Goodwin Boxing’s Boxmania 1 was a stacked card with some tasty looking fights on it- a week ago. Sadly boxing’s cruel habit of fights falling through at late notice scythed the bill down to six fights; the main event for the vacant Southern Area Cruiserweight Title kept the show appealing, however. There is a more detailed debate over that contentious Mark Little versus Daniel Mendes clash on Southpaw Jab, but there was some class on display in those five other fights worthy of attention.

Two defeats in his last two fights is an unkind reflection of Ramez Mahmood’s ability. The Ilford fighter dropped decisions for the Southern Area Super Bantamweight Title during lockdown to Chris Bourke and then for the English Super Bantamweight Title to Jack Bateson last November. Both of those men are highly touted- even accounting for Bourke’s recent loss at British level.

Mahmood did not need to come back to an away corner there to make the numbers and as such, Cornwall’s unbeaten Marcus Hodgson was some inspired matchmaking. Over six rounds Ramez grew in confidence and had Hodgson eating stiff, varied punches in every stanza. Hodgson had plenty of fight in him and every now and then would let go with a volley which while eye-catching was never going to swing the fight his way.

A slowish start evolved into a measured and comprehensive shutout win for Ramez Mahmood, who with that 60-54 score should be able to build towards a belt he can take home in the near future.
Promoters will always tell you their prospects are the next big thing, or offer similar non-specific hyperbole about a guy they want to build up. The more seasoned and cynical know this is all part of the game but it is lovely when perhaps they have a point, and three novices on the show certainly caught the eye.

Dancing his way to the ring, Emmanuel “EZ” Zion debuted at super lightweight and had former English (Super Bantam) Title challenger Liam Richards in trouble from the off. There was a huge disparity in natural size but Zion put emphatic emphasis on it with a dominant, confident and classy display, free of nerves. Richards had to bite down hard and do everything he could to make the final bell, a 40-36 victory was no less than Zion deserved; he was a joy to watch.

Switch-hitting Cruiserweight Ross McGuigan has the frame to go up in weight and the potential to improve yet still, even at 36. The Peckham pugilist was in a six rounder in only his second fight and showcased plenty of variety and desire to entertain across those rounds while beating Ossie Jervier 60-54. Rangy and with deft feet and powerful fast punches, McGuigan only looked ill at ease when forced backwards. Once his inside work improves he can be moved along reasonably quickly.

The other professional debut was James McAteer stepping out at middleweight. Jordan Grannum, no mug, struggled to adapt to McAteer’s forceful front foot work and high output at first- something he can usually do very quickly with novices. Grannum did eventually grow into the contest but it was a confident entrance to the paid code for McAteer and a pleasing fight to watch. 39-38 to the newbie, but it felt wider in his favour to me.

Luke Ransley drew (38-38) with Harry Matthews in only his second ever fight. Unfortunately for him the Kent light heavyweight never really got going over the four rounds.

The main event of the evening was one which, for me, seemed a fair result. That Southern Area Cruiserweight Title fight between Mark Little and Daniel Mendes ended with a very boisterous York Hall turning sour quite quickly- much to my surprise. Fortunately nothing spilled over beyond bad words and foul moods. George Storr, also at the show, saw the fight differently to me so there will be a more in depth report on that bout on the site very soon.

While it would have been nice to have a monster event with lots going on, there was a pleasing concision, some quality in the quickness, to Boxmania 1 which made for a very pleasant evening’s entertainment.


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