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Burns Night Boxing with Mayfair Sporting Club

Mayfair Sporting Club’s annual black tie Burns’ Night dinner was graced with four fights and even included a fight for the Southern Area Title. In the rather salubrious ballroom of the Sheraton Grand Hotel on London’s Park Lane, diners were treated to an opening bout featuring debutant Gelasius Taaru against Hull’s Luke Fash at super-featherweight over four threes. Fash seemed content to let the action be forced and duck and weave around the edges. Unfortunately for him around midway through to first round Taaru landed a chopping right to his ducking chin, which put him face first into the canvas. Fash did well to even get up from the shot, but was in no fit state to continue. Referee Kieran McCann waved the fight off at the ten count and the evening, and Gelasius’s career, were off to an exciting start.

Second fight of the night was Blaenavon super-welterweight Mason Jones, 2-0 (0) going into the fight, against Stourbridge’s  Kevin McCauley who stood at 11-132-10 (0). Jones had been sparring at the Mayweather gym last summer, and is from an MMA and Judo background. Promoter Mickey Helliet says he learns quickly and he showed that in this four rounder against the experienced McCauley. Jones was going to the body with his right in round one, and perhaps due to this McCauley dropped his guard a lot, inviting the younger, less experienced man in. If the dropped guard was bait, McCauley forgot to set the trap, as despite being on the back foot and pursued round the ring he wasn’t throwing enough to outscore Jones. Although McCauley was closing the distance down well, stifling Jones’s work and  preventing him from getting his bigger shots off, Mason cut the ring off very well and seemed to be cruising to a routine shutout. However, McCauley came out flying at the start of the fourth, which was to his credit, but Jones bobbed and weaved well, then responded. Jones got the decision, moving to 3-0 (0), 40-36 on the referee’s card.

The third fight of the evening was another four rounder, this time at heavyweight. Reading’s Aji Sharif started the fight at 5-4 (1) against Split, Croatia’s Tomislav Rudin who was 6-16-1 (0). Sharif was looking to continue his return to winning ways having suffered a handful of defeats over the last few years. However from the first bell he wasn’t aggressive enough and was beaten to the punch by the lighter and more mobile Croatian. The men came together in clinches and the referee had to warn them in every round, which was frustrating for the spectator. Rudin was having success with the right over the top of Sharif’s guard, which Aji neglected to fix, or attempt any head movement to avoid the shots. Although Rudin looked tired in the third, Sharif’s lack of shots and predictable straight line attack meant there was little case for giving him rounds. After four rounds the score was 40-36 in favour of the visitor Rudin.

In the final fight of the evening, and something of a boon for the spectators, Hackney’s Siar Ozgul and Kingston’s Danny Parsons fought for the vacant Southern Area super-lightweight title over ten rounds. Ozgul was unbeaten at 13-0 (3) and according to Mickey Helliet being avoided by his peers. Parsons, then 5-3 (3) had been on a good run of form and, says Helliet, who promotes both men “said yes straight away” to the fight with Siar. The man from Turkey by way of Hackney landed the cleaner shots in the first round but the men stood toe to toe from the first bell, although Siar was warned by the referee for use of the head. In the second Siar was again forcing the action but Parsons took what came his way and at the midway point pushed through Ozgul’s shots to land some meaningful ones of his own. It was an impressive display of skill and bravery that signified the theme for the fight. Although Ozgul’s punches looked and sounded more hurtful, the two men stood and traded back and forth for the following five or so rounds, particularly the fourth could have gone either way. It was excellent entertainment and got the ballroom, one imagines, more raucous than it is usually used to.

Although understandably much more tired around the midway point, all that showed was some slightly slower footwork from both men. Ozgul sent looping right hands over the top which fell like bombs on and around the left ear of Parsons who to his credit, again, took them without shaking visibly. It wasn’t until the eighth round that the fight took a slight change in tone and Siar started to move more, switch hitting and gliding around the ring. This is where Ozgul let his class show and although the relentless Parsons stalked him tirelessly it was clearly rounds going in the bank for the Hackney man. Although the fight had been close, competitive and frenetic, the feeling was that Ozgul’s work was taking the toe to toe rounds, and when he shifted his style, was pulling away. So it proved as he feinted and moved, gliding around the ring to the final bell. Referee Kieran McCann scored it 99-93 to Siar Ozgul, although both men came out of the fight with much credit.

 

Posted: 5th Apr 2017

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