Boxing


El Maachi defeats Junior Witter; English Title Shot Beckons For Ochieng; Toka Kahn-Clary off to The Nationals

Yassine El Maachi lived up to his nickname ‘The Showman’ as he beat former World Champion Junior Witter to win the Prizefighter Welterweights II crown at York Hall, Bethnal Green on Tuesday night, and says he’s ready to gatecrash the British Welterweight scene.

Moroccan-born Finsbury Park man El Maachi had been the centre of attention throughout the build-up to the night and he continued to hog the limelight in east London, seeing off Kevin McIntyre and former finalist Colin Lynes to face Witter in front of a packed out east London crowd.

Witter seemed to have the better of El Maachi in the opening moments of the final with a burst of action that looked to expose a gulf of class and experience between the two.

But El Maachi came right back at the former World Champion and appeared to floor him inside the opening 90 seconds of the first round, but the referee called it a slip. Either way, both men made an impression early-doors to stoke up the crowd and would go into their corners thinking they were on top.

The styles of the two fighters made for a close-up scrap that was as untidy as it was compelling, with a tetchy second round giving way to a mad last three minutes.

Neither fighter could be confident of their position in the fight, so the final round would always be decisive and while a farcical moment when Witter fell out of the ring and collided with a cameraman. Thankfully he bounced straight back into the ring, but solid body shots from El Maachi and a left towards the end may have been enough to get El Maachi the trophy, and get him the attention and big fights he craves.

“I had a lot of fans here tonight and this is for them,” said El Maachi. “I want to fight the best in the country and the best in Europe. No-one wants to fight me but now I’ve won this they cannot hide and I’ll face anyone.

“I knew Witter wouldn't be able to beat me. We have the same style but I've got faster hands than him and I've got more skill than him and I was the best fighter on the night.

“I loved the crowd – I had lots of supporters and I thank them for turning out tonight. A lot of people see what I can do and now those guys who avoided me will have to fight me. I got tired of chasing people, I've been doing that for so long now, but I won't have to do it anymore and I will take anyone on.”

It was a vicious body shot in the opening round of his semi-final against Kevin McIntyre that saw Witter through as the Scotsman took a knee. He got back to his feet but was unable to make an impression and the former World Champ cruised into the final.

Any hopes of a same-venue rematch between old rivals Lynes and Witter were dashed in the semis as El Maachi edged a tight affair against the Hornchurch fighter. The Moroccan’s bravado was replaced by caution and respect against Lynes, and as a result, it was a nervous nine minutes of action which ended in a split decision. One judge awarded Lynes the fight 30-28, but it wasn’t enough as the remaining judges gave it to El Maachi 29-28, 29-28.

El Maachi cut his shin on the entrance to the last quarter-final against Peter McDonagh, but that was the sole low point in a magical night for ‘The Showman’, who saw that all four quarters would be won by the favourites.

The first three quarter-finals saw the bookies tips dish out boxing lessons to their opponents with clinical wins. Kevin McIntyre boxed well in the opening fight of the night against John-Wayne Hibbert to claim a points decision with all three judges scoring the fight 29-28 in his favour.

Witter looked cool and composed in seeing off the challenge of Nathan Graham in the second quarter final of the night and Colin Lynes had far too much class for Bobby Gladman in the third bout of the night.

But it was the fourth quarter final that sparked the full house into life, as El Maachi and McDonagh crossed swords. The pair had words at the weigh-in on Monday and there was no love lost until the pair embraced as they waited for the decision. In the nine minutes they duelled for a semi-final spot, El Maachi roared out of the traps and looked like he wanted to finish things early against the Bermondsey-based Irishman, proving to be every part ‘The Showman’ as he exuberantly set about his rugged opponent in the opening salvo.

El Maachi acted the pantomime villain with more jibes at the end of an opening round that he dominated, and that seemed to rile McDonagh, who came out fighting in a scrappy second round – but again, the flashier El Maachi came to life at the right time and ended the second well. The third looked like the last chance for McDonagh to impress but as with the opening six minutes, his southpaw rival unloaded upper cut after upper cut to take the unanimous decision and start his march to glory.

Prizefighter Welterweights II results:

Quarter-finals

Kevin McIntyre beat John-Wayne Hibbert – unanimous decision 29-28, 29-228, 29-28

Junior Witter beat Nathan Graham – unanimous decision 30-28, 30-28, 39-28

Colin Lynes beat Bobby Gladman – unanimous decision 30-27, 30-27, 30-27

Yassine El Maachi beat Peter McDonagh – unanimous decision 30-27, 29-28, 29-28

Semi-finals

Junior Witter beat Kevin McIntyre – unanimous decision 30-27, 29-27, 29-27

Yassine El Maachi beat Colin Lynes – split decision 29-28, 28-30, 29-28

Final

Yassine El Maachi beat Junior Witter – majority decision 29-29, 29-28, 29-28

English Title Shot Beckons For Ochieng After Convincing Win Over Cameron

London - Wednesday, 8th June 2011. Stoke Newington’s sensational Light Middleweight prospect Erick ‘The Eagle’ Ochieng returned to training, at the TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town, this week after taking a short rest following his magnificent points win over the highly rated, and previously unbeaten, Liam Cameron.

Erick happily accepted the offer to face Cameron, on his home turf in Sheffield, even though Cameron was unbeaten in nine outings and being hailed as a prospective title contender.

Young Erick put on a scintillating performance to easily take the victory by a 77-74 points margin, which see him rocket up the rankings and into championship contention. It is proposed that Erick will now challenge current holder Brian Rose for the English Light Middleweight title later this year.

Following a training session, under the watchful eyes of manager-trainer Brian Lawrence, Erick spoke briefly about the fight, “Yes, I did the business. I want to thank God for the victory.

It was a good fight. He was rated as a good amateur, former ABA champion he had nine fights, nine wins, has three TKO’s so I went to his back yard and took care of business you know.

Broke him down, you know, I was ready to knock him out, but I got the win. I’m not shocked because I knew I was going to go there and beat him. It just shows what kind of fighter I am. As I keep saying I am a World Champion in the making, you know.

He was a good fighter, I beat him because of the fighters I have fought compared to the fighters he has fought, you can’t compare. I had tough fights, you know those tough fights work to my credit and make me a stronger fighter, more determined to win.

Now I’m rated number ten in Britain, so which is good, set me up good. My next fight will be for the English title, which Brian Rose has at the moment, so we’re going to be taking it from him, hopefully in September.

Brian Lawrence is a very good coach and the best is yet to come as they say. I feel good and I’m back in training now. I took a week off and I feel good and strong so it’s just onwards and upwards now.”

Further news on the proposed Brian Rose versus Erick ‘The Eagle’ Ochieng, for the English Light Middleweight title, is expected in the near future - watch this space.

Providence amateur boxer Toka Kahn-Clary off to The Nationals

PROVIDENCE (June 8, 2011) – U.S. Olympic Boxing Team hopeful Toka Kahn-Clary, the recent 18-year-old E3 Academy graduate in Providence, will be shooting for a berth in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials when he competes in the upcoming 2001 USA Boxing National Championships at Colorado Springs.

By finishing among the top four in the 132-pound division at The Nationals, June 20-24, Kahn-Clary will advance to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. The winners there in each of the eight divisions will become members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team, which will participate in the 2011 World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan to try and qualify for 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The Liberia-native who moved to Providence 12 years ago already captured top honors in the 132-pound lightweight division this year at the at the New England Tournament of Champions at Foxwoods Resort Casino (CT), New England Golden Gloves Tournament in Lowell (MA), and Northeast Regional Championships at Lake Placid (NY).

Kahn-Clary’s coach, Peter Manfredo Sr., (Manfredo’s Gym in Pawtucket), explained that Toka will represent Regional 1 (New England, New York and New Jersey) at The Nationals. “All Toka needs to do is win two fights and he’ll qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team Box-Offs,” said Manfredo, who is also coach of the Regional 1 team. “Toka is looking real good. He’s had great sparring partners, pros and amateurs. I brought in all styles – power, speed, pressure, etc. – because we wanted him to work with every possibility that he may box in this tournament. The Nationals is most prestigious and important tournament because the top four make it to the Box-offs, unlike only the winners for the other four tournaments (PAL, Golden Globes, Armed Forces and Last Chance Qualifier).”

Last year, Kahn-Clary (72-7 career amateur record) captured a gold medal in the 123-pound bantamweight class of the National Golden Gloves Tournament.

If Toka earns a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team, he will become the third straight Olympic boxer from Rhode Island, joining Jason Estrada and Demetrius Andrade from the 2004 and 2008 squads, respectively.

Article posted on 08.06.2011



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