BN Verdict: Smith stops Mwakinyo in a weird one, and Jonas steals the show

At Liverpool, Liam Smith didn’t get the fight he was hoping for against Hassan Mwakinyo, while Natasha Jonas delivered a career-best performance, writes Elliot Worsell

THE middleweight fight between Liam Smith and Hassan Mwakinyo appeared a decent enough one on paper, but there was always a feeling that Natasha Jonas’ WBC and WBO super-welterweight title fight against Patricia Berghult was the real main event today. night (September 3) in Liverpool.

It makes sense for that too, as Sky Sports is set to push an all-female card next Saturday (September 10) and Jonas, someone whose profile continues to rise thanks to her boxing exploits and hers. work as a pundit, has become something of a late bloomer.

Now, of course, having watched both matches, the pecking order is clear, abundantly so. Because while Smith couldn’t do anything about what was effectively a no-show on Mwakinyo’s part, or the fact that he stopped him with ease in the fourth round of a strange and pointless fight, in the end it was Jonas who thrilled the crowd. person in the distance. Berghult’s more impressive 10-round dominance.

Appearance, entry, a difficult match for Jonas, stylistically, proved to be quite straightforward for him, but he navigated the contest with an awareness of the need to provide action and, also, looking for the finish throughout. It made for a career-best showing, with an awkward first round (probably the only one he’s ever lost) soon forgotten as Jonas found his groove, putting Berghult down with a sharp right hook. and body shots, and used his superior strength to bully him around the ring.

Still operating at an unnatural weight, however, Jonas’ power was crucial here and seemed too much for Berghult, who was winning with distance and straight punches but finding himself letting Jonas down, 12-2- 1 (8), to approach. Jonas also came close, and often, especially as he was left frustrated by the events of the first round, and Jonas soon gained control and was both battering Berghult’s body and snapping his head with overhand lefts.

In response, Berghult, 15-1 (3), tried to move, and hold on, and really came up strong in the first half of the eighth, just as Jonas began to get complacent. But in that very round, Jonas, anxious not to lose his lead, came back with interest, which further undermined Berghult’s pride, resistance and confidence, and ultimately took the round on the three judges’ scorecards.

They, for my liking, and also for Jonas, were a little too wide to deliver at the end of the fight (100-90 twice, and 99-91), but the Liverpool boxer, now the WBC and WBO belt-holder, was won’t care one bit. Improving from match to match, perhaps his biggest issue going forward is the decision he must make about the weight at which his future lies. There is, after all, a sense that his best days have always been at lightweight or very lightweight, but, with two belts now to his name, it’s hard to argue with Jonas’ form as a super-welterweight, and just as hard to deny him the headline slot on any future card in Liverpool.

Right now, the headliner position belongs to Liam Smith, a former WBO super-welterweight belt-holder whose fight tonight against Hassan Mwakinyo, 20-3 (14), couldn’t be more disappointing.

A strange one from the off, full of fouls, late punches and questionable knockdowns, Smith got the job done in the fourth as Mwakinyo went down to the canvas twice, the second time coming out to stop.

Whatever the reason for this, this “no más”, Smith, 32-3-1 (19), is sadly left with more questions than answers, and so, for that matter, all of us is watching either at home or from ringside. .