JACK HUGHES READY FOR TITLES: REPORT
Despite stepping up several weight classes to super bantamweight, the flamboyant "Punk Kid" Jack Hughes shone. He displayed ring generalship and superb movement, albeit against a limited opponent in 34-year-old Ghanaian, Raymond Commey. Commey was game though and keen to make his mark on the fight. But Hughes’ movement bamboozled the visitor and left him punching gloves and fresh-air for much of the bout.
The Ghanaian rolled forward, slinging body shots and hooks, but effective footwork and range control from Hughes left him frustrated. The only glimmer of hope for the away fighter came at the end of the third round. He caught the Londoner square on the chin with a heavy left hook, just before the bell.
Hughes looked a little shaken in fourth, while Commey’s confidence grew from his moment of success. He found a home for hooks to head and body and did enough to take the fourth. With the fight in the balance, Hughes found his sharpness again in the fifth and saw out the last two rounds with the effective movement and aggressive forays forward that won him the first three.
Hughes took the decision 59-55 and will compete for a title belt in his next outing, according to manager Steve Goodwin.
In the final fight of the night, Mark Little took on Ossie Jervier over four rounds at cruiserweight. Jervier had some success when he went forward, but did little to press his attacks. Little outworked him throughout and really grew into the fight in the third and fourth rounds, unpicking Jervier’s defence and landing a straight right hand that left his opponent in real trouble.
Had there been another two rounds, a stoppage may have been on the cards. However, Little will have learned plenty from the bout and his fans were both entertained and vocal. A rendition of “We’re forever blowing bubbles,” encouraged ‘The Boleyn Boy’ in the fourth round as he worked away at Jervier’s body on the ropes, ultimately taking the decision 40-36.
Earlier fans watched Zuhayr Al Qahtani defeat experienced journeyman Michael Mooney over six rounds at welterweight. ‘The Arabian Warrior’ was well supported and put his shots together well, landing hard right hooks to Mooney’s body in the opening rounds that drew out a wince. Al Qahtani landed often throughout, putting combinations together to head and body, but Mooney used all the tricks of the trade and went the distance.
Al Qahtani took every round but his enthusiastic fans may be slightly concerned that the welterweight prospect still hasn’t stopped an opponent inside the distance.
Owen was well on top until the end of the second round. Grannum threw a hard right uppercut, catching the Bromley man right on the point of the chin and rocking his head back. He was troubled again in the third, as Grannum hopped in and out of range landing occasional, accurate, hard right hands and finding another accurate uppercut on the inside which stumbled Owen.
Ultimately Owen out-worked Grannum and took the decision 40-36, but it was a surprise when Grannum wasn’t awarded a 10-9 round for his success in the third.
In another four-rounder at super welterweight, Tyler Marriott racked up his second win in a well-contested bout against more experienced Nottinghamshire man, Luke Middleton. It was a competitive affair and a perfect learning fight for Marriott, who found himself being hit too often in the final round but generally had the better of most exchanges. Middleton may be frustrated he didn’t get at least a share of one of the rounds. Marriott won 40-36.
Ahmed Hatim impressed in his debut bout against Matar Sambou. After a nervy, messy first round in which Sambou repeatedly held and jostled, the latter stages saw Hatim use his range better and set up punishing combinations. A series of clubbing right hooks against the ropes left Sambou in trouble in the third, but he held on for dear life and managed to see the final bell, taking a 40-36 loss.
Ryan Copland worked away patiently and found a nice rhythm to unsettle debutant away fighter Ian Morrall. Morrall was forced to take a knee in the third as Copland landed an effective volley of hooks on the ropes. He wasn’t quite able to force the stoppage but it was a close-run thing, with Morrall relieved to hear the final bell and take his 40-35 points loss.
Denis Denikajev faced experienced away fighter Lee Hallet at super lightweight. Hallet is known for his toughness and it was needed. Denikajev out-worked him throughout, showing good shot selection and doubling Hallet over at times with effective work to the body. Denikajev took the decision 60-54 after six rounds.