Kings 2012, Gatecrasher Night Club, Saturday November 24th
Our premium event of 2012 saw 12 boxers compete over 5 weight divisions to see which boxers are 'King of the Gym'
The lightweights was always going feature cautious technical boxing bouts as our three entrants are great boxers and all have a cautious style
Joe Phillips 2-3 Baz Makvana
Last year’s 69kg entrant Phillips was frustrated by Makvana who held his nerve by preserving with a tight tuck guards and looking for single point scoring counters. School Teacher Phillips tried punching through the guard, which proved unsuccessful and opened him up to Makvana’s counters. Once Makvana had established his lead, he was never going to let it go.
Joe Phillips 3-1 Michael RobertsAfter a frustrating first bout, School Teacher Phillips inflicted some of his own medicine on Roberts. A held out long lead arm and lining Roberts for a straight backhand proved the recipe for victory. Both boxers were better than the 3-1 score suggested. Roberts bursts proved successful and entertained the crowd when they exchanged
Michael Roberts 4-5 Baz MakvanaThe most entertaining of the lightweight bouts saw action throughout. Roberts had success when he burst on Makvana and to deter him, Makvana used looping right hands. Both exchanged heavily at times and like many of the bouts on the show were more free flowing than the low score suggested. Accountant Makvana, always resorting back to his high guard, got hit with fewer shots and stole the Kings 2012 Lightweight crown against two opponents that he was un-fancied against.
WelterweightsThe Welterweights was a straight shoot-out between last year’s finalists. Both experienced, both heavy handed and both looking for the Kings 2012 Welterweight crown.
Ben Mortimer 3-4 Matt DaviesA perplexing bout that like so many of the bouts on the show is remembered more for the questionable scoring rather than the action. Both men started cautiously and were waiting for the other to open exchanges, when they did it was explosive with both men landing. The scoring suggested otherwise as Mortimer was 3-1 at the end of the first. The second round featured less action and the third resulted in Davies trying to crawl back a one point deficit. His bursts were met with counters and the crowd were confused at the low scoring result. You could have argued for either man, St Phillips Chamber Clerk Ben Mortimer walked away with one of the boxer of the night trophies and Stave-Con’s MD Davies the Kings 2012 Welterweight crown.
Super-MiddleweightAn intriguing straight final between a tall upright boxer and a come forward pressure fighter was always going to provide an entertaining bout.
Nick Cusack 6-5 Robert BrookesThese two forgot their roles as the tall upright Brookes went on the offensive from the off and pressured the shorter Cusack from the opening bell. His two fisted attacks to head and body were repelled well by Cusack who moved and tucked up well. As the bout progressed and Brooke’s attacks slowed, the HSBC Bank Manager Cusack had his own bursts with more success. His combination punching from body to head scored and he won the bout 6-5 and walked away with the Kings 2012 Super-Middleweight Crown.
CruiserweightCruiserweights traditionally combine speed and strength in one of the most entertaining divisions. This straight final provided more than that as our most experienced boxer faced off against our only first timer, would it be the tall, upright, heavy handed box puncher or the relentless pressure fighter?
Joe Wilson 11-10 Adam KearnsThe bout of the night saw Kearns landing big single shots from his ram-rod jab and solid back-hand. The St Phillips Chief Clerk Wilson needed every bit of guile to weather the storm and soak up big shots. Always value for money Wilson response was to bite down on the gum shield and reply with two-fisted bursts. The non-stop action in the end saw two men exhausted on their feet. IT Manager Kearns can hold his head high with a great performance. Wilson can walk away with the Kings 2012 Cruiserweight Crown, our first two-weight champion (2011 Heavyweight)
HeavyweightThe division that always brings excitement! A contrasting mix of styles with a head bar tender with an extensive kick-boxing background, a Director of a Personal Training Company and an entraprenur who had previously served as a Falklands veteran!
John Maher 3-6 Kris BlaszczykMaher’s entrance to the great escape certainly entertained the spectators as did his non-stop come-forward style, which always makes for entertaining fights. He was always going to make anyone work, but Blaszczyk used good footwork to neutralise his attacks. Blaszczyk, the Jam House head bar tender used right hand counters well to pick up points and deter the Falklands veteran Maher. Maher just needed to close the gap to let his shots. The story of the fight unfolded as Blaszczyk clean back hands land more than Maher’s in-close bursts that saw the Birmingham man, by way of Poland emerge a 6-3 winner.
John Maher NC Mark PerryIt was clear that Maher had left it all in the ring on his first effort and medical officials failed him on his second pre-fight medical. He was un-hurt and the soldier lived to fight another day, he quickly resumed the evening with a drink in hand, Mark Perry got extra rest before the final.
Mark Perry 6-3 Kris BlaszczykThe Personal Trainer from Tamworth used every bit of extra freshness to jump on his opponent from the opening bell. Perry started aggressively behind a solid jab and straight right that scored effectively from early on. Blaszczyk tried to maintain distance, but a Perry was finding range well with his jab and backhand that scored frequently. When Blaszczyk fired back he was effective but ran out a 6-3 looser that meant Mark Perry was awarded the Kings 2012, Heavyweight Crown.
Ralph Lewis QC Cup, Aston Villa Holte Suite, July 6th
A band of Barristers, Solicitors and Company Directors proved that you can go from zero to hero in 6 months (in a boxing term) and successfully competed in the Ralph Lewis QC Cup. In January, many of the ‘boxers’ had never even laced up a pair of gloves! With their hard work and dedication they put on a spectacle that had the 500+ black tie crowd in the Villa Holte suite on their feet with the quality of the boxing on display. The event raised in excess of £20,000 for Marie Curie
The Comeback, Gatecrasher Nightclub. Saturday 24th March 2012.
Report Courtesy of Daniel Treasure
Fighting Fit demonstrated once again their capabilities of producing a top class show. Ten scheduled bouts took place on Saturday; the red white collar boxers opposed the blue in a quest to become victorious at the tenth fight’s final bell.
Tim Hufton VS Simon Pearce - Cruiserweight 91kg
Tim Hufton was the first fighter in the ring facing the blue team’s Simon Pearce. Both boxers came out throwing numerous shots. Pearce attempted to land the lead hook but missed in the opening round. He then started jabbing to the body and continued to stalk his opponent. As the fight went on the pace started to steady and Hufton maintained his 4-2 lead, a lead made from the good use of his straight back hand. As the contest came to a close Simon Peace started to tire and Hufton took advantage, using his good movement to his advantage. Both fighters never made any rash moves and thought their game plans through well, giving the red team a 4-2 lead at the start of an entertaining night.
Matt Neal VS Nick Cusack - Super Middleweight 78kg
Both fighters moved around the ring well competing against one another’s speed. Each boxer scored a point each in the first round. Cusack was quick out his corner in the second round, as he endeavoured to work on the inside coming forward with quick jabs, despite the pressure he struggled to land cleanly. The third round was the most exciting, Matt Neal showed his skills trading blow for blow then scoring a flush right hook, as the last minute approached Cusack went through the gears but a tiring Matt Neal stayed light on his toes to extend the red’s lead to five points.
James Wackett VS James Pickens - Light Welterweight 67kg
Wackett ducked and weaved a bundle of punches in the opening seconds. James Wacketts showed a good high guard and a tight defence throughout the bout. He tried to work his way in when he was victim of an uppercut only for him to react with a head jolting straight right. Picken’s range proved valuable as he kept Wackett at bay as much as possible and shocked him with uppercuts as the red fighter tried to cut the ring off. Before the end of the contest sync back hands landed from either man. James Picken ran out a 16-7 winner on individual scores meaning the blue team took a 27-23 lead.
Robert Brookes VS Giles Senter - Cruiserweight 91kg
It was Giles Senter who took the initiative on the first bell as both boxers enforced their physical strength. Senter has a distinctive style as he bopped around the ring feinting looking to force Brookes into a move. Robert Brookes was named the winner of the fourth bout landing a forceful combination of connecting power punches. Both boxers gave a good account of themselves, heating up the contest as a whole with only two points separating blue from the red side at 37-35.
Michael Roberts VS Joe Phillips - Light Welterweight 67kg
As the two athletes gathered in the centre of the ring displaying their sportsmanship for each other, there was anticipation from the spectators that this bout would provide a skilful spectacle. Joe Phillips was the busier of the two in round one, trying a two punch combination with a left hook – straight right. Phillips seemed to gain confidence in the second using his quality as he punched in phases in and out of range. Roberts began to pressure Phillips into decisions stalking him around the ring trying to corner him. Roberts scored points as he had Phillips in the corner then brandished some slick movements as he dodged the opposing punches. Phillips looked to have the fight won utilising his good footwork around the ring only for them to draw. The blue team continued to lead.
Baz Makvana VS Joe Clarke - Light Welterweight 67kg
Baz Makvana exhibited fast reflexes as he held his hands low, relying on his head movement for defence. Clarke despite having the reach advantage trailed after the opening half of the fight as Baz came forward landing the jab. It was a positive finish to the fight for Joe Clarke as he used his range to his advantage only it was too late. Makvana took his side into a lead as he was almost punished for his low guard but counteracted it varying his punches to body and head. At the end of the battle despite Makvana winning the teams were level.
Lee Dawe Vs Leo Clarke - Heavyweight 91kg+
Dawe entered the ring to a warm reception, dancing around to the cheer of his fans. Dawe aimed his punches at the head and body alternatively. Leo Clarke forced his man onto the ropes landing straight punches. The two boxers had fire in their belly; both boxers fired powerful punches with bad intentions. Clarke astonished the crowd when he set up his right hand with a double jab, the biggest punch of the night up until then. The second round was full of just as much action. Dawe started to swing with venomous shots, marginally missing his rival. The hotly contested bout gathered the crowd’s attention as well as encouragement; the Gatecrasher arena was filled with an astonishing vibe from the supporters, spectators that were appreciative of the two heavy hitters giving it their all. Clarke got stronger as the competition went on and had his arm raised as the winner making it 60-58.
Matthew Edgington VS Gavin Tansley - Middleweight 75kg
Matthew Edgington was the aggressor early on, circling the ring using his hands busily. Edgingtons persistence to attempt hooks paid off in the first as he landing with both hands. Tansley was determining to cut off the ring in the second and his tactics took the red into the lead. As well as many of the bouts, this one too was closely matched and the scores switching and changing had the audience hooked. In the third round there was reluctance from the fighters to gamble. The scores were tied between the two battling boxers meaning the blue team took a 71-69 score into the ninth bout.
Winston Clarke Vs Maurice Lattibeaudiere - Cruiserweight 91kg
Both Cruiserweights’ speed was evident immediately as they both came out the corner to test one another. Maurice repeatedly looked to be trying for an over-hand right. There was an onus for red’s Winston Clarke to cut the distance between the fighters and go searching for Lattibeaudiere. On the final bell of the second round the red’s man nicked the lead with a right hand. They became tangled towards the end and Clarke rushed inside successfully scoring. Clarke gained his side a six point advantage meaning in the last competition of the night the victory was there for the taking.
Russell Jones Vs Bruce Thomson - Light Heavyweight 81kg
As the night progressed so did the boxing. Russell Jones approached his stage to the song ‘Dangerous’, he became just that. Jones incited his fans at the start as they encouraged him with chants of ‘Boycie’. Jones started erratically as he chased his opponent and even threw a seven punch combination to the body in the first round. Russell Jones never seemed to hold back and as he took the fight to Bruce Thomson the fans emulated those of Las Vegas as they screamed and jumped on the spot. Jones’ beautiful right hand dropped the blue boxer and he looked shaky on his legs. Jones came charging for Thomson once again and almost had him on the canvas for a second time only for Thomson to use the ropes as his saviour. The first round clearly belonged to Russell Jones but the courage and skill of Thomson got him back into the fight. Thomson started to use the centre of the ring to his benefit hard hitting Jones. As the night approached an ending, the all-out action was unbearable for the crowd; if they weren’t standing they were jumping. Thomson looked to have dazed Jones in the third and the only thing keeping both boxers up was the pure courage. It was fitting that the scores were evened before the bell and the last fight was the most entertaining.
With a score of 92-92 the night was one to remember. Fighting Fit brought Professional and amateur boxing elements together to create their most entertaining event yet. As the two teams went head to head the scores swapped and changed in a night that was very evenly matched, not one fighter looked out of place. Fans enjoyed what was an exciting event as boxers entered the ring to flashing lights and music of their choice, competing in front of over 500 fans. . A deserved draw was the verdict for all the hard workers that made the transition to a boxer for the night.
The Kings, Gatecrasher Nightclub. Saturday 26th November 2011.
Report Courtesy of Daniel Treasure
13 workers became fighting warriors on a night of skilled yet battling boxing, four of them were crowned king by the end of an all action event.
‘Clubbed to death’ echoed the Gatecrasher venue in the introduction of the show, after the draw was made. Fans came in numbers to watch Fighting-fit’s first event in the ‘prize-fighter’ format.
Joe ‘Sugar Ray’ Phillips was first out in the blue corner against ‘the underdog’ Ben Mortimer. The fans were loud in voice from the first bell and despite being named the underdog, Ben’s fans clearly were behind their man. Phillips started the busier of the two boxers; working off his jab. As the Olympic scoring rule clearly states, deflected shots don’t score. Many of Phillip’s punches in the first round landed to the tight guard of Mortimer. The red corner’s boxer started to utilise his right hand and scored with a clean shot as the first round came to a close. The second round was another low scoring round, with hardly anything to separate the two fighters. ‘Sugar Ray’ Phillips scored the punch of the round with a counter right hand. Ben Mortimer upped his work-rate and his performance as a whole as the final round was the most exciting of the fight. The crowd became excited as the intensity of the fight rose. The fighters had obviously conditioned themselves in the build-up to the night as they threw punches in numbers. Despite the blue corner entering the third round the happier of the two corners, a Mortimer scoring flurry and a number of scoring straight punches gave him the ticket to the welterweight final with a 14-7 win.
Davies looked well prepared in the second fight with his patient approach. He worked his straight combinations as they worked well for him in his previous outing in March. Only this time he varied his combinations as well as maintaining a high work-rate. Michael Roberts looked technically good, with some good foot work and sound basics but he seemed to be beaten by range on the night. Michael ‘Hands of Stone’ Roberts demonstrated fine defensive skills as he was stalked; Roberts ducked and countered before moving out of the corner in the third round. Davies started to work his one two throughout the fight and scored his final point with a straight right hand meaning a close fight ending 11-8 to the ‘The Warhorse’ who was exactly that.
It was evident on the night that the quality of the boxers had increased since previous events and many of the white collar fighters had made the transition from workers to skilled boxers. Davies took on Mortimer for the Welterweight crown in an intense battle to end the division for 2011. Mortimer came straight out the blocks working off his one two combina-tion. Despite the high intensity in the bout both fighter picked their shots without rushing in. The first round was close but Blue corner’s Mortimer edged it, throwing more combinations and landing two to Davies’ one. The fight continued in similar fashion with both fighters brandishing their boxing skills throughout. Mortimer won in convincing fashion after two close rounds; in the third round he managed to avoid any one punch scoring on him by using slick movement and busy combinations scoring him the 9-3 winner. Mortimer proved the doubters wrong and had clearly trained hard leading up to the night, after overcoming a strong boxer in ‘The Warhorse’ Davies. Ben ‘Underdog’ Mortimer celebrated the night as 2011 Welterweight king.
Jake Connell was the first middleweight in the ring, giving away 4 kilograms in weight to his opponent in the red corner. Mark Stretton stalked Connell in the opening minutes using his weight beneficially. As Connell was understandably reluctant to trade with Stretton he tried to utilise his range keeping his opponent out of reach. The tactic didn’t work for long as Mark Stretton used good footwork and damaging shots to demoralise Connell early on. The red boxer continued to pressure Jake Connell, using a double jab and then a strong back hand. Connell scored well with the jab but was stalked around the ring for the second half of the first round. Mark Stretton continued to counter the long jab of Connell with a straight back hand landing to the expense of Jake’s low guard. The big punch landed several times in the bout, a shot enough to weaken the knees of those at ringside. Connell never looked like losing without a fight and showed a strong jaw as well as an effective jab. Mark Stretton left the ring a 16-6 winner.
Jake Connell was deemed not fit to return to the ring to face Leon Tuniciff due to a cut he sustained in his bout.
This meant Tunniciff faced southpaw Mark Stretton for the Middleweight crown. Stretton high on adrenaline from a terrific victory in the previous bout could have given him the con-fidence going into the contest but as he had already fought, energy levels would be in favour of Tunniciff. Leon Tunniciff displayed good movement and various combinations early on, after Stretton landed a left hand in his awkward southpaw stance only for Tunniciff to sidestep and land a right hook clearly impressing the audience. Stretton piled on the pres-sure in the second round and managed to catch Tunniciff off balance with a powerful right hook sending him to the canvas. After a mandatory eight count Leon Tunniciff bounced back and dropped his opponent in the third round with a right hook of his own. Stretton was caught open after landing a flurry himself. The two knockdowns upped the performances of both fighters to the excitement of the crowd. Tunniciff showed a good account of himself in his bout but Mark Stretton ran out 2011 Middleweight king deservedly.
The division labelled the group of the death in the build-up had a lot to live up to. The draw meant a fight that has been eagerly awaited in the gym would take place first as Dan ‘Latin Assassin’ Ricardo faced Kevin ‘Curly’ Saunders. The high quality skills the 600 fans would witness were predictable but the winner of the bout was very much unpredictable. Dan Ri-cardo hoped to make it four wins in four bouts against his rival. Both fighters used good movement and never stayed on the ropes for too long. After two even rounds, Ricardo held a marginal lead at 4-3. Saunders’ gruelling body shots looked to work well but Ricardo moved well and slipped various head shots. Saunders distinguishing style with the low left hand looked effective until the final round as Ricardo hit his man with venomous right hands shooting him into the lead. Both boxers began to tire and started to throw some desperate wild shots. Both fighters started missing powerful punches as the end neared and it was Ri-cardo taking the group of death’s first win, with a 13-6 win much to the bemusement of Saunders.
Dan ‘body snatcher’ Boden faced Kevin Saunders in the second fight of the group. Dan Bo-den kept his man at a distance scoring well. Boden took a quick lead with straight punches working well and soon took a 4-0 lead never looking troubled. Saunders continued to try and get inside and get on his opponent landing powerful shots. ’Body Snatcher’ attempted to keep his man at bay with good body shots. In what was a tightly contested bout, the overlooked Dan Boden proved his worth with a 5-3 victory sending a message to Dan Ricar-do.
In the battle of the Dans, it was unbeaten Ricardo who scored the first of the fight landing a clean back hand that backed his opponent into the ropes. Ricardo looked to use his famous scoring right hand, and tried to work the double jab to set him up. Boden landed some good shots to the body of Ricardo. In the second round, both fighters looked to load their shots looking for a spectacular finish but both fighters were wise to it and used the ring well. Bo-den’s punches came in bunches with some well worked combinations but it was the ‘Latin Assassin’s flurries that scored him a sensational win in the group of death with a 9-5 victory. Dan Ricardo won an exciting division and made it five wins in five bouts meaning Dan ‘Latin Assassin’ Ricardo was crowned the 2011 Light Heavyweight king.
The heavyweights skipped the waiting around and instead threw their weight around. It was only minutes in before the first heavyweight knock down was scored. Joe ‘Tibbsy’ Wilson raced in only to be dropped by the right hand of Simon ‘Funbus’ Smith. The knockdown did not seem to dent the confidence of Wilson and he was the aggressor for much of the open-ing round. Smith scored with a beautiful left hook to score his fourth point, the first round ended level at 4-4. The second round was a scrappy affair with a lot of clinching. There was no rest bite for either man, only the bell could separate the two battling boxers. The final round could have been fought in a phone box as neither man would take a step back. This highly competitive fight ended with two tired fighters not backing down because of their warrior like spirits, the bout ended 15-12 to Joe Wilson.
Simon Smith took on Brian ‘The Assassin’ Dean in the second contest. The first round was possibly the quietest of the night, ending 2-1 to Simon smith who worked the body well. Smith had the reach and held the centre of the ring well using his jab to his advantage. Brian Dean continued to pressure Smith, but Smith’s movement was the key to neutralise the strategy of Dean. Smith won 13-5 with all his control coming from the jab.
Brian ‘The Assasin’ Dean constantly pressured Joe Wilson, with both fighters having to clinch. The boxers went from corner to corner using their physical strength on one another. Wilson scored brilliant right hands having to use light footwork to work his way in. Dean stepped in with different combinations after using his one two effectively in what was a tense ending to an entertaining night. The fighters showed their respect with a hug at the start of the third round before returning to business. Both fighters fought well in a very close fight. Wilson had a 10-7 lead approaching the final bell of the event, and the Blue corner’s heart was in their mouth as Dean made it 10-8. Dean tried to maintain the pressure but he had given his all and it was a Wilson right hand that finished the night meaning an 11-8 win to the newly crowned 2011 Heavyweight king, Joe ‘Tibbsy’ Wilson.
Fighting Fit City Gym prepared 13 committed workmen that with the belief and guidance anyone is possible of fulfilling their dream in the ring. Not only conditioning their self but also demonstrating good boxing skill. Every boxer on the night excited the crowd and it made for a good night as 600 fans packed the arena to cheer on the boxers from when they made their ring entrance right through to the final bell.
Charity Hurts 3, Fighting Bowel Cancer. Friday 9th September 2011, Holiday Inn, Birmingham
Fighting Fit showed its support to the BDRF (Bowel Disease Research Foundation) in its fight against bowel cancer. The trainer challenger show proved to be highly entertaining as five of our own staff took on three gym members! The format ensured that the trainers tired late on over the six round duration and plenty of blows were landed in a first class corporate evening! A full charity auction was run in conjunction with the boxing on the dinner show format show. Itihaas provided contemporary Indian cuisine and many of Birmingham’s leading corporate sectors showed up to support this unique event.
Junior trainer Luke Paddock needed every bit of his 70+ bout amateur experience to cope with the ongoing attacks of Barrister James Picken, School Teacher Joe Phillips and Marketing Manager Ben Williams. This action packed 6x2’s fight set the tone for the night and the active amateur Paddock certainly knew he’s been in a fight.
Personal Trainer and amateur boxer Anthony Rogan had his southpaw hands full with a trio of company directors. His trio had the oldest combined age on the night and first times Adrian Albrighton and Jack Nicholas certainly showed a different side to their usual mild-mannered self, both looked determined to seize their moment in the lime light, with aggressive bursts and great counters with the right hand. Old head (but youngest opponent) Bruce Thomson handled himself well with some well picked shots that gave Rogan plenty to think about.
Matthew Hannigan had a baptism of fire after two years out of ring since he last boxed for Solihull ABC. Heartlands Doctor Guy Hunter was not only looking to beat Hannigan physically with sporadic bursts but was keen on breaking him psychologically with taunts, face pulling and show boating. It certainly entertained the medical community in the audience. Hannigan also squared off against two well supported fighters as Baz Mcvana fast combo’s kept him on his toes and converted southpaw Nathan Chan of Bodyshocker Supplement Warehouse was effective especially with the jab to the body.
Jamie Cahill returned to the ring after some superb displays that left him undefeated on the unlicensed circuit. He faced fighting fit veterans Eddie White and Nigel hood, plus St Phillips Chambers Clerk and first timer Ben Mortimer. It is fair to say that Cahill’s physical conditioning isn’t what it once was, but his fast combinations to head and body were still released to the delight of the crowd. Both White and Hood enjoyed there run out and gave the experienced boxer problems before his bursts restored domination. As the fight wore on his bursts became less frequent and the trio got stronger. The surprise was Ben Mortimer, who clearly took it a little more seriously than his two team-mates and opponent. For a first timer gave a great account of himself.
Retired Heavyweight and gym manager Neil Perkins had a black eye after the evening to prove that charity really does hurt! His trio of opponents from the legal community included No5 Barrister Brian Dean, St Phillips Chief Clerk Joe Wilson and Solicitor Sean Feenan. All three men clearly intended on making the big man work with a high paced attacks with a non-stop work rate. The old pro Perkins was more content on playing to the crowd than engaging but the heavy breathing between rounds clearly took their tole as his face showed at the end of the contest.
Charity Hurts 3 raised in excess of £7000 for the BDRF in their fight against bowel cancer and raised profile of a ‘un-fashionable’ Charity. The charity was chosen as gym member ‘boxing’ Betty Nicholas lost her sister to Bowel Cancer and was always grateful to the support and care that Tariq Ismail gave her and the family during her illness. We would like to thank Betty for all her hard work in making this event a success and her husband Jack who is now our oldest White Collar Boxer to date. We hope the BDRF can continue funding there research to end this disease.
Ralph Lewis QC Cup, July 8th 2011
Fighting Fit City Gym was proud to be involved in one of the biggest Legal Events of the year, an event that raised over £25,000 for Marie Currie Cancer. The No5 ran marketing event saw over twenty-five Barristers and No5 staff join the gym in January as raw novices with the intention of boxing on the July 8th show. Eight of them made it through and boxed against a mixed team of White Collar Professionals from Fighting Fit City Gym. Amazingly the No5 team snatched a 5-3 victory on the hugely popular night.
QC Mike Duck was out worked and narrowly beaten on points by the maurauding John Maher. Barrister Matt Brunning hustled Andy Jones to defeat with non-stop work-rate for 3 rounds. Barrister Earl Pinnock used his height, reach and a clinical right hand to out point Company Director Lee Dawe.
After the interval Clerk Brett Maloney was a marginal looser in a very close affair against Shakspears Gavin Tansley. Barrister Michael Wingrave was relentless against his out gunned opponent form Mary Monson's solicitors Joseph Kotrie- Monson. The part time judge Jinder Boora was a tad fortunate to get the verdict over West Midlands Police Sergent Aaron Bell in a close fought, three round contest.
Barrister Richard Cooke out pointed Gately's Andrew Evans in a cautious affair and heavy handed Richard Cusworth from Matt Macdonald pounded No5’s Tim Pole into defeat over 3 hard rounds.
Friday 18th March - Blood on the Canvas
Oceana nightclub and Fighting fit gym combined once again, to host ‘Blood on the canvas’. A lively crowd packed into the arena to generate an electric atmosphere from the start. Fans eagerly awaited the entrance of the first fighters as excitement began to surround the professional like arena.
The first fight of the night set the benchmark for the following bouts as it started with a fast pace. The reach advantage in favour of the Blue corners Kirk Feeney was evident early on as both fighters decided to utilise their physical strengths on each other. Such a fast paced fight was tiring to watch as spectators felt empathy as both fighters raced around the ring leaving nothing behind, but their friendships. The first round was scored 4-2 to the blue corner as Feeney used his reach with his scoring straight combinations. Dennis Draper came straight out of his corner to trade blow for blow in the second round trying to narrow the deficit, Draper tried to enforce his physical dominance on Feeney. Feeney scored four points in the second round with his continuous straight punches; the key to all of the 6ft 1 man’s success had come from his long jab. Both fighters would have been grateful for an unscheduled stop in the second round as Feeney’s gumshield came out. As the fight resumed Draper landed a quick straight right hand to score at the end of the round and got the red team in touching distance of the blue points as the round ended with scores at 8-6. The fight did not continue in the fast pace it began in , as both fighters clearly became fatigue, the boxers repeatedly held onto each other and started to fight scrappy. The last round had a clear winner although the fight was a close one, as Kirk Feeney ended the fight 12-6; Feeney landed a big right hand knocking back his opponent before the final bell sounded. The man with the longest reach of the night described how close the fight was saying “It was a very very tough fight for me.”
The second bout of the night started as fast as the previous fight as the Blue team’s Monish Malhotra entered the ring first followed by the red’s Michael Roberts. The Blue boxer took the initiative scoring first with a sharp jab, Roberts came straight back brandishing his speed throughout the fight. The first round was the quietest of the fight and ended 4-3 to the Red team. Roberts clearly favoured his left hook as his damaging punch as he looked for it again and again, working off his fast jab. Malhotra scored with a straight right hand and then tried to score a right hook only for Roberts to prevent it with his good guard. The two conditioned fighters went to work on each other in the final round. Michael Roberts scored a fast one- two combination early in the round. Both fighters used their footwork to come in and out of the centre of the ring. Malhotra looked powerful with his short sharp hooks and managed to land his right hook only for Roberts to score with a left hook immediately after. The final minute consisted of heart as both fighters looked to have given it everything; despite this they still hawked each other around the ring in the dying seconds. As the bout came to its conclusion the fans were appreciative of the effort and technical abilities displayed for three rounds. At the end of the fight the teams were neck and neck with a score of 26-26 after Roberts had edged the bout with his impressive speed. The blue corner’s Monish Malhotra said “It was very hard work in there, but I enjoyed it.”
With the non -refreshing Olympic score system in place it made for an exciting night with the scores switching and changing through the event. Shane Windley appeared in his second consecutive show after impressing in his last bout as it provided the highest scoring match up in the last event. Ryan Donaldson had a height disadvantage going into this bout but this did not faze the red team’s man. The red corner’s fighter came out all guns blazing as he looked to score, throwing alternate hooks only to hit leather as Windley showed a strong guard blocking the shots. Shane Windley kept on the move trying to use his opposition’s aggression against him, staying sharp and on his toes picking Donaldson off with his jab. Ryan Donaldson started well in the second round and put Windley onto his back foot, but as Windley stayed cool and showed a boxer’s intelligence using his jab for defence he repeatedly met the head of Donaldson as he left himself open for the jab. The third and final round was the round of the night so far creating a vibrant atmosphere. The exciting round started with the red team holding a one point lead. The two fighters looked evenly matched throughout most of the bout. Ryan Donaldson looked to waste energy throwing wild combinations and not landing but with both fighters using the ring they traded blow for blow until the final bell. Ryan Donaldson worked hard and hit hard and he managed to land power punches, punches that proved to award him a marginal victory as he won 13-12, meaning the red team held a one point advantage on the overall score.
The fourth bout of the night started as Nigel Hood squared off against Andy Jones. Despite Jones orthodox stance he looked very unorthodox with his unusual awkward style providing difficulties from the start. Jones took a two point lead working well off his jab as both fighters calculated each other’s style. A good flurry from Hood ended with a scoring left hook as the round finished. The red fighter then rushed in using his left and right hand to good use but started to struggle to find Hood as he used a ‘Naseem’ like defence to avoid the punches, as he ducked back his head. Both fighters became busy in the last round to the advantage of Jones as he used his reach to counteract Nigel Hood. Both fighters scored in the finale as Red snapped out a jab cleanly connecting before he was the victim of a vicious straight right, another entertaining fight as each fight produced different qualities.
After the interval Steven Want faced Fighting fit’s Matt Davies to display the rollercoaster fight of the night, as the scores changed from team to team. It started a nervy affair as both fighters started quiet and stayed out of range. Davies displayed a secure guard but was down on points after the first round. Matt Davies looked to fight well using his straight punches and when he did, he looked to control the fight but Want regained his composure and took the lead. In a good round Matt Davies pulled back four points, impressing the crowd with a flurry of punches landing four consecutive shots. The crowd sang through this closely contested bout and the final round was Matt Davies’ round as he peaked and proved to be in top condition as he went to work on his man. Both fighters had the crowd roaring as they flourished their skills in an exciting end to the fight. Matt Davies made an amazing come back to win 30-27 in the high scoring battle.
Ossie Sarkodee made his patriotic walk to the ring with the Ghanaian flag as Russell Jones made his way in receiving a big cheer from the back of the room. Sarkodee looked to have a ‘nice on the eye’ style, with footwork that got him out of trouble from the pressuring Russell Jones. Despite the blue fighters slick movement around the ring Jones did well to get to his man and lead the way. After a close first round Jones cemented his style on the fight and constantly pressured the opposition as Sarkodee had to stay on the move. Sarkodee style was ruined by his lack of fitness and Jones looked to work hard on the inside clearly damaging the blue fighter with devastating combinations. Jones had Sarkodee stumbling as the fighters failed to break and scrapped around the ring. The third round was dominated by Jones and the scores after an explosive bout were 95-88 in favour of the red team who were three rounds away from being crowned victorious.
The final fight was between two fan favourites Dan Ricardo of the blue team and Tim Hufton. Dan Ricardo made a dramatic entrance with ‘Clubbed to Death’ playing over the speakers and Hufton followed out for the red corner. The fight became the most technical of the event as the packed out arena urged the fighters to become busy in a fight where both athletes were back and forth using their well-prepared conditioning to excel. The first round ended level between the two fighters meaning as it stood the red team would be announced winners on the night. Ricardo landed a hook in the second round, shortly after Hufton scored a jab followed by a straight right hand. After two equally contested rounds, Ricardo turned up the ante and made the fight his and the night the Blue’s. It was a lethal straight right connecting flush that undone Huftons good work, as it looked to daze him. Ricardo continued to pressure and landed five power punches catapulting the blue team into the lead on the board. Ricardo looked impressive and had the crowd singing his praises after he overcame what was a hard task in Tim Hufton. Hufton worked hard and fought punch for punch in the first two rounds. Tim Hufton praised his rival saying “He got stronger and stronger, fair play to him.”
There was little contrast between the first round of the night and the last round of the night as ‘Blood on the Canvas’ ended as it started, sustaining a high quality throughout an action packed event. The Blue team had come back to win the night by two points, winning 106-104. The work the boxers had put in during the months leading up to the event was clear to see as even the newcomers displayed the qualities they had picked up in training. Talk already surrounds the gym about future bouts being put in place after eventful boxing entertainment as well as an eventful night that followed.
Christmas Crunch - Report by Daniel Treasure
Fighting Fit Gym hosted their second white collar boxing event in just three months. After five hundred fans witnessed twenty-four fighters go toe to toe in October for the ‘Broad Street Bash’ many fans anticipated more compelling entertainment from the fighters.
Oceana Nightclub was the arena that company directors, electricians and other workers made the transformation to boxers on the night. 400 spectators waited anxiously for the bouts between the red and blue teams to begin. The fights were scored using the Olympic score system, with none of the scores being refreshed, instead each bout contributes to the teams score and the highest score at the end of the six fights would distinguish the conquering team.
Ed Clarke was the first fighter out, no one could question his entrance to Rolling stones 'gimme shelter' but he entered with a questionable nickname. But Ed ' Ringstinger' Clarke proved to be stinging on the night as he scored quickly with a quick jab. Chris 'Stafford steamroller' Lund bounced straight back with a clean right hook, which opened the Blue teams scoring. The fighters were leaving nothing behind as they came out with a high intensity to set the benchmark for the following fighters. Before the first round ended Lund attempted a flurry of body punches, not all landing cleanly before the bell sounded. The second round started just as intense with both fighters charging to the centre of the ring, giving spectators their monies worth, Lund imposed his physical strength early on in the round, testing Clarke all the way. As the 'Stafford Steamroller started to struggle to land cleanly he was knocked down with the quick hand speed of Clarke. Clarke jabbed to the body and then to the head before Lund left himself open for a right hook that landed flush to the head and sent him to the canvas. The bout was ended there and the crowd anxiously waited for the next six bouts, hoping the bravery of these two battling boxers could be met.
With the red team leading 8-3 it was time for the second fight to commence. Matt Dunn knew in the lead up to the fight that he would have to use his best attribute of fighting at range in this fight, but he conceded a point to Ryan Pearson early on when a straight right connected cleanly. The fast pace in this fight prevented any fans from blinking never mind going to the bar, as Ryan 'wow' Pearson lived up to his fight name with a right hook that got just that reaction. The first round ended with a lot of holding after a high-scoring start. Matthew Dunn started the round with a haymaker and Pearson came back with a haymaker of his own making the blue teams score even on the board. As the round went on, the bout become more technical as the fighters started to use the ring, side stepping and coming back and forth showing the different qualities they possess. Ryan Pearson then landed a number of hard right hooks to his opponent before Matthew Dunn threw his opponent onto the ropes and started to use his physical presence in the dying seconds of the round. Dunn opened the third round with a big left hook only to be counteracted by a right hook of Pearson’s. This round consisted of power punches with Dunn showing his variation in hooks landing with his left and then his right later in the round and Pearson showing his damaging right hand. A quick tempo fight from the beginning to end that took the Blue team into the lead with the score standing at 18-12.
Gavin 'panzee' Tansley was aware that he would have to use his illusive footwork to become delusional to the quick hand speed of Mike Roberts in this fight as they squared off for the third fight of the night. The first round was marginally a blue round, with the scores being 21-14 at the end of the first round. Both fighters showed their hand speed in the opening round with Mike Roberts landing a beautiful snapped jab to the face of 'Panzee'. The red corner seemed to have hyped their fighter for the second round as he came out with a variation of punches, he started the round feigning and trying for the left hook but it was moments later the most powerful punch of the round came from Tansley's right hook. Despite the heavy shots from Tansley, Roberts refused to back down, never stepping backwards. The best round of the fight came at the end when the fighters exchanged power shots throughout. 'Panzee' Tansley came back and forth using good footwork and made his opposition miss and pay when he countered. Another gruelling fight ending the score at 28-19 in the favour of the blue team.
No one would have been sleeping at this action filled event but if they had been, the bass from Phil Cook's entrance music would have woke them up. Cook entered the ring looking focused in the minutes before he would go toe to toe with Tim Pratt from the red corner. Neither athlete conceded many punches in the first minute of the fight, Pratt came forward with a combination of a left and then a right hook repeated over and over, but Cook did well to keep his guard up. Cook went back to basics after nothing was scoring and he then scored a a quick jab. The blue fighter landed again before the interval to make it 30-19 at the end of the first round. Phil ' The Diamond' Cook claimed he knew what Pratt would bring to him this fight and he seemed to know just that as he blocked well. Tim 'The nightmare before Christmas' Pratt used a lot of body punches in the second round and did well to keep bringing the fight to cook. Both fighters looked tired as they entered the last round, both dropping their guard slightly but failing to find too many openings. Pratt continued to hunt 'The Diamond' around the ring with his conditioned fitness but Cook tried to use this to his advantage as he counter punched impressively. The two fighters showed their different qualities in the ring and entertained the crowd with a different type of fight. The score at the end of the bout was 34-19 still in the blue teams advantage approaching the last match-up's.
Shane 'Winmaker' Winley and Liam ' The Don' Donohoe both entered the ring in shiny silver shorts, with a bright start in the fight to match their shorts as Donohoe landed two quick jabs. Donohoe fought to the chants of 'flip flop' from his fans. He did a lot to impress them with good agility and a quick left hook. It was easy to forget it was both fighters first appearance in the ring as they held a spectacle from the off , both showing technical boxing. Shane Winley showed some good combinations starting one combo' with the left hook. Three left jabs landed in quick succession for the blue team that left Winsleys nose cut but he battled away and deteriorated the stamina of Donohoe with some straight punches. The third round was a strong one for Donohoe as he caught Winsley with a one-two combo' but Winsley came back strong. The cut nose did not stop the 'Winmaker' coming forward as the two fighters put any friendships aside and went to war providing the highest scoring bout of the night.
The final high-scoring bout meant that the blue team edged the night by a score of 46-38 after originally going down on the night. The team fights had ended and it was time for two heavyweights to provide exhibition entertainment. There was a certain buzz around the club after watching six quality bouts with a variety of skills from different fighters, but it was time for the night to get a little bit more serious as former pro' boxer and managing director of 'Fighting fit' would take on 6 foot 5 James Dickens.
It was Neil 'Two time' Pekins' first fight since fighting as a professional boxer, he had his hands full with 6 foot 5 James' The Ox' Dickens. Dickens from priory park who started the brightest with quick jabs, some not connecting. Perkins started to 'showboat, first dancing around on the ropes pretending to be dazed. Perkins continued to entice the crowd with his different 'showboating, his confidence was evident. Perkins showed solid defence and the first round ended fairly even, with Dickens the busiest of the two fighters. The second round was a quiet one, Perkins continued to 'showboat as the 17 stone Priory Park boxer continued to work off the fast jab. Perkins started to throw a flurry of punches towards the end of the round, trying to edge the round even though it was an exhibition. Dickens looked in good shape in the build up to his first amateur fight and this would have been good preparation, as Dickens said in the build up “ Neil’s amateur and professional record speaks for itself, his a great boxer”. But Dickens would not back down and in the final round used his strength to throw Neil in the corner but Perkins used illusive footwork to impressively get himself out the corner. The fight was fought in a light hearted fashion in the latter stages with both boxers showing their skills but respect for one another, Dickens continued his busy style throughout and Perkins demonstrated text book defence. Neil Perkins was grateful it was a white collar event as he had the service of a hot dog immediately after, he might argue it was his protein intake after a good fight.
Another great event organised with boxing fans and boxers friends and families witnessing some top boxing, with a variety of talent showcased. Twelve white collar boxers made all their hard training worth it when they stepped into the ring to provide a boxing spectacle. 'Fighting fit' proved how workmen can become boxers with the determined training, focus and professional assistance.
Broad Street Bash
Broad Street Bash was Fighting Fit's First event at the Broad Street Super Club Gatecrasher. The venue had to big enough to cater for the 600 people in attendance and the event sold out some 10 days before the event had started! The format was simple Red Team vs Blue Team in a charity format, raising funds for their respective charities Red (Help for Hero's) and Blue (Macmillan Cancer)
The evening was warmed up with a fantastic exhibition bout between two talented warriors from Coventry. Ryan Pearson and Bradley Carter certainly got the crowd going with three rounds of nonstop exchanges. Ryan was due to feature on the show but a last minute pull out meant he was left to do an exhibition with his sparring partner Carter. Massive thanks to Bradley for saving the day. The first of the 9 scoring contest saw two first timers go at. Tim Hufton (red) kept his head and used his height and reach to outscore the considerably shorter Russell Jones (blue) over 3 rounds. Despite Jones wild hooks to body and head not scoring I am sure the man from 'the bad lands of Hampton in Arden' felt the punches the next day. Next bout featured the 'Arabian Night' Aaron Bell (blue) v Tim Pratt (red). Pratt’s pressure fighting forced Bell to work over the 3 rounds and early on in the first and midway through the second it looked as if Bell might crumble. To his credit Bell picked up scoring shots throughout and left the ring a comfortable point's winner. Two more first timers took to the ring in one of the bouts of the night. Andy Jones (red) stepped in with the 2 week reserve Ed Clarke (blue) both tall, both rangy and both aggressive. Clarke forced the fight and rocked his opponent on multiple occasions but the problem he faced was overcoming a dominant jab and a scoring back hand, despite having success in a close contest, Jones (red) picked up more points en route to a narrow victory.
'The Latin assassin' Dan Ricardo was given a very different problem to his previous outing and the southpaw skills of Anthony Rogan were sure to give any one problems. Rogan possessing power in both hands with a rapid fire back hand. Experience told on the night as Ricardo managed not to commit on to Rogan’s back hand and picked up a marginal points victory in a bout that was without doubt the best technical boxing bout Fighting Fit has ever seen. Bruce Thomson (red) v Luke Chance (blue) was the next bout on the bill. The pattern emerged early on as Chance tried to box on the outside and stay away from Thomson's dangerous right hand. The strategy clearly worked early on as counter double jabs had him edging the early exchanges. Mid-way through the second Thomson found his rhythm and got his jab and more worryingly for Chance his right hand into play. This scored frequently later in the bout and led Thomson to a marginal point’s victory. Harry 'Hell boy' French v Mark Stretton was always going to be an intriguing battle. French’s nonstop work rate and all out aggression vs Strettons silky south paw skills. The bout was close and Stretton picked up the smallest of 1 point victories in this all action bout.
The crazy Duke Joseph Kotrie Monson (blue) v John Wright (red) was another bout that featured contrasting styles. The Dukes tall upright style was more suited to Olympic scoring than Wright and his relentless body attacks. The first few rounds saw the Duke edge into a light lead with scoring backhands and controlling long jabs as Wrights powerful body attacks failed to register on the Olympic scoring. In the last round Wright however switched his combinations from body up to the head to score some beautiful back hands that evened up the affair. Rival Barristers Kevin Saunders (blue) and Joe Wilson (red) was one of the most anticipated bouts of the evening. Saunders a talented on-off boxer with slick skills against Wilson's rugged come forward experience. The thoughts off the coaching team were that Saunders would create a massive lead on the Olympic scoring and Wilson was just content to have degrees of success. We don't know whether it was nerves or macho bravado that made Saunders sacrifice his assets and trade with Wilson but there were no complaints from the crowd who were treated to three rounds of up close and Personal brawling. With the bout at close quarters there was only going to one winner as Wilson 'old manned’ Saunders in close to pick up a victory. The penultimate bout of the evening was a heavyweight affair between Paul Crockett (blue) and Andy McGrath (red). McGrath had fought a wild fight when under pressure before and with the experienced Crockett chasing down a 13 point deficit for his blue teams he was certainly going to be pressured on this occasion. McGrath to his credit showed the 600 in attendance that he had learnt several things whilst in the gym. He had learnt to box, grit his teeth when hurt and pick up points against a relentless opponent. Crockett's bombs reigned in and cool as a cucumber McGrath countered back and not only held the 13 point lead but extended it by 1.
The night raised in excess off £3,000 to Macmillan and Help for Hero's and the after show party at Bar Nuvo went on to the early hours in a great night for all involved.
A hugely successful sparrathon saw over 70 gym members each partake in 1 hour of sparring that as a combined effort that rolled on for 12 hours and raised over £2,800 for Help for Hero's and Macmillan Cancer Support.
The usual suspects of gym trainers sparred for the majority of the 12 hours, new trainer Helen Clewer took Jamie Cahill's long standing title of the most rounds sparred at Sparathon. Helen also brought something else to this Sparathon as their was a noticeable increase in female boxing participants in the Birmingham event. Jill Benton, Katie Kershaw, Caroline Fell and Helen Whinray were just a few who had a go for charity and top fundraiser with over £400 brought in was Julie Haycock.
Fresh Blood Friday
Friday 26th March 2010
Fresh Blood Friday provided a superb show featuring now fewer than 8 first timers making their boxing debuts. The show kicked off with some of the old guard, with Dan 'the bodysnatcher' Boden jumping in with late replacement Personal Trainer Jon 'the mullet' Shaw. Boden a slaes manager by day wasn't shy of the challenger represented by the seasoned open class amateur star. Boden's aggressions, fitness and two phase attacks managed to earn him a draw in about which his Blue Team Mates must have seen as a good result. Up next was two first timers with Ollie '2 Balls' Mills against Harry 'the Hatchet' French. It was a contast in styles with French's non stop aggression matched with Mills cute counterpunching style. The scores were close at the end of the second round but French's aggression in the last saw him steer his team into a 4 point lead, winning the bout 24-20. Another 2 debutants entered the ring for the third bout with Andy 'the Cobra' Rogers facing off with Tim 'El Toro' Pratt. Both men showed courage, heart and the ability to take a punch as the boxing at times resorted to a slug fest. When they stayed composed the boxing was superb and I'm sure the pair of them will box again and improve with their experience. Rogers won more marginally than the questionalble 14-8 scores suggested.
The first bout after the interval at times was more of a wrestling match than a boxing contest. Pallab 'Sting' Ray struggled to transist from his MMA/ Wrestling background and rushed in at the hyped first timer Andy 'Motormouth' McGrath. This created a lot of nervous energy and low scroing rounds in a ugly affair. McGrath digged deep and found some big shots to rock Ray and steer his way to a 10-2 win, with a big last round. Rob '2 Cool' Catton and Paul 'the Rocket' Crockett couldn't have been more of a contrast as two big men showing how to box by using the jab, feints, counter punching and two phase boxing. The bout was close and a pleasure to watch as Catton stayed '2 cool' around Crocketts late bombs and pipped a 19-18 win.
To be given the name of 'the Latin Assasin' by the coaching team shows how much faith they have in you, to match you with a man on your debut who has had over 30 junior bouts for the top amateur Club West Ham says something else. First timer Dan 'the Latin Assasin' Ricardo paired off against experienced Jason 'Hands of Stone' Arnold and for the first two round more than competed in boxing match feinting and drawing his opponent on to shots. In the last Arnold having used his experience to figure the opponent stepped it up and pressured. Ricardo wasn't letting his lead slip and made Arnold come on to every shot as he picked up points off the backfoot and earned his team a 25-15 win. It would have been hard for Joe 'Suagr Ray' Phillips and Nigel 'the Hammer' Hood to better the previous bout? Well apparantley not, the two first timers brought everything they had learnt in the gym and a bit more for three fanastic rounds of boxing. Phillips the counter puncher on the backfoot against Hood's non stop pressure fighting had all the chemistry for a great bout and didn't dissapoint. The bout was even all the way and was the highest scoring bout of the night at 21-21. Phillips ensured that the Blue team were overall winers with the final scores 111-106
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Sunday December 6th, Oceana Nightclub
Nightmare before Christmas was hugely popular budget show held at Oceana Nightclub. The opening bout started with a bang with buddies James Connolly and Rob Catton facing each other in a highly competitive bout. Both have improved massively during their time at the gym and are moving on to have a crack at the amateur circuit in the near future. Connolly has always had ability but showed composure to pip Catton in a highly skilled technical fight. The second bout saw portsiders Eddie White pairing off with Fighting Fit first timer Dave 'Boy' Short. Shorts busier work rate saw him ahead after two rounds but White picked up the work rate with some heavy shots to even things up in the last.
Michael Page's recruitment king Adam Hopcroft faced nervous first timer Michael Showell. It was Hopcroft twitching at the opening bell as Showell equipped himself well and landed some big right hands over the top. Hopcroft scored frequently with the jab late, using it to full effect keeping Showells bombs at bay. The jab had persistently landed and Showell's nose was bleeding heavy at the end. Maths teacher Pallab Ray and Military Doctor Joe Penn-Barwell had a slugfest contest in the fourth bout of the day. Both men started tentatively until they found where they were most comfortable - up close trading. Some big shots were exchanged and both men walked away with success, respect and no doubt a few bruises.
Amateur boxer Jon Shaw stepped in as a late replacement to face the boxing Barrister Kevin Saunders. Saunders who like Connolly and Catton is due to crack the amateurs next year showed why he is held in such high esteem against a 20+ bout seasoned amateur. Shaw always stayed a few points adrift of Saunders but was caught by some clever work, an effective jab and some well picked right hands. First time heavyweights Ben Eason and Sean Feenan had a fantastic fight. Eason looked supremely fit and effective out of his southpaw stance with looping right hooks and straight left hands. For a first timer the well supported Feenan handled the southpaw style well and was effective with his own counter right hands. Feenan struggled late but was a credit to his army of supporters as he had battled the flu all week in order to participate.
John Wright didn't know what to make when his opponent sang his own entrance music. The Rod Stewart impersonator Pete Upton carried his energetic warm up through into the first two rounds starting the livelier of the two. The entrance had clearly taken a lot out of Upton who looked tired in the last as Wright re addressed the balance. Glynn 'the Spartan' Purnell had a excellent show closure against Jason Arnold. Arnold started well and was slightly ahead after the first two rounds as the longer range cat and mouse style boxing seemed to suit him. Glynn came on strong in the last and finished slightly ahead clinching victory for his team in another fantastic show.
Summer Sparrathon - Help for Heroes
Fighting Fit's Summer Sparrathon was a huge success, raising over £ 1,000 for Help for Heroes, 72 of the gym members traded blows with the coaching team over the 12 hour marathon event. Gym trainers certainly had to use every bit of their ring skills as gym members lined up and looked to make a name for themselves against their experienced instructors. Members of the Royal Marines Commandos attended the event as did members of the armed forces recruitment team. The event unveiled some hot new talent, Solicitor Ben Eason looked to be an effective soutpaw and company director John Mahyer had a useful jab behind a tight guard. On the week women's boxing was allowed into the 2012 Olympics our female members did themselves credit. Victoria Yates was highley impressive against the trainers, where as Caroline Young, Sharlene King, Emma Blake and 'Boxing' Betty Nicholas all gave the trainers some stick.
The credit crunch friendly, reduced price Sunday afternoon show featured 7 superb bouts of boxing. The opening bout featured a heavy handed debutant pairing off against a more experienced late replacement. CTM’s Dave Copeland had bad intentions from the opening bell in this White Collar Exhibition bout and rocked the more experience Rob Catton early, however Catton's experience enabled him to survive the last two rounds and subdue the club fisted south paw’s attacks. We look forward to seeing them both in action again soon. Trowbridge’s Ron De La Cruz squared off against Fighting Fit City Gym’s John Wright in the first White Collar Bout of the evening. The Trowbridge youth worker tried to make his weight advantage count early on, by stepping into the Birmingham based Recruitment Consultant. Wright was rocked early but began to find his rhythm by the end of the round. At the start of the second Big Ron was still blowing from his previous rounds efforts as Wright targeted the midsection and combination punching to neutralise his opponent. De La Cruz was retired towards the end of the second to give the Birmingham man his first victory. Ron will learn from this I’m sure and continue on his boxing journey. Popular Barrister Kevin Saunders showed superb skill against his strong Trowbridge opponent Aaron Fox. Saunders on/off style proved successful for the first two rounds. In the third the Trowbridge man started to connect more frequently as Saunders sensed victory, the Towbridge man was unable to stop Saunders so he earns his first victory. James Connolly had a superb bout with Nick Winfield. Both men at times made it look more like a street fight. The bout included taunting, grappling, after the bell action and some big shots landed by both fighters. All rounds were close but the judges awarded the bout to Winfield, thankfully they were both best of friends after.
After the interval Robbie Jones squared off against Dan Carr. The first of our EBF fights featured 3 superb rounds. It was a big ask for Robbie giving away experience to his Trowbridge rival. He boxed superb and was competitive throughout, however all judges scored in favour of Carr. Stewart ‘spud’ Tordoff stepped up to 3 minute round in this all action affair against Josh Leat. He dominated the first round with big shots and it was looking suspect if Leat would be able to continue under such a barrage. To his credit he did, the second and fourth rounds were close and most people agreed Leat nicked the third. At the scores it was awarded a draw, 39-37, 38-38, 37-39. Another Leat brother, Mia had a daunting task of facing Personal Trainer Jamie Cahill over 6 rounds EBF action. The popular trainer roared on by the 250+ in attendance needed far less time than that, a promising opening saw Leat catch Cahill to the body which seemed to trouble Cahill. His reply, a three punch combination finishing with a short right hand to the temple dropped Leat heavy. He rose at 5 but was still unsteady so referee Scott Spencer called a halt at 32 seconds round 1.
Charity Hurts 2
Teenage Cancer trusts were the benefactors of this co hosted event by Fighting Fit City Gym and Kerrang Radio. DJ and lottery presenter OJ Borg Mc’d through a fantastic night of boxing that featured a sit down 3 course meal and 9 boxing bouts. The boxing was scored on the amateur Olympic scoring system that was fed live to the crowd throughout with boxers been split into two team (red and blue). All scores were cumulative throughout the night with one team declared winner.Red teams Stewart Tordoff boxed Blue’s Dan Boden in the opening bout. Tordoff a former amateur showed his experience of playing point scoring boxing and opened up a 12-7 lead for the Red team. Debutants Solicitor Gavin Tansley (blue) boxed KPMG’s Martin Roughead (red) in the second bout of the evening. Roughead began aggressive and scored frequently in the first two rounds but as fatigue set in Tansley had a high scoring last round. Fire fighters Reg Weaver (red) and Pete Eglin (blue) had an all action bout, scoring on neither parties mind just action! The two work colleges and friends left that outside the ring as both unloaded bombs. Weaver slightly edged the scoring throughout, at the first interval the Blue team trailed by 16 points.
Two big men making their debuts showed excellent skills for men of their size after the restart. Simon Bergenroth (blue) boxed Rob Catton (red) in a superb long range boxing battle, both showed the ability to feint, jab and draw opponents onto their right hands which scored throughout the contest to head and body. Teacher Daffyd Davies (red) boxed Company Director Adam Duffy (blue) and adopted a very different strategy. Davies circled the ring, tucked up and countered against the heavy handed Duffy, despite Duffy’s heavy artillery landing at times the ‘Welsh Wizard’ pick pocketed the points for his Red team mates. Last before the interval saw Celebrity Chef Glynn Purnell (red) against the bigger Paul Crockett (blue). Crockett, a heavy handed pressure fighter isn’t best suited to Olympic style scoring. Purnell on the other hand had been sparring with top amateurs in the build up, he had learnt how to hit and not get hit. At times with a low guard he relied on good footwork and angles to pick scoring shots. Purnell even switched stance at times. He was at however reminded of Crocketts power when the big man connected. At the second interval Red team sensed victory with a 21 point lead.
For the last course of boxing action started with experienced Eddie White (blue) against first timer John Wright (red). Blue needed White to score big however he had fallen behind after 2 rounds to the impressive debutant who was playing the Southpaw at his counter punching game. In the last Eddie stepped up his game with combination punches that won him the fight by a single point. Blue now trailed by 20 points. Assistant Chief Constable Stewart Hyde (blue) needed to do something big against Spearmint Rhino’s manager Mark Walsh (red). The senior police officer obliged with a heavy jab that scored throughout on Walsh’s head. The Rhino manager however was not letting Hyde have it all his own way and landed some big shots. It was the biggest score of the night with Hyde winning by 16 points, the deficit going into the last just 4 points. Abid Khan (red) had to defend his teams four point lead against Huxley’s recruitment consultant Adam Hopcroft. Both looked tentative early on and didn’t over commit with scores infrequent. Going into the last round Blue still trailed by 4 points, under orders from the corner Hopcroft took it to Khan (red) to the delight of the 350 in attendance. His combination punching scored as his Blue team with 30 second left led for the first time in the night. Khan (red) glanced at the scores to realise he was trailing stepped it back up, Hopcroft (blue) now with a tired lower guard got hit with scoring shots. With 10 seconds left Khan (red) had restore his teams lead by a single point, as Hopcroft (blue) ploughed forward in search of victory but a flush one-two by Khan on the bell opened up his teams lead to 2. Final scores Red 158 – 156 Blue
Sparrathon and Open Day
Friday 13th March, Fighting Fit City Gym has an official charity open day. The sparathon features 12 hours of all action sparring at the gym. The day is in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and starts at 8am in the morning and finishes at 8pm in the evening. Several of the gyms clients and White Collar boxers will be trading blows in aid of charity.
Celebrity Chef Glyn Purnell, Assistant Chief Constable Stewart Hyde, Councilor Mike Olley and BRMB breakfast show DJ Elliot Webb are just some of the guest boxers along with City Gym's "white collar warriors", barrister Kevin Saunders, IT Ted's Eddie White, recruitment consultant James Connolly and fireman Paul Crockett. The training team will be on hand to chat regards training options and give you a personal tour of the gym, top nutritional advisor Cain Leathem will be on hand to speak to people regards their nutritional issues. Healthy foods, snacks and refreshments will be provided for all.
England v Germany
Fighting Fit's Ryan Aston shone in his Senior England International debut out boxing and outclassing his German opponent. Aston was tentative in the first but had edged his way into the lead, following from this the Priory Park Southpaw through some quality shots showing his full repertoire. It was a comfortable 15-4 victory for Ryan who was cheered on by over 50 of Fighting Fit's gym members on there Christmas night out. There will be more to come from the 'Tank' whom we are sure is destined for great things based on the ease of the performance.
Rumble in the Crumble
Fighting Fit's finest evening of boxing was kicked off by two debutant heavyweights taking part in a White Collar Exhibition Bout. Company director Simon Jenner and Michael Pages Recruitment consultant James Conolloy broke there boxing cherry and the silence of the crowd kicking the evening off with 3 action packed rounds. The punches they exchanged were of far better quality than the jokes of the comedian that preceded them. The two guys showed tremendous heart and spirit. The pattern of the fight emerged as Jenner looked to load with big rights as Conolloy worked more with combinations upstairs and downstairs. They exchanged some big shots and Jenner clearly didn't like a right hook to the ribs but was happy trying to walk through combinations in order to unload his own bombs.
The second bout of the evening featured Birmingham's Eddie White squaring off against Chase Hudd from Trowbridge in a second White Collar Exhibition Both. Both fighters were hesitant at the opening exchange after both coming off a loss to 'Sex Toy' Roy Bushell. As the fight eased in Whites southpaw lead hooks and back hands started to land more frequently with Hudd occasionally firing back to remind the Birmingham man he was still in the fight. The last round was the liveliest with some good upstairs, downstairs combinations landed by the Birmingham based Director.
Fighting Fit's Dan Boden slugged it out with Mia Leat of Trowbridge in the first competition bout of the Evening. Both men exchanged some massive shots and had the crowd on their feet throughout. It was hard to split the pair who left nothing in the ring and did themselves proud, the three judges were split and scored in favour of the Trowbridge man.
Following the interval Fighting Fit City Gym popular Personal Trainer Jamie Cahill received the praise of the entire crowd as he entered the ring. It was a daunting task for his opponent Dan Carr who would face him in 10oz gloves under EBF rules. Although Carr didn't seem too bothered by the partisan crowd he was clearly bothered as Cahill began unloading his trademark shots. The left hook started to land with venom to head and body. In the second Cahill started were he left off but this time it was the straight and looping rights rocking the Trowbridge man. Although Carr never looked like winning the contest he must be given credit for his bravery and willingness to fight throughout, however it was no surprise after four rounds when Cahill was awarded a 40-36 shut out unanimous victory.
Finally the boxing finished where it started, with two big men going at it! Paul Crockett faced off against John Jennings in a slugfest 3x2's White Collar Boxing Bout. The fight pattern emerged early on as the taller Crockett looked to use straight shots to keep the marauding Jennings at bay. When inside Jennings looked dangerous and there was always a worry with a big shot over the top. Crockett looked to be landing more but Jennings landed some hurtful shots on the Birmingham Fire fighter. The fight was close and the judges again were split but this time they favoured the home fighter.
A superb evenings exhibitions boxing at the Holiday Inn featuring Fighting Fit's pugilists competing against top amateur boxers from Priory Park Amateur Boxing Club. MC'd by the legendry Jerry Heljter and attended by former World Light Heavyweight Champion John Conteh. The event raised in excess of £ 7000 for Birmingham China Town Lions and Priory Park ABC
Local Radio DJ Elliot Webb looked hesitant out of his southpaw stance against Midland Champion and undefeated senior John Shaw. IT Teds Eddie White was far braver against the experienced amateur Steven Butler pushing him all the way. Eddie was not feeling charitable against a man 15 years his junior and had the Priory Park boxer blowing at the end. Multi decorated Police Sergeant Aaron Bell was game against Priory Parks x 4 midland title holder Richard Ghent in his last fight before his transfer to the paid ranks. Fireman Paul Crockett looked dangerous against Priory Park's talented Kevin Smith putting pressure on the England Academy boxer. Fighting Fit City Gyms Jamie Cahill an experienced EBF fighter traded blows with Priory Park's slick national champion, Lewis Collins in a real crowd pleaser. Superbly supported Barrister Kevin Saunders went in with Priory Parks top Light Heavyweight Wayne Evans. Saunders got carried away with his support and went at Evans, blacking his eye but was fortunate not to get caught more hurtfully as exhaustion caught up with him in the 3rd.
Hosted at the Holiday Inn with guest speaker former World Heavyweight Champion Tony "TNT" Tucker, Friendly Fire provided a superb night out for all those involved. Former Mike Tyson sparring partner Big Joe Egan introduced one of few men to survive 12 rounds with his old employer Tony "TNT" Tucker.
3 of Fighting Fit City Gyms White Collar boxing warriors put on excellent performances. Show opener James "the Stick" Newland put on the display of the night not allowing his Trowbridge based opponent to get into range to land his hurtful bombs. The freelance designer who runs his own company www.thedesignery.co.uk exceeded all the coaching teams expectations as he initially own started boxing too get fit after designing the flyer for the gym. Martyn McDonald competed in a controlled heavyweight contest neutralised his opponents superior physical strength where as Eddie White was brave to the final bell when been matched with experienced Roy Bushell from Trowbridge. Roy showed that he had learnt a lot from his to previous 2 losses, by not getting flustered as the White Collar debutant controlled the early running. Roy landed heavy late in the round to wobble IT Teds company director and controlled the fight to the closing bell. Top of the bill saw Fighting Fit City Gyms Trainer Jamie Cahill box in an EBF fight against Trowbridge based Nigerian "Long Jab" Joe. The tall African who had represented his country as a junior was unable to cope with Cahill's rolling, pressure style. Getting caught frequently as the fight progressed and was glad to hear the final bell.
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