Ringside report: Kid Galahad Vs. Sergio Prado and the British light-heavyweight tournament
By Ian Aldous: This past Saturday night, a big card from the Ponds Forge Arena in Sheffield, England saw a whole host of British talent in action. The main event featured a vacant European super-bantamweight title fight between Kid Galahad and Sergio Prado. The co-features showcased the continuation of the eight-man British light-heavyweight title tournament. I was ringside on fight night to cover all the action for BN24.
Sheffield native, Kid Galahad has, unfortunately for him, been fighting in the shadows of two other British super-bantamweights for the past couple of years – Scott Quigg and Carl Frampton. Those two fighters have reached the world level earlier in their respective careers (Quigg turning pro two years before Galahad and Frampton). Having won a British title in his last fight, this was to be the ‘coming out’ party for Kid Galahad or ‘Abdul Barry Awad’ as his parents named him. His journey and education in the sport has been broadcast on Channel 5 for not only hardcore boxing fans to see, but the general sports fan. This can only ever be a great thing for a fighter breaking through. The opportunity to create a big fan base compared to a boxer who fights solely on the Boxnation subscription channel is exponential.
The credentials of his opponent from Madrid, Sergio Prado, had been brought into question before the fight. After his first seven fights – he was 4-3 as a professional. On fight night he came in with a record of 9-3-1.
From the very first round, it appeared that Galahad would have the beating of Prado, despite a lot of his shots landing on the gloves and elbows whilst his friend Kell Brook shouted advice from ringside. He began to switch in the second and jabbed well with both hands while persistently having Sergio backed up against the ropes throughout the bout. Galahad was banking round after round. Prado was hurt at the end of the sixth and seventh, he continued to box defensively. Referee, Luigi Muratore, had a bad night, he failed to stop Prado from ducking below the belt line, instead warning Galahad for pushing his head down at multiple times during the twelve rounds. Galahad was making it look easy utilizing his excellent technique and was never remotely at risk of losing the fight. The twelfth and final round saw the Spaniard have what was probably his most fruitful round. Scorecards of 117-111, 118-110 and 120-108 rewarded Kid with a unanimous decision win and the vacant belt, to the delight of the loud home support. The first scorecard seemingly closer than the fight ever was, I gave Prado the nod in only one round. Kid’s pro record now reads 16-0.
It’s almost twenty years since the man who Galahad idolised as a youngster, Prince Naseem Hamed, also won a European title in the very same arena. Interestingly, on the Channel 5 commentary team, Al Bernstein, said during the broadcast that he feels Galahad is better at this stage of his career than Prince Naseem Hamed was. Huge praise from a man who knows his boxing.
Also broadcast on Channel 5 was the third and fourth quarter-finals of the Maxinutrition British light-heavyweight tournament fielding eight of the best domestic level boxers at 175lbs. Matty Clarkson went through to the semi-finals with a hard fought win over Lee Duncan in a slightly untidy clash. He bloodied Duncan in the third and scored with more effective punches over the ten rounds. A lack of jabs and work cost Duncan any chance of winning. Clarkson ran out a 97-94 winner and retained his central area belt.
Afterwards, the most intriguing quarter-final took place between Travis Dickinson and former European champion, Danny McIntosh. Dickinson started aggressively immediately and dropped McIntosh with a right to the side of the head while he was off balance. Despite the knockdown, Danny showed he was unhurt and dangerous as he continued to throw big shots. The second round was filled with clinching and holding. Dickinson was wobbled late in the round. The third had both men putting everything into their punches and McIntosh walked into a combo that saw him knocked down. Another heavy knockdown straight after was enough for referee, Terry O’Connor, to call the contest off. Travis wins the vacant English title with the impressive victory in an exciting contest.
Travis Dickinson will now move on to face Matty Clarkson and Bob Ajisafe goes up against Leon Senior in the semi-finals.
This tournament continues with the semi-finals on 10th May and the final all wrapped up by 27th September. All the shows will be broadcast by Channel 5 in the UK. In the very first quarter-final on the previous weekend’s show, the southern area title fight saw a technical draw result after Leon Senior and Tony Hill clashed heads accidentally in the second round. Due to the tournament needing to continue on the scheduled dates, the champion Leon Senior advances. It’s obviously harsh on Hill, but with the limited time and dates, that decision had to be made.
I’ve been a fan of the tournament format since the fantastic Super Six World Boxing Classic 168lbs tournament between 2009-2011, which Hennessy Sports was involved in as Carl Froch’s promoter at the time. Although that particular series of fights suffered due to injuries and the amount of time it ran, the competitive nature and talent of the boxers taking part, made for an exciting tournament. So far, this tournament has seen competitive fights and thus is achieving its goal. I wouldn’t be surprised if Channel 5 want to see more of this in the future. Let’s hope that the TV viewing figures have been good for the two shows so far.
The veteran former WBC light-welterweight champion, Junior Witter, fought on the undercard as he attempts to get back on the road to British honours having held the British welterweight title back in 2012. He won an easy six-round shutout decision over Max Maxwell, switch-hitting at will and toying with his durable opponent for the duration in his 51st professional fight. He hopes to be out on the May 10th Hennessy Sports show.
Overall, a big crowd went home happy following a great night of fights.
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