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Roundup: Farewell to Fergie

‘Fergie’s’ disappointment is clear as the announcement is made.

Steve Wraith’s second professional show was clouded by pull-outs but was still a very entertaining four-fight bill at the O2 Academy in Newcastle.

The show was supposed to be headed by returning Tyneside heavyweight David Ferguson, who was boxing one last time to say farewell to his loyal fans.

The opponent was changed just the day before and in stepped Gyula Bozai. However, upon arriving in Newcastle Bozai went to rest and subsequently refused to leave his hotel.

An announcement during the interval from Wraith and Ferguson confirmed that the bout would not go ahead but Steve apologised and promised ‘Fergie’ would have his farewell bout in the new year. The heavyweight was naturally left majorly disappointed.

As the old saying goes, ‘the show must go on’ though and that it certainly did. The bill was still an intriguing one that included three of the regions brightest prospects in Tommy (Taylor) Ward, Anthony ‘Babyface’ Nelson and Sunderland’s Lee Mould. The bill was now topped by the exciting local derby between Paul O’Hagan and Akash Hussein.

Steve predicted the new bill-topper would be the fight of the night prior to the show and he may well have been right as O’Hagan claimed a shock TKO victory just 96 seconds in to the opening round.

Hussein, a protegé of former world champion Glenn McCrory, is blessed with great boxing skill and, given that O’Hagan was moving over from the white-collar scene for his professional debut, Akash went in the early favourite.

Wraith described O’Hagan as a crowd pleaser before the show and he was definitely not wrong. O’Hagan immediately came forward from the opening bell and began to throw leather. Call it brave or call it stupidity, Akash decided to stand and trade instead of using his boxing skill and jab and paid very early as a big right sent him crashing to the canvas for a mandatory eight.

Upon the resume, O’Hagan rushed in and continued to put pressure on Hussein who, on unsteady legs, fell again after a tussle on the ropes. Again O’Hagan rushed in as the fight went on and when Hussein was caught on the ropes taking more heavy shots the referee jumped in and stopped it with just 1 minute and 36 seconds on the clock.

Hussein had moved up to cruiserweight for the fight but that may now seem to be a bad decision. The defeat is a second in his young five-fight career and after, he took to Facebook where he said he would take some time before making a decision on the next stage of his career.

Sunderland’s Lee Mould showed his class by continuing his unbeaten record in his third fight in the paid ranks and kept up his impressive record of never dropping a round, taking a comfortable 40-36 points win over Scotland’s Ryan McNichol.

Lee, though, was left a little disappointed because his opponent was a late change. He was due to make a step-up and fight Richard Barcley who has a winning record but unfortunately that was ruined by a late pull out.

You can only beat what’s in front of you though and Lee did that with ease as he boxed well, got on the inside, threw viciously and stepped out at the right time to avoid McNichol’s wild swings. In the end he was a little unlucky not to cause a knockdown as the Scot displayed a lot of heart to stay in there.

Mould’s stablemate Anthony Nelson (South Shields) also got a comfortable 40-36 points victory against the experienced Anwar Alfadi.

In another big learning fight for ‘Babyface’, he moved to 4-0 after another dominant display. Like Mould, Mal Gates’ trained Nelson was aggressive throughout and controlled the fight from the centre of the ring.

A few times the referee looked closely as Alfadi took punishment, but he stuck in to see out the last bell.

The opening fight of the evening featured Tommy Ward against Delroy Spencer, an experienced fighter who Nelson had beat on Steve’s first show.

As he always does, Spencer made it a hard days work for Tommy; the younger brother of English bantamweight champion Martin Ward. Tommy got the win though with a 40-36 points verdict delivered.

A small bill due to the pull outs but nonetheless another very good show from Wraith Promotions that will hopefully lead to more big shows in the future, one of which may hopefully finally feature David Ferguson.

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