Boxing - Cardiff undercard - Jenkins, Cook & Co make Wales proud

Matchroom Boxing's Motorpoint Arena show on Saturday provided everything that makes boxing great – drama, tension, action and bucket-loads of heart. While the main events grab the headlines, this show had competitive bouts throughout, and that's a credit to the boxers, promoter and matchmaker.


Light-welterweight Chris Jenkins scored a unanimous decision over ten rounds for the vacant WBC International light welterweight title against the tough, durable, former French champion Christopher Sebire.

Jenkins put on a well-rounded, consistent display to win the rounds. Using advantages in speed and timing, he boxed beautifully with everything flowing from the left hand. The jab and hooks to the body being well-placed.

Sebire, to his credit, kept coming but was always a step behind the boxer from Garnant, Wales. Jenkins was badly cut around the left ear in the eighth, but didn't lose composure and stuck to his game-plan.

The judges scores were 100-90 (twice) and 100-91. Jenkins was a clear winner against a game opponent, and remains unbeaten at 13-0, while Sebire drops to 22-7.

Olympic Gold medalist Anthony Joshua entered into his bout with Aberdare's Dorian Darch as a massive favourite, and the huge heavyweight proved the odds makers right with an impressive display of power to register a second round stoppage. Joshua showed a powerful left jab and good movement when Darch launched an attack.

Darch did get through with a right-hand that caught the Watford fighters attention, but two straight-rights near the end of the first sent Darch shakily back to the ropes, and Joshua didn't hesitate to follow-up with a barrage. Credit to Darch, he fired back but was buzzed.

Damage was evident above the Welshman's right eye and the right-hand was finding home again for Joshua in the second. A left hook had Darch stumbling to the ropes, and referee Terry O'Connor wisely stepped in and called a halt to the bout. Joshua is now 4-0, while Darch drops to 7-3.

The closing bout of the evening was the much anticipated battle between Jason Cook and Tony Pace in a contest for the vacant BBBofC Celtic welterweight title. The fight was evenly fought with Cook taking the opener, but Pace coming back and winning the next two. Cook had the edge in power, but Pace was responding well and replying to Jason's attacks.

Pace was boxing a smart fight and picking his moments, though ultimately it was the vastly more experienced Cook who timed a perfect right-hand in the fourth that badly shook Pace. Referee John Keane stopped the contest at 1.29 to save Pace from the follow-up. Cook' record now reads 30-5-1, while Tony Pace falls to 4-7.

Jason 'The Power' Cook certainly lived up-to his nickname and if this was his final fight, he has gone out on a high. Though one suspects the crowd buzz and big occasion might tempt him back for the next Welsh Matchroom show in May. Whatever he decides, he has been a fantastic servant to the game. The Celtic title he won against Pace will sit nicely along with the many other belts that he has won including the IBO and European lightweight titles.

Dale Evans and Erick Ochieng provided the fans with an intriguing welterweight battle. The fight had originally been scheduled for the ExCel Arena in London back in December but was pulled due to the show running on too long.

The fight was well worth the wait. Both had moments of control - it was the Welshman that started the better, landing two solid right hands to Ochieng's body in the first. In the early rounds, Evans employed a fine left jab and was landing the harder shots.

The fourth saw a solid body attack from Evans while Ochieng was getting in good counters. I gave Ochieng the fifth, as he had found his rhythm and was getting home with some solid right hands.

Evans was back on top in the sixth due to his impressive body punching. The seventh almost turned the fight in Ochieng's favour. He had a big round, landing right-hands which had the Welshman in a bit of bother, with referee Clarke Joslyn taking a close look at the fighter. Credit to Evans for weathering the storm and even coming back strongly in the final round. Joslyn had Dale Evans as the winner with a score of 77-76. Evans record improves to 8-1-1 while the loss drops Ochieng to 14-3.

In the opening contest, Reading based welterweight Tamuka Mucha scored a good six rounds points victory, over a competitive Leon Findlay, of Swansea. Mucha had the edge in accuracy and was the busier fighter. Findlay had some good moments and landed good straight rights and body shots, but Tamuka often had a reply. In particular Mucha's left jab was effective and he opened the bout strongly and finished the fight the same way. Leon was cut, over the left, in the third.

Referee Reece Carter scored it 60-56 and I had it exactly the same. Tamuka Mucha remains undefeated 7-0 while Leon Findlay is now 5-5-1.

Swansea's Tobias Webb overcame an early scare when he was dropped at the end of the first round against Nathan King of Mountain Ash. Webb beat referee Martin Williams count, and was fine to continue - the knock-down certainly caught everyone by surprise, not least the fighter.

King is a tough, battling professional who always remains dangerous but on this night, it was the classier skills and movement of Webb that were winning the rounds - he landed solid left jabs and the sharper shots through-out. King was cut over the left eye in the fourth and was being picked off.

The final round saw good exchanges between the pair. Mr Williams score of 60-56 was spot-on. Tobias Webb improves to 14-1-1 while Nathan King drops to 13-21.

The much more experienced Kerry Hope got a good work-out from Northern Ireland's Paul Moffett in a six round super middleweight contest. Southpaw Hope was quicker to the punch and used the left jab to great effect. Moffett had a strong third round, but in the fourth was hurt by a straight left and later another left caused blood to stream from his nose.

Moffett put up a good display and his body punching was impressive - he didn't fight like someone having only their fifth paid contest, but former European middleweight title holder Hope used his experience and good boxing skills to win the rounds. Everything flows from his southpaw jab and combined with decent speed, he was always one-step ahead of the plucky Moffett.

Referee Reece Carter had it close at 59-58 for Kerry Hope. I had it wider for the Merthyr Tydfil native at 59-55. Hope is back to winning ways and improves to 20-6 while Paul Moffett suffers his first defeat and is now 4-1-1.

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