Kid Galahad did about as he did when he first faced Jazza Dickens back in 2013, dominating today’s rematch to claim the vacant IBF featherweight title, the first world title win for the native of Sheffield, England.
Galahad (28-1, 17 KO) did take the odd shot along the way, and Dickens (30-4, 11 KO) put everything he had into the fight, but it was simply about levels and ability. Galahad stopped Dickens in the 10th round when they met as youngsters eight years ago, and put him away after 11 here, in a fight that had become really one-sided and was getting ugly to watch.
Dickens, 30, almost surely had a broken nose, and both eyes were cut and swelling shut, as the 31-year-old Galahad just kept throwing punches, staying busy and peppering Dickens, the “death by a thousand cuts” approach working out very well. Dickens, lacking big power, couldn’t ever really get Galahad’s respect, and looked particularly over-matched when Galahad fought in a southpaw stance.
Galahad was also penalized a point in the 10th round for repeatedly stepping on Dickens’ feet, which is something Galahad does in most fights, a frustrating little thing that gives him some advantages.
Galahad didn’t have any big call-outs post-fight or anything, and promoter Eddie Hearn said only that the fighter would “have the chances” to rule the featherweight division. Galahad did throw some cold water on the idea of fighting Leigh Wood, who upset Xu Can for the WBA’s “world” (regular) title last weekend (there’s more to the WBA situation than that but I’m trying to get this up in a timely fashion), knocking Wood’s “Mickey Mouse” title and saying he should rematch Dickens, who beat Wood in 2020.
- Fabio Wardley TKO-1 Nick Webb: Webb actually started pretty well here, chopping Wardley with right hands. But Wardley seemed to flip a switch and say, “Alright, that’s enough,” then just overpowered Webb (17-3, 13 KO). I do think referee Kieran McCann stopped it too quickly, and should have given Webb a count to either give him the chance to come back, or even see that he couldn’t. But McCann just stopped it when Webb went down, and Wardley is now 12-0 (11 KO). Also, as always, I will fully admit I am not the referee and I wasn’t right there. McCann may have seen something we did not.
- Alen Babic RTD-5 Mark Bennett: Before we get into the fight, I want to mention that the Matchroom/DAZN sitdown interview with Babic had them all saying that this was the first fight where Babic wasn’t the favorite, which is of course utter nonsense. Babic has been an overwhelming favorite for four straight fights now and a clear favorite for his last five. Here, Bennett (7-2, 1 KO) came in like a lot of opponents have, very confident that they were the one to derail the Babic train, only to find out that this guy flat out does not stop throwing punches. Bennett was wildly brave here, but the corner made the right call to stop it after the fifth round, as Babic (8-0, 8 KO) was purely just battering him at that point, Bennett was out of gas, and at no point where Bennett’s punches really affecting Babic in the first place. Bennett is a big, tough man who comes to fight, and there’s money for him to make testing prospects, but Babic is a weird, special animal in the boxing game right now. And it’s great. He also proposed to his girlfriend after the fight. She said yes.
- Johnny Fisher TKO-2 Danny Whitaker: Fisher (3-0, 3 KO) is still very raw, but he has raw power, too, and that’s what he used to bull through Whitaker (4-1, 3 KO) early in the second round. Fisher scored three knockdowns in total before the fight was stopped. He also very accidentally hit Whitaker late after the first one, for which he immediately apologized, it was just in the heat of what was being thrown and he didn’t notice Whitaker was on a knee. Long way to go for Fisher, but promising early results.
- Ebanie Bridges TKO-3 Bec Connolly: Connolly is working her way toward becoming the UK’s first boxing journeywoman, slipping to 3-10 (0 KO) with this loss, where she was fighting about 10 lbs lighter than where she normally does. She’s not a totally incompetent fighter, probably good for training camps, definitely useful for testing prospects, and she’s also been a good analyst on prior Matchroom shows, which may be her real future in the sport. Bridges (6-1, 3 KO) started a bit slow here but didn’t take long. She put Connolly down on a shot in the third, and referee Kieran McCann gave Connolly a chance to continue, but one more good right hand and the referee stepped in, rightly so. Bridges said after the fight that her target is a rematch with Shannon Courtenay. They had a great fight in April and I think a lot of fans would like to see that.