Harrison Promotions in association with JR’s Gym Preston and MGM Marbella presented a fantastic evening of boxing from a very glamorous setting, Preston’s Evoque Nightclub. The bill was topped by Tshifhiwa Munyai’s Commonwealth Featherweight title final eliminator against the experienced Oscar Chauke.
Action got underway with Preston based South African Michael Ramabeletsa who looks to rebuild his career under the guidance of Preston based Roye. Ramabeletsa who has been known to upset the odds against good opposition came in to the contest fully prepared after a good 8 week training camp. ‘The Troublemaker’ took on Latvian Dmitrijs Gutman at Featherweight. Gutman who is no stranger to British shores, having recently shared a ring with Samir Mouneimne and Jon Slowey, came full of ambition as he looked to establish his jab early. He was not able to as Ramabeletsa used good lateral movement and his quick reflexes too make Gutman miss, and started to make him pay. Ramabeletsa started controlling the fight after round one, establishing his own jab and catching Gutman with right hands over the top which visibly rocked Gutman every time they landed. This theme continued throughout the fight and one big right hand eventually put Gutman down in the fourth round. He was able to make the final bell in what was a good contest and a good refreshing display from Michael Ramabeletsa. The referee scored the contest 40-35 in favour of Ramabeletsa who looks to fight Dai Davies in his next contest.
Next up was Irishman Sean Creagh who took on Arvydas Trizno of Lithuania in Creagh’s second Professional contest at Welterweight. Trizno who has a 50/50 record posed problems to Creagh early as he came full of ambition. Creagh however took control after round one, using a variety of shots and working the body well when he came in close. ‘Creaghsy’ looked very strong as he wore down Trizno. Trizno appeared to be hurt from Creagh’s attacks to the body and it could be argued that he was lucky to see the final bell. Trizno has mostly operated at Light Middleweight and Creagh seemed to reduce his punch output from his work on the inside. What shots did come back mostly missed as Creagh’s defense was tight throughout the contest. The referee in charge Phil Edwards scored the contest 40-37 in favour of Creagh as he moves to 2-0.
Malcolm Klassen made his first appearance on British shores in over a decade as he faced up against Reynaldo Cajina of Argentina. Cajina was a fighter who came into the contest with a 50/50 record after being in with a who’s who of Featherweights and Super Featherweights in Britain, that include Ryan Walsh, Jazza Dickens and Tshifhiwa Munyai amongst others. Klassen made his first appearance under the guidance of Johnney Roye and started slowly but was in cruise control from the first minute; landing at will and barely being touched in the process. There were some occasions in the fight that Klassen appeared to switch off, however for the vast majority he oozed class and showed why he has been a 2 time IBF Super Featherweight Champion, crossing swords with the likes of Robert Guerrero. In what was essentially a keep busy fight for Klassen he cruised to a comfortable victory which was scored 59-56 by referee in charge Mark Lyson. Malcolm ‘Stone’ Klassen will now look to target the best at Super Featherweight or Lightweight under the guidance of Roye and MGM.
Oliver Harrison’s charge Salford’s Marc Leach made his sixth professional outing at Super Bantamweight against Mihaly Telekfi of Hungary. Despite this not appearing to be an easy fight on paper at this stage for Leach, he made it look easy; dominating from the outset. Leach used a variety of angles to let his punches go and used his excellent speed and footwork to avoid counter’s back. At times he had his Hungarian opponent chasing shadows, as Leach used crisp movement throughout. Leach showed boxing ability at both long and short range as he dominated over the 4 round distance. Referee Phil Edwards scored the contest 40-36 in favour of Leach who moves to 5-1, giving his vocal following plenty of reason to celebrate.
The main event came mid way through the card as Tshifhiwa Munyai faced off against IBF Intercontinental Featherweight Champion Oscar Chauke. The fight which was originally due to be both a IBF Intercontinental title and a Commonwealth title final eliminator was changed as Munyai weighed over the permitted weight on the day by the IBF. Despite this the fight went ahead with the Commonwealth’s Council promise to deliver Josh Warrington to the victor. Chauke came to the ring in terrific shape, and looked far bigger at the weight that Munyai who was also shredded. Chauke started well, looking to establish his range against Munyai in the early rounds and force Munyai on to the back foot. Munyai had plans of his own, looking to set up his devastating left hook but was patient and stuck to the game plan. Munyai started frustrating Chauke, using a variety of defensive techniques which led Chauke into making mistakes. As Munyai started coming forward it appeared he was hurting Chauke with straight right hands and left hooks which was visible to all in the third round as Munyai put Chauke down with a left hook. He narrowly made the referee’s 10 count. From that moment on Munyai settled more, picking his shots at will without taking punishment. He seemed in cruise control, setting traps for Chauke and using his boxing brain to attack at the precise moments. When Munyai saw openings he was relentless as he rocked Chauke on numerous occasions which led finally led to a big left hook in the 10th round putting Chauke on the canvas again. This time Chauke was unable to beat the 10 count leaving ‘The Atomic Spider’ with a brilliant 10th round KO victory as he targets Josh Warrington next.
Stoke native Josh McLaren made his first appearance under the tutelage of Oliver Harrison as the natural Welterweight boxed up at Light Middleweight against Spanish based Argentinian Santos Medrano. McLaren who has been working with Oliver Harrison for under two months showed vast improvements from his last outing in February. McLaren’s jab was precise and Medrano struggled getting past it throughout the contest. McLaren looked to vary his attacks, switch hitting on numerous occasions in what turned out to be a very one sided victory for the likable Stoke lad who brought along very vocal support. Referee in charge Mark Lyson scored the contest 40-36 to McLaren who now looks to kick on under the guidance of Oliver Harrison.
The Jaffa Cake man Light Welterweight Ashley Peyton made his first appearance since June as he took on Alec Bazza over 4 rounds. Peyton controlled the fight from the centre of the ring, using his jab to perfection and adding in right hands at the ring moment. It was revealed after the fight that Peyton damaged his right hand early in the the contest. Despite this personal setback Peyton went on to put Bazza on his bottom on two occasions in the third round. Many would have jumped on their opponents but Peyton showed composure and waited for the perfect opening to arise. The opening did not come as Bazza stayed tight in order to see the final bell. Phil Edwards scored the contest 40-34 to Peyton.
Last fight of the night was Liam Conroy making his first appearance since March against the tried and tested Elvis Dube. Conroy brought a loud travelling contingent from Barrow and set out to put on a show. Dube also had intentions on putting on a show and in rounds 1 and 2 bombs were flying everywhere from both fighters. Both men walked forward with bad intentions and gave the crowd entertainment. Going into round 3 Conroy started to settle and use his unquestioned boxing ability. This continued into round 4 as Conroy used more movement and his jab more than in previous rounds as he cruised to a 40-37 victory and moves to 8-3-1.
The show as a whole was great to be at. It had a good family atmosphere which could be felt throughout and produced high level skillful displays from all the home fighters against their respective opponents. The main event featuring Tshifhiwa Munayi and Oscar Chauke was worth the entrance and ensured that everyone in attendance went home happy!