Event Report: Jacobs Does The Business in Style!

Event Report: Jacobs Does The Business in Style!

Report by Gianluca Di Caro

Photos courtesy of Shane Leach Photography

Boy oh boy what a sensational night of boxing at the Charter Hall in Colchester on Saturday night.  It may have been a small hall show without any Championship fights on the card but you would never have guessed that by the World class presentation and electric atmosphere.

World Boxing Foundation (WBF) International and European Super Welterweight Champion Tommy ‘Sweet T’ Jacobs had two hats on that night, Promoter and Fighter, both of which he accomplished in stunning style.

The lighting rig, with big screens above showing all the action close up, along with the pyrotechnics and ring walk light show rivalled any of the major Championship events at the O2 or Maddison Square Gardens or similar and the way the show was run was so slick you’d have thought this was being beamed live around the world adhering to strict TV schedule times.

OK, the scene is set, so let’s get to the fights themselves, starting with the aforementioned Tommy Jacobs versus unbeaten Super Middleweight Scott ‘Mad Dog’ McIntyre from Liverpool, which was sponsored by Roman Cars, The Grapes Pub, BOR Scaffolding and RDX Sports

Yep that is not a mistake Jacobs had gone up two weight divisions for the fight, as he is hoping to challenge Bardney, Lincolnshire’s Nathan ‘The Nightmare’ Decastro later in the year should Decastro beat Daniel Adjei Sowah and secure the World Boxing Union (WBU) World title on April 27th.

Now I’ve seen all of McIntyre’s fights and seven of Jacobs’ ten fights to date, so was intrigued that Jacobs chose such a tough unbeaten opponent, but also in a way understood, as McIntyre’s fight style is not that dissimilar to Decastro’s.

When the opening bell rang, Jacobs strode forward and began letting rip with massive shots to body and head, McIntyre sensibly covered up initially as the blows rained down on him but soon responded with some shots of his own, only to be caught by a peach of a shot that clearly rocked him to the core. 

Seeing that he had rocked McIntyre, Jacobs jumped in and began raining down further big shots to finish off his opponent, however McIntyre is granite like and absorbed the punishment before once again letting his hands go.

Jacobs walked straight threw them and continued his massive attack and backed McIntyre on to the ropes.

McIntyre switched from his normal fight style, which is full on attack, attack and more attack, to tying up his opponent and boxing on the inside. 

Whilst this, Jacobs on the attack throwing big shots followed by a lot of close up battling, became more or less the format for the contest, there were some sensational open action to thrill the fans, such as in round five, following some close on the inside action McIntyre sustained a cut above his right eye. Jacobs took a step back and and started targeting with stiff jabs, before firing off big lefts and rights to the head.

Coming out for the sixth and final round Jacobs switched from full on attack to getting behind his jab, which provided McIntyre the opportunity to be on the front foot and push Jacobs back on to the ropes.

Jacobs, even though now on the defensive, displayed some sensational ring craft, dipping and slipping to avoid most of the shots coming his way, before countering in style.

After six exhilarating rounds its was to Referee Lee Murtagh’s scorecards which read a 60-54 in favour of Colchester’s Tommy Jacobs, whilst definitely the right result it just doesn’t convey how close many of the rounds were.

Preceding Jacobs-McIntyre was a four round Featherweight contest between Clacton on Sea’s Ben ‘The Claxican’ Cook and Ghanaian Michael Barnor, sponsored by Roman Cars.

Cook shot out of his corner as soon as the opening bell rang and went straight on the attack, immediately negating his much taller opponents reach advantage, targeting the body with big left and right hands.

Have to say that Cook’s tactics more or less mirrored Jacobs’ in his fight with McIntyre, about the only difference being that Barnor was not as comfortable as McIntyre boxing on the inside.

Cook was relentless and by about three quarters point his constant pressure paid off, as Barnor was forced to take to one knee following a pin-point accurate shot to the lower rib.

For the next three rounds, Cook just kept the pressure on the Ghanaian, allowing Barnor no room to operate and showcase his well honed skills when boxing long, which those ringside only got glimpses of on the night, due to Cook’s constant pressure.

After four excellent rounds Referee Lee Murtagh scored the contest 40-35 in favour of Ben ‘The Claxican’ Cook.

The third fight of the night pitted Hove’s Navid Iran against Liverpool’s Kyle McNicholas in a four round Light Heavyweight contest, sponsored by Roman Cars.

Iran is very much an all action, attack minded character and tonight he stuck to his game plan and went full-on right from the opening bell, peppering McNicolas with huge shots to body and head.

McNicholas, despite having to cover up initially, managed to create a little space and let his hands go, which just seemed to encourage Iran to close McNicholas down before letting rip with a barrage of shots culminating with a massive bodyshop, that sent the Liverpudlian down to the canvas and clearly in distress, leaving Referee Lee Murtagh no option but to wave the fight off on the 56 second mark of the first round.

Preceding Iran-McNicholas see local lad Dean Porter against Dundalk, Ireland’s Michael Kelly in a four round Super Lightweight Contest, sponsored by RDX Sports.

What a sensationally close fought contest, both Porter and Kelly entertaining the assembled crowd with some fantastic boxing.

With Porter, coming off a close debut loss to Steve Sunners back in November, and Kelly coming in off the back of a classy victory over Dougie Vincent back in February, it was clear from the opening bell that both fighters were intent on having a perfect unbeaten start to the year, as they battled it out at centre ring.

Each second of each round was fought with such passion and skill it was a joy to be ringside observing. It was like a mix of a chess match and a choreographed routine, as  both combatants showcased their finely honed skills to a highly appreciative crowd.

After four scintillating rounds of boxing Referee Lee Murtagh’s scorecard read a very close 39-38 points victory in favour of Dean Porter.

The opening fight of the night see Ipswich’s Rob Elden against late replacement Liverpool’s David Taylor, sponsored by RDX Sports. Taylor literally was a very late replacement as original opponent David Calveley had to pull out on the Friday.

Elden shot out of the corner as the opening bell chimed, taking the fight to his opponent, Taylor immediately got behind his jab after the initial assault, in an effort to stall Elden’s forceful march forward.

Elden just kept coming forward forcing Taylor into a short toe-to-toe slugging match before conceding control and being forced back on to the ropes.

As the round was entering it’s final minutes Taylor was forced back into defending with his back towards his own corner, Elden lands a heavy shot to Taylor’s ribs, Taylor initially covers up and then goes to throw a big right but as he does let’s out a loud gasp and drops to his knees clearly in distress. 

Referee Lee Murtagh immediately began the count, but it was clear to all in attendance Taylor was in a lot of pain so halted the contest so the medical team could attend to the wounded combatant. Official time of stoppage two minutes and thirty six seconds of the first round.

Roll on the next Tommy Jacobs’ promoted event, which takes place at the Prince’s Theatre in Clacton-on-Sea on the 22nd June 2019, if it’s just half as good as this one then it’s going to be a must see show.

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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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