SUPERIORIT Y CON­FIRMED

But­ler wins Hall re­match while Field­ing steals the show on un­der­card

Boxing News - - Action - Chris Walker

PAUL BUT­LER’S maiden out­ing un­der the Matchroom ban­ner saw the Ellesmere Port favourite re­trace his steps over a fa­mil­iar trail as he took a unan­i­mous ver­dict over old ban­tamweight ri­val, Stu­art Hall. But­ler and the Dar­ling­ton man met in 2013 in a tight con­test that was also won by the Cheshire fighter, but the out­come this time around was far more em­phatic as But­ler dom­i­nated for the vast ma­jor­ity of the con­test, which was over­seen by Howard Fos­ter.

This was a typ­i­cal Hall per­for­mance as he set a re­lent­less pace but he lacked the qual­ity to make a sig­nif­i­cant dent in an op­po­nent who showed a lot more va­ri­ety in im­press­ing the ring­side judges. But­ler had more pur­pose and ideas, and any chance of this bout re­peat­ing the split de­ci­sion of their first meet­ing looked un­likely from the start as But­ler had enough an­swers to deal with the ma­raud­ing Hall. Scores of 117-111 and 118-110 twice were ac­cu­rate re­flec­tions, and But­ler will be a keen spec­ta­tor in Monaco in Novem­ber as he awaits the win­ner of Jamie Mc­don­nell and Li­bo­rio So­lis who do battle there.

Tom Stalker’s bru­tal tran­si­tion from am­a­teur to pro­fes­sional showed no sign of eas­ing as he lost to re­gional ri­val, and Com­mon­wealth light­weight boss, Sean Dodd. Stalker made a bright start us­ing his south­paw jab be­fore fol­low­ing up with the oc­ca­sional flurry but as the rounds grew so did Dodd, and his con­stant at­tacks – when­ever Stalker sought so­lace on the ropes – were enough to give him the con­trol. Stalker was al­ways look­ing to counter with his back-hand but it didn’t de­ter Dodd who stayed close through­out, throw­ing what­ever he could when­ever in range. The up­per­cut was a use­ful weapon through Stalker’s tight guard and Dodd’s re­peated press­ing was a theme that didn’t go away in the sec­ond half, lead­ing

FIELD­ING KEPT HIS WORD AS HE OBLITERATED BRO­PHY EARLY ON

to all three of­fi­cials scor­ing 118-110 in the Birken­head man’s favour. Michael Alexan­der of­fi­ci­ated. Rocky Field­ing promised be­fore­hand that he was an im­proved fighter un­der the tute­lage of Jamie Moore and he kept his word as he obliterated Scot­land’s

David Bro­phy in the open­ing round. The box­ing com­mu­nity were split on this fight head­ing in, and the form guide per­haps favoured Bro­phy, fresh off an ex­cel­lent away day win over Zac Dunn in Aus­tralia, while Field­ing had laboured to a se­ries of wins fol­low­ing his loss to Cal­lum Smith two years ago. But that fight seemed a dis­tant mem­ory within moments of the first bell as Field­ing hurt his op­po­nent im­me­di­ately. As Bro­phy looked to re­group on the ropes, Rocky found enough qual­ity shots to force a cor­rect in­ter­ven­tion at just 2-18 from Mr Gray. He added the Com­mon­wealth su­per-mid­dleweight ti­tle to his Lons­dale belt with the tri­umph.

A com­bi­na­tion of brave cor­ner work and equally game of­fi­ci­at­ing en­sured that Tom Far­rell was the vic­tim of un­nec­es­sary pun­ish­ment as he took an un­pleas­ant beat­ing from Ohara

Davies. Any hopes of the Liver­pool fighter up­set­ting the odds were ar­guably ex­tin­guished in the open­ing ses­sion as a per­fect one-two com­bi­na­tion from Davies heav­ily floored Far­rell. He some­how sur­vived but as the rounds wore on he was on the can­vas twice in round two and his face red­dened with ev­ery pass­ing stanza. The en­tire press area and mem­bers of the Sky Sports pun­ditry team pleaded for the fight to stop and after Far­rell hit the deck twice more in round six, Mr Gray fi­nally halted pro­ceed­ings at 0-50. Far­rell’s courage was in­cred­i­ble but the fight be­longed to Davies, who showed no signs that the re­ver­sal to Josh Tay­lor has im­pacted his con­fi­dence.

There were stop­page wins for 2014 Com­mon­wealth Games gold medal­list pair, An­thony

Fowler and Scott Fitzger­ald, as both con­tin­ued their ring ed­u­ca­tion after re­cently switch­ing from the vested code. Fowler’s in­tent on stop­ping Jay

Byrne was per­haps mo­ti­vated by the fact the Dubliner has ex­tended fel­low Matchroom prospects, Josh Kelly and Felix Cash, but the Liver­pool puncher achieved his tar­get as a cou­ple of body shots in the fourth round earned Fowler his third stop­page from as many fights. Mark Lyson stopped it at 1-56.

Fitzger­ald boxed beau­ti­fully for large pe­ri­ods and he re­fused to be drawn into the shenani­gans be­ing dis­played by

Bradley Pryce. The vet­eran Welsh­man spent a lot of time smil­ing and pos­ing but Fitzger­ald stuck to the task and even­tu­ally landed the telling shots to force Dar­ren Sar­gin­son to stop things at 1-37 of the fifth round. Mr Lyson had a tor­rid time split­ting

Dereck Chisora and Robert Filipovic as the lat­ter in­sisted on breach­ing the rules on mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions. The ref warned the Croa­t­ian sev­eral times for hold­ing and hit­ting be­hind the head and his pa­tience fi­nally cracked as he de­servedly re­moved a cou­ple of points. Chisora seemed spurred on by this and a left hook in­stantly brought a stop­page from Lyson with 1-20 of the fifth gone.

Natasha Jonas was very im­pres­sive as she pa­tiently dis­man­tled Poland’s Bo­jana

Libiszewska. Jonas showed off her en­tire reper­toire, grow­ing in con­fi­dence with each pass­ing round. The fi­nal ses­sion saw her de­velop a slightly nas­tier stance from the pre­vi­ous three and fol­low­ing suc­ces­sion of as­saults, Sarge­son did the right thing and ended it at 1-17. Jonas ticked a lot of boxes and trainer, Joe Gal­lagher, could be heard talk­ing highly of her po­ten­tial af­ter­wards.

Lo­cal fighter, Craig Glover, showed off his power again with an­other rou­tine first round stop­page vic­tory against

Ferenc Zsalek. Find­ing the mea­sure of his op­po­nent al­most im­me­di­ately, Glover at­tacked well when he was in range and a se­ries of body shots cre­ated the op­por­tu­nity to switch to the head. Zsalek rose from the first knock­down but it was clear the end was ap­proach­ing. It came with just 41 sec­onds of the round re­main­ing, fol­low­ing an­other col­lec­tion of heavy shots to con­vince Jamie Kirk­patrick he’d seen enough .

THE VER­DICT But­ler joins Jamie Mc­don­nell and Ryan Bur­nett in Matchroom’s im­pres­sive ban­tamweight bri­gade.

Pho­tos: AC­TION IMAGES/AN­DREW COULDRIDGE

FAST PACE: But­ler ex­pertly picks off the typ­i­cally re­lent­less Hall

QUICK AND EASY: Field­ing turns in one of his finest dis­plays to thrash Bro­phy in the open­ing round

PROB­LEM­ATIC: Stalker eats a left hand as he strug­gles to break through

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