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  • Deepak Lal

BcB Promotions The Rising

Matt Hall vs Stewart

Davies 'Rhino' won the opening stanza with ease as he used his jab well and switched the attack from body to head with ease. Matt Hall had done pretty well to hold the centre of the ring and corner his opponent several times, but lost the round by fighting off the ropes regularly. In the second, Davies adopted much smoother tactics and adapted to his opponents' style by boxing well on the back foot and landing the cleaner and heavier punches! He threw a blistering four punch combo in the middle of the round and easily outscored his opponent, by throwing much more effective punches throughout. Stewart 'Rhino' Davies picked up where he left off in the third with a great three punch combination, but allowed Matt Hall to come back into the fight momentarily. Rhino finished the round the stronger man and seemed to be getting into his groove as the contest wore on. In the final round Matt Hall came out like a true warrior, knowing he was being outboxed and that he needed the knockout. He used his jab well and landed a few sharp straight lefts. He took a fair few punches just to land his own, as Davies kept on using his footwork and movement to his advantage, remaining elusive to his opponent. It was a grueling 4th round with both men giving their all and going toe to toe with each other till the final bell. Despite giving it everything in the final round and having a fair bit of success in the fight; Matt Hall lost to Stewart 'Rhino' Davies in a thrilling opening contest. Judges decision 39-37.

Danny Little vs Mussab Abubaker

The third bout of the night was a rather eventful one. With debutante Mussab Abubaker bringing an extremely racious and rowdy crowd with him from Small Heath. Things are on the up for Abubaker nicknamed 'Baker' as he has just opened a dessert shop, but the businessman had other things on his mind this evening with veteran Danny Little in the opposing corner and not a scrumptious tasty little dessert! Little boasted a 43 fight record, so many would've expected Baker to have his work cut out, but he bossed the contest with ease. His raw power and aggression showed, after entering the ring to a classic song 'Hail Mary' by legendary rapper Tupac Shakur. He used his jab and boxing skills really well, but what was much more impressive was his footwork and the use of his legs to get him in and out or range. Baker seemed to be putting everything into every punch and scored well with some powerful shots, Little's only answer were a few scoring jabs in a feeble attempt to keep his opponent at bay. Whoever said being the home fighter wasn't an advantage, would be proven wrong tonight as the crowd were pro-Baker, singing along and roaring on their fighter with every punch thrown and even during the intervals. He was so dominant, the opening round could be scored 10-8. The second round was more of the same as his footwork was just as impressive and there was non-stop relentlessness action from Baker and with no sign of tiring, the crowd chanted 'break him' and the scene resembled a gladiator going in for the kill against his prey. Abubaker obliged launching a flurry of punches knocking down and brutally dropping Little, with the crowd expecting a quick finish, Little came back with a few big rights and decided to hold to see out the remainder of the round. In the third round, Abubaker was finally tiring, this is what Little must have been banking on and he used his experience to come back well and win the round. Both fighters traded leather furiously and in the fourth unfortunately for Little, Abubabker gained a second wind. He changed his tactics, began to use some good head movement as advised by his corner and he stuck to his slick, smooth boxing skills as Little now became the aggressor, but he began to miss and swing wildly in desperation. Danny Little knowing he needed the stoppage and went looking for it, but it was too little too late as Mussab Abubaker cruised to victory in smooth style, with a 39-37 points decision.

Russ Henshaw vs Matt Sen The second fight of the night bought us two heavy hitters in the Cruiserweight division, with local Birmingham boy Matt Sen taking on the experienced and durable Russ Henshaw. Russ had previously been in the ring with the likes of Olympian Lawrence Okolie and Southern Area Champion Isaac Chamberlain. With Sen taking a huge step up in class, he had to remain focused and switched on throughout the contest and he was. The first round was fairly cagey with both fighters feeling each other out and not taking too many risks early on. Sen used his jab well and a couple of straight one twos rocked the head of Henshaw back. Sen unloaded with a great four punch combination whilst trapped on the ropes. As the round was coming to an end, Henshaw came alive, he had been using his lengthy jab well to keep his opponent at bay and he started to come alive towards the end of the round. It was a really difficult round to score and it could have been argued that the round was a 10-10, but with the volume of punches thrown by Sen and the more eye catching work, he may just have clinched the opener with a higher work rate. Matt Sen began the second dictating the pace he landed some great scoring jabs and some good single body shots. Sen really began to open up with some really good work, roughing Henshaw up and breaking him down systematically with some great 3 and 4 punch combinations and some heavy shots, with Henshaw rarely replying, just attempting to avoid the big bombs. You could really see that Sen has been coached by Peter Christie as the typical Christie style was vivid to see here as Sen flawlessly switched attack from head to body, then back to head again. Sen was beating Henshaw to the punch every time. The third round was pretty much a repeat of the second with Henshaw only replying with single shots. In the final round both men gave everything with Sen landing various 4-6 punch combinations and Henshaw using the jab well and exploding with a furious flurry with his opponent on the ropes. Rus Henshaw knew this was his final chance missing wildly with a couple of left-hooks, had they had landed it could of been a different story, but it was more in desperation than hope. Sen too had tested the jaw of Henshaw early on and knew it was a long nights work. Both fighters embraced in a gentlemanly manner at the end and when the scorecards were read out they were slightly generous to Henshaw with the judges scoring the bout 39-38 in favour of Matt Sen.

This is a fight that both boxers will learn from with Sen gaining invaluable experience and Henshaw realising that if he ups his work rate the result may have been different. It was a great old fashioned heavyweight dust up and warmed things up nicely for the next bout.

Dilly Singh vs Jiri Svacina

Dilly Singh of Coventry boasted a slick 6-0 record with all of his wins coming via knockout. His next fight was a tough test, but he cruised to victory winning every round with ease against his Czech opponent. He used his jab well in the opener as his opponent too did just to stay out of range. It was a cagey opening round with neither man willing to take a risk. In the second Dilly was being conservative with his punches and punch selection, possibly conserving energy for the later rounds. In the third round Dilly sporting orange shorts with the Sikh symbol, the Khanda, smelled blood early on as three stiff jabs and a huge right landed knocking his opponent onto the ropes. Svacina replied with his own left hand which seemed to momentarily hurt Dilly as both boxers were beginning to open up. The fourth and fifth rounds were just as action packed as the crowd jeered Jiri Svacina as he ended up on the floor but it was rightly ruled a slip. Both fighters traded left hooks in the fifth, but with neither folding, they headed into the fifth. In the closing round, Dilly looked for the stoppage, with his Coventry support cheering him on, but his opponent used all of his experience and journeyman tricks to keep Dilly at bay and out of trouble himself. The Coventry man won every round 60-54 and will hope for a tougher test in his next fight as his much taller opponent was awkward and difficult to hit at times.

Liam Conroy vs Chris Hobbs

English Light-Heavyweight Championship Top of the bill was an enthralling encounter for the English Light-Heavyweight Championship, as Chris Hobbs challenged Liam Conroy, this fight had been rescheduled so both fighters were looking to take their frustrations out on each other. Hobbs from Southampton came out to Rocky-style music and the fight was looking to become a Rocky moment as he bossed the opening rounds with relative ease. He used his jab well and his boxing skills were rather sublime as he boxed very smoothly. Conroy too enjoyed some early success in the exchanges early on. During the interval, the Hobbs camp were really unhappy about the use of the elbow from Conroy and they made this clear to legendary local referee Terry O'Connor. There wasn't much to report for the second round as Hobbs continued to have the better work rate and punch output, with Conroy failing to match that. In the third round Hobbs used the jab beautifully and began to put together some nice combinations and was looking like the champ and not the challenger. The fight became scrappy once again with Terry O'Connor giving both fighters a telling off with Conroy hitting on the break, albeit accidentally. The fight was at risk of becoming a scrappy affair, but then came a huge turning point as a clash of heads caused a cut above the left eye of Chris Hobbs, with blood seeping down his eye, impairing his vision in the process. It was clearly troubling him and it was the beginning of a few frustrating rounds. Conroy knew this was his opportunity, as Hobbs was clearly losing his composure which saw him cruise early on in the opening few rounds. He landed a great 1,2 and produced some great work to the body of Conroy, but as Hobbs allowed the cut to effect his boxing Conroy took advantage by landing some great left hooks at the end of the round. In the fifth, the champion Conroy was really beginning to come into his own, as Hobbs tried to use his jab, with Conroy slipping them and landing to the body of Hobbs. The lack of accuracy of Hobbs' output had to be down to the cut as earlier on he could not miss, despite his corner doing an amazing job on that horrid cut. Conroy seemed to be getting stronger in this round as Hobbs was again at risk of losing his temperament and composure. In the sixth, the fight was fought at a frantic pace, with both fighters showing huge amount of heart and great conditioning as they had fought non-stop from the opening bell, with neither man taking his foot off the gas. Hobbs returned to the fighter from a few rounds earlier boxing clever, using his ring iq and setting up some great combinations with the use of a good stiff jab. Hobbs had picked up his work rate, but Conroy enjoyed some success also, roughing his man up on the inside. The referee had to warn both fighters again, telling Conroy he would take a point off if the elbow is used again. Hobbs was once again in danger of losing his temperament as he began complaining to the referee, rightly so, once again unhappy with the conduct of the champion. Once again once Hobbs began to box clever, he enjoyed some success, but the better and more consistent work was coming from the champion as he landed some great left hooks to the body of his bruised foe. Hobbs kept on squinting and was ducking also, which may not have helped the cut as when he came up the heads would come together. The contest once again showed its' ugly side as Hobbs was hurt by a big right hand with Liam Conroy unloading a barrage of punches on his opponent and then shoving Hobbs to the floor and in turn landing a low blow on Hobbs. Conroy was once again showing his championship experience and began to land to the body of Hobbs at will, with the intentions to slow him down, as he himself was becoming stronger down the stretch. With Hobbs knowing he had lost the last two rounds, he was off his stool early and ready to fight and was deterred once again early on as Conroy was once again warned of the use of his elbow. Hobbs was once again lowering his head and coming up, whether this was a tactic or due to tiredness I am unsure but it was costing him. Conroy began boxing beautifully and he looked a totally different fighter from the first half of the fight as he was hurting his opponent at will to both head and body. He was hurting Hobbs regularly to the body and had him on the ropes sensing blood Conroy went for him dropping his opponent. As Hobbs got up, he bravely chose to stand and trade with Conroy instead of running, he went down once more and it was clearly evident to see that he had unfortunately dislocated his shoulder. The towel compassionately came in from his corner who had seen their fighter take enough punishment in the later rounds. The contest was halted and at an official time of 2 minutes 55 seconds, Chris Hobbs was deemed unable to continue by the official.

Liam Conroy would have learnt a lot from his 1st English title defense and will where he needs to improve and that he may need to start a bit quicker in future fights as Hobbs was allowed to get into his groove early on. On the plus side he really showed his strength and power in the later rounds as he really began to become comfortable within the bout. Two judges had him ahead and one down at the time of the stoppage; had Hobbs not have been cut or injured later on, the story could've been totally different, so Conroy knows what aspects of his game he needs to improve. For Chris Hobbs it was an unfortunate night and everything seemed to go wrong for him, from the clash of heads leading to a cut, to the elbows to dislocation his left arm/shoulder. He announced his retirement and thanked his family and friends for their support, as he would like a break from boxing and would like to spend quality time with his partner and young children.

For Chris Hobbs it was an unfortunate night and everything seemed to go wrong for him, from the clash of heads leading to a cut, to the elbows to dislocation his left arm/shoulder. He announced his retirement and thanked his family and friends for their support, as he would like a break from boxing and would like to spend quality time with his partner and young children.

We at Birmingham Boxing Column wish him all the best, but at the age of 30 and seeing him perform so heroically and bravely as he had tonight, we would love to see him back in the ring at some point, but we respect his decision as the injuries he received during the bout are serious and he has more than earned a lay off as training can take its toll on the best of us.

Thank you for reading and we hope to see you on the page again at some point. Deepak Lal

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