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  • Writer's pictureDexter Hastings

Khan V Vargas Show Review

Matchroom Boxing Khan v Vargas show Arena Birmingham

Matchroom boxing rolled into Birmingham to hold the Amir Khan V Samuel Vargas fight at the Arena Birmingham (8/9/18). The main fights where to be show live on Sky sports with the undercard hosting some of the best Midlands talent around. From the Midlands we had the unbeaten boxer Shakan Pitters, Matchroom’s Gamal Yafia and Ludlow’s Craig Morris in action with the highly rated Sam Eggington doing a 10 rounder. There were also two massive fights with both boxers hailing from the Midlands, there was current Super welterweight Midlands area champion Ryan Kelly defending his title against unbeaten fighter Kelcie Ball which has been a highly anticipated match. Then you had the match any boxing fan in the Midlands was waiting to see, the rematch between British Middleweight Champ Jason Welborn defending his title against the former Champ Tommy Langford. Out of all the fights on the night this was one of the most highly appreciated fights as the first encounter is definitely going to be up there for fight of the year. Below is a report on all the action from the show.

The first fight was Steven Donnelly against Miguel Aguilar, I managed to see the last round of this fight as you don’t get you press pass until five minutes before the show starts but I can say Donnelly won this 4 round fight with ease.

The second fight on the card was Shaun McComb against Lester Cantillano, McComb put on a great display putting Cantillano down in the first round with a nice combination. Cantillano beat the count and managed to see the round out, the second was another round dominated by McComb. McComb put Cantillano down again with a great combination, Cantillano got to his feet but McComb jumped straight back on him and did not stop until the ref stopped the fight in 2 minutes 56 seconds of the second round.

Fight three was Osman Aslam against Midlander Jack Summers, Aslam had Summers on the back foot from the start with fast hands and good combinations. Summers had a go at the start of the second but Aslam soon had him on the back foot again. The end came in the third round with Summers battling hard and Catching Aslam with some good shots, Aslam came back with some sweet combinations and eventually put Summers down with a nice right hand. Summers beat the counter but Aslam kept the pressure on until the ref Kevin Parker stopped the fight two minutes and nine seconds into round two.

Fight 4 Shakan Pitters v Imantas Davidaitis 4x3 Cruiserweight

Nice steady start with both fighters just feeling each other out, Pitters stepped up the pace and won the round by being the aggressor and getting the better shot off. In the second Pitters came out nice and sharp and banged in some nice shots. Pitters banged in some cracking combinations putting Davidaitis down with the ref waving off the fight with only 49 seconds of the second round complete.


Pitters wins second round stoppage Fight 5 Gamal Yafia v Brayan Mairena 8x3 Super Bantamweight

Some Clinical boxing from Yafia in the first round, great movement and some heavy combinations, Mairena was warned several times about hitting low. In the second was another great display from Yafia banging in some heavy combinations, Mairena was staying in there getting the odd shot off but Yafia was dominating. Round three saw Yafia again banged in some heavy combinations with his body shots looking really hurtful. Mairena kept it competitive by battling back but it was Yafua's round. Yafia was in total control in the forth hunting Mairena down as he moved around the ring with some great combinations. Yafia controlled the ring and was favouring his left hand with it looking like he had damaged his right, but with a heavy jab and a lead hook Yafia won the round. Mairena came to life in the sixth as he must have noticed that Yafia had hurt his right hand. Yafia moved well and slipped Mairena shots and contiuned to win the round with heavy jabs and cracking lead hooks. In the seventh Yafia continued to win the fight with his jab and lead hook, he then caught Mairena with a cracking lead left hook which put Mairena down. The ref counted but then called the fight off with 56 seconds of the round gone.


Yafia wins seventh round stoppage. Fight 6 Ryan Kelly v Kelcie Ball 10.11. 10x3. 10.13 Super welterweight Midlands area title

Both fighters exchanged shots at the start of the first round and it was looking like this fight was set to be a cracker. Kelly then caught Ball with a lovely left hook that shook him, Ball contiuned to fight back and tried to get himself together but Kelly lived up to his ring name and was “Ruthless”. Kelly pressed Ball and caught him flush with some cracking shots, you had to give Ball credit for taking them and staying on his feet. Kelly contiuned to press Ball and caught him with a volley of shots with the ref Shaun Messer jumping in and stopped the contest with one minute 29 seconds of the first round gone.


Kelly wins first round stoppage Fight seven saw Kieron Conway take on Gino Kanters in a four rounder in the Middleweight division. This was a hard fought fight for Conway with him on my card winning the first round losing the second winning the third and the forth a draw. Conway showed great will and determination but you had to give Kanters his dues as he made Conway work for the win. I had the result 39- 38 Conway, the ref had it a bit different with Conway not losing a round with a 40-37 victory.

Fight 7 Scott Fitzgerald v Craig Morris 11.1. 10x3. 10.13 Super welterweight Even start to the first round with both fighters getting some good shots off, Fitzgerald stepped it up in the later part of the round to win it. Morris was boxing well in the second but Fitzgerald's class was starting to tell with him getting some nice combinations off with some heavy shots. In the third Morris started the round strong pushing Fitzgerald back and getting some nice combinations off. Fitzgerald came back with good shots of his own but this was Morris round. Round four saw Fitzgerald start the round strong but Morris came back with some great shots of his own, have to give this one to Morris. The fifth was a back and forth round with both fighters getting good shots off, could not split them. Another great round with Fitzgerald catching Morris with a straight right on a number of occasions, Morris took them well and came back with nice combinations knocking Fitzgerald's gumshield out, close round but Fitzgerald just nicked it. The seventh was another good round with both fighters giving it there all, another round where I could not split them. Round eight was another close round but Fitzgerald just nicked the round with the more eye catching shots. In the ninth Morris kept the pressure on all the way though the round, Fitzgerald banged in some heavy shots but Morris took them and came back with shots of his own. In the tenth and final round Morris pressed hard and was looking like he would finish strong. Fitzgerald countered well with some nice body shots and uppercuts, Morris contiuned to press but was then caught with a big left hand which put him down with the ref waving the fight over with 2 minutes 13 seconds of the round gone. Result Fitzgerald wins tenth round stoppage Fight number 8 was Lewis Ritson against Oscar Amador in a fight schedule for 8 rounds, Ritson controlled the first two round with great movement and combinations. The end came in 36 seconds of the third round when Ritson caught Amador with a nice left hook followed by a jab, Ritson then got off two more hooks before Amador went down and the ref stopped the fight. Fight 9 British Middleweight Title Jason Welborn v Tommy Langford 12x3

Langford kept it long in the first round and was throwing some nice combinations, Welborn was trying to get close but Langford would just tie him up until the ref broke them. Welborn caught Langford with a nice hook near the end of the round which put the challenger down. Langford took the count got to his feet and saw the round out. Langford got back to boxing in the second and moved well around the ring, Welborn teed off with some heavy shots but Langford had this round. In the third both fighters got great shots off at the start with this fight looking like it was going to be as good as the first. Langford was then caught with a cracking right hook to the jaw which put him down for a second time. Langford got to his feet but still looked dazed, Welborn then hunted him down looking for the finish, Langford some how saw out the round.

Langford still looked shaken at the start of the forth but boxed behind his jab well, every time Welborn moved in he looked dangerous a tough round to call. In the fifth Welborn started strong and got some cracking shots in, Langford fought back hard but was getting caught with straight rights which opened a cut above his left eye. Round six was Langford’s best round so far, everything started off the jab with great one, twos and combinations. Welborn still got some good shots off but Langford won this round. The seventh was another good round for Langford as he moved well around the ring and kept it long. Welborn continued to hunt Langford down but Langford had this round. Welborn had seemed to have lost a step in the eighth as Langford started to take control of the fight. Welborn was still dangerous but Langford had won this round with ease. Langford started the ninth round well and was in control, Welborn came back in the middle part of the round opening Langford’s eye again. Langford hung tough and came back with shots of his own with Welborn finishing the round strong. When Langford boxed and kept it long he was in control of the round, he managed to do this for most of the tenth but Welborn was still catching him with heavy shots. Round eleven was a back and fourth round with both fighters feeling the pace of a great fight. Welborn caught Langford with some heavy shots but he took them well and came back with good shots of his own. In the final round both fighter came out banging, Welborn got the better of the exchanges and looked like he may put Langford down again. Langford weathered the onslaught and came back with shots of his own to end a great final round and a fantastic fight.


Dexter – 115 – 115 Judges 114-113 Langford 114-113 Welborn 115-114 Welborn Welborn wins on Split decision Fight 10 Sam Eggington v Hussain Mwakinyo 10x3 Super welterweight

Eggington controlled the first round pushing his opponent to the ropes and banging in his trade mark body shots. Mwakinyo got some shots off but Eggington was in control, near the end of the round Mwakinyo caught the Savage with a cracking right hook which you could see hurt him. Eggington then dropped his hands and just moved his head to avoid Mwakinyo punches. Eggington was caught a few times while doing this before the bell went to end the round. In the second Eggington came out strong and seemed to have got back to his boxing, Mwakinyo had grown in conference after the end of the first round and went at Eggington. Mwakinyo then caught Eggington with a cracking right hand which Eggington took but then the Savage dropped his hands again and took a number of lefts and right hooks before the ref jumped in and stopped the fight with only one minute and nine seconds of the second round gone. Results

Mwakinyo wins second round stoppage

In the main event Bolton’s Amir Khan took on Samuel Vargas in a 12 round match. Khan started well showing his trade mark fast hands and some great movement, he had Vargas over in the second with a cracking combination and it looked like it was going to be a early night. Vargas beat the count and survived Khan barrage of attacks and then shocked the screaming Khan fans by catching Khan with a lovely right hand putting Khan down. Khan got to his feet and the bell went to end the round. Khan also put Vargas down in the third with a right hand that seemed to catch Vargas near the back of his head, the ref counted him and he got up to continue the fight.

Rounds four, five and six were all Khan’s as he displayed what had made him a world champion. In round seven and eight Vargas came back into it making Khan work and having to take some good shots. Round nine was Khan’s but in round ten Vargas got some good shots off, Khan did take control of the round but was rocked by a big left hook by Vargas near the end of the round. Rounds eleven and Twelve were all Khan’s, he looked for a grandstand finish in the final round but Vargas was determined to see the final bell. Khan won a unanimous decision with the judges scoring it 119-109, 119-109 and 118-110. Dexter’s Thoughts

What a great show with some of Matchroom’s cream of the crop on display but it was the Midlands lads that made this such a great show. My thoughts will be mostly on the Midlands boxers as they were the reason the column was there. We start with the Birmingham Boxing Column’s Boxer to Watch Shakan Pitters, Pitters put on a short but great display of what he can do winning his seventh fight against a fighter taller than him and notching up his second stoppage in a row. Pitters is entering the Ultimate fighter on November 2nd at the O2 arena London at light heavyweight and in true Eastside mentality he is going to risking his unbeaten record for the chance to win a share of the £50,000 prize money. I have every faith in Shaken doing the business and winning all 3 fights over 3 x 3 minute rounds to win the ultimate fighter robe and retain his unbeaten record. Gamal Yafia showed his class tonight stopping his opponent in the seventh with only his left hand. Gamal is back on track now and with Matchroom behind him I can see big thing coming soon for the Birmingham Boxer. I have to show great respect to Ludlow’s Craig Morris who took on Matchroom’s Scott Fitzgerald in a ten rounder. He push the highly rated Fitzgerald all the way and it would have been interesting to see the cards as I had it close going into the final round. Fair play to Fitzgerald for pulling it out the bag and getting the stoppage in the last round but Morris really impressed me and showed he is on the same level as the best in the super welterweight weight division in Britain. Big respect to Ryan Kelly for his early stoppage of the dangerous Kelcie Ball, I think a lot of people myself included were surprised how quickly this highly appreciated fight ended. Kelly showed his class catching Ball cold and not letting him off the hook, Kelly is now looking to drop to welterweight and take on the best in that division and the column looks forward to following Kelly’s career. It was a bad day at the office for Ball who just got caught cold with a good shot at the start of the fight. This is his first defeat and it could be the making of him if he learns from the experience, I hope to see Kelcie back at Smoking Joe’s very soon after he has a well deserved rest. The British title fight lived up to its hype with Welborn and Langford repeating thier brilliant first encounter with a amazing second fight. Welborn got the nod on a split decision myself I had this one even at the end 115-115 but like the first fight it was a pick um. It was another close encounter but if you get put down twice in a fight you have got a mountain to climb. Welborn can now move on and start looking to make his next defence in his quest to win the Lonsdale belt out right. I do hope that Langford keeps on going as he may have lost two in a row but he is a very talented boxer who can still compete at the highest level. With that said I would just like to congratulate both fighters for contesting two great fights which could both be up there for fight of the year. I was gutted to for Sam Eggington in his defeat against Mwakinyo, I was expecting a early finish but with Eggington doing the finishing. I know Eggington has did the hand drop in the passed notable against Paulie Malignaggi but this time it went horribly wrong. The rumours were that Eggington's next fight was going to be a big one in Las Vegas and maybe he over looked Mwakinyo which I have to admit I was already looking for Eggington's next fight. Sam is still a young man and has rose through the ranks quickly, he has a good few years still in the boxing game and I have no doubt with the Eastside team behind him he will get to fight on the big stage again and contest a world title in the future. Finally Amir Khan, he showed fast hands and that he can still do 12 rounds at a high level. He also showed that he can still be put down if he is caught. The talk is of him fighting Kell Brook which will be a good fight, the way I see it if Khan can keep it at a distance he wins but if Brook catches him with anything decent Brook wins.

The Birmingham boxing Column would like to thank Matchroom Boxing for having us there.

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