Copper Box III Results

By Steve Bateson on February 15, 2014
Chisora and Fury both took one step closer to a Summer re-match

Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury both took one step closer to a huge Summer re-match tonight with victories of Kevin Johnson and Joey Abell, respectively.

It was Chisora (20-4 with 13 KO’s) who headlined the bill at the Copper Box and he dropped Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson on the way to a twelve round unanimous decision. From the outset it was Chisora’s pressurising tactics that caught the judges’ attention and although Johnson displayed moments of desire it wasn’t enough to leave the verdict in much doubt.

Johnson is a highly talented boxer, much more so than his opponent, but he seems to lack the motivation and stamina to compete at an elite level. Chisora swarmed on him from the first bell, targeting the body and then moving upstairs with looping rights, and Johnson was unable to match his rival’s workrate. The crowd in attendance was left frustrated by the lack of action as Chisora tried to force the pace but Johnson is known for his “spoiling” and this fight was no different, he seemed happy to tie Chisora up at close quarters whenever the chance arose.

Chisora was able to land clean with a right hook to the top of Johnson’s head in round five and the American hit the deck, something that neither Tyson Fury or Vitali Klitschko had managed, but he was able to beat the ten count and survive the round. It was one of the few clean punches that Chisora was able to land in the entire fight and from that point Johnson retreated back into his shell, content to pot shot and paw with his jab sporadically.

By round nine Chisora was tiring, forcing the pace was taking its toll, and the fight began to resemble a wrestling match rather than a boxing contest. Both men hugged and clinched their way through four more uninspiring rounds, Chisora occasionally able to land a punch that got his foe’s attention, and the final bell was greeted by a sigh of relief from the watching audience.

The scorecards posted were: 118-109 x2 118-110 in favour of Chisora, a result that came as no surprise. Dereck shouldn’t feel too disheartened, no opponent comes out smelling of roses against Johnson, and he should already begin to focus on bigger fights in April. A clash with Alexander Povetkin has been mooted and that would be a matchup that no boxing fan could grumble at.

Tyson Fury marked his return to the ring with a fourth round TKO over limited Joey Abell, but it wasn’t all plain-sailing from the man who now dubs himself “Too Fast”.

Fury started the first round working off his jab, to great effect, and it seemed only a matter of time before he outgunned his opponent. But in round two a left hook from Abell had Fury holding on, not quite panic stations but a warning, and all of sudden it seemed as though perhaps the British fighter wasn’t taking this as seriously as he should be.

Round three saw him beginning to showboat, playing to the cameras, as Abell once again sent warning shots dangerously close to Fury’s chin. Fury decided to fight fire with fire and his tactic paid off with two knockdowns before the end of the round, the will and desire of Abell was suddenly in question.

Fury turned up the pressure in round four and despite getting caught a couple of times he was able to outmuscle Abell and drop him twice more before the referee stepped in and called a halt to proceedings. Abell claimed he could continue but it was obvious that he was on a hiding to nothing, the official made the correct decision.

Tyson Fury (now 22-0 with 16 KO’s) picks up a victory after a long lay-off but he is going to need to up his game if he has aspirations of mixing with world level fighters in this calendar year. He is too easy to hit, his defense practically non-existent, and although his vulnerability may be entertainment to some it is alarming to others. Joey Abell was able to stun Fury at times and the rest of the Heavyweight contenders will have taken notice of that, Deontay Wilder may be licking his lips at the sheer prospect of a throwdown. His weight was also a little concerning (over 19 stone) although after a disastrous 2013 it could be put down to out of ring issues, an excuse that won’t wash if he isn’t in shape for his next fight in April.

Both Chisora and Fury picked up the victories that were expected of them and now attention turns to their next outings, likely to be in April, where the level of opposition should be drastically higher than what we have seen tonight. Chisora wants Povetkin, a very risky proposition, although Manuel Charr would be a more likely candidate and Tyson Fury should find himself squaring off with a Alexander Dimitrenko or Robert Helenius. Wins in those sorts of bouts would really give both men a great chance of making their summer show-down a final eliminator for a shot at Wladimir Klitschko in October-November time.

The undercard:

Frank Buglioni continued his impressive rise up the Super Middleweight rankings with a 5th round stoppage of Gaetano Nespro. Buglioni dropped his opponent three times, twice in round 5, before Nespro’s corner threw in the towel and called a halt to proceedings. Buglioni has power (12-0 with 9 KO’s) but his boxing skills and defense still needs plenty of work if he wants to move into contention for domestic honours by the end of the year. With Callum Smith and Rocky Fielding also climbing the ladder of success in the division it may not be long until a domestic power battle breaks out, Smith is the most likely to shine but Buglioni’s power makes him one to watch.

Penge’s Bradley Skeete became the WBA Welterweight Inter-Continental Champion with a dull 12 round unanimous decision over France’s Christopher Sebire. Skeete had been training for a fight with former world champion Vivian Harris but Harris was forced to withdraw last week and Sebire stepped in as a late replacement, a telling factor in the fight.

Sebire seemed content to survive and Skeete seemed uninspired by his opposition, two ingredients that did not connect for an entertaining spectacle. Skeete was the better boxer, had the faster hands, and threw the better combinations but never put his foot on the gas to ever look like stopping his opponent. The judges posted scores of: 120-108, 119-109, 117-111.

Skeete (now 15-0 with 4 KO’s) will now move up the WBA rankings but his immediate focus should be on the domestic scene at 147lbs, Glenn Foot and Denton Vassell would be intriguing opponents for him in the coming months.

Welterweight prospect, Georgie Kean (3-0 with 1 KO) continued his unbeaten campaign with a one-sided victory veteran Dee Mitchell over four rounds. Kean works the body well, reminiscent of his hero Ricky Hatton, and could have a bright future ahead of him. He punches are laced with power but his tendency to hang his chin high could present problems for him if not addressed by his coaching staff.

Hughie Fury impressed once again with a 2nd round stoppage of American Matthew Greer. Fury looks one to watch and his maturity for a 19 year old is to be admired, never rushing his work even when his opponent is hurt. He worked off the jab throughout round one and then displayed his punch variation in round two as he targeted the body with debilitating hooks, sending Greer to the deck for the first time. Greer showed guts to get up but Fury piled on the pressure with more body shots and a huge hook to the temple as the towel came in and the contest was waved off. Hughie Fury (now 13-0 with 8 KO’s) needs a better level of opposition after another learning bout, he should be challenging for British honours by the end of the year.

Steve Collins Jnr (3-0-1) seemed to injure his shoulder in the third round of his scheduled four with Tommy Gifford and it cost him a sure victory as he was pegged back for a draw. The son of the former world champion dictated the pace in the first two rounds but his workrate slowed after the injury and Gifford was able to pile forward and earn a full deserved share of the spoils. Cruiserweight, Collins Jnr can re-build from this but he will need plenty of work before he is exposed at a higher level.

Thomas Stalker made his debut under Frank Warren’s promotional banner and earned himself a unanimous decision over Dan Carr in a six round, Light-Welterweight contest. Stalker (now 6-0 with 2 KO’s) throws good combos and has a great punch variation but the lack of power may hinder the former Olympian as he steps in the ring with a higher calibre of opponent.

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