smith PTS6 Jacek Wylezol
Leigh Wood KO1 Laszlo Fekete
Jordan Gill PTS6 Barrington Brown
Charlie Edwards TKO3 Mikheil Soloninkini
Kyle Yousaf PTS4 Stefan Slavchev