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Clarke wants the British belt, Ballingall the manager and Paddy’s power

Written by Eric Armit

May 25

Cheavon Clarke leaves his mark on Zorro – Leeds, UK

Clarke won the vacant British title by KO of Ellis Zorro. In the first round, Zorro cleverly boxed on the back foot using his jab and a lot of footwork to avoid Clarke’s slow attacks. Zorro continued to hold Clarke, and when Clarke moved in, he held on to block Clarke’s hooks and uppercuts.

Zorro was given a warning for holding at the start of the eighth and Clarke was able to force him to take over and landed a big right that sent Zorro to his knees and backing away. Clarke closed and a triple to right sent Zorro down and he was counted out. Clarke, 33, earned his seventh win by KO/TKO.

Jamaican-born Clarke, who defeated current WBO cruiserweight champion Chris Billam-Smith in the amateurs, represented Jamaica at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Clarke then moved on to represent England/Great Britain winning a silver medal at the European Championships, a bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and competing at the Tokyo Olympics. Zorro, 31, lost his unbeaten streak when he was knocked out in one round by Jai Opetaia in December.

Perfect Paddy cleans Ritson – Leeds, UK

Paddy Donovan wore down Lewis Ritson with a ninth round stoppage. In the early rounds, the southpaw Donovan was boxing in a calm and controlled manner, especially in the reverse position, with Ritson moving behind guard, using his jab to set Donovan up for rights.

Donovan changed tactics in the seventh, getting on the front foot, taking the fight to Ritson. He continued those tactics with success in the eighth, cornering Ritson and then going to the ropes in the second half of the round, landing hooks and chops to the neck. Ritson fired the counters from time to time to convince the referee that he was in the fight, but only just.

Donovan again drove Ritson to the ropes in the ninth and was throwing punches at him when the referee stopped the fight. Donovan was defending the WBA Continental belt for the second time with his fifth straight victory.

Cully pushes solo loss behind him by beating Patera – Leeds, UK

Gary Cully defeated Francesco Patera by unanimous decision. Patera knew he would have to fight the 6’2” Cully, and he did so first, focusing on body punches as Cully used right and left jabs to score.

Tired towards the end, Patera made a strong finish to take tenth and close it out. The scores came in at 96-94 (twice) and a very wide 98-92 for Cully.

The previous winner suffered a heavy defeat when Mexico’s Jose Felix knocked him down twice and stopped him in three rounds in May last year, but a win over Reece Mold in November led to his reputation being restored.

Two-time European champion Patera has once again shown his fine skills and tactical genius but he has only just arrived here. He was 10-1 in his last eleven fights losing on points against the talented Keyshawn Davis in July 2023.

Gary Cully (Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

May 24

Buoyant Ballingall Benjamin Managers – London, UK

Lucas Ballingall survived the final round to knock out Kaisee Benjamin. The two were well-matched, with Ballingall being the best and fastest but doing the most visual art, and Benjamin working hard all the way.

Neither is a heavy puncher, and Ballingall went for the bulk, attacking with quick punches, while Benjamin threw slowly but with great accuracy. Ballingall’s clever boxing and quick movement gave him the edge, and with swelling affecting Benjamin’s vision in his right eye, Ballingall had a good lead going into tenth place.

He was exhausted, and Benjamin landed a series of hooks to the body. An exhausted Ballingall was holding the reins when he lost his guard, gaining a few seconds to catch his breath. A right hand rocked Ballingall, and three punches dropped him with just 16 seconds left in the fight.

He got to his feet and grabbed Benjamin to get through the few minutes that were left. Ballingall won by scores of 96-93 twice and 95-94. He also fought for the vacant IBF European title. Benjamin suffered back-to-back losses against Dalton Smith and Sean McComb but won his last two fights.

Who beats Isaac Chilemba? Aleksei Papin is one – Balashikha, Russia

In the second, Papin beat Chilemba to the side, which was already finished. Chilemba showed all his experience as he boxed brilliantly in the first round to overwhelm the dangerous Papin.

In the second Papin attacked Chilemba with force and put him in the ropes and then tried to beat Chilemba to the ground but the Malawian blocked many shots and cut the ropes.

A left hook sent Chilemba back to the ropes and this time there was no escape. Papin punched Chilemba until he ended up lying on his back on the canvas and the referee stopped the fight.

May 23

Jermaine Franklin beat a tired Devin Vargas – Detroit, USA

Franklin went into target practice against a flashy but tough Vargas. A right uppercut sent Vargas down in the fourth and despite a badly bruised and bleeding nose, Vargas managed to hit the count and fought bravely into the fifth.

Towards the end of the sixth, with Vargas facing the ropes, Franklin connected with a left hook and a right and Vargas went down to the canvas. He got up quickly with the bell before the referee started the count but wisely Vargas didn’t go out for the seventh time.

Jermaine Franklin (James Chance/Getty Images)

May 22

Jukembayev enters Redkach – Florida, USA

Batyrzhan Jukembayev stopped a tired looking Ivan Redkach in five rounds on Pro Box TV. Faster and more accurate with his southpaw, Jukembayev dominated the rest of the way.

This was Jukembayev’s fifth win in a row as he works towards a title shot. He suffered a heartbreaking and retirement loss against Subriel Matias in May 2021, so he will be hoping for a chance to get revenge now that Matias is the IBF champion. However, his only current ranking is No. 12 by the WBA.

At 38, Redkach looked like he was about to retire. After going 19-1-1, he dropped to 5-6 in recent career and this was only his second fight in three years.

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