By Alexey Sukachev
Tall youngster Prince Arron (17-3-1, 1 KO) is a sensational winner of Barry Hearn’s and Sky Sports’ light middleweight Prizefighter tournament, which took place Friday night at York Hall, London. In the final Arron took some hard southpaw bombs from previously undefeated Brett Flournoy (11-1, 4 KOs) and was on the brink of defeat with just three minutes remaining. He rallied hard though and scored a decisive knockdown in the midst of the third on an accumulation of hard right hands, which sent his foe down on one knee. Flournoy got up and fought as hard as he could to cruise through Arron’s backfire. It wasn’t enough. Judges scorecards read as follows: 29-28, 29-28 and 28-27 – Arron. Fightnews saw it differently – 29-28 – for Flournoy who paid a huge price for his single mistake in the tournament.
Semifinal 1: Beanpole-like Prince Arron (now 16-3-1, 1 KO) shocked the audience with an upset dissection of Bradley Pryce (29-8, 17 KOs), who was thought to be a favorite of this tournament. Arron used his fast and long hands to score much with excellent precision in the first. Pryce got some mild success in the second with big right hands but Arron was better nevertheless. The last stanza saw Arron showbotingly beating Pryce to the punch with jabs, uppercuts and hooks. Scores were 30-27 (twice) and 29-28 – for Arron. Fightnews saw it 30-27 – for the Manchester native, who has advanced to the final.
Semifinal 2: In a battle between two unbeaten light middleweights, Brett Flournoy (11-0, 4 KOs) frustrated and outpointed orthodox Steve O’Meara (11-1, 2 KOs) to get his spot in the final with the split decision 29-28 (twice) and 28-29. Flournoy demonstrated evidently that endeavour isn’t enough when fighting a southpaw counterpuncher. Fightnews saw it 30-27 – Flournoy. Arron vs. Flournoy is coming.
Quarterfinals: The night started with a stylistic match-up between towering (6’3”) youngster Prince Arron and charging journeyman George Hillyard. Hillyard shook some dust off rangy Arron in the first tagging him with several hard right hands from the distance and one of them to end the initial stanza. The second was pretty even as Arron found his distance and started to pepper stronger but too raw Hillyard (9-5-1, 5 KOs) with the jab. Round three was all Arron’s who couldn’t stop delivering fast combos and blistering uppercuts without eating much in return. At the end, all three judges saw it 30-27 for 22-year old (now 15-3-1, 1 KO), who advanced to the semifinal. Fightnews scored it also for Arron but a bit closer: 29-28.
Quarterfinals: In the most intriguing, second quarterfinal between two famed veterans, Welsh former Commonwealth titleholder Bradley Price (29-7, 17 KOs) barely got the better of his Irish rival Neil Sinclair (33-8, 26 KOs) with the split decision: 29-28 (twice) and 28-29. Both fighters fought angrily with an honorable zeal and power in the punches. Usually slow-starting Pryce was surprisingly tougher and stronger in the first. The second round was pretty even as both fighters exchanged hard punches, while Sinclair was a bit better in the third. Fightnews failed to define the winner in this crowd-pleasing slugfest: 29-29.
Quarterfinals: A thirty-year old southpaw “dark horse” Brett Flournoy (10-0, 4 KOs) advanced to the semifinals with a convincing points victory over young Danny Butler (18-4, 3 KOs), who has now lost three in a row. Bigger Butler was more aggressive but never found a punch, which could have been dangerous for Flournoy, who hasn’t won in almost two years. Brett successfully avoided all attacks of 22-year old Butler and tagged him on occasion with fast counters. Fightnews had it 29-28 – for Flournoy.
Quarterfinals: Steve O’Meara stayed undefeated and moved up to both 11-0, 2 KOs, and the second semifinal after a unanimous decision over British journeyman Martin Concepcion (16-7, 10 KOs). Concepcion hopelessly and haplessly waited for a huge punch to come his way but failed to connect to classy O’Meara. The latter, on the other hand, delivered punches rarely but with an extreme precision showing great boxing skills. Fightnews had it 30-27 – for O’Meara.