Full Ringside Report - York Hall
By Iain Dolan at ringside for Doghouse Boxing (July 20, 2009)  
Another warm night at “The Home of British Boxing” saw Cefn Fforest’s Nathan Cleverly (12st 6lbs) take on Norwich’s Danny McIntosh (12st 6 ¼ lbs) for the British Light-Heavyweight title. It was a rare contest between two unbeaten fighters who both seriously fancied their chances. Both fighters entered the ring in excellent condition and there was plenty of gesticulating between the two during the pre-fight announcements. Cleverly came tearing out at the opening bell and immediately looked the more powerful man in the opening exchanges. McIntosh did get through with some body shots but Nathan’s
straighter punching gave him the ascendancy despite a warning and a time out for one straying below the belt.

In the 2nd a right hook from Nathan dropped Danny in his corner and although he signalled that he was OK, Nathan had made a statement early. Shortly afterwards another booming right hook put Danny flat on his back. It looked for all the world as though the fight was over, but Danny vaulted off the floor insisting he was fine to continue. Nathan went looking for the finish but Danny protected himself well and saw out the round. Nathan had a very vociferous following from Wales whose chants of “Easy, Easy” were one of their more polite offerings

Cleverly started the 3rd as he finished the 2nd, looking to take McIntosh out and had his man on the floor yet again, but there was a suspicion of a low blow. By this time McIntosh was drawing the referee’s attention to anything near the belt. In most cases he had a point, but it was also a sign of distress. Nathan slowed a bit in the 4th having been going all out in the previous two rounds and Danny enjoyed some success with the jab but wasn’t anywhere close to troubling the Welshman even though Nathan was warned again for a right hand straying south.

Cleverly continued to control proceedings in the 5th and although McIntosh was no longer shipping the big shots, he wasn’t throwing nearly enough of his own to start retrieving the deficit on the cards. Danny was slow to get off his stool at the start of the 6th provoking a “get up” gesture from Nathan. A big left hook from Nathan dipped Danny’s legs momentarily and as Nathan went head hunting he walked onto a straight right from Danny which caused him to nod in acknowledgement. However, the writing was on the wall by now. Cleverly was faster, stronger and more accurate and hit harder.

Sure enough another big right hook dropped Danny again in the 7th and during Nathan’s follow up assault, the referee had seen enough. As is so often the case, the pre fight needle had completely disappeared and the fighters embraced with genuine respect, with McIntosh raising Cleverly’s hand, acknowledging the better man.

Main support act for the evening was an eight round tear up between another Norwich man, Jon Thaxton (10st 8lbs) and Maldon’s Tom Glover. Thaxton, in good condition as always took the opener because of his superior work rate, but although both fighters were very busy, there wasn’t a lot of clean stuff landed. In the 2nd, Glover, who looked up for his biggest fight to date, started to get through and also caught most of Thaxton’s shots on this high guard. The 3rd was even better for Glover, the underdog, as Thaxton dropped his hands and loaded up looking for a big shot. Glover was fighting very smart, keeping his hands up at range and then opening up in close where Thaxton’s power was negated. In the 4th and 5th, Jon was eating left hooks every time he moved backwards, trying to give himself some space to unleash his bombs. He also had success with sustained attacks of his own even if his work was a little ragged. Jon got through with even more in the 6th as he backed Tom onto the ropes on several occasions. Thaxton was deducted a point for holding in the 7th but it wasn’t as though this was a hug fest, the action was frenetic throughout.

Both men came out for the last intent on making a statement and the crowd roared on the action as they went toe to toe. The final bell sounded with both fighters claiming victory (as usual, but on this occasion both had a case). It transpired that the lost point cost Thaxton as referee Ken Curtis gave it 77-76 to Glover, who celebrated like he’d won a world title. In fairness, this will open lots of doors for Glover, who now has a major domestic name on his record.

After the main event, but still well supported was Manchester’s Tyson Fury (18st 8lbs) recording his 7th straight stoppage as a pro against Latvia’s Aleksandrs Selenzen’s (17st 13lbs). The much larger Fury, settled behind a stiff left jab straight away and followed up with a couple of hurtful right hooks as the fleshy Selenzens looked to hold. Tyson wobbled the Latvian in the 2nd with a straight right, but Slenzens tied him up effectively after that preventing Fury from finding a finish. In the 3rd Tyson dropped his man hard with a combination and Aleksandrs’ corner came to the rescue once he regained his feet. It was a scrappy fight and one in which it was hard for Fury to look good, but he took care of business none the less.

Elsewhere on the card was a novelty women’s fight featuring Angel McKenzie (9st 1½ lbs), a recent Big Brother contestant and also step daughter of ex champ Clinton McKenzie against Wales’ Lana Cooper (9st 2 ¼ lbs). Both ladies showed ambition and threw plenty but McKenzie emerged with a fairly comfortable 39-37 over four twos. There were, apparently, other recent Big Brother contestants in the crowd and Angel attempted to stretch her 15 minutes of fame as far as possible after the fight by posing at all four sides of the ring to barely interested spectators.

Still, the two main fights had both been hugely entertaining and had energised the crowd which was pretty sizable considering this show was up against Amir Khan’s world title shot that was being shown on PPV. I think all the fans in York Hall, were glad they made the effort and Hennessy’s reputation for putting on competitive fights was enhanced again.

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