The KCL Boxing society held its first fight night of the year on Friday the 29th of October and it is safe to say that the expectations of the large crowd were not only met but also exceeded. Talking to some of the fans before the fights started showed that those who were not close friends with the fighters had pretty low expectations, with one fan, Ally Reza claiming all he expected was an ‘amateur, low stamina, low quality performance’.
However, those who knew what the boxers had gone through to prepare for this certainly expected more, with supporter Sean Liu expecting ‘a good fight’ from ‘selectively chosen boxers with a kind of level that far surpasses our own skill set’. Talking to the fighters certainly showed that they had not only gone through an arduous physical development but also a mental one. Second year Biomed student Petr Borodavkin claims that as he started getting into boxing he understood that there was a lot more to it than just strength, and that he had to focus on ‘movement and boxing intellect’. His preference of obtaining a victory by points where his opponent had no chance to knock him out over a KO shows that these fighters were not just brash young adults who wanted to fight.
The seven fights themselves, three rounds of two minutes each with full weight gloves and headgear, saw boxers from KCL, UCL and SOAS’s respective boxing societies and members of the Carney’s Community charity (who received all the profits from the event). Almost everybody we spoke to on the day praised boxing coach Martin Dimitrov for managing to organise a fight night with so many different entities involved. Six KCL students in total stepped in the ring – three of them leaving victorious. Akeem defeated fellow KCL boxer Artem, whilst Marcus and Lauren both won their fights against an independent fighter and a student from SOAS respectively.
The fights themselves had everything one could hope for from a boxing event. There was huge drama in the second fight of the night when the scorecard was misread and Artem was declared the winner over Akeem before the decision was reversed. In the very last fight of the night, independent fighter Eliott dislocated his shoulder after a flurry of powerful strikes from KCL’s own boxer Marcus leading to the fight being immediately stopped. Yet, it resumed thirty seconds later when Eliott popped his own shoulder back in place and assured the referee that he was able to continue, much to the delight of the crowd who adored his sheer committment.
For the duration of the night, the crowd were fantastic at getting behind the boxers. Friends and family of Carney’s Community as well as those of KCL boxers certainly didn’t let their pugilists down, with the drama of the whole event leaving fans buzzing well after it had finished.