By Alexey Sukachev
In a twelve-round crowd-pleasing brawl, which kept the audience up on their feet, Ricky Hatton-promoted welterweight Denton Vassell (15-0, 8 KOs) got the victory of his career so far with a close but well-deserved unanimous decision over Lee Purdy (13-2-1, 7 KOs) on Friday night at Robin Park Centre in Wigan, England.
Both fighters turned the first round into a jabbing contest, during which nobody got the edge. In rounds two to four the bout was following a see-saw mechanism. Purdy kept throwing bigger, cleaner punches on occassions, while Vasell used activity as his primary weapon. In round five, however, Denton started to finally get the better of Purdy thanks to his body punching and frequent right and left uppercuts.
In round seven Purdy mounted a fine comeback at the ned, by rocking his foe badly with a terrific combo. Vassell, however, survived the pressure. The end of the fight evolved into a brawl at the middle range when both fighters exchanged thunderous blows in order to land one while taking one in return. Scores were: 117-112, 117-111, and 115-114 – for the new Commonwealth welterweight champion Vassell. Fightnews had it 118-112 – also in his favor.
Lancashire native Craig Watson (17-3, 7 KOs) accomplished a devastating debut at 154 lbs and seized a vacant Commonwealth light middleweight title with an express stoppage of hugely over matched and ultimately raw Ugandan Badru Lusambya (21-2-2, 19 KOs). The African’s record looks solid but tonight he proved it had too much padding in it as he came into the fight night (albeit as a late substitute) unprepared and rusty to oppose Watson. In the first, he fired multiple hard but too slow and wide blows and missed almost everyone of them. Watson was cautious adjusting himself to his swinging opponent. The second round turned into a nightmare for Badru and a bless for Watson’s left hand, as he floored Lusambya four times – courtesy of his left hooks – before the contest was halted for good, presumably at 2:01 of the second after the fourth decking of the African. 27-year old Watson previously scored a victory over Matthew Hatton.
Also, WBC #2, WBO #7 and IBF #8 super featherweight Sergey Gulyakevich (29-2, 13 KOs) continued his road back to another title opportunity with the points victory over Georgian Nugzar Margvelashvili (17-7, 7 KOs). A sole score was 59-55.
Super bantamweight prospect Craig Lyon (10-0, 3 KOs) was forced to get over several nasty cuts and a heated resistance of Georgian Georgi Gachechiladze (5-3, 1 KO) before he finally stopped him in the midst of the sixth and final round. Gachechiladze was down twice in the first by Lyon’s left hooks.
It took cruiserweight prospect Matty Askin (6-0, 3 KOs) only 110 seconds to get the rid of former prospect-turned-journeyman Matthew Ellis (20-10-2, 9 KOs) with a murderous fight hand.