Eddie Hearn had to get creative when the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic threatened British boxing. His solution was Fight Camp. A collection of shows staged at Matchroom HQ with fireworks and lights replacing fans. What transpired was a series of fights that provided plenty of talking points.
(Article originally published June 3rd, 2021)
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Terri Harper D12 Natasha Jonas
A heated build-up was followed by an incredible bout as Terri Harper held onto her WBC lightweight crown by the narrowest margin with a controversial draw against Natasha Jonas. Stefy Bull and Joe Gallagher, the respective trainers of Harper and Jonas, were vocal throughout the Fight Camp schedule, and their pre-fight boasts were justified.
The action from the first bell was exciting as both fighters gave everything to capture the sport’s most significant honour. Jonas started the fight as a big underdog, but those pre-fight odds looked well off as the Liverpool fighter proved her credentials. After ten hard rounds, the bout was scored a draw after both fighters had given their all.
Alexander Povetkin KO5 Dillian Whyte
Dillian Whyte looked like one of the world’s leading heavyweights for four rounds as he repeatedly hurt Alexander Povetkin and even sent the Russian veteran to the canvas twice in the fourth session. The Brixton heavyweight appeared to be on the verge of forcing a massive stoppage before one of the shocks of 2020 ensued.
Using his vast experience, Povetkin used a body shot to set up Whyte and ended the fight with a stunning left uppercut. An eery silence was present in the moments after the knockout before loud celebrations from Povetkin’s corner broke the quietness. Those in attendance at Fight Camp were left stunned by the result.
Ted Cheeseman W12 Sam Eggington
Fireworks were expected when Ted Cheeseman and Sam Eggington was announced and the exciting pair delivered in a grueling super-welterweight clash. Both had created reputations for themselves in previous outings, and they lived up to it once the action got underway.
Following an excellent start, Cheeseman faded in the later rounds as Eggington began to grow in confidence. With the fight up for grabs heading into the final stages, both men gave their all in an attempt to grab victory. Ultimately, it was Cheeseman who was given the nod in a memorable encounter.
Chris Kongo TKO9 Luther Clay
Chris Kongo and Luther Clay were two fighters at similar stages in their career, and both were desperate to try and push onto the next level when they met at Fight Camp. It was a fight that was to bring the ambitious pair excellent exposure, and neither disappointed once the fight got underway.
Despite the brave efforts of Clay, it was always Kongo having the last word in exchanges as he made his power tell in the latter rounds. The fight had taken its toll on Clay, and following a sustained attack, the fight was stopped in round nine.
Katie Taylor W10 Delfine Persoon
The toughest test of Katie Taylor’s career occurred in the summer of 2019 when she was pushed to the limit by Belgium’s Delfine Persoon. Taylor was handed the verdict on the scorecards, but many within the boxing industry believed she was fortunate.
Fast forward two years, and Taylor and Persoon were ready to renew hostilities at Fight Camp. Once again, the action was incredible as both fighters demonstrated huge hearts. After ten enjoyable rounds, the result could’ve gone either way, but it was Taylor who got the nod as she maintained her undefeated record.