By Matt Bevan (@MBevs68)
Trowbridge’s Nick Blackwell made the first defence of the British middleweight crown he won back in May, as he stopped Damon Jones in six rounds at the Derby Arena, live on Channel 5.
Fresh off his victory over John Ryder at the O2 Arena to claim the belt at his third attempt, Blackwell (18-3-1, 8KO’s) wore down the slick Leeds man, before unleashing a huge right hook that flattened Jones (13-1, 3KO’s) right as the bell tolled for the end of the sixth round.
Blackwell is a notoriously slow starter and allowed Jones to take the opening three rounds, similar to the Ryder fight, but as the Leeds fighter began to slow down, Blackwell cut the ring superbly, reigning in body shots that gradually took Jones’ legs away from him.
Jones was countering brilliantly off the back foot, but it just seemed a matter of time until Blackwell would begin to get on top. He finally did just that in the fourth, as the accumulation of solid body shots slowed Jones down and contributed to his eventual downfall.
It was another good performance from Blackwell, who has long been considered the dark horse of the middleweight division domestically, and now armed with the British title, promoter Mick Hennessy and quality trainer Gary Lockett, as well as still only being 24, who knows how far the Trowbridge man could end up going.
In the chief support, Hughie Lewis Fury moved to 16-0, 8KO’s, as he won every second of every round against Brazilian George Arias (56-13-0, 42KO’s), coming away from Derby a 100-90 winner on the referee, Shaun Messer’s, scorecard.
Fury, roared on at ringside by his cousin and soon to be world title challenger, Tyson, looked to pick his shots and counter Arias, who plodded forward. Hughie appeared to have him in trouble in the second, scrambling his senses, but Arias recovered to survive the round and the rest of the fight.
Hughie will now look to press on and take on a name in the top 15 of the heavyweight division, possibly on the undercard to his cousin’s clash with Wladimir Klitschko in October. He is a prospect to keep an eye on.
There was plenty of quality action on the undercard, led by English flyweight champion Louis Norman, who warmed up for his title defence against Charlie Edwards on the 12th September, by putting on a superb display over six rounds against Brett Fidoe.
Norman (10-0-1, 2KO’s), put the durable Fidoe (4-21-2, 3KO’s) down in the fifth and looks a genuine talent. “Leighthal” Leigh Wood was also victorious and looked good in stopping Isaac Owusu in four rounds.
Wood (15-1, 8KO’s), who was supposed to be challenging for the English featherweight title until the fight with Martin Ward fell through, took out some frustration on Owusu (23-9, 18KO’s) and the Ingle fighter will be hoping to secure a big fight next time out.
Wood’s gym-mate , super-featherweight Jordan Gill was also in action, cruising to a 60-55 points victory over George Gachechiladze. Gill (14-0, 2KO’s), known as “The Thrill” was excellent and proved he has talent to burn and now will have his eye on the winner of Andy Townend and Lee Glover’s English title clash in September after dispatching the Georgian (17-20-1, 10KO’s).
Jamie “Ginger Rocket” Robinson and Sam “Razor” Sharpe came together for the fight of the evening, with Robinson (5-2-1, 2KO’s) knocking Sharpe (2-6-1) out with a perfect right hook in the third round. Robinson suffered a nasty cut at the end of the second, but the two stood toe-to-toe in what was a thriller.
The same can’t be said for Lenny Daws, who won 80-70 after eight rounds and two points deductions over Mikheil Avakyan. Daws (30-3-2, 11KO’s) should challenge for the European light-welterweight belt next, but this fight with Avakyan (30-21-4, 15KO’s), who is dreadful, was truly forgettable.
There were wins for local lads Myron Mills (4-0, 1KO) who won 40-36 over Kevin McCauley (11-102-6) and Indi Sangha (2-0) over Simas Volosinas (6-33, 1KO) 40-37.
Tyson Fury’s little brother, Young Fury moved to 5-1, 3 coming early with a first round blowout of Ostaps Basins (1-2, 1KO), whilst entertaining cruiserweight Russell Henshaw (5-0, 2KO’s) won 40-36 on points over Remigijus Ziausys (20-60-5, 10KO’s).
Finally, Nathan Kirk (5-1, 1KO) won his fifth fight on the bounce since losing his debut, taking home a 39-37 decision over Kristian Laight (9-201-7), however there is still plenty more for Kirk to learn, as he was far too easy to hit.by