A cold night in February. So chilly even the greenhouse that is York Hall felt its icy fingers. But this entertaining Hellraiser Boxing card had the frost blasted away emphatically, emotionally. Several years of frustration for super lightweight Phil Bowes exploded in style, meaning the Team Southpaw Jab man became Commonwealth champion. Bowes’ win wasn’t the only emphatic victory on the show, though.
The ten fight Hellraiser show put on by Mickey Helliet pulled no punches, delivering a short, sharp evening with some excellent fights and early finishes.
The main event of the evening was for the Commonwealth Super Lightweight Title, as thirty four year old #TeamSouthpawJab’s Phil “Quicksilver” Bowes took on twenty one year old Benson Nyilawila of Tanzania. Nyilawila had looked much the smaller man at the weigh in, and on fight night it was no different; walking to the ring at a snail pace. With hindsight perhaps this was to lengthen his evening a little. Bowes had not stopped an opponent for half a decade, and Nyilawila had never been stopped, leading many to speculate that he was the stereotypical “tough African”.
Quicksilver destroyed any notion of that idea quick-sharp. Phil wobbled Nyilawila in the first, then dropped him in the second, which Benson did well to get up from. Moments later, an invigorated Bowes flashed his lead right under his foe’s nose, and immediately sent a spiteful left uppercut down the pipe which put Nyilawila on the canvas again. He rose to beat the count, only for referee John Latham to look in his eyes and wave the contest off.
A jubilant Bowes raced to the corner to jump on the ropes and celebrate, his team pouring into the ring to join him. York Hall exploded. It was a fantastic finish, and an emphatic win for a man who had been unlucky in title fights so far in his career. On to some well deserved big nights for Phil and team.
Other conclusive wins on the card included the vociferously supported John Brennan lining Andrej Moravek up and knocking him down. Another second round finish, which was bizarrely ended. Moravek, badly shaken from a trip to the floor, wandered away from his opponent with his gumshield half out after the fight had been waved on. Brennan dutifully raced up behind him to finish it for good. Who can blame him. Fortunately for Moravek the referee got there first to spare him from a more concussive end to his evening.
Super welterweight Brennan will be looking to push for a Southern Area shot soon, and says he has some scores to settle.
Michael Ibrahim was making his cruiserweight debut, but ran into Kent Kauppinnen whose only win was a stoppage against another debutante. In a scrappy but high energy, entertaining affair, Kauppinnen came out flying. Ibrahim was caught like a rabbit in the headlights, and his desire was beaten out of him before the fight was waved off. Another novice scalp for Kauppinnen’s record.
Two welterweights, Dan Morley and Dylan Moran both caught the eye with a variety of work, good reflexes and an eagerness to engage, Morley clearly outpointed the capable Danny Little over four, and Moran did the same over game Oscar Amador.
Also on the show: Ohio Kain won his first six rounder on points over William Warburton, Sean Phillips beat Darryl Sharp over six, Ramon Perez outpointed Ben Fields, Chris Bourke beat Jake Pollard on points. Jordan Blake was awarded a debut win over Zygimantas Butkevicius after the full four.