Frank Warren’s promised boxing fans his new deal with BT Sport would represent ‘a new era’ for boxing. And after delivering one of the best cards of the year so far, 2017 looks set to be one of his finest years yet as a promoter.
Here’s a review of selected fights from Saturday night’s action at Manchester Arena:
Paul Butler produced a stunning knockout of Carlos Ruiz in round four. The ‘Babyfaced Assassin’ came out of the blocks with several fierce combinations before flooring the Argentine. The Elsmere Port boxer extended his consecutive wins to six and is targeting a showdown with fellow Brit and bantamweight world champion Jamie McDonnell.
Debutant Daniel ‘Dangerman’ Dubois aka, ‘Triple D’ wasted no time at all in winning as he stopped his opponent Marcus Kelly in 35 seconds. ‘Caveman’ Kelly received the biggest cheer of the night as he swung and landed a few shots before one punch from Dubois sent the Cornwell boxer over and out.
Tyson Fury recently spoke of his admiration for the 19-year-old and believes Dubois is a big prospect in the heavyweight division. Expect Warren to get the young prodigy boxing regularly every month this year.
Jack Catterall was impressive as he dispatched Martin Gethin inside three. Martin Gethin displayed bravery and courage but Catterall was on another level. The man from Chorley ruthlessly floored the Midlander three times to show signs of intent on nailing down a summer showdown with British champion Tyrone Nurse.
Gethin retired after the contest following a steady domestic career.
Yorkshire’s favourite Nicola Adams defeated Virginia Noemi Carcamo through a unanimous decision at Manchester Arena. It was a stern test with her Argentinian opponent providing a tough and durable test over the four rounds. Adams experience proved to be vital as she won every round against the stubborn Argentine. She will continue the fairytale start next month as she stars on the Josh Warrington undercard at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on May 13.
It was a bloody encounter between Liam Smith and Liam Williams that echoed the call of a rematch between the warriors.
The battle between the pair failed to disappoint after a rollercoaster of nine rounds. Smith was cut early in the fight with the Welshmen dominating early exchanges between the pair. However, momentum begun to shift with Smith landing more shots in the middle rounds of the fight. In controversial style, it was Smith who was victorious after a clumsy headbutt seemed to do the damage.
Williams was ahead on the scorecards before being pulled out. Gary Lockett, Williams’ trainer didn’t hesitate to throw in the towel before round ten with the Welsh hero unable to see out of his right eye.
It was reminiscent in some ways of the first fight between Carl Froch and George Groves. Froch the experienced and mature fighter and Groves the hungry young lion. In that fight, there was the debate of what would have happened if the fight had continued and a rematch was made through public demand – similar to this fight.
Frank Warren was quick to announce his intentions of enforcing a rematch between the two Liam’s with both fighters open to the idea of battling each other again. However, the problem could be agreeing on the weight as Smith failed to make weight for the contest. It was certainly fight of the night with blood, sweat and tears left in the ring.
Terry Flanagan remained WBO lightweight champion after defeating Petr Petrov on points with the scorecards of 120-108, 118-110 and 116-112 in favour of the Mancunian.
It was a tough test for Flanagan but he ensured he kept his cool to deliver another victory to extend his unbeaten record to 33-0. ‘Turbo’ will be hoping to move on to bigger things now with super featherweight king Vasyl Lomachenko stating his interest in a fight with the 135-pound champion.
Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95