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  • Writer's pictureDexter Hastings

Battling performance by Wilson-Bent

Updated: Apr 5, 2023

Coventry’s River Wilson-Bent rolled the dice when he took on the unbeaten American hot prospect Austin Williams on the undercard of the Joshua against Franklin (1.4.23). Wilson-Bent's contest was kicking off the main Matchroom show which was being streamed live on DAZN. Williams is 25 and is unbeaten in 13 contests with Wilson-Bent (29) having won 14 and drew one out of 17 contests. The fight was in the Middleweight division with both fighters coming in 11 stone 8 with Howard Foster Reffing.

Cagey first round as both fighters took a look at each other nothing really in it. Wilson-Bent got his jab going in the second and tried to hold the center of the ring, Williams caught Wilson-Bent with some nice southpaw backhands but Wilson-Bent got this round with his pressure. Wilson-Bent came out confident in the third as he moved well shooting out his jab, Williams got some nice backhands in but Wilson-Bent landed some nice ones of his own to win the round. Williams just seemed to be looking for a big left hand as Wilson-Bent continued to box well getting good combinations off, Wilson-Bent sustained a cut above his right eye after a clash of heads but still finished the round strong.

Williams came out in the fifth very aggressive but he was still just looking for that big shot to end it, Wilson-Bent stuck to his boxing and got some nice combinations off but I would have to give this round to Williams who just edged it. Great left hands by Williams right at the start of the sixth round that Wilson-Bent took well, scrappy round with Williams now starting to work the body well but Wilson-Bent ended the round strong to win it. Williams came out fast in the seventh and caught Wilson-Bent with the big left hand he had been looking for all night. Wilson-Bent went down, he got to his feet and earned a few extra seconds to recover by spitting out his gum shield. When the round continued Wilson-Bent had to weather Williams attacks for over two minutes with him showing a lot of heart to see the end of the round. Wilson-Bent came out in the eighth but did not look like he had recovered from the last round, Williams looked for a big finish and Wilson-Bent held in there backing away as Williams piled forward with Wilson-Bent's corner throwing the towel in 1 minute 1 second into the eighth round.

Dexter’s Thoughts

Gutted for River but he can take an awful lot from this encounter with a fighter who is being tipped for big things in America. Wilson-Bent stuck to the plan that he and his team had chosen and it was working as he was well up on my card. But Williams who is ranked in the top 15 in the world in two of the big governing bodies rankings was confident that if he landed his backhand he would get Wilson-Bent out of there, and unfortunately, he was right. Wilson-Bent showed loads of heart and a lot of pride to carry on after he had been dropped and his team got it right pulling him out of there when they did. He can now regroup and come again and talk with his team and see what they want to do next. The cut looked pretty bad so Wilson-Bent may have to take a few months off but I look forward to seeing him back in the ring hopefully again this year.


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