I love live boxing, you can’t beat than the atmosphere inside the Arena on a Saturday night fight night, especially with so many Brummies on the card.
Right, now I am no boxing expert here so don’t judge me if I get something wrong (or for the occasional girly commentary) but after attending the last Matchroom Boxing’s last event at Barclaycard Arena Birmingham back in May, I am actually really getting into the sport. And was revved up to attend the #BattleOfBrum fight night last Saturday.
The night was filled with energy, from both the crowd and the boxers, and despite some late changes and swopsies the matchcard was looking strong. The night started early (5:30 for those dedicated ones of us who were there from the beginning) with each fight bringing it's own entertainment to the table and the crowd getting behind our local lads.
Dan Breeze outpointed Chris Jenkinson over 4-rounds
Michael Rooney outpointed Liam Richards over 6-rounds
Cori Gibbs outpointed Fonz Alexander over 4-rounds
Zach Parker won after Samet Hyuseinov retired in the 3rd round.
Craig Cunningham outpointed Adam Jones over 6-rounds
Jordon Cooke outpointed Chris Adaway over 4-rounds
Karl Wiggins stopped Rob Hunt in round 2.
Gamal Yafai outpointed Nasibu Ramadhani over 10 rounds
Matthew Macklin vs. Jason Welborn. The two Midlanders went head to head for the vacant WBC International super-welterweight belt in a highly competitive and entertaining 10-round bout. The crowd was well and truly split for this one making the atmosphere even more intense. Macklin (the only boxer who turned up to the press conference in a shirt which earned him some girl points) used his experience to stay out of trouble despite Welborn putting him under pressure and very much setting the pace of the fight. Going the full distance, Mack the knife was triumphant after the judges scored the bout a close 96-94, 96-94, 97-93.
Our Brummie super flyweight Kal Yafai was talking the talk well before Saturday night; saying he wanted to win with a KO, and although this didn’t quite happen he was certainly walking the walk (nice choice with the black and gold sparkly shorts there mate) for the vacant British title. Jason Cunningham was not without support with much of the crowd travelling down to see him, but unfortunately for him Yafai dominated throughout, despite the height disadvantage. That said the they went the full 12 rounds with Cunningham holding out till the end, Yafai winning on points 119-108, 120-107, 120-107. His brother Gamal Yafai (in equally spangly shorts) also beat his opponent earlier on the night to continue rising up the paid ranks.
Now the big one, Sam Eggington vs. Dale Evans – Evans being brought in only 10 days earlier after Frankie Gavin pulled out with injury. Eggington fans were out in force to watch him retain his British and Commonwealth titles in this 12-round, unanimous points victory over his old foe Evans - who previously beat him in Prizefighter. However I have one main problem with Sam Eggington… his chant! “OOhh Sammy Sammy, Sammy Sammy Sammy Sammy Eggington” has been stuck in my head since and it’s blumin’ annoying, but I guess that’s kind of the point at least he’s memorable.
Early on it looked like Evans was taking control, with a knock down from a straight right in the 2nd round which clearly shook his opponent, but Eggington bounced back. The last round was a fitting finale to an electric night of sport, with tension high and both men standing firm in this gritty headline fight. Evans stunned Eggington momentarily with an aggressive combination, but didn’t have the energy to exploit it and Eggington quickly countered, eventually coming out victorious in a fight far harder than people had anticipated. Evans’ performance was strong throughout, just not quite strong enough, with Eggington’s punching being cleaner and more accurate overall which reflected the final scores - 117-110, 117-110, 116-110.
I love live boxing, you can’t beat than the atmosphere inside the Arena on a Saturday night fight night, especially with so many Brummies on the card. Well done lads, you did us proud!
Whether you’re a boxing fanatic or just a fan of the Rocky films I’d really recommend popping down to a show, it’s always a night to remember.