Written & photo by Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro
They don’t call promoter Spencer Fearon ‘Mr Boxing’ for nothing, the man
who boxed under the name ‘The Spirit’ has turned the London Boxing scene
on it’s head, since making the move to promoting, and in the process his
Hard Knocks Boxing Promotions organisation has rightfully earned the
reputation of putting on the best shows in the Capital, bar none.
Why you may ask? Well the answer is simple, the fans are treated to
genuine 50/50 fights between the most heavily avoided fighters in the
land, and beyond. The result is virtually every fight on every show
becomes an instant all ‘Fight of the Year’ contender.
Take his last show, at the York Hall in Bethnal Green back in October last
year, there were five barn storming fights, in fact every fight was top
class so it really is hard to know which fight to highlight.
It could so easily be Choi Tseveenpurev out and out war with Janis
Puksins, mind you it only took Choi four minutes and forty six seconds to
dispatch the young upstart, or it could be the feisty all action British
Masters title rematch between Darren Hamilton and Dave Ryan. Then again
Nathan Graham’s firestorm win over Aleksandrs Radjuks was something
special as was Kreshnik Qato’s bruising battle with Terry Carruthers but
for this I’ve decided to go with the sensational Simon O’Donnell versus Ty
The fight started out with Derby’s Mitchell taking the fight to the ultra
slick O’Donnell, pitter-pattering his way in with his superb jab before
unloading big right hands with great effect, so much so that O’Donnell was
sent to the canvas midway through the first round.
Round two see the pair go on full out attack, Mitchell dropping his hands
in an attempt to out speed the super fast forward coming O’Donnell. Round
three was more of the same but the turning point came about midway through
the third, when O’Donnell landed a pair of massive right hands, the last
sending Mitchell’s gumshield into orbit.
That was it then, O’Donnell had the mark of his man and he wasn’t going to
let him off lightly, constantly letting rip with big rights and vicious
left hooks at every opportunity in the fourth and fifth rounds.
Whilst still looking to land the big shots in the sixth, O’Donnell turned
to his slick jabbing until the opening came and he fired off a massive
right hand left hook combination that sent the Midlander crashing down and
out to the canvas, Mitchell did get to his feet but was clearly in no
state to continue.
Spencer’s next offering, Shamrock Showdown II, at The Troxy in Limehouse,
London this coming Friday (23rd March), is clearly going to offer those
lucky enough to score a ticket more of the same fare.
For a start Simon O’Donnell will be back in action, as will Hard Knocks
stalwarts Darren Hamilton and Nathan Graham.
Heading up the show will see the Mongolian Warrior himself, ‘Choi’, taking
on Bastien Rozeaux for the WBC International Silver title. Choi is a
supreme knockout artist, but in Rozeaux he may have met his equal, as the
Frenchman has an eighty percent knockout record, so expect an all out war
with an early finish.
For ‘SHAMROCK SHOWDOWN II’ Spencer will be showcasing three of his latest
signings. First up is the former IBF Youth and British Featherweight
Champion Martin Lindsay.
Lindsay, whose record stands at 17-1, has been out of the ring since
losing his British title, to John Simpson back in December 2010, and will
surely be looking to impress in order to get back into Championship
contention once again.
SHAMROCK SHOWDOWN II also features the debut of Spencer’s protégé Larry
‘The Natural’ Ekundayo, whom Mr Boxing describes as ‘seriously special’,
so read that as this kid is exceptional and a star of the future.
The final new signing on the show is TRAD TKO Boxing Gym’s Dutch
Cruiserweight sensation Mitchell Balker, who takes on unbeaten Leed’s
hardman Phil ‘China’ Clarke.
Now those of you who do not know Balker are in for a treat. As an amateur
this kid traveled to New York on his own to take part in, and win, the
prestigious Golden Gloves at the famous Madison Square Gardens.
After winning his first three pro bout Balker then relocated to London to
be managed and trained by the esteemed Johnny Eames. In his first UK fight
he took on top British cruiserweight Matty Askin, which he lost in a
rather controversial manner, after the referee stepped in to stop the
fight midway through an exchange that clearly hurt Hatton’s prospect and
give the decision in favour of Askin.
Balker bounced straight back with a great shutout victory over Nick Okoth
before facing world ranked knockout artist Richard Turba on yet another
Hatton show, this time Balker made sure that Turba wouldn’t get any home
advantage, even after visiting the canvas in the second, by dominating
every single round in magnificent style to take a close 57-56 points
That was a seriously big win, one which rocketed the Dutchman into the
World top fifty, however it also sent him the top of the domestic
‘Fighter’s to Avoid’ list and it became almost impossible to get him any
more fights in the UK, that is until Spencer took him into the Hard Knocks
“he’s a good fighter, he has the potential to be a great fighter if he’s
given the opportunity. He’s an exciting fighter and this will be a highly
exciting fight over six rounds.
He’s sold a lot of tickets, which is surprising as he’s from the
Netherlands, so he’s going to come out and impress his supporters.
He’s gonna do his job and he’s in for a good fight, this other kid’s a
good fighter, fair play to Mark Bateson, he brings his boys together and
they come to win, they don’t come to make up the numbers and Phil Clarke’s
got a good pedigree, he’s unbeaten in seven.
Mitchell’s in great, great shape and It’s going to be a great, great
fight, I’m looking forward to it.
Anyone that comes to the show or subscribe to Premier Sports are set for a
fantastic evening of Boxing.
I put on proper fights, our shows are full of exciting fights and this one
is no different, it don’t matter if our fighters win or not I just want
the best fights and that means ones that are evenly matched and either
fighter can win.
Get there, get there, just go to the TKO website and buy tickets and get
ready for the best show in town, it’ll be incredible – I’m living the
dream, Hard Knocks for life.”
Mitchell Balker versus China Clarke will feature on the support card of
Choi Tseveenpurev’s challenge for the vacant WBC Silver International
Featherweight title at Spencer Fearon’s Hard Knocks Boxing Promotions
‘Shamrock Showdown II’ event at the Troxy in Limehouse, London on Friday
23rd March and broadcast live on Premier Sports (Sky platform Ch 433)
Limited amount of tickets still available, priced £35 on-line at
www.tkoboxoffice.com or in person at the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian
House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA