Fight Night 2: Return of the Ring

Return to the ring through this article and read about the drama that unfolded.

Mitchell Hall
13th December 2021
Image credit: Castor Chan
Fight Night returns with its second event in as many weeks, featuring 11 fights across a variety of weight classes and levels of experience. The night featured stoppages, razor thin decisions and all out brawls, with live coverage, commentary and punditry broadcast on NUTV and available to re-watch now on YouTube.

The event opened with a bang as two of the heavier competitors clashed in the first fight of the evening. Joel Dormenyo and Jonathan Parr set the tone for aggression early on, rushing each other with fists and clinches, at times threatening to pull each other to the ground as they crashed into each other. A scrappy but thoroughly entertaining beginning, Dormenyo in the blue gloves forced a comfortable decision win from the judges.

The pace did not slow down after that, Blue claiming another two wins in the form of a decision for Matty Wright after dominating Harrison Wilman for all three rounds, and the night's first stoppage as Finn Sheenan dropped opponent Phil Sharkey with a right hand in the second for the TKO victory.

The first women’s fight of the event between Meg ‘the Menace’ and Rosie 'the Boozed and Bruised' Baxter proved to be a relentless war, both sides swinging and landing consistently across the three rounds, with Meg landing the cleaner and harder shots despite her 12kg weight and 5-inch height disadvantage. Ultimately the decision reflected that, the blue corner taking their fourth consecutive victory of the night as the first intermission rolled in.

The blue corner taking their fourth consecutive victory of the night as the first intermission rolled in.

The break did not cause any loss of momentum, however, with the faceoff between Samuel Cochrane and Nam Chau being one of the most explosive of the night. A first-round stoppage in favour of Chau followed his dismantling of his opponent’s guard, and relentless punishment that Cochrane could not keep up with.

The next three fights were all similar, brutal battles of attrition that may have lacked variety but did not lack in intensity. Rahul Binov and Ben Chapman, perhaps the most reserved of all the nights action, was a measured and closely contested fight of which Chapman eventually was granted by the referees. Finn Mawer, who has been interviewed by The Courier's sports sub-ed Castor Chan, and Adam Georghiou followed this up with an equally even yet more energetic contest which saw both men constantly moving forward and throwing, including a pseudo-knockdown against Georghiou, even if gravity and his own balance had more responsibility for it than his opponent. Henry Payne vs Sonny Wade rounded off this cluster with another slugfest, each fighter landing some heavy shots that echoed around the venue, but neither managing to force a stoppage. Payne took the decision, but both men gave their fair share to the fight.

The second women’s fight of the night between Abbie "Do Not Hesi-" Tait and Lottie “the Lunatic” was a mismatch from the start, Tait virtually chasing her opponent around the ring before the stoppage in the first, preceding a welcome show of sportsmanship between the two after the bell.

The fight serves as a reminder that participating in such an event is no small feat, and the actual situation of facing down someone who wants to dismantle you for three rounds is entirely different once you are in the ring.

This did not put a hold on the proceedings of course, and the next fight, featuring Archie Frank and the returning Kevon Kelly, was probably the best display of boxing technique of the evening. The confident Kelly returns two weeks after his emphatic knockout victory at the last event, but had much more of a challenge against the lightning-fast Archie Frank. Over three intense rounds, Frank proved too fast for Kelly, nipping in for a few strikes over Kelly’s guard before darting back away from the counter. Kelly lost his footing and ended up on the floor in the first, and was forced into a brief standing count in the second, combining for a surprisingly comfortable win for Frank.

The final fight of the day included Jack Punkett and Leo Barber, with Punkett appearing the more confident from early in the first right through the fight. A standing count against Barber foreshadowed the inevitable, with him capitulating in the third to end the night’s competition.

Image credit: Castor Chan

Regardless of result on the evening, every fighter put their whole into their performance, and can go home with heads held high. The atmosphere throughout was electric no matter who was fighting, and the next event in the new year promises to be more of the same high octane entertainment.

Men’s Fight of the Night: Archie Frank vs Kevon Kelly

The best display of skill of the evening, this head-to-head was tense throughout, the atmosphere held its breath between constant exchanges as the two measured each other up and grew into the bout. It may have lacked a stoppage, but it did not lack in engagement. I hope to see Frank return and perhaps produce a spectacular finish at a future event.

Women’s Fight of the Night: Meg ‘The Menace’ vs Rosie Baxter

As easy as this decision has been made by the unceremonious end to the other women’s fight on the day, this matchup is entirely deserving of its recognition on its own. This was a brutal battle, and was one of the night's most entertaining in all of its scrappy, relentless glory. Both fighters gave every bit of themselves in this one and can be proud of their respective performances. A special mention to the winner here who fought past the considerable physical discrepancy between them to claim a worthy victory.

Boxer of the Night: Finn Sheenan

Representing the Newcastle Uni Ski Society, Sheenan proved his ability as a boxer with a developed variety of strikes, slipping his opponents guard by employing a judicious mix of uppercuts, jabs and overhands. The shot that eventually dropped his opponent was a vicious right, and that punch alone would have placed him in contention for this spot. An honourable mention to Nam ‘DK’ Chau who assaulted his counterpart with a barrage of blows for an early stoppage.

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