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Old 09-16-2008, 07:27 AM   #1
stegsie
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Default VIPBoxing.Com Press Release - Matvienko in controversial defeat ...

Matvienko in controversial defeat

Alex ‘one man riot’ Matvienko suffered the first defeat of his professional career when he faced off against Lee Edwards for the British Masters Light Middleweight title on a VIP promotion, at the Robin Park arena, Wigan, on Sunday.

Both fighters weighed in at the light middleweight limit of 154lbs in a fight scheduled for ten three minute rounds. With the Robin Park arena buzzing in anticipation the fighters made their way to the ring. Both Edwards and Matvienko looked in superb physical condition, both were trim, and looked mentally prepared to go the ten round distance if required.

As the first bell rang Matvienko raced out of the traps and began walking Edwards down. Matvienko threw hooks and straights, whilst Edwards counterpunched, bobbed, weaved and backed up. It was evident from the opening minute of the opening stanza that the blueprint for the fight would be the pressure fighting of Matvienko, against the back peddling and counterpunching of Edwards. As the first neared the final thirty seconds Edwards caught Matvienko with a sweet left hook right hook combination. The punches rocked back the head of Matvienko and switched the aggressor into the defender. Edwards pressed, although much of his work caught gloves and arms, whilst Matvienko rode out the final seconds with his back to the ropes.

No doubt stern words were used by Oliver and Humphrey Harrison in the Matvienko corner between rounds. As the second began the Bolton fighter appeared more tentative. Matvienko continued to press, but without the blatant disregard for ‘educated pressure’ he showed in the first. With barely ten seconds in the round left Matvienko landed a right cross that would shake Edwards to the soles of his boots. The Robin Park Arena roared as Edwards fell back into the ropes, which undoubtedly saved the Sheffield man from a knockdown. Matvienko poured on the pressure as the bell for the end of the second sounded. An argument could be made that Edwards had rode his luck, first saved by the ropes, then saved by the bell.

The third round brought some stability to the contest. Matvienko continued to march down Edwards and chip away with straights to the body, whilst Edwards countered Matvienko on the way in with some solid looking lead jabs. The fourth began with a bang as Matvienko suffered a cut just above the left eye from an accidental head butt, the blood put Matvienko off his game as he dabbed at the eye, whilst Edwards looked to capitalise by firing out lead jabs, straight rights, then smothering Matvienkos work in close by holding the home fighter.

The fifth round proved to be crucial as Edwards’ holding and spoiling, coupled with the accidental head butt in the previous round, finally sent Alex over the edge. Edwards, whilst with his back against the ropes, was caught with a scything body shot in the corner. As Matvienko stepped back it was clear Edwards was hurt. His body doubled over to the side, his mouth bit hard on the gum shield and Matvienko moved in. It was at this point Edwards, not for the first time in the contest, held on to Alex and simply wouldn’t let go. Matvienko attempted to wrench his arm free, when this didn’t work he stupidly resorted to driving the head into the face of Edwards. Steve Gray was left with no option but to deduct a point from Matvienko, and give Edwards a further thirty seconds to recover as he lectured the Bolton fighter.
The sixth and seventh rounds were scrappy and tight affairs. The referee would need to decide if he preferred the man who was forcing the fight and throwing leather, in Matvienko, or the man who was countering but landing the cleaner shots, Edwards.

The eighth round was stereotypical of Alex Matvienkos fighting style. A toe to toe battle with both men throwing hooks and uppercuts, mixing nicely form the head to body. Alex refused to take a backward step and looked to put the round in the bank with an increased work ethic. Edwards, for the eighth at least, decided to negate his most effective weapon, the jab, and instead trade with Matvienko up close.

As the fight moved into the championship rounds, in this case in point the ninth and tenth, Matvienko had realised he needed to outwork and outgun Edwards to win the rounds. If Edwards negated his jab in the eighth, he didn’t replicate this flaw in the ninth. Edwards tried to establish the jab early, Matvienko tried to negate Edwards greatest asset by slipping the punches, then starting to fire his shots off on the inside. Three hooks in succession by Matvienko appeared to stun Edwards, who fired back with a left jab – right cross combination only to find the gloves of Matvienko held high.

Matvienko increased the pace in the tenth and final round. A left hook sent Edwards into the ropes but further flurries by Matvienko were wide and somewhat inaccurate. With both fighters finally looking like they were feeling the pace of the frantic contest Matvienko appeared to again be forcing Edwards to fight his fight. Edwards returned fire, but couldn’t deter the unbeaten Bolton fighter who surely outgunned and outworked his opponent over the final three minutes.

Both fighters touched gloves at the final bell, but, as referee Steve Gray raised the hand of Edwards a chorus of boo’s echoed around the Robin Park Arena. Both Oliver Harrison and Alex Matvienko looked unhappy (to say the least) with the decision, as did many of the fans sporting “One man riot” T-shirts.

The head butt, and subsequent point deduction, in the fifth had proved costly for Alex, referee Steve Gray had scored the contest 95-94 in favour of Edwards, who now sports a record of 8-1 (1). Matvienko falls to 11-1-2 (4) following his first professional defeat.

I had scored the contest 96-95 for Matvienko (97-95 before the point deduction). Alex forced the fight throughout, and whilst some of the rounds were tough to call, I felt Alex had done enough to gain a share in some of the rounds Gray had clearly given to Edwards. The rounds Alex had won, he’d won big. The only explanation is for Gray to have given almost all of the nip-tuck close rounds to the visiting fighter. A rematch will be something I’m sure ‘the one man riot’ will be looking for, Edwards, probably not so much.

Sam Doleman


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Old 09-16-2008, 07:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: VIPBoxing.Com Press Release - Matvienko in controversial defeat ...

Sounds a tight fight that could have gone either way. Great to see two lads with good records facing each other. A rematch would be well in order.
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: VIPBoxing.Com Press Release - Matvienko in controversial defeat ...

Close fight so Matvienko deserves a rematch.

Apparently BBN scored it to Edwards as well.
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: VIPBoxing.Com Press Release - Matvienko in controversial defeat ...

Terry Dooley scored it the same as the ref. I had Matt winning, Matt won his rounds big, whereas Edwards nicked his. I hear Steve Gray scored round 5 10-8 to Edwards, never, no way, deffo a 9-9 round in my eyes, infact the headbut was for holding after Edwards was rocked with a peach of a shot.

Great small hall fight, the type that go on all over the country without exposure.
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: VIPBoxing.Com Press Release - Matvienko in controversial defeat ...

Great write up of whole bill by Terry D on the BBN site.

Its a shame but seems Matvienko's headbutt in the fifth proved costly in such a close fight.
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: VIPBoxing.Com Press Release - Matvienko in controversial defeat ...

Yep, inexperience, frustration or just plain silly. A good pro is Alex, he'll learn from it.
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Old 09-16-2008, 12:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: VIPBoxing.Com Press Release - Matvienko in controversial defeat ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lads
Yep, inexperience, frustration or just plain silly. A good pro is Alex, he'll learn from it.

Combination of all three perhaps. First 10 round fight and pro title challenge....

Once he has got over the disappointment hopefully he will bounce back stronger and wiser.
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