As widely expected, Smith proves he’s too good for O’maison, writes Andy Whittle from ringside
THE all-Sheffield battle for the vacant British super-lightweight title at the Arena between former top-class amateur Dalton Smith and southpaw Sam O’maison went the way many had predicted, with impressive Dalton dominating before securing victory just short of the halfway mark.
After a pedestrian opener, Dalton made the breakthrough in the next, when a cobra-like strike pierced Sam’s defences and, from that point onwards, the favourite never looked back.
Despite being read the riot act by trainer Ryan Rhodes prior to the third, O’maison was floored by a right-left early in the session. He was up to his knees at a count of seven from referee Marcus McDonnell, but Smith was buoyant and, having taken the fourth and bloodied Sam’s nose in the fifth, an early night looked increasingly likely.
It had become so one-sided, the feeling at ringside prior to the sixth was the forthcoming session would be the last. So it proved – a right to the head from Dalton, after O’maison had fallen short with an intended left, sat Sam down in centre ring. The third man was quite right in halting it with five seconds of the sixth remaining when another big right sent the outclassed O’maison over once more.
There was revenge for Derby’s Sandy Ryan when she outpointed old adversary Erica Anabella Farias in a 10-rounder refereed by Howard Foster.
Former belt-holder Farias had nicked a split decision when the pair first exchanged pleasantries in Nottingham five months earlier, but Ryan was determined to set the record straight. To that effect, she began at quite a pace, so much so that after four rounds I had her four rounds to the good. The Argentinean, as expected, rallied in the middle rounds and reduced the deficit, but Sandy had sufficient gas in the tank to finish strongly. She took the closing two sessions and emerged a worthy winner, 98-92 and 96-94 (twice).
On course for a 10-round victory over Czech Vasil Ducar, Manchester cruiser Jordan Thompson almost came a cropper after being floored by the very last punch of the bout. A right dropped him with just seconds to run. He duly beat the count of referee Steve Gray, but can consider himself lucky it was over.
Until the later stages of the ninth, when he was tagged by a decent combination, “Troublesome” had been content to take it steady and pick his shots, all of which Ducar took in his stride. One suspected, though, that having ended the penultimate session on a high, Vasil might just go for it in the last, which certainly proved the case.
Scorecards at the finish read 97-92, 96-93, 96-93, all in favour of Thompson for whom lessons will have been learned.
Urged on by a noisy army of supporters “Romford Bull” Johnny Fisher once more won early, bald-headed opponent Michal Reissinger of the Czech Republic being dispatched just 39 seconds into the second. To his credit, Reissinger came to fight and, in a frenzied opening few seconds, scored with a weighty right. Fisher wasn’t fazed, though, and promptly replied with a combination to the head and a left downstairs before closing out the opener with a right cross. Slow to exit his corner at the top of the next, Reissinger was caught early, an overhand right dropping him heavily and proving sufficient cause for referee Steve Gray to call it off.
Leeds southpaw Hopey Price banked eight one-sided rounds en-route to a shutout 80-72 victory over Nicaraguan Alexander Mejia, with Mr Gray not needing to check his arithmetic at the finish.
Cutting off the ring and busy behind the jab from the outset, Hopey, who never had to go through the gears, was quick to assume the ascendancy and, truth be told, barring a little spell from the shorter Mejia towards the end of the fifth, the man from Managua offered little.
Another shutout victory, this one in a six overseen by Mr Foster, saw Hyde’s Campbell Hatton bank an eighth successive victory, the man on the receiving end being Prague’s Michal Dufek. Quick out of the blocks and scoring with a pair of lefts downstairs, Campbell backed the Czech boxer up. He took the second session, too, but Dufek did enjoy a little success of his own, most notably a pair of decent lefts to the head delivered mid-round.
By the end of the next, Dufek, under increasing fire, had picked up a bloodied nose and he was allowed time to recover in the fourth after Campbell let one slip low. He hung in and made a contest of it but was ultimately bested and Hatton finished with a nice right cross.
Northampton’s Kieron Conway, who has fight lined up in Las Vegas on the Alvarez-Golovkin III undercard next month, dominated against Frenchman Gregory Trenel before triumphing in the fifth of a scheduled eight. Southpaw Trenel, backed up regularly early doors, fell victim to a right downstairs mid-way through the fourth before a trio of unanswered rights emphasised Conway’s growing superiority. A further burst to the Frenchman’s head proved enough for referee Gray to call it off in the next with 38 seconds still to run.
Rotherham novice Junaid Bostan impressed, battering tough, tough, Spaniard Jose Manuel Lopez Clavero for six rounds before Mr Gray finally called a halt with just 27 seconds remaining as Clavero toppled over sideways having shipped a weighty left.
Impressive too was Oldham’s Aqib Fiaz who, after conceding the opener to Seaham’s jabbing Jordan Ellison, went on to take the 59-55 decision of Mr Foster.
Not only was Aqib upping the tempo with every passing round, he was becoming more spiteful too, and while Ellison was still getting through with an intermittent jab, this one was only ever going one way.
The noisy supporters of Mansfield’s Nico Leivars were left disappointed after their man’s bout against Nicaraguan Angel Gabriel Chavez was halted on the doctor’s advice 59 seconds into the second of a six. It was declared a technical draw after an accidental head clash left the visitor with damage above the left eye. Mr Foster refereed.
The Verdict: As predictable as it was, Smith was still impressive.