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Good wins for Simmons and Slowey on Glasgow undercard


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http://static.boxrec.com/wiki/5/5e/Stephen_Simmons.jpgTaking place just before before Ricky Burns' controversial points draw with Raymundo Beltran, Edinburgh cruiserweight Stephen Simmons (14st 2lbs) remained unbeaten with an exciting points win over formerly undefeated German David Graf (13st 11lbs) for the vacant WBC International Cruiserweight Silver championship.

The Scotsman entered the ring to Runrig, which got the home support going and took the atmosphere up a notch before the main event. At the introductions, Simmons' corner pointed out to referee Victor Loughlin that the German’s shorts were too high and Loughlin went to Graf’s corner to lower his protector. The opening round saw a bright start from Graf as the home support bellowed out a rendition of Flower of Scotland. The German threw some big shots and opened a nick under Simmons right eye.

A big punch from Simmons had Graf shaken in the second. He had Graf on the ropes, and Loughlin had a good look at him. The third was another good round for Simmons. A flurry of punches near the end of the round again had Graf in trouble. Both men had to ship big shots in the fourth, but it was Simmons who came out on top after a lovely right hook floored Graf. The bell saved the German as Simmons went looking for a stoppage win.

A clash of heads in round five left Simmons with a nasty cut over his left eye. He couldn’t find the punch to put Graf away and both men landed some bombs during this stanza. Graf was getting tired and in round six he spat out his gumshield - the second time it had come out. The referee warned Graf that there would be a point deduction if it happened again. It had been a bloody battle thus far and Graf got a welcome respite as the referee gots the doctor to check Simmons cut eye.

The cruiserweight division was once one of the less fashionable divisions in boxing, however these two men served up a real treat for the fans. Both men deserved every penny of their purse in this bruising encounter. In the seventh, Simmons looked the fitter man and both fighters showed a great chin as big punches reigned in from each.

Simmons started the eighth boxing behind the jab, and was showing the better boxing skills, but was dragged in to a war by Graf - both landed plenty of big shots. The ninth saw action in close as they boxed on the inside. Several times, Graf looked done and then came back with booming right hands.

Unsurprisingly, both men looked tired in the final round as neither wanted to lose their unbeaten record. It was Simmons that landed the cleaner shots to get the nod from the judges with scores of 98-92, 99-91 and 97-93. Simmons record now stands at 9 (4)-0 and Graf moves to 10 (7)-1. At the post-fight press conference promoter Eddie Hearn stated that he was keen for Simmons to go after the Commonwealth title or take on Jon Lewis Dickinson for the British.

Next up was the vacant WBC International featherweight Silver championship match between Jon Slowey (9st) from Glasgow and Spaniard Angel Lorente (8st 13lbs). The Scotsman made a good start and had Lorente down in the opening round from a light looking punch. It looked like the Spaniard was more caught off balance, and he wasn’t hurt.

Slowey controlled the pace well and used the jab to good effect. The southpaw had former world champion Paul Weir in his corner and built a steady lead in the early stages. Slowey landed several accurate back hands as the arena began to fill up. The Spaniard started the fifth round brightly, but a few telling shots swung things back Slowey’s way. A bigger puncher would have had Lorente in trouble with this accuracy but the Scotsman’s punches were not having much of an effect on his opponent. Lorente started the middle rounds well, however it was Slowey who always came on strong to take the rounds. In a competitive ninth round, both landed some super shots, but neither man could hurt or discourage the other. The Spaniard piled forward in the last round, but it was Slowey who finished the stronger. A super one-two had Lorente biting hard on his gum shield at the end of the round. Slowey took a unanimous decision with scores of 99-90, 97-93 and 98-91.

The forth contest of the evening saw the start of the Sky TV coverage and Callum 'Mundo' Smith (12st 4lbs) from Liverpool was up against Kirill Psonko (12st 3 3/4lbs) from Lithuania. Smith entered the ring to Scottish band Deacon Blue’s 'Wages Day' and it was an easy wage pick up for Smith as he dispatched his opponent with a stoppage timed at 2 minutes 30 seconds into the opening round. The former Commonwealth games Silver medallist started quickly and a great left hook to the body had Psonko down. He was up at the count of 8 and another left to the body had the Lithuanian down for a second time. This time he was up at 5 however he shook his head when he got to his feet and referee Loughlin waved it off. Smith is now 7-0 with his last five wins coming by way of first round stoppages.

Former British featherweight champion Paul Appleby (9st 13 3/4lbs) made a return to the ring after more than a year out. The Scotsman from South Queensferry was matched with Chesterfield’s Lee Connelly (9st 12lbs) over six-threes. The opener was close as Appleby looked to shake off the ring rust. A straight back hand from Connelly burst Appleby’s nose and although the Scotsman held his gloves high, several of Connelly’s punches were getting through. The second round was a better one for Appleby as he landed more, but shipped on big right hook before landing a couple of beauties and working well to the body.

Appleby’s fans made more noise after the encouraging round, and he had Connelly pinned to the ropes several times in the third. The fourth round was better for Connelly - little landed from Appleby as Connelly got through with the cleaner and more accurate shots. The fifth saw a change of tactic from Appleby, as he started to box off the back foot. At the end of the round, Connelly’s corner sensed an upset and tried to encourage their man for the final round, in which Appleby’s nose began to bleed again as both men put in a great effort. He received a welcome break when tape came loose on his gloves and he put in a big effort as the round closed, trying to finish the stronger. Referee for this one was Kenny Pringle, and he awarded a 59-56 decision to Appleby. I scored it 58-57 in favour of Connelly, and many ringside felt that Connelly had deserved at least a draw.

Next up was an eight-threes affair between current Central Area champion Scott Cardle (9st 10 3/4lbs) and current Northern Area champion Gary Fox (9st 12lbs) from Fishburn. Fox was like a pit-bull, waiting to be let off the leash as ring announcer Michael Pass introduced the boxers. Scots-born Cardle had the backing of the home support and in a close opener it was Fox that shaded it with his come forward aggressive style. Most of his punches fell short in the opening round, as few punches landed. The second was a better one for Cardle as he began to hold ring centre and catch Fox as he was coming in. Cardle landed a couple of eye catching left hands.

Fox boxed with a tight guard and Cardle’s hands were always quite low which made him look more of an Ingle boxer rather than one trained by Joe Gallagher. Cardle took the third, picking off Fox with some good counter punching. Good footwork from Cardle made Fox miss before he countered with his own punches.

There wasn’t much to split them in the fourth. The punch of the round was a beautiful left hook from Fox that had Cardle in retreat. Cardle had success of his own though, and landed slightly more to take the round. The fifth was another round for Cardle. He was landing the heavier and more accurate punches. A fight broke out in the crowd, but the action in the ring was exciting and it wasn't long before the distracted crowd focused their attention on the scrap inside the ring.

Round six was another impressive round from the Lytham St Annes based Scot. A great left-right combination landed, and Cardle’s better boxing took the round against a tough opponent. The seventh was close as Cardle looked to take a breather. Fox landed a good body shot and had more success. Both boxers stuck in during the final round - evidenced by the heavy breathing of both men at the final bell. It was a good workout for Cardle, as he secured a 79-73 points victory from referee Kenny Pringle.

Matchroom Boxing's packed card at the SECC, Glasgow was opened was a six-threes between former prizefighter winner Chris Jenkins (10st ¾ lbs) from Garnant, Wales and Laurent Ferra (10st 2¾ lbs) from France. In the opener, Jenkins found his range and mixed his punches well, moving between head and body shots. A clash of heads at the start of the second opened up a cut above Jenkins left eye. This spurred Ferra on before Jenkins got on top. The pair went toe to toe for the last 30 seconds of the round and it looked like Jenkins hurt the Frenchman with his volume of punches.

There was good movement and accuracy from Jenkins in the third and he displayed sound defensive skills. It had been a tough evening’s work so far, but he was well on top at the half-way stage. The pace remained brisk throughout as both threw plenty of leather. Ferra had his nose bloodied in the fourth as Jenkins threw some good combinations. The fifth was a slightly better round for the Frenchman. While most of his punches missed or were blocked, he was proving to be a very game challenger. The final round was another for Jenkins as he unloaded more combinations to try and force a stoppage victory. In the end Jenkins had to settle for a 60-55 points win on star referee Victor Loughlin’s card.

The final two bouts both took place after the Burns v Beltran fight and were originally both scheduled for six-threes, but shortened to four-threes due to time constraints. First up was Glasgow’s Michael Roberts (9st 8¾lbs) against Eddie Nesbitt (9st 6¾ lbs) from Belfast. Roberts boxed well behind the jab taking a 39-37 point’s win on referee Kenny Pringles card.

Several hundred fans remained for the late finish and last up was David Brophy (11st 9¾ lbs) from Caldercruix, Scotland who was up against Doncaster’s Jason Ball (11st 9lbs). Brophy boxed well to take a 40-36 point’s win. He improves his record to 8-0 with all his wins coming on points.




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