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Cox Stops Lloyd, McDermott Defeats Ambler

cox3443By Nate Anderson: I learned several things in watching welterweight Jamie Cox (11-0, 7 KOs) defeat former ‘Prizefighter’ Mark Lloyd (12-3, 3 KOs) by an 8th round stoppage on Friday night at the Civic Centre, in Wolverhampton, West Midlands. To start with, I don’t think Cox is nearly ready to fight Kell Brook. Cox, 22, struggled badly with the 33-year-old Lloyd, getting cut on the side of his right eye, receiving a bloody nose and lip for his efforts.

Lloyd roughed Cox up something fierce and forced him to fight his kind of inside war, which amounted to a lot of wrestling and punching on the inside. I discovered that Cox is a really poor inside fighter, something that surprised me because you would have thought that with the hype that Cox has been getting since turning pro two years ago, he would be a good inside fighter.

Well, he’s not as it turns out. Cox was almost helpless against Lloyd, who rushed him after every punch that Cox would throw, and then would wrestle Cox on the inside and prevent him from getting his shots off. It was like a formula for Lloyd – rush Cox, grab, wrestle and punch.

Instead of using movement, his jab and quick counter, Cox could do little other than be sucked into a wrestling war. What made it especially bad was that Cox seemed to let himself get taken out of his game plan by Lloyd and seemed to be trying to beat Lloyd at his own style of roughhouse tactics.

It reminded me a little of the first fight between Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran. For some reason, Leonard decided to try and beat Duran on the inside instead of fighting him at a distance where Leonard would have easily carved Duran up.

By the 6th round, Cox’s face was bloodied and battered, yet he continued to try and wrestle with Lloyd on the inside. By this time, Cox was exhausted and was starting to get hit by Lloyd more and more. In the prior rounds, Lloyd, a fighter with pretty average offensive capabilities, did next to nothing other than wrestle and land short punches on the inside.

The wrestling itself was what did the damage to Cox, who like most fighters that aren’t accustomed to grappling for three minutes of every round, quickly got tired. I figured that his trainer would slap some sense into Cox at some point and make him stop wasting time playing Lloyd’s game.

However, Cox continued to let Lloyd grab him after every punch and wrestle up until the 8th round. In the 8th, Cox came out looking like a completely different fighter. Instead of letting Lloyd grab him like before, Cox kept throwing punch after punch and not stopping to let Lloyd get his mitts on him.

It paid off for Cox when he was able to hurt Lloyd with a right hand while he had him backed up against the ropes. Cox then grabbed Lloyd and positioned him on the bottom of the rope and teed off on him with several hard shots that caused Lloyd to sag down.

Referee Shaun Messier then stepped in and halted the fight rather than let Cox finish Lloyd off while he was helpless sitting partially on the bottom ropes. What made the knockout so impressive was the way that Cox suddenly started lighting Lloyd up on the inside with a volley of shots.

You could see that Lloyd was trying to do his usual grabbing business but this time Cox wasn’t going to let himself be grabbed and just kept pouring in punches until the referee stopped the bout.

After the fight, an unhappy looking Cox said “I got too involved with the crowd. I didn’t do my boxing. Fair play to Mark Lloyd; he roughed me up. He got me frustrated and it’s a learning curve. It’s the fight game. It was emotions flying. I let my ego get the better of me. I’m sorry for disrespecting everyone there. That isn’t me. I learned from this. I was able to pull it out when I needed to.”

Also on the card, middleweight Darren McDermott (16-1-1, 9 KOs) won an impressive six-round decision over 24-year-old journeyman Jamie Ambler (6-29, 2 KOs). Referee Shaun Messier scored it 60-55 for McDermott. The bout was little more than target practice for McDermott, who used his jab to pound Ambler for six rounds, swelling up his face and easily beat him.

Ambler rarely did any real punching and was mostly on the receiving end of McDermott’s big shots. It looked as if McDermott was trying to get rounds in, because he didn’t unload on Ambler like he could have.

McDermott, 30, was coming off an impressive 10-round decision over Steven Bendall in February. Bendall is the same fighter that defeated Paul Smith last year by a 10-round decision. McDermott handled Bendall surprisingly well and made it look easy in beating him. McDermott has an important bout coming up next month against Darren Barker in a BBBofC British middleweight title eliminator bout on May 23rd.

Undefeated welterweight prospect Rob Hunt 12-0-1, 1 KOs) fought to a disappointing four round draw with journeyman Chris Long (9-23-4, 3 KOs). Hunt, 23, looked sharp in the opening round of the fight, knocking Long down with a left-right combination.

However, in the 2nd round, Hunt walked into a right hand from Long and was dropped to the canvas. Unlike his knockdown of Long, where Long wasn’t actually hurt, Hunt was shaken from his knockdown and got up looking slightly out of it. Hunt would dominate most of the rest of the bout, but he continued to get hammered by right hands from Long every once in a while.

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