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DREW BROWN WINS ULTIMATE BOXXER

Punching machine Drew Brown stuck the boot in and put Northampton on the world stage again by winning boxing’s exciting new tournament Ultimate Boxxer.

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By Aaron Cooper

A single night elimination tournament is a war of attrition.A one-night tournament negates boxing skill, instead, he who possesses the most firepower and the strongest chin is likely to have his hands raised at the end of the night. Yesterday evening at Manchester Arena eight previously unbeaten men stepped inside the squared circle with one common goal. To be crowned the inaugural 'Ulitmate Boxxer'.

Tactics and planning made way for an evening of raw intensity, heart, and courage. After all, there could be only one winner. For the thousands in attendance and the many more watching at home, what it lacked in skill it made up for in pure excitement. Whilst only one winner could be crowned, in my eyes they were all winners on the night.

Before the night began, Northampton's Drew Brown told the boxing world that he aimed to put the market town he comes from firmly on the map. He said that There’s never been a British boxing champion from Northampton and he intends to change that. He took an all-important first step last night by becoming the first Ultimate Boxxer. Let's have a look at how he did it.

QUARTERFINAL 1: DREW BROWN (10-0, 1 KO) VS JIMMY COOPER (6-1-1).

Cooper opened first looking to work the body and having some success, but things heated up quickly. Brown found his range straight away. Finding a home for an uppercut-body-uppercut combination followed up with a short right hand that sent his opponent down. Jimmy ’s haste in getting up showed a naivety was not a good sign and the referee stopped it at 2:23.

QUARTERFINAL 2: KAISEE BENJAMIN (4-1, 1 KO) VS SAM EVANS (10-1-1, 3 KOS).

Benjamin showed some slick movement in the opening stanza, but it was clear that it was Evans who was the more aggressive and determined man in there.  In round 2, Evans was routinely getting through the guard of Benjamin. The third round was no different. While Benjamin never looked in any trouble and did manage to land a sweet right hand, Evans again was the far busier fighter and rightly awarded a unanimous decision with scores of 29-28 on all 3 cards.

QUARTERFINAL 3: TOM YOUNG (6-1, 1 KO) VS BEN ELAND (4-1-1).

From the opening bell, Young set a frantic pace. Clearly, the three-round format suiting him right to the ground. Eland is a counter puncher and the format perhaps not suiting him. Though it must be said all the cleaner and more eye-catching work came from the Stoke man, it was hard to look past the all-action style of Young. The second round was far closer, with Eland producing some lovely shots on the back foot. But in the third Young’s work rate again catching all of the judge's eyes. With him being awarded the fight by all three judges 30-27, 30-27 & 29-28

QUARTERFINAL 4: ISAAC MAC LEOD (11-1, 3 KOS) VS ANDY KREMNER (9-1, 2 KOS).

The final quarterfinal saw a bout between the two pre-tournament favourites, and I have to say I would love to see this fight again. Only this time over a longer format. Mac Leod went straight to work to the body and didn't give Kremner an inch. The second round was a far more balanced round, with Kremner altering his tactics and adjusting well. A clash of heads saw a cut to Mac Leod. The third saw an out and out slugfest, neither man willing to give ground, but at the end of the bell, it was a Kremner round. Ultimately, Mac Leod got the nod with a split decision, scores being 29-28, 28-29 and 29-28 in his favour.

SEMI FINAL 1: DREW BROWN VS SAM EVANS.

An advantage in reach wasn’t able to help Brown’s cause. At first, Brown seemed unable to keep Evans at bay and got caught with a couple of hooks that landed clean but the end of the round saw him finish strong with a great right hand. Brown began peppering the jab in Evans' face in round 2 and would not give up the centre of the ring, landing some telling blows. At this point, the fight was still open at one round a piece. Evans began the third round by pressing the action with some clean right hooks. But Brown was able to weather the storm and come back firing. The moments before the decision were very tense and it has to be said that it was Evans who seemed the more confident man. However the scoring judges favoured Brown who moved to the final via a split decision with scores of 28-29 and twice 29-28.

SEMI FINAL 2: ISAAC MAC LEOD VS TOM YOUNG.

This was a short and sweet affair. Whilst Mac Leod must have entered the fight fancying his chances to win the lot. I’m not sure many could have predicted what came next. Young was a former academy footballer and white collar boxer. Mac Leod a World and European youth medalist. Both men came out swinging toe to toe. But, two hard shots from Young put Mac Leod on the deck and the referee called it off at 1:15 of the first.

FINAL: DREW BROWN VS TOM YOUNG.

Both men entered the ring having boxed the same amount of rounds in the tournament at four in total. Lord knows how he did it but Brown’s engine is incredible and it was again he that pushed the pace. But neither man was willing to give up any ground. Round two saw any shred of strategy go flying out of the window as they both engaged in a shootout. Brown’s right cross was a noteworthy shot throughout the bout. Young’s shots simply bouncing off of Brown, buoyed by his success and sensing victory was in sight. His persistence paying off has he sealed a unanimous decision with scores of 30-27 and 29-28 twice.

 

Credit where credit is due t.o Mr Carl Greaves for his excellent matchmaking. I look forward to see if the formula can be repeated at different weights.