The new season has started with a bang for the fighters from the famous TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town. Besides their fighters winning all six bouts two of the young guns also secured Championship titles.
The weekend got off to a first class start, at the BoxNation broadcast Francis and George Warren’s Queensberry promotions ‘BoxAcademy’ at York Hall on Friday. First on the card was Mark Tibbs trained Super Flyweight Charlie Hoy out pointed Anwar Alfadli by a 40-37 points margin. This was followed up with a great points win for another Mark Tibbs trained young gun, when Middleweight Tom Bake secured his third win, by a 40-36 points margin over Joe Walsh.
The final TRAD TKO fighter, Johnny Eames trained Ian Bailey, came in as the clear bookies underdog in the battle for the Southern Area Featherweight title, against previously unbeaten Lewis Pettitt.
One thing that you can be sure of is that don’t ever right off a TRAD TKO fighter, especially not a battler such as young Ian.
The first four or five rounds almost certainly went the way of Pettitt but from then on it was Bailey all the way. The diminutive battler stepped up a gear, dominating the action right through to the two minute, twenty five second point of the ninth round, when referee Bob Williams stepped in to save Pettitt further punishment.
TRAD TKO supremo and if there’s any justice in this World a future Hall of Famer, Johnny Eames gave his view of the night’s performance. “Yeah, what a great weekend for the TRAD TKO gym and all it’s fighters, whether they are trained by myself, or Jimmy Tibbs, Mark Tibbs, Bryan Lawrence, Barry Smith, Alec Wilkey, Derek Grainger or Mo Hussain, they’re all out of the same camp.
What a great start to the season for us all, it all started on Friday evening at York Hall at the Queensberry show, promoted by Francis and George Warren.
A great start to the night for the TRAD TKO Gym trained fighters, with Charlie Hoy, a great win for him, looked really good in doing it, I thought he was going to stop the kid at one time, but he didn’t, instead winning it clearly on points.
Young Tom Baker was next, another great win, fantastic win, he boxed really well.
Then of course for me, the performance of the whole weekend, out of all the boys, was young Ian Bailey, who clearly wasn’t given a chance, by anybody, to beat young Lewis Pettitt.
But what we do good up here is upset the form book, and we did it again. Ian Bailey pulled his nuts out and broke Lewis Pettitt’s heart. In the end Lewis just run out of ideas, he just didn’t know what to do, other than get backed up onto the ropes.
Young Ian was like a prowling dog, for want of a better word, young Ian, he was waiting for his moment and that moment finally arrived in the ninth round and boy did he go to work. Young Lewis just didn’t have an answer, but I don’t want to take anything away from Lewis Pettitt as he put in a fantastic performance and rightly so the two boys got the extra thousand pound each for the best fight of the night.
I can’t say, I can’t put into words, how pleased I am for young Ian Bailey. He’s been all around the country, fighting all the top prospects at four of five days notice. Some of them he should have got the decision, he never did.
We don’t cry over spilt milk here, Ian just gets on with it and comes back to the gym and just carries on. He so deserves to be a champion, hopefully his career turns the corner now.
I’ve already had to very good offers for him to fight, but in my opinion it’s a little bit too soon, after a fight like that, but promoters please keep asking as Ian will fight your boys, he’ll fight anybody at Super Bantam or Featherweight, he don’t care.”
With a nice little cache of three fights, three wins, plus a Southern Area strap, the TRAD TKO crew then headed across town to Alexandra Palace where three more of their young guns were ready for action at Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport promoted ‘London Calling’ event on Saturday night.
First of the youngsters in action on Saturday was the Bryan Lawrence managed and trained rising Cruiserweight star Wadi ‘Machoman’ Camacho, against fellow unbeaten prospect Andy Ingram.
Camacho, who bears an uncanny resemblance to David Haye, showcased his fully stocked arsenal as he tore the Long Eaton based visitor to pieces, until the referee stepped in at the two minute and forty one second mark, of the second round, to save Ingram from further punishment.
Four up and two to go, the big one, with sensational Erick ‘The Eagle’ Ochieng defending his English Light Middleweight Crown, against super tough Ryan Toms.
To describe Ochieng’s performance as awesome is an understatement, Toms has a fearsome knockout reputation, yet it was the 25 year old from Stoke Newington that was busy inflicting serious damage to his opponent, so much so that the highly durable Toms challenge was bought to an end at the two minute and thirty seven second mark of the fifth round.
After this performance it is clear that ‘The Eagle’ is ready to fly to a higher level, so expect a British or Commonwealth title challenge in the very near future.
The final fight of the night see the Alec Wilkey trained Danny Connor, who like Ian Bailey the night before came in as clear underdog in his challenge to unbeaten Chris Evangelou. Just as with Bailey, Connor wasn’t fazed by his underdog status one iota.
Each time Evangelou came at him with a single of double handed attack, Connor responded with an equally vicious six, seven or eight strong flurry of punches to push his unbeaten opponent back.
After ten scintillatingly close rounds, the smart money seemed to favour a win for the Matchroom Sport house fighter Evangelou, but that was not to be as when referee Ken Curtis’ scorecard was read out, it showed a tidy 98-94 points victory in favour of Connor.
The straight talking Johnny Eames gave his view on the Saturday show, as well as the comments made by the Sky Sports’ commentary team during the broadcast of the Connor-Evangelou bout.
“Ok, we get on to Saturday night, the big, big Matchroom show with top of the bill Tony Bellew.
First up was Bryan Lawrence trained Wadi Camacho, going in against an unbeaten fighter, someone had to lose their ‘O’, it wasn’t Wadi as he done a great job, Yeah Buddy stopped him.
We then had our second title up from the gym, which was Erick ‘The Eagle’ Ochieng who was fighting Ryan Toms.
Ryan’s a proven warrior, he can punch a little bit, but Erick overcome the early pressure and pulled a win off in the fifth with a great body shot. I’m sure Ryan’s got really sore ribs this morning, I thought that was a fantastic body shot.
Finally there was our Danny Connor, who again was against an unbeaten fighter in Chris Evangelou.
There’s been a big thing being made about Evangelou and him training in Mayweather’s gym, spending loads of money training in Vegas and that.
It goes to show you that the TRAD TKO gym is better than training in Vegas. There was only one winner and that was Danny Connor. I’m not taking anything away from Chris, but in future save your dad’s money and come and train with us.
On a similar vane, what on earth were the Sky pundits watching I just haven’t got a clue, it wasn’t the fight we were watching that’s for sure.
You can’t win a round with just four or five big hooks when the other kids hitting you twelve or fourteen or fifteen times. I think the computer scoring was wrong too, on punches landed as that was showing it as pretty close as well.
For me these pundits have got to stop getting on the back of the ticket selling house fighter. To me I see the fight how it is Danny clearly won the fight. There’s talk of a rematch, well if I have anything to do with it there wont be a rematch right away as I feel Danny deserves to enjoy his title and why should he be thrown straight back into something where he is going to get robbed. Danny is the Champion and it’s his call.”
Now, I know said six out of six, plus two new titles for the TRAD TKO crew, but three and half thousand miles away, at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey another TRAD TKO associated fighter, former two time IBF Cruiserweight Champion of the World Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham made his maiden outing in the Heavyweight division, against Jason Gavern at the Kathy Duva Main Events promoted event on Saturday night.
Cunningham came through with flying colours, winning every round, to earn an almost shutout 100-90 (twice) & 99-90 points decision.
Also on the card was Cunningham’s old foe Tomasz Adamek, hopefully a rematch of their ‘2008 ‘Fight of the Year’ nominated battle may finally happen, albeit at Heavyweight.
Perhaps in the near future we could even see ‘USS’ Cunningham cruise into London, as when David Haye moved to the heavyweight division the only major belt he didn’t have in his collection was the IBF version, which was held by Cunningham. Maybe, just maybe in the near future we can finally see the greatest fight that never was – Cunningham versus Haye right here in the Capital.
As with the other fights Johnny gave his views on the Heavyweight debut of Steve Cunningham. “Rio (TRAD TKO publicist Gianluca Di Caro) terms Steve as a TRAD TKO Fighter because he’s sponsored by our sponsor through him, so we class him as one of our own.
Hopefully he’ll be coming to England soon and we’ll be really pleased to see him at the gym.
Steve Cunningham has just moved up to Heavyweight, had his first fight at the new weight, fought a geezer Jason Gavern, don’t know too much about Jason, but Steve pulled out a great win, great performance winning all ten rounds on points and looking as sharp as he did as a Cruiserweight, so congratulations Steve Cunningham and we look forward to meeting you.”
Even after such a magnificent, and rewarding, weekend the TRAD TKO crew can’t rest on their laurels as there are no less than nine of their fighters in action next weekend also.
The busy weekend starts on Friday at York Hall, where probably the best British boxer around at this time, Billy Joe Saunders defends his Commonwealth Middleweight crown for the second time, against tough unbeaten Aussie knockout artist Jarrod Fletcher.
Main support for Billy Joe comes from fellow TRAD TKO gym mate Peter McDonagh, who takes on Bradley Skeete for the vacant Southern Area Welterweight title.
It doesn’t end there as also on the Frank Warren promoted ‘Three Kings’ event are a brace of TRAD TKO unbeaten young guns – Frankie Buglioni, Billy Morgan, Gary Corcoran and Ediz Hussein.
The very next day some of the TRAD TKO crew return to York Hall, when Eddie Corcoran challenges Kris Agyei Dua for the vacant Southern Area Light Middleweight title at the Olivia Goodwin Main Events promoted ‘London’s Calling’ event.
The reason I said some is because others will be heading down to Portsmouth, where exciting Light Heavyweight prospect Joel McIntyre and new boy Tommy Watson are in action at the Jay Morris promoted ‘Punishment On The Pier’ event.
Tickets for all this weekend’s events above, plus Mitchell-Burns and other boxing events, are available on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com or in person from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA.