UEA’s Boxing Club were victorious in the sport’s return to the Derby Day schedule. With the team that won the best of three bouts being awarded the point, UEA won the first and last fight to successfully mark the first time that the sport has featured in Derby Day for several years. The first fight was relatively one-sided. The UEA boxer utilised his longer reach and superior technique to keep the opposing fighter at bay. He dominated the opening stages and while his opponent enjoyed a stronger second round, and came back to control the fight again in the third and final round.
At the end of the bout, there was little doubt as to whose arm would be raised aloft to signal the winner. It was a little unexpected, however, that victory was a split decision rather than a unanimous decision as one judge awarded victory to the Essex boxer. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was Essex’s judge who was alone in that opinion, while the UEA and impartial judge both saw UEA as the rightful winner.
The second bout of the contest was over in little under 30 seconds. The Essex fighter came out all guns blazing and forced his UEA opponent into the corner before knocking him to the floor with a superb right-hook to the jaw. The UEA fighter received a standing eight-count, but was cleared to continue by the referee after he picked himself up and stood upright on the canvas. With the fighter still reeling from the initial knockdown, the Essex man took full advantage to put his opponent on the ground for the second time just seconds later. The only difference was that this time, the UEA man was not getting up. The referee stopped the fight and Essex claimed victory by way of knockout to level the overall score at 1-1. The last man up for UEA was Billy Kensit. The 64kg fighter was drafted in at the last minute for a 69kg contest after the original fight was cancelled, which meant that the UEA southpaw was forced to step up in weights for the bout. Nevertheless, Kensit began on the front foot, sending his opponent crashing to the floor early on as both fighters traded damaging head shots. The UEA fighter then survived a late onslaught to narrowly claim the first round in front of a partisan LCR crowd. The second was a far more even affair with both fighters engaged in a pure scrap that compelled the raucous crowd. The pair were engaged in a large degree of holding as both fighters tired, with Kensit getting in one or two good shots towards the end of the round to influence the judges’ decision.
The final round was fought on pure adrenaline, with both fighters visibly drained from an exhausting sporting contest.
Very few punches landed on their intended target, but again Kensit whipped the crowd into a frenzy with an admirable display of guts, strength and raw nerve to eventually claim the fight on a split points decision.
It meant that UEA won the contest 2-1 across the three fights, although the real winner was the success of the sport itself which attracted a huge audience to the din of the LCR which provided an ample backdrop, as UEA geared up for a night of partying following yet another resounding Derby Day success.