Sky Sports Ricky Burns vs Julius Indongo, Iain Butcher vs Charlie Edwards, Joshua Kelly Debut
BY KID HERSH
Matchroom Boxing on Sky Sports from Glasgow, Scotland, featured a packed card of prospects and champions.
First up on my stream was the debut of Joshua Kelly. He went the full six rounds against a man that knows how to handle himself in the ring in Jay Byrne - not just a gimme fight. Kelly handled him with ease over the distance, even cocking off by dropping his hands in range and doing whatever he wanted. Byrne came to fight though and took the punches and kept coming and trying his best. Great debut by Kelly, cannot wait to see more.
Next up was Iain Butcher (16-2, 5KO's) vs Charlie Edwards (9-1, 4KO's). Victor Loughlin was the referee. The first round was closely contested, with Edwards looking to get his jab going while Butcher was unloading right hands that were not quite finding the mark just yet. In the second round Butcher got his offense going more and was landing hard punches by the end of the round. Edwards was taking them well and firing back but you got the feeling that the tides were turning to Butchers favor. This was proven wrong in the third round though as Edwards came out with extremely high energy and was bouncing around the ring while throwing unpredictable punches from all kinds of angles that seemed to freeze up Butcher. You have to question if Edwards can keep this pace up but it was not a bad plan to turn the previous round around and back into Edwards favor and style of fight. He carried the momentum into the fourth round with the only bright spot for Butcher being that at the end of the round he got in some very good body punches that he is no doubt hoping can slow down Edwards. It was really fun to watch Edwards continue boxing, with the frantic style he had going that had his own rhythm to it all his own. He was not slowing down at all whatsoever and you could tell that he really was enjoying himself and actually can probably box like this all night long unless Butcher changes things around. Edwards continued his beautiful boxing and high energy through the coming rounds. You could tell that Butcher was trying to find himself something, anything, as he pressed forward and was throwing a few more punches than when he looked befuddled in the early rounds but the constant movement of both Edwards legs and upper body was simply too confusing for him. This continued through the remainder of the fight, with Butcher unable to mount any sort of offense. Edwards was simply far too superior offensively and defensively tonight. With this great performance Edwards because the British super flyweight champion.
Main event time featuring Ricky Burns (41-5-1, 14KO's) vs Julius Indongo (21-0, 11KO's). Referee was Steve Gray. In the first round it was all Indongo as he came out bombs away. Burns was being cautious as usual - nothing unusual for him as we know he is a patient fighter that takes a good look at his opponents early on and tries to find something to exploit before opening up. in the second round it was more of the same except Burns was very slowly pressing forward while looking to find the distance on his punches. Indongo was doing a great job of not only using his reach but also taking steps back to make Burns come up short with his punches. The pattern continued, with Indongo showing a real variety to his game and more wrinkles than we knew about. This is to be a bit expected, since there is very limited footage of Indongo out there, but lets be honest at the same time; you don't expect someone who is unknown out of Namibia to be extremely surprising in a good way on the world stage! He was very balanced though, showing great reach and range no matter whether going forwards or backwards. He also was doing a good job of going to the body and it appeared that the body work was doing damage to Burns at the end of the fourth and during the fifth round when he got on his wheels to create distance to seemingly recover. Burns was getting picked apart until in the eighth round he found himself backing up around the ring more again from a right hook/left hand combination that hurt Burns to the head. He was a bit wobbly but is a veteran that knows how to survive and did just that. Burns had a slightly better ninth round but it was only because it seemed as if he was going for broke and Indongo knew that he had the fight in the bag so he was being patient and a bit more defensive while looking to walk Burns into a big punch. Although it could be argued that he still was not winning any rounds, Burns was definitely doing better as the rounds got deeper. Indongo set a torrid pace early on and while he isn't fading it's just near impossible to keep that type of work rate up for a full twelve rounds. Indongo continued his winning ways and went back to dominating in the twelfth and final round, with Burns slipping to the canvas three times and one of the times being a legit knockdown in my opinion. It mattered not though, as Indongo pitched a near shutout and unified the titles. Huge win for him as he just catapulted to the world stage on everyones radar. Great win for the Blue Machine.