In a hard fought fight, World Boxing Organization 135 pound champion Terry Flanagan (33-0, 13 Kos) beat the scrappy Petr Petrov (38-5-2, 19 KOs) in defeating him by a 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night in front of a large pro-Flanagan crowd at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK. Neither fighter was ever hurt in the fight.
Petrov landed the better shots in the fight, but Flanagan was slightly busier. The scores were 116-112, 120-108, and 118-110. Petrov fought well enough to lose by 2 rounds, but definitely not 4, 8 or 12 rounds. The judges’ scores for the fight were not indicative to the kind of fight that happened last Saturday night.
Flanagan had difficulties landing his punches with the head and upper body movement that Petrov was using. Flanagan was hitting air much of the time, and getting countered by the accurate shots from Petrov.
After the 1st round, Flanagan found himself being pressured by Petrov and taking shots. The fight from that point on saw Petrov landing well with single shots to the head that Flanagan was too slow to block. Where Petrov went wrong was by not throwing enough shots in the second half of the fight. He let Flanagan take some of the rounds to win the fight.
Flanagan’s next fight will be either Felix Verdejo or Jorge Linares. He wants the Linares fight. That would be a good fight if it can get made.
Liam Smith rallies to beat Liam Williams on a cut stoppage
In the fight of the night, former WBO 154lb champion Liam Smith (25-1-1, 14 KOs) showed a ton of heart in coming back from a large deficit to beat Liam Williams (16-1-1, 11 KOs) by a 10th round technical knockout. The fight was stopped because of Williams getting cut BADLY over his right eye in the 9th round from what looked like a clash of heads.
There’s much debate whether Williams was cut from a punch or the head of Smith. I saw Smith’s head making contact with Williams’ face followed by a cut opening up. It was too bad because it sure looked like Williams was going to in the fight. The weird about the fight was the scoring.
The three judges had Williams ahead by 1 point. I don’t know how that Williams could only be ahead by one point going into the 10th round because he fought well enough to win 7 of the 9 rounds on the Boxing News Results card. Williams won 7 rounds in a very clear manner by landing more punches and with more power. Smith did well to come back in rounds 8 and 9 with his body punches and high work rate. I still thought that Smith needed to either knock Williams out or score multiple knockdowns in the last three rounds for him to win the fight.
The fight was stopped after the 9th round. Williams’ trainer didn’t want him to continue fighting because his right eyelid was cut, and he couldn’t stop the bleeding. Smith, 28, was cut over the right eye in round 3, and fought the remainder of the fight with his cut getting worse. Smith’s eye was so bad that the referee chose to have the doctor at ringside check it out in the 7th round. I thought for sure the doctor would request that the fight be stopped, but surprisingly he let the fight continue. It was Smith’s good luck that he did because it allowed him to come back and get the victory over the younger 24-year-old Williams.
The tragedy about this fight for Smith is he failed to win the interim WBO junior middleweight title because he didn’t make weight at Friday’s weigh-in. This means that Smith will very likely need to face Liam Williams in a rematch instead of him being able to move on to try and get a fight against Miguel Cotto. However, Cotto is not going to wait for Smith and Williams to face each other again so that he can fight the winner. Cotto is retiring at the end of 2017. He’s already penciled in for a rematch against Saul Canelo Alvarez in December. Cotto will need to fight someone else now instead of the winner of the Smith-Williams fight, because those guys will almost surely need to face each other again once their nasty cuts are healed.
Daniel Dubois TKOs Marcus Kelly
Making his pro debut, talented heavyweight prospect Daniel Dubois (1-0, 1 KOs) made quick work of the heavyset Marcus Kelly (1-1) in beating him by a 1st round TKO. The big 6’4 ½” Dubois patiently blocked some of Kelly’s punches in the opening seconds of the fight, and then hurt him with a left hand to the head. Kelly, 5’10”, backed up in a straight line to the corner where he had his last stand.
Dubois moved in for the kill straightaway, landing some nice shots and finishing with a left hook that caused Kelly to sink to the canvas like a majestic ship going down in the ocean waters Kelly sprang to his feet right away and looked eager to continue fighting.
The referee opted to stop the fight. Kelly looked fine to me. He wasn’t staggering or anything. He had his hands up and wanted to continue fight. Never the less, the referee was the one that was looking into Kelly’s eyes from close range, and he decided he didn’t want to let the fight continue. The time of the stoppage was at 0:35 of round 1.
The 19-year-old Dubois did a good job of dispatching what was in front of him. His promoter decided not to take chances by putting him in with a good fighter in his first fight of his career. We didn’t get to see Dubois’ excellent jab. As an amateur, Dubois’ jab was the best weapon in his arsenal. He looked like he could punch with either hand, but he never really showed that he could in the amateur ranks. What Dubois did show was an excellent jab that he dominated many of his opponents with.
Dubois’ hand speed didn’t look that great. He’s kind of slow when it comes to his speed. That’s not an issue right now because Dubois is still facing lower level opponents, but when he gets to world class level, he might have problems. Dubois won’t beat the top fighters with just his jab. He’s got to come up with some power for him to go far in boxing.