O2 Arena Ringside Report: Anthony Joshua begins with a first round blowout; Kevin Mitchell continues to Impress
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O2 Arena Ringside Report: Anthony Joshua begins with a first round blowout; Kevin Mitchell continues to Impress
By Iain Dolan at ringside, Doghouse Boxing (Oct 6, 2013)

Kevin Mitchelland his boys at ringside.
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Olympic Super Heavyweight gold medalist Anthony Joshua began his journey in the paid ranks with a first round blowout of Italy's unbeaten Emanuele Leo (16st 6lbs 8oz) in a scheduled 6 rounder at heavyweight. Joshua, a ripped 16st 6lbs 12oz started behind a ramrod jab, immediately putting his obvious reach advantage to good use. Leo took a step back the first time a jab landed clean and was troubled immediately when Joshua followed up with the straight right. When Leo did throw his own crude shots back, Anthony stepped back in a straight line with his chin in the air which is a trait that will need fixing before he fights more testing opponents. However, it was hard to fault Joshua's offensive work. The left jab, straight right combo landing almost at will had Leo reeling back every time it landed. When Anthony followed up with a big right hook, it sent Leo crashing to the canvas and referee Ian John Lewis deemed a count unnecessary and called a halt at 2 mins and 47 seconds of the first round. Plenty to work on defensively for Joshua but he's in excellent condition which is more than can be said for the majority of heavyweights and can clearly bang a bit so it's going to be interesting to see how he develops.

There was world title action on the under card where Bury's Scott Quigg (8st 9lbs 9oz) fought Cuban Yoandris Salinas (8st 9lbs 12 oz) for the WBA super-bantamweight strap. Salinas started the stronger in a cagey affair, his amateur pedigree evident in his high guard and tight defence. Quigg played it tight also and struggled to find openings early on, the Cuban banking the early rounds without really having to do too much. With the fight seemingly slipping away from him and the crowd quiet, Scott had to put his foot on the gas and did so effectively from about round seven, being busier and taking the fight to Salinas. Quigg upped the body assault hoping to get Salinas to drop his hands. Salinas kept his guard high but Quigg started to take the rounds and Salinas began giving out a few distress signals. Scott finished strongly over the championship rounds and both fighters raised their arms confidently at the final bell feeling they'd done enough. The judges combined to come up with a majority draw 114-114, 114-114 and 115-113 to Quigg,which was a bit of a flat ending but not an unfair result. Quigg may feel a little aggrieved but retains and goes home as world champion so not a bad night's work all things considered.

Dagenham ticket seller Kevin Mitchell (9st 9lbs)continued on the comeback trail with an impressive 6th round stoppage of tough Mexican Mario Lopez (9st 8lbs 3 oz) in a fight scheduled for 12 round. Lopez came to fight but was clearly not in Mitchell's league and it afforded Mitchell the opportunity to move through the gears slowly and showcase his skills. Kevin couldn't miss with the left hook downstairs followed by the left uppercut and it was no surprise when a body shot caused Lopez to take a knee. It would have been no disgrace for the Mexican to bow out then but he showed a lot of heart and continued. A younger Mitchell might have gone charging in and got tagged but Kevin took his time. A big left hook followed with a left hook right hook combination that put Lopez down and the referee rightly decided that was enough and waved it off even though Lopez rose at the count of eight. Post fight, there was talk of a domestic showdown with Derry Matthews which would surely be a crowd pleaser. Whether Matthews is in the opposite corner or not, Mitchell should be out again on Dec 14th.

Elsewhere on the card Lee Selby recorded a comfortable victory over Ryan Walsh with scores of 118-110, 118-112 and 117-111. Selby moves to 17-1 and retains the Lonsdale belt outright.

Joshua's fellow gold medalist Luke Campbell notched another first round victory, stopping Neil Hepper with a vicious right hook to the body. Campbell has fast hands and is a hurtful puncher, he seems to be making the transition from amateur to professional a seamless one. Before the Sky Sport broadcast started Wadi Camacho and Tony Conquest entertained the early birds with a 10 round slugfest. Camacho had conquest on the deck in both the first and second rounds but Conquest fought back to earn a decision victory.

Questions, comments, email Iain Dolan at: dolan.iain@yahoo.co.uk

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