Best of the rest: Youngsters stand out on Cyclone Promotions show undercard

Best of the rest: Youngsters stand out on Cyclone Promotions show undercard

Ricky Wright, Wales’ number one Master of Ceremonies, returns to BoxingWales.com to give part two of his ringside reaction to Saturday’s Cyclone Promotions show in Cardiff.

This instalment includes the best of the rest, who fought away from Channel 5’s main broadcast, either side of the main televised segment. It was when those who remained in the Motorpoint Arena were the more familiar faces, the same hardcore fans of Wales’ fight scene who never miss the small hall nights.

Gavin Gwynne (6-0, 1KO) wins Decision vs Ibrar Riyaz (5-119-4, 2KO) via 60-54 scorecard.

Treharris resident ‘Double G’ Gavin Gwynne squared off against durable journeyman Ibrar Riyaz, who is notoriously difficult to look good against as Bridgend’s Richie Canning found out last year in their draw. Alas, it was hunting season for Gwynne, who for the duration of the bout put on a show for the fans who’d stuck around to see him work, landing all sorts of combinations to earn a shut out points decision.

Gwynne vs Riyaz, what we learned:

After six professional fights, Gwynne is now ready to take a step up in competition. Also as one of the fighters in the ‘swing contests’ he would of gained valuable experience just waiting around. That’s right, from 6:30pm Gwynne would of been in his kit ready to enter the ring at any given time in case there was a gap to fill caused by an early stoppage in another fight. Waiting around for five hours would test the patience of any man and to put on that sort of performance to a near empty arena proves that he has a lot of mental toughness, too.

Gwynne vs Riyaz, what’s next:

Gwynne’s next fight should be against Henry Janes (10-20-2, 1KO) for the vacant Welsh lightweight title. Janes, who’s had a resurgence as of late has gone undefeated against good opposition in his last five fights.

Jermaine Asare (7-2, 1KO) loses via first round knockout to Malik Zinad (9-0, 8KO). 

Pontypridd’s 2010 Commonwealth Games medallist suffered his second first round knockout defeat when he fell victim to Syrian danger man Malik Zinad. Zinad, who came into this contest winning seven out of eight by stoppage landed flush to pick up the first round victory. It was a risky fight that did not pay off for Asare, who is better than he was able to show.

Asare vs Zinad, what we learned:

It was a step up too soon. Asare got caught and it can happen to anyone.

Asare vs Zinad, what’s next:

Asare needs to get back to winning ways and when he does, it should set up the highly anticipated Welsh light-heavyweight title fight against Cardiff’s Nathan Thorley later this year. The two have swam in the same waters for a while and would gel for an entertaining brawl.

Nathan Thorley (7-0, 4KO) wins via third round knockout vs Stanislav Eschner (5-3-1, 4KO).

Speaking of Nathan Thorley, he also featured on the card against Czech fighter Stanislav Eschner. Thorley brought the ‘Thunder’, routinely stopping his man in the third round in a dominant performance to sum up a busy few months for the long limbed Cardiff native.

Thorley vs Eschner, what we learned:

At 24-years-old, Thorley is being brought along nicely and a level above where he’s been competing at. He’s now seven fights undefeated and will be full of confidence on the back of two stoppages on the bounce in a space of a few weeks, so he’s ready to push on.

Thorley vs Eschner, what’s next:

How about matching him against someone like Chris Nixon? He’s been here before as a two time opponent of Jermaine Asare and although bested by the Welshman on both occasions, Nixon’s eagerness impressed observers. He’d be a good measuring stick to find out where Thorley stands and could act as a barometer if he were to meet Asare later down the line for Welsh honours.

Fred Evans (1-0) wins Decision against Najim Fennanne (1-2) via 60-54 scorecard.

2012 Olympic silver medalist Fred Evans made his highly anticipated debut on the card against Belgian Najim Fennanne. It was a routine debut for Evans who shook off a few years’ worth of inactivity to win 60-54 on referee Reece Carters scorecard.

Evans vs Fennanne, what we learned:

Evans still has the undoubted potential to go a long way. If he keeps grafting with Tony Borg at St Joseph’s Boxing Club and active with regular fights, Evans’ career should be exciting to follow.

Evans vs Fennanne, what’s next:

Evans should keep active against the higher echelon of British journeyman such as Kevin McCauley and William Warburton in his next two fights. It will surely be routine but they always come to fight and will give him rounds before he takes the next step up of more competitive outings.

Ashley Brace (7-0, 3KO) wins Decision vs Nevenka Mikulic (7-9-1, 5KO) via 60-54 scorecard.

‘The Storm’, who holds the WBC international female bantamweight title, got the chance to impress on live tv, enjoying more exposure than she’s enjoyed before. She clinically outboxed Croatian Nevenka Mikulic to the delight of her swelling fan base, clearly winning all six rounds.

Brace vs Mikulic, what we learned:

Forget what we learned, what we already know is that Brace is one of the hottest female prospects in the UK. She may not have the amateur pedigree of her peers, Nicola Adams and Katie Taylor, but she has age on her side.

Brace vs Mikulic, what’s next:

Brace needs to keep doing what she’s doing, lining them up and nocking them down. A world title shot is not too far away. Female boxing isn’t that deep and major opportunities will be forthcoming in the neat future.

Jonathan O’Kelly (2-0) wins Decision vs Jan Hrazdira (2-5, 1KO) via 38-37 scorecard.

Kristian Touze (3-0-1) wins Decision vs Victor Villanueva (1-4-1) via 38-37 scorecard.

Jonathan O’Kelly and Kristian Touze both recovered from early knockdowns to win on points in their respective bouts. O’Kelly was down in the second and Touze touched the canvas in the first. Both have the toughness to get off the canvas to get the job done. Once they regained their composure and boxed with their heads they looked good, despite being partial to a war, which nearly became their undoing. Next up, they will continue with their early development, taking one fight at the time.

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