Longtime contender Kid Galahad made the transition from contender to world champion by stopping a “Game” but overmatched James Dickens to win the IBF Featherweight world championship on Saturday night at Matchroom Headquarters in Brentwood, England. A rematch from 2013 when the two met for the British Jr. Featherweight championship, which was won by Galahad in ten rounds, the second encounter between the two would have a similar outcome.
From the outset, Galahad implemented a very tactical approach that had an emphasis on both being active with his offense, but also accurate with the punches he threw. Dickens suffered a cut over the left eye in the first round as a result of an accidental clash of heads. This in addition to not being able to nullify Galahad’s hand speed and movement continued to worsen as the fight progressed.
By the middle rounds, the accumulation of punishment became more visible and it appeared as though the combinations that Galahad was able to land also may have resulted in Dickens suffering a broken nose as well. After eleven rounds of mostly one way punishment, Dickens’ corner stopped the fight at the conclusion of round eleven to prevent him from suffering further punishment. Kid Galahad advances to 28-1, with 17 Knockouts. James Dickens falls to 30-4, with 11 Knockouts.
Also on this card:
Undefeated English Heavyweight champion Fabio Wardley scored a first round knockout of Nick Webb. Webb started the fight aggressively in trying to bring the fight to Wardley. In the midst of an exchange of punches, Wardley stunned Webb with a hook to the head. This oppened an opportunity for the champion to unleash a barrage of punches that sent Webb down into a corner of the ring and prompting a stoppage of the fight. Official time of the stoppage was 2:30 of round one. Fabio Wardley advances to 12-0, with 11 Knockouts. Nick Webb falls to 17-3, with 13 Knockouts.
In a Heavyweight slugfest unbeaten Alen Babic remained perfect by outlasting a “Game” Mark Bennett in scoring a fifth round stoppage. From the opening bell, both fighters were willing to stand and go toe to toe with just about every variation of offense one can think of. The near non-stop brawl continued with Babic gradually getting the better of the exchanges. By round five and fighting the effects of both exhaustion and an opponent that would not let him off the hook, Bennett barely managed to finish the round. Although he never was knocked down, the effects of the punishment, particularly the roundhouse hooks with both hands to the head became too much for Bennett’s corner to ignore and they stopped the fight at the conclusion of the fifth round to prevent him from further punishment. Alen Babic advances to 8-0, with 8 Knockouts. Mark Bennett falls to 7-2, with 1 Knockout.
Undefeated Heavyweight Johnny Fisher scored a second round stoppage of Danny Whitaker. Fisher stunned Whitaker with a right hand to the head that sent him down on one knee. Fisher was sent down for a second time moments later with another right hand. Sensing his opponent could not recover, Fisher pressed forward following the second knockdown and a follow up barrage seemed as though it would send Whitaker down for a third time, but the bout was halted before that could happen. Official time of the stoppage was 1:08 of round two. Johnny Fisher advances to 3-0, with 3 Knockouts. Danny Whitaker falls to 4-4, with 0 Knockouts.
Women’s Bantamweight contender Ebanie Bridges scored a third round stoppage of Bec Connolly. Bridges was in control from the outset and while the early portion of the bout was uneventful, Bridges quickly changed that in round three connecting with a flush right uppercut to the head that sent Connolly down to the canvas. Connolly was able to get up from the knockdown, but a follow up overhand right from Bridges was enough to continue Referee Kieran McCann to stop the fight. Official time of the stoppage was 1:22 of round three. Ebanie Bridges advances to 6-1, with 3 Knockouts. Bec Connolly falls to 3-10, with 0 Knockouts.
Rising Jr. Lightweight prospect Aqib Fiaz began the evening with a hard fought eight round decision over Kevin Baldospino. A fight that was competitive throughout and saw several exchanges, Fiaz’ greater work rate particularly over the first four rounds was ultimately enough to secure a one point victory on the scorecard of the lone judge of the bout as all non-title fights held in the United Kingdom and Ireland that do not have an impact on regional or world rankings the Referee Kieran McCann, who scored the bout 77-76 in his favor Aqib Fiaz advances to 7-0, with 0 Knockouts. Kevin Baldospino falls to 9-6-2, with 1 Knockout.
Although the main story of the second week of Matchroom Boxing’s second season of its Fight Camp series will be Kid Galahad’s successfully becoming a world champion in what is becoming a rapidly crowded 126lb. Featherweight division, this card also saw the rising careers of three unbeaten Heavyweight prospects at similar stages in their development, which served as the bulk of this evening of Boxing, and the fact that all three prospects were able to score knockouts in their respective bouts should be an indication that the future is bright in regard to the British and European levels of the division and it might not be too long before we are talking about all three Fabio Wardley, Alen Babic, and Johnny Fisher as potential world contenders in due time.
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