EVERY prospect needs the kind of test that Mariusz Wach gave Frazer Clarke but that doesn’t make such contests worthy of topping a televised bill. But Boxxer and Sky Sports, after headliner Adam Azim pulled out with an injury, were left with little choice if the bill was to survive and the fighters who were fit were to get paid.
In a contest that doesn’t require watching ever again, nor analysing too deeply, Clarke won every minute of every round to score a 100-90 victory against a podgy stalwart whose ring walk attire did absolutely nothing to disguise a physique that told a tale on his preparation. Nor did the ludicrously hot conditions inside York Hall, as the sweat glued his vest to every unbecoming crevice.
Burton-on-Trent’s Clarke – looking comparatively svelte – jabbed with authority and landed plenty of meaty right hands which had little effect on the Pole, a boxer known for both his durability and his tendency to grab hold whenever the action gets a little too tasty.
Regardless of the bout’s failure to excite, it should ultimately serve Clarke well as he moves forward with 10 rounds banked. That he did so in such uncomfortably hot conditions is another nod to the stamina he’ll need to draw from against better, more willing opposition. The referee was Mark Bates.
The best-matched fight on the card was won by Smithborough’s Aaron McKenna when he outpointed Angola’s Uisma Lima over 10 rounds at middleweight. The 23-year-old prospect was tagged a little too often, particularly in the early going, but proved too good for the previously unbeaten Lima, despite ending the bout with a badly swollen right eye.
Lima had success with his left hand, that he drilled through the middle, but McKenna’s industry made him a worthy winner. The scores at the end were 100-91 (Eddie Pappoe), 98-93 (Victor Loughlin) and 98-92 (Fabian Guggenheim) as Kevin Parker refereed.
Another who coped well inside the East End cauldron was Londoner Caroline Dubois. The Shane McGuigan-trained starlet is not nearly the finished article but could likely win a world belt tomorrow. She decked Argentina’s tough and experienced Yanina del Carmen Lescano in round five with a looping right to the head and, though made to work hard, bossed every other moment of their eight-rounder. Referee Sean McAvoy scored this one 80-71. Unsurprisingly, Dubois complained about the heat at the end. And so she should; though the claustrophobic venue is held in high regard it is nonetheless no place for fist fighting in the thick of a heatwave.
Tottenham’s Viddal Riley, who could class himself as an ‘influencer’ should he choose to, again admirably embraced the nitty gritty of this boxing business as he rematched the tough but crude Anees Taj in a cruiserweight eight-rounder. Taj, who wouldn’t have looked out of place as the villain in a 1980s James Bond movie, had given Riley plenty to think about in February before being stopped on an eye injury.
Though this return wasn’t exactly of the Ali-Frazier II variety, it was a worthwhile rematch and one that exhibited Riley’s dedication to his trade. A huge left hook sent Taj sprawling in the fourth and persuaded the Watford fighter’s corner to throw the towel. The surrender was accepted by Mr Bates at 2-36.
Brixton’s Isaac Chamberlain, furious to be left hanging around at Bournemouth without a fight a few weeks ago, looked a little disinterested for parts of his eight-round points win over Frenchman Dylan Bregeon but was still a class above. At the end, Sean McAvoy scored 78-74.
English super-welterweight champion Sam Gilley, from nearby Walthamstow, was the orchestrator of the best punch of the night when he blasted out Darlington’s Ellis Corrie in the sixth of a non-title eight. A savage left hand plunged into Corrie’s stomach before Mr Bates counted him out at 2-52.
Slough’s Hassan Azim was the evening’s quickest winner, taking just 95 seconds to dispose of Colombia’s overmatched Ruben Angulo. Winless in his previous six, Angulo never looked like breaking the trend as he went down from a right hand and was being pummelled when Mr McAvoy stepped in.
The same official scored every round to Ilford’s promising Joshua Gustave including one 10-8 tally in the sixth and final session after the Londoner decked Luxembourg-based Frenchman Remi Scholer with a left to the body. Another points winner was Salford heavyweight Roman Fury – Tyson’s brother – who outworked Belguim’s woeful Erik Nazaryan over four to get the 40-36 nod (Mr Bates). Believe it or not, the hefty loser once campaigned as a super-lightweight.
THE VERDICT – Some worthwhile tests on display but without a competitive fight this bill was something of a disappointment.