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Tear-Ups at York Hall On Goodwin Boxing’s “The Showdown”

“Start as you mean to go on”, they say, and while it would surely be unheard of for a boxing show to follow that mantra, the Goodwin Boxing event at York Hall on Saturday tried its best to do so. Sixteen fights, including a title and an English super lightweight title eliminator, unfolded before the mostly boisterous east end crowd. The evening exploded in the opening bout as super lightweight Louis Isaacs faced Petar Alexandrov. Both novices went for one another, toe to toe; setting the tone for the night in a close and bruising fight, which the well supported Isaacs took 39-38.

A little while later the main event went nuclear, too. Kay Prospere and Nathan Weise are both thirty three years old and while boasting decent records, are surely now chasing the dream harder than ever. They met over ten rounds: it was excellent matchmaking.  The prize at stake was a shot at the English title and while the first round was tentative, the second ignited and it didn’t let up from there.

To say Prospere likes to switch hit is an understatement, he does it so much it’s hard to know which stance he’s in half the time. The other half of the time you don’t know either, because he’s switched again, twice. What was initially a very solid second round for Kay saw Weise land one of his own toward the end, stiffening Kay’s legs before the bell. The fuel was lit.

In the third Prospere dropped his guard completely, hands by his waist, then from nowhere threw a straight down the pipe so hurtful that Nathan’s legs went bandy. It was almost amazing Weise stayed up, but he did, and after a worrying period covering up to a bombardment, was throwing back and almost even on top at the end of the round. Had he really been hurt badly? Was it a game? From this writer’s position, yes he was hurt, but his recovery was exceptional as it could have ended right there.

Prospere went on a walk at the start of the fourth; possibly a period when Weise could have pushed on, which to be fair he tried to do. That was Nathan’s moment, but he was still shaking off the third round. The opportunity simply came at the wrong time for him to capitalise. Kay then used his fast hands and movement to turn the screw.; varying his shots so much Weise was never sure whether to protect his abdomen or cranium, dropping and raising his tight, cautious guard. The fifth saw “Special K” take centre ring, now trying to boss the bout. Weise landed a good left but seemed tired, and just as Prospere switched one final time, he threw a hook which crashed Nathan into the canvas on his knees.

Getting up for a nine and a half count and protesting vehemently was, alas, not enough for the brave loser. Despite rallying back constantly throughout; points and punch resistance were ebbing out and away from Weise like blood from a nasty wound. Slowly at first, but you got a feeling it was getting a grip, and not in a good way. He was behind on the cards and this was a now just a brave beating he was starting to take. An excellent fight and both men should be proud of their efforts.

The chief support was Darrell Church fighting Bulgaria’s Daniel Borisov for an International Challenge Belt over eight rounds at light heavyweight. It was unfortunately not the best fight of the night, though this is boxing and not every fight can be a war, a master class or a brutal knockout. Also a win is a win, a belt is a belt and one person’s opinion is just that. However it was flat, predictable and unfortunately, unlike for Darrell’s commendably vocal supporters; no good for the neutral. Church took a wider fight with a closer decision 78-74.

William Webber had an even one win, one loss record coming into his fight with Geraint Goodridge at a billed super middle. Webber wanted war and Geraint gladly gave him it. The two engaged in a brilliant scrap which had the crowd shrieking with delight. Webber is only nineteen years old and to be put in against a tough man with such great foul selection as Goodridge, seemed like madness. Geraint was given at least five verbal warnings, but never for the same foul. He also fought back like a demon, having more than his share of the action. There was respect between the men ahead of the 40-38 in favour of Webber. Another captivating fight.

Ryan Walker has so far looked skilful, but added spite and power to his repertoire with a blistering first round stoppage of Stefan Slavchov. The Newham featherweight came out at a sprint and had his foe desperate on the canvas after a left feint, big right landed flush and put Slavchov on his knees and unwilling to get up for more. “Phyz” was electric, leaving spectators as dazed as poor Slavchov; wondering what had hit them. Walker should be looking at titles very soon.

Last month William Warburton shocked York Hall by halting a puncher with a great record, a man looking at belts. Aaron Morgan tired and was ended by the unassuming but incredibly tough and talented man from Lancashire in the sixth. Having halted all but one previous opponent; Dean Richardson was certainly being stepped up. Warburton hasn’t been stopped since 2010. William was game as ever but the double and triple jabs initially bothered him. “Deano” had William in the corner more than once, unloading spitefully but without the desired result. Will rallied in parts, was never up against it in the true sense, but neither ever realistically in with a chance of the win. 80-73 Richardson’s way at the final bell.

Heavyweight Jon Palata came out with one of those entourages that makes you think people in the know, know about this guy. Sometimes it’s bluster or bravado, but based on his debut, second round, stoppage of Aleksy Spasov; it might be wise to keep an eye on Jon. Although winding up a little bit, Palata had Spasov in trouble in the first, as the Bulgarian tried to take a seat on the ropes. Palata’s impressive pressure then hounded him to the canvas. Aleksy made the bell but an attempt at the same trick in the second saw him chased with booming shots around two quarters of the squared circle, to his final resting place.

It’s always the first thing said about Reece Cattermole; that he’s the UK’s only professional deaf boxer. It is an incredible story, and testament to his character. However, after flooring, and warring with tricky Victor Edagha on his debut, hopefully Reece’s ability as a boxer will soon be top of people’s tongues. The pair exchanged fast flurries and while Edagha was not without success, he was never on top. 40-35 in favour of Cattermole. An impressive win, and on this performance Reece is an exciting fighter to look out for.

Entrance of the night went to Nick Parpa, whose intimidating and entertaining ring walk made the crowd sit up and take notice, as did his performance. Grigor Karastoyanov was never put to sleep by “Nightmare”, but the Spartan cruiserweight did put him to the sword, dropping him twice for a second round stoppage.

Tomislav Rudan is a Croatian with a habit of coming to England and giving prospects a torrid evening, but popular London cruiser Deion Jumah wiped him out in impressive fashion in three rounds of a scheduled six. Rudan was on the canvas twice in the second, and Jumah’s impressive commitment to pressure, and a powerful left, right to the body in the third was too much for him.

The buzz around York Hall was that Curtis Felix is a man to keep an eye on, and his fight with Ricky Rose was not short on skill from either man. When Felix eventually sussed the able Rose out, he used his speed of both hand, head and foot to apply bother his foe intelligently. Rose’s ability to prevent the fight being an easy night, or stoppage win for Felix shows his talent as an opponent. Particularly Ricky’s head movement in the fourth and final round was of annoyance to the unbeaten welter Felix. A 40-37 win for Curtis will be one to look back on with pride.

Robbie Chapman brought an army of fans to his middleweight debut against eighty four fight veteran Liam Griffiths. The Hampstead home fighter was busier and mixed it up well, getting caught on occasion, for a 40-37 victory.

A man hell bent on flamboyance and entertainment, arguably at cost to the quality of his boxing, is still unbeaten Mo Gharib. The lightweight showboated and postured his way to a 40-36 win over resilient Aleksandrs Birkenbergs. The Latvian never looked hurt, and responded in kind to the play acting in front of him. Focus on the boxing, lads. Nonetheless a good win for Gharib.

Also on the card, Adi Burton moved to 7-0 with a 60-54 win over stocky Tsevetozar Illiev. Adrian Martin took a 60-55 decision over the durable Jordan Grannum, no mean feat. Finally Bradley Spencer took a close 39-38 win over Gabor Balogh in an engaging clash, with some heavy shots admirably taken by both men, to close out the night.

An entertaining evening’s fisticuffs which provided plenty to get excited about for the Goodwin stable, and perhaps a little to mull over. It was well presented, supported and managed, with the crowd on good form and behaviour which was pleasing. For full results, weights and stats click HERE.

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