Photos Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro
On Saturday night, In front of a sold out house at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London, Ryan ‘Mr Attitude’ Barrett dramatically stopped Mark ‘The Flash’ Alexander in the first round to lift the International Masters title and potentially a shot at the WBF Lightweight World title.
The three month war of words that preceded the showdown left no one in any doubt that there was no love lost between Barrett and Alexander, or that the fight was likely to be a brutal bloody affair. That aside no one really expected the fight to be concluded within just one round, after all Barrett had only four stoppage wins from his thirty previous outings, whilst Alexander had just one in fourteen.
Barrett, resplendent in black and red shorts bearing the legend ‘Welcome to Hell’, surprised everyone, including Alexander, by taking the fight straight to his opponent. As soon as the bell rang the tall southpaw strode purposely towards Alexander and let rip with a heavy opening salvo, Alexander ducked and weaved his way out of trouble and tried to slow Barrett up with a hit and run attack.
Barrett had no intention of letting his prey escape and took two long steps forward before letting rip with a flurry of shots followed by a swinging left that sent Alexander straight to the canvas.
Alexander still looked dazed as he rose to his feet, something that Barrett had clearly noticed as he went straight back on the attack forcing Alexander to duck and weave to try and avoid the constant onslaught. Barrett could smell blood though and just kept throwing both hands until the hapless Alexander was sent to the canvas for a second time in less than a minute.
Rising to one knee to take the count Alexander looked to his corner and awaited their instruction to rise to his feet. On the restart Alexander, who clearly needed a little more time to clear his head, danced his way out of the path of the rapidly advancing Barrett but in doing found the ring cut off and himself corralled in the corner. With nowhere to go Alexander covered up and prepared to absorb the inevitable assault. Alexander tried to weave and bob his way out but Barrett was having none of it and mercilessly threw bomb after vicious bomb to send Alexander crashing into the the referee’s legs before falling onto the canvas in a crumpled heap. Alexander climbed to his feet for the third time but referee Ian John-Lewis had seen enough and called an end to the proceedings after just one minute and thirty six seconds.
Following the bout the victorious Barrett said, “Yeah, I’m a man of my word, I said I wouldn’t lose to clowns like Mark Alexander. The difference in class showed tonight.
I knew Mark would come out and throw that right hand hook, I knew he didn’t like going backwards, so I worked on what we did in the gym. The first knock down I pushed him back with a double jabbed and then a half left hand, not even a full left hand, and sent him over. That was it he was in trouble from then.
I wasn’t worried if I did it in round one, I’d do it in two or later. I trained for ten rounds so I was ready for him.
What can I say, Steve’s (Steve Goodwin) a man of his word he gave me the shot and I’m a man of my word. He’s done good by me as far as I am concerned I don’t want to fight for any other promoter. Steve Goodwin’s my man. Now, if it gets sanctioned I’ll get to fight for the WBF title here in December.”
Whilst Steve Goodwin may have applied the legend ‘It’s Personal’ to the event due to the Barrett-Alexander rivalry but it was also highly relevant to the co headline British Masters Light Middleweight battle between Newmarket’s ‘Phat’ Pat McAleese and Barnsley’s Lee ‘Lightning’ Noble. McAleese and Noble had unfinished business to settle, having met and drawn on the Ricky Hatton promoted show at the Goresbrook Leisure Centre back in March.
McAleese beautifully controlled the early rounds utilising his full arsenal of punches to such effect that Noble could only respond with urgent jabs to keep the Newmarket man at bay. By the end of round six McAleese had clearly secured five, with just the fourth being a close affair. Early in round seven the tide began to change, following Noble letting rip with a beautiful right hook that shook McAleese to the core. Noble tried to capitalise but McAleese swiftly moved off the ropes even though his legs were less than stable. Noble’s confidence rose and he was able to pick off his opponent with wickedly quick jabs and combinations.
Round eight started see a tiring McAleese taking the fight back to Noble, who was happy just to whip out his hurting jab to keep McAleese at bay. Round nine was more of the same except McAleese had started to start getting a little more success. Late in the round McAleese dipped to let rip with a body shot but was caught with a lightning fast uppercut that stopped him in his tracks. Noble then just pushed his gloves against McAleese to send him crashing to the canvas just as the bell rang.
As the referee and medical team rushed to the unmoving McAleese’s aid Noble, clearly unaware that McAleese was out cold and in need to of medical assistance, ran across the ring, raised his arms and then goaded McAleese’s legion of fans, who had taunted him mercilessly throughout the fight, by shouting “Who’s the Daddy now?”.
After what seemed an age audible relief rang around the York Hall as McAleese finally showed signs of recovery and sat up. As his team lead him out of the ring, McAleese, ever the sportsman, stopped and climbed back into the ring to congratulate Noble on his victory.
Steve Goodwin may be one of the newest promoters on the circuit, but he is already proving he has what it takes to become a major player. So often these days the main event is the only fight on the card worthy of mention, It’s refreshing to go to an event with such a quality stacked undercard.
To support the two title fights Steve Goodwin put together a top class eight bout undercard that included a couple of bouts that on any other night would have rightly deserved headline status.
Top of the support card was the ever popular unbeaten Essex Cruiserweight Tony ‘The Conqueror’ Conquest against the hugely experienced Hastings Rasani.
Right from the start Conquest oozed confidence and made easy work of controlling the fight. As Conquest showcased his range of combinations Rasani just stood his ground, seemingly content to bide his time.
Conquest was savvy, using sharp attacks and swift movement to prevent Rasani being able to mount any sustained attacks of his own. After six rounds Conquest was rightfully declared the winner by a clear 60-54 points margin.
Preceding Conquest-Rasani was, in this writers view, the ‘Fight of the Night’ between Stoke Newington’s unbeaten light Middleweight Erick ‘The Eagle’ Ochieng against Mansfield, Nottingham’s Alex Spitko.
Ochieng is one seriously classy fighter, his style and movement often compared to Floyd Mayweather. On Saturday ‘The Eagle’ put on a classic display of the art of boxing. Dominating from the very start Ochieng was able to pick off the heavier Spitko at will. His movement so sublime that Spitko must have thought his opponent was a phantom as his punches met just fresh air.
In round two Spitko somehow managed to corral Ochieng on the ropes and let rip with a flurry, all of which missed the ‘Matrix’ like moving Ochieng. In a flash ‘The Eagle’ turned the tables by fluidly spinning around Spitko before letting rip with a hurting salvo of his own. The crowd leapt to their feet as one cheering and clapping this awesome display.
Spitko became a moving punch bag in round three, the showman inside Ochieng came to the fore as he turned the volume up and danced around the hapless Spitko picking him off at will.
To the sound of “Eagle. Eagle, Eagle’ reverberating around the auditorium round four gets underway. Ochieng plays with Spitko like a cat with a mouse, giving him a little room to maneuver before closing the the escape route with a lightning quick jab. With just thirty seconds to go ‘The Eagle’ suddenly stops playing with his prey and goes in for the kill with a head and body combination that sends Spitko crashing to the canvas. Spitko made the count but the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight with just 19 seconds left on the clock.
Also at Light Middleweight, unbeaten Michael ‘The Zambezi Hitman’ Norgrove took an easy four round victory over Watford’s Iain Eldridge to secure his third career win. Norgrove showed his class and easily controlled the fight from start to finish.
Waltham Abbey unbeaten Welterweight Phil Gill put on a nice performance against Stretford’s Damien Turner to secure a 40-34 points decision to take his record to 6 (1KO)-0-1.
Bethnal Green’s own Jamie Arlain impressed on his pro debut out pointing the experienced Danny Dontchev 39-37.
Johnny Eames’, Ultrachem TKO Boxing Gym, highly acclaimed recent signing 19 year old ‘Saint’ George Jupp thrilled the York Hall crowd with a boxing master class to secure a 40-36 victory over the experienced Pavels Senkovs.
From the opening bell ‘St George’ outclassed Senkovs with his slick long jab and fast hands. Even so it was clear as Senkovs had come to fight as he constantly tried to bully his way back into the fight. However Jupp showed that, even though he is a truly skilled boxer, he was quite happy to stand and slug it out when needed.
Woolwich’s Eder Kurti took the event’s ‘It’s Personal’ tag line to to heart, for his fight with ‘Dangerous’ Danny Goode.
Right from the start Kurti let rip with vicious hooks, Goode countered with heavy hands of his own. The first couple of rounds were slug fests, but by the end of the second Goode was starting to struggle keeping Kurti at bay.
Round three Kurti started fast landing a series of heavy shots that shook Goode to the core and setting his legs wobbling, Kurti kept up the pressure and sent Goode to the deck with a cracking right hand. Goode made the count but was soon overpowered by the advancing Kurti again. Less than a minute into the round Kurti let rip with a big right to the body that sent Goode to the canvas for a second and final time to secure a convincing stoppage victory.
The opening fight of the night was an equally exciting six rounder between Redhill, Surrey slugger ‘Dynamo’ Darryl Setterfield and the highly experienced Matt Scriven from Nottingham.
A full on war erupted, neither seemed willing to give up centre ground, both letting rip with every punch in their repertoire. The first few rounds were quite close affairs, with Setterfield coming out just on top, round four though signaled a slight turnaround for Scriven, following a cut appearing above Setterfield’s left eye.
Following some nifty work by cutman Jimmy Tibbs Setterfield came out fired up for the fifth to take full control for the rest of the contest and secure a well earned 60-55 points victory.
Goodwin Promotions next event ‘Judgement Day’ , will be on Saturday, December 4th and is headlined by Yassine El Maachi defending his International Masters Light Middleweight title. Judgement Day will also include, amongst others, the highly anticipated Featherweight clash between Marianne ‘Golden Girl’ Marston and Lana Cooper, as well as the possible WBF Lightweight title fight featuring the new International masters Champion Ryan ‘Mr Attitude’ Barrett.