A WELL supported Eddie Hearn show in Dublin last weekend but not all the fights going as hoped, with the top liner Matthew Macklin, getting turned over by the WBC international champion Jorge Sebastian Heiland from Argentina.
It is always a tough call when you fight an Argentinian which it proved on the night when Matthew was halted in the 10th round, which in all probability puts paid to any thoughts of a match-up in Ireland, or anywhere else, with Andy Lee and a possible title against WBC champion Miguel Cotto.
With Lee getting his chance of the WBO title against Matt Korobov in December, there probably wouldn’t have been a venue in Ireland big enough to put that fight on but that’s all up the pictures now with Macklin’s demise, or so it seems.
It wasn’t really as big a shock as all that as the bookies had it a 50-50 fight but one man who took them to the cleaners was Spike O’ Sullivan with his demolition job on Anthony Fitzgerald in the first round of his 10-round Irish title fight. This was a real grudge match between the man from Cork and Fitz from Dublin, a sort of Yorkshire versus Lancashire.
I had a strong few words with both fighters in the dressing room prior to the fight which may have helped to defuse the situation slightly. The fight set off at a good pace but the extra poundage and visible power and confidence of Spike was evident from the off, then one-and-a-half minutes into it… Bang… Goodnight Vienna. Fitz was in dreamland and Spike was off to the bookies to pick up his winnings. I heard that he had a bet on himself at 50-to-1 to finish it in the first round.
Kal Yafai had a tougher than expected fight against the Nicaraguan Everth Briceno. I was disappointed in Everth’s commitment and professionalism prior to the fight. I entered the dining room for breakfast on the morning of the weigh-in and he was filling his face with all the goodies, so I figured he could make the weight pretty easy. I thought he must be pretty light-boned as he had an upper body like a barn door. Once again I was wrong, he wasn’t light-boned, just unprofessional, as he jumped on the scale and was overweight. He got a couple of hours to make the weight that came back an hour-and-a-half later and still didn’t make the weight by 1 kg and said he couldn’t get any more off and wasn’t going to try – so that was it. If he won the fight now he wouldn’t be crowned champion as he didn’t make the weight. Both fighters then have to weigh in on the morning of the fight for a check weigh-in and must be no more than 10lbs above the stipulated championship wait. I did wonder if he would even be inside that 10lbs limit the way he was putting the evening meal away. Is there a ban on consuming food in Nicaragua?
After all that he put a good competitive performance even though he took three counts and had a point deduction for low blows. It brought up two questions to me.
No.1, how would Kal have done if Everth had been on top of his game? I thought Kal tired slightly in the 10th, 11th, and last rounds.
Secondly, although Kal hit him with all his artillery Everth was still there at the end. I would like to see him put a bit more into his shots as I was not taken by his power or lack of it, also a little more committed. I told him after the fight that if he had put more pressure on Everth in that round, he would have stopped him but he let him off the Hook and back into the fight.
But with only a handful of fights under his belt, what the hell, he has time to learn.
Overall a good night with one Irishman ticket seller losing, I feel the next big name to be topping this shows in Ireland is John Joe Nevin, although we didn’t get much viewing of him against Jack Heath, the reception he got when he went to the ring was on a par with Macklin’s.