Call me Russ L

Brum on Brum crime

Posted in Combat Sports by Russ L on 17 March, 2009

Wayne Elcock vs Matthew Macklin wasn’t quite as hotly anticipated for me as Wayne Elcock vs Darren McDermott was (see the bits below the asterisk here), but it was still a huge fight for all local boxing fans and one I really wanted to see. Theoretically, anyway. When I found out that the tickets were £40 (thus over £45 by the time you’ve added all of the booking fee/gubbins on) I was aghast. Forty-five quid for a card at the Villa Leisure Centre meant that Hennessy Sports, so often held up as the promoters of the people, were really taking the Mick (pun not reeeally intended). I wanted to see the fight live, but could I really condone this sort of abject pricing idiocy by actually paying for it?

I was um-ing and arr-ing until I found out that Young Mutley was meant to be challenging Adnan Amar for the English welterweight title on the undercard. That sold it for me: I did still feel like I was being made a fool of to some extent, but I paid my money for a ticket.

After that, however, it was established that Adnan Amar has decided that he refuses to face Mutley in Birmingham. Bugger. Although I have respect for the bravery of every boxer who dares to step into the ring, I’ve never seen quite as emphatic a bottle-job as this.

Oh well. With a ridiculously over-priced ticket in my pocket and a feeling of bitterness in both my heart and mind, I got the necessary trains over to Aston to have a look. First thought upon arriving and sitting down: that American MC that Hennessy uses doesn’t half get on my nerves.

Things began for me (I’m not sure whether the first fight I saw was the first of the night or not; full results albeit not in order can be seen here) with a fun but messy four rounder. Quinton Hillocks o’ Dudley didn’t do his superman/Soulja Boy entrance this time around, and that surely must be the reason why he ran face-first into quite a few things that Sheffield’s straight-backed/chin-held-up type Lee Duncan probably shouldn’t have been able to hit him with. The ref’s final score of 39-38 in favour of Quinton seems right to me, although it doesn’t really reflect the fact that he came close to stopping his man in the last round.

There was a short break after this, as the televised portion of the night began. Two things of note occurred: 1) A man dressed as Elvis turned up at ringside (for some reason); and 2) Barry McGuigan cast his eyes over the crowd and stopped to scowl directly at me. I’m not going to hold it against him, though. I know he hasn’t quite been right since Amir Khan moved to Sky Sports. Just remember, Barry – it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.

Tom Glover and Chaz Symonds were up next, contesting an eight-rounder that was surprisingly entertaining given that they’re both Southerners from far away (meaning that I had no dog in the race, so to speak). I was distracted for a while in the middle due to the fact that the Elvis impersonator seemed to be being interviewed for the telly cameras over to our right (really now, whasgwaaning there?), but it was a close one – Glover was achieving more with single punches, but Symonds was landing more in combos. I forget the precise score at the end, but Glover took it by one point and that seems to reflect affairs well.

Good Ceiling Cat almighty Tyson Fury is a big fella. I mean… bloody hell. Just look at him. He’d also have the best name in boxing if it wasn’t for the aforementioned Quinton Hillocks.

I really admire the relatively brave matchmaking that Fury has had so far (certainly braver than you’d expect, at the absolute minimum). Here in his fourth professional fight he was against Lee Swaby, who may have been pulled in on short notice but it’s important not to forget that he knocked out Enzo Macarinelli at a similar stage in Big Mac’s pro career. I also think Fury is progressing fantastically well, given that he’s only a nineteen year old on his fourth pro fight – he might not be getting his weight in for the heavy one-shot punches yet, but he’s still getting rid of his opponents inside the distance. Perhaps more importantly he’s demonstrating a wide variety of punches to both the head and the body, excellent accuracy, and he’s lightning quick for his size. Then, of course, there’s the size itself. As long as he keeps getting better he’s going to be an absolute nightmare for his future opponents.

There’s always a sense of occasion about a British title fight – it just feels like a major affair. The atmosphere here was no exception (and, happily, it was good-natured all night too). I really was behind Macklin in this – I don’t dislike Elcock and I’d definitely be supporting him against anyone from further away, but I like Macklin more and also (if I’m honest) I had some lingering resentment about the McDermott result.

Whichever way up, I was expecting it to be close (I’d picked Macklin by stoppage in the last few rounds but expected him to have to ride out a few storms). Not so – Elcock was never really in it. The first round was competitive but Macklin was ahead, boxing in the sensible style he’s capable of but sometimes neglects. The second was solidly in Macklin’s favour, and Elcock couldn’t seem to land anything of note. In the third a right cross seemed to really hurt Elcock and turn his legs to jelly, leading to the ‘steam in’ style that we know and love from Matty Macklin. Wayne went down and bravely stood back up, but the ending wasn’t far away.

Suited me, as far as results go.

A couple-or-three more four-rounders followed, but I considered the train situation and headed on my way. I was probably a bit too excitable to pay proper attention anyway. I’m told that the Chris Male fight was on the telly broadcast, so I’ll see that when I get round to seeing it.

So… in the immediate British title context it looks like Darren McDermott is to take on Darren Barker next, in an eliminator. To my shame I’ve never seen Barker, but I like this – if Macca wins he gets the British title shot that he’s owed after the silly ending last time, if he loses then there’s the rematch with Elcock to settle that particular score. There’s a big local fight on the horizon, whichever way up.

Also regarding boxing from that particular night: Khan nonsense. As ever. But worse. Being sanctioned by the WBA and WBO, that fight was under American rules – to wit, a stoppage from an accidental cut will lead to a no-contest for the first four rounds, and then to the judges scorecards afterwards. They bumped heads and Barrera suffered a gusher towards the end of first round, as I’m sure anyone interested will have seen by now. It could have been stopped then, but it wasn’t. Alright, fair enough, give the legend a chance. Does it not seem slightly suspicious, though, that it was stopped in round five? The cut hadn’t got noticeably worse or better by that point, but stopping it in that round did mean that Khan would win the fight rather than it being declared a no-contest. The smell of home-cooking wafts around in the air, and it smells distasteful. What a way to treat a genuine legend of the sport like Marco Antonio Barrera.

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