Sam Maxwell Gets Close Decision Victory Over Akeem Ennis-Brown
If you could describe the lead-up to Akeem Ennis-Brown and Sam Maxwell, it’s bad blood. They do not like each other, evidenced by the heated back and forth trash-talking. During multiple pre-fight events, they’ve nearly come to blows.
Despite the animosity, this is a key, domestic junior welterweight battle. Ennis-Brown is not a puncher but is effectively awkward. The 25-year-old from Gloucester, England has a tricky southpaw style, often fighting with his hands by his waist. He moves a lot but so far continues to find a way to win.
He puts the British and Commonwealth junior welterweight titles on the line against Maxwell, who is far more of the traditional fighter. The 32-year-old from London has fought the slightly better opposition and boasts more punching power. Ranked 10th by the WBO, he wants to win the domestic titles and continue his march up the world rankings.
Brown and Maxwell plan to settle their beef at the Birmingham Arena in Birmingham, England.
HARD PUZZLE TO SOLVE
Ennis-Brown (15-1, 1 KOs) has one of the most unorthodox styles in the sport. He fights like a poor man’s version of former world featherweight champ Prince Naseem Hamed, minus the punching power. The constant bouncing, moving, and feints are followed by two, three, and four punch outbursts. He used that awkward, energetic style to build a points lead early in the fight.
Meanwhile, Maxwell (16-0, 11 KOs) was not doing much of anything. He couldn’t get his punches off and seem confused about how to combat his rival. It was the pattern through the middle rounds as well. The only thing that seemed to distress Brown was blood from a cut on his right eyelid.
Maxwell tried to pick up the pace in the championship rounds as he tried to get off with the right hand. However, he was unable to find a home with power shots consistently. Brown showed signs of fatigue but continued to beat his opponent to the punch.
Despite Ennis-Brown seemingly doing enough to win, it didn’t turn out that way on the scorecards. Instead, the judges had the fight in favor of Maxwell by unanimous decision (116-113 116-113, 115-114). BT Sport ringside analysts had the fight in favor of Ennis-Brown by five points. Watching and scoring this fight live, this reporter also feels Ennis-Brown did more than enough to win.
This is a controversial verdict for sure, and an immediate rematch should be in order.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.