Conquest captures Commonwealth title

23/02/2014 11:39

Romford’s Tony Conquest (13-1) bagged the Commonwealth title with a wide points decision over Australian Daniel Ammann (29-6-1) at a packed York Hall last night.

Conquest started fairly brightly, and was tentative but busier in the early rounds without presenting Ammann, the bookies favourite, with too many openings. Conquest found Ammann fairly easy to hit as the Aussie stood square on, but perhaps lacked the power to force an early stoppage and was caught with the occasional counter-shot by the bigger man. This was a slight worry, bearing in mind Conquest’s three knockdowns in his last three fights, but Amman lacked accuracy and was beaten to the punch in the main by Conquest’s much faster hands.

The rounds were being edged by Conquest on work rate until he went on to dominate in the eighth, wobbling Ammann with several right hands. Little came back, and by the end of the ninth the Australian was in need of knockdowns. He had a better tenth, landing a right that had Conquest briefly holding on, but the Romford cruiser corrected himself.

An accidental head clash in a close eleventh had blood pouring from Ammann’s face, but after Richie Davies beckoned the doctor over, he was deemed OK to continue and made the final round competitive. Conquest got the decision by scores of 118-110 (Ian John Lewis), 118-110 (Mark Green) and 120-109 (Jeff Hinds).

Conquest will now be at the front of the queue for a shot at the British title, which is to be contested by Jon Lewis Dickinson and Conquest’s conqueror Neil Dawson on March 29 in Newcastle. On the same night, English champion Matty Askin defends his English title against Crayford’s Menay Edwards. With Wadi Camacho and Stephen Simmons due to meet at some point, the domestic cruiserweight division, it still seems, is anyones. It will get fascinating should Nathan Cleverly or Tony Bellew decide to get involved at the weight, but don’t hold your breath.

A short notice fight cropped up for Chris Eubank Jnr (13-0), who was making his first appearance  at the York Hall, against Huddersfield’s Alistair Warren (8-6-3).

With his Dad still insisting on a fair slice of the limelight, Eubank Jnr has adopted many of his traits, helping to sell himself as the man people love to hate. Judging by the crowd's mixed reaction to his appearance, this seems to be working.

A fast start from Eubank saw Warren eat a couple of solid rights towards the end of the first, but the Huddersfield fighter had actually hustled his way into it in the second round with soke successful close range counters. Until Eubank Jnr flicked the switch, that is. He has a full compliment of punches in his arsenal, including a practiced, close range uppercut that took out Frankie Borg in November last year. When he really lets his hands go, it flows beautifully, and is joy to watch.

Warren was game, but like his father, Eubank Jnr is more than happy to get involved in a tear up, and nearly finished it at the end of the second. It seemed Eubank could turn the tap on pretty much whenever he liked, and after a damaging third round in which Warren saw the canvas, his corner wisely pulled him out.

This was Eubank Jnr’s sixth consecutive stoppage. Now he needs a real challenge. A move to secure his services by BoxNation could potentially set up a British title clash with Hatfield champion Billy Joe Saunders, who wasn’t in attendance at the York Hall.

After the fight, Eubank Jnr told a rosy cheeked, high definition Steve Bunce: “I didn’t come here to make waves, I came to cause a hurricane, and that’s just the beginning. I’ve still got a lot to learn. I’m not the full gun, but I’ve got some big bullets.”

Back in September, Mitchell Smith’s Southern Area title win over Scott Moises was a close run affair. Returning from a hand injury, the ‘Baby Faced Assassin’ had plenty of support at the York Hall for an eight rounder against Holyhead’s Mark Evans (9-1-1). Smith (8-0) was dominant and took the opener, but was sometimes off target as Evans did his best to keep him on the back foot.

Smith placed several well timed, snappy shots that bludgeoned Evans to the canvas early in the second round. Smith was frantic, and launched a right hand over the top that sent Evans, and himself, down. Jeff Hinds, maybe prematurely, waved it off at 1.31 to protests from Evans. Smith looks the part, handing Evans his first reverse, but as his trainer Jason Rowlands said afterwards, he needs to be kept busy otherwise his attention wanders.

Middlesbrough’s Josh Leather (3-0) edged forwards with a points win over 40 year old Brummie Jason Nesbitt (9-169-4). Fought over six two minute rounds, Leather was busy and peppered Nesbitt’s gloves with shots throughout. Referee Bob Williams scored 60-54 for Leather.

Gary Corcoran (8-0) took his first eight rounder against Exeter southpaw Faheem Khan (5-3-2) and wasn’t in the mood for overtime. He was clumsy to start with, lunging in and getting caught with Khan’s left hand, but he found rhythm at the end of the first to put Khan in serious trouble.

Two left hooks to the body put Khan down in the second round, and he ate a couple of rights before slumping to the canvas again. Jeff Hinds waved it off to protests at 1.37, but Khan wouldn’t have lasted much longer. Wembley based traveller Corcoran looks explosive.

Chingford’s Tom Baker (7-0) took a six round outing against Harry ‘Pocklington Rocket’ Matthews (12-12-1) and despite tagging him quite heavily in the opener, Baker wasn’t able to push the game Leeds fighter back for very long. After the third, Baker settled down to box, which suited Matthews. Jeff Hinds scores 59-55 for Baker.

Earlier on the bill, Enfield’s Chris Evangelou recorded his first win since 2011 in a four rounder with Trowbridge’s Dann Carr, Epsom middleweight JM Coyle outpointed busy Brummie Max Maxwell over six rounds, and Dagenham super feather Ediz Hussein edged a close four rounder with Dewsbury-based Syrian Youssef Al Hamidi. Belfast debutant Conrad Cummings got off to a winning start over four rounds against Latvian Andrejs Loginovs, despite having a point deducted for a southbound shot.