University gets one over Town

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Gown 8 – 4 Town There was little room for free speech at the union on Monday night, in fact there was little room at all. The compressed nature of the seating allowed for a steamy atmosphere, added to by the exertions of the boxers. What was witnessed was not mindless aggression, as some mindless people have boxing, but a highly skilful and measured sport where uncontrolled rage would lead to defeat. The University side often looked less built than their opponents yet often won through technical display, a sure indication that a boxer needs brains as well as brawn. Overall the standard was high, and the dedication shown by the pugilists’ exemplarary, months of training spent to buy 6 minutes of potential pain. They will surely tell you that for a convincing 8-4 victory, a massive boost in the run up to varsity, it was worth every penny. BOUT 1 | J.JOHNSON BEAT K.OSBOURNE Oxford landed both the figurative and literal first blow of the evening thanks to an assured performance from the women’s captain. Her superior footwork tired her opponent who spent much of the 3rd round on the ropes and had to endure the first count of the evening. BOUT 2 | B.LEE BEAT M.MIKADO Mikado started sprightly but her reliance on the quick left jab was soon exposed, and as Lee settled in the fight she landed some nice combinations that bloodied her opponent’s nose, and led to a comfortable victory. BOUT 3 | M.CHEN LOST TO R.ECCLESTONE Chen lost a bout in which he was technically superior purely as a result of his inferior reach. After being kept at arms length in the 1st, he managed to breach Ecclestone’s defences in the 2nd, but the three big rights Ecclestone landed on him in the 3rd were enough for him to hold on. BOUT 4 | J.ROBERTSON BEAT A.HOOD A measured display and a powerful left landed Robertson the judges’ boxer of the night award as well as many punches on Hood’s body. Good skills in the close ensured Hood’s desperate attempt at a comeback stayed just that. BOUT 5 | J.MCCARTHY BEAT P.BROWN The contest never really recovered from its staccato opening, the referee constantly intervening, and it was no surprise when the town boxer was disqualified in the 3rd for illegal punching. McCarthy would have gone on to win anyway, his direct attacks being met with an ineffective flinch defence that negated the chance of a counter-attack. BOUT 6 | T.HUGHES BEAT L.LYMANT Oxford maintained their dominance within seconds in this fight, Lymant chewing canvas after receiving a devastating left. Hughes dominated the ring after this, periodically chasing Lymant into corners to inflict punishment. Watching from ringside, it was something of a relief when the referee ended this mismatch before the final bell. BOUT 7 | P.KIBBE LOST TO D.MORRIS A sapping match, with both fighters landing big punches. The town boxer managed to find the necessary reserves of stamina to come out on top, Kibbe tiring in the 3rd. BOUT 8 | N.ROBERTSON BEAT A.BARNES A fight that would have had more relevance in a high street on Friday night. Robertson was twice warned for use of elbow, Barnes bounced off the ropes like a wrestler and neither boxer seemed to want to face up, rather preferring to charge sideways into each other. Not pretty, but the Oxford southpaw deserved it through usage of a big wraparound right. BOUT 9 | R.HIGHET BEAT I.ALI Another dominant display by an Oxford boxer. Ali opened up with some direct punches (too many of the town’s boxers had an undeveloped flailing style), but it became more and more obvious that he had no counter to Highet’s relentless combinations, ending up significantly out punched. BOUT 10 | R.BRIGGS BEAT D.TOMALA With more than enthusiastic support, Briggs was under pressure to perform and didn’t disappoint. A tight frustrating style early on aggravated Tomala, who adopted some dubious pushing tactics which were vigorously condemned by the partisan crowd. Towards the end Briggs opened up to land some solid hits and take a deserved victory. BOUT 11 | C.BATTISTA LOST TO P.FIELD The Italian stallion couldn’t live up to his nickname but can take encouragement from losing one of the more skilful bouts of the night. Field’s 4 punch combo in the 2nd probably decided it despite Battista’s brave comeback. BOUT 12 | P.ANDERSON LOST TO G.BIDETT The shortest fight of the evening ended through stoppage in the 1st. Anderson landed some good blows early on, but one giant wraparound left from the giant Bidett wrapped things up. Certainly not a match indicative of Oxford’s night.by James Kelly

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