University of Sheffield 17 v 10 Sheffield Hallam
Sheffield Hallam claimed victory in the inaugural boxing Varsity competition following a dramatic evening at the Octagon centre.
Hallam’s Ricki Webster won the vital point in the final bout of the evening to ensure Hallam won the competition 2-1.
The night featured ten bouts in total, with the final three being Uni v Hallam battles. The first of these fights saw Vivek Mandeep Saudh of University taking on Mark Greenwood from Hallam.
Greenwood started in fast and furious form, attacking Saudh with a succession of blows. The Hallam man never looked back, taking the bout with a unanimous decision from the judges.
With the atmosphere at the Octagon building nicely, Richard Schenk (Uni) and Shay McCarthy (Hallam) took to the ring.
This bout was much closer, with Schenk marginally edging the first and second rounds. McCarthy came out fighting in the final round, landing some strong left hooks.
However, Schenk’s earlier work ensured victory by a majority decision meaning that the event went down to a deciding fight.
Sam Gunter of University faced Hallam’s Ricki Webster amid a raucous atmosphere. Both fighters were caught up in the occasion and the first round had a very high intensity.
Gunter began aggressively, launching a tirade of left and right jabs at the body and face of Webster. The Hallam fighter seemed to lack the energy of his opponent and Gunter looked in a strong position.
However, as the fight wore on, the frantic opening began to show as both fighters tired. The fight became much less aesthetically pleasing with both men showing fatigue.
Webster gradually dragged himself back into the fight and edged the second round following some good counter punching.
Gunter came into the final round full of aggression, but his sustained attacks had less impact than the first round. The referee repeatedly spoke to Gunter who found himself hanging on to Webster.
Despite a bloodied nose, Webster did land some good blows and a strong right was cheered by the Hallam contingent.
It appeared a very close fight, however the judges read it as a unanimous decision to Webster, much to the bemusement of the Uni fans.
Victory for Webster ensured Hallam took Boxing Varsity, however the event doesn’t count towards the overall standings.
In an earlier bout, the Octagon crowd were on their feet as Ruben Alves secured a first round knockout on Gulfraz Khan. A huge combination of punches was enough to send Khan to the deck.
Speaking about his feat, Alves said: “The fight went very well. I’ve trained hard for it and knew I had it in me to produce.
“I stopped my first ever opponent so knew I had the capability to do it.”
There was also a win for University Journalism student Danny Armstrong who defeated Josh Morgan.
Armstrong won via a majority decision following a relatively even fight. Speaking after his success Armstrong said:
“I think I won it in the first two rounds, it became a war in the last one so it was won in the first two.
“I had trouble training as I started too early and peaked too soon, although I did feel good in the ring. Now I look forward to the English Championships in May.”
Former University of Sheffield student Jordan Davies was also in action, losing by a majority decision to local fighter James Linley.