Jack Catterall will have an eye on a shot at WBO world super-lightweight champion Maurice Hooker after defeating Ohara Davies in Leicester last night.
Catterall just about appeared to get the better of a tight opening round and was quick to employ his snappy southpaw jab to head and body. Jack’s main defensive job was to maintain his concentration and stay alert to Ohara’s powerful right hand.
Davies found his jab in the third as southpaw Catterall persisted with pokes and prods to the body. Davies’ left jab was on display in the fourth as well, and Catterall toiled to get his lead foot on the outside and let the left hands go. It became occasionally messy, and referee Howard Foster told the pair to offer a little more in the defensive department after an extended period of posturing in the middle of the session.
The lead commentator on BT Sport, John Rawling, described the action in round five as a stalemate and the tentative probing of both men behind their respective lead hands was causing a stand-off. Ohara was swivelled on to his back foot by a chopping Catterall left in the sixth, and the Chorley man was visibly warming into the bout.
Catterall’s trainer Jamie Moore suggested in the corner after the seventh that the first signs of desperation were beginning to emanate from Davies. The Hackney man sensed the need for urgency in the ninth and half-landed his vaunted right hand as Catterall scurried out of range. Catterall’s portside jab helped him to control the tenth.
Neither boxer had been hurt, buzzed or even shaken, and Davies aimed to change that with a winging right hand in the 11th. Ohara lulled himself way back into a form of boxing inertia and seemingly needed at least a knockdown, if not a knockout, in the final round to avoid a second defeat. Both corners assured their boxer that the fight was in the bag.
Davies tried to open up in the last round. His success was limited, however, and Catterall found gaps for his own left hand. The judges’ scorecard came in at 118-110 and 115-113 twice, all for “El Gato” who moves on towards world level as this win solidifies his WBO world number two ranking.
Undefeated records were on the line as Archie Sharp, and Leon Woodstock went to war for the latter’s WBO European super-featherweight strap. Forget about the bauble, unbeaten records and pride after a touch of the pre-fight needle were the most significant things on the line here.
Hometown hero Woodstock tasted the canvas in the first round after a well-timed left hook caught him square. Sharp’s nifty jab and uppercut were working well, and he clearly had the edge in hand speed. Woodstock’s style was all about work rate and getting in to close quarters on the confident Welling boxer.
The pair traded hard in the sixth and Woodstock’s right hands were increasingly finding a home. Leon’s corner team motivated their man before the seventh, and he responded with an increased tempo.
Sharp boxed and moved well in the eighth; popping shots from both stances and multiple angles he was a couple of points ahead on Barry Jones’ unofficial scorecard and showing superior skills. Round nine was a great slugfest where both men let it hang out and tried their utmost to gain a foothold. Sharp turned southpaw and got the better of it; he was surely ahead by the time the final round rolled into view.
Indeed, the judges confirmed Sharp’s win as he took a deserved decision by three identical scores of 96-93. Sharp can mix at British title level and possibly challenge current champion Sam Bowen in the near future. This was an excellent scrap, and there remains the possibility of a rematch.