REVIEW: BOWEN RETAINS & GORMAN REIGNS IN LEICESTER
Updated: Oct 15
Sam Bowen confirmed the popular prefight opinion that he would be too strong for challenger Jordan McCorry, retaining his British super featherweight title and maintaining his unbeaten record (now 15-0, 11 KO) with a ninth round TKO stoppage.
Overcoming early resistance from the plucky Scottish challenger, he was widely ahead on the scorecards, having also hurt McCorry in round six. McCorry was deducted points in rounds six and seven – on both occasions for punching low – with the eventual stoppage coming thirty three seconds into round nine as he unanswered enduring combinations to both the head and body.
Bowen will now likely look to further increase his skill set with defences at British level before pushing onto European challenges.
Undefeated heavyweight prospect Nathan Gorman (16-0-0) defended his WBC silver title against last-minute challenger Kevin Johnson. Before the fight, Gorman had expressed a desire to stop Johnson, or to at-least better the unanimous points victory his domestic rival Daniel Dubois scored over the same opponent at the same venue last October.
The stoppage did not occur – unsurprising given Johnson’s defensively-sound and enduring reputation: he tired and went into backfoot survival mode from round three onwards – but Gorman did achieve the objective of bettering Dubois’ result, winning all ten rounds compared to his rival’s nine.
Expressing his lack of surprise post-fight, Gorman reflected that Kevin was not the type of opponent he wanted, especially as a counter-puncher, and stated that he would take a week off before returning to training; hoping to fight again on June 15th, on either the Fury-Schwarz or Warrington-Galahad undercard.
Fight of the night took place for the vacant WBO European super lightweight title and was contested between unbeaten challengers Sam Maxwell (10-0-0) and Sabri Sediri (10-0-1). Londoner Maxwell was the rangy and taller man; Frenchman Sediri being much shorter but powerful and energetic.
Maxwell was knocked down in both the first two rounds and cast a dejected, glassy-eyed figure in his corner before the beginning of the third. The fight narrowed in closeness with Maxwell winning the rounds where he boxed intelligently at range, but still always looking susceptible to the knockout, as he was caught frequently by Sediri’s onrushing power shots. Going into the twelfth, Maxwell was consensually behind on the scorecards.
Sediri then began to shimmy, slide and drop his hands, impertinently taunting his opponent. Maxwell’s face, now bloody and swollen, retained concussed focus and he continued forward, powered in the majority by habit and his fighting instincts.
With ten seconds of the fight remaining, time seemed to be diminishing to his eventual defeat, when he threw a left jab in the right-centre of the ring. Sediri ‘rode’ this and moved to his left where he unexpectedly walked onto a straight right hand which then sent him flat onto his back and sprawling and rolling and clawing for recovery. He didn’t make it and the fight was over: Maxwell victorious by KO.
Sam’s frustration and relief were both evident as he stood towards his vanquished opponent, shouting something at the fallen Frenchman, before turning to the crowd and letting out a guttural cry. As referee Steve Gray waved the fight to a close, he sank to his knees in the centre of the ring and held his welted face in his gloves.
As the card progressed, reports later surfaced that, following the fight, Maxwell had been taken to hospital and this writer, as well as those at ESBR wish him congratulations in victory and all the best in recovery.
In the night’s other championship fight, CJ Challenger (10-0-0) earned local bragging rights over fellow ‘Leiscetonian’, Kyle Haywood (now 8-1-0), narrowly winning the referee-scored contest 97-95 to pick up the Midland Area super-welterweight title. This was a close, tactical fight which was certainly worthy of headlining a smaller show. Both fighters enjoyed periods of success, yet Haywood slipped off the pace in the middle rounds which was the likely the cause for his defeat. Challenger hopes the victory will live up to his prefight prediction of “propelling the winner onto bigger things.”
Elsewhere, Tommy Fury and Mark Chamberlain both recorded impressive first round stoppages in only their second professional fights: Fury stopping Callum Ide in ninty seven seconds and Chamberlain beating Hungarian, Laszlo Szoke, in just fifty seven seconds. Troy Williamson (9-0-1) stopped Kevin McCauley with only 3 seconds remaining in the second round. Despite being awarded a dubiously-wide 80-71 victory, Lyon Woodstock was a worthy winner, enduring numerous troublesome moments and dropping his opponent – Nicaraguan, Sergio Gonzalez – in the final round. Willy Hutchinson stopped Bulgarian Daniel Borisov in the fourth; local fighter Callum Blockley outpointed Dale Arrowsmith; and Ryan Hatton moved to 5-0-0 with a 40-36 points win over Lithuanian, Kiril Psonko.