By Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro
With the proposed Lee Selby vs John Simpson British and Commonwealth title clash falling through Francis and George Warren pulled out all the stops to ensure that Friday’s BoxNation televised event at the York Hall in London was up to the standard of their previous couple of events.
The brothers first elevated chief support – the Tony Conquest versus Toks Owoh Southern Area Cruiserweight Title clash – to main event and drafted in former two time Cruiserweight World Champion Enzo Maccarinelli to face Hungary’s unbeaten Georgy Marosi, in a Light Heavyweight contest, as chief support.
In hindsight the Warren boys could have saved a little money, they didn’t need to pay out more money for a pair of big names, as the undercard was nothing short of top class, and any of the bouts could easily have been designated chief support and the paying public would have been just as happy.
On the same subject I could quite easily start with the opening fight of the night, which was a cracking Heavyweight bout between Tom Little and Hastings Rasani, but I wont, I’ll start with the main event of the evening – Tony ‘The Conqueror’ Conquest versus Toks Owoh.
There was no doubt that both protagonists took this regional title tilt seriously, both looked the part and more importantly both were well prepared for a ten round war, as that’s what we got.
Right from the off both went for it hammer and tongs, no sizing the other up or pacing themselves. Owoh set out his stall by utilising his excellent jab but Conquest was more than ready for that and used superb movement to avoid before countering with stiff jabs or body shots of his own. It was a fairly close round but I scored it in favour of Conquest as he was a little more active and landed the more meaningful shots.
The highly experienced Owoh was a little more savvy in the second stanza and started to mix it up a bit more, letting rip with big shots to the head and body. However the younger Conquest was just too fast for the veteran and often landed his volleys first. By mid round Conquest had really settled in, at a fast pace, and started to control things with relative ease.
Conquest was in a groove and in the third started to showcase his full arsenal of punches, tight uppercuts and scything hooks on the inside and big left-rights from every conceivable angle when at range.
Round four was a barnstorming slugfest, both warriors just stood toe-to-toe and let rip. Even though working on the inside should have suited Owoh better it was Conquest’s speed that was still the telling factor. Before Owoh could let off any telling shots Conquest would fire off a salvo of wickedly fast sharp rights to the body, forcing Owoh to take a step back before countering. Each time Owoh threw a shot Conquest had already countered with two or three heavier shots back.
More of the same in the middle rounds with Conquest piling on the pressure and beating Owoh to the punch virtually every time.
By the start of the eighth Owoh was clearly down on points and needing a knockout. However the pace that Conquest had set was causing the former World Super Middleweight star big problem, Owoh started to look dejected and covered up more and more, to no avail as Conquest kept up the relentless assault and was getting way too much success.
Things got worse for Owoh in the ninth, Conquest stepped it up another gear and plain broke down Owoh’s guard with a relentless double handed assault. Conquest was on fire and looked to get his first championship belt by way of a stoppage finish. Throughout the round the Romford man just backed up Owoh and let rip with every conceivable punch, to which Owoh barely replied. Referee Ken Curtis started to take a close look at Owoh to ensure that he could still defend himself, Owoh was clearly aware of Curtis’ presence as each time he got close Owoh would let rip with a half hearted flurry. Early in the final minute Conquest landed a massive uppercut, that sent Owoh’s gum shield skittering across the canvas. Owoh looked relieved as Curtis stopped the action to retrieve the errant piece of plastic and took advantage of the short break to get his breath back.
With strict instruction from his corner Conquest slowed the pace in the final round and worked on the outside. However Owoh was still unable to gain any advantage as Conquest still easily outworked , out-punched and plain-outclassed the former star for the whole three minutes to be rightly crowned the BBBofC Southern Area Cruiserweight Champion and earn a title showdown with British Champion Leon ‘Solid’ Williams on January 13th.
For the record, referee Ken Curtis who scored it 100-91 in favour of Conquest.
Preceding the main event see Southampton’s undefeated Light Welter Matty Tew against Crawley’s ‘Rockin’ Robin Deakin.
Now if Tew and his army of supporters thought that this was going to be a walk in the park they were going to be mightily disappointed. Deakin always comes to fight and boy oh boy did he turn it on last night for the TV cameras.
The first round was a pretty close, after the initial ‘sussing out’ period Deakin obviously felt confident enough to take it to the Southampton man. There was some excellent exchanges throughout with Deakin doing most of the play making and forcing Tew play off the jab or counter. The round could have gone either way to be honest but I gave it to Tew, as even though he threw a lot less punches than Deakin, they were by far the more telling.
As I said the first round was close, but the second was even closer still. Again it was Deakin setting the pace and outworking Tew, on the other hand Tew landed the better shots, just not enough in my book to secure the round and as such I marked it down as a draw.
More of the same in the third, with Deakin controlling centre ring to force Tew on to the back foot. As in the previous rounds Deakin was by far the busiest and throwing a lot more shots that Tew, but it was Tew that landed the meaningful shots. Personally I scored this round in favour of Deakin as again Tew didn’t do enough to secure the round, or in this case even earn a draw.
As before the final round was a storming all action affair with Deakin taking the fight to Tew, who must have been aware it was going to be close on points as he stepped up the work rate. Deakin is as savvy as they come and used every trick in the book to keep Tew tied up, Tew on the other hand wasn’t prepared to allow Deakin to get too much success this round and started to utilise his jab and combinations more to easily secure the final round.
There was no surprise when referee Ken Curtis raised Tew’s hand aloft, but when MC Mike Goodall announced the score as 40-36, in favour of Tew, I was more than a little surprised, as well as disappointed for Deakin who had made this fight what it was – a cracker.
The highly anticipated return of former WBU/WBO Cruiserweight World Champion Enzo Maccarinelli, making his first appearance in the Light Heavy division, preceded Tew-Deakin.
Maccarinelli’s opponent, Budapest’s Gyorgy Marosi, came to the UK with an unbeaten record, if he thought he had any chance of returning to Hungary with it intact that was soon dispelled at the weigh in. Maccarinelli stands 6’4” and Marosi, who is listed on BoxRec as 5’11 1/2”, considerably shorter at around 5’9” at best.
No surprise than that Maccarinelli dominated the early going with solid jabbing, about the best the much shorter Marosi could do was launch himself and let rip with big overhand rights, trouble is Maccarinelli barely had to move to get out the way and pick off the off balance Hungarian.
About midway through the round Big Mac landed a wicked left hook that sent Marosi stumbling back onto the ropes, Maccarinelli instantly crashed a big overhand right to the Hungarian’s forehead. Before Big Mac could fire off another shot referee stepped in and stopped the fight on the one minute and thirty one second mark.
Maccarinelli got the first win under his belt at Light Heavy and in doing so showed the viewing public that he still has the big punches in his arsenal.
Whilst Big Mac stopping Marosi wouldn’t come as much surprise to most, the smart money would never have been on young Frank Buglioni, on only his second pro outing, doing the same to former Southern Area Champ, and awkward southpaw, Paul Morby.
Right from the off the Mark Tibbs trained, at the TRAD TKO Gym in Canning Town, youngster took control with clinical solid jabs, often followed up with double handed flurries of shots. Barely had the fight got underway before one such assault sent Morby back to the ropes, and moments later to the canvas for the first time.
Morby got to his feet as referee Ken Curtis completed the count. Buglioni took full advantage of the clearly still dazed and confused state of the Portsmouth man and started another full on double handed assault, that sends Morby back to the canvas.
As Morby rises his legs have clearly gone, Curtis is quick to notice this and instantly waves off the fight at the two minute ad thirty seven second mark.
Buglioni is definitely one to watch, it was one thing stopping the highly erratic Sabie Monteith, but to stop Morby in just one round is something else altogether. The problem Francis and George Warren are going to now have is who do you match him up with, it’s hard to revert to journeymen after such a meaningful win, which means that Buglioni is going to have to be fast tracked against better and better opposition.
I spoke with young Frankie at the end of the evening and put this to him, his response was “I don’t want to take a step back after tonight, I want even tougher competition.”
Prior to Buglioni’s sensational victory over Morby his TRAD TKO gym mate Billy Morgan was in action, against Marc Callaghan.
Morgan performance was equally sensational as gym mate’s Buglioni’s, albeit in a a very different way.
Right from the off Morgan was clearly a class and half above Callaghan. The youngster was in total control from start to finish and showcased his fully stocked arsenal with aplomb.
The effectiveness of his work soon see copious amounts of blood leaking from a deep cut on Callaghan’s forehead, which was caused by a succession of big overhand rights.
Referee Jeff Hinds took a long hard look at the cut at the end of the first and decided it wasn’t too serious and the bout was allowed to continue.
As in the first Morgan dominated the proceedings and put on one helluva boxing display to easily secure each and every round, as was reflected by Hinds’ 40-36 score.
It really was a superb victory for the Jimmy and Mark Tibbs trained fighter. Last night the Canning Town youngster showed Francis and George Warren that it’s time for him to step up from four rounders, don’t be surprised to see him in a six rounder on his next outing.
The opening fight of the night see former World Champ Graham Earl’s heavyweight discovery Tom Little make his second pro outing, against the highly experienced Hastings Rasani.
24 year Little showed little respect for his seasoned opponent and just plain went all out for a knockout from the start. Each time Rasani came in range Little let rip with a big right.
Rasani’s been in with the best so used his experience to keep Little at bay as much as possible, but Little was bursting with youthful exuberance and would constantly push forward, which caused Rasani to rethink his game plan.
Rasani started to stand his ground and trade but the big lad from Hatfield proved to be just too big and strong and as such easily dominated each and every round on his way to a shutout 40-36 points victory.
As I said at the beginning Francis and George Warren had put together a really strong card that even after losing the Selby-Simpson title fight proved to be yet another top class night of boxing by their fledgling Queensberry Promotions organisation.
Roll on their next show and more importantly after watching Tony Conquest’s performance last night I for one can’t wait for the 13th January when he gets to face Leon Williams. Mind you can’t see him dominating that one as much as he did against Toks Owoh, especially as Williams is a big punching fighter who likes to walk his opponents down – oh and Williams knocked Conquest out in just 45 seconds when they last met.