University boxing fell to a narrow 5-4 defeat in the traditional Town versus Gown match, starting the gruelling build up to the Varsity bout.
The night played host to several controversies, beginning as former Oxford boxer Clif Mark weighed in too heavy to compete. The first bout continued in dubious fashion with the contest being stopped by the Coaches’ towel.
The decision to end the match-up seemed premature particularly with Ed Chadwick’s renowned ability to throw a knockout punch. Chadwick’s opponent from the Metropolitan Police applied his experience and power effectively but the fight was far from over, a sentiment that was etched on the Clare boxer’s face.
The decision to move the event away from the traditional location of the University Union to the distant Cambridge Motel was met with much disappointment amongst the student body.
Despite the unfortunate location, the motel conference room created a tense atmosphere interspersed with clichéd entrance tunes, much to the delight of crowd.
CUABC handed a number of debuts to the class of 2010, most notably to Ssegawa Ssekintu. The soul singer from Queens’ was met by a frantic tirade of misplaced flails before ending the fight with a stunning knockout punch that far exceeded his experience.
The Metropolitan Police put out a typically strong line up which provided entertaining battles. Elliot Chambers producing a mature performance to overcome the unorthodox technique of his opponent.
The most promising display came from Helen Matthews. The former kick-boxer showed the impressive technique and skill that has forged her strong reputation amongst her coaches and teammates.
Despite losing in a hard fought bout against skilful opposition, the Pembroke pugilist looks to be a solid competitor in the upcoming Varsity match.
Due to last minute dropouts, a number of the Cambridge squad were sidelined, however, this gave the coaches a timely chance to assess the squad with some inter-collegiate fixtures.
In the race for Varsity, Jason Blick and Brett Shanley, Rob Liu and Matt Linsley, faced off to edge one step closer to a coveted Blues place.
Blick overcame debutant Shanley in a contest that will give the coaches a selection headache.
The night ended with the headline fight between the captain Chris Webb and the former GB kick-boxer and did not disappoint.
A mixture of attacking combos and agile defence saw Webb to victory and displayed the talent that he and his team will look to emulate in Oxford.
Matthew Cook – Sports Reporter