By Gregory Doyle
This past Saturday night I was in attendance at the SSE Hydro to witness Scottish boxing history. The World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) took its franchise to Glasgow for a top class night of boxing.
On the undercard, there were convincing points wins for two returning fighters in Paul Butler (27-2) and Viktor Postol (29-2). Wins for both boxers should start their quest in getting back to World Title level in the sport.
Also, one of the main attractions on the card was a clash for the British Super-Middleweight title. Two undefeated fighters in Zac Parker and Darryll Willams met head-on in an up and down affair. Parker seemed to sustain an injury to his shoulder in round three to cause even further concern to his shaky opening start to the fight.
Williams was looking good after the first 4 rounds and looked like he was on his way to victory, however, Parker showed tremendous heart to box his way back into the fight in the second half and have a lot of success with his jab. Williams did not stop working hard throughout the fight and quite a few seem to think that the London man was widely ahead in the fight. I felt the fight was very close and could not argue with which way the decision went. Williams was the aggressor but didn’t seem to have a lot of quality at times in his work and seemed more content to bum-rush Parker which for me does not score you rounds.
In doing so there was one or two occasions where Williams appeared to lose his footing and almost fall over onto the ropes. Without taking to much away from Williams he really gave his all in a back and forth fight. Parker scored a majority decision victory which on the night seemed fair to me especially as he was making Williams miss in the second half of the fight and land his jab to effect albeit one-handed. Parker moves to 17-0 picking up the British Title whereas Williams slips to 17-1. A tight fight which deserves a rematch to settle all talk of controversy.
Moving on to the co-feature, Ryan Burnett defended his WBA Bantamweight title against the legendary Nonito Donaire. The fight had a great opening which Burnett seemed to be in the process of moving into control until disaster struck. In the fourth Burnett seemed to overstretch throwing a right hand and badly injuring his hip/back in the process. Adam Booth was left with no choice but to pull out Burnett, now 19-1, to hopefully fight another day. Nonito Donaire is now world champion once again and moves to 39-5 and onto a mouth-watering semi-final with, Frank Warren promoted, Zolani Tete for the unified WBA and WBO Bantamweight titles
The main event featured Scotlands very own ‘Tartan Tornado” Josh Taylor and undefeated American Ryan ‘Blue Chip’ Martin. From the first bell, Taylor dominated the contested with his blistering hand speed and pivotal movement. Martin had lots of problems getting to Taylor and didn’t seem to have the power to trouble the Prestonpans man which made his nights work even more of an uphill task. Taylor seemed to control all of the opening six rounds without seriously hurting Martin but instead dazzle him with his selection of combinations and in and out footwork.
Moving into the seventh it appeared that Taylor may be building towards a shutout victory until he landed a shot high on the head of Martin which appeared to take away all of the Americans senses. Martin beat the count and initially appeared ok to continue but referee Victor Loughlin stopped the contest which at first seemed slightly premature. However looking at the replay on the big screen and seeing the view he had of Martin, now 22-1, on the way down and the way his eyes reacted to the knockdown it was a first-class stoppage to prevent the man from Cleveland any further damage. Taylor who now moves to 14-0 can look forward to a semi-final that brings the opportunity to win a world title against undefeated Belarus fighter Ivan Baranchyk who holds the IBF Super-Lightweight title. All in a great night and a great atmosphere put on by all fans in attendance.