Live Commentary: Stephen Smith, Josh Warrington, Kal Yafai fight in Leeds - as it happened

Sports Mole brings you live coverage of Matchroom Sport's 'North Power' show, which is taking place at the First Direct Arena in Leeds.

Stephen Smith has put himself in line for a shot at the WBC super-featherweight title after forcing Mauricio Javier Munoz to retire on his stool after eight rounds.

Leeds-based Josh Warrington successfully defended his Commonwealth featherweight crown with a win over Martin Lindsay, and in doing so, also picked up the British title.

Elsewhere on the card, Kal Yafai produced a devastating display to win the Commonwealth super-flyweight strap, while Gavin McDonnell escaped with a draw in his British super-bantamweight title bout with challenger Josh Wale.

Read below to see how the action unfolded at the First Direct Arena in Leeds.

7.31pmHello, and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of Matchroom Sport's 'North Power' show, which is taking place at the First Direct Arena in Leeds.

7.33pmBoxing? On a Wednesday night? That's right. Your eyes aren't deceiving you, and what a bill we have in store!

7.36pmThe headline bout of the evening will see Stephen Smith go up against Mauricio Javier Munoz for the WBC super-featherweight title. Aside from that bout, Josh Warrington competes in a British and Commonwealth title clash with Martin Lindsay, while Gavin McDonnell goes up against Josh Wale. But first up, we have Kal Yafai, who will attempt to win the Commonwealth super-flyweight crown against Yaqub Kareem!

7.38pmThe two fighters are ready. We are underway!

ROUND ONEIt's a blistering start from Yafai, who shows his power by rocking Kareem with a couple of left hooks. Kareem tries to respond with a couple of hooks himself, but he looks very shaky. Yafai is all over him and it is pure survival from the Nigerian! He lasts the round but that was as one-way traffic as you could possibly get.

ROUND TWOThe Kareem corner have instructed him to "run away"! Good luck with that. Yafai continues where he left off and Kareem is offering very little back. Yafai has only fought twice in 14 months but he looks incredibly sharp. The lefts to the body are sickening but the Nigerian is taking them. 2-0 to Yafai.

ROUND THREEKareem is down! It was another left to the body and that is all over!


7.51pmThat was good...very, very good from Kal Yafai. He was expected to win this evening, but maybe not in that fashion. He completely discouraged Kareem in the opening 30 seconds, and from then onwards, it was one-way traffic.

7.55pmIt's a family affair in Leeds tonight, with Kal's brother, Gamal, coming up next in his professional debut. We will keep you posted of that one as it transpires.

7.59pmWell that didn't last long. Gamal Yafai completely overwhelms his opponent and the bout is over inside the first round. What a debut, and what a night for the Yafai camp.

8.09pmEarlier this evening, British lightweight Tommy Coyle recorded the 19th win of his professional career with a points win over Michael Ansah. It was comfortable for the Yorkshire fighter, but he will need to improve when he makes the step up in class.

8.10pmSo then, after that fast start in Leeds, we are left with three encounters left, the first of which will see the British super-bantamweight fight between Gavin McDonnell and Josh Wale.

8.14pmJosh Wale has made his way out to the ring. He will be hoping to avenge the points loss that he suffered against McDonnell eight months ago. It could be a tough ask though...

8.16pmThis fight is scheduled for 12 rounds, and if the previous match is anything to go by, I'd say a repeat of that is likely.

8.19pmWe are underway.

ROUND ONEWale starts well, but McDonnell responds well with some sharp work on the counter. Wale is very much a come-forward fighter and it's a quick opening from the challenger, and he takes the first round.

ROUND TWOMcDonnell started slowly in his last encounter and he is being faced with an imposing challenge from Wale here. McDonnell is trying to fight off the back foot, but he is getting caught and Wale has opened up a cut above McDonnell's right eye. Wale is commanding the centre of the ring, but McDonnell connects with a big uppercut that leaves a mark on Wale. Close round, but I'd give it Wale.

ROUND THREEThe first two minutes are evenly contested, but the classier work is from McDonnell he pulls a round back. Wale's eye is beginning to swell, and that could be a major concern as we move into the middle rounds of the contest.

ROUND FOURMcDonnell is coming at Wale with a higher work-rate now, but he doesn't have much snap in his punches. In contrast, Wale is trying to box with more thought and he picks off the champion on a couple of occasions. McDonnell lands with a big uppercut but Wale came through it with a flurry of punches and that could impress the judges. Again, that could have gone either way, but for me, Wale is 39-37 up.

ROUND FIVEWale's work is really impressing the crowd in attendance and McDonnell has a fight on his hands if he wants to retain his belt. The challenger is coming forward with several sustained assaults and it's forcing McDonnell to work hard to fend him off. Another round for Wale, but will he have the stamina to see this through? Only time will tell.

ROUND SIXMcDonnell starts the better, but Wale looks dominant when he gets in close. However, he takes a short right from McDonnell and that stops him in his tracks. Both fighters go at it in the final 30 seconds, but it's McDonnell who lands the cleaner shots and he takes the round. I've got it 58-56 to Wale at the midway point.

ROUND SEVENWale starts the seventh with a huge right that brings a positive reaction from the crowd, but McDonnell fires straight back with a couple of lefts. It's another energy-sapping three minutes from Wale, but he looks slightly tired during the final 60 seconds and McDonnell jolted his head back a couple of times. I was about to give the round to McDonnell but Wale came back hard before the bell. 68-65 to Wale after seven, in my opinion.

ROUND EIGHTThe engine on Wale is phenomenal. Like the previous rounds, he remains on the attack, and he lands several significant shots on the chin of McDonnell and this is a superb effort. McDonnell is being bullied out of this, and he needs a big final 12 minutes to get back into this. 78-74 to Wale.

ROUND NINEThe main difference between these two men is that Wale looks so much stronger than McDonnell, and he lands a big right on McDonnell that forces the champion back. McDonnell is trying to reply but there is no snap in it, and Wale ends the round with two thudding shots that have McDonnell in a bit of trouble. 88-83 to Wale. A couple of rounds could have gone either way, but in my opinion, McDonnell needs a stoppage.

ROUND 10Wale is taking plenty on the way in, but the lack of power means that he is showing little effect from McDonnell's hits, but his eye is continuing to swell gradually. Both men are busy and have their moments, and it's tough to give that round to one fighter. Wale 98-93 after 10.

ROUND 11McDonnell starts well with a couple of stinging jabs, but he is caught by a right over the top from Wale. The champion is enjoying a bit more joy, but again, Wale comes forward. It's such a difficult three minutes to score, but McDonnell probably shades it with the classier work. I still think that he needs a stoppage though. Wale 107-103 with one to go. It could be slightly closer though.

ROUND 12The champion's footwork is getting him into some good positions and he looks much fresher than Wale, but the challenger is still showing plenty of intent on the front foot. McDonnell's fighting like a man who knows he needs the round to give himself a chance, but even that might not be enough. The pair go toe-to-toe during the closing stages, but neither can get a late stoppage. I'd give them a share of that final round. Awesome fight.

9.06pmI've got Wale winning 117-113 but it would come as no surprise if it is a split-decision.

9.08pmThe scores are as follows: 115-114 in favour of Wale, 115-114 of McDonnell, and finally - 114-114! it's a draw!

9.09pmBoos ring around First Direct Arena and I'm not surprised. Josh Wale is distraught, and he has every reason to be.

9.10pmIt literally couldn't have been closer, but that will be no consolation to the challenger. He did everything he had to.

9.13pmWale does well to hold back the tears in his post-fight interview. McDonnell believes that he deserves to edge the win, but he has said that he will grant Wale a rematch.

9.17pmComing up next is the WBC silver super-featherweight clash between Stephen Smith and Mauricio Javier Munoz.

9.23pmSmith follows Munoz to the ring and we are close to getting underway at the First Direct Arena. This is a huge showdown for the two fighters, with the winner moving closer to a shot at the WBC title.

9.24pmMany will favour the Liverpudlian, but he is in one heck of a fight here. Munoz has only being stopped in world title fights and Smith is going to have to grind out the result in this one.

9.26pmThe bell goes and we are underway in Leeds.

ROUND ONEBoth men start by trying to land with left hooks, but neither have success. Muniz looks a rugged fighter, and a little crude on the attack, but he looks effective. Some big shots are being landed, but Munoz finished the opener in better fashion and in my opinion, he shades the first.

ROUND TWOSmith has a big challenge here. Munoz was a late replacement, but you can see why he has fought for world titles. The South American is mixing it up well, but he takes a huge shot from Smith that rocks him back. The crowd are anticipating a stoppage but it never looks likely as Munoz continues to throw back. One round each.

ROUND THREEGood round from Smith, who lands several short fights that open up a cut above the eye of the Argentine. Munoz is still offering plenty in response though.

ROUND FOURMunoz is one tough competitor. He is taken everything that Smith has to offer and replying with a couple of blows of his own. Tough round to call, so I'm going to give them a share. 39-38 to Smith after four on my card.

ROUND FIVEMuniz starts the round on top and a big right has Smith of the defensive. The Liverpudlian responds with a hook, but he continues to take punishment from the South American. It was another close one, but I'd give that to Munoz. Like I have said before, he is rugged, but he is effective, and this content is no foregone conclusion. I have it 48-48 each.

ROUND SIXSmith has the better of the first 60 seconds, but Munoz lands hard with a short right over the top. He takes it well though and comes back at Munoz with a couple of short uppercuts on the inside. Smith is producing some good work, but he is caught again with a hook and there is damage to the high. Munoz is growing in confidence and he took that round for me.

ROUND SEVENMunoz is catching Smith on the way in, and while Smith is getting a few punches away, they lack purpose, and Munoz is taking the opportunity to land big. Smith needs to find a way to stop the punishment from the Argentine, but he eats another left hook. Smith gets through with a couple of body shots before the bell, but Munoz took them with a smile. Munoz's round and I have it 68-66 to the visitor.

ROUND EIGHTIt's a quiet start to the round, which I'd say that Smith needs, and a couple of jabs and a right earn the Liverpudlian the advantage in the round. He is gaining in confidence and a body shot is felt by the Argentine. Smith's round.


9.59pmOut of nowhere, Munoz retires from the fight to hand Smith the win. I'm not sure if there was any damage to the Argentine or if his will began to disappear, but either way, it's a huge win for Smith.

10.08pmThe final fight of the evening will be coming up shortly, where hometown boxer Josh Warrington will attempt to defend his Commonwealth featherweight title against Martin Lindsay, with the British strap also being on the line.

10.14pmWarrington really came of age in his last outing when he stopped Rendall Munroe for his 17th successive win, but we has a stern challenge on his hands this evening in the form of Martin Lindsay, who has suffered just two defeats in his 23-fight career. This has got 12 rounds written all over it.

10.16pmWarrington comes out to a fantastic reception from his home supporters. They might need to spur their man on tonight.

10.19pmThe referee calls both men forward. He gives out his final instructions and the bell sounds at the First Direct Arena.

ROUND ONEIt's a sharp opening by both, but Warrington is having the greater success early on. Lindsay is looking flashy with an attempt over-head right, but Warrington is picking him off well and the challenger takes a step back. First round to the crowd favourite.

ROUND TWOMore of the same from Warrington, who is getting in and out and making Lindsay miss. It has been a textbook display from Warrington and Lindsay winches twice after two shots to the body. He was close to taking a count then. Warrington well on top so far.

ROUND THREEIt's a better round from Lindsay, who looks to have recovered from what he sustained in the round before, but Warrington is finding success on the counter, and while Lindsay was the busier, Warrington landed the better shots.

ROUND FOURThe most impressive aspect of Warrington's work is that he isn't wasting shots. His accuracy is sublime, and Lindsay looks unsure what tactics to employ. Warrington is working in flurries, while Lindsay is looking to land with that one big shot, and it is leaving him open to be countered. Another round to Warrington and this is one-way traffic.

ROUND FIVEIt's a quieter round from Warrington, who is prepared to allow Lindsay out-work him, but he can't land anything significant on the home fighter. However, it's enough for Lindsay to get his first round on the board.

ROUND SIXWarrington needs a response in this sixth to slow the rising confidence of the challenger, and he gets back on the offensive with some clean punches midway through the round. Warrington is beginning to find his range with the body shots again, and Lindsay takes a couple to both sides before the bell. Warrington is 59-55 at the midway point.

ROUND SEVENThe Leeds man is taking the assault to the head of Lindsay now, and it causes the Northern Ireland to stagger off balance momentarily, but there was never any danger of him going down. However, the stoppage looks near when Warrington catches Lindsay with a shot to the head, but the challenger holds on. Great round for Warrington.

ROUND EIGHTThe output of punches from Warrington is superb, and you can understand why he has taken the opportunity to take the foot off the gas at times. This round follows the pattern of the previous couple, and Lindsay is going to need a stoppage to win this one.

ROUND NINELindsay's face and body are reddened all over. He really has been pummelled, even though he has rarely looked like being stopped. Warrington controls the ninth with several bursts and he has Lindsay in trouble with 30 seconds to go, but the challenger holds. He hasn't got much left, but he makes the end of the round. Warrington is 89-81 up with three to go.

ROUND 10Warrington takes a while to find his stride but he starts to land freely again. Lindsay looks in trouble, but he comes back with tremendous heart to gain the upper hand of the exchange. He is swinging wildly, but he takes a body shot and a left hook to end the round. Lindsay deserves a lot of credit for carrying on, but the tank is empty. It will be achievement if he can make the final bell.

ROUND 11Lindsay gets through with a left hook, but he takes more than he gives as Warrington mounts a response. Warrington can sense that Lindsay is looking for the knockout, and he is opting to box cleverly rather than looking for the stoppage until he finds an opening. Warrington looks in control, but he eats a left hook just before the bell. That was a share in my view. I've got it 109-100 going into the final round.

ROUND 12Can Lindsay find the stoppage in the final round? Like in the previous stanza, Warrington is waiting for Lindsay to make his move before countering, and the Leeds fighter controls the first 90 seconds. Warrington makes a small attempt to get his opponent out of there, but he is forced to settle for the most comfortable of triumphs.

11.10pmThe judges score the fight 119-110, 119-110 and 119-110 to Warrington. I had that on my card too...not that I'm bragging or anything.

11.14pmThat was the perfect display from the 23-year-old who never looked in danger of losing his unbeaten record. Credit must go to Lindsay too, who did well to get to the end of the encounter.

11.16pmThat will be all from our coverage of what has been an excellent show at the First Direct Arena. The first two bouts were over in next to no time, but the final three contests produced high entertainment. Goodbye for now.

Stephen Smith in action with Gary Buckland during their British Super-Featherweight Championship bout at Motorpoint Arena on August 17, 2013
Read Next:
Preview: Smith, Warrington, Yafai, Coyle fight in Leeds
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in with Facebook to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account