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Carl Frampton stops Kiko Martinez to claim European title

Frampton wins European title and becomes first man to stop Martinez with dominant win

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

23:44 GMT, 9 February 2013

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UPDATED:

01:13 GMT, 10 February 2013

Carl Frampton sent out a chilling message to the super bantamweight division by becoming the first man to stop Kiko Martinez and rip the European title from the stunned Spaniard in Belfast.

Frampton, 25, had twice seen a meeting with the champion postponed when Martinez pulled out and had promised to make his adversary pay the ultimate price.

And he did just that, knocking the 26-year-old out with a bludgeoning right hand in the ninth round.
Martinez is no stranger to Ireland having stunned Bernard Dunne inside one round in Dublin six years ago and he had promised to silence the fervent home crowd once again.

Champion: Carl Frampton stopped Kiko Martinez in the ninth round to claim the European title

Champion: Carl Frampton stopped Kiko Martinez in the ninth round to claim the European title

Frampton meanwhile delivered a
career-best performance in September when disposing of two-time world
champion Steve Molitor in six rounds.

But the Canadian was clearly past his
best on that occasion and Martinez, who shares a trainer with world
middleweight champion and namesake Sergio, was expected to pose an
altogether tougher test.

And so it proved as he went in search
of his younger opponent in a cagey first round. Frampton, content to
box on the back foot, landed the first meaningful punch with a solid
left hook to the body.

Martinez was quick out of the blocks
in the second stanza, forcing the home favourite back on to the ropes.
While Frampton stuck to the game plan for the most part, boxing at range
and picking his punches; when he did engage at close quarters, he was
given a sharp reminder of the visitor's knockout power.

Team: Frampton celebrates with his manager Barry McGuigan and trainer Shane McGuigan

Team: Frampton celebrates with his manager Barry McGuigan and trainer Shane McGuigan

Frampton picked up the pace in the
subsequent round, delivering impressive combinations before withdrawing
to the outskirts of the ring.

By the middle of the fourth session, a
bad cut had opened up under Martinez's left eye and Frampton
immediately set to work with his right hand. But the Spaniard remained
dangerous, landing a solid left jab, perhaps sensing that his days were
numbered, only to be pinned against the ropes as Frampton sensed the
finish.

Although Martinez continued to stalk
his prey in the fifth, Frampton was proving more and more elusive,
slipping and sliding out of range as he moved further ahead on the
scorecards. A quieter sixth round followed but Frampton upped the pace
again as the fight entered its second half.

Martinez, whose cut opened again, was more reluctant to come forward and the Belfast favourite landed several plum shots.

Finally: Frampton had twice seen his meeting with the Spaniard postponed

Finally: Frampton had twice seen his meeting with the Spaniard postponed

Frampton was drawn into a toe-to-toe
brawl at the start of the eighth round but slipped on to the back foot
as the session progressed, allowing him to pick his shots with unerring
accuracy.

Martinez had shown exactly why he had
always heard the final bell when he shipped several huge shots at the
start of the ninth but his resistance proved futile when a huge straight
right left him floundering on the canvas.

The Spaniard rose unsteadily but
after staggering back towards his corner, the referee waved the fight
off. Frampton, who was ahead on all three scorecards by four rounds
(twice) and two rounds on the third, extends his unbeaten record to 16
professional contests.

Frampton, who will likely return to
Belfast on May 11, potentially in a final eliminator for the IBF world
title, said: 'I can't remember much about the [knockout] punch. It was a
decent shot.

'I proved I've got a good chin. I
could feel his power but he didn't hurt me. He didn't make my legs
wobble but you can see from face that he hits hard.

'He's not been wobbled before but I
took him out. The plan was to box from the outside but when we traded, I
felt I got the better of him.

'I want to be a world champion. I
feel the buzz and its getting better. The best man won on the night but
he's a tough man. I was hitting him and he was coming back.'

Darren Barker beats Kerry Hope

Barker puts on brutal display to see off Hope and eyes second world title fight

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

22:06 GMT, 8 December 2012

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UPDATED:

23:48 GMT, 8 December 2012

Darren Barker made a spectacular return to the ring and set himself up for a second world title shot next year with a convincing win over Kerry Hope.

The 30-year-old middleweight had been out of action for 14 months since losing to Sergio Martinez in Atlantic City last October. But he made short work of fellow former European champion Hope at London's Olympia.

Barker has had a year to forget after undergoing surgery to fix a long-standing hip injury before a return against Italian Simone Rotolo in September was shelved after he suffered torn tendons in his arm.

Flush: Darren Barker saw off Kerry Hope with ease

Flush: Darren Barker saw off Kerry Hope with ease

Welshman Hope meanwhile enjoyed a
fairy-tale win over Grzegorz Proksa in March to win the European title
but lost it just four months later in a rematch.

The 31-year-old beat Hungarian
journeyman Norbert Szekeres over six rounds in a tune-up fight in
Nottingham last month but was no match for a rejuvenated Barker.

The opening round was a tense affair
with both boxers opting for single shots with their lead hands as
opposed to multiple-punch combinations.

Hope tried to drag Barker into
fighting at close quarters in the second session but the home favourite
ended the round well by keeping his distance and working from the jab.

Having shaken off the inevitable ring
rust, Barker began to control the centre of the ring and march Hope
down as he brought his right hand into play. And it was a hook from that
hand that all but ended the visitor's challenge in the fourth stanza.

Hope was floored against the ropes
and although he groggily beat the count, his corner threw in the towel
seconds later. 'I was a little frustrated in the first couple of rounds
due to ring rust but it was enjoyable and I was glad to be back in
there,' Barker said.

'I proved that I could still mix it;
Kerry Hope is a former European champion and I've dismantled him quite
impressively. If I had put in a bad performance, or lost, I would have
called it a day but it's given me a lot of encouragement.

Throwing in the towel: Barker (right) marked his return to the ring in style

Throwing in the towel: Barker (right) marked his return to the ring in style

'I don't want to hang about in this
game, I think I've got another three or four years left. I want the big
fights and I want to be on the world stage. I've been at world level and
I want to be back there.

'I badly want to fight Martin Murray
and Matthew Macklin and I'm sure they do too. The boxing public deserve
to see those fights, but at world level.'

Earlier in the evening, Kal Yafai
continued his seemingly inexorable march towards domestic honours and
beyond with his sixth win from as many contests against Spanish champion
Jorge Perez.

The Birmingham bantamweight missed
out on a place at the London Olympics but has taken to the professional
ranks with considerable ease.

This was his second eight-round
contest after he dispatched Pio Antonio Nettuno in just 52 seconds in
Nottingham on the undercard of Carl Froch’s world title defence against
Yusaf Mack in November.

And Yafai, 23, looked set for
another very early night when left hooks to the head and body floored
Perez at the end of the opening round.

But the Spaniard beat the count and
withstood several brutal barrages in the following two sessions only to
be rescued from further punishment when referee Mark Green stepped in
with just under a minute remaining in the third.

Rocked: Barker catches his opponent with a devastating right hook

Rocked: Barker catches his opponent with a devastating right hook

Yafai will now top the bill in his
hometown on January 19 alongside the next Prizefighter tournament and on
the same night as stablemate Kell Brook fights Devon Alexander for the
IBF world welterweight title in Los Angeles.

Also on the undercard, John Ryder
won his British middleweight title eliminator against Irish Prizefighter
champion and fellow unbeaten prospect Eamonn O'Kane.

Ryder, 24, will now set his sights on
the winner of Billy Joe Saunders' clash with Nick Blackwell at the
Excel Arena next Saturday.

The Londoner enjoyed the better of
the opening rounds and, working from a southpaw stance, landed
effectively with the right hand before a strong left rocked O'Kane in
the third stanza.

Rounds four and five were scrappy
affairs but Ryder reasserted his dominance in the sixth although O'Kane
did well to answer a powerful left with a timely reminder of a right
hand. The decisive moment came early in the eighth round when yet
another hook to the head had O'Kane struggling.

No Hope: Barker was too powerful for the former European champion

No Hope: Barker was too powerful for the former European champion

He remained on his feet but a
succession of similar shots forced referee Howard Foster to wave the
fight off midway through the session.

Meanwhile, American Carson Jones and
late-replacement Dean Byrne fought out an entertaining draw which many
ringside observers felt should have gone the way of the Dubliner.

Jones, who lost to Brook in July, was
scheduled to face Lee Purdy but the Colchester welterweight was forced
to withdraw after failing to recover from a virus.

Crowd favourite Erick Ochieng made a
third successful defence of his English light-middleweight title with a
hard-earned but largely uneventful points win against Max Maxwell over
10 rounds.

There were also four-round shut-out
victories for unbeaten novices Callum Smith and Martin J Ward while the
popular Wadi Camacho made it six without defeat.

James Degale beats Hadillah Mohoumadi on points

Golden boy Degale made to work for points win over Mohoumadi

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

22:28 GMT, 13 October 2012

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UPDATED:

22:38 GMT, 13 October 2012

James Degale celebrated the start of what he hopes will be a new chapter in his career with a hard-fought points win over Hadillah Mohoumadi to retain his European super middleweight title.

On a night when Britain's only other Olympic gold medallist in the professional ranks was sent crashing to the canvas in Liverpool, Degale made no such mistake in front of a raucous crowd in Kent.

The 26-year-old was fighting on home soil for the first time in 12 months and looked impressive in flashes against his French opponent in what was his debut under new promoter Mick Hennessy.

In control: James Degale beat Hadillah Mohoumadi easily on points

In control: James Degale beat Hadillah Mohoumadi easily on points

A tentative opening round was punctuated by single shots from both men but Degale landed the more telling blows and started to find his timing towards the end of the stanza with some penetrating combinations.

The former British champion, whose only defeat came at the hands of bitter rival George Groves, also had the better of the second round.

Degale raced out of his corner in the third and landed a flurry of blows that looked to have Mohoumadi in trouble. But the 32-year-old had never previously been stopped and withstood the barrage.

Despite his dominance, Degale allowed himself to be backed up against the ropes too often, trading unnecessarily. He was still landing the more eye catching shots however against an opponent who was nothing if not durable.

Made to work: Degale was taken the distance by Mohoumadi

Made to work: Degale was taken the distance by Mohoumadi

Degale landed a crunching left hand in the fifth round that rocked Mohoumadi's head back but again he showed he was teak tough. Into the sixth session and Degale, whose face had reddened, appeared at times to be feeling the pace in what was his first outing since April.

The champion remained the dominant force in the opening exchanges of round seven however and caught Mohoumadi flush several times with powerful left hands.

By now the rounds were following a familiar pattern with the home favourite landing more effectively but without the cutting edge needed to end the contest early. The expectant crowd were on their feet on more than one occasion but were left with nothing to celebrate.

Mohoumadi had by now earned Degale's respect and rather than surrender, he instead maintained an impressive work rate and had even opened a small cut around Degale's left eye by the penultimate round.

The pair traded blows in a barnstorming final stanza despite Degale needing just to reach the final bell to retain his title.

He did just that, winning by unanimous decision as the judges scored the contest 119-109, 117-111 and 116-112.

Ricky Burns beats Kevin Mitchell in Glasgow

Feel the Burns: Rampant Ricky blasts through Mitchell to win 'Battle of Britain' and retain world belt

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UPDATED:

23:23 GMT, 22 September 2012

Burns stunned Kevin Mitchell in front
of a raucous crowd in Glasgow to retain his world lightweight title in
breathtaking fashion.

The Scot, defending his WBO belt for
the second time, took the fight to his opponent from the first bell and
never relented in a staggering display.

Mitchell was floored twice in the
fourth round before yet another unanswered flurry of punches forced the
referee to call a halt to the bout.

Impressive: Ricky Burns aims a punch at Kevin Mitchell during his convincing victory

Impressive: Ricky Burns aims a punch at Kevin Mitchell during his convincing victory

Billed as a 'Battle of Britain', Burns turned the fight into a procession, beating the Englishman to the punch time and time again before pinning him to the ropes and unloading.

Controlling the fight with his jab and always looking to land the right to head and body, Burns edged the opening exchanges of the first round.

Mitchell looked to respond where he could but the bout burst into life when the pair went toe-to-toe with neither giving an inch.

Down and out: Ricky Burns knocks Kevin Mitchell down

Down and out: Ricky Burns knocks Kevin Mitchell down

The home favourite continued to dominate in the second stanza as the pace of the bout refused to relent.

Mitchell served the champion with some timely reminders of his punching power but it was he who was taking some hefty punishment.

Mitchell showed he was not fazed by the Scot's flying start in the third round when, pinned to the ropes, he beat his own chest in a mocking show of defiance.

Punishing: Ricky Burns goes on the attack

Punishing: Ricky Burns goes on the attack

But if that was an indication that he was forcing his way into the contest, the sizeable English contingent in the crowd were silenced minutes later.

Burns' pressure fighting paid off as he floored Mitchell twice in quick succession and although he rose on both occassions, Burns' victory was inevitable and 10,000 fans rose as one to salute their hero.

Burns is set to defend his title again in December with countryman Scott Harrison a possible opponent.

Scott Harrison beats Joe Elfidh in Glasgow

Harrison fails to impress after being forced to go the distance by inexperienced Elfidh

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UPDATED:

22:29 GMT, 22 September 2012

Scott Harrison laboured to a points victory over Joe Elfidh after making surprisingly hard work of his inexperienced opponent.

The former two-time world champion was making his second appearance since finally putting his problems with alcohol and depression behind him, having stopped Gyorgy Mizsei in June.

But despite dropping Elfidh in the first round, Harrison was unable to finish him off inside the scheduled six rounds.

Work to do: Scott Harrison (left) laboured to victory against Joe Elfidh (right)

Work to do: Scott Harrison (left) laboured to victory against Joe Elfidh (right)

Harrison, who was out of the ring for seven years having been stripped of his WBO featherweight title, claims he has been promised a fight with Ricky Burns, who was hugely impressive in defending his world title against Kevin Mitchell, but on this evidence he should set his expectations significantly lower for the time being.

Now fighting at lightweight, the 35-year-old took the fight to Elfidh from the first bell and a hard right followed by a flurry of punches sent Elfidh crashing to the canvas. He beat the count however and survived the remainder of the round.

Harrison continued to control the centre of the ring in the second stanza but his English opponent was proving no pushover and landed several telling blows of his own as the fight reached the midway point. The remaining rounds continued in a similar vein and, despite chasing Elfidh around the ring, Harrison was forced to settle for 60-53 decision.

Evasive action: Elfidh dodges a left hook from Harrison at the SECC in Glasgow

Evasive action: Elfidh dodges a left hook from Harrison at the SECC in Glasgow

Earlier in the evening, Bradley Saunders stopped Ivan Godor in the third round after the Slovakian was dropped three times in the stanza.

Saunders moved to four without defeat while Stephen Simmons made it six straight successes against Tayar Mehmed and John Thain was given a tough time by Lee Noble before coming through to win by decision.

John Simpson was a popular winner against Dai Davies for the Celtic super-featherweight championship, knocking the Welshman out with a crushing right hook in the second round.

Taken the full distance: Harrison celebrates his victory over Elfidh after six rounds

Taken the full distance: Harrison celebrates his victory over Elfidh after six rounds

Billy Joe Saunders beats Jarrod Fletcher in two rounds

Saunders saunters to victory with two round demolition of Fletcher in title defence

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UPDATED:

22:33 GMT, 14 September 2012

Billy Joe Saunders stunned previously unbeaten Jarrod Fletcher inside two rounds to make a second defence of his Commonwealth middleweight title.

Saunders, 23, won the title in April with a brilliant win over Tony Hill in less than 30 seconds and he was again in imperious form at London's York Hall on Friday.

Fletcher, 28, had not tasted defeat in 12 professional contests but had no answer to Saunders' power.

Easy: Billy Joe Saunders saw off Jarrod Fletcher superbly

Easy: Billy Joe Saunders saw off Jarrod Fletcher superbly

Saunders had the upper hand in the first as he took the fight to the Queensland fighter, not allowing him to let fly with his renowned jab.

Fletcher, fighting outside of his homeland for the first time, looked to come forward in the second stanza but was rocked by a hard left.

Saunders laid siege to his beleaguered opponent and floored him with a flurry of blows. Fletcher beat the count but the fight was called off seconds later after another barrage from the champion.

No chance: Fletcher (left) beat the count but the fight was called off

No chance: Fletcher (left) beat the count but the fight was called off

Earlier in the evening, Bradley Skeete won his first title with a hard-fought points victory over Peter McDonagh to lift the British Masters welterweight belt.

Skeete controlled large swathes of the bout with his long jab but his opponent was more than prepared to come forward and caught the less experienced Penge fighter with some strong right hands.

No 1: Bradley Skeete won his first title

No 1: Bradley Skeete won his first title

But as the fight entered the latter rounds, Skeete began to dominate, slowing McDonagh with some punishing body shots and doing enough to win on the referee's card.

On the undercard, Enfield favourite Frank Buglioni had late replacement Joe Rea on the canvas three times before the referee called a halt to proceedings in the second round.

Smash: Skeete lands a blow on Peter McDonagh

Smash: Skeete lands a blow on Peter McDonagh

Lightweight Billy Morgan maintained his unbeaten record with a points win over Yousef Al Hamidi while Steve O'Meara floored Birmingham's Tony Randall in the third round to retain his Southern Area light-middleweight title.

Unbeaten featherweight prospect Mitchell Smith made it three without loss with a four-round shutout over Pavel Senkovs while Gary Corcoran and Ediz Hussein won their respective contests.

Great Britain 75 Australia 106: Horror show for GB as blow lead to crash out of tournament

Great Britain 75 Australia 106: Horror show for GB as blow lead to crash out of basketball tournament

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UPDATED:

22:15 GMT, 4 August 2012

Great Britain blew a 15-point lead in a horror show of a second half as their dream of reaching the Olympic quarter-finals ended in a crushing defeat to Australia.

An excellent first half left Britain in control of their destiny, needing a win here and in their final game against China to go through, but it all fell apart after the break.

Britain's discipline and composure deserted them in the face of a sustained Australian onslaught, and a 46-36 half-time lead became a 66-60 deficit by the end of the third period.

Bowing out: British forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu vies with Australian forward Brad Newley

Bowing out: British forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu vies with Australian forward Brad Newley

Things got no better in the final stanza as Australia scored the first 18 points to end the game as a contest.

/08/04/article-2183815-1462FBDB000005DC-234_468x305.jpg” width=”468″ height=”305″ alt=”Slipping behind: Great Britain's Luol Deng argues a call during the defeat to Australia” class=”blkBorder” />

Slipping behind: Great Britain's Luol Deng argues a call during the defeat to Australia

Australia started the second quarter on a charge, and back-to-back dunks for Aron Baynes sliced Britain's lead to 27-24.

When Deng swished a three it was 31-24.

Australia took advantage of a careless pass from Pops Mensah-Bonsu to close the gap to three when Brad Newley dunked but Britain quickly pulled away again, going on an 11-0 spurt to go 42-28 up on Reinking's jump-shot with 3:29 left in the half.

Australia came back in the final minutes of the quarter but Freeland hit a pair of free throws to give Britain a double-digit lead at the break, 46-36.

The second half began with Deng saving a fast break with an interception and Freeland scoring five quick points to give Britain a 51-36 lead.

Going out: Pops Mensah-Bonsu fights for the ball as Great Britain crashed

Going out: Pops Mensah-Bonsu fights for the ball as Great Britain crashed

But just as quickly, Matt Dellavedova hit a three and Mills completed a three-point play from the line to close the gap to nine.

Dellavedova hit another long three and after Mensah-Bonsu's lay-up for Britain, a messy turnover gave Mills the chance to cut it to three, 53-50.

More sloppy play then saw Mills tie with another three-point play, and another three from Dellavedova had the Boomers on top 56-55.

The Australian onslaught just kept coming as Mills and Maric both sank free throws.
A Clark dunk briefly lifted British hearts, but Australia were drawing foul after foul as frustration grew, and Newley made it 66-57 from the line.

Clark hit another three to slice the gap to three at the the end of the third, but the period concluded with Australia having outscored the hosts 30-14.

Australia scented blood and were relentless in the fourth quarter, with Sean Ingles' shot giving them an 84-60 lead midway through the quarter as Britain looked powerless to stop them.

Australia will now go on to the quarter-finals, while Britain must somehow pick themselves up for Monday's group finale against China – their last chance for a win in London.

Mills torched Britain for 39 points while David Anderson had 13 and Ingles 11.
Freeland led Britain with 16 and Clark had 14.