By Thomas Lyons
Business as usual for Reece Bellotti last night, as he retained his Commonwealth Featherweight title in brutal fashion, stopping a tough Ben Jones inside six rounds. Nicknamed the ‘Bomber’, the South-Oxhey man demonstrated the power he carries at the weight as well as the mature and efficient use of shot selection to break Jones’s will throughout the fight.
With eleven stoppages to his twelve fight record winning record, the 27-year old composed himself round by round, in doing so, was able to get the 35-year-old out of there in the middle rounds. Previously, Bellotti has been criticised for his reckless approach in fights but against Jones, he was nothing but calm and collective, to successfully defend his title on a packed bill with thousands in attendance to support.
The opening exchanges between the pair were competitive, with Jones having a degree of success, even though Bellotti was taking the rounds, by claiming the centre of the ring and doubling up with the jab. Unlike his fight with Jason Cunnigham before this encounter, where Bellotti was over eager to land that one telling punch and leaving himself open at times, it was a more calculated start against Jones. Bellotti landed a few nicely timed uppercuts as Jones kept coming forward and started to work the body after the third round. After a barrage of body punches, Bellotti caught Jones with a crisp body shot in the fourth that sent the Crawley man to the floor for the first time. After taking a knee and beating the count of Ian John-Lewis, Bellotti pressed the fight and got Jones onto the ropes, landing two more crunching body blows, making Jones wince and start to fall apart. Bellotti systematically broke Jones down and start to carefully and efficiently land his shots where the gaps presented.
Despite the resilience of Jones and at times trading with Bellotti, the maturity of the champion prevailed. In the fifth, Jones started to gather himself and use his own jab to get into range with Bellotti moving around and boxing cleverly on the backfoot. However, in the sixth, the explosiveness of Bellotti showed with the finishing body blow that forced the referee to stop the contest. Bellotti, since winning the Commonwealth belt back in December, will be looking to push onto some big fights this year, hopefully, defend the title a few times against hungry opposition and then move onto bigger titles by the end of the year.
With a cracking British Featherweight title fight scheduled on the undercard of Groves-Eubank this month, between champion Ryan Walsh and Isaac Lowe, Bellotti will have his eyes peeled onto the domestic scene and hopefully work his way into a position to have a shot at the winner. As I have eluded to before, the featherweight mix at world level is scintillating, but even on the British scene, there are some true 50-50 fights to be made including the likes of Selby, Warrington, Frampton and so on.