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Riley defends title as Babic & Simpson take smashing stoppage wins

Viddal Riley outpointed Mikael Lawal to complete a successful first defence of the English cruiserweight title.

Riley took a unanimous decision win, 98-92 and 99-91 twice, on the Fabio Wardley vs Frazer Clarke undercard at the O2 Arena.

Though fired up after losing the British championship to Isaac Chamberlain, Lawal ultimately found Riley too slippery a target to pin down.

BEN SHALOM BOXXER BAD BLOOD FIGHT WEEK.THE O2 LONDON 31/03/2024.FABIO WARDLEY V FRAZER CLARKE.PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG/BOXXER.(PICS FREE FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY).ENGLISH CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE.VIDDAL RILEY V MIKAEL LAWAL
Image: Lawal was unable to pin down Riley

Over the first three rounds, Riley looked to take the sting out of Lawal’s work, consistently moving off as he backpedalled round the ring.

Lawal cast out a huge uppercut, but from much too far out. Riley could easily evade shots like that and, lighter on his feet, he changed direction calmly, shuffling in and out of range at his choosing.

He tapped Lawal with jabs and threw firmer counter-punches. These however lacked the necessary spite to really discourage his opponent.

Doggedly Lawal tracked after him and slammed hard, single shots into the English titlist. It was punch-power that Riley had to respect.

In the sixth round, with Lawal stood in a corner, Riley unleased a sustained combination but Lawal’s tight guard largely held firm.

BEN SHALOM BOXXER BAD BLOOD FIGHT WEEK.THE O2 LONDON 31/03/2024.FABIO WARDLEY V FRAZER CLARKE.PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG/BOXXER.(PICS FREE FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY).SUPER-MIDDLEWEIGHT CONTEST.CALLUM SIMPSON V DULLA MBABE
Image: Simpson blasts out Mbabe

In the next he cuffed Riley into the ropes, for a moment. He lunged after his rival Londoner with a right but Riley carefully steered himself through the round.

Lawal stayed determined, but he wasn’t fast enough. Riley slipped a cross through, landing high on the head, and the champion screwed a quick left hook firmly into Lawal’s body.

Riley tagged Lawal with a right hook to the body. He smacked the right hook into Lawal’s chin. The later tried to fire back but was just a step behind Riley.

He could not shift the champion’s momentum in the final round and slumped to a wide points defeat.

Isaac Chamberlain burst into Riley’s post-fight interview to condemn his performance. “You was just running, running. If you think you can box like that against me you’ve got another win coming,” he roared.

“Your own coach is telling you to be brave. Because you’re not on it. You’re running scared.”

The scene got ugly when Cheavon Clarke, the mandatory challenger for the British title, also tried to enter the chat and security had to pull the fighters apart.

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Alen Babic beat Steve Robinson with a sixth-round stoppage on the undercard of Fabio Wardley vs Frazer Clarke at the O2 Arena

Alen Babic emerged from his slugfest with Steven Robinson with a stoppage victory, bouncing back from a crushing defeat to Lukasz Rozanski last time out.

The two heavyweights went toe-to-toe and although Babic was wild and inaccurate soon he was catching Robinson and landing heavily.

For a moment a stern right almost had Robinson out on his feet. Babic clubbed him with thudding, pounding him so much that eventually the referee had to wave it off in the sixth round.

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Callum Simpson stopped Dulla Mbabe in round four on the undercard of Fabio Wardley vs Frazer Clarke at the O2 Arena

Callum Simpson underscored his credentials for a British title challenge. Dulla Mbabe met him energetically in the first round. But soon Simpson contained the threat and the well supported Barnsley super-middleweight tore into the Tanzanian.

A venomous flurry drove Mbabe into a corner in the third round and Simpson found the finish in the fourth. He blasted the Tanzanian off his feet and Mbabe could not beat the count.

Zak Chelli, the British 168lb champion, was looking on. Simpson didn’t hesitate to call him out: “Let’s go Chelli, let’s go.”

Watch Fabio Wardley vs Frazer Clarke live on Sky Sports Action or Sky Sports Main Event

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