02 ARENA, LONDON — Red hot up-and-comers Archie Sharp and Dennis McCann showed on Saturday that the future of British boxing is as fun as it is flashy.
Sharp, a clear fan favorite with the London crowd, marched to the ring for his super featherweight bout against a tattooed Scotsman, Jordan McCorry, on the undercard of Frank Warren’s “Heavy Duty” show at the 02 Arena.
With a nickname like “Sharpshooter,” one would expect marksmanship — punishing blows landed accurately, with malice. And though it took a round for Sharp to get going, when he began throwing with abandon he was landing with a bang.
Sharp kept his guard unconventionally low which meant it was, at times, tough to predict what shots he’d be throwing. But when he let his hands go, it became clear his arsenal was varied and included solid overhand rights, lunging shots from unorthodox angles, and merciless digs to the body — one of which sent McCorry down to the ground in the third round.
McCorry made the count, and though he grimaced having to walk right back into battle, he had recovered sufficiently by the fourth.
When McCorry occupied the middle of the ring, Sharp used lateral movement to keep away from his opponent. That low guard of his meant, when he did plant his feet, he was susceptible to attacks, and he by no means avoided them all.
At one point in the fight he was up against the ropes and just openly mocked McCorry by leaning against them and invited his man onto him, who refused to accept the invitation of what could have been a free punch.
Sharp, with a flashy-first fighting style, had McCorry beat in all departments — technical ability, shot selection, and ring craft. He beat him to the punch, seemed the harder hitter, and his play of the night, which he landed many times throughout the fight, was a textbook one-two; a ramrod jab followed by an overhand so hard it sprayed McCorry’s sweat from his head to the canvas.
Sharp’s greatest challenge will be whether he can continue to win with his showboating antics as he goes from regional level to national and beyond. But for now, hey, he’s a fun fighter, winning comfortably at the 02 Arena with a lopsided decision.
Earlier in the night, Dennis McCann, a highly-rated prospect who turned professional under the tutelage of respected coach Alan Smith at the iBox gym in Kent earlier in the year, put on a clinic against a durable journeyman called Jerson Larios.
McCann had fast hands and put them to good use as he used Larios as target practice, hitting him with southpaw jabs, lead left hooks, and spiteful body shots. Larios never looked like winning, yet he never looked like getting knocked out either.
Regardless, he lost by a four round score of 40-36, with McCann — clearly one to watch — extending his pro record to two wins undefeated.
After McCann’s masterclass, Sunny Edwards also won the vacant IBF international super flyweight championship after being taken the full 10 round distance by a game Harim Gallardo.