Narvaez Topples Cook to Become International Masters Champ, Mulberry Beats Carruthers in a Bloody Thriller, Elden and Valencia Draw as Mannix stops Burns on Pro Debut
Ringside Report: Gianluca Di Caro – Photographs courtesy of Shane Leach Photography
Fans of the Pugilistic Arts turned out in force at the stunning Princes Theatre in Clacton-on-Sea on Saturday for a full day of Amateur and Professional boxing promoted by World Boxing Foundation (WBF) European and International Champion Tommy ‘Sweet T’ Jacobs and his Essex Boxing Organisation (EBO).
The event began bright and early as the day’s schedule featured no less than twenty two contests sanctioned by the Amateur Boxing Alliance (ABA) featuring both junior and senior contests, once the ABA sanctioned events were completed there were a further nine contests sanctioned by the Essex Boxing Organisation (EBO), which were followed by five Professional contests sanctioned by the British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA).
Co-headlining the professional element were two Championship contests, the first pitted Clacton-on-Sea’s reigning International Masters Bronze Champion Ben Cook against late replacement Nicaragua’s Pablo Narvaez, whilst Hove’s Navid Iran challenged Spain based Mexican Ismael Molina Moreno for the vacant World Boxing Foundation (WBF) European Light Heavyweight Championship.
The opening fight of the night pitted Colchester’s Calvin Carruthers against Basildon’s Lewis Mulberry.
There’s no love lost between the two protagonists, as anyone that had seen the barbed exchanges prior to fight night on social media would attest to. So no surprise that when the opening bell rang both fighters went straight on the attack, the opening foray was a wild toe-to-toe slugfest that lasted a good fifteen seconds or so, after which both lads settled down and put on a fantastic display of boxing for the fans.
Mulberry secured the first three rounds in style, however the Basildon teen received a huge scare late on in the fourth, following a nasty clash of heads open up a huge gash above his left eye, the cut was definitely of a serious nature, but as there was only around thirty seconds of the contest left Referee Lee Murtagh allowed the contest to reach it’s natural conclusion.
After four all action rounds the aforementioned Referee Lee Murtagh scored the contest 40-35 in favour of the bloodied Lewis Mulberry.
Next up see Ipswich Super Middleweight Rob Elden in action against Mexico’s Fernando Valencia in a four rounder.
Another cracking fight, albeit a more technical contest than the all action Carruthers vs Mulberry, Elden took control of the fight early utilising his jab to great effect, Valencia is a thinking fighter though and by the end of the second round had sussed out a plan B to help him get back on level terms before taking control of the second half of the fight, so much so that when referee Lee Murtagh’s scorecard was read out it revealed the contest was a draw (38-38).
The third pro fight of the night see Clacton-on-Sea’s Light Heavyweight Shaun Mannix making his pro debut, against Belfast’s Darren Burns.
Mannix, who looks like a younger version of Dolph Lundgren when he starred as Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, couldn’t have made a better debut if he tried, the Clacton youngster took control virtually from the opening bell, Burns is as savvy as they come and worked hard behind a good solid jab to keep the ever forward moving Mannix at arms length for much of the first minute or so, however Mannix is no mug and soon found the angles to burst through Burns’ solid defence, so much so that with just seconds of the round remaining Mannix landed a massive body-shot to send Burns to the canvas. The Belfast man tried to raise to his feet in time but alas was unsuccessful. Time of stoppage 2 Minutes and 54 Seconds of the first round.
The penultimate fight of the night was the first of the Championship contests ,which featured defending International Masters Bronze Champion Clacton-on-Sea’s Ben Cook against late replacement Pablo Narvaez from Nicaragua, following original opponent Joseafat Reyes having to pull out due to illness.
Cook and Narvaez had faced each other previously, on that occasion Cook won the contest by a single point, and many in attendance expected a similar type of fight and result, including myself, however we were wrong.
Narvaez took control of the contest virtually from the opening bell, aggressively taking the fight to Cook, the local lad attempted to give as good as he got, but Narvaez was in a grove and no matter what Cook tried, in his attempt to get the upper hand, the Nicaraguan had an answer.
Don’t get me wrong it was a truly competitive contest, with a number of rounds being so close that they couldn’t be split, points wise, but after eight cracking rounds of boxing Referee Lee Murtagh’s scorecard rightfully read 79-75 in favour of the challenger and New International Masters Bronze Super Bantamweight Champion Pablo Narvaez.
The final pro contest of the night featured Hove Light Heavyweight Navid Iran campaigning for the vacant World Boxing Foundation (WBF) European crown against Spain based Mexican Ismael Molina Moreno.
Right from the opening bell Iran used his superior height and reach advantage to maximum effect, going in hard and fast letting rip with big lefts and rights.
Moreno, just like most Mexican fighters, appeared fearless as he maneuvered his way through the onslaught to land equally vicious power shots.
Much of the same for the first couple of rounds, with both fighters giving their all for every second, however in the final seconds of the third stanza Iran backed Moreno towards the ropes before letting rip with a pinpoint perfect body-shot to send the tough Mexican to the canvas.
Moreno was struggling to catch his breath and only seemed to be recovering enough to raise to his feet when referee Lee Murtagh’s count reached its conclusion before he could actually make it to his feet. The official time of the stoppage was two minutes and fifty two seconds of the third round.
Have to say it was a great event, terrific fights in front of a highly enthusiastic audience, normally I would say it’s such a shame that only those in attendance got to see them, however boxing fans in the UK will soon be able to watch the fights as they will be delayed broadcast by Sports Channel Network – Channel 266 on Freeview and YouView and on-line at www.sportschannelnetwork.co.uk – Broadcast date will be announced later in the week.