Brook beats Gavin; Joshua crushes Johnson; Linares and Selby win

By Boxing News - 05/30/2015 - Comments

brook2By Scott Gilfoid: In a fight that looked more like a glorified sparring session rather than an actual fight, IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook (35-0, 24 KOs) won an easy 6th round stoppage against an over-matched #4 IBF Frankie Gavin (22-2, 13 KOs) on Saturday night in the Rule Britannica card at the O2 Arena in London, UK.

Gavin was hurt by a right hand in the 6th by Brook. Gavin then turned his back and scurried to the ropes. Brook then teed off on a hurt Gavin until he crouched down, causing referee Steve Gray to step in and halt the bout at 2:51 of the round.

The one-sided nature of the fight made both the International Boxing Federation and Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn bad for making this mismatch. The IBF had ranked Gavin No.4 in their rankings, which makes no sense at all considering that they had Gavin ranked above Tim Bradley, Shawn Porter, Diego Chaves, Devon Alexander, and Sadam Ali. As bad as Gavin looked tonight, I don’t think he’d even beat the bottom 15 guy Wale Omotoso. It’s on the IBF for giving Gavin the inflated ranking, especially after Gavin’s recent loss to Leonard Bundu. What’s interesting is the IBF ranked Gavin in their top 15, but not Bundu, the guy that beat him. It’s totally baffling and so, so sad.

“This is a stage where he [Gavin] belongs, but he came up against a very strong welterweight in Kell Brook,” Hearn said after the fight in building up both of his Matchroom Sport fighters. Everybody wants Kell Brook. Amir Khan is waiting for Floyd Mayweather, and that’s not happening. We’re looking at Brandon Rios and Manny Pacquiao for Brook. The fight everyone wants to happen is Kell Brook vs. Amir Khan. It doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.”

Hearn went on to say that Brook will be back in the ring in August or September. I’d personally like to see Brook fight Marcos Maidana or Keith Thurman, but that obviously isn’t going to happen. Hearn has shown zero interest in putting Brook in with those punchers. After the way that Brook won a controversial decision over Shawn Porter, I’m not surprised that Hearn isn’t putting Brook in with the big punchers in the division. Hearn hasn’t shown any interest in putting Brook back in with Porter, who I felt deserved a win over Brook.

As for the entire card, there were a lot of names on the card, but pretty much most of them were one-sided mismatches with the A-side game winning the fight. Kevin Mitchell, I believe, was the only A-side guy that lost on the entire Rule Britannica card.


In a somewhat quick stoppage, unbeaten #6 WBC heavyweight contender Anthony Joshua (13-0, 13 KOs) stopped 35-year-old journeyman Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson (29-7-1, 14 KOs) in the 2nd round.

If referee Ian-John Lewis wanted to stop the fight, he should have done it in the 1st round when Johnson was knocked down twice. I think that was the proper time to stop the fight, not when Johnson was standing up and fighting back in the 2nd. It’s just baffling to me to understand some of these weird stoppages.

The 6’6″ Joshua dropped Johnson twice in the 1st round. In the 2nd, referee Ian-John Lewis stopped the fight at 1:22 of the round with Johnson still on his feet but taking punishment. I thought the stoppage was premature.

This was the first stoppage loss for Johnson. It’s too bad that he had to be stopped in this fashion because he should have been stopped in the traditional fashion rather than getting stopped on his feet.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn was in a stage of euphoria after the fight, saying “This guy can beat every heavyweight in the world. What we’re witnessing here is the next heavyweight champion of the world. He’s a great man, a great fighter, and he’s a great British.”

The problem is Joshua was beaten by Dillain Whyte in the amateur ranks, and arguably beaten by Roberto Cammarelle and Erislandy Savon in the Olympics. These are the last quality guys that Joshua has faced. Joshua can beat old timers like Johnson, but the question is can Joshua beat live bodies? I’m just saying. All we know is Joshua got beat by Whyte and was arguably beaten twice in the Olympics in London.

“I really enjoy boxing. Training is the hard part of the game,” Joshua said after the fight. “I’m here to try and make statements. My coach drills me in the gym, and the hard work pays off. People say that this guys is going to test me, that guy is going to test me. It’s only going to get tougher, but I’m just enjoying it whole I’m here,” Joshua said.


As I expected, WBC lightweight champion Jorge Linares (39-3, 26 KOs) obliterated Kevin Mitchell (39-3, 29 KOs) by a 10th round knockout stoppage.

Linares first staggered a bloody and battered Mitchell with a right hand, and then dropped him with a right hand after nailing him with a flurry of punches. The referee then halted the fight after Mitchell got back up. As far as the knockdown goes, Mitchell kind of took a knee a knee to escape the punishment. It wasn’t a situation where he went on his shield, but rather than he crouched down to escape the brutal punishment.

Mitchell suffered a cut over his left eye in the 7th round. After that cut opened up, Mitchell was nearly defenseless to Linare’s right hands. Mitchell couldn’t see the right hands coming, and he was nailed and over again by Linares.

I only gave Mitchell one round and that was the 5th. Other than that, it was a total masterclass by Linares in easily beating Mitchell. Linares had Mitchell missing all night long with his shots. It was laughable after a while because Mitchell couldn’t hit anything. The only time that Mitchell was able to land with any regularity was when the two fighters were in a clinch, and then Mitchell would hit Linares on the side of the head. But in terms of the actual fighting, Mitchell was out of his league.

Earlier in the fight, Mitchell knocked Linares down with an elbow to the head. It was a left elbow to the head that dropped Linares, and the referee totally blew it by missing the fact that it was a clear elbow.

For Mitchell, this loss makes him a three-time failure. He’d twice before failed when stepping it up in world title fights against Michael Katsidis and Ricky Burns. Now he’s lost for the third time. Mitchell is a good fighter when facing regular contenders, but he fails when facing the best obviously.


In a controversial cut stoppage, #1 IBF Lee Selby (21-1, 8 KOs) defeated IBF featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich (19-1-1, 9 KOs) by an 8 round decision to capture his International Boxing Federation 126lb world title.

The referee put a quick stop to the fight in the 8th round after a second cut opened up over the right eye of Gradovich by a clash of heads. He’s previously suffered a cut over the other eye. Rather than let Gradovich fight on, the fight was halted. It then went to the score cards where Selby won by the scores of 79-73, 80-72, and79-73. It’s a real pity for Gradovich because he was starting to show some signs of coming back in the fight, and who knows whether he’d have been able to get a late stoppage. The fans would have liked to have seen whether the Russian warrior could have pulled it out.

β€œI’ve been working hard for this for so long. It means so much,” Selby said after the fight. β€œTo be honest, when I go in there to adapt. If I have to go forward I will go forward and fight. If I have to box on the back foot, I will do it. I had just planned on breaking him down. We had two accidental clashes of heads, but I’d won every round up until then.”

I don’t know where Selby goes from here. He was talking about wanting to fight Nicholas Walters and Vasyl Lomachanko. I don’t see that happening. Even if Selby was serious about wanting to fight those guys, I can’t see Selby’s promoter Eddie Hearn allowing him within 3,000 miles of the likes of Nicholas and Lomachenko. Beating a cut up Gradovich is one thing, but trying to mess with guys like Walters and Lomachenko is another thing entirely. I can’t see Hearn ever letting Selby get in the ring with those guys, because they would not only beat Selby, but potentially mess him up. But it’s not like Selby will be able to stay out of harm’s way for long as the IBF featherweight champion. Two of the top contenders in the IBF’s rankings is Abner Mares and Jayson Velez. Those guys are pure trouble for the likes of Selby.

Other boxing results on the card:

Dave Ryan TKO 9 John Wayne Hibbert
Nathan Cleverly TKO 1 Tomas Man
Scott Cardle UD 12 Craig Evans
Nick Blackwell TKO 7 John Ryder

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