Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Box Frenzy

Dean Harrison v Gary Reid, Civic Hall, Wolverhampton, Wednesday April 30 2008, 8.30pm.

Ever determined to expand his entertainment horizons, your sometimes squeamish scribbler went with Russ to check out some live boxing in Wolverhampton's Civic Hall. Russ had warned that a lot of these fight nights include local scrappers duking it out against jaded journeymen there for the taking, but advised me the main event, Dean Harrison v Gary Reid, looked a tastily-matched bout.

Local light-welterweight prospect Harrison was unbeaten going into the fight, but his opponent Gary Reid, formerly based in Wolverhampton himself although now trained in Stoke, is known as The Body Snatcher due to his trademark body punches, and looked to be no pushover. As indeed it proved during a tense tussle over eight three-minute rounds with both boxers receiving vociferous support from their respective fans. Harrison, the taller and leaner of the two, took time to settle into his style and impose himself on the shorter, stockier Reid, but by the end of the fight had just done enough to justifiably win a points verdict over an opponent who was compact and busy but perhaps didn't show quite enough ambition over the contest as a whole.

A much more knowledgeable account of the fight (with detailed descriptions of the other bouts on the bill) can be found here, which includes some florid Roy Of The Rovers style descriptions which afficionados of Dead Kenny's more overcooked moments will surely enjoy, but the other fight that stood out for your nosy novice on the night was in fact between two girl boxers, another local slugger by the name of Lyndsey Scragg pitted against a Ukrainian girl called Victoria Oleynik.

Must admit wasn't too sure about the prospect of watching two women punching each other's lights out, but for sheer spectacle to the untrained eye this was the best scrap of the night. Scragg's numerous and noisy supporters were clearly expecting an easy victory but before long technical advice on jabs etc. soon gave way to impatient exhortations to 'just fuckin' knock her out!' as Oleynik's combative combination of feral intensity and provocative showboating seemed to fluster Scragg out of her normal comfort zone. Luckily for your careworn correspondent's lugholes the local lass finally won through on points although to the casual observer Oleynik's pluck was admirable and she can feel a little hard done by with the outcome.

As a whole, the event seemed very efficiently run, the crowd were quite intimidating at times although there was only one skirmish (going on underneath our balcony) that troubled the security staff, and Russ and myself had easily enough hair between us than the rest of the male audience members put together, prompting at least one quip within earshot about us being 'like Wayne's World'. Although there weren't really any upsets to report most of the fights seemed quite closely matched and competitive on the night, even though a lumbering heavyweight encounter nearly lost our will to live. Personally, would have preferred fewer fights and bigger intervals between the bouts to allow some liquid refreshment (drinks couldn't be taken into the auditorium) and anticipation, but overall it was a fascinating evening, with many thanks to Russ for the good company and technical input.

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Anonymous Russ L said...

Heh heh heh. I didn't hear the "Wayne's World" crack. Awesome.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Russ L said...

(Also - I think the link in your last line is pointing at the wrong target)

8:19 PM  
Blogger Dead Kenny said...

Yeah, shame I can't recall any of the catchphrases, and remember few of the words to Bohemian Rhapsody (apart from scaramouche, scaramouche fandango, or whatever).

Also, spotter's badge for highlighting the wrong links in the last paragraph, these now should be fixed. Unless, of course, you are the secret alter ego to the British Boxing Net correspondent?

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Russ L said...

In terms of catcphrases I now realise that I should've ended that comment with "Excelleeent" rather than "awesome", but never mind. We can be Bill & Ted as well as Wayne & Garth.

I wish I was as well-informed about the ol' boxing as the BBN correspondent Tom Podmore.

3:43 PM  

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