Morby Retains Title -
Upsets, Drama & Controversy At York Hall
By Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro
Former WBU Lightweight Champion, turned promoter, Graham
Earl promised closely matched, exciting fights on his return
to York Hall on Saturday night with his ‘Capital Punishment’
event. Being a man of his word, that’s just what Graham
delivered and much, much more.
For a start there were no less than three drawn bouts,
albeit two being declared under the new BBBofC ‘technical
draw’ rule. There was a massive upset, when Alex Spitko
stopping Navid Iran. There was bloody drama when two fights
were stopped due to bad cuts and there was controversy as
Manny Oshunrinde was denied a clear stoppage win, only to
receive a ‘technical draw’. More on these a little later.
The headline Southern Area Super Middleweight title clash
between Paul Morby and Daniel ‘The Slick’ Cadman was a
closely fought affair, so much so that after ten hard fought
rounds the Referee declared the bout a draw.
The bout got of to quite a slow start as both protagonists
feeling each other out, as such it was impossible to declare
a clear leader after the first couple of rounds. Cadman had
set his stall out, deciding to close the Champion down.
Whilst Cadman did all the controlling it was Morby that
landed the more meaningful punches, just not enough.
Round three was a much more lively affair, with plenty of
back and forth exchanges. About midway through the round the
crowd leapt to their feet as one as Cadman backed Morby onto
the ropes and let rip with a powerful flurry of shots.
Cadman was driven on, to try and finish the fight early
following landing a vicious left to the body, that clearly
hurt the Champion. Morby survived the onslaught but round
three was clearly Cadman’s.
Cadman again seemed to hurt Morby with a an equally vicious
left to the body in the fourth round. However this was the
wake up call the Champion needed, Morby came back with some
world class ring craft and salvo of punches of his own as he
boxed his way out of trouble. Whilst again a very close
round I felt that Morby had done just enough to claim the
Round five was all Cadman. The reigning champ showed he has
the heart of a Lion, soaking up onslaught after onslaught ,
any of which looked sure to end the Champions reign at a
moments notice. At times the round got messy, as Morby clung
to Cadman in an effort to stop further punishing salvos.
Cadman’s round for sure.
Round six was more or less an extension of the later part of
the fifth, with Morby grabbing hold of Cadman each time he
mounted an attack. Saying that there was some scintillating
action, just more holding than action. Again I gave the
round to Cadman as he was by far the more positive and
landed the more meaningful, and hurtful, punches.
Round seven was again a close round, like in the previous
rounds there was a lot of holding, but there was also plenty
of back and forth action. I gave the round to Morby purely
as he had landed the more telling punches.
Round eight saw some excellent action, between the holding
that is. Again another very close round, this time I just
couldn’t split the pair.
Round nine was a scrappy affair, but did include some fiery
exchanges, as well as some rather amusing moments - first
Cadman is sent head first through the ropes following some
nifty footwork by Morby, who sidestepped an attack before
spinning the flaying Cadman head first through the ropes.
Just moments later the tables were turned when Cadman
stepped aside, matador style, as Morby charged forward.
Morby’s pace was such that the momentum almost propelled him
completely over the third rope and onto the officials table.
Finally following another grappling session Morby gets
pushed down to end up kneeling in front of less than amused
At the end of the three minutes again it was impossible to
declare a clear winner of the round.
With just the one round to go this fight could go either
way. Morby comes out hard and fast but Cadman doesn’t seem
fazed and stands his ground. Following yet more grappling
sessions, interspersed by some scintillating back and forth
action. Both gave there all, it was without doubt a
magnificent, and again too close to call, final round, even
with the holding and pushing, and truly deserving of the
rapturous applause that ensued as the final bell rang.
The cheers quickly turned to jeers though as the referee
lifted both Morby and Cadman’s hands high declaring the
fight a 96-96 draw, as such Paul Morby gets to retain his
Hopefully there will be a rematch in the not to distant
Prior to the headline bout American Super Middleweight
Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Oshunrinde was clearly robbed of his first
win on British soil by the fight being declared a technical
draw following the fight being stopped, in the first round,
due to a serious cut over Smyle’s right eye.
Unlike the earlier technical draw decision, when a cut was
caused by an accidental clash of heads, the cut to Smyle’s
eye, as well as a serious swelling below the right eye, was
caused by the many solid and highly accurate jabs and
punches Oshunrinde landed throughout the short encounter.
Both protagonists started fast, however Oshunrinde quickly
took control with his superior jab, often forcing Smyle
backwards. Around half way through the round Oshunrinde
again sent Smyle backwards, but this time followed up and
let rip with a big left-right to the head.
Smyle covered up quickly, but not quick enough to stop
another heavy straight right. Oshunrinde looked set to
continue the onslaught but the eagle eyed referee had
spotted the blood gushing from a cut above Smyle’s eye and
called a halt to the proceedings.
The highly anticipated clash between Ultrachem TKO’s
exciting London based Dutch Cruiserweight prospect Mitchell
Balker and Battersea’s fighting Fireman Nick ‘The Ox’ Okoth
proved to be one of the fight’s of the night.
Balker’s savvy ring craft proved to be too much for ‘The
Ox’. Right from the start Balker controlled the fight
utilising crisp jabs to keep Okoth on the defensive before
moving in to land solid jabs and right hands before stepping
aside to thwart any return salvos from the heavy handed
Round two see Okoth charge from his corner before swinging
wildly in a effort to gain a semblance of control. Balker
kept calm and stayed out of trouble by moving out of range
and occasionally letting rip with accurate lefts and rights
that slowed the advancing Okoth considerably.
Round three see Balker step things up a notch and just plain
out box Okoth with crisp jabs and wicked combinations. Each
time Okoth advanced Balker would let him back him onto the
ropes before spinning Okoth and launching a controlled
attack of his own. Often to the head but sometimes with a
peach of a three punch combination that ended with a solid
left to the body.
Round four was more of the same and it was no surprise that
come the final bell the referee declared Balker the winner
by a clear 40-36 points margin.
Before the break Redhill’s Daryl Setterfield had a short and
bloody battle with Jay Morris.
Prior to the fight stopping cut there wasn’t much to choose
between the two as they slugged it out. However the turning
point came about three quarter the way through the first
round after an accidental clash of heads.
Blood gushed from a nasty cut above Setterfield’s left eye
and in an instant Morris was all over him like a rash.
Setterfield covered up, protecting the wound from possible
more damaging blows, and soaked up the pressure until the
World class cuts man Jimmy Tibbs got to work on the badly
damaged eye as Johnny Eames calmed Setterfield, who looked
concerned by the extent of the bleeding.
As the bell rang for the second round Morris shot across the
ring and let rip with a series of massive bombs. However
instead of covering up Setterfield returned fire with a
brace of exocets of his own.
Both returned to boxing, rather than attempting to take the
other’s head off, but following another close quarter
exchange a second accidental head clash reopened the wound,
leaving referee Bob Williams no option but to stop the fight
and declare the bout a technical draw.
The third fight of the night was set to be a feisty affair,
as both Sutton’s Danny ‘Cassius Connor and Stevenage’s Terry
Holmes had publicly stated their intention of knocking the
Round one started fast, Connor using his superior jab to
keep the raging bull attacks of Holmes at bay. Connor
showcased his boxing skills whilst Holmes seemed content to
throw bomb after bomb whenever he got in range, or not as
the case may be. It was a close round but I felt that Connor
had done enough to secure the round.
Round two was more of the same, until around midway when one
of Holmes’ bombs hit the target - hard. Feeling more
confident Holmes went on the attack forcing Connor back.
Connor continued to use his jab to keep the terrier like
Holmes at bay, however Holmes just wouldn’t back down. I see
the round in favour of Holmes.
Things settled down a bit in the third round and some good
toe-to-toe action ensued. Holmes slowed things down a bit
and instead of launching wild attacks started picking his
punches. Connor was boxing beautifully but the tide had
turned firmly in favour of Holmes with his more controlled
Round four was more of the same again and at one point
looked like Holmes may have the stoppage he predicted after
landing a big right before pouncing on Connor with a flurry
of big shots. Connor weaved and ducked but with his back to
the rope didn’t seem to have an escape route so let rip with
a few of his own. This was enough for Holmes to take to the
back foot. Connor pushed forward and let rip with a salvo of
his own. The crowd were on their feet as the action flowed
back and forth until the final bell rang and Holmes was
declared victor by a 40-36 points margin - whilst I agree
Terry Holmes won the fight I don’t feel it was a four round
The second bout of the night see a massive upset as Navid
Iran lost his unbeaten record to Mansfield’s Alex ‘Pit Bull’
The early going was all Iran, who dominated with vicious two
handed attacks. At around the midway mark of the first round
it seemed the fight may already be over after Iran landed a
massive right. Spiko’s legs were gone, but somehow the
plucky Latvian exile stayed on his feet to weather the
The turning point of the fight came in the second minute of
the third round when Iran seemed to run out of wind. Spitko
turned the tables big time and let rip with a full blown
salvo, Iran tried to run but Spitko stayed on him like a
rash throwing flurries of shots until the referee Bob
Williams stepped in to stop the fight at the 2 minute 39
The opening fight of the night, between Joe Hillerby and
Ryan Clark, also featured a battle of former World Champions
turned trainers, as Graham Earl was in Hillerby’s corner and
Carl Greaves in Clarke’s.
The normally fast starting Clarke seemed a little more
cautious than normal, which allowed Hillerby to take the
first couple of rounds by forcing the pace throughout.
Round three see the real Ryan Clarke emerge. Normal service
is resumed as Clarke starts letting rip with heavy hands.
Hillerby is made of sterner stuff though, standing his
ground and trading with equal venom. Much closer round but
Hillerby still gets the nod and is set for a good win.
More of the same in fourth with Clarke throwing everything
but the kitchen sink in an effort to stop the advancing
juggernaut known as the ‘Belfast Banger’. No surprise that
Hillerby and Graham Earl come out the winners in this one.
Without doubt Graham Earl is a man of his word as ‘Capital
Punishment’ featured well matched bouts that produced plenty
of drama and excitement, as well as a little controversy to
keep everyone talking.
So there you have it London’s first boxing show of 2011,
can’t wait for the next - Bring it on!