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Ofori Wins Southern Area Lightweight War

 

 

 

Main Event

New Southern Area Lightweight Champion Jeffrey Ofori improved his record to 8-0 by defeating Jummane Camero (now 6-3) over 10 rounds in a superb back-and-forth affair. The strengths of both men were obvious; Camero enjoyed his best work from range, taking advantage of his superior height and reach, while Ofori, a busy pressure fighter, looked to stalk the taller man down and work him on the inside.

Camero’s cleaner boxing edged the first, Ofori’s work-rate brought him level in the second, but in the third things truly ignited. Ofori dragged the champion into a shootout, and Camero, trapped on the ropes, was forced to trade with him. They punched incessantly for much of the remainder of the round, which the challenger took on my card thanks to his excellent body punching.

The fourth and fifth saw Camero regain his lead by boxing sensibly from the outside and picking shots from distance, although he looked like he was starting to tire as the latter half of the fight wore on. A bloodied nose and another vicious assault to the body took their toll in the sixth as Ofori, sensing as much, marched forward. He won the seventh too as a big left hook sprayed blood from the champion over the front row at ringside. Camero rallied in the eighth to bring the scores level on my card with two rounds to go, both of which went the way of Ofori, whose style better suited the scrappy work the two were now producing after an exhausting effort from each of them. Referee Jeff Hinds delivered a too-wide verdict of 99-93 – I had Ofori by a 96-94 margin.

 

Undercard

 

In the chief supporting bout, Curtis Felix moved one step closer to a Southern Area welterweight title shot by defeating Justin Menzie over 10. He took a little while to get going, conceding the first two rounds to Menzie who started the match well with some slick footwork and shot selection. He upped his aggression in the following session, finding his range with a good looking right hand.

The middle rounds were hotly contested affairs but all went the way of Felix, who had started to attack the body in an attempt to break the slicker work of Menzie, who was beginning to fade as the fight wore on. Both were caught in the seventh and eighth in hard-to-score rounds, during which Menzie seemed to spend most of what he had left in the tank. A big ninth for Felix established him firmly in the ascendancy, and he glided through the tenth to a fair 98-93 verdict from referee Jeff Hinds. Curtis Felix is now 7-0, Justin Menzie falls to 4-3-1.

 

Dean Richardson, now 8-0, recorded a 60-54 win over Arvydas Trizno, now 27-83-3. A cautious start became interesting in the third round after a Trizno right hand spurred the home fighter into action. Both men missed often, but the initiative came from Richardson, who established a solid jab from then on to finish the sixth round in fine form. Richardson, having fought 6 and 8 rounders previously, has appeared on bigger stages before, most notably at Wembley Arena on two George Groves undercards. He will be seeking a return to such occasions.

 

Dwain Grant entered the ring wearing a full length Scream costume, and caused a shock by defeating hometown favourite Dalton Miller over six. A scrappy opener led to an improved second round, although Miller won both sessions on my card. He also won the next two, hurting Grant with a nice uppercut on the inside in the third. Grant, undeterred, sprung to life in the fifth, his increased work rate forcing Miller to fight on his terms. By the sixth Miller looked tired, yet appeared to have done enough to take the verdict. Referee Lee Every thought otherwise, scoring the contest 58-57 in favour of the visitor, raising a few eyebrows and dissenting voices from the crowd.

 

Four other bouts completed the card, all of them four rounders.

 

Bradley Spencer was made to work for his win over Lewis van Poetsch, who put in an excellent journeyman performance. Spencer started with well-picked single shots, but was put under pressure in the second half of the fight. His left hand was frequently low, and van Poetsch, in the name of revealing this to Spencer, repeatedly connected with overhand rights, although didn’t deny Spencer the win (yet may feel that he deserved a greater share of Jeff Hinds’ 40-37 verdict). Spencer is 3-0, van Poetsch is now 7-82-1.

 

Former 3-time Southern Area Champion Jamie Speight is reinventing himself as a journeyman, and demonstrated why his services will be in high demand after guiding Frankie Phillips to his debut win. Phillips, backed by a large and vociferous support, worked well to the body in the opening two rounds but was kept honest by Speight, who countered when appropriate. By the fourth the contest had become a sparring match, during which Speight reminded Phillips several times to keep his guard up, and applauded his footwork after Phillips landed a hook to the body. Phillips, who will have learnt volumes this evening is 1-0, while Speight, a valuable teacher of the trade, is 15-31.

 

Robbie Chapman inflicted another defeat on winless Callum Ide, who absorbed some heavy shots in the opening half of the fight. Chapman picked his punches intelligently, switching between head and body before moving out of range. He was made to work in the final session after Ide, sensing Chapman was fading a little, applied some pressure of his own with decent overhand rights. This won him the final round for Lee Every, who awarded Chapman a 39-37 win. He is now 2-0, Ide is 0-22-2.

 

David Abraham moved to 6-0 with a victory over fellow heavyweight Phil Williams, now 1-4. Abraham enjoyed the better work but it was a scrappy affair, and referee Lee Every had a word with both of them at the start of the third, asking for a little more composure. Things improved as a result, but Williams was conceding several inches in height and reach and over 3 stone in weight, and couldn’t find a way to negate the straight punching of the home fighter. He did enough to share a round on Every’s card, which favoured Abraham by a margin of 40-37.

 

Verdict: A varied card in North London which, without a single stoppage or knock down, nevertheless provided something for most to enjoy.

 

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