13.6.04 – By Martin Dobbing: Anthony Farnell’s boxing world came crashing down upon him last night as he was stopped in 10 rounds by the slippery Eugenio Montero. Farnell, who accepted the job just 5 days before the fight following the withdrawal of Joe Calzaghe, will wish he had stayed at home. Instead he was comprehensively defeated by the well conditioned challenger.
It always looked a tough assignment for Farnell, a man who has never been famed for his elusive qualities against a man who had outslicked Gilbert Eastman and former ‘Arnie’ nemesis, Takaloo. With his jab and move tactics one felt there was something bad about to materialise.
From round 1 onward the tone of the fight was set, Farnell, who had looked so explosive when stopping Lawrence Murphy to claim the title looked devoid of ideas. He followed Montero around in a performance that was remeniscent of his Wayne Elcock capitulation. Montero, looking comfortable throughout threw some lovely jabs. Farnell, devoid of all head movement ate them like they were going out of fashion.
The fight followed the same pattern for the next few rounds. Whenever Farnell got too close a sharp shot to his head reminded him of who was boss and sadly that wasnt him. There was no energy, no snap, not even the desire that has made Farnell one of the country’s top ticketsellers.
We all waited for Arnie to step up the pace, this must have been just a lethargic start, when were we going to see the Farnell so many know and love?? … We weren’t.
It became apparent that instead of speeding up Farnell was slowing down. It raised serious questions at ringside about his preparation. Had he been cast to the wolves in order to salvage the show?? I have no idea but I imagine this will be discussed in Boxing circles for the forseeable future.
As we entered the eighth round it was obvious that Arnie needed a KO. He moved forward, seeking that intensity which had pulled him through so many tough wars in his past, from the streets of Manchester as a child to the savage wars with Rueben Groenwold. But when he went looking for the holy grail he was in no danger of finding it. Montero just kept doing what he was doing. Have no fear, Montero isnt a Pernell Whittaker clone, he is limited. The fact his tactics of jab, move, throw the occasional long shot worked spoke more about the lacklustre Farnell that it did about the game slickster.
Still, it looked like we were set for the scorecards and after the Bobby Vanzie controversy of the previous week who knows what we were going to witness!!
Montero, possibly reralising it would be an idea to take the decision out of the judges hands stepped up the pace. As soon as he did this Farnell collapsed after a quick flurry sent him down. Cut over his left eye he rose to his feet but the referee knbew he had nothing left. This wasn’t really a KO. This was a man who had lost every piece of energy he had entered the ring with(not much in the first place according to many). Farnell leaned dejectedly in his corner, this was truly bad.
The question now remains what becomes of Arnie Farnell. He has lost before, he has lost badly but always against men(bar the Groenwold robbery) who were regarded as possible stars of the future. Elcock and Takaloo have at one time or another been groomed for the top. This is Farnell’s first defeat against a journeyman opponent. Was Farnell unfit or have all those wars finally caught up on the Manchester hardman??
No-one knows, we will see. But whatever happens in the future, June 12th 2004 will go down as possibly thr worst day in the life of Manchester’s favourite ‘Warrior’, Anthony Farnell.
And as for Montero, do we have a long running champion on our hands, a man whose sublime skliis will grant him a long reign as WBU champ? One imagines that Sports Network will be keen to match either Gary Lockett or Wayne Elcock with the new champion.
But that’s for the future. Today is a day the career of one of the country’s most intense boxers hangs in the balance.
After the fight it was reported Arnie Farnell had to be taken to hospital, I am sure all readers will join me in wishing Arnie all the best. We all have to be rightly concerned when a boxer is taken to hospital whether it be precautionary or not. Farnell, like all boxers, shows an immense amount of bravery and courage when he enters the ring, lets hope he is okay.
Results from the remainder of the show were as follows:
Eugenio Montero W RSF 10 Anthony Farnell
Ricky Hatton W UD 12 Carlos Wilfredo Vilches
Matthew Hatton W RSF 4 Matt Scriven
Paul Smith W TKO 1 Steve Timms
Andy Morris W PTS 6 Jus Wallie
Gary Lockett W RSF 4 Matt Galer
Matthew Macklin W PTS 4 Ojay Abrahams
Matthew Hall W RSF 3 Isidro Gonzales