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Flanagan destroys Magdaleno; Smith defeats Thompson – live results

By Scott Gilfoid: WBO World lightweight champion Terry Flanagan (29-0, 12 KOs) destroyed an over-matched and much smaller #1 WBO Diego Magdaleno (28-2, 12 KOs) by a 2nd round knockout on Saturday night at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. Flanagan dropped Magdaleno down three times in the 2nd round.

The fight was halted after Flanagan unloaded a flurry of shots against a hurt and trapped Magdaleno when he was trapped against the ropes. The official time of the stoppage was 2:38 of the round. Referee Terry O’Connor decided to halt it rather than let Magdaleno continue to fight.

The size difference between the 5’9 1/2″ Flanagan and the tiny 5’6″ Magdaleno was incredible. It wasn’t just the height. Flanagan looked like he had rehydrated to 155-160 tonight. He looked like a junior middleweight or small middleweight. Poor little Magdaleno didn’t stand a chance because he was too tiny compared to Flanagan. I hate to say it but Flanagan should be fighting in the light welterweight or better yet the welterweight division instead of at lightweight. He’s too big for all the lightweights in the division. I don’t know how he takes all that weight off and puts it back on for his fights without being weakened. I can’t give Flanagan credit for the win tonight because of two factors: 1. He was too big for Magdaleno 2. I don’t consider Magdaleno a top 10 contender.


In the first knockdown in the 2nd round, Flanagan hit Magdaleno with a right hand while he was slipping on the canvas. You can make an argument that it shouldn’t have been called a knockdown because he was slipping when he was hit. In the second knockdown, Flanagan nailed Magdaleno with a left hand to the head when he was against the ropes. In the third knockdown, Flanagan dropped Magdaleno with another left hand. W

hen the action resumed, Flanagan did some holding and hitting when he loaded up on a bolo punch while holding him with his left hand around the back of his head. Flanagan got away with two punches while holding Magdaleno around the neck. O’Connor was just too slow to step in and stop Flanagan from his illegal holding and hitting.

“I’d like him out in December,” promoter Frank Warren said afterwards about Flanagan.

Warren wants to have Flanagan fight on the undercard of the Andy Lee vs. Billy Joe Saunders card on December 19th. It’s unclear if Flanagan will be able to do this though because he mentioned having some small injuries during training camp.

As I mentioned earlier, Flanagan wasn’t facing the best contender in the division in Magdaleno tonight. I consider the best contenders in the lightweight division to be Yuriorkis Gamboa, Rances Barthelemy, Miguel Vazquez, Mickey Bey, Ray Beltran and Denis Shafikov. I didn’t even consider Magdaleno a top 10 contender. He was just some guy that was given a high ranking by the WBO, which I didn’t agree with at all.

***

Unbeaten #3 WBO contender Liam Smith 21-0-1, 11 KOs) rallied to defeat #5 WBO John Thompson (17-2, 6 KOs) by a 7th round knockout on Saturday night to win the vacant WBO junior middleweight title.

Smith, 27, hurt Thompson with a right hand in the 7th. He then flurried on him until Thompson dropped face first on the canvas. The fight was then halted at 1:44 of the round.

You can’t really give Smith much credit for this win because he was facing an ESPN guy in Thompson rather than the real talents in the junior middleweight division like the Charlo brothers, Vanes Martirosyan and Erislandy Lara.

Smith got away with throwing Thompson on the canvas in the 7th round. Thompson wearily got up from the canvas after being thrown down. The referee didn’t do a thing about the body slam. You can only wonder what the body slam did to Thompson.

Smith looked awful in the first five rounds. He barely threw anything at all, and he was getting badly out-boxed by the 26-year-old Thompson. It wasn’t until the 6th round that Smith was able to come on and hurt Thompson with a left hook. Smith had Thompson badly hurt at the end of the 6th round. In between, it was obvious that Thompson wasn’t going to be able to recover enough to make it through the 7th round.

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In hindsight, Thompson should have flurried on Smith in the first two rounds like he’d done in his last fight against Brandon Adams. Thompson had the hand speed to flurry on Smith to get him out of there, but he failed to do so.

“I’m going to have a chat with him next week. If he wants to fight on December 19th, then he’ll fight on December 19th,” promoter Frank Warren said after the fight about Liam Smith.

“Every time I caught him with a shot, I was hurting him,” Smith said.

We don’t know who Smith will be fighting next, but suffice it to say he’ll likely be making a voluntary defense against a lower ranked contender. The WBO will insist on Smith fighting an actual top 15 WBO contender, so it’ll be one of these guys:

2. Michel Soro
4. Austin Trout
6. Oleksandr Spyrko
7. Patrick Teixeira
8. Sinimongkol Singwancha
9. Vanes Martirosyan
10. Jan Zaveck
11. Predrag Radosevic
12. Yuki Nonaka
13. Anthony Yigit
14. Yao Yi Ma
15. Daniel Rosario Cruz

My guess is Smith will be fighting the likes of Yao Yi Ma, Jan Zaveck, Daniel Rosario Cruz, Anthony Yigit, Predrag Radosevic or Sinimongkol Singwancha. The World Boxing Organization has a lot of weak contenders in their top 15 compared to the other sanctioning bodies. Out of all the guys that the WBO has ranked, only Austin Trout, Vanes Martirosyan and Michel Soro are good fighters in my view. The rest of them are 2nd tier guys in my view. Smith is really lucking out right now in picking up the WBO title right now when they have some really weird rankings.

Let’s be serious here; If Smith had to fight the likes of Demetrius Andrade tonight instead of Thompson, I think Smith would have been blown completely apart. Andrade is much better than Smith can ever hope to be and I think he would have been totally clowned by Andrade. As such, I see Smith as a paper champion, nothing more than that. If you put Smith in with the likes of the other 154lb champions Jermall Charlo or Erislandy Lara, he would get easily beaten. Those are so much better than Smith that it’s not even funny.

I don’t see Smith ever being put in with the other junior middleweight champions Charlo or Lara in a unification match. The reason is it would be a real disaster for Smith, and I suspect his management realize how out of his class he’d be if he got put in with those guys. Smith will do well against the fodder that the WBO has ranked in their top 15 right now. Like I said, the only guys I see who are good fighters in the WBO’s current junior middleweight rankings is Soro, Trout and Martirosyan. I doubt that Smith will be in a hurry to fight any of those guys.

***

In an incredibly boring fight, WBO Inter-Continental light welterweight champion Jack Catterall (13-0, 8 KOs) defeated challenger Jarkko Putkonen (12-1, 6 kOs) by a lopsided 10 round unanimous decision. The final judges’ scores were 100-90, 100-90 and 100-90.

Putkonen, 31, did little more than cover up much of the fight and throw slow punches. Catterall showed no ambition to step on the gas to get the guy out. A good fighter would have scored a knockout simply by throwing a flurry of punches against the sparring partner-like Putkonen, but Catterall fought like he didn’t have a clue what to do. It looked to me like Catterall didn’t want to put in the effort that he needed to put out in order to get the stoppage.

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By the 8th round the crowd was changing “Boring, boring, boring” over and over again. Instead of this motivating Catterall to step on the canvas and put in some kind of effort, he continued to fight at a leisurely pace without fighting hard.

***

Commonwealth super middleweight champion Luke Blackledge (20-2-2, 6 KOs) retained his title tonight with a close 12 round unanimous decision over challenger Lee “Banjo” Markham (14-3-1, 7 KOs). The final judge’ scores were 116-114, 116-113 and 115-114.

Blackledge, 25, was the busier guy and did the better work in most of the rounds. Markham, 27, hurt Blackledge in the 11th round with a big left hook and right hand. Other than that round, there were no real interesting rounds. It was pretty evenly matched. Markham suffered a cut over his left eye in the 1st round from a head-butt.

Markham would have done a lot better if he’d thrown faster shots, and been busier. He had the power to win the fight over Blackledge, but he smothered his own work by standing too close to him and throwing slow, non-explosive punches. I think Markham needs a new trainer because his problems with his game are fixable ones with the right trainer. There’s no reason why Markham shouldn’t have been able to make adjustments in the Blackledge fight if he had the right trainer guiding him.

***

Adrian Gonzalez (12-1, 4 KOs) destroyed the 32-year-old Jon Kays (21-5-1, 5 KOs) by a 4th round knockout win to win the vacant WBO Inter-Continental lightweight title. Gonzalez landed a beautiful right uppercut to the head of Kays, sending him down for the knockout.

Gonzalez wasn’t throwing a lot of punching in the fight, but he didn’t need to because his shots had so much power on them compared to the light hitting Kays’ shots.

***

Thomas Stalker (10-1-2, 2 KOs) fought to a 10 round draw against Craig Evans (14-1-1, 3 KOs) for the vacant WBO European lightweight title. The final judges’ scores were 97-93 for Stalker, 96-94 for Evans and 95-95. I had Stalker winning the fight, but it was really close. We’ll like be seeing these two fighters facing each other again in the near future.

***

Making his pro debut, middleweight prospect Vijender Singh (1-0, 1 KOs) scored a 3rd round knockout win over Sonny Whiting (2-2, 1 KOs) in a fight that was scheduled for four rounds.

***

Unbeaten bantamweight prospect Ryan Burnett (11-0, 9 KOs) stayed unbeaten with an easy 2nd round knockout win over Robert Kanalas (10-5, 7 KOs) to win the vacant WBO European bantamweight title.

WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan (28-0, 11 KOs) will be putting his WBO 135lb strap on the line tonight against #1 WBO Diego Magdaleno (28-1, 12 KOs) at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK. This is the 26-year-old Flanagan’s first defense of his title that he won last July in a 2nd round injury stoppage over Jose Zepeda.

Rather than doing the right thing and giving Zepeda a rematch so that he could prove that he’s actually better than him, the 5′ 9½″ has moved on and will be facing Magdaleno tonight.

Where to see it? Live on BoxNation and Sky 437/HD 490, Virgin 546 and Talk Talk 415

When does it start? @ 7:00 p.m. UK time in Manchester, England

This is a fight that you really can’t determine who the better man should be. Magdaleno is a good fighter with just one loss on his record in losing a close 12 round split decision to WBO World super featherweight champion Roman Martinez in 2013.

Martinez is a good fighter, and I rate him above Flanagan in terms of talent. The only thing that Flanagan has going for him is his size. He’s a huge fighter after he rehydrates after making weight. He basically looks like a junior middleweight when he enters the ring. I’d be interested to know how much weight Flanagan puts on after he weighs-in for his fights, because he looks to me like he’s in the 155lb range.

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The size difference between him and Zepeda last July was huge. Zepeda was the bigger puncher, but Flanagan looked like a fighter in the 154lb/160lb division fighting a 135lb lightweight. I don’t know how the outcome of the fight would have went had it played out to the fullest in a normal fight without injury, but I think Zepeda would have problems with Flanagan’s weight advantage in that fight. He would have had to deal with all that weight.

I would have loved to have had a scale there at the top step before Flanagan stepped inside the ring for the fight because I think the guys was basically a middleweight when he fought Zepeda that night. I think Flanagan was a small middleweight at 155, but a middleweight nonetheless.

The 5’6” Magdaleno will be giving away three and a half inches in height to the 5’9 ½” Flanagan, and who knows how much in the weight department. Magdaleno is with Top Rank and lives in beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada.

Last June, Magdaleno got the biggest win of his career in stopping Jose Gonzalez in the 7th round. This is the same Gonzalez that former WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns went life and death with in beating by a 9th round knockout two years ago in May 2013. Unlike Burns, Magdaleno had no problems dealing with Gonzalez. He made it look easy in beating him until he quit.

Speaking of his lone defeat on his resume to Roman Martinez, Magdanelo said “I did what I had to do, clearly out boxed him but that’s all in the past now. The ‘loss’ is certainly the fight I’ve learned most from, about what’s needed to succeed at world title level, so maybe it was no bad thing. The whole Martinez experience made me a better person and definitely a better fighter. Now I enter every fight with bad intentions. I try not to leave the outcome to the judges.”

Magdanelo will need to start fast tonight so that he can take the pro-Flanagan crowd out of play, and make sure that Flanagan doesn’t get a chance to get his confidence up. The worst thing that Magdaleno can do is let Flanagan get cocky in the first couple of rounds by going soft on him from the start. Magdaleno can’t afford to take it easy on Flanagan in the early rounds because he needs to take the crowd out of it and give them nothing to do but sit and watch the spectacle.

Flanagan has had his way since he turned pro in 2009. Flanagan has faced only one decent fighter in Zepeda, but we’re still not talking about a real quality guy competed to talents like Felix Verdejo, Rances Barthelemy, Yuriorkas Gamboa, Micky Bey, Denis Shafikov, and Miguel Vazquez. I see all of those guys beating Flanagan with ease, and the same with Magdaleno.

With the lightweight division being totally watered down with 4 difference sanctioning bodies and 6 potential titles available to be won in the division, it allows guys that would never have been able to win a world title in the first place to capture a title and hold onto it for a while due to the watered down rankings.

The World Boxing Organization is making it easy for Flanagan for the time being by having the most talented fighter in their top 15, Felix Verdejo, ranked No.6 instead of No.1, where he clearly should be right now. I think Verdejo would absolutely destroy Flanagan if he were the one fighting him tonight instead of Magdaleno. I think Verdejo would destroy Flanagan and Magdaleno back to back tonight if such a thing were possible.


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