(CEO/Publisher Note: Donald Stewart is our newest Feature Writer at RSR and we welcome him aboard.)
If Glasgow came to a standstill every time there was a fight no traffic would move. The alleged murder capital of Europe, Glasgow has a reputation for valuing little guys who can scrap and scrap well. From Benny Lynch onwards we have always lauded a guy who could beat up the best of them. Glasgow likes to see them fight and a came out in numbers at Glasgow’s Braehead Arena to see a World Championship fight that kept a belt in Scotland.
In September 2010, to the surprise of the World, we revealed yet another great boxer in Coatbridge’s Ricky Burns. Burns, 27, impressed with a points victory over the WBO Super Featherweight Champion and undefeated Roman Martinez. He took yet another little guy’s World Belt to Scotland. For his first defense Burns chose to take on the Colombian Viking (No – I don’t truly get it either) who ended up boxing from a country – Norway – in which the sport is banned (Like that makes any sense…). Andreas Evensen has therefore had to travel to fight whenever he wished to pursue his career. The reporting of the fight shall, however go down as a lot easier than the fight itself as the headlines were ready to be written, but Evensen was far from ready to be written off.
Evensen, 13-2, 5 KO’s entered the ring with many thinking this would be a functional defense, but let’s think again – Colombian Viking, unable to fight at home – Evensen had clearly came across to Glasgow to make Scots think again! Burns, 30-2, 7 KO’s had Evensen on the canvas in the first ten seconds with what appeared a strike above his ears and whilst it got the crowd up on its feet, many ringside realized it was more luck than skill. Evensen was to rise to recover quickly and increase his work rate realizing that this may be his last opportunity to fight for a World title.
Evensen, the WBO Intercontinental Featherweight Champion, then spent the next four rounds providing awkward and effective opposition to Burns’ desire to keep his crown. A right and left combination in the fifth rocked Evensen and the Scot started to make both his height advantage and better work rate pay. After a fairly non eventful rounds six and seven another onslaught from Burns would have felled a lesser man, but Evensen proved to be equal to the task. Burns withstood Evensen’s stubbornness as well as surviving his corner’s ear bashing at the end of the tenth before launching into an eleventh round that was clearly a response to taking the row from his trainer. Evensen was far from finished and came storming back in the twelfth managing to force the fight right through to the end with Burns failing to knock him out and clearly suffering form second fight syndrome – like a second album, but with more fights involved!
Glasgow’s appreciation of good fighters, whilst patriotic also gives credit to visitors and at the end of the bout Glasgow rose to applaud both fighters. Fortunately, with the result going to Burns Glasgow was magnanimous rather than plain daft to do so! Whilst Evensen had provided a stiff test it was Burns, with a higher work rate and crucially better quality punches, who won. The judges scored it 119-108, 119-108 and 118-109 all in Burns’ favor.
The Burns’ fight was not the only scrap to attract fans out in the cold with an under card that included yet another Scots’ super featherweight prospect in Paul Appleby. 16-2, 11 KO’s fighting for the vacant WBO Intercontinental Title, he faced Ghana’s Joseph Laryea, 14-4, 11 KO’s. Appleby was tipped to waltz through and set up a Scottish super fight against Burns next year. He would have been better at the dancing as Appleby, with one eye allegedly on that fight, apparently didn’t even see video footage of his opponent. The result was a fairly one sided affair that Appleby claimed was his, an Eastern European judge agreed with him, but apart from the two of them no one else had drunk the liquid that lead to that crazy delusion and Appleby – cut eye and all – is off to lick his wounds and learn a very sore lesson.
Also on the under card former WBO Super Featherweight Champion from Edinburgh, Alex Arthur, 29-3, 20 KO’s returned to winning ways beating Joy Morris, 13-17-1, 4 KO’s on points. Arthur has been out the ring for long enough to show definite signs of rust. If he is to return to the level he claims to wish then he needs to be much busier than he proved against Morris.
An interesting spectator was Prince Naseem Hamed. There to support yet another fighter on the bill, Scotland’s Commonwealth Gold Medallist Callum Johnson, 1-0, 1 KO in his professional debut, Prince Naseem was full of praise for his protégé who stopped Belfast’s Philip Townley, 1-6, 0 KO’s in a Light Heavyweight bout.
All in all a decent night’s boxing with Scotland putting on a show through Frank Warren’s promotion that served as a decent entree for the GB v the World extravaganza on December 11th. All on the same night as Amir Khan heads through the ropes for his latest defense and Derek “Del Boy” Chisora takes on a Klitchsko (Wladimir flavor). Will the UK reign supreme after all that we wonder…