In a night of personal best’s Gavin McDonnell was in no mood to miss out on the fun, outpointing Vusi Malinga in a display of will, determination and no shortage of skill to the delight of the Humberside crowd.
Completing the televised undercard was red-hot prospect from Liverpool Robbie Davies Jnr who produced a composed and calculated to display to dispose of overmatched, but game challenger Kakhaber Avetisian.
Tommy Coyle v Michael Katsidis (12 x 3 – IBF International Lightweight Championship)
When Tommy Coyle was knocked down four times by Daniel Brizuela in February, there seemed to be a consensus that he had found his level. Such a thought process endured in and around the ringside seats this evening as he prepared for the biggest fight of career against the once world class Michael Katsidis. It was a gut check, a test and one that he passed in a fashion that not even his most staunch backers could have dreamt of.
When Michael Katsidis made his way to the ring decked out in his customary Achilles helmet, he cut a menacing figure that unearthed memories of Upton Park when he destroyed Kevin Mitchell in 3 in spite of the partisan crowd. Fortunately for Coyle and the Hull faithful, looks can be deceiving and what you see is no longer what you get from Toowoomba hard man.
By the time Tommy ‘Boom Boom’ Coyle entered the ring to the, lets say ‘original’ sounds of the ‘Outhere Brothers’ the nervous energy was evident as he bounced around the ring uncontrolled until the first bell got the main event underway. It was clear from the outset that Coyle would sensibly not make good on his promise to meet the Aussie head on, instead opting box off the back foot drawing his opponent on to his jab, utilising his movement and clean punching to counter the pressing Katsidis, which would see him pick up the first round with comfort.
Whilst it lasted, the second round followed a similar pattern to the first. Like all great warriors whose best days have past, the last thing to go is the will and belief. This would prove to be undoing of Michael Katsidis as he walked into a sensational left hook from Tommy Coyle which sent a vibration through his body that would have to be measured on the Richter scale. The moment the shot landed the fight and possibly the career of a great champion was over and reinvigorated a career that hung in the balance.
This was a tremendous performance from Tommy Coyle and one that might force Eddie Hearn to rethink his plans for a little while at least, because Coyle looks ready to kick on and he doesn’t want to cash in too soon. Coyle now moves to 20-2 (9KO’s) and retains his IBF International Lightweight Belt, whilst Michael Katsidis descends to 30-7 (24KO’s) and certain retirement.
Luke Campbell v Daniel Brizuela (10 x 3 – Lightweight)
Luke Campbell announced to the media this week, “I am in great condition and feel ready to put in a performance to show that” and didn’t he do just that.
In only his 9th professional bout 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Campbell took apart the dangerous Daniel Brizuela with such a superb display, you would struggle to find a fault with it. From the moment the first bell rang you got the feeling from Campbell that he was in control of his emotions, focused, stalking the Argentinian with his high card and wide stance gauging the distance perfectly at all times. Campbell took the first round, able to draw leads with cute feints that he punished with sharp straight punches.
The British southpaw would retain control of the bout throughout the 2nd and 3rd rounds in similar fashion, until putting his foot down in the 4th. Brizuela found himself sprawling back towards the ropes when he ate a solid right left combination, which forced him onto the back foot for the remainder of the fight. In the 5th and ultimately final round, Campbell turned on the style leading Brizuela around the ring in a fashion reserved for the elite, walking him into punches, retaining perfect range and composure to avoid any flailing counters which were punished contemptuously.
When a 5 to 6 punch salvo planted the brave South American on the canvas, only to see him rise at 8, Campbell provided the icing on the cake, jumping straight on his beaten opponent forcing the stoppage with the killer instinct of a seasoned finisher.
Punch perfect from Campbell who now moves to 9-0 (7KO’s), with Brizuela now 26-4-2 (8KO’s).
Gavin McDonnell v Vusi Malinga (12 x 3 – WBO International Super Bantamweight Championship)
Gavin McDonnell claimed the vacant WBO International Super-Bantamweight Belt with a unanimous decision over former World Bantamweight title challenger Vusi Malinga in a career best display. The judges scorecards read 116-111 (twice) and 115-112, it really could have been wider in McDonnell’s favour, a man who boxed with energy and purpose all night to simply out hustle the South African.
McDonnell almost closed the show early with a sickening right hand counter, which forced Malinga to turn away from his opponent and take a knee. Up at the count of 8, Malinga endured a huge onslaught from the Doncaster native who hit him with everything but the ring post. Malinga showed massive heart to tough it out and continue to press until the final bell, ultimately to no avail.
It was McDonnell who had his hand deservedly raised to now move to 12-0-2 (4KO’s), relegating Malinga to 21-6-1 (12KO’s).
Robbie Davies Jnr v Kakhaber Avetisian (6 x 3 – Light-Welterweight)
Robbie Davies Jnr began the live broadcast action with an impressive display of skill and intelligence that will serve him well as he goes though the levels. Davies Jnr went on to stop Avetisian 36-26-1 (8KO’s) with two chilling body shots, dropping his outclassed opponent on both occasions. The referee mercifully saved the brave Georgian from himself stopping the bout with 53 seconds gone in the 6th and final round.
This was a nice showing from Robbie Davies Jnr now 7-0 (4KO’s), who I look forward to seeing more of.
Samir Mouneimne bt Michael Ramabeletsa PTS 6 (59-55)
Tom Knight bt Gary Cooper PTS 6 (59-56)
Nathon Smith v Danny Little DRAW 6 (57-57)
Charlie Payton bt Ibrar Riyaz PTS 4 (39-38)
Connor Seymour v Dee Mitchell PTS 4 (39-38)