Ringside at the Copperbox

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Queensberry Show, Copperbox, Olympic Park 10th Feb 2024 – Iain Dolan at Ringside

A crushing first round victory for Middleweight prospect Hamza Sheeraz over domestic rival Liam Williams on Saturday night will have grabbed a few headlines and deservedly so. Sheeraz picked his punches beautifully landing several hurtful jabs, dropping Williams with the very first one.  An eye catching uppercut that also floored the Welshman.  Williams was in trouble from the first bell and trainer Gary Lockett had seen enough to wave a towel and allow the referee to call a halt. It was the right call by Lockett because, as impressive as Sheeraz was, Williams looked a shadow of his former self. Getting dropped by the first jab of the fight suggests his punch resistance and recovery is gone and although retirement can only be the fighters’ decision, I hope Lockett continues with good advice for his charge. A vintage performance from Sheeraz and the way he uncorked that palate pleasing uppercut was a strong finish and suggests his career has good legs. (Yes I’m going to keep doing these rubbish puns because I decided not to for the Eggington v Cheeseman “Omelette” fight and have regretted it ever since.)

Sam Noakes also impressed at lightweight and proved too busy and too strong for Lewis Sylvester. Sylvester tried to stick and move but Noakes’ swarming style caught up with him pretty quickly and was heavy handed enough ensure and early night. Sylvester was down twice in the 3rd from two painful body shots. Another knockdown in the fourth and the towel came in from Sylvester’s corner and not before time.

Anthony Yarde also blew away the game but outgunned Marko Nikolic at light heavyweight. Nikolic came to fight and in so doing, afforded Yarde the opportunity to land plenty of his own. Yarde’s body work was excellent and his punches carried real spite. Twice in the second round Nikolic rose from the canvas after being dropped by body shots and by the time it happened again in the 3rd, Nikolic’s corner threw in the towel. It was a useful keep-busy fight for Yarde but little more than that. Joshua Buatsi was ringside and after a very respectful exchange between the pair hopes that we might get Buatsi v Yarde in the summer are increasing and “It’s a London fight” says  Frank Warren which is cause for further optimism.

Alloys Youmba (Heavyweight), Tommy Fletcher (Heavyweight) and Umak Khan (Featherweight also all recorded stoppage wins on the night meaning the main event was over by 10:30pm and I was able to go to the pub both before and after the show. Events and the London Overground conspired against me and caused me to miss the first half of England v Wales in the 6 nations but I managed to make the 2nd half in the Beer Merchant’s Tap in Hackney Wick. Home | Beer Merchants Tap – Craft Beer London  Good place watch the rugby with an extensive been menu. I had a couple of the House Party session IPAs which were agreeable but they’ve got plenty of strong stuff as well. Not only is Hackney Wick a shorter walk to the Copperbox then Stratford, it also means you get to avoid the 7th Circle of Hell that is Stratford Shopping Centre.


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