It's taken a bit longer than anticipated to feature part two of our World's Collide review, but with all the work going on behind the scenes with the post event promo, working on the TV show and starting the planning for the league's next event Quest For Glory which takes place on Saturday September 22nd at the Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey its been a little bit hectic to say the least, but here it is
Featuring in bout number eight, Chatham's Danny Shannon and Manchester's James Higgy squared off in an eliminator for the league's vacant English Middleweight strap, and both boxers were looking to make a big impression on the division after building up solid reputations outside of the league's ranks. Shannon fighting out of the Knuckles gym was entering the contest with an unblemished record after recording nine straight wins and was looking to take his victories into double figures, whilst the experienced Higgy who had fought at a much higher level was looking to end Shannon's hopes of a title shot and relieve him of his unbeaten status.
Over the course of the four round contest Shannon looked very sharp working off the back foot for the majority of the bout catching the advancing Higgy with some fast bursts of punches and then moving out of range, and it was Shannon's footwork that really caught the eye as he continually frustrated Higgy with his elusiveness. Higgy made the fight competitive throughout the bout and was constantly pressing the action and was catching Shannon with some classy shots, but as the final bell sounded it looked as if Shannon had done more than enough to take the verdict. As MC John Atkins read the results it was Shannon who was celebrating after taking the decision by way of a majority draw.
Serving up a classic in bout number nine, Belvedere's Chris Jones and St Alban's Roger Smith went to war in a fantastic Super Middleweight clash that had the arena on the edge of their seats. Jones was making his second appearance in the league in quick succession after recording and impressive debut performance back in April when he systematically took apart the more experienced Josh Lamb, and debutant Smith was filling in as a late replacement after Jones's original opponent Andy Greenbank withdrew citing personal issues.
From the opening bell of the bout it was clear that Jones possessed the greater technical skills as he looked calm and composed as he picked off the advancing Smith and looked comfortable doing so. Smith who trains out of the St Alban's boxing club looked strong in the second round and started to turn things around landing some powerful looking right hands to the body and head of Jones that clearly got the Belvedere mans attention. Instead of electing to get back to his boxing and using his skills, Jones decided he would stand and trade with Smith which was a mistake as it gave the St Alban's man a target to land his long right hands which were his best shots of the contest, and in the last round Jones's nose was bloodied by one of those shots. In the end it was clear that Jones had done enough to take the spoils by unanimous decision, but Smith can take heart from his performance and looks a good edition to the division.
It was exciting while it lasted is one way to describe the Middleweight encounter between debutants Adam Somers and Andy Thompson as fight number 10 on the card ended abrubptly in the opening round when Somers corner retired their man just as referee Seamus Dunne was about to jump in and stop proceedings. From the start Thompson looked impressive as he worked well to both the head and body of his opponent, and Somers looked slightly shellshocked as he came under attacked from the a determined Thompson. The end came midway through the opener as Somers was caught on the temple with a powerful right hand over the stop that sent him reeling backwards into his own corner in some trouble, and Somers trainer Dave Walker waived it off saving his charge from any further harm. In a division that is stacked with talent Thomspon can look forward to far tougher nights when he returns to action later on in the year.
In bout eleven novice Super Middleweight prospect Roo Abbott had to contend with a last minute change of opponent and a damaged shoulder has he came through his contest with Norfolks Josh Lamb to record his third league victory. Abbott was returning to action after a career best performance last time out when he ended the unbeaten run of Oxfords Karl Williams, and with his original opponent Mark Porter contracting a viral infection just a few day's before the fight Abbott was forced to take on the vastly more experienced Lamb who had mixed at far higher level.
Over the course of the three rounds it was Abbotts superior hand speed and movement that was the deciding factor as he managed to outwork a rather laboured Lamb, but the bout was not without its drama as Abbott had to deal with a shoulder injury sustained in the opener and shifted a huge right hook at the end of the second that clearly shook him. With Abbott now looking for tougher challenges and the league's novice Super Middleweight title still vacant, Abbott could see himself moving into title contention later in the year.
In an emotional return to the league Mitcham's Tony Chaplin ended his extended break from the sport with a hard fought points victory over teak tough local rival Lawrence Lofts in a cracking Light Middleweight encounter. Lofts who had been campaigning in the division above had provided the league's fans with one of the most exciting fights in the shows history back in November when he lost out to former British Middleweight champion Lewis Pinto in an incredible contest, and he provided Chaplin with his hardest nights work to date in a fight that was shrouded in sadness after the tragic death of Lofts former opponent Pinto who was also close friends with Chaplin.
Over the course of the contest it was clear that Chaplin was the more technically gifted of the two protagonists as he showed some real flashes of class catching the advancing Lofts with some sharp combinations that drew the appreciation of those at ringside, but he was made to work throughout the bout as the punches that were landing seemed to have little effect on Lofts as they bounced off his head and body as he continued to march forward pushing Chaplin onto the back foot for much of the fight. As the contest came to a close and the final seconds ticked away the general concensus was that Chaplin looked to have edged things in another gripping display of action, and this was confirmed when Chaplin was handed the win by unanimous decision maintaining his unbeaten record. After the contest Chaplin confirmed that he would be now moving down to the league's Welterweight division in a move that could net him a shot at the league's English Welterweight belt on the September show.
In the co main event of the evening, two weight Queensbury British champion Gareth Gardner sent out a chilling warning to any potential suitors to his crown after he retained his Queensbury British Middleweight championship status after administering a brutal lesson in the art of agression after destroying title challenger Viktor Voros during four and a half rounds of frenetic action. Since entering the league's ranks back in November Gardner a former England international amateur has looked unstoppable, and he was at his ruthless best systematcally taking apart the Croydon based Hungarian to record his most impressive win in the league to date.
From the opening seconds of the fight Gardner leapt into action as the pair got straight down to work exchanging blows with relentless regularity, and it was hard to see how the pair would be able to sustain that pace over the course of the contest. Both boxers had their success but it was Gardner that looked the boss as he continued to walk down Voros giving him little time to breathe.
As the fight moved into rounds two and three it was apparent that the early pace had taken its toll on the challenger as he looked visably tired, and as he started to take some damaging shots over the top from the champion the distress signs were clear to see as he started to look at his corner as if to say get me out of here. During the break between rounds three and four Voros's corner team were clearly trying to motivate their man as they shouted at him to get back out there and produce something to deter Gardner from his constant attacks, but to those watching the drama unfold Voros looked a spent force and was ready to be taken out.
As the contest moved into the fifth and final round Voros's confidence and ambition had been clearly punched out of him in the previous rounds and under the barrage of another Gardner assault referee Seamus Dunne moved in quickly to end the contest handing the delighted champion another emphatic win. With Gardner now looking for bigger challenges and the hope of a title shot in the division below, there are some mouthwatering potential showdowns with the league's Light Middleweight elite.