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Saturday , November 27 2021
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picture courtesy of Marcus J. Richardson @MarcusJRich

Sean Phillips served up a swift and brutal one round stoppage to Davis Pagan at York Hall last night. Their Southern Area Middleweight Title contest was that in name only, as at the first bell Phillips charged his overmatched victim aiming to take home the vacant strap. After trapping and shellacking Pagan in a neutral corner, he did.

Davis didn’t have a hope, sadly, and as a violent volley sent him sinking sickeningly to the canvas it was evident the fight was over. Wobbling and disorientated, he was ruled unfit to continue at 1:40 of the opening stanza. Phillips employed the perfect gameplan for a man who, while not lacking in heart, unfortunately does not have a championship level chin. All three of Pagan’s losses have come early.

The second of three Southern Area Title fights on the Goodwin Boxing event, Phillips versus Pagan was part of an erratic but entertaining evening, well attended and supported despite the mass panic elsewhere. Although someone did nick all the loo roll.

York Hall is famous for its ability to channel the weather and on Saturday it was at its most unpredictable; simultaneously sweltering and chilly. The same could be said of the fluctuating quality of the entertainment.

Insipid fights sometimes ignite. Saturday’s show did the same. Shuddering toward the end, a banal middle act punctuated only by a decent scrap between Ellis Zoro and Ossie Jervier, suddenly grabbed the attention and didn’t let go. That cruiserweight six rounder involved Jervier touching down twice and losing 49-43 on a card that one can only assume was read out incorrectly

Like almost every boxing show there was the strange, the unusual and the uninspired but also the wondrous, wilful skill and bravery which fans come to see. That was exemplified in the three title fights. Before Davis Pagan succumbed to Sean Philips’ assassination, Jose Lopez and Iain Martell traded blows excitingly for the vacant Southern Area Cruiserweight Title.

picture courtesy of Marcus J. Richardson @MarcusJRich

Martell took the opening two rounds comfortably until Lopez decided to show up in the third. Suddenly we had a fight on our hands!

Stocky Martell, pressuring the taller man on the ropes, discovered that Jose has a good line in hooks and uppercuts in close, getting tagged repeatedly and losing the rounds (on my unofficial card at least) because of it. However, he diligently stuck to the pressure approach and duly continued to entertain and make the fight closer than it need be.

Finally cottoning on that perhaps he was better beating Lopez at range, Martell began to edge clear from the mid rounds. That isn’t to say it wasn’t competitive, it very much was so and great fun to watch – both men digging in big shots and taking them well too. A score of 97-95 made Iain Martell the deserved new Southern Area champion and added to the upswing of the whole event.

The third of the trio of titles featured unbeaten Dean Richardson defending his Southern Area Super Welterweight Title against Konrad Stempkowski. Richardson was the favourite going in but although dominant was frustrated by Stempkowski’s exceptional resilience. Right from the first round his southpaw left hand crashed into his opponent’s face, only to be met with the challenger shaking it off and continuing forward.

Stempkowski cleverly took a knee to regather at one point but, before the seventh round, had the doctor looking closely at a badly swollen eye. Richardson was beginning to tire having put so much into trying to end the fight early and must have been relieved when he managed it. Another onslaught from Richardson saw the fight stopped in round seven.

An impressive performance from both men, though for different reasons. Only twenty four, “Deano” can afford to have a look at the lay of the land before rushing anything. Given the right opponent Stempkowski could well win this belt in the future.

picture courtesy of Marcus J. Richardson @MarcusJRich

In an entertaining opener, Joe Roswell debuted looking incredibly impressive walking Jamie Speight down, shimmying and slipping and showing strength belying his twenty years. The super featherweight, former ABA Champion, is one to watch.

The oddities of the evening were evident again when Shaunn Watt was waved out of his super middleweight fight with Conor Hinds in the first of four. Rather than a punch it seemed to be a thumb in the eye which caused the distress. A win is a win, and certainly better than a poke in the eye.

Also on the show, Southern Area Featherweight champion Ramez Mahmood outscored Brett Fidoe 59-55 in a well contested six rounder. It is nice to see a title holder like Mahmood taking fights to continue learning and stay busy, and when normal life eventually resumes he will be ready to go.

Yaser Al-Ghena showed true dedication to pointless showboating and beat Ibrar Riyaz, who actually wanted to fight, 40-37 in a four round welterweight arrangement.

Vladimir Georgiev brought a good support but was made to miss – and punished for it – by Jan Ardon over four at middleweight. Georgiev remains unbeaten after a thin 39-38 victory.

Super lightweight Kofi Donker took every round over Lee Devine 40-36.

Jordan Dujon went the full four at super welterweight with Jordan Grannum– who has been the distance in every single one of his seventy nine fights. It will take someone a bit special to halt Grannum. The fight was awarded 40-36 to Dujon, though.

Neil Parry won all six over Sergio Gugliotta at welterweight.

With boxing potentially almost certainly heading into the scheduling unknown alongside the rest of sport and society, it was a show which will hopefully be remembered as the only time someone stooped so low as to thieve bum-paper from York Hall. A good evening overall, and here’s hoping for another one next weekend. Fingers well washed and crossed.


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