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Milch vs McCarthy: Review


In the main event on Hellraiser’s Maelstrom event at York Hall on Saturday 14th October, the Southern Area super welterweight title, vacated by Asinia Byfield, was contested for. The fighters, Hellraiser Boxing’s Tony Milch and MTK Global’s Matt McCarthy had an impressive combined record of 30-1, the only defeat being McCarthy’s knockout loss to Chris Truman back in 2014. There was no trash talk in the build up, with both men speaking of the respect they had for the other.

Too much respect in boxing can make for a cagey affair, but neither man disappointed in their efforts to put on an entertaining fight. With particularly McCarthy coming out flying in round one, switching and flicking out the jab. Tony thrust out his jab in response, but his right cross was spotted every time by McCarthy, who either took a back step or bobbed his head out of the way. Matt used good movement in close, and was clearly targeting the body early on, as Tony looked to establish his rhythm. McCarthy, by contrast, found his very quickly, and at the end of the round the Essex man evaded a combination in the corner, then walked through a left hook which landed on his chin in order to score with some of his own shots.

Twenty four year old McCarthy made a show of being up first for round two, and at the start of the round was happy to make thirty six year old Milch miss, and counter spitefully. Again Tony had trouble landing the right hand, McCarthy’s head movement causing him real problems. Around the halfway point, McCarthy’s southpaw left got through Milch’s tight guard, but the Archway man took it, and backed McCarthy against the ropes, briefly having some success. Milch needed to keep the pressure on, but McCarthy soon found himself on the front foot, ending the round with a flurry of punches.

In the third Milch came out more aggressively, and the right hand began to find its target, but only in singles, McCarthy adjusting first to negate Tony’s attacks. Midway through the round, Matt got trapped in a neutral corner, and Tony unloaded six shots, not connecting cleanly as McCarthy’s head movement again frustrated him. Matt responded by launching at Milch, landing a couple of shots, and beginning to back Tony up a little for the first time in the fight. A low blow did sneak past the referee, but didn’t affect Milch’s concentration as the round came to a close.

Matt began the fourth putting more power into his shots, and Tony responded with a one two of his own which found the mark. This encouraged McCarthy to move his head more, and he countered Tony’s attacks, the pace of the fight not letting up. Milch had success when Matt was against the ropes, but there was a sense that the younger man was growing in confidence, despite Milch’s increased success and improved accuracy.

In the fifth, with Milch encouraged by the fourth round and McCarthy also having grown in confidence, the two began to trade more often and with more power. McCarthy’s double jab left hand was getting through more frequently, and as Tony got him against the ropes a backhand left hook landed on Milch’s chin, sending him back dazed. Matt spotted the opening, and came forward, another left hook, short right backing Tony against the ropes. McCarthy let his hands go and as Milch’s head began to snap back, referee Geoff Hines stepped in to end McCarthy’s assault, and the fight.

As McCarthy wheeled away to celebrate, Tony sagged down in his corner, trying to take in what had just happened. Just as he’d been finding a foothold in the fight, McCarthy’s faster, more varied attacks found their target and Matt pressed home the advantage. In the immediate aftermath, ever the gentleman, Tony confessed to be understandably, “disappointed” but conceded that, “the referee did the right thing.” While McCarthy was, also understandably, delighted with his performance and away win, warning the division, “I’m coming, I will get to the top.”

Although it wasn’t the result Hellraiser wanted, Tony wasn’t able to show the the best of himself on the night, and will come again. Congratulations to Matt McCarthy who put on a clinical show, it was, as promised, a proper small hall scrap, with a great atmosphere.

Posted: 17th Oct 2017

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