Brawl in the Hall: Hughes into title contention plus wins for Little, Al Qahtani and more

Boxing and York Hall never part ways for long. That was especially the case this week when – after a successful Thursday night Wasserman promotion was broadcast live on Boxing Social – boxing fans returned to the historic venue just two days later. 

Goodwin Boxing’s ‘Brawl at the Hall’ promotion on Saturday night was unfortunately stripped of its title fight. Ricky Little vacated the Southern Area Super Flyweight Title which he was scheduled to defend against Jack Hughes, leaving the card without a title clash. 

Hughes still appeared on the card, jumping up to super bantamweight to take on Raymond Commey of Accra, Ghana. ‘The Punk Kid’ dominated the headline bout, showing good ring generalship throughout and taking a 59-55 decision.

34-year-old Commey’s game plan was seemingly to walk the Londoner down and hurt him with barrages of body shots, but a fast aggressive start from Hughes left the Ghanaian unable to find his rhythm. Hughes sprang in and out of range, using fast footwork, feints and pivots to evade Commey’s shots, before replying with his own combinations. 

For the most part Hughes’ movement left Commey frustrated and unable to land meaningful shots. However a solid left hook just before the end of the third round caught Hughes hard on the chin. This encouraged Commey, who went on to have his best round in the fourth, closing the distance more effectively and landing hooks to head and body. 

Hughes looked slightly shaken up and Commey took the round, leaving the fight somewhat in the balance. After that brief scare, Hughes found his sharpness again in the fifth stanza, evading wild hooks from Commey and seeing the fight out with a nice mix of back-foot boxing and aggressive forays forward that kept Commey guessing. 

Manager and promoter, Steve Goodwin plans for Hughes to contest a title belt in his next outing. 

Well-supported cruiserweight, Mark Little took on Ossie Jervier in the final fight of the night. The ‘Boleyn Boy’ entered the ring with four stoppages on his 12-1 record.

Little started on the front foot, pressing the action. In the second, Jervier pot-shotted with his jab and briefly forced Little onto the ropes with a flurry of hooks to the body. He didn’t press his advantage though and ultimately the Boleyn Boy consistently outworked Jervier throughout. He came on strong in the third, landing a long right hand that had Jervier in real trouble. 

Little was unable to force the stoppage but had Jervier in trouble, showing plenty of effective aggression in the third and fourth. The 33-year-old is now 13-1 and looks ready to contest a southern area title, or similar. 

Earlier fans watched on as Zuhayr Al Qahtani took on experienced journeyman, Michael ‘Mad Man’ Mooney over six rounds at welterweight. The Saudi southpaw put his shots together well and landed plenty of punishing lead right hooks to the body in the early stages of the fight.

Mooney offered little in terms of aggression, but grinned widely on the final bell. He’s edging closer to his hundredth fight and boxes again in Colne, Lancashire, in two weeks. (Currently 9-76-2.) Al Qahtani performed well but fans may be concerned that the super lightweight is yet to stop an opponent. 

Bromley middleweight Jack Owen went into his fifth career fight hoping to hand Jordan Grannum his 82nd career defeat. Ultimately he did, but there was plenty of drama along the way in a four-rounder that could have been the fight of the night. 

Owen looks a skilful prospect, deploying impressive shot selection and a nice relaxed style. He outworked Grannum but was on the receiving end of a huge right uppercut at the end of the second round. He was hurt again in the third, Grannum worked in and out of range, picking his shots and landing several big right hands. Owen’s shot volume ultimately won the day 40-36 after some scary moments for the Bromley man’s fans, but it was a surprise Grannum was not awarded the third round. 

Harry Webb opened the show for those fans that turned up for the first bell. The 6-1 super welterweight took on three-fight novice Charlie Sheldon, who is yet to record a win. He looked the fitter, more confident and well schooled fighter – clinching a 40-36 decision win. 

Denis Denikajev took on Lee Hallet at super lightweight. Hallet is another experienced and notoriously tough away fighter, but he struggled at times against Denikajev. A fighter that Steve Goodwin has flagged as one of his top prospects. 

Ryan Copland took on Ian Morrall over four rounds at middleweight. Morrall was making his debut in the away corner and was in deep trouble in the third round. Consistent, patient and accurate work from Copland weathered the debutant and a barrage of stinging body punches on the ropes saw the Liam-Conroy-trained take a knee. It was well timed and allowed him to recuperate sufficiently to see the fight out. Copland took the decision 40-35. 

Debutant Ahmed Hatim faced Matar Sambou in another four round welterweight contest. Hatim showed nerves in the first round, which was scrappy as the fighters repeatedly tangled and Sambou held at any opportunity. 

In the third round Hatim got comfortable, found his rhythm and really started to hurt Sambou. Bludgeoning hooks on the ropes had the Barnet-based Senegalese in trouble, but once again he held and managed ultimately to see the final bell. There was lots to like about Hatim once he warmed to his task, displaying shot selection and seemingly power. He took the decision 40-36. 

Super welterweight Tyler Marriott went into his second career contest against Luke Middleton. It was a highly competitive four rounds from which Marriott will learn plenty. The young prospect made nice use of an accurate lead uppercut throughout the bout and made good use of his jab. Middleton was competitive throughout and may have felt slightly hard done by as regards the 40-36 card. Marriott was too easy to hit in the final round, but overall showed promise. He’s now 2-0.