by Dom Hadi @staredowndom
On St Patrick’s Day in the Bracknell Leisure Centre the crowd saw a bit of everything at Siesta Boxing Presents: Loose Cannons. From a new Champion to an explosive finale and everything in between, the show was busy. Starting with the good, several debutantes (all somewhat local) featured on the card and were able to take that step into professional boxing with a supportive crowd on their side.
Some of the first timers such as card opener Tom Brennan and Luke Pearson chose a tactical game plan against their opponents: Mac Pemhiwa, 0-2, and Ricky Leach, 3-35-1 (0). The two new professionals picking their shots and staying true to their boxing form to each earn unanimous decisions respectively.
Others, however, wanted to show the crowd they had something different to offer. Joseph ‘Bad Boy’ Butler, 1-0, came out against Joe Beeden, 2-61-1 (1), like a lightning bolt, using hand speed, head movement and some showboating that let Beeden know he had a tough opponent on his hands. Although Butler was unable to get the finish his antics excited the crowd and will no doubt give him even more confidence in his next matchup.
Clay Elmes also debuted and was just to much for him Dylan Draper, who never really pulled the trigger. Clay and Joseph Butler have a very bright future. Both looked phenomenal, well suited to the pro game.
Gelasius Taaru retuirned after a year out, he came up against a game Jose Hernandez. Taaru hit him with slick shots and ooked to rock Hernandez a couple times, but he was constantly moving forward throwing shots at Taaru. At no point was Taaru able to coast he constantly had to focus with Hernandez. Taaru was taller so implented an excellent jab to keep him at bay, taking a 59-55 win.
Following the debutants, we had arguably the fight of the night as George Lamport, 6-0-1 (1) faced off with Ellis Corrie, 3-1-1 (0) in a six round war. The two fighters never gave an inch to their opponent and for six full rounds, they left it all on the canvas. Neither man would be considered a loser in the eyes of the crowd, or the scorecard as the phenomenal back and forth was rendered a draw.
Another fight of the night candidate came when Ludumo Lamati, 15-0-1 (9) fought Brayan Mairena, 10-7-1 (4). Coming into this fight Lumati had a lot of talk on where he would go following a victory on this card. Mairena (a late replacement) would in no way make this an easy night for Lumati however and pushed the pace to his fullest, giving the South African tough rounds in the fight. In the end, the Nicaraguan fighting out of Barcelona wasn’t able to keep said pace and Lumati walked away with the unanimous decision.
In the two biggest fights on the bill we had Lucy Wildheart, 5-0 (2), challenge for her first professional title. She faced Anissa Benyoub, 2-2 (0), for the vacant IBO Inter-Continental Female Lightweight Title. This was Wildheart’s toughest challenge since turning professional and she was pushed- at times appearing one or two shots away from serious trouble. Despite the rocky start what Wildheart was able to show is her ability to come back from adversity and change the game plan throughout the fight. She got the nod from the judges, keeping her undefeated and ready for the next challenge as champ.
In the main event, the bad blood was evident in both the crowd and the ring. Luther Clay, 11-1 (5), and O’Shane Clarke, 4-2 (1), have wanted this fight for years and at long last they got their wish in front of a supportive yet volatile crowd. Both fighters had their moments with Clarke winning the first two rounds, but Luther came back with some devastating punches and seemed heavily focused on the left eye of Clarke, closing it up in the fourth round.
This was the beginning of the end for O’Shane Clarke as by the eighth round the doctor had to be called in. Clarke was deemed unable to continue, giving Clay the TKO victory. Unfortunately, this is where things took a turn for the worse. Not wanting to shake hands with Clarke, Luther Clay let his feelings known on the mic in front of the divided crowd which resulted in a brawl.
To say this put a damper on the card would be an understatement. For most of the crowd, it was the chance to see their friend or loved one do their job and be a professional fighter. For others, it was their chance to pretend to be one for the evening. Al Siesta put on an incredible show and everyone involved made sure it was one to remember, from the enthusiastic ring girls to the hard as nails fighters, Loose Cannons promised an exciting show and that promise was certainly delivered in more ways than one.