Initially scheduled to challenge Akeem Ennis Brown for the British and Commonwealth Super-Lightweight titles, Sam Maxwell is now reduced to a ‘keep fit’ fight with journeyman, Ben Fields.
Queensberry: Maxwell vs Fields Predictions & Results
A bit of Friday night boxing is always welcome, especially when the pandemic-induced lockdown forces us to remain tucked up at home. The first-fight card of a weekend thriller from Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions has unfortunately lost a thrilling main event, but with the old crook wheeling out the very best of his roster, it is still well worth tuning in to the Friday and Saturday events. Usually, I’d deliver a fair bit of contextual spiel in the introduction, but with at least four separate events over the weekend that Pintsized will be covering, let’s just get down and dirty with the fights immediately.
Super Lightweight (140)
Sam Maxwell (14-0, 11KO) vs Ben Fields (10-9-2)
Decorated amateur, Sam Maxwell, has had a fairly quiet start to his professional career. Former ABA champion, Team GB fighter, and bronze medallist at the Commonwealth Games, Maxwell is still trying to find his feet at 140. While many were drawn to Maxwell after his turnaround tenth-round knockout over trash-talking, showboating Tunisian, Sabri Sediri, the stoppage in fact masked his torturous time against humble opposition. Lingering at range with his chin over-extended before his front foot, slow to read his cagey opponent, and dropping his right hand when searching with the left hook – Maxwell was dropped twice during the opening round and lucky to out-last a barrage of punishment until the tenth round.
After such a luke-warm performance, in which only Maxwell’s power and heart could be gleaned as silver linings, it was a pleasant surprise to see a revitalised Maxwell in his European title bout against Joe Hughes. While Hughes is at best a continental contender, he constitutes a granite-chinned pressure fighter who bullies fighters with his powerful left hand if they shy away on their back-foot. Instead, Maxwell immediately dictated the range of the affair from the opening bell and forced Hughes to lunge from a distance to close the reach differential. Although Maxwell was still tagged often in the pocket where he held his feet after combinations, at range Maxwell dominated Hughes with a probing jab and sharp counter straights. While his tendency to start slowly and drop his hands after extended combinations, Maxwell is still a physical specimen who excels on the outside when he can control the range.
Former Midlands Area titleholder, Ben Fields, doesn’t represent much of a threat to Maxwell’s 0 but he can offer hard-fought rounds. Having been pitted against countless prospects throughout his young career, Fields has never failed to meet the final bell. Moreover, Fields has regularly been successful in securing underdog victories over green fighters (Kane Gardner in their rematch, Sean Daly, Andrew Fleming and Nathan Bennett), so much so that it would be insulting to reduce Fields to a ‘journeyman’ title. Fields glues his gloves to his ears and looks to apply pressure incrementally over the rounds. A somewhat slow starter in terms of volume, this will only benefit Maxwell, as the former Team GB amateur will be able to make his reads without worrying about much incoming damage.
Predicted Result: Maxwell TKO Round 6
In a match-up between two slow starters, a lull in the early proceedings will only benefit the former Team GB amateur, Sam Maxwell. Although Maxwell hasn’t set the professional ranks ablaze since his transition, most of his issues stem from passive openings that allow opponents to dictate the pace and rack up early rounds/pressure on the scorecards. Maxwell is a fabulous boxer at range who probes with his lead jab, throwing off of his left-hand with hooks to head and body that catches opponents off-guard. While Fields is a limited pressure fighter, he is a relentless swinging ball of forward momentum who will force Maxwell to continually move laterally or be caught against the ropes. Maxwell possesses heavy hands, but Fields covers his granite chin well behind a high guard that is rarely dropped.
Result: Maxwell def. Fields // Decision (referee’s scorecard – 79-73)
Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌
Super Middleweight (168)
vacant WBO International Super Middleweight Title
Zach Parker (19-0, 13KO) vs Vaughn Alexander (15-4, 9KO)
In the craziest rumours that have gone under the radar, there seems to be a belief that Zach Parker is next in line to challenge Canelo if (when?) he beats Billy Joe-Saunders. The powerful Super Middleweight is an athletic beast at the weight, but he would be blown away in under five rounds by the decorated Mexican. No, what Zach Parker needs is several fringe world-title level fights that will refine his natural physical gifts. Already, at just twenty-six years old, Parker has amassed an impressive nineteen victories including the impressive scalp of power-punching Aussie, Rohan Murdock.
While Parker switches between stances regularly, he can be caught mid-transition as he doesn’t mask his movement with any punches. Despite his size, Parker’s most effective work is found on the inside. Against Murdock, Parker slipped or parried the Aussie’s two-punch combinations while remaining in the pocket. From there, Parker’s best shot is a stabbing uppercut to the body followed by a liver shot. Although Parker needs to learn how to bully opponents in the clinch and use his natural size to his advantage, this will hopefully be drilled over time as he grows into the weight.
Yankee, Vaughn Alexander, finds himself on his first career away day. Although not boasting the most glittering of records, Alexander is a rugged operator who has sacrificed his size advantage at Lightweight to battle the big boys around Middleweight. Keeping his lead hand low in the Philly Shell, Alexander paws with timid jabs that draw opponents onto his counters. Alexander suffers due to his lacklustre volume, waiting for his opponent to create the opportunity, rather than dictating the pace of the fight himself.
Predicted Result: Parker Decision
Parker is still a raw prospect, but his natural athleticism and size makes him one to watch for the future. While rumours of a Canelo fight are VERY premature, Parker should have more than enough class to out-work Alexander on Friday night. While Alexander will attempt to draw Parker onto counter shots, Parker’s reach advantage will allow him to pepper the American with jabs and cruise towards a decision victory.
Result: Parker def. Alexander // TKO Round 2 1:39
Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌
Rest of the Card
Super Bantamweight (122)
vacant IBF International Super Bantamweight Title
Brad Foster (13-0-2, 5KO) vs Alvaro Rodriguez (10-3-1, 1KO)
It’s almost time to bet the mortgage on Brad Foster becoming a champion at Super Bantamweight by 2021. The twenty-three-year-old has already proven his championship mettle when he battled his way to a majority draw for the Commonwealth and British titles against the hugely underrated, Lucian Reid. Bouncing back just five months later, Foster rectified the blip on his record and blasted Reid out in just six rounds. Foster is a magnificent dictator of position in the ring, having forced solid opposition to concede the centre of the ring and spend most of the fight backed onto the ropes. Largely through hand feints and effective footwork to continually cut off the ring, Foster keeps opponent’s on their back foot before launching sharp bursts of five-punch combination. Foster can be tied up and dragged into an ugly fight, but with time Foster will surely iron out the creases in an otherwise superb skillset.
Alvaro Rodriguez has been used by British promoters at the European-level litmus tests for British prospects. The former Spanish champion possesses slick head movement and is a nightmare to hit with significant shots, but his single-shot style does not synergise well with his feather fists. Tyrone McCullagh and Thomas Patrick Ward secured valuable rounds against the slippery Spaniard but were never in trouble of losing on the cards.
Predicted Result: Foster Decision
Rodriguez is the European-level whipping boy for British promoters, having already been used to give Tyrone McCullagh and Thomas Patrick Ward rounds at a decent level. The former Spanish champion is an enjoyable fighter to watch with his long stance and slick head movement, but his single-shot offence results in him bleeding on the cards. Foster, a twenty-three-year hot prospect, will have his first real test in ring management and may endure a chess match in the early rounds.
Result: Foster def. Rodriguez // Decision (unanimous – 100-90, 100-90, 100-90)
Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️
vacant WBC International Silver Welterweight Title
Danny Ball (9-0-1, 4KO) vs Sam Gilley (11-0, 5KO)
In his first fight since signing with Queensberry Promotions, Danny Ball will be putting his WBC International Silver title on the line. Unexpectedly securing the title over Mason Cartwright back in 2019, Ball has been out of the ring for almost two full years. The twenty-four-year-old may suffer from a bit of ring rust against the toughest opponent he has faced. Operating off of the back foot, Ball fights tall and constantly uses his jab as a range-finder. A tight, composed fighter, Ball lacks the natural gifts to climb to the world level, but could certainly threaten at the domestic level for a long time to come.
Southern Area Title holder, Sam Gilley, is another giant at the weight class but one who refuses to utilise his reach advantage. Rather than striking safely from range with straight shots, Gilley plods forward and targets the body with extended combinations. The advantage of Gilley’s heavy front foot game is his reach is still somewhat utilised as he can get behind an opponent’s guard.
Predicted Result: Gilley Decision
This has all the potential to be a classic domestic clash. Both men have soared up the British Welterweight scene and will be aiming to work towards an eventual British title fight. While Ball is the more compact, technical operator, he lacks the natural athletic gifts that Gilley possesses. Gilley would be best advised to beat Ball with his superior range, but alas, his preferred heavy front-foot style will lead him to dragging Ball into a dog-fight.
Result: Ball def. Gilley // Decision (unanimous – 96-94, 96-94, 97-94)
Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️
Dennis McCann (8-0, 5KO) vs Luis Moreno (9-1, 6KO)
Perhaps the biggest future cash cow for ol’Frankie boy and Queensberry Promotions, twenty-year-old Dennis McCann performed stunningly in his first test against Pedro Matos. Although he was caught flush a couple times when hounded against the ropes, they were only a couple blips on an otherwise dominant performance. McCann’s flashiest shot is his jumping lead uppercut, but McCann’s most effective work remains his jab which remains firing from start to finish. As his footwork is further tightened and McCann grows into his power, the Kent native will be a huge threat in the lower weight classes as his eye for a counter seems scarily sharp already.
Over the past couple of months, Eddie Hearn has been given sleepless nights by unknown Mexicans shocking his roster. While the curse may still afflict Frank, Moreno doesn’t appear to be of the same quality as that of what we’ve become accustomed to. Failing to have a W against an opponent with a winning record, Moreno will offer a similar test to that of Pedro Matos.
Predicted Result: McCann TKO Round 4
It is always difficult to predict a fight when the opponent has almost no tape available online, especially when unknown Mexican fighters have been tearing up British boxing (sorry, Eddie). McCann looked the real deal in his first big test against Pedro Matos, however. Moreno has already been stopped by tame opposition, and while it is guesswork at this point, McCann’s volume and accuracy indicates an eventual stoppage.
Result: McCann def. Moreno // Decision (referee’s scorecard – 80-71)
Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌
David Adeleye (4-0, 4KO) vs Mladen Manev (2-8, 1KO)
Did you know David Adeleye is a sparring partner of Anthony Joshua? Sigh. Although the marketing of David Adeleye has so far been woeful, there is a lot to like about the twenty-four-year-old Londoner. Obviously, Adeleye is an exceptionally heavy-handed Heavyweight – evidenced by his 100% finish rate over journeymen so far. What’s really exciting, however, is Adeleye’s use of educated feints and entrances in a weight class sorely lacking technical polish outside the top-ten. Dancing around striking range with his lead foot, Adeleye also uses his head, shoulder and lead hand to torture his opponent and contort their guard.
Crikey, it’s a hard life being a Heavyweight journeyman. While Manev has only been stopped twice, the Bulgarian has not fought for a couple of years and is coming off of a second-round retirement to Damian Chambers. At just 5’11, Manev will be bullied by Adeleye and struggle to find his way inside the reach of the Brit.
Predicted Result: Adeleye TKO Round 2
If Frank is looking to get Adeleye rounds, Manev doesn’t appear the man suited to the job. Out of the ring for two years and stretching to just 5’11, the Bulgarian is at a huge physical and technical disadvantage when he steps in against David Adeleye. The Brit still requires heavy development before progressing, but his ability to dance on the edge of striking range and contort opponent’s guards with a variety of feints are most pleasing to see in a brawler-heavy division.
Result: 🚫 LAST MINUTE REPLACEMENT (on the day picking debutant, Dave Preston) 🚫
Jason Harty (DEBUT) vs Kearon Thomas (1-10-1, 1KO)
Twenty-year old, Jason Harty, is a decorated Amateur snapped up by Frank Warren before he could flirt with the idea of the 2024 Olympics. A former silver European Schoolboy medallist and national champion, there is a considerable amount of hype behind the young Irish man. Reviewing his bout with Edgard Tcambov in the European Schoolboy Championships, Harty exhibited fluid bouncing footwork which allowed him to spring into hard counter shots.
Welcoming Harty into the professional ranks, journeyman Kearon Thomas is expected to give the Irish prospect the full four rounds. Having already spoiled Rob Garvey’s debut last year via second-round TKO, Thomas is a tall fighter who sticks and moves constantly on his back foot.
Predicted Result: Harty Decision
Although Thomas isn’t a journeyman that keels over at first chance, his style clearly plays into allowing prospects to earn their full four rounds. Harty’s volume and bouncing footwork will see him through a successful debut, but he may struggle to consistently cut off the ring against Thomas who continually wheels laterally around the ring.
Result: Harty def. Thomas // Decision (referee’s scorecard – 40-35)
Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️
Queensberry: Maxwell vs Fields
2021 Boxing Season
Takeaway comments: Ball Gilley was a banger as predicted, hopefully Ball can kick on towards a English title bout.
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