A rematch between Jordan Flynn (9-0) and Kane Baker (19-10-1) kicked off Matchroom Boxing’s promotion of Olympic champion Galal Yafai vs Tommy Frank, taking place at the Utilita Arena, Birmingham.
Flynn & Baker initially fought a thrilling encounter at London’s O2 Arena, London back in April as part of Anthony Joshua’s return to action against Jermaine Franklin. Flynn would claim a narrow points win of 77-75 on that occasion, leading to calls for a rematch from Baker and his team.
Eddie Hearn obliged, and the contest was officially sanctioned as a final eliminator for the English super-featherweight title set for ten rounds.
The contest fulfilled expectations with its up close and all-action nature yet flowed extremely well, with both fighters having their successes. The first blow came in favour of Flynn, who landed a right hook counter whilst on the ropes flooring Baker following a delayed reaction.
The later rounds from round six saw Baker edge himself back into contention with impressive front foot pressure and able to find his opening on the inside. Flynn could still counter Baker and turn the momentum at various points making each round competitive and exciting to watch.
Leading into the final round, Flynn presumably had a comfortable lead on the scoring referee’s scorecard. However, he was deducted a point for an accumulation of misgivings of which both had been guilty. Baker, however, finished the round and contest strongly, with Flynn uncomfortable and perhaps slightly tiring due to the fast pace of the fight.
Following the completion of the ten rounds, the contest was officially scored a draw, with the scoring referee scoring the fight a draw with a score of 94-94.
Kaheel Majid (10-0) scored himself a win over eight rounds against a tough Alessandro Fersula (9-4), scoring 78-73 in a super-lightweight contest.
Majid scored a knockdown on the bell in the opening round following a dominating round, with the momentum continuing until the contest's halfway point. Fersula, in rounds five, six and seven, had his best periods of the fights countering off the leads of Majid, who looked one-dimensional during these rounds. The eighth and final round saw Majid shorten his shots and use his feet to develop the angles up close and demonstrate his superiority in ability, just like he had in the opening half of the contest.
Solomon Dacres (6-0) maintained and extended his unbeaten record to seven with a comprehensive points win over South African Chris Thompson over ten rounds.
Despite a comfortable verdict with scores of 99-91 and 98-92, Dacares flattered to deceive, mainly due to the awkward nature of southpaw Thompson. Thompson, who did not offer much threat to Dacres other than a counter left-hand when Dacres fell into range, gave Dacares the rounds he needed at this stage of his career. Dacares, however, did finish strong in the final three rounds when the former GB amateur team member upped the tempo of his work and began wobbling the South African, showing great resilience and always attempting to fight back or new when to clinch and frustrate the Birmingham native Dacares.
The chief support saw Cyrus Pattinson (6-0) and Connah Walker (11-2-1) produce a fight of the year contender, the second type of fight with which Pattinson has been involved in as many fights.
Walker produced the upset win, which not many had expected, and scored three knockdowns in the process in rounds three, five and seven.
Pattinson started the contest confidently and dominantly in the opening two rounds before the affair turned into a shootout in round three when Walker scored a knockdown from a hook. Walker had Pattinson figured out and had to close the gap due to his success in close quarters. However, this also favoured Pattinson, who was able to catch Walker effectively, adding to the flavour for those in attendance.
The second knockdown came in the fifth round from a left hook despite Pattinson’s protests that it should be ruled as a slip. The third knockdown in round six from Walker was sourced from a body shot that took the wind from his sails as the round drew close. Round eight saw Pattinson start confidently and try to force himself back into the contest, but in the final half of the round, Walker landed a big right hand which took the strength away from Pattinson, forcing a clinch. Following the clinch, Walker set on Pattinson aggressively, targeting the head and body and even forcing referee Marcus McDonnell to take a look and bring proceedings to a close.
Trainer Graham Rutherford took away that option from the referee and withdrew Pattinson from the contest to see his fighter fight for another day. Walker, in the process, captured the WBA international welterweight title.