Choi Wins Prizefighter On
Attempt And A New Star Is Born
By Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro
Last night at the York
Hall in Bethnal Green 40 year old ‘Mongolian Warrior’
Choi Tseveenpurev won the excellent Matchroom Sport
promoted Prizefighter tournament on his second attempt,
having failed last year in the Super Featherweights.
Choi may have been the ‘big name’ in this the 22nd
edition of Prizefighter but the real star of the show
was someone half his age, 20 year old ‘Saint’ George
Jupp who was unlucky not to be facing Rhys Roberts in
the final. I say unlucky but that really is not a the
right word as in my opinion, and the majority of the
York Hall crowd, Jupp was robbed of a certain final
round appearance by some dubious judging. More on that
The evening of sumptuous pugilistic fare started with
the Prizefighter Prospects featuring Light Heavyweights
Andreas Evangelou and Matt Inman.
Whilst not the most thrilling of bouts, Evangelou and
Inman both worked their socks in equal measure. There
were no highlights as such and I feel that a draw would
have been a fair result, but the man that counts,
referee Terry O’Connor, see it as 39-37 for Evangelou.
Now onto the tournament itself, which was a real
The first quarterfinal see Choi up against previously
unbeaten Lee Glover. First round was a close fought
affair, Glover used his jab to good effect, to slow the
hard charging Mongolian, for the early part of the
round, however late on Choi caught an off balance Glover
with a solid right to send the youngster to the canvas.
Glover protested it was a slip, but to no avail and a
standing count ensued. As soon as referee Victor
Loughlin waved them back in battle Choi went on all out
attack until the bell.
The second round started where the first left off, Choi
smelled blood and was going in for the kill. Around the
one minute round Choi let rip with a big right to send
Glover to the canvas for a second time. Glover appeared
dazed as he rose to his feet and just wandered off, on
unsteady legs, towards his corner which lead to referee
Victor Loughlin waving the fight off.
The second quarterfinal see Belvedere’s George Jupp
against Liverpudlian Lee Jennings.
Jennings started strong but the South Londoner kept his
cool and used his jab to seriously good effect to turn
the round his way. With his confidence growing Jupp
started digging into his well stocked arsenal and put
together a cracking left hook, right uppercut
combination that rocked Jennings to the core.
Jupp motored on at the start of the second and was
really getting down to business, throwing a variety of
heavy right hands, one of which opened a cut in the
corner of Jennings’ left eye. Jennings turned up the
wick in an attempt to keep Jupp at bay but the cut had
worsened and on the one minute fifty five second mark
causing the referee stopped the fight.
Next up was Jupp’s TRAD TKO team mate Ian Bailey against
future finalist Rhys Roberts.
Bailey, who’s really a Super Bantam, struggled to
control the slick Mancunian throughout the bout. Bailey
showed heart and determination, as he tried to get
himself back into the fight, but to no avail as Roberts
confidence had grown to such a level that the Slough man
was struggling to land a punch at times and being picked
off with ease.
No surprise then that all three judges score cards read
a shutout 30-27 in favour of Roberts.
The final quarterfinal pitched Troy James against
Nottingham’s Brown was out of the corner like a rocket
and looked set to provide the third stoppage of the
night, but he didn’t as James is made of sterner stuff.
Brown kept up the major assault for a good part of the
first round but from then on it was all James, who
worked his heart out to overcome his much taller
opponent and earn a semifinal place by 30-28 and 29-28
(twice) points margin.
Choi and George Jupp squared up in the first semifinal,
and what a cracker it was. Throughout the first round
Choi was frustrated by the youngsters mature ringcraft,
Jupp kept the charging bull that is Choi at bay with
superb crisp jabs. Whenever Choi did manage to bully his
way through and land a blow, Jupp responded in kind,
landing an equally heavy glove on the Mongolian, before
reverting to his jab.
More of the same in the second, even after Choi had
wrestled the youngster to the canvas - and following
through with a punch to the back of the head when Jupp
was down, which should have been punished by a point
deduction according to the tournament rules - Jupp
remained calm and let his boxing skills do the talking.
Choi, clearly aware that he was two rounds down and
needing a stoppage to progress to the final, started the
third stanza like a man possessed. The Mongolian threw
bomb after bomb but the resilient youngster wasn’t
overawed one iota and just returned exocets of his own.
When the final bell rang Jupp’s team celebrated certain
in the knowledge their man was through to the final.
These celebrations were bought to an abrupt halt though
when the judges scorecards were read out - 27-30 and
28-29 (twice) in favour of Choi.
As Choi’s large contingent of fans celebrated the
majority of the York Hall crowd showed their
George Jupp may have been denied his rightful place in
the final, but he sure won a lot of new fans on Saturday
so hopefully we’ll be seeing a lot more of this talented
youngster in the future.
The second semifinal see Rhys Roberts grow in stature,
against Troy James, from the off the Mancunian took
control, Rocking James with a huge left hook early on.
James responded in true pit bull style, coming forward
and letting rip with flurries of shots. Unfortunately
whilst throwing plenty of punches James barely slowed
the slick Roberts who seemed to be able to pick him off
Throughout the three action packed rounds Roberts was in
full control and cruised into the final by 30-28 and
29-28 (twice) points margin.
Not surprisingly the final started out as quite a cagey
affair, with Choi landing the only meaningful punch, a
huge left hook that shook Roberts to the core, following
a lot of scrappy exchanges.
Roberts confidence took another massive blow in the
second, when Choi landed a peach of an overhand right.
From then on the Mancunian was on survival mode and
relied a little too much on his sharp counter punching
to keep the marauding Mongolian at bay. Choi’s savvy at
the best of times so it was no surprise that Choi was
able to undo Roberts’ game plan, landing further big
shots in-between roughing the Mancunian up on the
The final round was a bit of an anti climax, instead of
the barnstorming finale the early rounds promised
instead there as almost three minutes of nonstop mauling
and arm locking interspersed with the occasional flurry
of hard action.
Even before the scorecards were read Choi’s corner and
fans were celebrating, quite rightly so as Choi had
easily won every round by a shutout 30-27 margin.
Once again Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport team have
produced another superb night of tournament boxing -
Roll on the 23rd Prizefighter edition, if it’s half as
good as the 22nd it’ll be brilliant.