Brad Foster retained his British and Commonwealth super bantamweight titles today at London’s York Hall, but just barely. He escaped with the belts thanks to a majority draw, with two cards of 114-114 and one card of 116-112 for challenger Lucien Reid.
Bad Left Hook had the fight 116-112 for Reid (8-0-2, 4 KO), with the 25-year-old from West Ham pulling away in the later rounds. It’s not the worst decision you’re going to see, and there are bigger fish to fry when it comes to going on a frothing rant about boxing judges, but personally, I feel Reid got the shaft here.
A rematch with Foster (11-0-2, 4 KO) and Reid would make a lot of sense. It wasn’t exactly a thrilling fight, but it was competitive and there’s not much by way of competition at the domestic level at 122 pounds in the UK, either. The result is controversial enough without being completely ridiculous to justify a second go, and it would be a nice addition to a card, and can sell tickets enough to headline at York Hall, it would seem.
Foster had come in a winner of five straight, following his draw with tough veteran Brett Fidoe in 2017, while Reid had gone to a technical draw in March in his last fight out. Reid showed he’s capable at this level, this being a pretty legitimate step up from past fights, and at 21, Foster can certainly do better than he did here, too.
Sunny Edwards UD-10 Hugo Rosendo Guarneros
Guarneros (16-3-2, 8 KO) came over from Mexico for this fight, and he really had nothing for Edwards (13-0, 4 KO), who is a very slick boxer, a better boxer than his brother Charlie, who still has the WBC flyweight title for the moment. Sunny has the ability to win a world title in the right matchup, but being honest, the real top levels are going to be tough for him because he just doesn’t have much punching power. But that’s a bridge he’ll cross when he gets to it.
This was also a move down in weight for the 23-year-old Edwards, and he says he feels good at 112. “I’ve never been a super flyweight,” he said. “I’m not massive for flyweight.”
Edwards hurt a hand in the seventh round, so it could be a bit before we see him back, but he likes staying active so if it’s not a serious injury, he’ll be back as soon as possible, and he’s looking to really make his mark in 2020.
Kody Davies UD-10 Zak Chelli
This was an eliminator for the British light heavyweight title, which has been vacated by Joshua Buatsi. This wasn’t the prettiest fight with the most sustained action or anything, but it had its moments. Both guys still pretty raw — neither of them had really fought anyone coming in, and this being an eliminator is mildly suspect even at domestic title level, but it is what it is.
Davies (10-0, 3 KO) got off the deck in the second round after a short right uppercut from Chelli (7-1, 3 KO), and came back strong to outwork him in the judges’ eyes. Scores were 96-94, 96-93, and 97-92.
Davies is now in line to fight the winner of the Oct. 19 fight between Lawrence Osueke (9-0, 1 KO) and Ricky Summers (16-2, 5 KO) for the vacant British title, if he wants. But Davies isn’t getting ahead of himself, either. He’s probably more a natural super middleweight and if there’s a better fight at 168 for him, he’s keeping the door open to going back down instead.
Shakan Pitters UD-10 Dec Spelman
These two met in an Ultimate Boxer tournament final in Nov. 2018, which Pitters won via three-round decision, dropping Spelman in the opening frame. Spelman won the English light heavyweight title in May from Kirk Garvey, and a rematch with the 6’6” Pitters, still undefeated, made plenty of sense.
The two were quite friendly after the fight, and it’s obvious they have a bond, but there was nothing about the fight itself. It was a hell of a battle. Spelman got his nose bloodied and left eye beat to hell and fought hard the whole way, while Pitters mostly looked to use his height and range but didn’t shy away when Spelman got in on him, either. Scores were 97-93 across the board for Pitters (13-0, 4 KO), which seems fair. Spelman falls to 16-3 (8 KO) in a valiant effort.
If you’re wondering about their prospects, Spelman is 27 and pretty clearly a domestic level guy, which is not a knock, that’s a career. He fights hard and gives fans a show and is a tough, tough guy. Pitters probably isn’t headed for world stardom, either — he’s tall, which is interesting, but he’s not a real big puncher or anything and he’s 30 years old, and this was his first 10-round fight. Could either win a British title? Yeah, in the right situation, I think so, but it’d have to be a moment where there’s no legit top prospect or someone like Callum Johnson, who can mix it at world level, sitting on the domestic throne.