FLYWEIGHTS STEAL THE SHOW ON FIGHTZONE: REPORT
with a Dennis Hobson promotion headlined by Rotherham-based heavyweight, Kash Ali.
In the night’s best contest, Tommy Frank fought Matt Windle for the British Flyweight title. Frank was a heavy favourite but the bout was competitive throughout and fans at ringside lapped up the action.
Levi Giles, Charlie Schofield, Shakiel Thompson, Lee Reeves and Michael Gomez Jnr all took career-progressing wins on the undercard. However, former military man, Perry Howe, suffered a surprise third round stoppage at the hands of Nathan Junor. It’s the second stoppage upset Junor has sprung in as many weeks, having halted Fleetwood’s Dan Catlin last Saturday.
Kash Ali stepped into the ring on Saturday night to defend his IBF European heavyweight title against little-known German, Roman Gorst.
Gorst entered the fight having stopped six of the eight opponents he’d faced, losing only once to unbeaten Hamburg fighter, Peter Kadiru. On paper then, Gorst represented a test for Ali.
Former world champion, Anthony Crolla, offered words of warning from ringside - in his punditry role for Fightzone. He said: “I think he’s got to be respectful of the power [Gorst] might carry.” Gorst didn’t display the power to match his knockout ratio, but he certainly gave Ali more to think about than his last two opponents.
Following the seventh round, Gorst didn’t re-emerge from his corner for the eighth. Ali didn’t ever threaten to get a clean stoppage, but wore the 32-year-old German down with steady, attritional work. Ultimately an injury - and possible break - to his jaw prevented the German from continuing.
For his part, Ali looks a half decent heavyweight without being hugely impressive. He’s clearly making incremental improvements under new trainer, Richard Towers, but will need to make a lot more if he’s to reach the lofty heights he’s aiming for.
Fightzone viewers were reminded on numerous occasions that Ali believes he can be a heavyweight world champion. That’s a laughable claim at present, both in sporting terms and as regards boxing politics. It also seems he may be on a collision course with fellow Fightzone heavyweight, Dave Allen. Were the two to collide, Allen would be a clear favourite.
Tommy Frank vs Matt Windle - Vacant British Flyweight title
Tommy Frank was a huge favourite going into Saturday night’s clash for the vacant British flyweight belt. However, the well-liked Sheffield man entered the bout on the back of two back-to-back losses to Mexico’s Rosendo Hugo Guarneros. That potential knock to his confidence afforded the only real pre-fight glimmer of hope for underdog, Matt Windle.
Conversely, Windle came into the fight following a confidence building points win over Scotsman, Neil McCubbin
Windle is an interesting character, almost as well-known for his poetry as he is for his boxing. However, conceding both a size advantage and a home-turf advantage, it seemed he may have bitten off more than he could chew.
Facing Frank for the British title was certainly a big ask for Birmingham's “poet with punch” and the size differentiation between the two was immediately apparent- Tommy was much the bigger man. Both men were relatively sharp in the opening exchanges, but Frank’s noticeably larger frame was a concern for Windle fans.
Windle poured on the aggression at the start of the second round, but to no avail. Frank soaked up some pressure and then landed a thudding right hand to send the midlands man to the canvas. Windle recovered well, covering up and firing off short range shots to see the round out.
Windle kept the fight competitive for the whole distance but ultimately, Frank’s size, experience and confidence paid off. He took a unanimous decision win and claimed the Lonsdale belt.
In defeat, Windle has to be praised for his willingness to engage and his toughness throughout, he showed plenty of heart and offered some good spells of offensive work.
Levi Giles vs Johnny Phillips
Levi Giles took his tenth win against Sandhurst’s Jonny Phillips. The winner was more active and took every round, but Phillips took great pleasure in teaching the Grimsby prospect a few lessons along the way.
After opening his career with five wins in six appearances, Phillips’ career has taken a different turn and now - following this latest loss to Giles - he’s on a six fight losing streak. However, the names he’s faced during that streak mean it could represent a useful period of learning, rather than a slide into obscurity. With the likes of Stephen Smith and Rhys Edwards on the list, as well as former amateur stars Hopey Price and Ibrahim Nadim, Phillips will have learnt plenty from these outings.
Phillips’ next outing will see him take on durable Yorkshire journeyman, Luke Fash, seemingly on the hunt for another win. It will be interesting to see how Phillips progresses from there.
As far as the winner is concerned, Giles looks a solid prospect with some learning to do in terms of ringcraft. When the opportunity presented itself, the Grimsby fighter showed off eye-catching combinations and must be commended for the fitness that saw him comfortably through his first eight-round fight.