Sunday, 29 April 2012

Boxing comes home!

Outside view of the Royal Albert Hall.
Last night (April 28th) I had the privilege of being a spectator at the Royal Albert Hall for the first professional boxing show to be staged there in 13 years and I have to take my hat off to Frank Warren for putting on a fantastic show even with world champion Nathan Cleverly pulling out.

Picture taken by Jack Price.
The atmosphere was amazing! Even the first few fights felt like you watching to world class fighters boxing in massive arena. Three of the eight fights ended in the first round but the five that didn't end early made up for it.

The fight of the night would have probably have to go to Matthew Hall Vs Sam Webb. It was a thrilling fight that could have easily gone either way. The decision was given to Webb but only just. The 31-year old had a large amount of support from the crowd whilst Hall's fans could hardly be heard but the former commonwealth champion managed to win over a large part of the crowd with his exciting and courageous fighting style.

Billy Joe Saunders beat Tony Hill in the main event, to become the new Commonwealth middleweight champion. 22-year old Saunders was simply too strong for Webb and managed to stop him less than a minute into the first round.

Frank Buglioni extended his unblemished record to 4-0 with a first round stoppage of his unknown Russian opponent. His loyal army of fans took over the place with their trademark chanting and dancing. It was hard to hear yourself think, the atmosphere was that intense and loud.

Other fights on the card included Bradley Saunders Vs Danny Donchev (Saunders 1st round stoppage), Bradley Skeete Vs Ross Payne (Skeete 1st round KO) and Andreas Evangelou Vs Jamie Kelly (draw).

Nathan Cleverly may not have been fighting but he was still there to support the other boxers and meet and greet with the fans. All the boxers on the card were happy to hang around after the show and take pictures with the fans.

Overall, it was a fantastic show with some great fights and I cannot wait for the next championship boxing at the Royal Albert Hall.

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