Joshua Frankham and George Davey met in a clash of unbeaten super welterweights at York Hall in London. It was Frankham who emerged with his undefeated intact. The 24 year old from Reading earned a 76-75 decision after eight hard rounds.
A confident looking Davey (8-1-1, 1 KO) settled the quicker, using his fast reactions and some nice counter punching to keep Frankham off balance. Frankham (9-0, 2 KO’s) began to warm to the task in the second. A hard left hook was the best punch of the round although he did receive a stern warning for using his head as he backed Davey to the ropes. The fight became a nip and tuck battle but as the rounds passed, Frankham began to time his right hand more and more regularly. There was no panic in Davey’s work but by the fifth he was finding it harder and harder to stay away.
Just when it looked like Frankham might start to take control he was dropped by a Davey right hand in the sixth. He bounced up and landed a couple of his own right hands as the pair began to trade.
The fight was up in the air as the contest entered the eighth and final round. Frankham bit down and planted himself on Davey’s chest for the entire three minutes. Nothing particularly hard got through but Frankham dominated, forcing Davey onto the defensive and taking the round and – as it turned out – the fight.
Masood Abdulah has been calling for a step up in opposition and he was rewarded with one of the trickiest tests available. Former British super bantamweight champion, Marc Leach, is a smart, skilful southpaw but found Abdulah (9-0, 6 KO’s) too big and too strong in this featherweight fight. After seven increasingly one sided rounds, Leach (18-3-1, 4 KO’s) was retired by his corner.
Wary of Leach’s movement and sharp punching picking, Abdulah set a hot pace from the off, crowding Leach and looking to deny him room to work. It worked to an extent but Leach is an experienced fighter and he settled in for the long haul, landing sharp left counters when he could and attempting to let Abdulah tire himself out. Abdulah was relentless but the more frenzied his attacks became, the more accurate Leach’s counters were.
There were signs in the third that Abdulah was beginning to improve his accuracy but Leach still managed to produce some beautiful short counters. The pattern was set.
Abdulah got through with some heavy shots in the sixth and broke Leach’s resistance. A big right hand hurt him on the ropes and Abdulah’s size and strength really began to come into play. Leach just couldn’t find the power to keep the bigger man off and Abdulah piled forward without consequence. The seventh round was an ordeal for Leach but he bravely made it through the three minutes. When he got back to his corner his trainer, Nigel Travis, sensibly pulled him out of the fight.
What looked like a tricky fight turned into something of a coming out party for Abdulah.
Bantamweight puncher Chris Bourke (13-1, 8 KO’s) notched up another stoppage victory. The Streatham southpaw was too good for Tanzanian, Adam Mbegba (11-4-1, 8 KO’s). Bourke controlled the action from the start, feinting to invite Mbegba in before using his footwork to quickly step back out of range and punish him with left hands. Mbegba had no idea how to close the distance and quickly began to lose heart. Bourke upped the tempo in the fourth and the Tanzanian – who took the fight at late notice – quickly unravelled. He lost his mouthpiece twice through sheer exhaustion and retreated into his own corner where Bourke dropped him with a left to the body. Mbega decided not to get up. The time was 2.58 of round four. The fight was scheduled for eight.
This was Bourke’s third successive victory since a British title defeat to Marc Leach up at super bantamweight last year. Now fully settled into to his new weight, he will target a title fight next.
Carl Fail (10-0, 3 KO’s) maintained his unbeaten record but had a tough eight rounds with Angel Emilov.
The unbeaten super welterweight from Northampton had his hands full with Emilov (11-53-3, 7 KO’s), a man who’s record does him no justice. The Bulgarian is a decent operator, and regularly pinches rounds from British prospects.
Fail towered over Emilov but gave away his physical advantages, preferring to close the distance and work at close range. The tactics suited Emilov who took the chance to land his own shots.
In the fourth, Fail began to put a little distance between the pair. He found a nice left uppercut and made it more difficult for Emilov but in the fifth, Emilov jumped off his stool, and forced Fail onto the ropes where he let his hands go. Fail emerged from the exchange with a cut over his left eye, somehow declared to have been caused by an accidental clash of heads. The cut actually helped Fail. He began to box and use his skills and Emilov struggled to close the distance. Emilov finished the fight with a cut over his own right eye but made Fail fight to the end.
After eight good rounds, Fail earned a 78-74 decision.