Clever Craig Evans repeats decision over game Stephen Ormond

Clever Craig Evans repeats decision over game Stephen Ormond

Blackwood’s Craig Evans (20-2-2, 3KO) successfully defended his WBO European title with a clever unanimous decision against Ireland’s Stephen Ormond (27-6, 13KO).

The lightweights co-headlined MTK Global’s show at the Vale Sports Arena in Cardiff Bay, live on iFL TV and ESPN+ in America, and the 10 rounder was scored to Evans courtesy of 98-92, 97-92 and 95-94 scorecards.

The pair met for the same belt in 2017, which Evans overcome on Irish soil. The Welshman sealed that unanimous decision with two body-shot knockdowns in the final round and he picked up where he left off, targeting the mid-section as early as the opening round.

Ormond pressed forward, as he always does, in the early rounds. Evans was content to retreat and counter-punch on the back foot. It appeared to be the right tactics and coach Gavin Rees enthusiastically encouraged the smart movement.

Evans was reminded to stay alert in the third round when he sat on the ropes and Ormond clocked him with a left hook. Evans regrouped in the following rounds and responded with shorter, two-punch combos before either pivoting or smothering Ormond’s reply.

Craig Evans

The reigning champion opted to circle and regularly cornered himself but he was comfortable there, walking Ormond on to pot-shots and the clearer punches. Many of the rounds repeated this pattern – the only significant interruption coming courtesy of Ormond’s head and low blow at the halfway mark.

Evans continued to close out the final rounds with the cleaner work amidst repeated clinches, guilt lying with both boxers at different points. Still, it was the most mature and disciplined performance of Evans’ eight year career. Referee Marcus McDonnell deducted a point from Evans in the last round for excessive holding, spurring the duo on to trade with less caution in the final two minutes, capping a pleasing performance from Evans.


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