Revenge for Catterall, putting the KO in Okolie and quickfire Mbilli

By Eric Armit

HIGHLIGHTS from the past week of action

Lawrence Okolie won the WBC Bridgerweight title with a first-round destruction of Lukasz Rozanski, while Fiodor Czerkaszyn and Ihosvany Garcia also won.

Jack Catterall scored a unanimous decision over Josh Taylor to gain revenge for his controversial loss to Taylor in 2022. There were wins for Cheavon Clarke, Paddy Donovan, and Gary Cully.

Christian Mbilli scored a first-round KO over Mark Heffron, and Arslanbek Makhmudov knocked out Miljan Rovcanin in the second round.

Batyrzhan Jukembayev stopped Ivan Redkach in the fifth round.

There were inside-the-distance wins for Jermaine Franklin and Ali Akhmedov in Detroit.

Vlad Panin scored a controversial second-round win over Devon Alexander.

Former European Championships gold medallist Balasz Bacskai won the vacant WBO European titles and now retires with an 18-0 record.

Alexei Papin halted veteran Isaac Chilemba in three rounds.

Dana Thorsland outpointed Seran Cetin in defense of her WBC and WBO bantamweight titles.

Commonwealth champion Tysie Gallagher retained her title as she outpointed Stevi Levy to become the first holder of the female version of the British super-bantamweight title.

Who won the week?

Most significant: Jack Catterall’s win over Josh Taylor will hopefully lead to a title shot for Catterall.

Most entertaining: Not high profile, but Jonathan Cardoso vs. Adam Lopez was an entertaining clash of styles.

Fighter of the week: Jack Catterall, with honorable mention to Christian “Solide” Mbilli, who produced another power show.

Punch of the week: The left hook to the body from Mbilli that ended his fight with Mark Heffron was brutal, but so was the one from Ihosvany Garcia that felled Lukasz Plawecki.

Upset of the week: Dane Mikkel Nielsen, 12-2, was not expected to beat the home fighter, 20-1-2 Renato Egedi, but he disposed of him in two rounds.

Prospect watch: Cuban Ihosvany Garcia, 13-0 (10 by KO/TKO), now has wins over Ryno Liebenberg and 22-1 Patrick Rokhol.

Fight Card Observations

Rosette: To Matchroom for the only big show in town and four competitive high-quality matches. The Polish show had a world title fight, but the undercard was underwhelming.

Red Card: Bob Arum for his attack on the judging in the Catterall vs. Taylor fight. I thought the scores were too wide, but I had it 115-113. If the judges scored one round differently to the way I saw it, that would make it 116-112, and for three rounds, it would be 117-111, so disagreeing on three rounds out of twelve is no big deal.

Lawrence Okolie won the WBC Bridgerweight title on Friday. The limit for the Bridgerweight division is 224lbs. Oleksandr Usyk weighed 223 ½ lbs when winning the WBC heavyweight title last week! Now, why was it necessary to have this division between cruiserweight and heavyweight? Surely not for yet another load of sanctioning fees for the huge number of titles in every weight division.

May 25

Catterall gets sweet revenge over Taylor

Catterall gained revenge for his split decision defeat in 2022 as he scored a unanimous decision in this one. The first round saw both boxers probing with their right jabs. Catterall landed a good right to the head and although Taylor was taking the fight to Catterall he was having problems getting into range.

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