Ringside Report: Ultimate Boxxer 3
By Henry Walter
Talented prospect Derrick Osaze triumphed over seasoned campaigner Denis Grant yesterday evening to be crowned the Ultimate Boxxer 3 Champion at middleweight.
The two fighters utilised similar styles in the final, relying on educated pressure and precision punching to achieve their success. They were hard to split in the first and the second started in a similar close fashion, before Denis’ slightly smarter work began to edge him the round.
Denis used fast combinations to edge the early part of the final round before a brilliant Osaze uppercut saw him stagger to the floor. He never managed to get back into the fight, despite giving his all, and Osaze took a close, but thoroughly deserved, majority decision win.
It could be argued that Denis had never fully recovered from concussive blows he’d received during his brutal semi-final bout with Sean Phillips.
Denis had started the fight brightly, his tidier work allowing him to control the opening round, before a short right hand had knocked Phillips to the canvas to cement his advantage.
His busy style had seen him easily win the second but he’d run into serious trouble in the third when Phillips had landed two brutal left hooks, against the flow of the fight, to send him to the floor. Denis had shown serious heart to clamber back to his feet but had looked badly hurt and had only just made it to the final bell to scrape a close decision win.
The other semi-final saw Osaze take a split decision win over the formally undefeated Kieron Conway.
Osaze’s educated pressure saw him win every round on my card but the judges had it closer.
The last of the quarter-final bouts pitted Grant Denis against Joe Hurn. Grant pinched a close first, with his cleaner punches, before taking over in the second with fast combinations, punctuated with spiteful left hooks.
His classier work gave him the advantage throughout and he scored a brilliant knockdown in the third with a looping right hand that put Hurn down. Hurn rose, but did so on wobbly legs, and the fight was rightfully stopped.
The bout had been preceded by a bizarre gaffe from the event’s MC who had happily announced that Josh Groombridge was in the ring.
Groombridge had in fact already been knocked out by Sean Phillips in the previous quarter-final bout. He had started positively enough but had been quickly rocked by a hard Phillips right hand that he hadn’t been able to recover from. The referee had been forced to step in to halt the contest before the end of the first round.
The second quarter-final featured the tournament debut of eventual winner Dennis Osaze as he made comfortable work of former Southern Area Champion Tey Lynn-Jones. A second round knockdown in Osaze’s favour emphasised his dominance as he secured a unanimous points win.
Kaan Hawes had started well against Kieron Conway in the opening quarter-final but couldn’t sustain it and was beaten by Conway’s crisper boxing over three rounds.
In the last of the undercard fights Ultimate Boxxer 2 Champion Shakan Pitters laboured to an easy and predictable six round points win over journeyman Dmitrij Kalinovskij. Pitters kept it long and boxed patiently but looked bored at times as Kalinovskij offered very little offence.
Pitters looks a very promising prospect and it was a tad disappointing to see him facing this level of opposition six months removed from his big tournament win.
The other notable undercard fight featured former Love Island contestant Idris Virgo. Virgo took on Rene Molik and was expected to win easily. Molik hadn’t read the script and raised a few eyebrows when he dropped the undefeated Virgo in the first round. He’d clearly come to fight and landed several more hard punches in the aftermath as Virgo retreated.
The fight was dubiously stopped shortly afterwards, with the ringside doctor claiming Molik was unable to continue due to an accidental clash of heads, though it was not immediately apparent why.
As a result the official outcome of the fight was a technical draw, announced by the MC with the type of gusto that should be reserved for world title wins.
The first undercard fight of the night saw lightweight Sean Fennell ease to a 40-36 points win over Simas Volosinas.