Rigo Stops Dickens – The Ice Arena in Cardiff, Wales hosted a huge night of boxing on Saturday, July 16th. The card was especially noteworthy because of the presence of WBA “Super World” super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (16-0) of Cuba who defended his title against James Dickens (22-1).
Both men started the fight with a methodical approach as Rigondeaux appeared to want Dickens to show him something, and Dickens seemed to be employing the same strategy. Even with limited activity, Rigondeaux was clearly the more precise puncher. Round two saw Rigondeaux land a big left hand that cracked Dickens jaw for the only really solid punch of the round. Unfortunately, Dickens did not come out for round three when his corner determined that the punch had broken his jaw. Afterwards promoter Frank Warren announced that Rigondeaux will be asked back to fight on September 17th.
In the co-feature, Terry Flanagan won a wide twelve round decision over Mzonke Fana. Fana, 42 years old, came to fight and his unorthodox style seemed to frustrate Flanagan, but the British fighter scored two knockdowns on his way to a wide victory. The match was Flanagan’s third successful defense of his WBO lightweight belt and would seem to set up an all-British showdown with Manchester rival Anthony Crolla, who owns the WBA world title at lightweight.
In the final bout of the evening, Liam Williams (14-0-1) defended his Commonwealth and British 154-pound titles against Gary Corcoran (15-0). As the two men entered the ring, you could feel the energy level start to rise up from the nadir of the Rigo-Jazza letdown. Late in round one, Williams uncorked a huge punch that sent Corcoran back into the ropes. If the ropes had not been there to save Corcoran, it would have been scored a knockdown.
Round two saw the fight get sloppy as both men still appeared tense. In round three, a clash of heads caused a huge cut above Corcoran’s eye. The referee called for a doctor’s check, but the fight continued and Corcoran made it to the end of the round. The fight settled in after that, with Corcoran overcoming the cut to keep fighting. In round eight, where both men threw caution to the wind at times, the referee took a point from Corcoran for holding.
In the eleventh round, Williams broke through and shook up Corcoran, whose corner was telling him he was behind on the cards. A knockdown followed and although Corcoran got up, he wasn’t the same. After falling forward and hitting the canvas again, Corcoran got up for the last time but the referee stopped it with Williams peppering Corcoran with shots along the ropes.
In regional title action, WBO European welterweight champion Bradley Skeete stopped Alexandre Lepelley in the seventh round of their one sided contest and WBO Inter-Continental middleweight champion Tommy Langford earned a seventh round stoppage over Timo Laine in a match that saw Laine mount practically no offense. Throughout the card, the British fighters faced men of smaller stature or men a dozen years older in what was truly maudlin matchmaking across the board.