Borna Guevel produced a scintillating display as Oxford dominated their Cambridge counterparts in the 2008 Varsity kickboxing competition. The Super Middleweight from Ruislip mirrored the dominance and aggression displayed by the Blues squad as a whole, in a comprehensive 5-1 victory.
The Oxford team had already muscled into a 2-0 lead as Guevel entered Keble’s O’Reilly theatre with a partisan Oxford crowd echoing his every step with applause. The location, more familiar with Shakespeare and Hamlet than straight jabs and helmets, became akin to a gladiatorial amphitheatre as the majority of the crowd frantically chanted his name. Amongst them were at least forty of his fellow Somervillians, whom Guevel acknowledged both pre and post fight with raised fists, in the manner of a Roman fighter.
The intense Guevel instantaneously launched into his opponent James Waddell; the Cambridge man was so taken aback that he fell twice within the opening ten seconds in an attempt to avoid two ferocious front kicks; the fierceness of the attacks was mimicked by the cheers of his fans.
He continued to pummel Waddell for the duration of the round, making it redundant to attempt an analysis of the contest; such was the swiftness and fury of the Oxfordian’s strikes. As the second round began, the crowd’s blood-thirsty screams were quenched when the man from the blue corner continued his domination, breaking Waddell’s nose. Guevel was docked two points for belligerently hammering away at his Cambridge adversary but this did nothing to halt his series of jabs, right-hand crosses and side kicks.
To his credit, Waddell bravely rallied in the final minute and a half, even sending Guevel onto the ground, although some would argue the contest had ended within the first ten seconds. Guevel celebrated with the same intensity he had shown during the previous three rounds as he was announced a close 30-29 victor: Waddell’s face told a different story, as the hungry competitor’s ravenous strikes left his face resembling a ketchup-stained platter.
The victorious Guevel spoke after the fight, stating “it was one of the best nights of my life; I trained so hard so it was good to beat Cambridge.” The ring should have been covered with sand as opposed to canvas, given the severity of Waddell’s beating.
“I hear I damaged his ribs with one of my right roundhouse kicks and obviously mashed his face with a lot of cross punches and hooks. His face was completely covered in blood so I think I did a good job”.
This appraisal was remonstrated vociferously on Sunday night by his mass of fans. He, along with fellow Somerville team-mate James Richardson, commanded a fantastic reception, one which the youngster won’t forget.
“Thank you to everyone who was there for the awesome support I got; hearing everyone when I won was one of the best feelings in my life.”
If he continues his Varsity career the way he began, he should become very well acquainted with the emotions he felt on Sunday.