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  • Deepak Lal

Jingle al the Way BcB

Jingle All The Way

Black country boxing held one of there Christmas boxing dinner shows at Bescot stadium (Walsall fc) the Birmingham Boxing Column's correspondent Deepak was their to report on the show.

Ball Wins Emphatically On Debut

Rachel Ball vs Claudia Ferenczi

Boxing debutant Rachel Ball won emphatically on her professional boxing debut in Walsall.

The Aldridge lady, bossed the fight against her veteran Slovakian opponent and easily won every round. Entering the ring in her black and gold robe, roared on by her local support, her huge height and reach advantages were evident from the opening bell as she repeatedly used her spearing jab to set up neat combinations consisting of hooks and uppercuts. Her opponent holding excessively to catch a break, proving she was unable to keep up with the pace.The second round was more of the same as Rachel began to step it up, seeming a lot more relaxed, her bunches were landing a lot more and there was a lot of spite in her punches, with Ferenczi's face marking up and reddening. The gulf in class was evident as Ball went on to rock her opponent with a

flashy combination following up with a great uppercut; Ferenczi was not deterred though, as she continued to goad her opponent by calling her on! Despite no knockdown being recorded, there was a case to score the round 10-8 in favour of Ball as she was so dominant. Ferenczi a veteran of over 80 fights was surprisingly first to rise off her stool for the third, but to no avail as Ball was back to work, picking up where she left off in the previous round. Ball began finding her feet and was really getting into her groove, using flashy 3/4 punch combinations ignoring her opponent's journey woman spoiling tactics. Ball displayed a lot of controlled aggression and blistering hand-speed, as she landed at will; her change in tactics showed that she had listened to her corner and made in fight adjustments. This was great to see, as it is common for a lot of boxers to ignore their corners advice.The fourth and final round was action packed as Rachel Ball was clearly looking to finish with a bang! She went head-hunting landing a huge left-hook and many other combinations. Her opponent decided to ditch holding and thought it would be safer to run as she got on her bike, but Ball soon caught up with her. An unbelievable site ensued with the majority of the crowd on their feet, Ball looking for the finish, both fighters decided to stand and trade in the centre of the

ring, with everyone roaring them on, the referee had to physically separate the two.It was a great fight to watch, Ball dealt well with her tricky opponent and will know what to expect in future bouts as she was being held very often. Had there been an extra round or two, I've no hesitation that Ball would've got the stoppage, but it wasn't to be and was a great learning fight for her. Despite being her boxing debut, it is no secret that Ball has experience fighting in this kind of an atmosphere and level of opponent as she has had 24 kickboxing bouts and is a 3 time world champion. In my opinion if she was thrown into a world title bout tomorrow I think she would give a great account of herself and could quiet possibly win, but I am sure her and her team have a route to the top planned out.

Andy Harris vs Les Byfield

Les Byfield scraped a razor thin decision against the aggressive Andy Harris. The Super-Featherweight from Netherton, Dudley had to put in quiet a shift against the rough, rugged Harris who came to win.In a cagey opening round, both fighters cancelled each other out, rarely throwing many punches, but using great footwork and good feints. Very few punches landed, with both men, chasing thin air. This was an extremely tough round to score, there was a case for it to be scored 10-10.In the second and third rounds Les Byfield attempted to force the pace of the fight by upping his work rate, but once again, due to the good head movement by Harris, Byfield was punching thin air, occasionally landing an eye-catching shot. Andy Harris was clearly boxing out of his skin and better than most had expected, as he was the clear aggressor as he kept on coming forward. Harris, knowing the judges may prefer Byfield's more eye catching slippery work began the fourth by really roughing his opponent up, landing shot after shot. Both men getting desperate, not wanting to leave it down to the judges, just stood and traded at the end of the round centre of the ring, forcing the referee to step in. Byfield, knowing the fight may be slipping away, began to increase his work rate, still boxing on the back-foot, but landing some eye-catching shots, including a crunching body shot. The shorter man, Harris, still seemed to be producing the cleaner and slightly better work. The sixth and final stanza, began with the over-eager Harris forgetting his gum-shield, had it not been for the referee's intervention. Both men gave it their all in the final round, with blood being splattered across the canvas and both boxers being cut. Both boxers celebrated at the end of the fight, and the judges scored the bout 59-57 in favour of the Dudley man (Byfield), possibly preferring the cleaner more eye catching work, and stylish footwork over the rugged, aggressive, come-forward style of Andy Harris.

Alex Florence vs Ibrar Riaz

The opening contest of the night was a highly entertaining one, which saw Alex 'Pinky' Florence win every round against Reading's Ibrar Riaz. The 40-37 scorecard in favour of Pinky, however doesn't tell the whole story as he had to dig deep and use his superior boxing skills to overcome a tough, durable opponent.The better work in the opening round came from Florence, as he bossed the round with his jab alone. The better combinations and hooks were coming from Pinky, whereas Riaz, seemed to be looking for one big, wild, swinging punch! Ibrar Riaz, clearly losing the opener on work rate alone, began to take a lot of punishment as being the shorter stockier man worked against him. The height and reach advantage began to tell as Pinky really began to enjoy himself inside the squared circle. Riaz began to use mind games against Pinky, getting up off his stool early and calling on his opponent every time he was being hit. These efforts were in vain as, Pinky failed to let the psychological games bother him and carried on with the much better variation of combinations, using almost every punch in the boxing manual! It was clear that Riaz was hoping Pinky would tire, but Riaz was just playing right into his hands.In the final round Riaz made a gallant attempt, knowing he was behind to the popular and well-supported Alex 'Pinky' Florence; but his bobbing, weaving and wild swings were countered by Pinky. Riaz still had minimal success, but still came to fight, gave it his all and truly tested Pinky's character and skill-set. Pinky was unable to produce the grandstand finish, to give his supporters a stoppage victory, but he had put on a boxing masterclass and cruised to a clear points finish winning every round

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