Fight Skool undercard report: O’Hara suffers first defeat

07.05.04 - By Ben Carey: In what looked like an ambitious piece of matchmaking beforehand, featherweight prospect Kevin O’Hara slipped to his first professional defeat after nine straight wins with a 78-75 points reverse to Mongolian/Oldham based dark-horse Choi Tsvenpureev. John Breen and Dean Powell, who worked Kevin’s corner, were aghast at Howard Foster’s decision but the referee rightly rewarded Choi’s superior workrate over O’Hara’s sporadic bursts. Though the Irishman was competitive throughout, he simply didn’t do enough and can have no complaints with the decision.

The pattern of the fight was established from the off with Choi adopting a crouch-like stance stalking the circling O’Hara around the ring. Kevin was content to have a look in the opener but was less tentative in the second. A right hook made Choi pay for overreaching as he came in as O’Hara demonstrated what a smooth boxer he can be. A nice right hand counter found its intended target as Choi, always in punching range, attempted to work the body. O’Hara continued to make Choi miss in round 3, but unlike the previous round he was no longer punishing the Mongolian for his mistakes. With next to nothing coming back, Choi was able to drift inside and bang away at O’Hara’s body. The Mongolian was growing in confidence now and a straight right caught O’Hara who was urged to box and move by his corner.

O’Hara, a 2002 Commonwealth Games representative, opened the fourth with a triple left hook to the body but Choi responded immediately and a left-right knocked Kevin’s gumshield out. Upon the restart O’Hara went back into his shell and continued to be outworked by his busier opponent. Neither man did enough to dominate the 5th but the onus was on O’Hara to step things up after slipping behind on referee Foster’s scorecard. Though looking relatively composed, there was a lack of conviction in O’Hara’s work. His jab was merely being pushed out rather than flicked out with any force.

One sensed Kevin’s unbeaten record was in some jeopardy but a tidy round of boxing in the sixth was enough to give him the round on my card. Choi continued to be the aggressor but was met with several well-timed jabs by O’Hara who should have utilised this strategy much earlier. After a quieter round Choi had a good seventh and drove O’Hara onto the back foot with some short lefts inside and a right hand over the top. There was little coming back from Kevin which encouraged Choi to dig in some hooks to the body for good measure.

Kevin needed a grandstand finish to have any hope in the eighth and final round and a few pitter-patter jabs drew blood from Choi’s nose. The Mongolian typically pressed forward but was caught by a nice right hand counter off the ropes by O’Hara who momentarily abandoned his cautious approach. The Belfast fighter stayed around in one place for too long though and a straight right hand nailed him flush that was the punch of the fight as the clock wound down.

O’Hara’s body language at the final bell suggested he knew he had lost and Choi’s arm was rightfully held aloft. Considering that Choi Tseveenpurev was 15-3 and had had dropped a majority points decision to former IBF super-bantamweight champion Lehlohonolo Ledwaba in Denmark in his last fight, this was a significant step up in class for Kevin. Though his ambitions of fighting for the British featherweight title will have to be temporarily abandoned, O’Hara can learn from this defeat and hopefully bounce back. The Irishman has some nice moves but must move improve his workrate and learn to stamp his authority on his opponents.

4x3 light-middleweight
Jason Rushton bt Peter Dunn pts 40-37

2001 jnr ABA welterweight finalist Jason Rushton upped his record to 9-0 by going over old ground in outpointing Pontefract journeyman Peter Dunn over four rounds, 40-37. Jason had previously decisioned Peter, again over four rounds, on his debut back in October 2001.

Dunn, who runs a pub in his native Pontefract, has obviously spent more time behind the bar than in the gym judging by his fleshy appearance. In spite of this he made Rushton work hard for his victory. Dunn sustained a nasty looking cut to his left eye in round 2 and by holding his gloves up in a bid to safe guard his injury he exposed his ample midriff. Rushton didn’t require an invitation to sink in some hooks to Dunn’s body. A double left hook was classy work from Rushton in the third as Dunn’s face was now a mask of red. A right-left was a rare success for Peter who was able to catch the over eager Rushton rushing in.

Both traded shots furiously for a brief spell in an entertaining fourth and surprisingly it was Dunn who had the better of the exchange getting home with a solid right. This was probably sufficient to see Peter gain a share of the round but the fight belonged to Rushton. The Doncaster prospect advances to 9-0 (2) and will be looking to enter Area championship class in the not too distant future.

6x3 light-middleweight
Matthew Hall bt Craig Lynch pts 60-54

Manchester’s Matthew Hall made a winning comeback after 12 months out of the ring with a messy six-three’s points win over Scotland’s Craig Lynch. Hall suffered life-threatening injuries in a pub attack in Manchester last year. The 20-year-old was selling tickets for an upcoming show when he was stabbed in a Middleton pub.

Hall’s supporters are obviously thrilled to see him back and turned out in their numbers to cheer Matthew on. The Brian Hughes trained charge, with the slogan “El Torito” (little bull) emblazoned on his shorts, was a little too anxious to please though which coupled with Lynch’s fondness for holding made for a frustrating contest to watch. Lynch was admonished for holding by referee Howard Foster in round 2 and both boxers were instructed to tidy it up in the third. The referee finally lost patience with Lynch in round 4 and deducted a point from the Scot for persistent holding as the fight threatened to turn unsavoury.

In-between the frequent clinching the better work came from Hall who was dressed in black shorts and black boots with no socks after his hero Mike Tyson. The youngster was allowed to go left-hook happy in what degenerated into a close quarters duel. Despite crowding his work at times, Hall closed the show impressively and a well-timed right left-right marked his best combination of the fight in the 6th and last round. Though obviously disappointed that he wasn’t allowed to perform better, Hall will be pleased to have got his career moving again with a win following a difficult year. He improves to 6-0 (2)

4x3 super-middleweight
Daniel Teasdale bt Ojay Abrahams pts 40-37

Former England national team representative Daniel Teasdale was given an excellent work-out by Watford’s “Me, myself and I” Ojay Abrahams in an entertaining 4-rounder. Teasdale recorded his first professional win over Abrahams back in February, flooring the 78-fight veteran in the sixth and final round. There was to be no repeat for the Rotherham prospect this time around but he may well have forced the stoppage had this four-rounder been booked for 6.

Ojay squared off against Teasdale having worked a full day’s shift at work last time but travelled up to South Yorkshire the night before for this rematch and vowed to knock Daniel out. He greeted the youngster with a long, cold stare as he entered the ring. Clearly fancying the job, Abrahams was all guns blazing in the opener and enjoyed repeated success with the left hook that nailed the upright Teasdale on several occasions. An upset looked possible.

Daniel maintained his composure though and got his boxing going in the second. For a fledgling professional Teasdale puts his shots together very well and fired off some eye-catching combinations to head and body as Abrahams took a breather on the ropes. Having paused to catch his breath, Ojay launched another attack and again got home with a left hook haymaker that Teasdale was unable to avoid. As a result a lump had appeared on the left side of Daniel’s face.

Teasdale’s better boxing skills and long arms were, for the main, allowing him to score with eye-catching combinations as Abrahams was content to cover up and fight in 30-second bursts. Daniel stepped it up in the last and a series of combinations had the weary Abrahams floundering with blood seeping from his mouth. Ojay, sporting a grimace on his face, looked ready to go but hung in there to hear the final bell.

Teasdale has talent but his punches would have more impact down a division at middleweight. It was a concern however how many times he was caught by Abrahams’ left hook. Apart from his defensive frailties, Teasdale looked the part. He is now 2-0 with one no contest after his debut against Patrick Cito last November was abandoned due to the unfortunate riot at Rotherham’s Magna Centre.

4 x 3 light-welterweight
Amir Ali bt Peter Buckley pts 4 40-36

Former amateur star Amir Ali went 2-0 with a straight-forward points win over Nobby Nobbs’ veteran trialhorse Peter Buckley in the opening bout of the night. Buckley, remarkably appearing in his 255th professional contest, tipped the scales at a lighter than normal 10st 3lbs. However, the Brummie had no answer to the switch-hitting Ali’s razor sharp jab that was to constantly frustrate him for the duration of the fight.

4 x 3 light-welterweight
Ashley Theopane bt Karl Taylor pts 4 39-37

Kilburn light-welter Ashley Theopane, a recent acquisition by Dave Coldwell, increased his slate to 4-0 with a points win over veteran journeyman Karl Taylor. The heavily-tattooed Theopane made a slow start which encouraged Taylor to get his own punches off. Ashley increased his workrate in rounds 3 and 4 though to make sure of the win in this show closer. A nice right hand that caught Taylor cleanly in the third was his most noteworthy punch of the fight. He ran out a 39-37 points winner.

4 x 3 cruiserweight
Simon Francis bt Gary Thompson pts 4 40-36

Koncrete Promotions promoted debutant Simon Francis, noted by British Eastside this week as one to watch, made a winning debut sweeping every around against Lancashire trialhorse Gary Thompson. The well-sculptured 6ft2 inch Francis is an imposing figure in the ring and showed no signs of pre-fight nerves. Francis boxed orthodox in the opening round but after feeling a slight tweak in his shoulder elected to turn southpaw for the remainder of the contest. The 22-year-old’s jab, with either hand, was a potent weapon.

At times the Sheffield fighter was guilty of lunging in which allowed Thompson to catch him with occasional right hands. Thompson largely controlled the action however and is set to box again in the near future. Considering Simon hadn’t boxed for four years following a seven-fight amateur career he can be pleased with his progress.

Article posted on 07.05.2004

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