Jobes Boxing Promotions put on a seven fight show in Houghton-le-Spring at the Rainton Meadows Arena last Friday (8th April). On the bill, super middleweight Matt McCallum, keen to carve a quick path towards titles after an impressive stint in unlicensed boxing, had his bout with Seamus Devlin moved from last to first because Devlin needed to get away early.

These disturbances to a fighter’s evening aren’t uncommon, but are understandably infuriating, and that was evident in McCallum's performance.

It was the Gateshead fighter’s fourth fight as a professional, and his second sixth rounder. Devlin is an interesting character and it wouldn’t be hyperbole to say that boxing has given him a reason to live; the away fighter has beaten drink and drug problems through the sport and going into the McCallum bout had never been stopped in 23 fights.

McCallum started fast and brightly, closing off the ring and forcing Devlin to circle on the ropes, frequently backing him up with spiteful, sharp straights. The southpaw had his man’s respect fast, and Seamus went into his shell as Matt increased the volume and variety coming at him. McCallum whipped wicked right hooks to the body, attempting to open up the head as a target.

However, Devlin’s shell was stubborn and as the fight went on he looked less and less ambitious- a flurry in the fourth felt perfunctory, there to keep the referee away from him as much as McCallum. The aggressor kept up the assault admirably throughout, looping shots round the side of the high guard and doubling up a crisp backhand lead, trying everything to break down Devlin, who looked hurt on more than one occasion.

Given his status as a professional away fighter, and given that he currently has six fights penciled in on Boxrec between now and the end of June, one must really commend the Lancashire man on lasting to the final bell, where McCallum took a clear and deserved 60-54 victory. However, it didn’t make for the most entertaining encounter.

Speaking after the fight, McCallum said,

“The time change pissed me off. I know these things happen but I thought ‘I’m gonna hurt the bastard’, and to be fair I think I did. He was bruised up like a peach after and he came into the changing room after and he said in 24 fights I’m the toughest he’s ever been in with, which is a nice compliment.”

“It’s frustrating, but that’s what happens with these type of fighters. I want to be in 50/50 fights and I’m 31 now, it’s time to step it up. Northern Area Title, definitely, that’s what I want to get in for.”

There was a Northern Area Champion on the show, welterweight Ellis Corrie who (just) outpointed Serge Ambomo, 58-57, over six in his first fight in over two years. Corrie won the title in only his sixth fight, with a 3-1-1 (0) record, so it is not unreasonable for McCallum to expect an Area Title shot in the very near future.

Nathan Cummiskey got a second successive first round stoppage over Jan Prokes. Welterweight Cummiskey could well be making eyes at Corrie’s belt, but so too can Ewan Mackenzie who stopped Jordan Bradley in the second round on the show at the same weight.

Jordan Barker dropped Klaudia Vigh en route to a 60-53 at lightweight and Bobby Dalton debuted at super welterweight with a 40-37 win over George Rogers.


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