#8 IBF featherweight contender Josh Warrington (22-0, 4 KOs) stayed unbeaten with a 12 round unanimous decision win over the now often used #9 IBF Joel Brunker (28-2, 16 KOs) in a one-sided fight at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, England. Brunker, 28, is finding himself an in demand fighter for British guys in Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport.
Like he showed tonight, Brunker was no match for Hearn’s fighter Warrington. In a recent fight in which Brunker was badly beaten by one of Hearn’s fighters, he was stomped by Lee Selby last October in losing by a 9th round stoppage. All three judges scored the fight 120-108.
It was so one-sided that it really wasn’t that entertaining to watch unless you like to watch one-sided mismatches. Indeed, many of the other fights on the card were mismatches as well. I think Hearn may have misjudged the quality of the opposition that he was putting in with his fighters because some of the undercard fights were embarrassing in my view.
Warrington threw a lot of punches, and Brunker didn’t have enough power to make him stop throwing. A big puncher would have been a nightmare for Warrington, because he probably doesn’t have enough pop in his punches to use his high volume attack against guys like Vasyl Lomachenko, Nicholas Walters and Gary Russell. Hearn is angling Warrington not against a big puncher, but in a fight against Lee Selby, as he promotes both fighters.
In listening to Hearn talk after the fight one gets the sense that he’s not in a hurry to match Warrington against Selby. Warrington is a big ticket seller for his fights in Leeds, England. Once Hearn matches Warrington with Selby, or one of the other good featherweights, Warrington will likely be beaten, and then the ticket sales for his fights might drop off. For that reason, I believe that Hearn is in no rush to put Warrington in with a good featherweight. If Hearn could drag this out for a couple of years, Warrington will make good money beating guys like Brunker, Dennis Tubieron and Edwin Tellez.
Former three time world title challenger Martin Murray (32-2-1, 15 KOs) looked invincible tonight in beating a much smaller fighter in Jose Miguel Torres (31-7, 27 KOs) by a 5th round fight in a comical bout in which Torres was knocked down 7 times in all. In addition to the seven knockdowns, Torres fell down at least another 7 more times from Murray either leaning on him or bumping into him.
It looked like Torres didn’t want to be there tonight. Referee Howard Foster put a stop to the yo-yo contest by stopping the fight after Torres hit the deck for the 7th time. If he hadn’t stopped the fight then, Torres would have likely kept going down and turned the fight into more of a joke than it already was.
Some of the shots that Murray hit Torres with appeared to be light punches or glancing blows rather than full force power shots. On one occasion, Torres dropped to the canvas from a punch that cupped him to the back of his head. The only knockdown that appeared to be legitimate was a knockdown in the 1st round in which Murray landed a hard right hand that caused Torres to drop to the canvas. However, even that punch didn’t look powerful compared to the normal power shots from other super middleweights.
Murray moved up in weight from the middleweight division, but he’s clearly not a big puncher at 168. He’s just a big fighter. He looks like a light heavyweight now, but with middleweight power rather than power of the powerful super middleweights. You wouldn’t know that from watching him fight thanks to the matchmaking done by Hearn in the fight. He picked a small junior middleweight sized fighter in 36-year-old Torres for Murray to fight instead of putting him in with a super middleweight. It’s unclear why Hearn keeps matching Murray soft, but I guess he wants to play it safe with him after his knockdown loss to Gennady Golovkin earlier this year in February.
In another mismatch on the card, cruiserweight contender Tony Bellew (25-2-1, 16 KOs) stopped a sadly overmatched Arthurs Kulikauskis (16-27-5, 8 KOs) by a 5th round stoppage. The referee stepped in and stopped it because Kulikauskis wasn’t throwing any punches back at Bellew, and it was just one-sided stuff. This kind of fight did Bellew no good because he was chasing after Kulikauskis all night long throwing shots without having to worry about anything in return.
Hearn said after the fight that Bellew will be fighting the winner of the October 2nd contest between IBF cruiserweight champion Yoan Pablo Hernandez and Victor Ramirez. The question is if Hearn has enough confidence to put Bellew in with the winner of the Hernandez-Ramirez fight, then why isn’t he matching Bellew against quality cruiserweights since he moved up to the division? This was Bellew’s second straight mismatch in which he was matched entirely too soft for it to be any use for him.