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Galahad Thrashes Dickens; Sluggers Wardley and Babic Keep on Walloping

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  • Galahad Thrashes Dickens; Sluggers Wardley and Babic Keep on Walloping

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    By Arne K. Lang

    Boxing returned to the expansive backyard garden of the Matchroom Sport estate -- Eddie Hearn’s boyhood home -- for the second installment of this year’s edition of Fight Camp. The main event was a rematch between Kid Galahad and James “Jazza” Dickens for the vacant IBF world featherweight title.

    They first met back in 2013 with a domestic title at stake and since then both came up short in world title fights. Dickens fought Guillermo Rigondeaux for a version of the 122-pound title and was taken out in the second round with a broken jaw. Galahad lost a split decision to former IBF world featherweight title-holder Josh Warrington in June of 2019 on Warrington’s turf in Leeds.

    Dickens had won eight straight coming in, elevating his record to 30-3. Included in that skein was a win over Leigh Wood who turned into a masterful performance in this ring last week vs. Xu Can. Nonetheless, Galahad, born Abdul Barry Awad in Qatar and raised in Sheffield, was a consensus 7/2 favorite. And he would prove that his victory over Dickens in their first encounter was no fluke.

    Dickens, a southpaw from Liverpool, had some good moments early, but as the fight wore on the classier Galahad repeatedly beat him to the punch. Dickens’ face looked as if it had been through a meat grinder when his corner ended the carnage after Round 11.

    Galahad improved to 28-1 (17). He would love to get a second chance at Warrington, who was in attendance, and that may come to pass if Warrington can past Mauricio Lara when they meet up again next month.

    Other Bouts

    The semi-windup between six-foot-five heavyweights Fabio Wardley and Nick Webb was scheduled for 10 but lasted less than one full round. Webb got in some good shots early, but left himself wide open and Wardley, a protégé of Dillian Whyte, took advantage. He had Webb trapped in a neutral corner and nothing was coming back at him when the referee intervened. The official time was 2:30.

    It was the 11th straight win inside the distance for the undefeated (12-0), 26-year-old Wardley who is an interesting prospect. He had no amateur experience whatsoever and is very rough around the edges, but he can certainly crack. The 33-year-old Webb, who fell to 17-3, was stopped in the third round back in 2018 by a Polish fighter, Kamil Sokolowski, who was 5-14-2 heading in. A career change would seem to be in order.


    Alen Babic, a 30-year-old Croatian nicknamed The Savage, won his eighth straight inside the distance and expanded his cult following at the expense of Mark Bennett whose corner pulled him out after five frames.

    Babic comes out swinging for the fences and has a motor that won’t stop. He is as subtle as a runaway freight. He calls himself an old school fighter which is applicable if one’s conception of old school is a more frenetic version of Tony Galento.

    At 272 pounds, Bennett, who brought a 7-1 record, was the heavier man by 60 pounds, but he was overwhelmed by the Croatian in the opening frame during which he twice spit out his mouthpiece. To Bennett’s credit, he promised that he would stand and trade with Babic and he did just that for most of the ensuing rounds. Eventually, however, Babic, who proposed to his girlfriend after the fight, simply wore him down.

    Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

  • #2
    I met Kid Galahad in Boston covering his bout against Toka Khan at the Garden. He’s mouthy and boastful but he does tend to back his promises up in the ring, outclassing lesser foes.

    I now root for Kid Galahad. Go Kid!