Bomber Bellew Blasts McIntosh in Successful Title Defence

29-year-old Liverpool fighter Tony Bellew retained his British light-heavyweight title on Friday night in front of a far less than capacity crowd at the ECHO Arena against a former European champion in Danny McIntosh of Norwich.

Bellew had been widely criticised ahead of this fight for – some would say – being overly vocal, but the man from Wavertree was cool, calm and collected as he took part in the pre-fight press conference without the attendance of his opponent last Wednesday afternoon.

Both weighed in under the twelve stone seven light heavyweight limit; Bomber tipped the scales at twelve stone six pounds and eight ounces – the lighter of the two fighters – as Danny “Big Mac” McIntosh weighed in just two ounces heavier than the defending champion.

Ahead of the fight – unlike in Bellew’s last outing against WBO world light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly – there was enormous respect between the two men – despite the absence of the challenger at Wednesday’s press conference.

Bomber – three years McIntosh’s junior – said at his Sky Sports presser: “I don’t eat Big Macs but I’ll make an exception on Friday night – he’s getting chewed up and spat out. The problem is that he’s only coming for the cheque, he may walk off with a big payday but he’ll have a big defeat and a bust up face to show for his night,” but McIntosh had vowed to give Bellew something to think about and cause a massive upset. However, this was not the case as every round went to the Everton fan in a fifth round technical knockout win.

The show at the Arena – The Big Bang – which was jointly promoted by head of Coldwell Boxing, David Coldwell and Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn – proved to be a great night and most definitely lived up to the expectations of the pre-fight billing. It was a card which saw the matchmaking skills of both promoters come to the fore as we witnessed ten bouts of great quality.

The day got off to a terrible start with the announcement that Stephen Jennings’ fight was off through the withdrawal of Mark McKray, Jenko’s third scheduled opponent in what would have been only his eighth professional start. Jenko took to his Twitter page on Friday to tell of his disappointment. He said: “Everyone, my fight tonight is off. I’ve had three opponents pull out. I’m absolutely heartbroken and so sorry.”

Nathan Brough showed us all what we had been missing in the first fight of the night, winning every round in a 60-55 points victory against William Warburton of Atherton in Lancashire in his comeback fight due to hand problems. Brough now has a pro ring record of 7-0-0. The first fight was then quickly followed by Hosea “The Hammer” Burton of Gallagher’s Gym. The Manchester man defeated Poland-born Robert Studzinski. Next we saw a knockout – Andy Colquhoun of the CBF Gym in Liverpool knocked unconscious his opponent Dan Naylor in the final round of their fight at the Arena. Paramedics and doctors were in the ring within seconds to ensure the well-being of Naylor, who in the end – which was good to see – got up and walked to his dressing room despite being somewhat dazed. The next three fights were points victories for Mark Thompson, Scott Cardle in only his second outing and Darren Hamilton. Hamilton, who fought former British lightweight challenger John Watson Jnr. of Liverpool, seemed the more clinical of the two on the night and in my opinion, the referee was right to give the decision to the man fighting out of London via Bristol, simply because there wasn’t enough work rate from Watson. Joe Tonks of Oliver’s in Salford and Quigley’s Gym’s Nick Quigley both managed to add wins to their records on the night, too. There was one draw – that was Matty Clarkson & Jeff Evans.

Come 22:00, when the live broadcasting started, it was time for the talking to stop and the action to begin. Bellew had called McIntosh “Disrespectful” ahead of this fight and Danny McIntosh was out to prove the man from Wavertree wrong. Fortunately for the Liverpool public, it never happened that way, as after five rounds of boxing, the referee called a halt to the fight and said that McIntosh was in no fit state to continue.

Tony went in with the intention of finishing this fight off early – super early. He was in control from the sounding of the first bell to the ding-dong of the last. The Bomber went in looking to load up the big right hand all the time. He landed a few meaningful punches in the openers that seemed to hurt McIntosh. As the Norwich-man knew the fight was getting away from him and Bellew began to take control, he turned on the dirty tactics – removing his gumshield threefold. Then there was even more controversy as – on the third spit of the shield – McIntosh walked back to his corner winking at an attendee in the front row.

Although Bomber hadn’t managed to land the bomb in the first three rounds, he managed to put Big Mac on the seat of his pants in the fourth. He had more joy with it in the fourth and fifth rounds as McIntosh tried his very best to attack but instead left his defence wide open.

The bomb finally came midway through the fifth as Bellew put McIntosh down for the second time. By then, the referee had seen more than enough and waved the fight off. This left a quarter-full ECHO Arena in fits of celebration as Tony’s name rang around the 10,000-seater.

Tony “Bomber” Bellew defeated Danny “Big Mac” McIntosh in the fifth round to successfully defend his British light-heavyweight belt.

In a word: clinical.

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Current Champ Crolla Defeated By Derry

AND THE NEW...

Liverpool’s Derry Mathews snatched the British lightweight title from the grasp of former champion Anthony Crolla on Saturday night after the referee waved the fight off with four seconds remaining in the sixth. The victory ends a two-defeat streak for Mathews – the conquerer of a man who was unbeaten since 2009. The 28-year-old, in his second crack at a magnificent lightweight division, is now the proud holder of that coveted Lonsdale belt.

The build-up was all about Anthony Crolla of Manchester; the majority of fans and pundits all believed the 25-year-old would have been too much for Derry, but it wasn’t to be. Everybody, including Mathews knew this was his last chance – and by jove he took it.

The man nicknamed “Million Dollar,” Anthony Crolla walked out of his dressing room in Oldham Sports Centre to the late Whitney Houston’s “Million Dollar Bill” track, only after the challenger, Derry Mathews walked out of his dressing room and into the ring mouthing the lyrics of his walk out track “Take Care” by Drake & Rihanna.

The first round went according to plan for Crolla as he came out all guns blazing early and went out to end it. Mathews had a very low guard and was getting caught far too often by the snappy jab of Crolla. The man nicknamed “Dirty” weathered the storm and managed to see the round out, but the first most definitely belonged to the man from New Mostyn.

As the fight grew, Mathews began to take control as he won the second on sheer accuracy & from there on in, the Liverpudlian was firmly in the ascendency.

The third round was a definite winner for Mathews who saw Crolla on the seat of his pants midway through. Paul Smith Jnr., a gym-mate of Crolla, who was in the corner for him on Saturday along with trainer Joe Gallagher and another representative of Gallagher’s Gym, looked on horridly. Following the rattle, it was time for Crolla to kick the survival tactics into action to ensure he lasted the round. That was the case.

The fourth saw Mathews rock Crolla down to his boots once again. The 25-year-old was unsteady on his feet after Derry hit him with a big right hand but he didn’t go down lightly this time; he stood strong and continued to come forward. The round was stopped temporarily as it was discovered that Mathews had hit Crolla above the left eye and the corner were consulted. Their fighter continued, but the fight was once again halted as the referee John Keane called for the doctor to take a look at the wound. The doc allowed Crolla to see the round out and to recover.

Going into the fifth, Crolla came out looking for the knockout punch on Mathews. His head was clear and he was going all out for the win. The better work rate was coming from Crolla but Mathews was decisive in his attack. Anything Anthony had, Mathews blocked and then came back with an attack of his own – with pinpoint accuracy.

The sixth round proved to be the last. Mathews came out of his corner with a look of terror; he wanted to end it there and then. It happened. Mathews saw off Crolla with four seconds remaining of the sixth after a barrage of heavy blows. Crolla had an answer but the referee had seen enough after the Mancunian fighter was rocked again. John Kean waved the contest off and Mathews was given the title of “British lightweight champion.” It turned out that the underdog would prevail – against all expectations.

Where Derry goes from here, we’ll have to wait and see, but like he said in his Sky Sports post-fight interview, “This is the biggest stepping stone in the world.”

Derry Mathews is now 30-6-1 & Anthony Crolla, the man Derry defeated now has a record of 23-3-0.

Bellew Bout Pushed Back Two Weeks

Tony Bellew’s British light heavyweight title defence against Danny McIntosh of Norwich was supposed to take place next Friday, 13th April, but the fight – at the Liverpool Echo Arena – has now been pushed back two weeks. The postponement comes after challenger McIntosh has pulled out with a chest infection.

It will also give time for injured undercard fighters John Watson (rib) and Scott Cardle (knee) an added two weeks to recover and prepare for the rescheduled date of Friday, April 27th at the same venue.

Any tickets that were purchased for the original date of next Friday, 13th April, will still be valid for the rescheduled date.

Kenny Dalglish – Clash of Opinions – Should He Stay or Should He Go?

I’ve been getting increasingly frustrated as the weeks go by with a string of poor results and performances, but yesterday, following a terrible performance and a 2-0 defeat away at Europa League hopefuls Newcastle, I could contain my frustration no longer. So, as an avid user of social networking sites, I took to my Twitter account to rant and relieve my frustration as much as I did it to display and express my opinion. What I expressed was of stark contrast to what a lot of fellow Liverpool fans believe, but it’s my opinion and I have a right to express it.

What Kenny Dalglish has done at Liverpool sickens me. He’s brought us down from a very respectable top four side to a mediocre team with poor players that is lingering in mid-table and that’s not where Liverpool Football Club as we know it belong – not by any stretch of the imagination. He may have won the League Cup, but it’s the League Cup, it’s the worst cup on the English domestic scene. You may say “It’s a cup to add to the trophy cabinet,” I can see where people are coming from with that point of view, but as Liverpool Football Club – five times European Cup winners and eighteen time league champions – we should be challenging for much higher honours than that of the Carling Cup. We may well get to the final of the FA Cup, but whether that is the case or not, the pathetic management of Kenny Dalglish should be highlighted.

For me there’s only one way to stop this terrible run of results and performances and that is to give the Scotsman his P45.

He’s single-handedly ruining Liverpool Football Club and I hate to see my beloved Club in such a horrid state.

He’s tactically inept. He’s spent money on players that have added nothing but wages to the Club. He says he replaces “like for like,” when in fact he’s replacing poor with poorer.

The Board have the easiest decision they’ve had to make in a while for me. The question is “Will they make it?”

I’m hearing people say “Give him more time!” I don’t believe that to be fair because if that was any other manager, they’d have been well out of the door. I don’t believe that your name should keep you in a job. That’s exactly what’s happening inside Anfield.

Both the on and off field matters are in turmoil and I can’t see a way forward under Dalglish and for that reason I say “Kenny out.”