Christmas Cracker Championship Boxing: Who Dares Wins. The Holiday Inn Birmingham on December 19th
The holiday Inn Hotel in Birmingham decided to round off a year of chills and spills by showcasing the rising stars of Midlands boxing as well as some seasoned veterans. Fans braved the biting weather on Thursday the 19th December to watch these gladiators go to war.
The action kicked off with Light Heavyweight Jody Meikle clashing with new to the game Lennox Clarke who, despite his single victory as a professional took Miekle the distance in 4 rounds. Clarke matched Miekle’s bold style with pure boxing skill.
Clarke refused to be taken in by Miekle’s low guard stance and instead used a combination of fast jabs, natural speed and polished defences to keep the more experienced boxer guessing.
In defiance of a vicious four punch combination to the face and two savage hooks to the jaw at the end of round 4 Miekle refused to surrender.
It finished with Clarke adding to his undefeated record 40-36.
Hometown favourite Craig Cunningham squared off against Staffordshire middleweight Marcus Le Doux. Le Doux was rocked late in the first after Cunningham came off the ropes to deliver a shattering backhand, which sent the 29 year old to the canvas with a bloody nose.
Cunningham built on this momentum, solidifying his lead with a shocking flurry of punches ten-seconds into the second, which sent Le Doux back to the ring floor, not to be out done Le Doux responded with a vicious salvo of punches, which broke through Cunningham’s defences and sent him tumbling. After reassessing his tactics Cunningham came back with sets of jabs and punishing body shots, which netted him the win 39-37.
The penultimate fight of the night saw undefeated lightweight Michael Rooney take on Warwickshire’s Kristian Laight. Rooney’s game plan consisted of doubling up his jab and showcasing an impenetrable defence combined with punishing hooks on the inside to claim victory 40-36.
By the end of the night fans were hungry for the main event. A ten round struggle with everything to play for, Terry Carruthers versus Jason Welborn to decide who would take home the Midlands Area belt and earn the right to face the current champion Liam Smith for the British Light Middleweight Title.
Both fighters came into the ring off of crowd pleasing victories, Carruthers dominating Scunthorpe’s Steve Spence in ten rounds to claim the Midlands Area championship back in October at Edgbaston’s Tower Ballroom, while Welborn conquered Birmingham’s Max Maxwell at the Walsall Town Hall in September.
The first bell rang and both men fought their way to centre ring with Carruthers opening with his characteristic dynamic and forceful style, peppering Welborn with jabs to the head before turning his attention downstairs. Welborn responded by battling Carruthers into the ropes with a series of ferocious combinations to end round one.
Carruthers seemed to learn from the first round, beginning the second by establishing his jab early on, sticking to Welborn and preventing him from gaining distance to respond with jabs of his own.
As a result Welborn was forced to tighten his defence toward the end of the round.
Carruthers opened round three by firing out of his corner and slamming Welborn against the ropes which he followed with four shattering head shots which were paralleled by Welborn opening up Carruthers’ defences and delivering four of his own. Carruthers then began to switch gears, working the hooks to Welborn’s ribs. While Carruthers’ gaurd looked to have loosened later in the round it allowed the champion to open up the challenger for yet more brutal body punishment.
Round Four saw Welborn begin to adapt to the furious pace and volatile style of his opponent, beginning with three solid punches to Carruther’s head in order to get inside and begin bodywork of his own. Carruther’s used the ring very effectively as well as employing his jab to find his range and leave Welborn with a diminished arsenal, despite this the Tividale pugilist threw up his defence and a mid ring exchange saw Welborn attempt to fire off a powerful set of punches. Carruthers, rather than be rattled by his opponents sudden surge of energy responded in kind although his relentless onslaught could not prevent a few choice shots from Welborn breaking through and causing a cut above the left eye.
As a result of the injury, round five saw the match slow down slightly with Carruthers preserving his energy and fighting in bursts with Welborn utilising hooks and backhands looking to increase the damage. Carruthers gloved up and prevented Welborn from landing most of his shots although it was obvious that the injured eye was beginning to take its toll.
Carruthers’ eye was tended to during the break, with the blood flow staunched for the time being but when the bell rang Welborn threw out a stinging jab, which despite a sledgehammer like overhand by Carruthers caused the fight doctor to delay the action to determine the extent of the cut.
The match continued with Carruthers clinching to prevent Welborn from capitalising on this but Welborn refocused his efforts a second time, throwing out flurries of shots targeting the injury.
Round seven saw Welborn use his jab to keep Carruthers at a distance, his sights set on a stoppage. Carruthers battled through while the crowd rallied behind him and slammed Welborn with a head body combination, which left him looking fatigued, but this did not unsettle him.
Round eight began and Welborn looked the fresher fighter, after a huge combination the fight doctor was forced to step in at the 52 second and the referee awarded Welborn the victory, guaranteeing his place in the British light middleweight title fight in the new year.
Overall EJKO promotions alongside UKO boxing ended 2013 with a bang well before any New Years eve parties were on the cards, personally I hope to see both combatants in a rematch for the Midlands Area belt soon as it is sure to be another wild night.