By Iain Dolan
Chingford’s Boy Jones Jr (9st 3lbs 6oz) and Lowestoft’s Craig Poxton (9st 3lbs 1oz) served up a small hall classic at York Hall on Friday night. Poxton came flying out of the blocks and scored with heavy shots from both hands and Jones landed a couple of uppercuts of his own in an action packed first round. Poxton continued on the front foot over the next couple of rounds, landing almost at will as Jones struggled with the short range. With space in which to work, Jones landed some nice uppercuts but he was so often denied that space by Poxton’s relentless march forward.
Poxton remained the aggressor in the middle rounds but Jones upped his work rate and scored with jabs and straight rights of his own and had a very strong finish to the 6th. Poxton sustained a bad cut in the 7th and it looked as though the tide might be turning as Jones sought to meet fire with fire. Poxton refused to take a backward step though and stayed in the pocket, willing to take one to land one as blood poured down the side of his face. Heroic stuff. In the 10th and final round it seemed as though we were heading for the cards until Poxton uncorked a right hook and staggered Jones for the first time. A follow up barrage, culminating in a right hook put Jones on the deck. He beat the count but the writing was on the wall. Poxton piled it on putting Jones down for a second time and the Jones corner sensibly threw in the towel.
Swansea’s Jay Harris (7st 13lbs 6oz) was made to work every step of the way by Sunderland’s Thomas Essomba (7st 13lbs 2oz) in order to become commonwealth flyweight champion. Harris showed intent from the opening bell, throwing crisp combinations and looking every inch the showcase prospect in the first couple of rounds. The classy Welshman controlled the action in the early stages and landed several eye catching shots as Essomba tucked up and moved. The durable Essomba started throwing back with some menace in the 5th and took the next couple of rounds due to superior work rate and it looked as though Harris seemed to be fading. However, Harris rallied in the later rounds and, it turned out, had paced the fight very well as he came on strong when it mattered.
Harris’ trainer Gary Locket must take significant credit for his young charge being able to adapt to the 12 rounds and finish so strongly. The fighters embraced at the start of the 12th and the York Hall crowd showed their appreciation. Essomba charged forward and threw the kitchen sink but it wasn’t enough. Harris took a unanimous decision 117-112, 116,113 and 115,114 and should be going places. Essomba also showed huge heart and no little skill and can hopefully secure further big fights in the future.
Ticket seller Sanjeev Sahota scored a 2nd round KO against Elmir Raphael to the delight of his
fans. Solid body shots did the trick and Raphael was deemed unfit to continue in the 2nd. Based on his previous fight, Sahota seems to have a bit of a suspect chin but comes to fight anyway. Pretty much guaranteed entertainment.
Earlier in the evening, Nigel Benn’s son Harley scored a stoppage victory on his pro debut and Fulham’s Zac Chelli recorded a TD win over Trowbridge’s Jacob Lucas.
All in all, it was a cracking night at York Hall. A full house, lively crowd, well matched fights and a fantastic last round stoppage for a heroic underdog. A great way to kick off Boxnation’s BT Sport coverage.