Fight Report: Cook Digs Deep in Battle Royale Against Aguilar to Secure First Title

Photographs courtesy of Shane Leach

On Saturday night, the fans turned out in force to support Clacton-on-Sea’s Super Bantamweight prospect Ben ‘The Claxican’ Cook make his first challenge for a Championship accolade, against Nicaragua’s Jose ‘El Pollo’ Aguilar, for the Professional Boxing Association (PBA) International Masters Bronze Championship at the Charter Hall in Colchester.

Right from the opening bell both protagonists shot out of their corners in determined fashion and immediately exchanged opening shots at close quarters and so began an amazing Battle Royale of immense magnitude. 

For the entire three minutes the pair of pocket rockets went at it hammer and tongs, both unbelievably neither seemingly prepared to pace themselves for the long haul, instead preferring to exchange power shot after power shot, much to the delight of the fans ringside. To my view it was Aguilar that won the round, but just by a very close margin.

Initially Cook took the fight to the Nicaraguan in the second, using great ring craft to get on the inside of the taller man. Aguilar kept his cool and as the fight progressed managed to get back on the front foot and begin to back the ‘Claxican’ up. Cook though is a battler and so began another close quarter battle of immense proportions, this time I scored the round in favour of Cook, again by a very close margin.

Unbelievably both warriors again went on the attack right immediately the bell rang, another amazing non-stop full-on war ensued. What a stunning round, the crowd were on their feet screaming for the full three minutes. I couldn’t split them – points wise – a drawn round if ever there was one.

Round four was virtually a mirror image of the third, both lads throwing caution to the wind as they tried to get their opponent out of there as quickly as possible. Again I scored it a drawn round as it was such a closely fought round I just couldn’t split them points wise.

Sorry to use the term unbelievably so soon but unbelievably the pace didn’t slow one iota for the fifth round, It was another fantastic all action affair, which I scored in favour of Cook by the slimmest margin.

The sixth was just as intense, however Cook began to show signs that the intensity of the first five rounds was having an effort on his stamina, the Claxican’s pace slowed dramatically as the round progressed and Aguilar took advantage with some great boxing to secure the round in my eyes.

I honestly expected the pace to be dramatically slower in the seventh, but no, somehow these two supreme athletes continued to battle it out close quarters at almost the same pace they did in the first. What a fabulous closely fought round, again I couldn’t split them points wise, to my eyes very much a drawn round.

So going into the final round I had the contest drawn, so to my mind whoever wins this round wins the contest and becomes the Masters Champion. Clearly both Cook’s and Aguilar’s corners thought the same as they sent their charges out for the final battle with instructions to take the fight to the other, as that’s just what they did and boy oh boy the final round was fought at some serious pace. With his corner screaming at him to keep on the attack and just keep throwing shots Cook somehow managed to dig in real deep and do just as instructed. For the entire round, although virtually out on his feet the Claxican just kept up the pressure, don’t get me wrong Aguilar wasn’t being defensive, he was countering punch for punch and even took control at times, much to the dismay of Cook’s corner. 

I scored the round in Favour of Cook but how would scoring referee Jody Meikle score it, and come to that the previous rounds. Well it seems my scoring was the same or at least similar as Mr Meikle’s as when the scores were announced it was in favour of Cook and by a seriously close points margin of 78-77. 

After the scores were announced and Cook received his Championship Belt, the Clacton based youngster praised his opponent and then went on to say how close the contest was and offered a a near future rematch, much to the delight of Aguilar, his team and the attending fans.

Main support for the Cook-Aguilar see current World Boxing Foundation (WBF) International and European Super Welterweight Champion Tommy ‘Sweet T’ Jacobs in a non-championship six rounder against Nicaragua’s big punching Wilmer Gonzalez, at Super Middleweight.

Round one was an edgy affair, both protagonists tentatively testing their opponent with strong jabs. As the round progressed Jacobs began to take the initiative and slip Gonzalez’s guard to let rip with lightning fast combinations, Gonzalez shrugged them off, occasionally he followed up with a counter but mainly just absorbed the shots and patiently await an opportunity to muster an attack of his own. Fairly easy round to score as Jacobs was by far the most active, action-wise.

Round two starts in similar fashion to the first, albeit more action in the first minute of the round than the entire first round, however due to Jacobs stepping up the attacks Gonzalez was able to work an opening and let rip with a powerful shot straight to the nose that shook Jacobs to the core.

That shot forced Jacobs to be a bit more cautious in his approach, yet the Colchester man still managed to fire a few more seriously quick combinations. In the final minute of the round Jacobs began to literally dominate the proceedings, dancing around the Nicaraguan before manoeuvring in and landing some big lefts and rights, then in the dying seconds of the round, just as Jacobs moved in for another attack Gonzalez let rip with a massive right to send Jacobs crashing to the canvas. 

Jacobs jumped to his feet almost immediately, however his legs were well and truly gone and he uncontrollably staggered to the neutral corner. Without doubt Jacobs was not in a fit state to continue and referee Jody Meikle began to waive the fight off, just as the towel thrown by Jacobs’ cornerman fluttered into the ring. Official time of the stoppage being 2 Minutes and 55 Seconds of Round two.

Opening Pro bout of the night see Colchester’s Calvin Carruthers making his professional debut against fellow debutant Kyle Wint from Coventry.

Right from the opening bell local lad Carruthers went straight on the attack and caught Wint with a big right, Wint initially responded with a double handed flurry but was soon caught with another big right. 

Wint tried to respond but got caught again, either the big shots had disoriented the Coventry lad or in panic he turned away and was caught again with a big right, Referee Jody Meikle immediately stepped in to check on, as well as have a word with Wint.

On the restart Carruthers went in hard and fast forcing Wint into a neutral corner, where he proceeded to let rip with both hands, Wint tried to defend, albeit in vain, leaving referee Jody Meikle no option but to step in and waive the fight off, on the one minute and forty-seven second mark of the first round.

What a fantastic night of fights, not just the pro fights, but also from the Amateur portion of the event which highlighted some future stars including the big punching London ABA Heavyweight Champion Ifeanyi Acporter, who won his fight against a fellow ABA star Jack Sheppard by knockout as well as a couple of lighter division fighters, Lewis Mulberry and Ron Oliver, who thrilled the crowd with with their undoubted skill and determination as they battled it out in one of the closest fought contests of the night, definitely look forward to these stars of the future joining the pro ranks in the near future.

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“It’ll be Short and Sweet” Says Cook Ahead of Narvaez 22nd June Showdown – LIVE ON FITE.TV

This coming Saturday Ben ‘The Claxican’ Cook steps into the ring at the Prince’s Theatre in Clacton-on-Sea, where he’s set to go toe-to-toe with Nicaraguan Pedro Narvaez, on the undercard of the Nathan Decastro versus Tommy Jacobs World Boxing Union (WBU) and World Boxing Foundation (WBF) Super Middleweight World Championship contest, which will be broadcast live on FITE.TV.

Back in November Cook made his professional debut at the Prince’s Theatre, against fellow debuting Chris Wong from Belfast and is clearly pleased that he will be fighting in his home town again on Saturday, as he said: 

“Saturday can’t come quick enough for me. I’ll be fighting in my home town and it’ll be on TV, it doesn’t get much better than that.

“I don’t mess around in my fights anyway, I always go to war. 

“But this one I’ve had his manager in my ear continuously, so this is going to be a war like no other. 

“I’m relentless in my attack, I’ll be showing him why I have the  nickname ‘The Claxican”. 

“It’ll be short and sweet, He’ll be very lucky to make the final bell. 

“No hard feelings Pablo, it’s just business”

Ben ‘The Claxican’ Cook vs Pablo Narvaez is on the undercard of the Nathan Decastro versus Tommy Jacobs for the World Boxing Union (WBU) and World Boxing Foundation (WBF) Super Middleweight World Championship Unification that headlines the event at the Prince’s Theatre, Town Hall, Station Road,, Clacton-on-Sea CO15 1SE on Saturday 22nd June 2019, 

In addition to the two Championship contests there are  further International non-championship bouts and all contests will be broadcast live on FITE.TV, the full fight card is:

12 Round – Super Middleweight

Nathan Decastro Vs Tommy Jacobs

World Boxing Union (WBU) Championship of the World 

World Boxing Foundation (WBF) Championship of the World

10 Round – Light Heavyweight

Ben McGivern Vs Navid Iran

World Boxing Union (WBU) International Championship

8 Round – Lightweight

Tackie Annan Vs Ben Ankrah

6 Rounds – Super Middleweight 

Rob Elden Vs Ronny McField

4 Rounds – Featherweight

Ben Cook Vs Pablo Narvaez

4 Rounds – Light Welterweight

Dean Porter Vs Michael Isaac Carreo

First fight live on FITE.TV 7:30pm (GMT) – 2:30pm (EST) – 11:30am (PST)

About FITE

FITE TV is the largest independent digital streaming platform for combat sports featuring over 1,000 pay per view events per year available a-la-carte. FITE is free to join through its downloadable apps for iOS and Android mobile devices, Apple TV, Android TV, ROKU and Amazon Fire or at www.FITE.tv. FITE streams live events from the MMA, Boxing and Pro Wrestling world to its community of 1.4 million registered viewers.  For more information go to www.FITE.tv

Nathan Decastro versus Tommy Jacobs for the World Boxing Union (WBU) and World Boxing Foundation (WBF) Super Middleweight World Championship Unification headlines at the Prince’s Theatre, Town Hall, Station Road,, Clacton-on-Sea CO15 1SE on Saturday 22nd June 2019.

Tickets, priced £60 (VIP) and £30 (Standard seating) are available by calling the ticket line on 07475 096532 or purchase on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com

To purchase the PPV ($14.99) on FITE.TV please go to https://www.fite.tv/watch/nathan-decastro-vs-tommy-jacobs/2oyc5/

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DECASTRO-JACOBS TITLE CLASH SET FOR JUNE 22

Reigning World Boxing Union (WBU) Super Middleweight World Champion Nathan ‘Nightmare’ Decastro is set to defend not only his newly won crown, but also challenge for the recently vacated World Boxing Foundation (WBF) World title against current WBF International & European Super Welterweight Champion, Tommy ‘Sweet T’ Jacobs at the Prince’s Theatre in Clacton-on-Sea on Saturday 22nd June.

Back in April Decastro secured the World Boxing Union (WBU) Super Middleweight World Crown in his home City of Lincoln, following the fourth round retirement of his opponent, Ghanaian Daniel Adjei Sowah.

Sat ringside throughout the intense, albeit short lived, battle was reigning World Boxing Foundation (WBF) Super Welterweight International and European Champion Tommy Jacobs, who  for the past year or so had been embroiled in a war of words on Social Media with the new Champ.

Following the fight it was clear that Jacobs being ringside and assisting his opponent was irritating the new Champion, as Decastro abandoned the on-camera post fight interview after answering just one question, choosing instead to switch tact altogether and voice his annoyance at Jacobs’ constantly calling him out on social media and that he had decided that he will make a voluntary defence of his WBU Crown against Jacobs as soon as the fight can be arranged.

Following further bitter public disagreements between the two protagonists eventually the venue and date were confirmed, as was the addition of the World Boxing Foundation (WBF) World Championship.

Supporting the Decastro-Jacobs WBU/WBF World title fight are two further Championship bouts.

The first sees Scotland’s Ben McGivern in battle once more against Hove, Sussex’s Navid Iran, for the vacant World Boxing Union (WBU) International Light Heavyweight Championship. 

Last time the pair locked horns, back in November last year, McGivern lifted the vacant Professional Boxing Council (PBC) International Light Heavyweight title after eight sensational, close fought, all action rounds.

The second Championship fight pits St Albans’ Andy Hojdys against Latvia’s Dmitrijs Ovjannikovs for both the World Boxing League (WBL) International and European Boxing League (EBL) European Light Heavyweight titles.

In addition to the three Championship contests, there are also a number of International matches, the first featuring Orkney’s reigning WBL and EBL European Welterweight Champion Paul Peers in an eight round non-championship bout against Tanzania’s Amos Mwamakula.

Ipswich’s unbeaten Super Middleweight prospect Rob Elden looks to keep a clean sheet and extend his tally of wins when he faces the highly experienced Nicaraguan hardpan Ronny McField in a six rounder.

Clacton-on-Sea’s undefeated Featherweight Ben ‘The Claxican’ Cook also seeks to increase his win tally, when he faces Pablo Narvaez, who also hails from Nicaragua, in a four rounder.

The final Pro bout features Dean Porter, who is eager to get back to winning ways, following his loss to Jack Jones last month. 

Porter also faces a Nicaraguan, in this case former International Boxing Organisation (IBO) and World Boxing Council (WBC) Youth World Title challenger Michael Isaac Carreo in a four round non-championship contest.

Nathan Decastro versus Tommy Jacobs for the World Boxing Union (WBU) and World Boxing Foundation Super Middleweight Championships headlines at the Prince’s Theatre, Town Hall, Station Road,, Clacton-on-Sea CO15 1SE on Saturday 22nd June 2019.

Tickets, priced £60 (VIP) and £30 (Standard seating) are available by calling the ticket line on 07475 096532 and from Monday on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com

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McGivern Secures Light Heavy Crown the Hard Way at Historic Clacton-on-Sea Event.

Ringside Report:Gianluca Di Caro – Photographs courtesy of Shane Leach

On Saturday night at the Princess Theatre in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, Professional Boxing made a most welcome return to the seaside town after almost 80 years, when Colchester’s Tommy Jacobs presented his latest boxing promotion, aptly titled ‘History’.

The previous pro boxing in the town, back in February 1939, see Ireland’s Mike Kavan beat London’s Charlie Mack at the then recently opened Butlin’s holiday camp.

Clacton is a town that’s steeped in boxing history, although since the second world war mainly of the Amateur variety, in fact Tommy Jacobs himself fought in the town on numerous occasions during his Amateur career and one of the greats of the sport is immortalized by the restaurant at the bowling alley on Clacton Pier, Armstrong’s, which is named after the American boxer John Henry Armstrong who beat British champion Ernie Roderick also in 1939.

 It seemed rather appropriate that the very first of the pro boxing contests of this new era should feature the current World Boxing Foundation (WBF) International and European Champion, as well as promoter of the event, Tommy Jacobs, in a non-Championship six round contest against Dundalk, Ireland’s Michael Kelly.

Right from the opening bell Jacobs took to the fight to his highly experienced opponent, albeit with just tentative testing jabs, but as the round progressed the action became more full on, with Jacobs backing up Kelly on to the ropes before letting rip with slick combinations to body and head.

Kelly, a previous multi-title challenger in his own right, initially covered up and absorbed the shots but soon began to counter effectively.

More of the same early in the second, although must credit Kelly for his slick responses that prevented Jacobs from having quite the same level of success in the first stanza, however as the clock entered the final 20 seconds or so of the round Jacobs started letting rip with big shots to the body with increasing success,so much so that literally in the final seconds Kelly was forced to take a knee after a particularly vicious left.

Unfortunately Kelly struggled to catch his breath and rise to his feet in time to beat Referee Lee Murtagh’s count, official time of the stoppage being 2 Minutes and 56 Seconds of the second round.

Following the fight Tommy Jacobs announced that the reason he undertook a non-championship six rounder and not the originally planned WBF Intercontinental title fight against Albanian Xhuljo Vrenozi, was that he has been proposed to potentially challenge Australia’s two time World Champion Sam Soliman for the World Boxing Foundation(WBF) World title in December.

The second bout of the night see Dean Porter making his professional debut against Liverpool’s Steven Sunners (2-0-0).

What a cracking all action affair, from start to finish both lads really went for it hammer and tongs.

After four scintillating closely fought rounds it came as no surprise that the result was going to be close, and close it was, Referee Lee Murtagh’s scorecard reading39-38 in favour of Liverpool’s Steven Sunners.

Next up was a four round Featherweight contest between Clacton’s very own Ben ‘The Claxican’ Cook and Belfast’s Chris Wong, both of whom were making their pro debuts.

The first couple of rounds, as with Porter-Sunners, were so closely fought that it wasn’t easy to call the winner of each round, however in the 3rd the decision was made a little easier after Cook landed a cracking body-shot late in the round to send the Irishman to his knees.

After four highly entertaining all action rounds Referee Lee Murtagh’s scorecard read 40-37 in favour of local hero Ben Cook.

As with the previous contest this was an all action thriller of epic proportions, so much so that it was without doubt it was the Fight of the Night.

Have to say really enjoyed this fight and hopefully after this pair get a few fights under their belts there’ll be a rematch as I would love to see these two in action against each other again, it was that good.

The fourth fight of the night see Ipswich Super Middleweight Rob Elden making his pro debut against Liverpool’s Lee Cooper.

Elden started hard and fast, taking the fight to his more experienced foe and letting rip with big shots to body and head. Initially Cooper covered up but soon started countering with some big shots of his own, however in doing so left an opening in his defence that the Ipswich man was quick to capitalise on with a big right to the head to send Copper to the canvas.

Copper made it to his feet and action resumed in very much the same vein, with Elden backing Copper up before letting rip with big shots, Cooper once again responded with big shots of his own. As the round approached the second minute, once again Elden found a chink in Cooper’s armour and this time landed a big right to the body to send the Liverpudlian to the canvas for a second and final time. Official time of the stoppage was one minute and fifty-nine seconds of the first round.

The headline fight of the night see Hove’s Navid Iran and Scotland’s Ben McGivern battling it out for the vacant Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Silver International Light Heavyweight title.

Battling it out is the correct term; this was a Battle Royale of epic proportions.

Right from the off Iran took the fight to McGivern, backing the Scot onto the ropes and letting rip with a flurry of big left and rights. McGivern sensibly covered up and waited an opportunity to counter, which he did with good effect once the opportunity arose.

However it wasn’t enough to prevent Iran coming back with a similar forceful attack almost immediately. McGivern once again managed to counter and initially take control.

As the round progressed Iran landed a couple of cracking shots that again forced McGivern tocover up. Iran kept up the pressure with big shots, whilst McGivern caught most with his gloves a big right got through the Scots guard, shaking him to the core.

How McGivern made it to the end of the round, I just don’t know, his legs were well and truly gone,but somehow he did.

Round two see Iran come out hard and fast, however McGivern was ready for the assault, again initially covering up but this time instead of just countering and covering, he spun his opponent and went hard on the attack himself.

Round three see McGivern taking the fight to Iran, which led to some great technical boxing ensuing from both protagonists.

The next few rounds were fought in similar vein. The final round though was an out and out war; both boxers throwing caution to the wind and an all out slugfest ensued for the entire final three minutes – what an exhilarating round.

After eight fantastic rounds of boxing it was Ben McGivern declared victor by scoring referee LeeMurtagh, by a 79-74 points margin.

Have to say whilst definitely the right result, the result just doesn’t convey just how close each and every round, but the first, was. These two really put on a magnificent show and was a serious contender for the Fight of the Night award.

What a great event to welcome pro boxing back to Clacton-on-Sea after a close to eighty-year hiatus, a return clearly appreciated by fans of the pugilistic arts who had packed the historic venue to the hilt almost an hour before the event was scheduled to begin.

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