In two of the easiest fights to predict the outcome of, Amir Khan stopped Super-featherweight Billy Dibb in 4 rounds and former WBC heavyweight champion Samuel Peter was stopped in bizarre circumstances, claiming a dislocated shoulder in the 7th round of his bout with Hughie Fury.
In what must be one of the worst cards of the year, Khan was reportedly paid £7m to face the former IBF Featherweight champion Dibb, who came in as a late replacement for India's Neeraj Goyat, another fighter with no right to be in a ring with Khan.
With the sport of boxing currently enjoying a highpoint in its history, it seems there are promoters out there willing to scam the fans with fights so outrageous in their matchmaking as too scream "Fixed". Anyone that paid the cost of a ticket into the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia should feel aggrieved at the mismatches they were fed. One gets the feeling that these were not knowledgeable boxing fans.
At his best, Billy Dibb was a good solid Featherweight world champion, but those days are gone now. He was soundly outpointed by Tevin Farmer for the vacant IBF Super-featherweight title in August 2018 at home in Australia and won by 1st round Ko over a Lightweight with a 7-11-0 record 8 months later. Hardly preparation for facing a Welterweight world title contender. Dibb came in 12lbs heavier for the Khan fight.
Promoters are sometimes put in a tough spot when an opponent drops out at short notice, but when the headline act is being paid £7m, there should be enough money available to tempt a high-quality fringe contender to take the fight and give the paying customers a more evenly matched bout.
In his first fight with new trainer Clarence "Bones" Adams in the corner, Khan put on a disciplined display of boxing and looked good making Dibb miss with his shots before delivering his more powerful blows, especially to the body. The night was a good one for the Bolton, England native even though he will get little if any credit for beating a much smaller foe.
Manchester's Hughie Fury was pulled in to strengthen up the Jeddah card but instead was involved in the worst heavyweight bout televised this year. Former WBC champion Samuel "The Nigerian Nightmare" lived up to his moniker in no uncertain fashion. The Las Vegas-based African is a shot fighter, he has nothing left, especially the desire to be involved in a tough fight. In Hughie, he was facing an opponent who has been accused of only doing enough to win in the past. Instead of trying to knock out the faded former champion who was breathing heavily after the 1st round, he instead opted to box from the outside. Peter soon decided he wanted out and repeatedly hit Fury low, on the back of the head and held on to him like a lost child that had just been reacquainted with his mother. At one point he bloodied the nose of referee Ingo Barrabas when he hit the official while he tried to separate the two. In the 7th round, when the referee forced the two apart from yet another clinch, Peter suddenly claimed that his left shoulder was dislocated, and after a lengthy consultation with the ringside doctor, the fight was stopped.
Hughie Fury and his father and trainer, Peter, are a talented pair, I really hope they can one day turn Hughie into an entertaining heavyweight. When he blasted out Sam Sexton for the British title in May last year he received rave reviews for an exciting and dominant performance, but he resorts to a jab and move style when facing more experienced opposition.
At 218lbs, Hughie probably needs to add some bulk to his 6ft 6In frame and start to sit down on his shots a bit more. At 24-years-old there is plenty of time to put things right, but he cannot afford to be in too many snore fests like this one.
Bantamweight Prince Patel lost his unbeaten record when he was exposed by Venezuelan Michell Banquez (19-1-0) over 12 rounds for the vacant IBO world title. Scores of 118-110, 119-109, and 119-109 while proving a clear victory for the unheralded Banquez, prove that Patel's heavily padded record gave him none of the much-needed experience he lacked to face a tough and knowledgeable South American.
Back to the drawing board.