McDonnell and Galahad win
Tonight’s undercard at the Sheffield Arena provided us with the first Matchroom card of the year to show us some of Britain’s more established stars.
In our first bout of the night Kid Galahad improved to 24-0 with a third round knockout over Panamanian challenger Irving Berry (23-8-2) . He seemed to struggle with the distance in the opening round and getting caught with the odd silly jab. However, he started to find his range in the second and landed well, especially to the body. The end came after a double left cross left Berry staring at the lights of the arena. There is a lot to like about Galahad, who fights out of Sheffield’s famed Ingle Gym. In his post fight interview he said that he would like to challenge the winner of the Shelby/Warrington fight in May. Galahad is ranked #4 by the IBF. But i fear as he is high risk low reward he may have to work his way into a mandatory position. Adding the fact promoters Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren do not work well together.
Our second bout ended bitterly disappointingly. David Allen (12-3-1) has gained quite a following as a firm fan favourite in the UK, but for all the hard work he and his opponent Lenroy Thomas (22-4-1) had put into getting into shape. I dont think anyone could have predicted just how quickly and the method in which the fight was stopped. The bout, which was a rematch for the Jamaican’s Commonwealth Heavyweight title ended after an accidental headbutt left a nasty gash over Allen’s right eye, rendering him unable to continue. It’s disappointing for both men, but it seems as though we will see a third stanza at some point this year.
The chief support to the main event saw Doncaster’s Gavin McDonnell (19-1-2) hand Gamal Yafai (14-1) his first professional defeat, claiming the WBC International Super Batnamweight title. The judges returned score cards of 116-112 twice and 117-113, although i actually thought McDonnell won ten rounds to two. It certainly seemed as though Yafai wasn’t at McDonnell’s level. It was evident from the off that Yafai had issues with McDonnell’s three inch reach advantage. He struggled to get inside. McDonnell’s jab was on point all night and by the end of the seventh it was clear Yafai was beginning to tire. McDonnell is famed for his work rate and this was clear for all to see tonight. He stuck to his boxing and picked his shots well, although Yafai’s work was fairly easy to telegraph. Yafai was searching for a single power punch, although McDonnell didnt afford him the time to really set one up. The left hook over the top kept coming from Yafai, but it sailed over McDonnell’s head every time. Put simply McDonnell outworked, out landed, hustled and bullied the young up and comer.
By: Aaron Cooper