To the delight of Sunday's York Hall crowd, East Ham southpaw Johnny Greaves (4-96) marked his 100th and final professional contest with a win against Trowbridge's Dan Carr (2-43-2). Since his pro boxing journey began in 2007, Greaves has travelled the length and breadth the country providing his services as an opponent, expected to come away the loser. Occasionally, the script doesn't get followed, like in 2010 when Greaves outpointed Fareham debutant Floyd Moore (now 9-3-1) on his own manor.
Characters like Greaves play a vital role in the education of boxers. No less than fifteen debutants started out against him. Champions such as Lee Selby and Gavin Rees have honed their skills against him. Plenty of fighters have been frustrated by his bag of journeyman tricks. He's saved the show on many occasions, and in his 14th appearance at the famous York Hall, he was definitely the star of it.
Greaves (10st 1lb) took some early pressure from Carr (also 10st 1lb) which made the opening round close, and it was apparent that the Trowbridge journeyman wasn't here to just be an opponent to Greaves for his 100th bout. He was busier in the second, and set about launching shots to the body which Greaves soaked up from the ropes. Greaves' responses seemed to be a bit more spiteful than usual, and he had Carr on the ropes in the third, following up with good right left. A close range Carr assault had the East Ham southpaw on the ropes, but, like Carr, Greaves has plenty of experience in that space.
Greaves put it all into the closer, and dancing to loud and raucous chants of 'Johnny Johnny Johnny', he nicked the round on my card. Ritchie Davies scores 37-39 for Greaves, who was presented with a bottle of delicious Veuve Clicquot bubbles by promoter Miranda Carter. Nice one Johnny.
There was a considerable amount more photographers than usual floating around the York Hall, but our man Bernard Miller was certainly on his Sunday best. He even manages to snap the snappers. Check out fellow smudger 'Big' Phil Sharkey holding his tackle in one hand and Gareth Piper's head in the other as he took a trip out of the ring against Adam Salman.
BoxRec News' Smile of the Year Award looks like going to Ashley 'Treasure' Theophane and Left Jab Promotions' guvnor Miranda Carter, courtesy of this splendid smudge by Miller. Back in the UK after his loss to Pablo Cesar Cano on the Mayweather bill, Ashley was enjoying the action with Miranda, who should be commended for laying on a great show at a noisy and exciting York Hall.
As well as Johnny Greaves 100th, another reason for all the lenses was that Team Fury was in full effect, looking mean, moody and menacing. Tyson's cousin Hughie (10-0) was due to be on the Manchester bill with Tyson, but only had to wait another twenty or so hours to let off some steam. For Tyson, it's a different story, but the thoroughly nice chaps happily chatted and signed autographs before and after teenage sensation Hughie gave Aberdare's Dorian Darch (7-2) a thorough working over.
A quick start from Darch (17st 1lb) was side-stepped by the tanned Fury (16st 12lbs 12oz) as he jabbed the solid Welshman back and looked for opportunities. Several hard, crisp right hands were absorbed by Darch's crust in the second. The Lancashire heavy had more success when he went to the body, winding the Welshman with two hooks at the end of the third. Darch was put down with a low blow, and Rob Williams rightly ruled no count and gave him plenty of time to recover.
Fury wanted the knockout, and was close. He was loading up with body shots that had Darch covering up in the corner, but the tough Welshman didn't go down again, and despite Fury doing all the work in the fifth, he still couldn't fell the Oak Tree, who had his best round in the sixth. Throughout the fight, Darch soaked up an incredible amount of Fury's right hands, and certainly earned his pay. Referee Robert Williams scores 60-54 for Fury. It's starts to get interesting with Hughie now. Ten fights in six months is some going.
Contesting the Bronze International Masters belt, Matt McCarthy (6-0) faced Lithuanian Alexas Vaseris (1-5-1). Southpaw McCarthy (10st 6lbs) dashed in and out nicely and showed off some good moves. The first sign of any resistance from Vaseris (10st 6lbs) came in the third when he briefly had McCarthy on the ropes, and when he became a little frustrated with McCarthy's dominance, returned fire in the fourth before nearly going through the ropes after getting suckered with a left. He was off balance, however, and the punch didn't have that much meat on it.
The precession continued in the fifth, but McCarthy sustained a bloody nose, presumably caused by a rare shot from Vaseris. One of these did land in the seventh, and the Lithuanian let go with a flurry at the start of the closing round to finally show some ambition, but McCarthy had picked up the pace, hoping to provide his fans with a knockout. Despite vociferous encouragement, he wasn't able to manage this, but walked away with a Bronze Masters Belt for his eight round spar, and hopefully a few quid. Referee Robert Williams scores 80-72 for McCarthy.
Slough's Chris Rackley (2-1) had a tough time of it against seasoned Brummie Dee Mitchell (9-42-1), who gave as good as he got in the opener and was goaded into attack after Rackley (11st 3lbs 8oz) launched a quick assault which pinned him to the ropes halfway through the round. Mitchell (11st 12oz) seemed to be enjoying himself, dominating the second and encouraging Rackley to attack with a smile on his face. Rackley got through with a jab in the third, which pushed Mitchell back to the ropes, and he had some success to the body, but Rackley didn't appear to be placing his shots too well despite making the rounds close. Richie Davies scores 39-37 for Rackley. BoxRec News couldn't fathom how Rackley won three rounds and scored 39-37 for Mitchell.
Surrey's Adam Salman (1-0) made his debut against Cardiff's Gareth Piper (1-8-1) in a messy four threes. Salman (11st) was mobile and boxed with a low guard, using reflexes employed to avoid to Piper's (10st 11lbs 8oz) jab, which wasn't thrown frequently enough. It got scrappy when Salman launched frenzied attacks. He tried to bludgeon Piper at close range, and his work was smothered which made it more of a wrestling match at times. Piper got a bit more used Salman's industry in the third and managed some forceful advances of his own. Both fighters work was messy in the closer - they bundled each other out of the ring, with Piper perhaps earning a share of the round. Robert Williams scores 40-37 for Salman.
Surrey debutant Tommy Williams (1-0) showed he has a useful jab, which was enough to take the first against Croydon's Joe Walsh (1-9-2). He tried to continue in the same vein, but both were guilty of holding early in the second before Walsh (12st) launched his first real attack to Williams' (11st 7lbs 8oz) body. The practiced jab from Williams had marked up Walsh's left eye. Walsh was able to catch Williams when he threw his right, but he did this far too infrequently to earn a share of the third. Flurries to the body from Walsh got the fourth underway, and for much of the round he burrowed his way in to make things difficult for Williams at close range. BoxRec News scored 39-37 for Williams, as did the man who counts - Referee Ritchie Davies.
Another debutant on the Sunday bill, Wandsworth's Lerrone Richards (1-0) was as cool as a cucumber sandwich in the first. His southpaw jab kept Lllanelli's Robert Studzinski (2-13) from South Wales fully under control. Richards (12st 3lbs 8oz) restricted his own efforts to single shots in the main. Studzinski's (11st 13lbs 12oz) attempts to get in close were negated by quick reactions from the debutant, who launched heavy flurries in the third, pinning Studzinski to the ropes before returning to his jab to box out the round. Studzinski tried a bit harder to get inside in the closing round, but an impressive performance from Richards didn't give him any joy. Richie Davies scores 40-36 for Richards, who looks handy.
Huge cheers for Sittingbourne's Billy Rumble (1-0), who made his debut on the 'Sunday Rumble' card after a 32-fight amateur career (23 wins) with St Mary's ABC. He faced Reading hard case Ibrar Riyaz (4-47-1), another fighter in the Greaves mould. Rumble (9st 13lbs) looked sharp as he boxed on the back foot and threw an array of shots at Riyaz (9st 13lbs) who chased him around the ring in the first. Former actor Rumble planted good shots to the body and made Riyaz's attempts to cut off the ring a little fruitless in the first half of the fight. A response was inevitable, but didn't come until late in the second and Rumble coped with it admirably.
Rumble had been busy, and showed signs of him slowing dow in the third. Riyaz had some success with his close range attacks, and Rumble, while still highly mobile, was a little less reluctant to throw back. In the end, Riyaz was walking through solid shots to give Rumble problems, taking the last round. Robert Williams scores 37-39 for Rumble, who had three stitches above his left eye.
Areti Mastrodouka (4-0) from Greece is a regular on Miranda Carter's Sunday Matinee shows. All of her professional appearances thus far have come at the York Hall, and over six twos she faced Bulgarian Galina Gumliiska (9-26), who tried to put her protector on after she entered the ring and was quickly sent back to the dressing room by MC Mike Goodhall.
Gumliiska (9st 3lbs) was lively enough in the opening round but looked off balance as she stepped in to throw. Mastrodouka (9st 2lbs), who easily won her previous four pro fights, took her time and looked to land with straight right hands. Gumliiska made the second round closer with work rate. Better movement and sound counter punching from Mastrodouka had Gumliiska pinned to the ropes and taking hooks to the body. Gumliiska had a better fifth though, and although eating the occasional right, threw more and kept Mastrodouka at bay with her own jab. Mastrodouka was more accurate throughout. Richie Davies scores 60-54.
Canning Town based Lithuanian Edgaras Sadovskis (1-0) scored a convincing win over Latvian Martins Kukulis (8-37). Sadovskis (11st 11lbs) did most of the running in the opener and launched bursts of activity which made Kukulis (11st 9lbs) prone to hold. When Sadovskis advanced, Kukulis wasn't busy enough. He seemed content to let the more active Lithuanian tee off at his head and body, which was the case for the remainder of the fight. Referee Robert Williams scores 40-36 for Sadovskis. One way traffic.
A lot of boxing and a great atmosphere on another value for money Left Jab bill. A cracking way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Here's Tyson, who was in superb shape, and on splendid form.
Pictures by Bernard Miller for BoxRec News
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