On a busy weekend for British boxing, that saw Anthony Crolla take on Jorge Linares for the WBA light-weight title, (Read Crolla-Linares II fight report here) this Black Flash show in the familiar surroundings of the Bowlers, certainly offered more than just an appetite builder for boxing fans anticipating Saturday’s big event down the road. 

Billed as a great fight card, showcasing young upcoming talent from the Northwest and beyond, as well as featuring the English light-middleweight championship bout between Matty Ryan and Sonny Upton, this show once again proved that you have to look no further than your local promotions to experience a night of quality boxing.

The night’s main event was an intriguing contest, not only due to the late change of opponent, with the injured Macaulay McGowan replaced by Sonny Upton– an altogether different type of fighter. Even so, Matty Ryan looked ready and well prepared for this, as were his support- and together with the Upton Clan they were generating a great atmosphere at the Bowlers. 

From the first-round onwards, it seemed fairly clear that this fight was going to follow the pattern set by the contrasting styles of the two fighters: Matty Ryan would stalk Upton, who seemed comfortable fighting on the back foot and in the corners, utilizing some nifty head movement to set up his counter punches. 

This game of cat and mouse continued throughout the next three or four rounds, with Ryan constantly looking for an opening and Upton looking to react to any mistakes made by Ryan. Into the fourth round it seemed like Upton’s plan was beginning to work, with Ryan displaying an impressive and positive work-rate, but finding little penetration for his punches. 

Full Fight Video BBTV: Matty Ryan Vs Sonny Upton

Ryan picked up his game in the 5th, 6th and 7th rounds, however, connecting with some solid right crosses, as Upton allowed, at times, to let his hands drop. He seemed to find a second wind from somewhere for the final two rounds, which were very evenly contested, with some entertaining boxing on show from both fighters. 

It was tense moments, then, for all, as this contest for the English super-welter title went the distance. The three judges scored it 97-93/96-96/96-95 respectively- and the place erupted as Matty Ryan was announced as the winner and English Champion. It was clear to see from the reactions of Ryan’s corner what this title meant, with trainers Pat Barrett and Paulie DaSilva embracing their man proudly.

On the undercard..

With the cancellation of the first scheduled fight, pundits had plenty to keep them entertained, with music, live rappers, dancers and a fashion show to boot, providing the event with something a bit different. 

However, it was exciting boxing that the spectators came to see, and boy did they get that in spades in the first fight- featuring Chris Monaghan and Sam Omidi. These former stable-mates from the Collyhurst and Moston Club stated before the fight that previous friendships would not interfere with the action in the ring, and it was clear from the bell that this was going to be a high intensity affair. 

There was an early knock-down, when Omidi connected beautifully with a big right hand. Monaghan was straight back on his feet, though, launching several flurries, utilizing the left hook to the body well at times. 

The fight proceeded in the blistering pace it had set in the opening round, with both fighters keeping the pressure on, trading shots and displaying impressive fitness levels. At the final bell, judges could not separate the two fighters on the score cards- with the fight ending at an even 58. This really was an outstanding, high-octane battle. 

Full Fight Video BBTV: Chris Monaghan Vs Sam Omidi

Next up was a heavy-weight fighter that has been generating some interest, with his recent move to link up with Frank Warren. Mohamed Soltby, hailing from Russia via Germany, was taking on an unknown quantity in Hungary’s Ferenc Zsalec

This fight seemed to have all the hallmarks of an early stoppage, and that is exactly what we got at 1:55 into the first round, when almost out of nowhere, Soltby threw a right to the body, right to the head combination that instantly floored Zsalec. A successful outing then- for the heavy handed Soltby. 

The third fight of the night featured the crowd favourite, Colyhurst and Moston’s own- Lyndon ‘King’ Arthur. Looking to get some more serious rounds under his belt after an early stoppage at the Middleton Arena recently, Lyndon’s opponent was Tony Bilic, hailing from Croatia. 

This fight was scheduled for four rounds, and Arthur set the tone early on, utilizing what is starting to look like a pretty formidable jab, connecting with Bilic almost every time. Bilic was sent to the canvas in the second round, taking the eight count. 

To his credit, Bilic showed some decent footwork to try and stay out of harm’s way, but even so, the fight ended early in the 4th, with Bilic feeling the power of an Artur left hook, and finally a right uppercut to earn the early stoppage. Lyndon continues to gain that valuable experience and it will be interesting to see him in competitive, big fights in the future. 

Once again, this was another highly successful event put on by Black Flash Promotions, and a testament to boxing going from strength to strength in the north of the country. Bring on the next one.

Fight footage from the night will be available on BBTV www.britishboxers.co.uk this week, stay tuned…

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