Hellraiser Boxing - Report of the three fights on the Mayfair Sporting Club dinner show at London's Savoy Hotel last week by Adam Thorn.
Hellraiser Boxing News | Hellraiser Super Welters Continue Their March Towards Title Shots
Report of the three fights on the Mayfair Sporting Club dinner show at London's Savoy Hotel last week by Adam Thorn.

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Hellraiser Super Welters Continue Their March Towards Title Shots

by Adam Thorn

Report from the Mayfair Sporting Club Savoy Hotel Dinner Show

Two Hellraiser super welterweights got wins on the Mayfair Sporting Club Savoy Hotel dinner show last Thursday, 23rd November. “Hollywood” Josh Ejakpovi and Konrad Stempkowski both fought four rounders in front of a smartly dressed, well fed crowd in the plush surroundings of the hotel ballroom. Also on the bill was an intriguing clash between the shortest professional boxer in the United Kingdom, Reiss “Showy” Taylor, who was looking for a first win, and Anwar Alfadli a seventy eight fight veteran.

The main event saw Hollywood Josh Ejakpovi, bidding to stretch his pro record to nine fights unbeaten, against something of an unknown quantity in Scott James. James was making his pro debut, but comes from a background in the unlicensed ranks where he had success, and a few stoppages to his name, too. The first round was tentative, with James holding his guard high, wary of southpaw Josh's left coming at him. Josh took the back foot, happy to have a look and dance away, or move his head when James came in for him, which he did with confidence.

James very much had the air of a man who had come to win, but began to realise midway through the second round that he was going to have to bob and weave his way in, as his direct forays into Hollywood's territory simply left him swiping at air. Josh threw lead lefts which a number of times caught James off guard, and when he adjusted, Josh simply mixed it to the body, too. When he was able, Scott showed good strength to tie Josh up on the inside and unload from there, but more frequently relied on rushing in. This approach simply required a deft swivel from Ejakpovi, often at the same time as a straight left, to render the attack fruitless.

In the third Scott had more luck in the clinches, landing to Josh's body and with uppercuts, but the home fighter remained unfazed, and it was taking its toll on James's stamina. The approach also made for a more ugly round than the first two, but it was a style which favoured the rugged work of James rather than the stylish movement of Josh. A much closer round, and a approach which Josh has not had to overcome too much in his career thus far.

The fourth and final round saw James, now visibly tired, hunting a little less fluidly than in previous stanzas. In contrast Josh stepped it up a gear or so, going back to his movement and using fast hands to upset Scott's vision as he came at him. Scott had put a shift in which was showing, as was the experience Hollywood has in the pros. Despite James's best efforts he couldn't land cleanly enough, although he should take credit for landing more than any of the other three to face Josh this year have. Scott began to swing more and more wildly at the still energetic Ejakpovi, who bounced around the ring until the final bell, still having success with a lead backhand left.

Referee Chas Coakley scored it 39-37 in favour of Hollywood Josh, which paid testament to the success Scott James had, particularly in round three, but Ejakpovi never looked in trouble despite eating more leather than he would like. It was a good test to see out 2017. James, 0-1 (0), can take heart from a good performance on his debut, and will be a good test for whoever he fights on this showing. Josh, 9-0 (2), no doubt is looking up the rankings and keen to be let loose on this domestically tantalising 154 pound division.

Also wanting to makes some waves at super welterweight in 2018 is Konrad Stempkowski. He contested another four rounder against Danny “Lethal” Little, 5-37-2 (0), who was fresh off a win over the awkward Paul Cummings. Stempkowski was the aggressor for most of the twelve minutes, walking in confidently, trying to unpick the close guard of Little. Konrad is building up quite the repertoire of feints, no doubt from his time spent in the gym with Asinia Byfield, and they suit him well. He switched his stance very briefly, either going square on or port side, to mix the jab up and work his way in, then took aim at the body with hooks.

Little did occasionally take the front foot, but not with the conviction needed to take any rounds away from Stempkowski, who seemed comfortable under any pressure Little applied, and either retaliated or ducked the shots. Konrad started to sit down on his shots more in rounds three and four, but the tight guard went u[p again and Danny's defence rappelled the blows. Mr Coakley scored it 40-36 in favour of Stempkowski, who with a 7-0 (0) ledger joins Hollywood Josh in the bracket of super welterweights clamouring for that ultimate fistic fashion accessory in 2018: a belt.

The first bout of the evening featured Birmingham's Reiss “Showy” Taylor in only his second professional fight, taking on the much more seasoned Anwar Alfadli, 2-72-5 (0). Showy's debut in the pro ranks was last month on Hellraiser Boxing's Maelstrom show; a points loss in a brutal fight with fellow debutante Kaisy Khademi. That bout left the York Hall canvas crimson for the rest of the evening, but this was a less malevolent affair as southpaw showy tried to slide beneath the jab of Alfadli and unload lefts over the top.

Briefly in the first Alfadli rocked back under the weight of a shot, staggering away into a corner, Taylor followed him in doggedly, but Anwar toughed it out. It was a close fight, and Showy's height is paradoxically both an asset and an impediment. On one hand, Taylor's opponents have to adjust to what is an unorthodox style, on the other, it is realistically the only style Showy can use- to get on the inside and cause trouble- because to try and sit back on the jab would not work for long one suspects. Fortunately Showy, 1-1 (0), is adept at cocking the left back like a spring, and waiting to counter with it. He scored well enough here to take a deserved close decision 39-38.

Posted: 30th Nov 2017

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