Fight Camp save the best ’til last

Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing’s Fight Camp series concluded on Saturday night, with an action-packed card involving title fights and plenty of drama. Jamie Mcintosh breaks down the action of Fight Camp’s final weekend – for now.

Eddie Hearn’s Fight Camp events concluded on Saturday night with an excellent pay per view card broadcast live by Sky Sports with the uncommon setting of Eddie Hearn’s childhood back garden.

Hearn deserves credit for getting his business up and running post lockdown and bringing Boxing fans competitive Boxing for four consecutive weeks.

Fight Camp was a huge success in my eyes and I hope it is something that he may choose to try again in the near future.

The Repeat – Taylor defeats Persoon on points for the second time in her career

Ireland’s Katie Taylor successfully defended her four world lightweight titles on Saturday night in the garden of Matchroom Boxing’s headquarters.

Katie Taylor (right) came out as the unanimous victor across the judges scorecards, as she claimed her second win against Delfine Persoon (left).

After being drawn into a slugfest by Persoon in the previous fight 14 months ago, Taylor knew she had to box stylishly and keep on the move in order to keep her distance to the free-throwing Belgian.

In the first two rounds, Taylor did exactly what she had to do. She showed she was clearly the better technical fighter of the two – something that the majority of boxing fans will have known anyway. She boxed and moved early on, jabbing away at Persoon who was struggling to land a punch on the Irish fighter.

Taylor looked to be in for an easy night. However, Persoon came firing back with a rather unorthodox style of boxing. She threw a lot of punches and seemed to miss Taylor with the majority of them, however her awkward style was causing problems for Taylor and she began to get the upper hand.

Persoon – a policewoman in her homeland – continued to come forward, trying to entice Taylor into a scrap. The Irishwoman wasn’t fazed however, as she continued to box on the move, snapping back Persoon’s head consistently with her jab.

After being hard done by in their previous fight, Persoon possibly felt she needed to knock Taylor out in order to get the victory away from home. This showed as she continued to come forward and try to engage at close range with Taylor, who continued to outbox the Belgian. who now looked battered and bruised.

Despite keeping Persoon at bay, there was concern in the Taylor corner due to a rather large bump on their fighter’s forehead, caused by a clash of heads. Other than that however, Taylor didn’t really look as if she’d been hit too many times compared to her opponent.

It is always hard fighting away from home and when the final bell sounded the writing was on the wall for Persoon. The outcome was unanimously in Taylor’s favour. The 98-93 scoreline from one of the judges was harsh on the Belgian but the other two, which read 96-94, matched my own.

Simply put, Taylor was just classier. When it comes to the judges’ scorecards, every one has their own preferred style of boxing. All three it seems preferred Taylor’s quieter and more accurate approach to Persoon’s high volume of largely inaccurate punches. That’s now two fights between the pair, with both resulting in Taylor victories. I would be surprised if we saw a third fight.

After the fight Taylor explained that  “You can’t relax against Delfine because she attacks all the time, it was such a tough fight and we’ve had two amazing fights for women’s boxing but it was more convincing this time.”

Persoon accepted the decision this time around having felt aggrieved 14 months ago “I think I broke my nose in the second round but I give respect to Katie – she deserves to win,” said the 35-year-old.

The Next Rocky Script? – Whyte’s world title shot disappears as 40-year-old Povetkin shows he’s not done yet

The final fight of the Fight Camp series was like something out of a Rocky film! After being battered from pillar to post, 40-year-old Russian Alexander Povetkin produced a huge uppercut to knock out Dillian Whyte before he hit the canvas.

Despite taking a beating and dropping to the canvas twice himself, Alexander Povetkin (right) delivered a vicious uppercut to the chin of Dillian Whyte (left), ending his hopes of a shot at the world title.

Povetkin himself had been on the canvas twice in the previous round, before producing one of the most brutal knockouts you’ll ever see. Whyte was treated by paramedics in the ring for what seemed like an eternity before thankfully being able to walk away unassisted.

Coming into the fight, all the talk was about the Brixton born Whyte. Povetkin was the last hurdle between Whyte and a world title shot, possibly against fellow Brit Tyson Fury. However, Povetkin shattered those dreams whilst simultaneously throwing himself back into the circle of heavyweight boxing’s elite.

After a cagey opening round, Whyte seemed to be in cruise control, he found his range very early on in the 2nd, boxing behind his jab and hammering in body shots which really seemed to hurt the Russian. Povetkin – who came into the fight weighing his career lightest (16st) – seemed to succumb to the pain in the 4th round, going down in the opening 30 seconds.

Under former trainer Mark Tibbs, Whyte typically would have jumped on his opponent at this stage, especially with so long left in the round. However under new trainer Xavier Miller, he was more patient, again getting behind the jab and continuing to target Povetkin’s ribs.

With a matter of seconds remaining in the 4th round, Povetkin again hit the canvas. This time however, if he got to his feet the bell would save him, and he did. After four rounds, Povetkin had barely troubled Whyte who, like everyone else watching, must’ve expected the 40-year-old Russian to really struggle in the next round or two.

What do we know, though…

In the opening 30 seconds of the 5th round, Povetkin managed to fake his way inside Dillian Whyte’s left hand and sent a thunderous upper cut right on to the chin of the Brit. When watching the replay you could see Whyte was unconscious well before he hit the canvas. Whyte received medical attention in the ring for the following few minutes before getting to his feet.

I would go as far as saying it’s one of the best comeback victories I’ve seen in boxing and considering how the fight was going, I’d say after the first four rounds, it’s one of the biggest shocks in sporting history. Povetkin looked like he had nothing left and at the age of 40, you couldn’t blame him.

However, that’s heavyweight boxing and as long as you still have an opponent standing in front of you with one punch power like Povetkin, you’re never home and dry.

As far as heavyweight boxing goes, it probably wasn’t the best result for the division itself – considering Povetkin’s age, you do have to wonder how much of a chance he actually has of beating Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua, compared to the younger Dillian Whyte. It’s also worth noting that if Povetkin had lost to Whyte, he probably would have retired.

It was a crazy fight – after the first four rounds, 999 times out of 1,000 Dillian Whyte goes on to win that fight with considerable ease. In heavyweight boxing however it only takes one punch to change the fight, as Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn alluded to in his post fight comments.

Hearn went on to reveal that there is a rematch clause in the contract and he hopes to have that taking place before the end of the year.

As for Povetkin he admitted it was “probably” the best knockout of his career. Talk about putting it lightly.

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