Hallam enjoyed a night of dominance at the boxing as they registered an impressive 8-3 win at the Octagon.
It’s the event that gets supporters going and the one everyone looks forward to on the annual Varsity calendar.
With a full-capacity venue, under the lights, it captures the essence of the competition’s spirit and competitiveness.
2019’s installment lived up to the occasion and it was the University of Sheffield who made the first mark, with Tom Blacklock’s quick and nimble feet too much for Hallam’s Tom Colton. The second-year student gave the Black and Golds the edge early on as nerves from both fans started to really kick in.
The second bout was explosive. It looked like the Black and Gold’s Mat Burnyeat had suffered a broken nose and, despite taking jab after jab, he carried on but ultimately lost on a unanimous decision. Hallam’s Jimmy Johnson’s uppercuts were relentless.
The third round saw a TKO in the second round as Hallam nudged in front before Louis Hewitt pulled out the stops to make it 2-2 with a unanimous decision.
It was to be the Black and Gold’s last joy as Hallam won two successive bouts before the interval to take a healthy 4-2 lead. Archie Ampufu proved too powerful for Dan Hill as the Black and Gold boxer tried to take the blows but ultimately ran out of steam.
Jack Richardson then won by a unanimous decision over Ben Cook with the Hallam star quick out of the blocks and using the adrenaline of the crowd to give him that bit of a boost.
While the Black and Gold’s Matheus Talbert appeared to rile the crowd up as he walked on to Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline, he was left seething after a split decision nudged Hallam into a 5-2 lead.
A bloodied James Harris battled as hard as he could, but Briece Livsey proved too strong to handle and, on a unanimous, brought home the Varsity point with the score being 6-2 with three bouts remaining.
It meant the University of Sheffield were playing for pride, although Hallam’s James Loosemore was determined to capitalise on those in the blue corner, with Loosemore striking hard and low. The second round saw Ahmed Soussi of the Black and Golds come out with a point to prove but Uni of could have no complaints as, on another unanimous decision, Hallam extended their lead to 7-2 as their opponents drifted further out of sight.
Hallam’s lead was extended further as it became clear it really wasn’t to be the University of Sheffield’s night despite a strong opening.
In the brutal bout that followed it was clear to see why Hallam had such a successful BUCS season with the side boasting 78 points.
Savas Bulduk’s white top may have ended up a more pinky hue come the bout’s conclusion, but the Hallam boxer stood strong and edged a testing bout against Mat Wickham.
Hallam missed the chance to win their seventh bout on the trot as Regan Parker saw off the spirited challenge of Hallam’s Nick Hu Ku despite having been knocked to the floor in the second round.
It’s a night that’ll go down in Hallam’s history books as their impressive season was made that little bit more special.
Image: Juliet Cookson