Ultimate Boxxer made an explosive return to London on Friday nights as the Super-Welterweights came to town.
From hugely established amateurs in Steven Donnelly to 2-0 Ish O’Connor who stepped in as a replacement a few days before fight night, the tournament was full of characters who each had their part to play.
7 fights all of which thrilled the London crowd, half of which were there for a cameo appearance from the Albanian sensation Florian Marku.
Lenny Fuller vs Kingsley Egbunike
In what was truly a ‘blink and you’ll miss it fight, two tournament favorites went up against each other in the first tournament fight of the evening.
Adding to the excitement, Fuller, and Egbunike who were both putting their undefeated records on the line going into the tournament didn’t have to wait long to find out who was going to lose their 0.
Not wanting to waste any time, Fuller went after Egbunike from the off, dropping his opponent within a few seconds.
Not giving, Egbunike any time to recover, Fuller pounced on Egbunike whilst he was still hurt, giving the Referee no option but to interview a mere 34 seconds into the contest.
Joshua Ejakpovi vs Kaan Hawes
The only two fighters who had previously faced defeat as a professional, locked horn in the quarter-finals.
Dominant and clearly a level above, Ejakpovi dropped Hawes in both the 1st & 2nd round, hitting the 33-year-old at free will in-between.
Hawes who has competed in Ultimate Boxxer previously, did well to survive the 3 rounds but perhaps should have been pulled out by his corner due to the limited chance that he had to advance in the tournament as the 2nd quarterfinal continued.
Sean Robinson vs Lewis Syrett
In one of the stand-out performances of the night, Robinson defeated one of the tournament favorites in Lewis Syrett in a clinical Boxing display.
In what was a much more technical fight compared to the previous quarter-finals, Robinson was awarded every round by all 3 judges, beating Syrett to the punch on a regular basis.
Steven Donnelly vs Ish O’Connor
Coming in at very short notice, O’Connor who made his professional debut in March put on a brave performance against the well-established Steven Donnelly who was fighting in London for the first time in the pro ranks.
Suffering 3 knockdowns in the 1st round, the Northern Irishman proved to be too much for O’Connor who was unable to beat the count on the final knockdown.
Lenny Fuller vs Joshua Ejakpovi
After both enjoying dominant performances in the previous round, both Fuller & Ejakpovi looked full of confidence as the 1st semi-final began.
In an interesting bout in which there was a massive difference in height, age and professional experience Fuller came out on top, scoring a controversial knockdown along the way despite lacking in all of the above compared to Ejakpovi.
Whilst using a lot of grit without sapping too away too much energy for the final round of the competition, Fuller came through in impressive fashion, putting his name forward for the last stage of the competition.
Sean Donnelly vs Sean Robinson
In a contender for the most competitive fight of the night, Donnelly & Robinson both showcased their technical ability throughout the 3 rounds.
In what was an incredibly close first two rounds, Donnelly pulled through in the final round of the contest perhaps with a mixture of amateur experience and having a bit more left in the tank after breezing through O’Connor earlier in the night.
Despite not making it to the final, Robinson who is still only 23 and a former Southern Area titleholder at Super-Welterweight, has plenty to return to later this year.
In what was perhaps an anti-climax to a fantastic Ultimate Boxxer, Sean Donnelly showed his invaluable amateur experience against Fuller who was looking tired from the 1st round.
Looking even more desperate in the 2nd round, Donnelly took advantage of Fuller who was throwing a lot of punches and failing to connect.
Donnelly began to throw hard power shots with a high success rate, causing Fuller to stumble and fail to box with the success that he had done in a fresher state.
Forcing Ian John Lewis to intervene midway through the 2nd round, Donnelly celebrated an achievement that may rank fairly high on his list of achievements in Boxing so far.
Having turned professional fairly late, Donnelly may have earned a fast track ticket to titles in the pro ranks if anything of past winners of this thrilling Boxing knockout tournament is anything to go by.
Middleweight prospect Linus Udofia moves to 14-0, expects to fight for a title in 2019
Middleweight prospect Linus Udofia stayed busy in a 4 rounder early in the evening, recording the 14th victory of his professional career with ease.
Udofia who usually fights at York Hall under the Goodwin banner didn’t look to be out of his comfort zone at any point during the 4 rounds and was awarded every round on the scorecard to prove it.
Speaking to ESBR afterward, Udofia felt assured that he was going to fight for a title before the year is out