Boxing: Five things we learned from McDonnell v Kameda II and more
Last Updated: 07/09/15 6:49am
It was a busy weekend of boxing with Jamie McDonnell outworking Tomoki Kameda and Josh Warrington progressing. What did we learn?
Doncaster's McDonnell improved again to dictate his rematch with the Japanese challenger and retain his WBA bantamweight title, while Warrington took another step towards facing Lee Selby for the IBF featherweight crown by disposing of Joel Brunker.
Tony Bellew, Martin Murray and Isaac Lowe also recorded victories. Let's reflect on the main talking points from an eventful few days...
Mac in business
Jamie McDonnell cemented his status as a world champion with a resounding points victory over Tomoki Kameda in a rematch of their bout in May - and he did so in some style.
Having been dropped by the previously-unbeaten Japanese in the third round of May's first clash, some felt McDonnell had made a poor decision by returning to Texas for a rematch. They were proved wrong as the Doncaster fighter clinically executed Dave Coldwell's game plan, which involved making use of his five-inch reach advantage.
The nature of the victory, which included a final round knockdown, puts McDonnell in line for some huge fights in the future. Whether he goes for a unification bout at bantamweight or steps up to super-bantamweight to face the likes of Scott Quigg, the future promises much for him.
Bomber gearing up
It took five rounds and a lot of patience, but Tony Bellew kept himself busy with a stoppage win over Arturs Kulikauskis. It was Bellew's second fight since beating Nathan Cleverly last November and he followed up June's last-round victory over Ivica Bacurin with another step towards a world title tilt.
The awkward Latvian was better than his 16-27-5-KO8 record suggested and did an excellent job of surviving some heavy weather from 'Bomber.' Bellew's left hook was the key punch - he shook the visitor several times and when referee Steve Gray stopped it, it was another sweet left that had kicked off Kulikauskis' demise.
Eddie Hearn said afterwards the Liverpudlian will take on the winner of October's IBF world cruiserweight title clash between Yoan Pablo Hernandez and Victor Ramirez and while he may need a higher level of opponent to prepare himself for his big shot, Bellew will be pleased to have put some rounds in the bank against Kulikauskis.
Murray in a hurry
Martin Murray knocked down Jose Miguel Torres seven times on his way to a fifth-round TKO - needing two rounds fewer than world middleweight champion David Lemieux took to halt the Colombian.
With Murray hoping to secure a shot at a world title up at super-middleweight, mentioning the likes of Fedor Chudinov, Frank Buglioni and Arthur Abraham in the lead up to this bout, the St Helens fighter knew a ruthless display in Leeds was in order.
He produced it too, and is looking more and more comfortable with the physical adjustment to his new division. Torres landed a few shots of his own but was simply overpowered by the former world title challenger, who went about his business with customary calm and efficiency.
It's a packed division both domestically and on the world scene, but Murray is establishing himself.
Lowe on a high
He is 21 years of age, unbeaten, is building up a decent following and had Tyson Fury in his entourage. The future is looking bright for Isaac Lowe, who secured the English featherweight title by stopping Jamie Speight in the penultimate round.
After some aggro at the weigh-in, the Lancastrian was out of the blocks quickly when the opening bell sounded and produced a sweet uppercut and a lovely left hook to secure the first session. His superior speed continued to help dictate the exchanges and he showed nous beyond his years by standing off to create workspace.
Sky Sports commentator and pundit Jim Watt hailed Lowe as 'one to watch in the future' after seeing him fight for the first time and it was certainly tough to argue after he secured his first title with a stylish finish. We're going to be hearing a lot more from him.
On the Warr path
This one went to script, but is it enough to secure that dream world title shot at IBF world featherweight champion Lee Selby? That remains to be seen.
Warrington boxed well and utilised some slick movement to negate Brunker's come-forward style. The Australian was predictably willing and eager to cancel out November's defeat to Selby but was up against an assured Warrington, who paced the fight carefully and had his man in trouble in the 11th.
So, we learned that Warrington is worthy, skills-wise - but with someone like Selby highly skilled at boxing and big for a featherweight, does the Leeds man possess the power to really trouble top-class fighters like the Welshman?