SMITH SMASHES AND DEBUTANTS IMPRESS: REPORT
More of the same in the second, with Smith stalking Williams and picking some nice punches- a lot to the body I was thinking. Then suddenly, a lovely liver shot from Jez had Scott rolling around in pain on the canvas. He never looked likely to get up, however he did rise for eight(ish), but he was done and the referee waved it off. Correctly.
When York Hall filled up all of a sudden, I thought whoever is coming up now is well supported. It was Nathan Mizon, having his first fight as a professional against Matar Sambou at super lightweight over four. Mizon was jacked, he is going to come out fast. He is bang up for this. Great to see!
Nathan didn’t come out as fast as I expected. Calmer. Doing all the right things against a slightly awkward looking southpaw though. Looking for the outside shooting the right hand a lot and having success- although Sambou ain't here just to collect his money and run. Or run and collect his money.
Mizon stepped it up in round two, looking really good. Picking nice shots. Switched to southpaw and backed his opponent up and worked him over in the corner. Then came the showboating. Sambou staring to swing and miss whilst Mizon was landing eye catching shots, some lovely screw jabs. The crowd love this geezer. Mizon’s right hand to the body was working well and he moves his head in and out of the center nicely. Making Sambou miss and then pay. Lovely work.
Sambou took some big shots and was still standing. Tough guy.
Nice tidy work from Mizon in the final round. Countered the southpaw well, looking for the left hook to the body accompanied by the right uppercut. Perfect shot selection. Sambou nearly got disposed of at the end but managed to cling on for dear life- the art of survival. Lot of respect shown at the end. Good to see. I thought clearly 40-36 Mizon, and the score card agreed.
“Mr. Excitement” absolutely loved that. Great to see debutants enjoying their moments, especially with that support. You only get one debut.
Super Featherweight Amy Andrews’ opponent Polina Golubeva walked to the ring, and immediately stood in the wrong (neutral) corner as if she’d never been inside a boxing ring before. Unaware of where she was supposed to be. Amy looked excited and had a load of fans there for her debut.
Good pressure and tempo from Andrews as it got going. Couple of big right hands getting through. Would have liked to see her calm down and pick some better shots but a good start. Calm is needed, trust me, I’ve been there on the debut, rushing in head first and I’ve got the cuts to show for it.
I would have liked to see Andrews putting some punches together, rather than looking for a big shot. To set up a nice shot via a few decoys- three and four punch combos rather than ones and twos. I thought she needed to start feinting and creating/exploiting openings. Picked the right hand well though, Golubeva’s left was usually low.
York hall was getting clammy, which maybe explains why Golubeva thought it was over after the fifth- she didn’t know what day of the week it was. She’d still got one more round, the ref reminded her. Two minutes later Andrews won 60-54 on the card.
Paul Roberts was making hard work of his super bantamweight fight with Reiss “Showy” Taylor. The home fighter landed clearer shots but struggled to get on the outside against a tricky southpaw many inches shorter than him. It looked from the start as though Roberts would walk on to a big shot.
Going into the last round, the easy pick would be the home fighter winning- just because that’s the way it goes. But honestly I would’ve had it a draw, it was fairly even. Roberts landed a few (could count on one hand) really clear shots. Taylor dropped him though, which made for some guessing at the score. An upset win! 37-38 Taylor. His third win in twelve. Good work.
Lorenzo Grasso made his super welterweight debut against Kevin McCauley. McCauley wins the walk out music selection of the night award, entering with Another One Bites the Dust playing. Grasso had vocal fans but Macauley looked like a man that has boxed 237 pro fights; comfortable and able to evade the danger. Grasso needed to keep working the body.
It all got a bit dirty, Kevin using every trick in the book. I hoped Grasso didn’t end up cut- I’ve a scar to prove how unpleasant that can be. It wasn’t all one way, both the punches and the fouls. At one point it looked like Grasso might remove McCauley before the final bell, but Kevin came back with some big shots and probably deserved more than to lose 40-36. During this fight I noticed every boxer had on nicer gloves than I've ever worn for my fights. Just an observation.
A six rounder between Kinglsey Egbunike and Dale Arrowsmith was frustrating. Egbunike was keen but not efficient, landing on gloves and arms and not picking the right shots at the right time. Arrowsmith was happy to taunt and showboat but not trade. By the final round Egbunike was putting punches together well. Not a lot landed though still. Dale now just wanted his money and a cab home. He will have sore arms tomorrow.
I was completely neutral and obviously there was a dependency on me watching and analysing. With that in mind, I did feel a little bit of imposter syndrome. Commenting on these guys who are putting the work in and I haven’t boxed for over two years. Not that I haven’t been putting the work in, but what good is it without the tear ups to show for it.
However I’ve been boxing for twenty one years and I know what I’m looking for. I like to think of myself as a fighter who knows how to hurt someone. I love a body shot. That Jez Smith finisher was beautiful.