JOSH KELLY was exceptionally lucky to scrape a 10-round draw with “New” Ray Robinson. One score of 96-94 in Kelly’s favour was overruled by two scores of 95-95. Many ringsiders, including Boxing News, had Robinson ahead at the finish.
The welterweight starlet, trained by Adam Booth, was impressive in the opening stages as he made the wily Philadelphian miss but Kelly’s hands-down style also led to problems once southpaw Robinson had worked it out.
Kelly – in a nod to his inexperience – was unable or unwilling to change his approach and found himself walking on to shot after shot as he tried and failed to keep Robinson at bay.
In the seventh round, Robinson, who has operated on the fringes of world class for several years, countered Kelly’s overly flashy attacks, pinning the prospect in a corner and appearing to open a cut over his left eye. The eighth and ninth rounds were not much better for the Briton, as Robinson stalked effectively and the American appeared to close the stronger of the two in the last.
Kelly [below left] finished with a cut over his right eye and had to be persuaded to celebrate at the final bell.
TOMMY COYLE was stopped after eight blood and guts rounds, giving it absolutely everything he had against Chris Algieri inside New York’s Madison Square Garden. In truth, the Hull man would have carried on were it not for his corner, headed by Jamie Moore, who made the decision to end things at exactly the right time.
Algieri, of nearby Huntingdon, was off the pace in the opening round, swinging well enough but his aim was poor. Coyle bounced in and out but, besides a swiping right on the inside, was not effective.
Coyle was the first to gain a foothold when he ploughed forward in the second and tossed a looping right hand into the favourite. It sent Algieri back to the ropes and the Hull man into violent raptures, as he bullied the American with lefts and rights.
Algieri survived, and in the third his class started to tell. On his toes and with his previously wayward jab starting to hit the target.
Things seemed to get worse for Coyle in the fourth. A huge left hook to the body sent the Briton down. On his knees, and clearly in pain, he roared his opponent towards him in the ultimate show of defiance. He finished the round in the ascendancy, hurling looping shots from both hands.
Coyle finished the fifth round strongly, an uppercut and hook sending the favourite to the ropes. More of the same in the sixth as the contest became increasingly exciting, with both exchanging blows to the head.
But Algieri was by now in control, bossing from distance and finding the target with both hands. Coyle was having some success, but they were desperation blows. At the end of eight, with his face swelling and his legs unsteady, his trainer made the decision to end the fight. Coyle was disappointed, but his mission was only getting harder and harder.
JOSHUA BUATSI impressively halted Marco Antonio Periban in four rounds, though he was made to work hard against the Mexican veteran.
An early finish looked likely as British light-heavyweight boss Buatsi stalked menacingly from the opening bell and when a short right found its way over Periban’s guard, the crowd whooped in expectation.
But Periban had some success with counters to the body as an over-eager Buatsi pressed for the finish in the second and third rounds. By the fourth, though, the favourite was in complete control and forced the finish.
“Here I am in the USA!” a joyful Buatsi said afterwards. “I was always aware I was in with someone who has boxed at world level. I’m humbled to have won here in Madison Square Garden.”