By John Hannen: After an 18 month layoff, Akash Hussein was given a tough welcome back to the ring on Steve Wraith’s promotional debut – ‘Return of the Ca$h’ – at Newcastle’s O2 Academy on September 9.
Newcastle’s Hussein was in with late substitute Lubo Hantak but didn’t get an easy night’s work against his vastly more experienced Slovakian opponent.
Over the four-threes, Akash (12st 12lbs) got up on his toes and threw out a decent jab but it wasn’t enough to deter Hantak (12st 8lbs) who kept marching forward and dragged Hussein into a fight.
Often Akash had his back to the ropes where he did some useful inside work, particularly with the uppercut, but also shipped punishment too.
At the final bell referee Graeme Williams scored 39-37 in favour of Hussein, whose ledger now reads 2-1 and who will be pleased to have shed some ring rust. Hantak is now 9-46-2 (5).
In a local derby, County Durham southpaw Taylor Ward (9st) and South Shields’ David Lake (9st 2lbs) conspired to produce the fight of the day for the home crowd.
Lake (pictured) pressured and had his successes during the scheduled four-threes but his attacks were increasingly met by Ward’s fast, well-timed countering replies as the fight progressed.
During the last round David continued to press forward to try to swing the momentum his way but was met by a straight right and left hook that sent him over for a count of eight.
On unsteady legs when the action resumed, Lake was soon down again from the same combination and referee Andrew Wright rightly waved it off at 2-27.
Ward looks a talent and moves to 2-0 (1); Lake, now 3-2 (1), couldn’t have given anymore and can be proud of his effort.
Entrance of the day went to Newcastle’s Dougie Curran (9st 10lbs) who took to the ring for his scheduled four-threes against Yorkshire’sLeroy Smedley (9st 10lbs) in a flat cap and gas mask!
Boxing on home turf for the first time in his career Dougie, with the crowd cheering him on, looked too eager to please during the first two rounds and often ended up smothering his work.
During the third it all came together though and the local man landed a cracking right over the guard that sent Leroy crashing down. Up for a count of eight, and cut over the left eye, referee Wright deemed Smedley in no condition to continue and waved it off at 1-08.
‘The Bullet’ is now 6-14-2 (1); Smedley is 1-3.
North Shields debutant Karl Ferguson (10st 10lbs) ran out of steam against Lancashire’s William Warburton (10st 13lbs) and was stopped in the third of a scheduled four-threes.
Southpaw Ferguson looked in control for most of the first round but was breathing heavy at the end of the session. During the second, Warburton came right back into it and started to push ‘Fergie’ back without reply. The pattern continued in the third until referee Wright had seen enough and called an end at 2-50.
Warbuton is much better than his now 6-36-2 (1) record suggests.
South Shields’ Anthony ‘Babyface’ Nelson, now 3-0 (1), got in four good learning rounds against Wolverhampton journeyman Delroy Spencer.
Spencer (8st 7lbs) looked up for this contest and threw a lot of leather in the first round but Nelson (8st 7lbs) dealt with it and returned fire with interest. Over the contest all the pressure came from ‘Babyface’ who found his range quickly and landed some lovely combinations behind the jab.
At the end, referee Williams rightly scored every round for Anthony; 40-36. Delroy is now 14-141-3 (1).
Middlesbrough’s Shafiq ‘Chubzy’ Asif (10st 1lb) dealt well with wily journeyman Johnny Greaves over four-threes.
Greaves used all the tricks he has learned in his 3-87 (1) career to try to unsettle Asif who continually stalked his opponent and scored with crisp jabs and backhands.
As the fight progressed Londoner Greaves (10st 5lbs) had no answer for Shafiq’s combination work and constant attacking and looked relieved at the final bell.
Referee Williams scored 40-36. ‘Chubzy’ moves on at 4-0 (1).