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Onder Ozgul vs Darryl Sharp

by Adam Thorn

Hellraiser’s unbeaten super middleweight Onder Ozgul was in action last night on the Dovebox Promotions show at York Hall. Ozgul was disappointed last time out, having to settle for a draw against late replacement Tyan Booth in May. The awkward and experienced Booth frustrated Ozgul on the night, and he was keen to get out again quickly and back to winning ways. In the away corner was Darryl Sharp, the current Central Area middleweight champion. That belt was not up for grabs in this four rounder, for obvious reasons.

Southpaw Sharp was slightly the taller man, but Onder went to work quickly in the opening round, bobbing and ducking under the lead right of his opponent and backing him into the blue corner. Letting his hands go in close, Ozgul rained hooks and uppercuts at the tight guard of Sharp. Just as the defence weakened, the referee stepped into break the men up, warning Ozgul about use of the head.

The man from Turkey by way of Hackney is a stocky, powerful fighter, and inside fighting is what he does best, it did not bode well that he may be prevented from playing to his strengths. However, undeterred, Ozgul continued to hunt Sharp through the round, finding his way in and letting his hands go enough times to surely have taken it on points.

The second round saw much of the same, although this time some hooks to Sharp’s body found their target. The man from Lancashire smiled and waved Ozgul in for more, now opting to keep his right hand low. Onder obliged. Sharp did have more success in round two, simply by way of throwing more punches. However it was hard to make a case for him to have won it.

Sharp did get trapped in the corner on a few occasions in the third stanza, but although Onder let fly, it seemed as if the bulk were landing on his foe's arms and gloves. Tiring punches to take, but unlikely to end the fight early in a four rounder. Sharp may have lost eighteen times prior to this fight, but he had never been stopped, it is easy to see why. Unfazed, Ozgul relentlessly pursued him around the ring, energetically determined. Looking to land the fight changing blow. Occasionally a southpaw left hand would come down the pipe at him on his way in, but none found their target cleanly.

Apparently content to smile and wave Ozgul in, then tuck up rather than engage with him, Sharp continued the tactic in the final three minutes. Onder’s workrate was unquestionable, but the same tight guard meant the points were stacking up in his favour as the likelihood of a stoppage diminished.

The stoppage did not come, but the referee scored all four rounds in Ozgul’s favour, and he moves to 11-0-1 (4). Sharp now stands at 5-19 (0). Ozgul will be pleased to get the win, and to have performed well, and should be looking forward to bigger fights towards the end of the year. Promoter and manager Mickey Helliet confirmed this and said of the fight, “That was the best I’ve ever seen Onder box, he looked very sharp. We’re going to be looking for titles in the near future.”

Posted: 24th Jul 2017

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