Undefeated Middleweight Felix Cash successfully made the second defense of his Commonwealth Middleweight championship by scoring a fifth round stoppage of veteran Jason Welborn on Friday night at the residence of Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, dubbed Matchroom headquarters in Brentwood, England. In what was the main event of the third installment of Matchroom’s “Fight Camp” series, Cash used his longer reach and punching power to dictate the combat from the opening bell. Although the story of this fight became Cash’s ability to apply pressure on Welborn and back him up against the ropes, Welborn was able to have periodic success in landing counter hooks to the head of the champion. In round five, Cash was penalized a point for a low blow, however, that point deduction would prove to be academic as a barrage of punches seconds later highlighted by an overhand right to the head sent Welborn down. Welborn was able to get up, but could not withstand Cash’s follow-up attack and after being sent down for a second time in the round, his corner threw in the towel to prevent their fighter from further punishment. Official time of the stoppage was 2:48 of round five. Felix Cash advances to 13-0, with 9 Knockouts. Jason Welborn falls to 24-9, with 7 Knockouts.
Also on this card:
Jr. Lightweight Zelfa Barrett scored an eighth round stoppage of previously undefeated prospect Eric Donovan. There were several heated exchanges throughout the first six rounds of this bout where both fighters were able to have periods of effectiveness. During this stage of the fight, Donovan appeared to have a slight edge due to his generally getting his punches off first as well as his ability to use lateral movement to keep Barrett from being able to cut off the ring. This would change in round seven when while engaged in an exchange of punches, Barrett connected with a flush left hook to the jaw of Donovan sending him down to the canvas. Sensing his opponent was in trouble, Barrett pressed forward and was able to score a second knockdown later in the round. In round eight Barrett connected with another flush left hook to the head that sent Barrett down for the third and final time as Referee Howard Foster immediately stopped the fight. Official time of the stoppage was 1:35 of round seven. Zelfa Barrett advances to 24-1, with 15 Knockouts. Eric Donovan falls to 12-1, with 7 Knockouts.
Jr. Middleweight Kieron Conway scored a lopsided ten round unanimous decision over Navid Mansouri. Conway forced the action and gradually outworked Mansouri over the course of the ten round bout. Despite showing the effects of fatigue and looking as though he might not be able to go the distance due to the punishment that Conway was dishing out, Mansouri showed his mettle and made it to the final bell. Official scores were 99-91, and 98-92 (On two scorecards) in favor of Conway. Kieron Conway advances to 15-1-1, with 3 Knockouts. Navid Mansouri falls to 20-4-2, with 6 Knockouts.
Unbeaten Super-Middleweight prospect John Docherty scored a seventh round stoppage of veteran Anthony Fox. The southpaw Docherty consistently forced Fox back either against the ropes or in corners of the ring throughout the bout. Docherty worked frequently behind his right jab as well as mixing in straight left hands and hooks. The undefeated Scottish prospect was credited with a knockdown in round three from what appeared to be a slip. The constant pressure and harder blows from Docherty eventually wore Fox down. A barrage of punches late in round six hurt Fox, but he was able to survive the round. In round seven with Fox hurt, Docherty pressed forward and another barrage forced Fox to take a knee. The very “Game” Fox attempted to continue upon getting up from the second knockdown, but he had no answer to keep Docherty off of him and the fight was stopped at 1:02 of round seven. John Docherty advances to 9-0, with 7 Knockouts. Anthony Fox falls to 8-13-4, with 0 Knockouts.
In a women’s Featherweight bout former three-time world Kickboxing champion Rachel Ball scorered a hard-foughr eight round decision over previously undefeated Shannon Courtenay. An extremely competitive fight from start to finish that was very difficult to score due to frequent exchanges between the two fighters, the determining factor proved to be when Ball scored a knockdown of Courtenay in the first round with a short counter left hook to the head. This proved to be the difference on Referee Howard Foster’s scorecard as he scored the bout 77-75 in Ball’s favor. Rachel Ball advances to 6-1, with 0 Knockouts. Shannon Courtenay falls to 5-1, with 2 Knockouts.
As we have seen throughout the “Fight Camp “ series, there was a mix of prospects on the rise, competitive bouts, as well as fighters being tested inside the ring. While one would be justified in saying that if there were one segment of the sport that has been able to turn the horrible circumstances of COVID-19 into a positive for Boxing, it is the women who compete in the sport, who have taken part in several competitive fights since the sport has attempted to resume, prospects like Felix Cash also deserve credit for being able to turn in quality performances under the circumstances.
Although some here in the United States may not understand the structure of which Boxing championships on the British, Commonwealth, and European level are determined in terms of rankings, one of the benefits of digital streaming networks like DAZN, which has been broadcasting the “Fight Camp “ series in the markets around the world it is available including the United States has been the increased access to Boxing on an international scale. As such, increased access has brought Boxing fans exposure to fights including those on the British regional level that most may not have been able to access previously on traditional television. While the British regional Boxing scene is similar to championships fought on a regional level in North America and elsewhere, it is always interesting to see where fighters who hold Commonwealth championships progress, whether it be fighting for a British championship in a given weight class or whether or not an opportunity to fight for a version of the European championship might be available, which is usually the last stop before European fighters enter world championship contention.
In the eyes of this observer, Felix Cash just might be ready to challenge for either the British Middleweight championship or the European championship recognized by the European Boxing Union (EBU), the most widely recognized version of the European championship. As has been the case for many fighters who have been competing during the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, it may be a question of when Cash will be able to get that opportunity and whether or not such an opportunity will be held off until it is appropriate for spectators to resume going to sporting events for the business aspects of the sport as a fight for either a British or European championship is likely to generate significant interest as well as revenue in the United Kingdom.
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