Rebecca Johnson- Head of Sport
Newcastle University’s favourite student Fight Night made its return on Thursday 28 November, with a joint collaboration from NUTV, NSR and the Courier showcasing some of the finest amateur boxing around. This year was packed with jabs, sick and questionable moustaches from our pundits.
This year’s Fight Night opened with NSR’s Ollie Thomas jumping in the presenter’s seat, hosting the pre-show and keeping his pundits in check throughout the evening. After forty minutes, the lights dimmed, the music cranked up and the evening’s ringmasters, Chris Wilkinson and Louis Grantham, entered the ring to hype a packed Venue.
Fight Night 2019 opened with the first female fight of the evening between Olivia “Lights Out” Sealy and Sandra “Second To None” Murray. The stakes were high in this fight, with both girls being army cadets and coming from Newcastle and Northumbria Universities respectively. The fight saw Sealy use her 20kg weight advantage to her benefit, packing flurries of punches and really getting to Murray. Murray responded well, but left herself exposed with her guard dropping more often than not. The first blood of Fight Night went to Sealy, but Murray would have a chance to redeem herself later on in the evening.
Up next was Janis “Baltic Bomber” Anderson versus Noah Percy, both quite evenly matched in height and weight. An extremely short round saw the Baltic Bomber live up to his name, he launched straight away into Percy, clocking him with jabs and hooks to tire him out and ensure victory in the first round by a technical knockout.
After that extremely short clash, we moved onto the second female fight of the evening between Anna “Have Fear” Marie against Becci “Boozeby” Ousby. Ousby was described beforehand by her mates as being “violent”, ensuring that we were in for a cracking clash, despite Marie being the taller and heavier fighter at 82kg and 5”10 compared to Ousby’s 64kg and 5”7 stature. An incredibly evenly match saw both fighters launch into each other, both landing good jabs and a few blows to the face each. A pair that couldn’t be separated in terms of technique and skill saw the fight end up in a draw. Following on from this, the penultimate fight of the first round of bouts saw Kevon “Kevon Bruckshot” Kelly against Ed “El Chapo” Sugarman.
The final fight of the first round was George “Will Send The Paca” West versus Fergus “The Alpaca” Fishburn. Again, another very evenly matched bout with not much difference in weight or height. West provided some good technical movements, and was able to slip a few blows to Fishburn. The Alpaca was not stunned by this, and responded well throwing a few of his own punches back. Despite this, West’s ability to land bigger punches worked in his favour, and he walked away the victor.
A clash between Bethan “Knockers Out” Oates taking on Zoe “Blowey You Over” Smith opened up the second bout of fights. The opening round saw an energetic start, with Smith looking slightly more tired than Oates. However, as the fight progressed, Smith started to come into her own, being able to land more punches and find little pockets of energy, which ultimately helped her to win the fight.
Ross Parkinson and Thomas “TJ” McSherry were up next in the ring. Parkinson started well, with strong punches to McSherry, who kept his head down and his eyes on the floor, a technique he continued to show throughout the fight. A drop of technique saw both fighters in the final round just swinging at each other manically, with Thomas just managing to land a few of them. However, Parkinson just edged the victory.
The next fight saw Ryan “Sus” Spence against Jake Middleton, the latter of whom instantly won favour with Rebecca Johnson on the commentary team as he sauntered down the walkway draped in a Sunderland flag. Despite a six inch difference between the two, Middleton looked to be hurting Spence more, managing to land more body punches to Spence. A performance that worked in Middleton’s favour, with the Sunderland fan winning the bout.
The final match in the second block of fights was a sick affair to say the very least. This was a clash between to gigantic units as Golbie “the Golster” fought Hamish “the Albino Hammer” White. Golbie stood at 6” 110kg with Hamish coming in at the same height, but weighing less at 92kg. The atmosphere in Venue was electric at this point, before the fight even began commentators Tom Stone and Rebecca Johnson were drenched in alcohol thrown from the crowd. That was until they quickly realised that the liquid that they were covered in was in fact sick, not alcohol. The crowd were in fine voice as these two tanks clashed together. The pair were slowly making their way around the ring before launching into what seemed like a wrestling competition, with more embracing than punching. In fact at one point the Albino Hammer was hoisted on Golbie’s shoulders in what was almost certainly an illegal move. The match finished with Hamish snatching victory.
A controversial bout opened the third and final block of fights with Ewan “Iron Chin” Scott battling Matt “Belfast Bomber” Le Roux, both similarly matched in height and weight. Scott was hoping for victory in what was his second Fight Night experience. The opening round was packed with energy, with Scott looking the slightly more dominant fighter. Matt responded well in the second round, landing a couple more punches, but Iron Chin landed a hit, bloodying the Belfast Bomber’s nose and eventually knocking Le Roux on the ground. Controversially the Belfast Bomber walked away victorious, with Andy the referee leaning over the ropes and saying “out of my control”.
Sandra “Second To None” Murray came back for her second fight of the evening against Jessica “You Watts Mate” Watts. In Murray’s corner was her previous opponent from the opening fight, Olivia Sealy. Murray eager for a win used her lean frame to her advantage and tired the smaller Watts out. Both fighters looked exhausted by the end, with Murray winning much to the delight of her corner.
George Armstrong made his return to Fight Night a year after his opening round knockout at the hands of Charlie Bashall. In his opposing corner was Ishan “the Indian Oblivion” Aggarwal. Armstrong came in with a point to prove as the more dominant and aggressive fighter from the offset, getting him a very well-deserved win. When asked by commentator, Ben Travis, why he won this year, Armstrong attributed his success to training and “stopping smoking tabs”.
The penultimate fight of the evening saw Tom Stone’s Politics Thistle colleague Louis “Mardy” Marven enter the ring to face Matthew “Short Fuse” Hughes, with the latter having a bigger height and weight advantage over Mardy. An aggressive fight with a good set of punches being thrown saw Louis Marven walk away victorious.
Fight Night came to a close with Luke “Typhoon” Brough against Joshua “Cheesy the Camembert” Farnsworth going head to head. What an ecstatic finale this was, the Typhoon’s punches to the face were too much for Cheesy and the Camebert fell to the floor, with Andy calling the fight and Fight Night to a close for 2019.
Another year, another Fight Night done and dusted. Again, this was a hugely successful event and an incredibly enjoyable night. A huge thank you must go to NUTV for their incredible coverage and graphics throughout the evening, the punditry and commentary teams, who provided some fantastic insights and thoughts to keep viewers entertained, and to James Johnson of NSR for keeping everyone in check in his producer role.
Kevon ‘Bruckshot’ Kelly vs Ed “El Chapo’ Sugarman was a fight that lived up to the many weeks of anticipation.
Having been interviewed at a training session weeks before, we began to see both fighters were out for blood. Kelly believed he would win due to his agility and composure. Sugarman said his victory will be because his stamina and ability to take those hard hits. The interviews created a eerie tension between the two and at the weigh-ins, we saw that intensify, with aggressive grappling and fighting talk.
The Newcastle vs Northumbria fuel added to the fire, we witness a heated three rounds of constant mental and physical battle. We saw them, throwing large hooks, sometimes landing, but for the most, resorting in a grapple. The weight they threw was uncontrollable, showing us the passion, these fighters had.
Kevon’s hit and shift ability in the first and second round was a testament to his athleticism and agility. Throwing quick jabs and slipping from Sugarman’s counter emulates Kevon’s dedication to his game plan, and the secret to boxing, hit (but don’t get hit).
The build-up to this fight was mirrored in the atmosphere. The crowd all on their feet, roaring through all 3 rounds was surely a product from the suspense built from these two equally matched fighters. No one knew how this would turn out, making the anticipation almost unbearable.
Kevon took the victory. Undoubtably due to his agile head movements, and those sharp stunting jabs, tearing down Sugarman’s stamina, but essentially, getting those points from the judges. This is not why this was the fight of the night. I must give this that title, because of the sheer suspense, atmosphere and anticipation built from these two incredible showmen.
James Johnson- NSR Station Manager
Newcastle, the city home to 29 Greggs and 24 nightclubs, but on Thursday night, it was home to fourteen of the most competitive student boxing fights in the country. That’s right, last week saw the return of one of the biggest events in the student calendar, and one of the biggest showcases of Newcastle University’s Student media: Fight Night.
Throughout the evening NSR, the Courier and NUTV had ringside seats, deep in the heart of the fighting, surrounded by the anarchy of the crowd. Providing in depth coverage of the action was a team of pundits and commentators situated within the chaos that is Fight Night, guiding viewers through all of the action, from the one punch knockouts to the long and hard fought battles. As if that wasn’t enough presenters Jade Pearson and Josephine O’ Donnell were placed in the thick of the action, right in the heart of the audience, getting their perspective on the action, interviewing many a drunken fan. Together, the branches of student media worked together to provide exquisite coverage of the event, and what an event it was.
As ever the evening did not disappoint, punches were thrown, diesels were sunk, and memories were made. The atmosphere within NUSU’s Venue was nothing short of electric from start to finish. The crowd were on top form, lapping up all of the evening’s exhilarating action and, although it seemed impossible, with every punch thrown, and every treb drunk, the atmosphere got even better! In fact, much to the bouncer’s dismay, the energy of the crowd became so strong, argy bargy broke out left right and centre of the ring, often displaying boxing technique to rival that taking place in the ring.
Centre stage of the event however, were the 28 fighters who took to the ring throughout the evening, bringing every aspect of showmanship with them. We saw everything from the forever controversial football memorabilia to a colourful, and perhaps culturally appropriating kimono. However, it was the fourth fight of the evening which arguably saw the biggest personality of the night, when Ed ‘El Chapo’ Sugarman entered the arena with a frankly psychotic look in his eye, as lead commentator Tom Stone expressed ‘his eyes! The lights are on, but the man is not home’. It’s fair to say the fighter’s bravado was some of the most entertaining seen in the events history.
As always, Fight Night had it all, with dramatic knockouts and duels in the ring matched by the pandemonium behind the barriers. You can re-live all of this chaotic action by watching the live coverage on NUTVs YouTube page. Fear not if you missed our live stream this year, we’ll be doing it all over again in February and May next year.