Matt Buzet reviews Matt Wendell’s fight with Neil McCubbin for the Commonwealth Lightweight Crown
The Commonwealth Lightweight Championship will be contested for the third time only in the parking lot at Sheffield Arena on Friday (11 June). Dennis Hobson promotes the conflict between Scotland Neil McBeen Englishman Wendell died of a belt that had been vacant for more than three decades. The match will be shown live on Fightzone.
Eight-year-old fighter and at 22, McCubbin won the five (one on schedule), but was not tested. Meanwhile, Wendell (5-3-1) looks lucky to get the shot after suffering two straight defeats at the Midlands Flyweight Championship. The loss to David Seymour (7-1) and Ejaz Ahmed (5-1) were close.
Ahmed’s defeat in particular looked much closer to the score of 97-94. Wendell hosted Ahmed on the floor in the second round in March 2019 and each round was competitive. Ahmed went on to beat Queis Khademi (8-0) – a result that put him 13th in the WBO rankings at 115 lbs.
In turn, Drongan’s Makubin defeated only one opponent with a winning record – Marius Wisniauskas (2-0). The Lithuanian waited until the 31-year-old to turn professional after a long amateur career, and although it’s better for his bank balance that he loses rather than wins, he still takes some control. He was on tour with McCubbin, probably the second when the Scotsman chose to stand up and trade with him.
McCubbin says a fight with Wendell “could be like a phone box” and might not be in his favour. Wendell drops Ahmed with a clean left hook and appears to be doing his best in the short and medium range, while McCubbin is better when he moves his feet and has opponents at arm’s length.
Wendell said, “They say, ‘Don’t hang with a bitch, and if it were me, I wouldn’t trade hooks with me. But he can’t escape for 12 rounds and I think he likes to fight.'”
McCubbin accepts that he is being dragged into the punches and although the temptation might be to try and push Wendell back, he told Boxing News, “I need to move in and call him.”
Sam Mullane will be in McCubbin’s corner, as he has since he started boxing at the age of 11. McCubbin ran about 45 amateur competitions, mostly at the junior level, before making his professional debut a month after his 20th birthday, while Wendell says most of his 60th competition. – In addition to the amateur outings were great fits. The highlight was his silver medal at the 2015 Haringey Box Cup and he went on to go pro with PJ Rowson later that year. This made headlines because Wendell teaches poetry in schools and has twice been awarded the title of Birmingham Poet.
There was a loss for Brett Fido (6-35-2) – sparring partner before Friday’s fight – and a tie with Pablo Narvaez (9-7-6). At the championship level, Wendell missed by 3 and 2 points to Ahmed and Seymour, respectively.
“I’m convinced I won both fights,” said the boxer who trained Spencer McCracken. “I think it is fate, this is my time. I don’t think much about how to win rounds on scorecards, but I am more confident in making the right decision with three referees rather than just one.”
Due to the coronavirus, Wendell spent 19 months outside the ring. It’s been longer since McCubbin’s last fight, as he repeated his points win over Stephen Maguire (0-16) in his first fight over six rounds.
Wendell wonders if McCubbin had the seasoning needed before this 12-course ingredient, and there are plenty of other unknowns. Neither fighter had ever gained 108 pounds, neither had 12 rounds, and McCobbin never exceeded six rounds.
We can confidently anticipate that it will be a good fight and we pick McBeen to win it on points.
Nottingham Derek Osaz (10-0), who defeated Kieron Conway en route to winning the Ultimate Boxxer Tournament in May 2019, and Tyler Denny (12-2-2), a polished Southern Bow of Rowley Regis, met over 10 rounds in support of the middleweight chief.
Denny, who was defeated by Reese Cartwright and Linus Eudovia in English title fights, is probably better suited to a 10-round distance and can claim a decision victory.
judgment It will be interesting to see how McCubbin handles his rise to the championship level.