all pictures by Katinka Csiger INSTA @kitkat___89

Matt Tansini reports from ringside at a breath-taking York Hall bloodbath

Boxing fans were treated to a night of great fights at York Hall last Saturday as Goodwin Boxing presented the latest in their highly successful Boxmania series. A card of nine fights promised some mouth-watering encounters, including two Southern Area Title fights, and an English Title eliminator

The evening kicked off in fine style with an enthralling six round contest between Joke Amechi and Jack England. While England came into the ring with a losing record, his skill and ability was immediately apparent. Amechi started well, taking the first couple of rounds controlling the range and action, but England stayed in touch and gradually grew into the fight, throwing well to the body and landing on the inside, smothering Amechi’s style. Eventually England took a well-earned win, his first as a pro, with both fighters acquitting themselves well. 

Lewis Oakford then took to the ring in a four round cruiserweight fight against Robbie Chapman. Your reporter certainly couldn’t fault Chapman’s courage but Oakford looked significantly taller and larger, with a reach advantage to boot. A dominant display from ‘the Mighty Oak’, as he won all four rounds, showing impressive speed and combinations, as well as an eye-catching, in-out, loping shots, Soviet style.

The York Hall crowd really came to life, as a large Romanian contingent cheered on their compatriot Giorgio Isaila in his second professional fight. Seasoned away fighter Dale Arrowsmith played his part, cutting a relaxed and smiling figure throughout, while eye-catching combinations and footwork from Isaila took the Romanian to a shut-out win on the cards.

Next up was the first ten round contest of the evening, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Albano Junior took on Joe-Underwood-Hughes in a great lightweight contest.

Underwood-Hughes showed a disciplined and technical style, seeking to walk his opponent down and force him into a phonebooth fight while Albano Jr fought with his hands low, fluid, dangerous and elusive from the first bell. After a quiet opening round, both fighters landed great shots in the second, Albano Jr - known as ‘Speshal’ - gradually growing stronger.

Hughes fought back in round five, walking his man down and doing some good inside work. However, from that point Albano Jr was in the ascendancy, sticking and moving as he proved increasingly hard for Underwood-Hughes to pin down. Albano Jr took a deserved 96-94 win, but, as they say, styles make fights, and both fighters combined to put on great entertainment.

Fight five saw Constantine Williams fight PA Gordon for the vacant Southern Area Middleweight Title. Both men came to the ring unbeaten, and showed they had cruel intentions right from the opening bell. Williams especially looked utterly focused: his style was somewhat wild, but it was clearly effective as he saw success with both hands. Gordon was disciplined and sharp in response, and the back-and-forth action increased in a great round three. Gordon landed some eye-catching shots, but also took a few that noticeably snapped his head back.

The action continued through the next two rounds, neither fighter giving away an inch. A huge cut opened on Gordon’s right eyebrow, prompting some concern from the ring officials. Williams tried to capitalise on this, but Gordon’s corner team did a great job of stemming the bleeding.

While Williams continued to land some great uppercuts late in the fight, Gordon was starting to win rounds more easily, staying behind his jab and fighting smart. Both fighters fought well, but Gordon did enough to take the strap, 96-94, and continue his march in the middleweight division.

Then Boxmania 7 saw the first stoppage of the evening as William Webber fought Ryszard  Lewicki in an English Super Middleweight Title eliminator. Webber took the first round, but that was where his success ended as Lewicki promptly took control of the contest, knocking Webber down in round two and making him take an eight count.

Lewicki continued to dominate, landing clean shots and staggering his opponent more than once. Webber gamely continued, refusing to be overawed but the end came late on in round five. Lewicki caught Webber with a vicious short hook as the Englishman came in, and, although Webber managed to beat the count, his condition left the referee with no choice but to wave the contest off. Lewicki earned a title shot against the champ Mark Jeffers, who recently beat Germaine Brown in a televised fight to earn the belt himself. 

Stoppages are like London buses, you wait for one and then they all turn up at once! Home favourite George Hennon suffered a disappointing defeat by Efstathios Antonas in their bout at super lightweight. Antonas, bringing a full team from his home country of Greece, looked dangerous as a viper from the outset, with Hennon shipping a lot of punishment.

In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-moment, Antonas scored a huge knockdown in the second round, unloading a thunderous punch to fold Hennon in half. Drama soon followed, as Hennon beat the count only to have his corner throw in the towel, much to their fighter’s disgust. A devastating loss for Hennon, but a huge statement win for Antonas.

The penultimate fight of the evening saw the second big crowd pleaser take to the ring: Albanian fighter Dennis Ballazhi contrasted sharply with his Ukrainian opponent Mykhailo Sovtus: Ballazhi entered the ring after a customised trailer was shown on the big screen, along with a huge entourage wearing matching outfits and filming everything for social media. Prior to this, Sovtus simply strolled down the steps on his own and waited patiently for his opponent.

Albanian flags waved all around, and there seemed to be a gulf in ability for this fight. Ballazhi was fighting a seasoned journeyman, and looked much larger and faster than Sovtus. While the result itself was a formality, in the fourth round (of six) a bad gash opened on Sovtus’ left eyebrow, prompting lengthy examinations by the ring doctors. However, he was allowed to keep fighting, and soon both he and Ballazhi were smeared bright red with blood.

Sovtus showed great bravery and heart, giving back to his opponent and landing some good body shots, making a strong argument to perhaps take the last round. It wasn’t to be, however, as Ballazhi took all six to remain unbeaten.

The final fight of the night was a proper barnstormer, as unbeaten Timon Douglin fought Balraj Khara for the vacant Southern Area Light-Heavyweight Title. Your reporter did a small double-take as he saw Douglin enter the ring: standing alone at the top of the steps, he towered over everyone, cutting a foreboding figure in his black trunks and gloves.

Douglin proceeded to showcase his credentials in a great climax to Boxmania 7: he landed some great shots in the first two rounds, staggering his opponent multiple times. Khara was no pushover, however, showing good head movement and finding success with his straight right more than once. Some heart-stopping back and forth action followed, as Douglin pulled ahead on the cards with some huge punches.

Just when Douglin looked set to close the show, his opponent Khara would reply with some shots of his own, making the man from Reading check his progress. Round six, however, was increasingly one-sided for Douglin. The end came in round seven, and in explosive fashion; Douglin landed a huge left uppercut that left Khara flat on his back, and York Hall erupted as the referee waved the contest off. Douglin became the Southern Area Light-Heavyweight champ via a KO win. 

Another great evening of boxing entertainment from Goodwin boxing, with back-and-forth action at all weight levels and showreel knockouts as well. I highly advise securing a ticket for the next show!


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