The Nassa boys are both defeated in front of their hometown fans
A PAIR of 10-round Commonwealth title eliminators between Sheffield and Tanzanian combatants on this Dennis Hobson promotion at Ponds Forge Arena resulted in one victory for the Steel City and one for the African nation.
The first contest, at bantamweight, saw strong, relentless southpaw Nasibu
Ramadhan silence the crowd and put paid to the hopes of home favourite
Loua Nassa. Referee John Latham rightly stepped in 24 seconds into the eighth to save Nassa from any further punishment. Truth be told, Nassa had been increasingly up against it and, with little prospect of turning it around, had looked headed for a wide defeat.
There was cause for home celebration in the second eliminator as superflyweight Tommy Frank proved too much for another portsider in Adam
Yahaya. It was no surprise when, at the culmination of 10 very one-sided rounds, Mr Latham turned in a card reading 10090 in favour of the local.
Three four-rounders ran well short of their scheduled distance. The most impressive-looking victor in that trio was Manchester’s Michael Gomez Jnr, who triumphed with just one second of the opener remaining. Referee Darren Sarginson completed his count despite Barcelona-nicaraguan Reynaldo Cajina having risen from the seat of his shorts.
Gloucester’s experienced Andy Harris didn’t make it through to the second session either, retiring at the end of the first against popular Sheffield debutant
Keanan Wainwright. Harris absorbed plenty of pressure before being decked in the dying moments by a right uppercut. Trialist Andy Brook refereed.
Whether a debut outing against Evesham’s tough Brett Fidoe is the greatest idea is open to question. Indeed, Sheffield’s Hakeem Nassa would now likely say no. The first-timer was floored twice in quick succession before Mr Brook waved it off at 2-24 of the second.
Hometowner Dan West, cutting the ring off right from the start, recorded a trouble-free 40-36 success over Hyde’s
Dale Arrowsmith. The loser suffered some damage below the left eye, then picked up a bloody nose in the last. Mr Sarginson scored from the outside for Mr Brook.
Two further four-rounders – each refereed by Mr Sarginson – went the distance and both resulted in victories for Sheffield debutants. Sufyaan Ahmed conceded weight to late sub Antonio
Horvatic of Croatia. Despite wearing a Superman t-shirt during his ring walk, Horvatic rarely looked worthy of saving himself, let alone the world. He certainly wasn’t able to keep Ahmed sufficiently at bay towards the end of a busier last round during which he was dropped before losing out to the tune of 40-35.
A good deal closer was the clash between Kane Salvin and one-fight Newcastle novice Zaki Shirzad, who proved a feisty opponent. Just a point separated the pair at the finish, with Salvin edging out the Afghanistan-born boxer by 39-38.
THE VERDICT Misery for the Nassa brothers but Tommy Frank delights the home fans.
THE UPSETTER: Ramadhan defeats the local favourite