Bring your whisky and coke back to the bar and tell the man behind it: “Take back the straw, the ice, the lemon slices and the soft drink. I just want the liquor”.
The beauty of small hall shows is that the action is not diluted among never ending highlight reels videos playing on big screens, pharaonic ring entrances involving more people and choreography than a Broadway musical, DJ sets etc etc… It’s just straight up boxing from start to finish, fight after fight and nothing else. That is not to say that big shows are not fun and worth their price but only that there is a proper time and place for everything and sometime less is more and feels refreshing.
In that sense, Costakis Evangelou’s Premier Boxing Promotions first card served us a neat shot of British professional pugilism at the Lee Valley Athletic Centre.
He said before the fight he would match the fighters against opponents who came to win and that proved particularly true for Andrei Sotherus, Tyrone Williams and Daniel Khan, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Here is all the action as it happened.
Jake Pettitt (4-0, 1 ko) vs Ricky Leach (3-32-1) 4×3 Bantamweight
It was just target practice for Pettitt, who had former British and Commonwealth Welterweight champion Bradley Skeete among his supporters at ringside. Always coming forward, punching and moving to the right, creating angles and picking his shots, the Kent based fighter was in total control for the all 4 rounds. Leach felt the pace form the start and was a bit slow coming out of his corner for the second, overall helpless against Jake’s attacks. Pettitt did not look for a stoppage but took his time and made good use of this fight to rehearse several possible scenarios turning his opponent at will and lying on the ropes. The bout ended with a 40-37 decision in his favour, although it is hard to see an even round.
Andrei Sohterus (0-0-1) vs Ashley Bailey-Dumetz (3-5-1) 4×3 Middleweight
Romanian Sotherus was making his debut as a professional boxer but was not new to the ring, having been a kick boxer for most of his career, and showed maturity in his approach. Bailey-Dumetz went straight at him as soon as the bell rang and dragged him into a war, having the better of the early exchanges with his hooks, but could not keep that pace up for the whole round. Sotherus knew better than trying to match fire with fire and let Ashley rush in to land solid counters. The tide went back and forth in the next 3 rounds of an untidy fight, with Bailey-Dumetz doing his best to make it a brawl and Sotherus trying to keep it together. The final result of 38-38 reflects the complementarity of the 2 styles and the Romanian fighter should consider this a successful and useful debut, although not a winning one.
Aaron Gribben (1-0) vs Darren Snow (5-28-2) 4×3 Cruiserweight
Gribben was on the front foot in the first round, testing his opponent with straight punches and the occasional 1-2-hook combo, blocking easily the occasional replies of Snow. Darren took the initiative in
the second and found easily his way around Aaron’s guard with the left hand although not capitalizing on the openings. His small successes repeated in the third but Gribben was the aggressor and lead the action overall. The roles switched in the last session with Snow holding centre ring and stalking but the round was even. In the end, it was Aaron to nick a 40-37 decision with an acceptable debut performance but there was a feeling that Snow could have turned the tables if he stepped on the gas. This because, although he was busier, most of Gribben’s punches lacked of effectiveness as he seemed to just touch the opponent with his fists without putting any real sting in them. While this might have still scored points in the Amateurs, it will prove detrimental when facing more ambitious opponents and should be addressed and corrected immediately.
Bradley Price (1-0) vs Dylan Draper (0-23) 4×3 Super Welterweight
A dazzling, entertaining and one sided debut performance from Price, who danced around the ring for 4 rounds feinting and posing, shooting lightning quick straight punches out of the blue and from awkward angles. He proved difficult to read for Draper whose few attempts at retaliating landed against fresh air. Price would load with one arm then fire with the other. The action was broken briefly in the third round, when the ring lights went off momentarily, then it was one way traffic again till the final bell. A 40-36 decision for Price came as no surprise.
Yilmaz Kaya (1-0) vs Naheem Chaudry (1-33) 4×3 Super Lightweight
Kaya was over eager in the opener and swung wildly with over-head rights and left hooks that missed by a mile allowing Choudry to land solid counters. Yilmaz adjusted well in the second and a more patient approach paid off as he knocked down Naheem with a short right hook. The momentum continued with a series of body shots and it looked a different fight altogether. But Choudry could not be taken for granted in the third as he came back with hard punches each time Kaya appeared to have him hurt. It was all Yilmaz in the fourth as he landed consistently with straight punches both singles or in combination, sealing the deal with a good right hook and earning a deserved 39-36 decision in his favour.
Rylan Charlton (3-0, 2 kos) vs Michael Williams (2-7) 4×3 Super Lightweight
Charlton appeared to be in supreme condition and was busy from the start with a jab followed immediately by the left hook. He found the chin of Williams with the straight right and showed power in both hands easily taking the first round. To his credit, Michael was never passive and managed to land occasionally in the second but Rylan tagged him 4 times with massive right hooks and ended the round with a soaking left to the body. A 4 body shots combo punctuated by another big right hook put an end to the proceedings at 1:34 of the third. Paramedics had to come to the rescue, as Williams grimaced in pain unable to move but still conscious, which seems to indicate that the body shots did the real damage although he went down with a head shot. There were no celebrations from Charlton, who looked deeply concerned about his opponent, and his corner as Williams had to leave the ring on a wheelchair. We wish this brave young fighter a speedy and healthy recovery.
Daniel Khan (9-0) vs Reynaldo Cajina (14-54, 10 kos) 4×3 Super Featherweight
Chartlon was a tough act to follow, but Khan and Cajina managed to equal the excitement if not topping it. Daniel started the first round strong holding centre ring and imposing his 1-2 combos and left hooks on Reynaldo who managed to survive a subsequent onslaught of overhead rights by holding. Khan was definitely going for the kill and entered the second overconfident which left him open to a right hand by Cajina that knocked him down. The two warriors spent the rest of the round clubbing each other in furious toe to toe exchanges. An even round followed, where Daniel had the edge initially until Reynaldo turned the tide with a body shot that slowed his opponent down allowing him to outpunch him. Khan took the final session by making tactical adjustments and playing smart against a relentlessly stalking Cajina to win a hard fought but deserved 38-36 decision.
Sohail Ahmad (11-1, 4 kos) vs Ibrar Riyaz (6-150-4, 3 kos) 4×3 Welterweight
The height difference in Ahmad’s favour was too much to make the bout competitive. He was able to land on Riyaz at will without any consequences and gradually grew up in confidence to the point of keeping his guard down and showboating to tease his opponent. To his credit, Riyaz never stopped trying and had the respect of Soahil after the last bell of a fight that could not end but by 40-36 in favor of the latter.
Chavez Campbell (3-0, 1 ko) vs Kristaps Zulgis (2-4, 1 ko) 4×3 Middleweight
A nearly flawless technical performance by Campbell, who showed great footwork while moving with speed and ease to confuse his opponent with a stinging jab in the first round. Zulgis did his best to close the gap in the second but ended up rushing in with no composure finding himself with no room to manoeuvre. Chavez opened the way to his right hand and left hook by doubling and tripling the jab in the third round but Kristaps was undeterred in his forward march and managed to win some close exchange although not the round. More of the same in the fourth with Campbell cruising to a 40-36 decision.
Humzah Awan (1-0) vs Luke Middleton (2-2) 4×3 Super Welterweight
Awan was composed but busier in the first winning the battle of jabs due to more accuracy while also scoring hooks to head and body. Good defensive skills at display in the second, as Humzah slipped most punches and scored good body shots while still working off a constant jab. But it wasn’t all one way traffic as Middletoon got through occasionally in the third while countering effectively to win the fourth session in which Awan opened up more aggressively. The 40-37 scored by the referee in Humzah’s favour was an accurate reflection of the bout.
Tony Milch (14-2, 2 kos) vs Danny Little (7-51, 1 ko) 6×3 Super Welterweight
This was a rematch of a February bout in which Milch lost a decision to Little who in the meanwhile had other 11 fights. It was all Tony in the first, starting on the front foot and maintaining the initiative throughout while Danny remained closed in his shell. Little opened up in the second managing to back his man up but without doing any damage or enough to win the round. After a fairly even third round, Milch seemed to have found his range in the fourth as Little kept coming but paying the price each time
he got close. It turned into an untidy affair for the last 2 rounds, with lots of holding and Little getting a warning for using his elbow but it was no surprise when Tony Milch was announced the winner of a 59-56 decision.
Tyrone Williams (0-1) vs Kent Kauppinen (1-6, 1 ko) 4×3 Cruiserweight
As the bell rang, Kauppinen went straight into the trenches and found the target with some huge looping right hands. Williams ended the round defenceless with is back on the ropes and under a barrage of punches. A minute was not enough for him to recover as he found himself in the same position in the second getting caught clean while throwing nothing of his own. The referee had no choice but to stop the bout at 00:49. A heartbreaking experience for Tyrone who stormed out of the ring immediately, while a gracious Kauppinen invited the crowd to give him a round of applause.
Ricardo Coker (6-0) vs Elvis Dube (8-67, 5 kos) 4×3 Light Heavyweight
Coker’s return to the ring and Light heavyweight debut was made harder than expected by a very aggressive and stubborn opponent. Ricardo took the first being effective with his straight punches. The second went in Coker’s bank as well for landing the cleaner shots but Dube could not be convinced to back up. Finally, Elvis seemed in trouble for the first and only time in the third as he got hit too many times in a row while trapped in a corner but managed to see it through. Dube was pressing again in the final round which ended up with the two fighting toe to toe and Coker finishing the stronger to earn a 39-37 decision.
Overall, an entertaining night which more than delivered its money’s worth to the crowd in attendance with a series of competitive bouts in which the home fighters received no favours and had to earn their wins by fighting hard. Also, the venue is easily accessible by public transport, offered a good view of the action from every side and was used at a quarter of it’s potential capacity which makes hope that the North London crowd will grow over time. We look forward to the next show.