KILLER INSTINCT: DODGE VS BELLOTTI REPORT
Starting with the fight of the night- the vacant Super Featherweight Southern Area Title where Dean Dodge faced the experienced Reece Bellotti. This was ‘Bomber’ Bellotti’s first bout at the weight and some would say a backward step challenging for the Southern Area belt after being champion of higher regarded titles.
The first bell rang, a cue for both fighters to engage in what was a war. A good first three minutes for both men, Dodge didn’t look out of place or fearful of Bellotti. As those in attendance at York Hall began their verbal sparring with chants of ‘DEANO’ and ‘OH BOMBER BELLOTTI’ echoing around the venue.
The cracks showed as early as the second round, proving the Watford man was a level above his opponent on the night. Bellotti caught his opponent flush following the shots up with a barrage of unanswered combinations where it seemed Dodge could’ve called it a day on three occasions, but his heart showed as he gritted his teeth and saw out the round.
Unhappy with what they saw, Dodge's corner threw him to his stool giving him a bigger verbal battering than he had got physically in the previous round.
From the third round onwards the battle could’ve taken place in a phone box as both men stood centre ring, head to head, unloading unbelievable work to the body. This continues through the fourth and by the fifth round from what started as a little blood from the nose of Dodge turned into a crimson mask.
The sixth round was much like the previous three rounds, Dodge showing tremendous heart and conditioning as Bellotti displayed vicious work to the body. The bell sounded for the seventh, both men circling the ring. It’s Bellotti who throws the first shot of the round, a right hook landing on the temple of Dodge, and from there the writing was on the wall.
The shot to the temple sent Dodge to the ropes, covering up, surviving. The Bomber’s killer instinct kicked in and all of a sudden Dodge was being pinged across the ring as if all his energy and strength had been removed from him. As he covers up once more the referee has no choice but to intervene just 42 seconds in. Dodge was taking a beating and not throwing shots back in the opposite direction. Boy, does Dodge have heart and he will certainly come again.
As Bellotti had his hand raised and his belt put around his waist the York Hall fans still sang Dean Dodge’s name, respect from his loyal fans and he earned the same of Team Bellotti.
Liddiard enters in his black and yellow vertically striped trunks with his heavily tattooed torso on display. A back piece depicting a montage of the movie franchise Rocky. Hallett, the ‘professional loser’ was brought in to give the debutant an easy ride in his first bout but it was far from east for Liddiard.
From the opening bell Hallett was visibly a much better boxer than Liddiard who struggled to get any success. In round two the away fighter started showboating then proceeded to wink at Liddiard. Hallett was quite frankly taking the piss.
The third round saw more of the same from the first two. Unfortunately in boxing if the journeyman gets the win they risk losing future fights as they make a living from losing weekly. When Hallett had Liddiard in trouble his corner would instruct him to back off, allowing the novice to survive. This wasn’t how the fight was supposed to unfold.
In the final round Hallett danced around the ring making Liddiard miss and catches the home fighter with a good combination leading to a cut on the top of his shaven head. Liddiard entered the ring to the song ‘The Sound of the Police' and it was criminal he was gifted the victory. The referee judged it to be 39-37 giving Luke a winning start.
Heading into the ring Underwood was 4-0 but had a three year absence from the ring. Jacobs just 2-0 but enjoyed a successful amateur career fighting for England on the same team as the likes of Amir Khan.
The first round was a feeling out process for Jacobs who seemed reluctant to commit as Underwood came forward throughout, seeking the elusive ‘Sweet T’.
The second round was a great round for Underwood as the 4-0 fighter pressed Jacobs. The pair engaged on a couple of occasions with the referee giving Jacobs a talking to for punches to the back of the head. Right at the death of the round Underwood finished the round with a huge shot sending Tommy back into the ropes and followed up with a barrage of shots sending Jacobs to the canvas who struggled to find steady legs leaving the ref no option but to wave it off.
Underwood sent his fans into deafening jubilation as the announcement filtered through the tannoy with the stoppage coming at 3:07 of round number two.
‘Mr Excitement’ Nathan Mizon is highly regarded around the small hall scene. However, he was underwhelming against Brayan Mairena. Mizon was in cruise control the entire fight but was frustrating to watch as he just threw single shots at his opponent.
Mairena wore leopard print boots but he was no predator on the night. He did however show a good, solid chin. If you armed Mizon with a sledgehammer he would’ve still gone the distance. A six round formality as the referee scores the bout 60-54.
Also on the card was the popular Chris Onwuegbusi who took on Vasif Mamedov who looked a lot like Artur Beterbiev, fortunately for Onwuegbusi the comparison was in appearance only. Onwuegbusi, the taller man, used his height to his advantage keeping Mamedov at range with great use of his jab.
Onwuegbusi didn’t need to leave second gear as he jabbed his way to victory although a beautiful short left hook caught the attention of his opponent bringing ‘ooooh’s’ from the crowd. It was a whitewash on the scorecard as Onwuegbusi was announced victorious 40-36.