Summer Smash - Choi World
Moment Of Madness For Hamilton, Plus More...
By Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro
On Saturday night close to fourteen hundred hardy souls
braved the rain and packed the York Hall to capacity, stormy
weather wasn’t going to stop them being ringside, at Spencer
Fearon’s Hard Knock Boxing promotions ‘Summer Smash’ event,
to watch former World Champs Choi Tseveenpurev (WBU/WBF) and
Jackson Asiku (IBO) battle it out.
Was it worth it? Well there are fights and then there are
FIGHTS, Choi-Asiku definitely comes into the later category.
On paper it promised to be one of the best match-ups of the
year so far, in reality it proved to be much, much more and
the clear front runner for ‘Fight of the Year’ honours by a
The fight started a little slowly with Asiku controlling the
first half of the round by keeping Choi at bay with crisp
solid jabs. Around the one minute thirty mark Choi launched
his first attack of the fight. After backing the Australian
Based African to the ropes Choi let rip with a massive
overhand right quickly followed by a double handed body
Asiku responded with a big right of his own, but the savvy
Mongolian wasn’t deterred one bit and launched a salvo of
big right hands, uppercuts, hooks you name it Choi threw it.
Asiku’s no mug and dug in his fully stocked arsenal and
responded with equally venomous flurries. It was a close
round to call but I gave it to Choi, he was plain phenomenal
and I felt he had landed the more meaningful shots.
Round two was very much more of the same, these two warriors
went to war with a vengeance. Any attempt to describe this
round would be futile, it was probably one of the greatest
rounds seen this year. Each matched the other punch for
punch in an awesome display of the pugilistic art, it had it
all, it was pure boxing heaven to watch these two in full
flow for three sensational minutes. I see it as a 10-10
round as it was far too close to call one way or the other,
they both scored big.
What a round, what an awesome round, these two are amazing,
round two was sensational so how could they possibly top
that, well they did as round three was even more...I’m lost
for a word to describe it adequately, it was seriously class
boxing from two World class boxers. At times they stood toe
to toe and slugged it out, other times one or the other
would launch a venomous attack. Every conceivable punch in
the book was thrown time and time again. As before it was
impossible to split them, they were equal in every way.
Round four was another beautiful round, early on Asiku
switched to the body in an attempt to slow the forceful
Mongolian, who would just respond with vicious hooks to the
head. As the round progressed Choi turned the tables and
started attacking Asiku to the body with a series of piston
like hooks. It was beautiful boxing from two World class
Round five see Choi start to dominate proceedings, first by
continuing the all out assault to Asiku’s body and then with
hooks and straight rights to the head. It wasn’t one way
traffic by a long shot, Asiku made some wicked attacks of
his own, just Choi was in a groove.
Asiku started fast in the sixth and aggressively took the
fight to Choi. The diminutive Mongolian stood his ground,
taking a few shots before letting rip with pin point
accurate hooks and heavy rights. Asiku was determine to
wrestle back control so just kept coming time after time.
That is until around the two minute mark when Choi started
unwinding the most venomous uppercuts which slowed the
Not surprisingly Choi went hard on the attack in the
seventh, having rattled Asiku the previous round, and got
his just reward about midway through. Choi backed Asiku to
the ropes and attacked the body before letting rip with a
huge overhand right to the temple which sent the African to
the canvas. Asiku quickly got to his feet but as soon as the
count was done Choi went straight back on the attack,
letting rip with bomb after bomb as Asiku switched to
defensive mode to see the round out.
Rounds eight and nine see the pair go at it toe to toe
again, slugging it out for virtually every second. As in the
earlier rounds these two put on a stunning display of
boxing, just at an even higher pace!
The tenth and final round was Choi’s without doubt. He
started hard and fast forcing Asiku on to the back foot
again. Asiku was responding but his shots just didn’t have
the intensity of the previous rounds. Choi on the other hand
seemed to find even more power and began landing seriously
big shots at will until the final bell.
After ten scintillating rounds Choi was rightly declared
victorious, by a 98-93 points margin, but in my view
everyone was a winner, Choi, Asiku - who were both truly
magnificent - and those of us lucky enough to be ringside
for one of the best boxing matches anywhere for a long, long
Immediately after the bout Choi said, “I want to thank
everybody in my team. I want to thank everyone that come
tonight for their support, I love you everyone”
Promoter Spencer Fearon, who was at Choi’s side then added
“I do the best fights and the best shows, I sell out York
Hall, people come out for the energy, the passion. Hard
Knocks does the best shows and give people what they want to
I tell ya, there has been no better fight this year and Choi
is going to get another World title shot, I promise you
he’ll get that title shot.”
The main support for Choi Tseveenpurev-Jackson Asiku was a
proposed ten round battle, for the British Masters Light
Welterweight title, between Southern Area champ Darren
Hamilton and Midlands Area champion Dave Ryan.
I say proposed because the fight came to a very premature
end, just one minute and forty two seconds of the first
round. Hamilton, who had been controlling the first round
easily, backed Ryan to the ropes and then lunged forward,
head first, causing a nasty cut above Ryan’s left eye. The
referee, Ken Curtis, instantly stopped the bout and
disqualified Hamilton for the blatant headbutt.
The swing bout for the night, between ‘Slick’ Simon
O’Donnell and Sergejs Savrinoviks, took place in front of a
huge crowd, even though it was immediately after the main
event. Have to say you don’t see that very often, usually
the arena clears after the feature fight but not this time.
Throughout the bout O’Donnell controlled the fight with
ease, keeping the ever forward coming Savrinoviks at bay
with long jabs and double handed flurries. The second half
of the bout see O’Donnell step up the pace and take the
fight to Savrinoviks. The highlight of the bout came late in
the third, when O’Donnell shook Savrinoviks to the core with
a big right hand followed by a sharp hook. All in all It was
an excellent display of boxing by the former Philadelphia
based Middleweight and O’Donnell was rewarded by a well
earned shutout 40-36 points victory.
Slotted in between the two main fights was an eight rounder
Light Middleweight contest between West Drayton’s Steve
O’Meara and Newark’s AA Lowe.
The first three rounds were closely fought affairs, with the
pair matching the other punch for punch. O’Meara took
control of the fourth after changing tact and started
picking his shots. His more clinical approach started to pay
dividends much to the annoyance of Lowe who in defiance
turned to countering tactics.
Round five see a slight turn around with Lowe controlling
proceedings with good sharp jabs. This time it was O’Meara
that turned to countering in an attempt open things up. I
gave this round to Lowe as he was not only the busier but
also landed the more meaningful shots.
Normal service resumed in rounds six and seven with both
protagonists going at it hammer and tongs. I gave both
rounds to O’Meara though due to his higher and more
effective work rate,
The final round was a barnstormer, Lowe’s corner made it
clear he needed a stoppage to win and Lowe went all out to
get it. O’Meara wasn’t ready to concede though and the
assembled crowd were treated to a true battle royale as the
pair slugged it out for the full three minutes. I have to
admit I was a bit surprised that Steve O’Meara was declared
victorious by a shutout 80-74 margin as I really feel that
Lowe had done enough to take the fifth.
Prior to Hamilton-Ryan’s title fight Dagenham teenager Joe
Catchpole and Scunthorpe’s Steve Spence locked horns in a
rematch. When the pair first faced each other, back in
November, the bout ended in a draw which gave the nineteen
year old the only blemish on his otherwise perfect record.
No surprise to anyone that Catchpole was right up for the
fight and had retribution on his mind, and boy did he show
Right from the off Spence pushed forward, putting the
teenager on the back foot. Catchpole though appeared totally
comfortable countering, even when backed onto the ropes.
Spence constantly tried to bully the youngster but Catchpole
was having none of it. His countering and jabs were crisp
and sharp and on the occasions the pair traded Catchpole
seemed to get the better in each exchange.
As the bout progressed the youngster really came into his
own, countering with double handed flurries of punches, and
at times took the fight to the older man.
Just after the final bell rang Spence let rip with a very
late punch to the head, Catchpole instantly reacted and let
rip with a big left-right before the referee jumped in to
separate them. After the kerfuffle retribution was well and
truly served as far a young Joe Catchpole was concerned when
he was declared the winner by a convincing 40-37 points
The second bout of the night see unbeaten Alex Dilmaghani,
from Worthing, Sussex, against local(ish) hero Mickey
Coveney from West Ham.
The bookies favourite was clearly Dilmaghani, however what
no one had taken into account is what a full on battler
Coveney is, as everyone including Dilmaghani soon found out.
Right from the opening bell Coveney just kept going forward
and working on the inside. This tactic completely
neutralised the much taller Dilmaghani’s game plan. Each
time he tried to keep the diminutive Coveney out with the
long jab, Coveney would just duck under and get up close and
personal to work the body.
The normally oh so classy southpaw Dilmaghani just couldn’t
cope with the terrier like East Londoner, especially when
backed on to the ropes, as was happening far to often.
Someone should have told Dilmaghani that Coveney has a habit
of taking highly rated prospects precious ‘O’ because as
sure as eggs is eggs Coveney went and did it again securing
a nice well earned 39-38 against the odds victory.
The opening bout of the night see Hayes’ Robert Lloyd Taylor
take on Leeds hardman Tommy Broadbent.
I have to say this was a cracking opening fight, like the
rest of the card it was an evenly matched affair. The first
round see the pair feeling each other out so was a bit slow
at first, but once they settled down the action was superb.
I personally gave Broadbent the first round as he settled
the quicker and as such earned the round by with a better
work rate and tidier shots. The second round was a very,
very close hard fought affair, so close I see it a draw.
Taylor really started to exert his authority, taking control
of the third with some great ringcraft and landing the more
meaningful shots. The fourth and final rounds was more or
less a repeat of the second with both going at it hammer and
tongs for the full three minutes.
I have to say this was a really closely matched bout, both
fighters were really up for it and the action was virtually
nonstop, so I wasn’t at all surprised that when the
scorecard was read out and showed a close 39-38 points
difference - in favour of Robert Lloyd Taylor.
Spencer Fearon and Ciaran Baynes really know how to put on
an event and give the public what they want, a night of top
class action filled with genuine 50/50 fights.
I thought their Shamrock Showdown in March was quality, it
was, but Summer Showdown took it to a whole new level
altogether. What’s more I have never experienced an
atmosphere like this at York Hall, it was electric, it was
unreal, it was awe inspiring. I for one can’t wait for the
next Hard Knocks Boxing show - bring it on.