GBM Sports promoted the ‘Battle of Yorkshire’ as Bradford’s Hamed Ghaz fought Doncaster’s Reece Mould, with IBF Flyweight world champion, Sunny Edwards as a special guest commentator.
The undercard was littered with local talent, as a grand-total of five undefeated South-Yorkshire fighters aimed to defend their unbeaten records.
Bree Wright (2-0) opened the night for what was her third professional fight. Having fought back from being on the brink of suicide to becoming national champion, Wright has faced plenty of issues outside of the ring, but had no issues inside of it against Joyce Van Ee (2-1-1). Although the Belgian came to win, Wright dominated from the opening bell and Sheffield’s answer to the women’s boxing boom marched on, to win a comfortable 60-54 decision.
Worksop’s first female professional fighter, Nicola Hopewell (2-0) showed her speed in a decisive victory over Bulgaria’s Ivanka Ivanova (5-21-3). Despite an unconventional timeout in the opening round, as Ivanova left her rather large ear rings in, victory for Hopewell never looked in doubt, and she cruised to a 60-54 decision and continued her impressive start in the super-flyweight division.
After heartbreak in the Boxxer series semi-final last year, Sheldon McDonald (5-1) seems hell bent on proving he can mix it with the top British cruiserweights. The 26-year-old is mentored by former world champion, Johnny Nelson, and always looked too sharp for Liverpool’s Brad Davies (0-1). In the second-round, McDonald found a regular home for the uppercut, but it was a right-hook that had the scouser on wobbly legs. That was until the referee jumped in to stop the contest, and award the local lad the second stoppage victory of his career, with Davies throwing no punches in response to a McDonald onslaught.
Featherweight, Faraqat Ali (5-0), turned out at the Magna Centre for the fourth time in his six career fights and looked right at home as he landed a flash knockdown over Sam Melville (3-5) in the opening round. After timing his opponent well for the full six rounds but not having it all his own way, Ali claimed the 59-54 points victory.
Dave Allen’s protege, Joe Hayden (6-0), and Sheffield’s Joe Jenkins (4-0) improved to 7-0 and 5-0 respectively. Both welterweights were unhampered as they coasted to 40-36 decisions, after four rounds of one-sided action, maintaining their unbeaten résumés’. However, credit must go to Jenkins’ opponent, Joe Hardy (2-5), who took the fight on just five hours notice.
Fan favourite Stevi Levy (7-1) took a tough test, fighting a seasoned veteran in the form of the ever-durable Bec Connolly (3-16), who seems to faced every featherweight prospect in the country. Neither woman took a step back for the duration of the six rounds, with both chins holding up, as the fight went to the judges, who scored a 58-56 victory for Levy.
Nohmaan Hussain (1-0) is nicknamed ‘El Natural’ and that’s exactly how he looked against a durable Jake Pollard (0-41). Unfortunately for the former national amateur champion, he couldn’t become the fourth man to stop Pollard but won every round of his second professional outing with ease.
Finally it was time for the main event where the well-supported Reece Mould (16-1) was looking to reclaim the previously vacant English Lightweight title. The man in his way was Bradford’s Hamed Ghaz (18-0). The fight got off to a fast-paced start, but it was Mould who made the breakthrough, wobbling Ghaz twice in the second round almost stopping him in the second round.
Ghaz did well to recover and gave as good as he got for the most part of the remaining rounds, However, Mould did enough to nick the close rounds in a close fought, back and forth contest to defeat the bloodied Ghaz and hand him the first defeat of his career. Judges scored the fight 97-94 and 96-94×2, with Mould winning back his English title by unanimous decision in a high-tempo encounter and entertaining end to the night.