By: Oliver McManus
York Hall, Bethnal Green, was the location for the latest British Warriors promotion – entitled The Big Bang, twelve of Britain’s most exciting prospects descended on the iconic venue to showcase their skills and the night produced contest after contest.
Jake Anthony opened the night with a four round bout against, former Central Area Champion, Darryl Sharp. Anthony, a 19 year old from Wales, controlled the fight from the off with a commanding work-rate and evasive footwork. The key to Anthony’s success was a simple jab used to good effect, doubling up in the face of Sharp to, ironically, make Jake the sharper of the two men. A 40-37 points victory saw Anthony improve his record to 2 and 0.
Moving into the night we witnessed Jeff Ofori ahead of his showdown with Jumaane Camero for the Southern Area Lightweight belt, he was in with Luke Fash (2-41-2) over a scheduled six rounds tonight and Jeff took to the centre of the ring immediately, relentlessly throwing out his jab, mirroring the footwork of his opponent to good effect.
Fash fought clever and dirty, not illegally, in the clinch but Ofori remained calm, starting to explode into life every time he was tested with a particular target area to the body of Fash, sickening punches landing and, whilst the uppercut could have been used to better effect, Ofori was beating Fash to every punch and making him pay.
To all intents and purposes this was a lesson in composure with the superior work-rate being carried out by Ofori before the Tottenham-resident emerged in the fourth round a man possessed, determined to get the stoppage, working all sorts of angles and landing a phenomenal series of punches to force the referee to intervene and plead the mercy rule.
A fourth round TKO for Jeff extended his record to 7 and 0 as a professional and I caught up with him after the bout;
“As soon as I went out there I thought I was going to work my jab and he ate the first two, I was getting a good rhythm, and he kept getting caught with the jab so I thought he was going to try and catch me over the top. His head was really hard but when I hit him with the body shot I knew the stoppage was going to come… I thought they should have stopped it earlier”.
Talking about that fight with Jumaane Camero, Jeff was having none of it when I asked him if he thought he could win…
“Ollie, Ollie, of course I do, you are insulting my intelligence, of course I will. You want to be there Ollie”.
Good job Jeff and I get on well, then.
Alfie Price competed over four rounds against the durable journeyman Fonz Alexander, 5 wins and 83 losses, with Price keen to get a knockout victory.
When the bell rang to signal the start of the contest Price kept the bout at distance, boxing at range and his classy boxing skills were clear to see – this is a man who has sparred with the likes of Jorge Linares and Ohara Davies.
The measured approach of the southpaw super lightweight was producing success and some fizzing left hands and fast, flirtatious, combinations, kept his challenger on the ropes. A BIG smile began to emerge on the face of Alfie as he produced two right hook ‘albatross’ punches and began to really enjoy the fight, teeing off on the body of Alexander.
Concussive combinations against a durable opponent began to turn this into a Western-esque standoff as Price went BAM BAM BAM against the granite chin of Fonz. Truth be told he probably deserved the knockout but a 40-36 points victory was enough to enhance his record to 2 and 0.
Talking to me afterwards he said;
“I thought I boxed pretty well, I was staying composed, with the first fight I thought I was trying to hard but I found my range early on and I fought really well… I’m not too bothered (about not getting the knockout) because I put on a really good boxing display, I teared him apart and I know I’ve got the power to produce knockouts when I really get going”.
Daren Gibbons was up against, debut-maker, Aaron Green with Gibbons looking to go 3 and 0 as a professional over the course of 4, 3 minute rounds.
Gibbons, the taller man, was drawn into a fire fight from the off with Green not shying from the occasion, firing with rapid right hands, a smirk emerged on the face of Green, swiftly dented by a furious counter flurry from Gibbons.
Green rallied and a scintillating salvo resulted in a dazed Gibbons losing his gum-shield.
An overhand right followed by a prolonged attack to the body saw Green crumple to the canvas and the fight was waved off in the first round – a real flash-in-the-pan war. But what a fight this was.
Alex Bishop made his debut and brought big support from Luton as he fought Rudolf Durica, who had only been knocked out once, with Bishop’s kickboxing background standing him in good stead as he proved the aggressor throughout, utilizing a beautiful left hand to keep a sustained rate of pressure and high tempo throughout to come away from the fight with a convincing, CONVINCING, points victory.
Chris Kongo returned to the ring in a six rounder and looked in imperious physique – ‘2Slick’ looked, well, just that. He looked too slick for his opponent and with an explosive first thirty seconds, he shellacked his man into the neutral corner, dropping Mitiev to the floor within 70 seconds to establish, firmly, why he is such a hotly-tipped talent.
Ryan Charles was another man on the bill looking to make a statement and, having been scheduled at cruiserweight, Charles took the decision to stay busy in a heavyweight fight against Phil Williams in a fight that saw the former amateur-star going through the motions, working the jab, testing out combinations and just polishing his development – a good victory.
He told me;
“Yeah I thought I did well, I think I could have boxed a lot better, I know my capabilities, I got the win and I’m happy. I just couldn’t get the weight down in time but I wanted to fight so I’ll look better at cruiser, I’m hoping to get some titles next year but 2018 is all about keeping busy and learning with every fight”.
British Warriors living up to their name, then, warrior after warrior and fight after fight. If you want small-hall shows doing it big then look no further than Mo Prior and British Warriors because, as it stands, they’re the best around.