Camacho Vs Iqbal - Vacant Commonwealth Cruiserweight Title
In a rematch following their bout for the English title last year, Wadi Camacho (20-7) & Arfan Iqbal (12-0-1) locked horns again at York Hall on Saturday night with the stakes sizeably higher this time.
Fighting for the English title almost 18 months ago, it took only 4 rounds for Iqbal to force the Referee to interfere. Since then, Iqbal who hasn’t been the most active of fighters, defended his English title against Simon Vallily earlier this year in a fight that was concluded as a draw.
Camacho on the other hand won for the Southern Area title for the 3rd time, defeating Ossie Jervier before facing off against Jose Lopes & Danny Couzens before meeting Iqbal.
To make things more exciting, rather than fight for Iqbal’s English title, the recently vacated Commonwealth strap was on the line with the winner potentially fighting for the British title in 2019.
Moving onto the fight itself, both fighters enjoyed success during the first 4 rounds, both landing heavy blows in what was setting up to be a gruelling 12 round contest.
With the contest continuing to be competitive, round 5 turned out to be the most exciting part of the fight. As Iqbal was about to win the round and giving Camacho a bit of a battering in the process, Camacho caught Iqbal with a thunderous shot with less than 30 seconds left in the round, putting the Midlands fighter down.
With it being unclear whether Iqbal was going to be able to make it back to his feet in time, the English champion rose just in time at the count of 9 as the bell rang for the end of the round.
Going into the 6th it was likely that Iqbal was going to be down on the scorecards due to the knockdown and it was clear to tell as ‘Major’ came out more aggressively than in the previous rounds, catching Camacho’s attention with a clean right hand.
However, in what was to be the final round of the contest Camacho appeared to be on top again, forcing Iqbal against the ropes. What happened next was seen differently by many, Iqbal who looked like he was struggling with some sort of injury half-squatted down.
As he did this, some in the arena suggested that Camacho pushed Iqbal outside of the ropes and onto floor outside of the ring whilst others felt that Iqbal had fallen through the ropes.
Whatever happened, the fight couldn’t continue due to an injury to Iqbal’s back, meaning that we were heading to the judges’ scorecards early.
As expected, all 3 judges awarded Camacho the victory (69-63, 69-63 & 68-64). With both fighters embracing after the fight, talk within York Hall swiftly turned attention to a potential 3rd fight between the two in 2019 with the score now being 1-1.
On the other hand, Camacho who is now 33 may choose to try and fight for the British title against a bigger name than Iqbal in the time that he has left in the sport.
Walker Vs Ramabeletsa - Vacant English Super-Bantweight Title
In the other title fight of the evening, Ryan Walker (8-0) and Michael Ramabeletsa (16-17) faced off for the vacant English Super-Bantanweight title.
With a big difference in records and an age gap of over 10 years, Walker arrived as the favourite against Ramabeletsa who has previously campaigned at Super-Flyweight.
In a frantic start, the bout scheduled for 10 rounds was over before it had begun as Ramabeletsa steamed out of his corner, knocking down Walker twice within the first round before the Referee intervened with a minute of the 1st round still remaining.
Walker who needed medical attention afterwards, had to congratulate Ramabeletsa on his victory in front of a surprised York Hall crowd.
Best of the Rest
Crowd favourite Xhuljo Vrenozi moved to 12-2 as he defeated Angel Emilov in a 6 round contest.