Boxing: Gown dominates Town at Guildhall

With the Varsity match just over a month away, CUABC's boxers were keen to impress against the Town. Although the Town held a winning record in this annual fixture, CUABC president Chris Kelly was confident that the team could emulate last year's emphatic 8-1 victory.

The evening began as Xiaofeng Li exchanged punches from the opening bell. The Queen's fighter found his rhythm midway through the second round as he continually picked off his opponent with left counters and the occasional straight right. He landed a unanimous decision to strike the first blow for the Gown.

Early enthusiasm from the crowd then took a heavy blow as Aaron Schleider failed to recover from a thunderous hook that forced him to take an eight count. Looking to repeat last year's impressive performance, Schleider was caught multiple times by the heavy handed Wais Ahmed, forcing the referee to stop the contest.

Rob Lie regained the lead for Cambridge with a strong performance against Hayes' Vish Parma. Parma covered up well in the opening two rounds, looking threatening with the right cross. As the fight opened up in the final round, Lie landed a strike to the abdomen that saw Parma take a standing count, which gave Lie a deserved unanimous victory.

Will Wakeford began well against Ryan Williams. But the Hayes boxer took the initiative in the second round, winding up a powerful left hook that had Wakeford stumbling back across the ring. Despite having the longer reach, Wakeford was guilty of coming in too close on multiple occasions and walked into too many of his opponent's shots. Although the Hughes Hall fighter fought spiritedly for three rounds, Williams took the victory.

In the sole women's bought of the night, Daphne Tsalli continued her impressive combat record with a dominant display. After an earlier win in kick-boxing a few months back, Tsalli fought a composed fight, showcasing both her punch power and impressive technique.

The Guildhall erupted into life as club captain Borna Guevel took on seasoned fighter Wayne Gibbons of Stevenage ABC. Both fighters started aggressively, trading heavy punches on the inside. The pace was relentless as Guevel tried to enforce his jab while Gibbons caught the Cambridge favourite with some heavy combinations. Guevel appeared the more fatigued in the final seconds, trying his utmost to stay in the fight and land effectively. An anxious crowd was relieved, and somewhat surprised, to see the majority decision awarded to their dogged captain.

Steve Lavelle kept the crowd jubilant with another majority decision. Lavelle took the initiative against an opponent who seemed happy to bide his time until the opportunity arose to counter. Lavelle did not present him that chance, negotiating the ring well and stinging his opponent continuously as he made use of his longer reach.

Will Nyerere's victory put Cambridge out of sight as he worked his way into the opening round with the jab and backed it up with clean one-two combinations. In complete control, Nyerere fought well from distance, picking off Kieran Manion of Stevenage as the latter desperately tried to catch his opponent with wild swings over the top.

Dan Fountain's defeat after being caught by a right hook in the first round brought the heavyweight contest to an early conclusion and gave the Town their final win of the evening. Tinashe Murokozi ended the night on a positive note with a unanimous victory over Tom Boyce to seal a 7-3 victory for the Gown.

Ed Abedian

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