King’s vs Cambridge vs Imperial: KCL Amateur Boxing Club’s Fight Night!

KCL Amateur Boxing Club hold boxing show with five of KCLs pugilists matching up with boxers from Cambridge, Imperial and Fitzroy Lodge at the Black Prince Community Hub 

Legendary boxing promoter Don King once compared boxing to reality television. He said, “You can’t find anything better than boxing, because of the trials and errors, the ups and downs, the struggle when you get knocked down to get back up.”

KCL ABC coach Martin Dimitrov chats to Mohammed inbetween rounds. Photo: Jack Pepper

Don King was a good matchmaker, hype stirrer and organiser of some of the most famous fights in the history of the sport, such as The Thrilla in Manilla and The Rumble in the Jungle, but he’s not especially profound when it comes to his similes.

This likening to a roller-coaster or a sine curve doesn’t, in this writers opinion, do justice to the impossibility of not just getting up following being knocked down, but even simply the Herculean task of keeping your fists up after a few rounds in the ring. It’s more like walking down stairs and trying every two steps to jump back to the height you were at when you started, with increasing gravity.

Vincent Timsit poses for a post bout portrait. Photo: Jack Pepper

The sentiment however is one that will inevitably be felt by the five boxers representing KCL on Friday, December 4th, when each heard the decision from the judges go against them in their respective bouts. The boys in the Reggie-red corner boxed bravely and were beaten anyway, reflective of the ‘trials,’ ‘errors’ and ‘downs’ half of boxing. The show as a whole, however, should be considered a success for King’s.

It was feared by some of my fellow committee members that the late start and the dropping out of some of Cambridge’s boxers may’ve underwhelmed the crowd of 150-200, but in spite of these slight hiccups in proceedings the hype was tangible when the first bout featuring KCL’s Esteban Benitez exploded into life.

The Cambridge boxer is awarded the victory over Esteban. Photo: Jack Pepper

Ali Rislan represented next, starting explosively with a flurry of combinations, moving sharply but perhaps doing a little too much against the technically skilled Ollie Smith from Cambridge. Certainly there was some surprise from not just Ali but large portions of the crowd – albeit very little from the vocal Cambridge contingent in the corner – with this result.

The referee stops Ali (left) and his opponent mid-first round. Photo: Jack Pepper

The silky KCL alumni Mohammed Abubaker took the third contest against Fitzroy Lodge’s Gizmo Chu, this bout inspiring fewer cheers from the crowd of mostly non-KCL ABC members. In much the same manner as the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight in May, this was one for fellow boxers to appreciate the close matching of two boxers who knew exactly how to throw a punch as well as dodge one, and the split decision reflected the closeness of the bout.

Mohammed (left) giving Gizmo "the eyes." Photo: Jack Pepper

Clovis Fong was next to pit his wits, strength and fitness, and again the judges had a hard time awarding the victory to the Cambridge boxer who Clovis knocked down within 10 first round seconds. He, as with all of our previous boxers, received a warm reception for a contest well waged from the crowd.

Clovis prepares to jab. Photo: Jack Pepper

Finally, Vincent Timsit boxed against a stand in boxer from Imperial helping to make up the numbers which dwindled due to difficulties some of the Cambridge boxers had with getting their ABA registration in time. Vincent swapped corners and was instead in the blue corner matching his kit for the bout, if only to check that the judges weren’t just opting for that corner each time due to their preference for the colour alone. Surprise was on the faces of many once again, but not least on that of the Imperial boxer, when it was he in the red corner who was announced to’ve won.

The result came as somewhat of a shock to the Imperial boxer. Photo: Jack Pepper

KCL can be proud, though, if not of the victories then certainly of the event itself. Last year the club couldn’t afford to run a show, nor did it have sufficient infrastructure to organise one, but under Kouros Driscoll’s presidency the club has lifted itself out of the red and into the black and after an erring start to this generation of students at the society, the future looks bright.

Edit: Though it’s used in the headline, “fight” and its many permutations is reserved in the sport of boxing for professional bouts, whilst “contest” is the term for an Amateur Boxing contest.

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