Essex Eruption - Conquest
McAleese Supreme, But Jupp Robbed
By Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro
On Saturday night Steve Goodwin undertook his first big
event outside of London with his superb Essex Eruption,
sponsored by Revolver Entertainment's new to DVD action
drama Fists of Rage, at the Goresbrook Leisure Centre in
The event was due to be quadruple headlined, but due to an
injury to Yassine El Maachi and the BBBofC realising at the
last minute that Leon ‘Solid’ Williams’ suspension, due to
his being stopped on the 5th February, didn’t expire until
the day after the event, it became a double header instead.
It wasn’t just the loss of two of the headline bouts, there
were various other last minute injuries that reduced the
event to eight bouts instead of the proposed fourteen.
Either way those that were lucky enough to attend the off-TV
show were treated to a fantastic evening of top class
With El Maachi and Williams out Romford’s unbeaten Tony ‘The
Conqueror’ Conquest bout against current Ghanaian
Cruiserweight Champion Prince George Akrong was elevated to
Right from the opening bell Conquest hunted down Akrong,
whose ringname is the Hungry Lion, with a clear intention to
get the African challenger out of there early. About two
minutes in Conquest let rip with a huge right which missed
Akrong’s chin but caught him on the shoulder and send him
crashing unceremoniously onto his backside.
Throughout the second round Conquest pushed forward
utilising every punch in his packed arsenal, but Akrong’s
strength, and determination to shine in front of the British
crowd, see him weather the constant onslaught as well as
occasionally test the taller and bigger Conquest ‘s chin
with massive overhand rights.
Much of the same in the third, that was until mid way
through the last minute of the round when Conquest shook the
big African to the core with a massive right. In a flash
Conquest let rip with heavy lefts and rights as Akrong, with
his back against the ropes, covered up in an effort to
survive until the end of the round, which he did.
The fourth was all action, with Conquest determined to start
of where he finished in the previous round. However Akrong
showed his mettle by going forward and taking the fight to
Conquest, at times going toe-to-toe exchanging bomb after
The fifth was almost a replay of the third, with Conquest
pushing hard. Eventually the pressure paid off, Conquest
backed Akrong onto the ropes and let rip with huge left to
the body followed with a big right to the head. Akrong
wobbled badly, but even though his legs had clearly gone he
managed to stay on his feet. Conquest, who had stepped back
expecting the African to drop, went back on the attack
letting big lefts and rights go until the final bell.
Round six see Conquest step things up and hurt Akrong with a
big right hand within seconds of the start. Conquest
followed the African warrior around the ring letting off
bomb after bomb. After about thirty seconds Conquest landed
a peach of right to send Akrong to the deck again. The
African got to his feet but looked severely shaken. The
referee accepted Akrong’s pleas to allow him to continue but
in an instant Conquest was on him letting rip with more big
lefts and rights, Akrong didn’t respond or even seem to have
any defense and the referee jumped in to call a halt to the
proceedings after just one minute of the round.
Co-headline to the Conquest-Akrong bout see the welcome
return of Newmarket Light Middleweight prospect ‘Phat’ Pat
McAleese, against Spain’s Fran Gonzalez.
There was no feeling out period, both protagonists went to
work right from the opening bell. The action was nonstop and
produced some of the best pure boxing of the show. For the
full three minutes they matched each other punch for punch,
it was that close throughout.
Round two see McAleese step things up to try and wrestle
control of the round from the gutsy Spaniard. However
Gonzalez had no intention to allow him to do so and
countered every attack.
Round three see more of the same at first, but the tide was
beginning to turn in McAleese’s favour around the two minute
mark. McAleese added more venom to his attacks, in doing so
forcing Gonzalez to go on the defensive.
Round four see McAleese continue in the same vein, often
backing Gonzalez onto the ropes before letting rip with
heavy flurries of left and rights to body and head. During
one of the later attacks McAleese caught the Spaniard with a
heavy left to the ribs, Gonzalez was clearly hurting and
covered up. This encouraged McAleese to turn the pressure up
another notch. McAleese was relentless playing Gonzalez’s
ribs like a xylophone with wickedly fast ten-twelve punch
Round five was a cracking round for McAleese, who constantly
backed up the tiring Gonzalez before letting rip with ten
punch plus flurries. As the round progressed Gonzalez
occasionally responded with the odd counter attack, but was
often thwarted by the fast hands of the Newmarket man.
A sure fire stoppage finish looked on the cards in the final
round, as again McAleese caught Gonzalez with a massive left
to the ribs. However the durable Gonzalez survived the
follow up salvos and went defensive to see out the final
couple of minutes. The referee scored the bout 60-54 in
favour of a delighted McAleese.
The sixth bout of the evening see unbeaten in four Light
Middleweight Michael ‘The Zambezi Hitman’ Norgrove against
the super tough Jan Balog from the Czech Republic.
Right from the off Balog went on the attack, forcing
Norgrove to go defensive. Throughout the round Balog
pressured and Norgrove could only respond with a good stiff
Round two see Norgrove initially readjust his fight plan,
choosing instead to go toe to toe with Balog. The only
problem is the gutsy Czech only had one form of defense -
attack. Norgrove was taking some big punches and by about
midway through the round had a noticeable swelling over his
left eye. Saying that Norgrove had responded really well and
was out boxing his Czech opponent.
Balog pushed hard in the third, but had started to get a bit
wild in his attacks, allowing Norgrove to pick him off with
some good stiff jabs.
Round four was a lively affair. Norgrove was boxing
beautifully and seemed to have neutralised Balog, that is
until the second minute when Balog caught Norgrove with a
heavy overhand right. Norgrove’s legs buckled and was on his
way to the canvas. However thinking quickly Norgrove threw
his arms around Balog but instead of it keeping him on his
feet he just pulled Balog down with him. For some strange
reason the referee decided not to give the count even though
Norgrove had clearly been floored by a punch.
The tide turned in the fifth Norgrove used his superior
boxing skills to dominate the round. Balog occasionally
responded with a wild counter but there was little he could
do to stop the constant hard and fast attacks.
Any chance of Balog causing an upset evaporated in the final
round. Norgove stepped up the pressure against the rapidly
tiring Czech and was controlling things beautifully.
Norgrove had been using his jab and straight rights to good
effect, however this changed early in the sixth when
Norgrove started to go for the body. After the third attack
to the ribs Balog took to one knee for an eight count.
When the bout resumed Norgrove went back on the attack in
search of his first stoppage finish. It looked like he may
just get it, following another cracking shot to the body
that forced Balog to one knee for a second time. However
Balog did get to his feet to see out the final seconds of
After six scintillating rounds Michael Norgrove was declared
victorious by a 60-54 points margin.
I have to add that I’ve watched every one of Michael
Norgrove’s fights and I have had my doubts about him, I felt
that he would come up short if actually tested. Well on
Saturday night he was tested, and tested hard, but came
through with flying colours and boxed the best I have seen
to date. Also he showed resilience and an ability to mix it
up when needed.
Next up was Carshalton Lightweight ‘Pretty’ Ricky Boylan
against tall, tough and awkward southpaw Kristian Laight.
Fireworks had been predicted and sure enough that’s just
what we got.
Right from the opening bell both fighters made it clear they
wanted centre ring, yet neither were willing to concede
ground. Some great boxing from both protagonists ensued. It
was a very close fought round but Boylan probably edged tit
with the cleaner more meaningful shots.
Round two was more of the same, except the tide was flowing
Boylan’s way more. Boylan had settled the fastest and
concentrated on pure boxing to counter Laight’s attempts to
force things by brute force.
Round three continued in the same vein, with Boylan out
boxing his older opponent. About midway through the round
Boylan landed a beautiful right to the body, Laight
instantly winced and grabbed hold of Boylan to get his
breath back. As the referee broke them apart Boylan went on
the attack letting some cracking left and rights go in quick
succession. Laight went on the back foot to try and see out
the round, which he did.
Round four was all Boylan, he boxed superbly throughout to
earn a tidy 39-37 points victory.
Less than a month after winning on his debut Kris Agyei-Dua
was back in action on Saturday against Louis Byrne.
It is hard to think that Agyei-Dua has only had the single
bout, he fought like a seasoned pro. From start to finish
Agyei-Dua dominated the proceedings with some beautiful
boxing. He never put a foot wrong, he jabbed with confidence
and was happy to stand and trade when needed.
Byrne is a tough opponent at the best of times but didn’t
seem to trouble Agyei-Dua at any time. Unsurprisingly
Agyei-Dua secured his second win by a shutout 40-36 points
The third bout of the night see the very welcome return of
Luton’s Michael ‘The Real Chunky’ Devine, after a long
layoff following a bad stoppage against Mark Alexander last
year, against Sid Razak.
Devine was divine, he plain out boxed the resilient Razak
throughout. Razak is no walk over at the best of times but
Devine outclassed him from start to finish to earn a shutout
40-36 points victory.
Belvedere’s unbeaten Featherweight ‘Saint’ George Jupp was
next up against Raffi Khan from Harrow.
Right from the opening bell Khan went on the attack, Jupp
kept his cool and kept the aggressive Khan at bay with some
solid jabs. Whenever Khan came rushing forward Jupp would
use superior footwork, to move out of range, or solid
jabbing to stop him in his tracks. Khan was getting some
success but usually his shots were wide of the mark.
Whilst it was hard to call the first round, the second and
third were clearly young Jupp’s, who had used his Jab to
good effect throughout the two rounds. It wasn’t just his
jabbing though, in the middle rounds Jupp showed that he is
willing to mix it up when needs be.
Khan began to rush his attacks, backing Jupp towards the
ropes, and letting rip with wild shots. Most times Jupp
would just step around, leaving Khan punching at fresh air,
but on a couple occasions Jupp countered with both hands and
about mid way through the round Jupp landed a peach of a
right which opened up a cut above Khan’s eye.
Clearly aware he was behind on points Khan became even more
forceful with his attacks in the final round, often letting
rip with multi-punch flurries. Jupp would counter with solid
jabs as before but instead of backing off Khan kept coming
forward. Khan kept the pressure up to the final bell.
When the referee’s score card was read out - 39-38 in favour
of Khan - the crowd jeered, Jupp’s manager/coach Johnny
Eames remonstrated with the referee and the assembled photo
corps, of which I was one, all agreed that Jupp had won
clearly won the middle rounds and probably had done enough
to claim the first also.
I feel I should comment at this point that on Friday at York
Hall Erick Ochieng suffered the same fate as Jupp, he
clearly won two rounds and probably did enough to get a
third but the decision went against him.
I bring this up because it seems that some referees and
judges are often judging by aggression level mainly.
A prime example of this was Ian ‘Dappa’ Napa’s British and
Commonwealth title loss to Jamie McDonnell last year. Napa
clearly won the bout, having landed the most meaningful
shots, as was proved when Sky televised highlights.
Sky were unable to find a single bit of footage where
McDonnell had even landed a punch. McDonnell had been the
more aggressive but had failed to make any impact due to
Napa’s superior defense and countering.
The same goes for both Ochieng and Jupp in their bouts. in
both cases they had exceptional defenses. In almost every
attack their opponents made they failed to land a single
punch and were easily caught by controlled counter punching.
I know that part of judging process includes aggression but
surely ineffective aggression shouldn’t count for more than
actual punches landed.
Anyway enough of my griping, the opening bout of the night
see Danny Brown take on Iain Jackson in a Middleweight bout.
This was a cracking opening bout and really set the tone for
the rest of the show. Both went to war from the opening
bell, trading toe-to-toe for virtually the whole bout. Brown
landed the most meaningful punches and rightly earned the
victory by a 39-37 points margin.
As usual Steve Goodwin put on an exceptional show, one that
deserved a much wider audience. It’s about time Sky started
looking at some of the excellent small hall promoters, like
Steve Goodwin, who constantly put on top class shows,
instead of concentrating on the big three who parade out the
same old names show after show.
Steve Goodwin’s next event will be at the York Hall on June
4th, miss it and you’ll miss one helluva show featuring some
of the Capital’s most talented rising stars.