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List of Articles by Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Fight Report: Trio of New Stars Emerge, Jacobs, Lyall & Crosby Impress on Debuts as Hillyard, Decastro & Taylor All Win By Stoppage

By Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro
14 Mar 2016

London promoter Mark Lyons had a nightmare of a run up to his first show of 2016, that took place on Friday night at York Hall, after seven fights are cancelled due to illness or injury in the preceding ten days and Ernest Amuzu, the opponent for headlining George Hillyard WBU International Title defense, fails to secure visa in time, yet somehow Mark Lyons manages to still put on a top class show on the night.

Instead of the proposed WBU title fight, the headline bout of the evening see the aforementioned George Hillyard in action in an eight rounder against very late replacement Dmitrijs Ovsjannikovs.

Right from the off Hillyard took the fight to his Latvian opponent, controlling things superbly with god solid jabs and short sharp double handed volleys, Ovsjannikovs responded well, letting rip with a couple of strong jabs and big right hander, but in doing so left him self open for a big left to the head followed by an even bigger right which sent the Latvian back, Hillyard then stepped forward and let rip with a solid double jab followed up in quick succession with a right to the body and instantly an even bigger right to the chin, that was bang on the money, to send Ovsjannikovs crashing to the deck.

The big Latvian tried desperately to raise himself but was clearly was so disoriented that he could barely raise himself to the first rope level as the count reached eight, leaving referee Ken Curtis no option but to wave the bout off on the thirty nine second mark of the first round.

There may not have been much action but Hillyard really did impress, not just because of the spot on right to the chin but also by his excellent ringcraft, his movement was fluid and his jabs were seriously solid and packed the kick of a mule, it’s a shame it wasn’t the title defense as without doubt he deserved the win and that would have put him in line for a shot at a possible World title shot in the near future.

After the fight unbeaten Nathan Decastro, who fought and won impressively early in the night, climbed into the ring and took the mike from MC Steve Holdsworth and proceeded to call Hillyard out to face him for the WBU title, Hillyard responded and for the next couple of minutes the pair faced off in a war of words, much to the fans delight.

Prior to the Hillyard- Ovsjannikovs bout was a double pro debut bout between former England Amateur Captain and three times Schoolboy Champion Tommy Jacobs and former Kickboxing World Champion Ryan Lyall from Scotland.

What a fight is all I can say, without doubt one of the most exciting closely fought all action bouts I’ve seen for a very, very long time, both protagonists gave their all from the start through to the final bell in front of a very appreciative and highly vocal crowd.

After four outstanding rounds of boxing referee, former British, European and WBU World Champion Wayne Alexander scored the bout 40-37 in favour of Essex’s Tommy Jacobs

Without doubt this was the Fight of the Night. Each round was very, very close but Jacobs just had the edge on two or three with his pin point accurate shots and quick double handed flurries, but all the same it seems such a shame that Lyall would walk away with a loss on his record, as this truly was one of the best, most exciting and equally matched fights in a long, long while, we can only hope that sometime in the future these two will come face to face again in the ring as I for one would love to see a rematch.

Preceding the sensational Jacobs-Lyall war was another massive Battle Royale, this time between Lincolnshire’s unbeaten in six, with four stoppage victories under his belt, Nathan Decastro and the highly rated unbeaten in eight, with seven stoppage wins, London based Ghanaian Ebenezer Amedor.

Decastro went on the attack hard and fast the instant the opening bell rang, backing up the Ghanaian on the ropes close to his own corner and just kept up the pressure until Amedor succumbed to a massive right that sent him down.

On the restart Decastro went in hard and fast again, Amedor responded with some excellent close range boxing but in doing so left himself open to another big right, this time to the body, from the Lincolnshire lad, which forced the Ghanaian to take to one knee.

Once more on the restart the pair went toe to toe, this time making it to the end of the first stanza.

More of the same in the second, with both talented boxers displaying their excellent boxing skills to the highly appreciative fans at ringside, Decastro’s power once again caused problems for Amedor as once more Decastro landed a cracking body shot to drop the Ghanaian, and as before as soon as the bout was restarted the toe-toe battle commenced.

Round three started much the way of the previous two, with Decastro taking the fight to Amedor, this time though on around the one minute mark Decastro let rip with a big double handed combination to body and head that sent Amador down and clearly struggling, so much so that the Ghanaian was unable to make the count, leaving referee Ken Curtis no option but to wave the fight off on the one minute and ten second mark.

Have to admit this is another fight I would like to see happen again sometime in the future, preferably with something like a title on the line as I have a feeling if it was a ten or twelve rounder this may have been a very different fight, whilst yes I feel that Decastro would still probably win, due to his outstanding skills and impressive stamina levels, he’s always been a very, very good fighter, but right now he looks a whole level or two higher than last time I see him box and a genuine title contender without doubt, but then again so is Amedor.

The second pro bout of the night see Grantham’s Tom Crosby making his pro debut against Belfast’s Marty Kayes.

Have to say that on any other night this fight would probably have earned Fight of the Night status, but of course it didn’t because of the unbelievably brilliant Jacobs vs Lyall bout that I covered earlier.

This was about as perfect a match up as you can get, Crosby came in a 67kg and Kayes at 68.8kg, both lads are about the same height and build and more importantly both love a war.

From start to finish this was a fight for the purist, with both men showcasing their first class boxing skills in magnificent fashion in a non-stop action packed thriller.

After four fantastic rounds of boxing referee Wayne Alexander scored the bout 40-36 in favour of Grantham’s Tom Crosby

The opening pro bout of the night see Essex’s Adam Taylor (0-1-0) against debuting former Kick Boxer, Latvia’s Fjodors Jefimovs.

Quite an interesting and technical battle this, as both men approached the bout with relative caution, Jefimovs as it was his first pro boxing bout and Taylor as he wanted to impress following the disappointing loss he suffered on his debut.

First round was all Taylor on the attack, albeit cautiously, but by the second round it really started to liven up, especially after the Latvian took a unexpected trip to the canvas following a sensational big right from Taylor.

On the restart Jefimovs became more aggressive in his approach, which seemed to suit Taylor who then began getting behind his jab more.

Third round started much the way the second finished with both men facing off to each other with flurries of action, then on the around the one and half minute mark Taylor went in with a double jab followed up by a big right to the body, which sent the Latvian to the deck and clearly in a lot of distress, so much so that as referee Ken Curtis was about half way through the count Jefimovs corner threw in the towel to bring the bout to an end on the one minute and forty eight second of the third round.

Supporting the reduced pro card Mark Lyons had hastily arranged for five exhibition bouts, as with the pro bouts all were highly entertaining and more importantly raised a lot of money for Charity, as the main exhibition bout, between Joe ‘Bugner’ Smith and Paul Wilshire was to raise much needed funds for a project to help keep youngsters away from violence on the streets by providing facilities and training in various sports.

All in all an excellent night of boxing and entertainment, I for one can’t wait for the next Wise Guys event, Mark Lyons brings a fresh approach to the sport, as besides the boxing he always ensures there is further entertainment for the fans, on Friday night it was a dancing troupe and have to say besides that and the excellent boxing the fans and boxers alike seemed to really enjoy the boxers stage show and catwalk entrance, more usually seen only at the biggest Championship bouts, that has become a feature of Wise Guys shows.

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