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Oakey Defeats Haymer

Tony OakeyBy Chris Thomas: British light heavyweight champion Tony Oakey (25-2-1, 7 KOs) successfully defend his BBBofC British light heavyweight title on Friday night, stopping an old nemesis Peter Haymer (17-5-1, 5 KOs) in the 9th round of a scheduled 12-round championship bout at the York Hall, Bethnal Green, in London. Oakey, making his second defense of his light heavyweight title, which just happens to have been held by Haymer himself two year years ago, stunned him with a big right hand in the 9th round and then put him away with a left hook. Referee Mickey Vann stopped the bout at 2:10 of the 9th round.

Haymer, 6’1″, used his height reach advantage to landed effectively over the shorter, rounder 5’8″ champion Oakey in the first round. Haymer landed a number of excellent uppercuts and jabs in the round, effectively out-working Oakey, and beating him to the punch. This was the second time the two had fought, as Haymer had previously beaten Oakey by a 10-round unanimous decision in June 2005. However, Oakey appeared to have improved tremendously since then, especially in terms of work rate, because he kept the pressure on Haymer constantly in the first round of Friday night’s fight.

In the 2nd and third rounds, Oakey took over the fight as he turned the fight into a brawl, forcing Haymer to work harder than he appeared to want to. Oakey, taking the fight in close, used his right hand and left hooks to pound away at the taller Haymer, negating his height advantage. While in close, Oakey, an excellent inside fighter, threw everything but the kitchen table at Haymer, hitting him elbows, rabbit punches, you name it. However, the referee Mickey Vann mostly ignored the rough stuff until later in the fight. Oakey began to show signs of swelling under his right eye in the 3rd round. For his part, Haymber was developing swelling under his left eye. None of it was serious though.

By the 4th round, Haymer was beginning to slow down, perhaps not able to keep with Oakey’s frantic pace. He wasn’t so much effected by Oakey’s punches, because he wasn’t throwing really big shots, but mostly it seemed that the general pace was starting to sap the energy out of Haymer’s body. Oakey continued throwing his usual rabbit punches, landing two excellent textbook rabbit punches in the fourth, the type of shots that would normally get a fighter either docked points or disqualified in other parts of the world. However, they were ignored here.

The fifth and sixth rounds where close, as Haymer landed a number of hard uppercuts to the chin of Oakey, who presented an easy target due to his constant inside fighting. It was almost Haymer’s only true weapon, for many of his other shots weren’t as effective because of the close quarters of the action. Instead of getting some distance and using his jab, Haymer seemed content to allow Oakey to establish the spacing of the two fighters. It was a mistake on Haymer’s part, because he was a mediocre inside fighter, certainly not in the class of the shorter, tank-like Oakey.

In the 7th, Oakey took a couple of big right hands square in the face, causing his nose to bleed. However, he continued firing back with a high volume of punches, trying to force Haymer to work hard. There were a large number of clinches by this point in the fight, as Haymer looked really tired and seemed to be wanting to take a break any chance he could get.

Oakey was finally warned for rabbit punches in the 8th round after landed one of the most blatant rabbit punches I think I’ve ever seen, which occurred when Haymer was half turned, allowing Oakey a perfect right hand shot to the back of his head. Vann, seeing the shot, finally issued a warning to Oakey. Aside from that, Oakey continued dominating the round, hitting Haymer with a huge number of right hands and left hooks. By this time, the fight had lone since stopped being competitive, as Oakey was dominating the action.

In the 9th round, after one least effort from Haymer in whcih he offered up a few weak jabs, Oakey unloaded with a right-left combination that stunned Haymer. Oakey then followed it with a left hook that snapped Haymer’s head back, sending him down to the canvas. Referee Mickey Vann then counted him out at 2:10 of the 9th round.

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