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Cacace too much for Woodstock; Maxwell claims controversial win

Anthony Cacace put together an accomplished performance as he proved to be far too sharp for Lyon Woodstock, retaining his British super-featherweight title at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham on Saturday night. Woodstock showed plenty of heart, but it wasn’t enough, as Cacace proved he was a level above him. It was a straightforward one for the judges who awarded it to ‘The Apache’ 117-110 (twice) and 117-111 on the cards.

It was a fast start by the Belfast man who was supremely confident from the opening bell. There had been some needle in the weeks leading up to the fight, which spilled over at the end of the first with Woodstock landing a shot way after the bell had sounded. Yet Cacace had Woodstock reeling briefly in the second and, despite oncoming pressure from his Leicester-based rival, he was in control.

The champion was even more in the ascendancy in the fourth, as a flashing left uppercut put Woodstock down and the Northern Irishman sensed an early finish. Woodstock recovered and was back throwing leather, but Cacace’s confidence was building with every punch. Credit must go to Woodstock who kept coming, but he always seemed to be half a step behind Cacace.

Woodstock presented as a very big target for Cacace, who at times couldn’t miss. A solid right hand counter in the eighth stunned Woodstock and Cacace began to put his foot down in the ninth, eluding Woodstock’s best efforts. Woodstock looked far from comfortable by the end of the fight, whereas Cacace was in total cruise control. With the win, Cacace is now 19-1, 7 KOs and Woodstock falls to 12-3, 5 KOs. 

Sam Maxwell is the new British and Commonwealth super-lightweight champion, but it’s fair to say Akeem Ennis-Brown can consider himself very unfortunate to be leaving Birmingham without the belts in his possession. Maxwell won it by a surprising unanimous decision – 116-113 (twice) and 115-114 on the cards.

In truth, it was a poor fight that there will be no rush to see again. It was a messy affair from the start and Ennis-Brown appeared to be doing enough to edge the rounds. Maxwell struggled to pin the Gloucester man down and land anything of any real note, also suffering a cut over his left eye to hamper him further.

There was a bad tempered build-up before the fight, but it failed to ignite at any stage in the ring. Maxwell, to his credit, pressed forward and forced the action as Ennis-Brown continued to pick him off. But the lack of power in Ennis-Brown’s shots failed to deter Maxwell who did enough in the judges’ eyes to leave with a controversial win. The Liverpool man improves to 16-0, 11 KOs, whilst Ennis-Brown slips to 14-1, 1 KO.

Anthony Yarde returned to action for the first time since his December defeat to Lyndon Arthur and he didn’t hang around, as he bludgeoned his way past Alex Theran in highly predictable fashion. The Colombian served his purpose and Yarde is back on the right track, dropping Theran twice with matching left hooks to the body and ending matters in the opening round. The former WBO 175lbs title challenger is now 21-2, 20 KOs and a rematch with Arthur is up next on October 9.

Stoke middleweight Nathan Heaney brought a large following with him and he sent them all home happy as he eased past Konstantin Alexandrov, stopping the Bulgarian in the fifth round with a right hand to the body. Heaney improved his record to 13-0, 5 KOs and the expectation should now be to see him in a real test in his next fight, as he was never remotely troubled in this one. There is no doubt Heaney can sell a ticket, but now we need to see if the Stoke man can really fight at a higher level.

Liam Davies kept hold of his unbeaten record, living up to his ‘Dangerous’ moniker in the process as he dismantled Raymond Commey inside two rounds of their scheduled eight-rounder. The English bantamweight champion, now 10-0, 5 KOs, was originally expecting a stiffer test, but was instead served the Ghanaian who was staggered by a right hand before he became target practice and was dropped. It was correctly waved off by referee Shaun Messer, despite Commey’s protests, after 2:52 of the second.

Earlier, in an off-TV bout, Ijaz Ahmed and Quaise Khademi battled to a split draw over 12 rounds for the vacant British super-flyweight title.

Ahmed had beaten Khademi on a majority points verdict in February, but they could not be separated second time around after a thrilling battle.

Scores were Khademi (115-114), Ahmed (115-113) and 114-114 even.

@Matt_Bevan68

Main image: Cacace celebrates victory over Woodstock. Photo: Queensberry Promotions.