Contrasting fortunes in Cardiff double header for Andrew Selby and Craig Kennedy

Contrasting fortunes in Cardiff double header for Andrew Selby and Craig Kennedy

Last weekend, Barry McGuigan’s Cyclone Promotions rolled back in to Wales and they set up shop at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena. The show was televised by terrestrial broadcaster Channel 5 and the double header featured two Welshmen in their toughest fights yet.

Ricky Wright, who is usually seen in the Master of Ceremonies role, replaced his tuxedo with a notepad and pen, reporting what he saw from ringside for BoxingWales.com

Andrew Selby (9-0, 5KO) wins Unanimous Decision vs Cristofer Rosales (23-3, 15KO) via Scorecards of 117-110, 117-110 118-109).

Barry Town’s Andrew Selby gets up off the floor in the first round to outpoint Nicaraguan Cristofer Rosales. Andrew, younger brother of IBF featherweight king Lee Selby, found himself in his most competitive bout of his nine fight career so far.

When the standout amateur announced his intentions to turn over to the pro ranks his management at Sanigar Events laid the ground work to fast track the Barry man to a world title shot. During his eight previous fights he’s only faced one fighter with a losing record, the rest who were all regarded as a step up all went the same way, outclassed by the AC Superstar.

Many felt that Rosales would be no different, so it came as a shock when ‘Latiga’ put Selby down in the first round. Selby beat the count and got and got up at eight. After a brief scare, from then on it became business as usual. The scores were wide in Selby’s favour, and there aren’t many who would disagree with the three scoring judges. But the rounds were far closer than all his previous outings.

Selby vs Rosales, what we learnt:

We learnt that he has the heart and will to get off the floor and finish the job, like his elder sibling Lee did in his world title defence against Eric Hunter in 2016. In a clear step up in class, he dealt with a far more offensive fighter than what he’s become accustomed to. This will serve him well, especially if his next fight is against the WBC world flyweight champion; Japanese knockout artist Daigo Higa.

Selby vs Rosales, what’s next:

As Friday’s contest was an official eliminator for the WBC world championship, it’s hard to not expect the world title fight next or in the bear future. Many feel that the Rosales fight proved that Selby isn’t ready for the likes of Higa. However, the twelve competitive rounds we saw against the Nicaraguan will only have helped him prepare for physical contests that he’s so far been too good for.

Craig Kennedy (16-1, 8KO) loses via sixth round knockout to Matty Askin (22-3-1, 14KO).

In the co-main event, Cardiff’s Craig ‘The Kid’ Kennedy suffered his first career loss in seventeen contests. It’s almost two years since he outpointed Courtney Fry to become mandatory for the British cruiserweight title and when the wait was finally over, Kennedy was second best on the night.

His opponent, Blackpool’s bruising Matty Askin, got the knockout in the sixth round after an early knockdown in the first to lift the Lord Lonsdale title at the second time of asking.

Both men entered the ring with contrasting demeanours. Askin was fighting in the away corner, in the belly of the beast, yet un-phased by the vocal crowd. He came out to England rugby anthem “Swing Low” laughing and joking with his coaches. Cool calm and collected, but at the sound of the first bell, he was all business.

Kennedy, who was in his comfort zone appeared more nervous than usual, whether the occasion, two year wait or the multiple change of opponents in that time affected him, it was clear something wasn’t right with the local hero.

Kennedy vs Askins, what we learnt:

They say you learn more from your first loss than all of your wins combined. Craig is a very intelligent boxer, he’ll rewatch the fight over and over and and figure out what went wrong. There’s no doubt he’ll back and just like Askin, he may win the British title in his second attempt, too.

Kennedy vs Askin, what’s next:

Eddie Hearn has announced that he’s bringing his JDNxtGen series to Cardiff in September on the back of signing Team GB standouts Sean McGoldrick and Joe Cordina, who are from Newport and the capital, respectively.

Another member of the Matchroom Sport stable is London’s Isaac Chamberlin, who has recently captured the Southern Area title. It came courtesy of beating Kennedy’s old foe, Wadi Camacho, whilst bravely battling through a dislocated shoulder.

Hearn will be looking to step Chamberlin up and what better person for the job than Kennedy. A win for Craig in front of the Sky Sports cameras over the undefeated Londoner would put him right back in the mix, and we know the Essex outfit are partial to throwing in a WBC international title or something similar in to the mix from time to time… hint, hint.

Ricky Wright will be back on BoxingWales.com to offer his analysis on the rest of the card.

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