McPhilbin comes from behind to kayo Williams in thrilling final round

13 Jan

Tommy Barber – London

Unlikely British cruiserweight title challenger Shane McPhilbin, who accepted a fight with Lonsdale belt holder Leon Williams on less than three weeks notice, secured a last gasp knockout to become the latest domestic champion at 200lbs at York Hall in east London on Friday, January 13. McPhilbin had been knocked down twice, was far behind on the scorecards, but dropped Williams thrice in the final round.

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Barber’s scorecard

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
8 9 10 9 9 8 9 9 9 9
10 10
10 10 9 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 9 6

Official verdict: McPhilbin by way of TKO.

The fight began like it was to finish – with a knockdown amid all action. The first canvassing arrived when McPhilbin held his shield high but dropped his left hand so his chin became an open target. Williams – dubbed Solid – lived up to his nickname by landing a stunning overhand right that collapsed McPhilbin who had attempted to load up on a shot of his own.

McPhilbin rose to his feet following the count, but wandered off to the red corner and appeared to take his mouth-guard out. By the time the referee had completed the count, though, the challenger regained his senses but for the remaining 50 seconds on the round clock, sought to spoil Williams’ hope of securing a huge first round knockout.

Midway through the second round, with a couple of right hands over the top missing, Williams reverted back to his reliable jab with one lead shot in particular buckling the legs of McPhilbin. If the first round cast doubts over the Nottingham man’s punch resistance, the second provided the answer – Williams could, and did, hurt the man who took the fight on just three weeks notice following the withdrawal of Tony Conquest due to suffering a bout of shingles. As the second round drew to a close, McPhilbin was throwing more and landing more, but it was too little, too late, to gain the ten score.

Any success McPhilbin enjoyed in the third having fought his way back into the contest was almost destroyed at the beginning of the fourth as Williams cracked a short-range right hand onto the side of his chin. A minute later, Solid forced McPhilbin into a neutral corner where he landed a big shot with his left. McPhilbin may have been out-throwing Williams, but it was the defending champion whose shots were the crisper and, by far, the more meaningful.

McPhilbin’s work-rate was more eye-catching in the opening stages of the fifth round, but Williams stole it with a flurry whilst McPhilbin had his back to the ropes, a head-thumping uppercut at the round’s end and his overall ability to effectively switch from body-work to head shots.

McPhilbin, much to his chagrin, was forced to accept another knockdown in the sixth as, after he was nearly Royal Rumbled over the top rope following a barrage of blows, managed to stay inside the square circle but touched the deck with his glove. Williams was sent to a neutral corner while McPhilbin complained about injustice.

A successful switch in tactics from going for the kayo, to boxing cleverly, patiently, using combinations and body-punches brought about a more convincing and dominant performance round by round as Williams took both the seventh and eighth rounds, despite a rallying effort from McPhilbin.

Being so blatantly behind on the scorecards, the championship rounds should have contained more initiative from McPhilbin but, instead, the challenger boxed on the backfoot, clinched and only fought positively in spurts. Having boxed so professionally through the entire fight, one moment of madness saw Williams docked a point as, in frustration, he attempted to throw McPhilbin through the ropes in the penultimate round.

Incredibly, Williams suffered two knockdowns in the first 30 seconds of the final round but Solid remained on unsteady legs who, ironically, was now the one looking to spoil McPhilbin’s rhythm. The challenger finished the fight in fine fashion by collapsing Williams for a third time due to an unrelenting clubbing of interchanging hooks around Williams’ temples.

McPhilbin rose to 8-2-0, 5ko with the win while Williams suffered his fourth defeat and is now 9-4-0, 4ko.

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One Response to “McPhilbin comes from behind to kayo Williams in thrilling final round”

  1. bobby hunter January 13, 2012 at 11:46 pm #

    cheers for the score card , i will add to the blog , i had ait 106-99 at the time of the stoppage , defo a punch to the temple that ended the fight for williams

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