British Undercard Report

By Sam Doleman @ ringside


British Undercard Report

Ali ‘Silent Assassin’ Nuumbembe improved his record to 16-2-1 (6) as he took a points decision from tough Ukrainian Vladomir Borovski, who now drops to 19-17-1 (9).  Borovski, who took Anthony Small the distance last time out, was always going to be a tough customer for Ali to dispose of inside the distance.
Ali started well, using his speed advantage, firing one-two’s off on the Ukrainian. Borovski was happy to ensure his gloves remained high leaving very little target area for Ali to hit. Ali mixed his shots nicely but never really looked like denting the Ukrainian, who began plodding forwards whilst Ali peppered him with jabs and hooks.

The following rounds saw Nuumbembe mostly work on the back foot as Borovski plodded and Nuumbembe fired shots off his guard, head and body. Nuumbembe continued to do much of the same in the preceding rounds, his power never looking like denting the Ukranian, but Borovski never looked like coming anywhere near taking a round from Nuumbembe.

Borovski did try some showboating in the sixth, but he didn’t fool anybody. He had been soundly beaten and outboxed by the smaller man in Nuumbembe. Both the referee and I had the fight 60–54. A great fight to shake the rust off. The proposed fight with Kevin Anderson, for the Commonwealth welterweight title should be an interesting affair. Nuumbembe’s lack of power could be his downfall in that one.

Twenty-five year old prospect Mark Thompson competed an eight rounder for the first time in his career against Ukrainian Alexander Matviechuk. The Ukrainian was clearly the bigger man at the weight but had previously been stopped by Light Middleweight Anthony Small in six. The first two rounds were extremely slow and had had very little action. Thompson was clearly content to bank some rounds and conserve energy as he worked safely behind a left jab whilst the Ukrainian man did very little in reply to dent his defence.

Thompson did step up the pace in the third, increasing the volume of jabs which were connecting with Matviechuk. Thompson landed a fine combination of left jab, left hook during the round which, for the first time in the contest, shook Matviechuk. Thompson continued to pressure the Ukrainian in the fourth. A straight right dropped Matviechuk who was up before the eight count and deemed fit to continue. Thompson connected with another straight right which wobbled his man and a left towards the end of the round which nearly had his man on the canvas for a second time.
As the bell for round five sounded my expectations were for Thompson to finish the job he started in the fourth. Unfortunately it was not to be. The fourth had drained energy form both men, and the fifth was a scrappy affair with the best work coming form Thompson on the inside. The Ukrainian was shaken with another Thompson left but continued to try to outmuscle the Heywood middleweight.

The sixth and seventh rounds were Matviechuck’s best. Thompson reverted to the back foot and threw mostly single shots whilst the Ukrainian caught Thompson with some good hooks and jabs, most of which, worryingly, travelled through Thompson’s guard before connecting. A case could be made that Thompson was simply conserving energy, having banked the first couple of rounds, to end the fight the stronger man. And end the fight stronger he did.
Thompson really bossed the final session. From the first bell he was the aggressor, throwing neat one-two combinations and roughing Matviechuk on the inside. There was no doubt at the final bell who the winner was. Both the referee and I agreed on the scoring for this one, 78 – 73.  Thompson now moves to 9-0 (5) and more importantly completed his first eight rounder, whilst the game Matviechuk falls to 8-15-2 (1).

Sheffield light welterweight John “Fireball” Fewkes improved his record to 12-0 (2) as he outpointed the very tough Thomas Mazurkiewicz, who now falls to 1-1-1 (1). Fewkes began the fight well, controlling the centre of the ring, and proving an elusive target for Mazurkiewicz. Fewkes landed a solid overhand right on three occasions in the first citing a weakness in the defence of the man based in Manchester.

The second began as the first ended with Fewkes proving to be the aggressor. Unperturbed, Mazurkiewicz continued to throw leather and the fight began to degenerate slightly into a roughhouse brawl. The referee had a word with both fighters in the second regarding their use of the head, he also had a word with Mazurkiewicz for holding on the inside. Mazurkiewicz took the third on my card, he was the busier and picked his punches nicely, although Fewkes was still proving to be as elusive as ever. By the fourth both fighters were showing signs of fatigue. Fewkes landed the cleaner work during the round although again the crux of the fighting was done up close and the quality was sporadic. At the end of the fourth it was Fewkes’ hand that was raised with the referee scoring the fight 40-37 to Fewkes. I had the Shefield man winning 39-37.

Bolton middleweight Alex Matkivenko picked up his fourth victory in succession defeating Nottingham’s Jon Foster. Matkivenko started the first by boxing well behind a left jab, Matkivenko’s movement and solid style troubling Foster.  Matkivenko continued where he left off in the second, solid left jabs through Fosters guard set up overhand rights. By the end of the second the Nottingham man was visibly marked up.

Foster appeared to have renewed energy in the third, he began the round throwing clusters of punches. Matkivenko proved his guard was tight as most of the punches landed on gloves and arms. Matkivenko did fire back with some of his own during the third and did score with the cleaner punches. Foster’s corner pulled their man out after the third - perhaps the reason Foster’s work rate improved as much as it did in the third was due to the corner giving him one more round at the end of the second. The referee informed Foster that he had scored the third for Foster following his retirement. Matkivenko improves to 4-0 whilst Foster falls to 6-13-1.

Birkenhead light middleweight Bret Flournoy put in a tentative display against Latvian Gatis Skuja. Flournoy blasted Welshman Tommy Jones in just over a minute of his debut, but appeared content for this one to go the distance. During the first two rounds Flournoy remained on the back foot working behind the southpaw jab. In my opinion Skuja took a share of the first and won the second. Flournoy began the third in a far more aggressive style, for the first time in the fight he threw combinations and doubled up the jab. Flournoy had Gatis wobbled towards the end of the round with a solid left through the Latvian man’s defence.

The fourth began much as the third had ended with the better, cleaner punches coming from Flournoy. By the fourth Flournoy appeared to have warmed to the task and was working behind his right jab and following with straight lefts and left hooks. Flournoy could well have finished the contest inside the distance towards the end of the round but Flournoy’s fatigue more than a tight defence saved the Latvian man. The referee scored the contest 40-37 to Flournoy, I had the fight closer at 39-38 to the Birkenhead fighter. Flournoy improves to 2-0 (1) whilst Skuja falls to 1-6-2 (0).
Oldham welterweight Craig Watson improved his record to 5-0 (1) following an impressive first round knockout over Michael Medor. It took Watson only two minutes and forty nine seconds to dispatch of Medor, who was treated in the ring with oxygen following a crunching left hook to the point of the chin. Thankfully Medor was able to walk himself back to the dressing room following treatment. Watson was first to the punch and looked the naturally stronger fighter.  Medor’s record now falls to 2-2 (0).

Light middleweight Paul Porter picked up his first victory as he scored a TKO over debutant Chris Johnson. Johnson demonstrated the better work in the first and even stunned Porter a couple of times, before Porter landed a left hook to send Johnson down. Johnson regained his balance and composure to survive the closing seconds of the first. Johnson began the second well inflicting damage to the right eye of Porter.

Porter looked ragged at times and Johnson began turning the screw on the Luton man. Johnson was dominating the round when Porter landed another left to send Porter to the mat once more. This time there was no way back as the referee deemed Johnson was unable to regain his balance. Porter moved to 1-1-1 (1), Johnson defeated on his debut.

Doncaster’s Chris Pacey suffered his first professional defeat against the also previously undefeated Danny Harding. Pacey’s defence was under fire as Harding landed far too easily at times. Over the four rounds I did however feel that Pacey had done enough to snatch a 39-37 win, as during three of the scheduled four, he had landed the cleaner of the work. Harding did win the fourth round big and even had Pacey wobbling on a couple of occasions. The referee decided Harding had done enough to take the win, scoring the fight 39-38.