Lyndon Arthur made his return to a professional ring for the first time in over nine months on Saturday night as he halted a game Walter Gabriel Sequiera in Bolton atop of a Wasserman Boxing card.
The Manchester light-heavyweight boxed well overall against the tough Argentine who made up for what he lacked in size with an aggressive approach early on, backing up the thirty-one-year-old Arthur in the third with several solid shots which hit the target. The barrage seemed to only wake Arthur up however and the former Commonwealth champion soon found himself landing damaging blows of his own and scored a knockdown in the final thirty seconds of the round with a crashing right-hand to the chin of Sequiera. More punishment lay ahead for Sequiera, who was down again not long after, this time the result of a right uppercut from the Manchester man. The body language wasn’t convincing from the South American compared to the figure he cut earlier in the fight, while his corner protested a shot thrown by the Mancunian with Sequiera already planted on the canvas. Referee Darren Sarginson subsequently deducted a point for the foul at the beginning of the next round but the writing looked to be on the wall for the South American.
Fast-forward to the final minute of the fourth and Sequiera was down again, this time from a cuffing right-hand which in fairness to the South American appeared to land behind the head. The decision to administer a knockdown was greeted by protests from the man himself as well as those in his corner but their complaints fell on deaf ears as another 10-8 round fell the way of the Mancunian. More success in the fifth followed before Sequiera was finally put out of his misery in the sixth. Arthur again landed with a sharp right uppercut which looked to stun the Argentinian whose arms momentarily dropped as a result of the impact. Recognising this and no doubt considering everything that had come before, referee Sarginson stepped in with thirty seconds remaining in the round.
While not entirely pleased with his performance, during which he had been read the riot act several times by trainer Pat Barrett, Arthur had ridded himself of the ring rust that inevitably comes when a fighter is inactive for nearly ten months and has now begun the process of getting back to challenging for titles.
British and Commonwealth lightweight champion Gavin Gwynne just about clung onto his titles following a majority decision draw against fellow Welshman Craig Woodruff. In a fight where both men showed immense heart and grit, one could be forgiven for giving either fighter the nod by a round or two in a twelve-round clash that at times proved very difficult to score. Woodruff no doubt took the majority of the opening rounds with slick movement and counter-punching, picking off the oncoming Gwynne who looked to assert his own authority on the bout as champion. However, for all the slick skills he was displaying, Woodruff too often allowed his guard to slip too low, allowing Gwynne to land scoring shots of his own which no doubt caught the eyes of the judges. The champion rallied in the middle rounds to close the gap and setup an intriguing final quarter of the bout in rounds which saw both men display superb fitness levels as they did all they could to get their hands raised at the end of the night. The final bell finally rang and both men knew they had been in a fight, both carrying blemishes to their face as a result of the blows traded in the previous thirty-six minutes.
The result was finally announced, with the three judges ringside scoring the bout 116-113 to Gwynee and 114-114 twice to surmount to a majority draw, meaning Gwynne maintained his lightweight straps in a water tight affair. Woodruff stated he felt he had done enough to take the titles home with him and called for a rematch, shouts which were soon dismissed by Gwynne later in the night as he looks to move forward and progress in his own career.
British super-welterweight champion Troy Williamson forced a sixth-round stoppage of David Benitez in what appeared to be a frustrating performance for the County Durham man. Williamson at times looked overeager to impress as he looked to halt his opponent from the opening minute, often loading up to find the conclusive blow. Nevertheless he ticked the right boxes and a huge North-East showdown versus Sunderland’s Josh Kelly was announced for December post-fight in Newcastle, and getting six rounds under his wing can do no harm for his preparation for the biggest night of his career to date.
Further down the card, Kane Gardner moved past Miguel Antin in an eight-round welterweight clash, while fellow 147-pounder James Moorcroft stopped Olaide Fijabi inside two rounds after sending his man to the canvas the round before as a result of a left-hook to the body. Joe Howarth halted Engel Gomez in the fifth of six scheduled rounds at lightweight, while Cory O’Regan outpointed Tatenda Mangombe at 140lbs. Kyle Lomotey also bested Vasif Mamedov over six at middleweight, and Samir Aftab whitewashed Mikey Young in a four-round flyweight decision.