Fash and Midgley steal the show

James Oddy
20/03/2016 6:27pm

Elland Road banqueting suite in Leeds provided the venue for the solid Mark Bateson and Camp Detox co-promotion on Friday night. The show featured nine, fairly even contests, ranging from domestic contenders through to debutants. 

As with the majority of the night’s boxers, Sean Hare (1-1) was fighting in front of his home city crowd and picked up his first pro victory with relative ease. The super-middleweight used good lateral footwork to manoeuvre durable Scott Hillman (0-5) around the ring, unleashing punishing shots when his opponent was backed up against the ropes.

Hare made the result somewhat academic after he knocked down Hillman with a Golovkin-like overhand right to Hillman’s temple late in the third round. Howard Foster’s scorecard of 40-35 was enthusiastically applauded after the culmination of four rounds.

The fight of the night followed, a four-round slugfest between Leeds lightweight Russ Midgley (0-7-2) and Hull’s Luke Fash (1-3-1). Midgley started quickly out of the blocks, winging in big shots. He knocked Fash down with a beautiful right counter uppercut in the first, before a cruder yet no less effective hook in the second scored a further knockdown.

But Fash, the shorter man, showed superb powers of recovery, sticking to Midgley’s chest and unleashing punishing combinations. For the final two rounds, the pair went toe-to-toe, with Fash seeming to gain the upper hand of most exchanges from a ringsider’s perspective. Foster’s scorecard of 38-38 raised some eyebrows due to Midgley’s two knockdowns, but Fash deserved something out of the fight due to his sheer guts to wear his opponent down. Hopefully, the two can meet again further down the line and their embrace at the fight’s conclusion was warmly received by the audience.

Halifax police boxing club product, middleweight Jack Sellers (2-0), produced an impressive display against tough Mancunian Daryl Sharp (1-2). Sellers, now part of Danny Thornton’s Camp Detox stable, picked up a 39-37 win using an impressive array of shots, particularly to the body. It was noticeable said shots were taking their toll on the extremely tough Sharp in the fourth and final round.

York’s Paul ‘Flash’ Gorden (1-0-1) picked up his first pro win after thoroughly outworking game Aaron Robinson (0-11). Gorden looked in superb shape at super-middleweight and was well supported as he dominated Robinson, backing him up into the ropes and unleashing flurries. A score of 40-36 reflected his control and poise over four.

Underrated home fighter Adil Anwar (22-5) was given little opportunity to showcase his skills with a one-round victory over Poland’s Sylwester Walczak (4-21-2). Anwar looked much too good for the visitor, landing some big shots and leaving Walczak on shaky legs. At the culmination of the round, the fight was waived off due to injured left shoulder. It looked to be coming anyway.

Debutant hometown cruiserweight Scott Aitken (1-0) was given a tougher time than first appeared in his fight against Curtis Gargano (0-13-1). Aitken dominated the opening two rounds, Gargano happy to shell up and absorb shots. However, following a warning from referee Darren Sarginson, presumably for not throwing, Gargano suddenly displayed some real aggression.

It’s to Aitken’s credit that he quickly made the required adjustments as Gargano now bulled him into the ropes, throwing wild haymakers. Howard Foster’s scorecard of 39-37 for the Leeds fighter was spot on. 

Mark Bateson trained Bradfordian Bobby McGhie (1-0) and Liam Wright (0-5) engaged in an entraining tussle. The pace of the super-welterweights over four was commendable - they simply didn’t stop throwing. Whilst McGhie rightly triumphed 39-37 due to his more precise work, Wright deserves some praise for his tireless effort.

The biggest name on the card was former British middleweight title challenger Damon Jones (14-1) against Simone Lucas (8-29-5). Lucas, with his jittery style and solid dig, is better than his record suggests, but Jones won with relative ease.

The pair had already met in 2013, in a fight that had to be abandoned due to crowed trouble, with Jones having scored a knockdown before it was declared a no contest. Perhaps because of that, Lucas was fairly hesitant for most of the contest. The naturally counter-punching Jones had to force the pace for the majority of it, but his southpaw jab and footwork when Lucas did launch the occasional raid carried the day. Towards the end of the final round Jones unleashed a barrage of unanswered hooks with Lucas in the corner, but had to settle for a 60-54 points victory.

The final fight of the night was another entertaining scrap, ‘Hurricane’ Hamed Ghaz (6-0) living up to his billing by starting at 100mph against Pal Olah (1-1). The Hungarian ate some huge hooks and uppercuts in the first round, but stood firm, and had some success countering Ghaz. 

As the fight wore on, the pace slowed somewhat, and Olah did land some solid shots. But Ghaz was generally much too slick to be in any real trouble and triumphed clearly on the cards.