Haye Day Return - Review
  
David Haye continued the comeback trail on Saturday 21st May making his second appearance at the O2 in 2016.  Again an undercard dominated by young upcoming talent as well as a handful of familiar names as well as what promised to be an all action English middleweight title fight.

Ollie Pattison vs Bryn Wain (light heavyweight, 4 x 3 minute rounds)
Undefeated Pattison is looking to build on his undefeated career as he searches for a fourth win.  The first round started with the two exchanging nicely, Pattison having success to the body while Wain landed a nice straight left jab.  Pattison continued the success with his left hook to the body, the high guard of Wain seemingly putting him off targeting the head too much.  Wain had Pattison against the ropes and landed some nice shots ending with good right hand but it was Pattison's round.  

The second was a scrappy affair, neither able to establish dominance.  They often tied up, while Pattison occasionally used his superior reach to throw a jab left hook.  Wain landed a nice right hand but didn't seem to bother Pattison.  Wain in the third looked to hold centre ring as Pattison worked more off the back foot.  Wain continued to come forwards with his guard down, seemingly happy to lure Pattison in and not being concerned by what came back.  Again an uneventful round with neither being able to have a significant upper hand.
In the fourth Wain landed a lovely counter left hook that seemed to push Pattison back, followed by another that carried less behind it.  Pattison looked to load up on uppercuts and his right hand but couldn't pin Wain down.  The fight ended with a nice exchange but neither fighter was the obvious winner from the round.
The referee scored the fight 40-37 to Pattison.  

Dan-Dan Keenan vs Dwayne Sheldon (welterweight, 4 x 3 minute rounds) 
A huge opportunity for Keenan as in only his second professional bout he gets to grace the O2 and he has a loud following here.  The taller Keenan worked from the centre of the ring at every opportunity from his southpaw stance.  The two were happy to stand and trade when the opportunity presented itself making for an interesting first round.  Keenan shower good footwork to evade Sheldon when he came forwards.  Keenan threw some nice counters that seemed to put Sheldon off of his approaches towards the end of the round.

The second was less exciting, Keenan took to the back foot and allowed Sheldon centre ring to start proceedings.  Keenan got his following to their feet though when he stood his ground to land a nice right jab and a solid left cross that seemed to put Sheldon onto his back foot.  He followed Sheldon and looked to capitalise but couldn't pin him down to continue the good work,
Sheldon got the better start to the third round, landing a nice big right hand on the ropes.  It didn't faze Keenan, who continued to do the better work as he happily let his hands drop and look for the counter shots.  In the fourth Sheldon again works from the centre as he looks to close Keenan down but the stylish Keenan counters each approach well.  It would have been nice to see Keenan look to engage more in the round as he clearly had the upper hand.  On one of the rare occasions he did he landed a solid straight left to the chin but then backed off again to let Sheldon reclaim the centre.  Keenan ended the round showing his tidy head movement as he claimed an easy looking points win.
The referee scores it 40-37 to Keenan.

Floyd Moore vs Yordan Vasilev (lightweight, 6 x 3 minute rounds)
The ever popular Moore looks to avenge an earlier career stoppage as he steps back in with Bulgarian Vasilev.  Moore, current Southern Area lightweight champion, proves as popular as ever with his large Portsmouth contingent making themselves heard in the O2.  Moore started the round well, a nice counter left hook landing on Vasilev's jaw.  In his usual style Moore looked to come forwards and engage early on.  Vasilev's himself landed a nice right counter but Moore was on top, happy to stand in from of the shorter opponent and unload body hooks.  Vasilev's was looking red in the face by the end of the first, evidence of the better work from Moore who landed a lovely straight right at the end of the round that seemed to wobble the Bulgarian.

Vasilev started the second more lively as he rushed Moore to start the round.  Moore engaged and was caught in a headlock as the two bundled to the ground.  When they got up Vasilev dropped his hands and seemed to mock Moore, who in return did the same before stepping in and landing a good flurry of shots.  The round ended with Moore in control.
Moore started the third well but seemingly out of nowhere was caught with a shot that sent him tumbling backwards to the canvas.  It appeared moe of a flash knockdown as he regained his feet.  The two then engaged on the ropes before more showmanship from Vasilev in centre ring.  Moore ate a left hook but looked the fresher of the two, himself hitting a nice overhand right.Vasilev ended looking the aggressor of the two.
The Moore fans rallied behind their man at the start of the fourth as he dodged two Vasilev shots well to counter his bleach blonde opponent.  Vasilev was loading up, seemingly happy to absorb the Moore shots and then throw a big right on the end of exchanges.  The two ended with the two seemingly taking a last stand in the round, standing toe-to-toe and trading as the bell rung.
A nice triple jab landed by Moore at the start of the fifth as Moore displayed a more controlled style.  Vasilev was still fighting in burst so seemingly looking for the stoppage with a big punch than to rely on workrate.  Vasilev continued to drop his gloves trying to goad Moore into attacking and presumably aiming to counter with his big right.  However Moore closed the distance well and unloaded a flurry on the inside rocking the had of Vasilev.  This Bulgarian is one rough man though and immediately came forwards again, the round ending with Vasilev getting a ticking off for punching on the break.
In the sixth Moore got his own telling off for use of the head coming in.  Vasilev was cut to the right eye and Moore looked to step up the pace in the final stanza.  Another big right from Vasilev missed as Moore countered and the two tied up.  Moore was by far the fresher of the two, keeping up a solid workrate through the round as Vasilev did his best to hold and spoil.  Moore was finding a home for his overhand rights as the Bulgarian seemingly wanted to cuddle and headlock Moore as much as possible.  The fight ended with both raising their hands in victory, but it was clear that despite being dropped it was Moore when was the busier fighter with the better work.
The referee scored the fight 58-56 to Moore, much to the delight of his fans.

Joe Mullender vs Lee Markham (English middleweight title, 10 x 3 minute rounds)
Two Londoners with a local rivalry.  Two men that want nothing more than to stand in the pocket and fight.  One English title for the winner to take home.  This had the makings of a classic.

Mullender started the round in his usual style, aggressive and hands tucked up.  He looks to do his work to the body as Markham stands with him.  The round doesn't catch fire as the two seem to feel each other out in the first three minutes, the best work being to the body from both,
Mullender starts the second as he did the first, looking to keep his head away from the centre line but quickly reverts back to coming in straight lines.  Markham does the cleaner work in the early round, landing nice uppercuts to the oncoming Mullender.  A nice right hand from MArkham sends sweat from the bald Mullender head over the top rope.  Markham round.
Mullended again opens the third on the front foot as Markham struggles to keep him off with his jab.  A nice right hand lands early from Mullender and Markham focuses more of his work to the body,  Mullender is like a rhino, constantly ploughing forward and absorbing shots to unload his own.  Markham, almost without choice, is working more off the back foot.  A nice left hook lands from Mullender as his fans erupt in the O2.  The end of the round is a proper fight as the two stand and trade on the ropes, neither man happy to step backwards.  The best of the latter exchanges went to Markham as Mullender's nose exploded with blood from an uppercut.
Both land good left body hooks to start the fourthUppercuts are exchanged as the two do as the promised pre-fight, stand in the pocket and trade.  The round is hard to score, Markham perhaps cleaner with his shots.  Mullender is constantly pushing Markham around the ring and it seems inevitable the pace will have to slow soon.
The right uppercut from Markham again seems a potent weapon as the fifth round opens.  Mullender is susceptible as he walks forwards but he is getting plenty of his own success.  Mullender lands a nice right hook as his fans get louder but again the two are stood trading.  A phone box would have been sufficient to house this fight with room to spare.  The bell rings as both lads head for their corners ready to do the same again in a minute.
Sure enough the pace and style continue, Mullender lands a lovely uppercut left hook combination but Markham seems undeterred and is happy to keep trading.  A good left hook bounces off of Markham's head but he goes back to his trusted uppercut.  Mullender lands his own too, a good counter right hand and a solid left hook get the crowd excited.  No idea how these two warriors are carrying on at the pace, brutal stuff.
Markham has the better of the start of the seventh, a nice left hook and a rare jab land but it's no concern to Mullender who is on the front foot again.  A big right hand from Mullender in the corner but Markham happily fires back with his own shots once he evades his oncoming opponent.  A punishing left hand from Mullender lands on the chin of Markham.  You wouldn't know.  Markham ends the round landing a ferocious right uppercut.  Again, Mullender dismisses it on the bell.
Neither man is seemingly tiring at the start of the eighth.  It's a blistering pace and exhausting to even watch as they stand and trade once again.  Mullender streams blood that flys into the air with each uppercut Markham lands.  He doesn't even seem to notice though and is able to continue his front foot assault.  A good counter right by Markham comes flush off the Mullender chin but he barely blinks.  These two men are cur of a different cloth, a more solid steel than most.  Mullender's gum shield hits the floor in the eighth and the referee halts proceedings to retrieve it.  It says everything about this fight that it is the first time the referee has been involved at all.
As the ninth starts it abruptly stops, Markham's glove tape needing correcting.  They're straight back at it, a repeat of the previous eight rounds.  A good Mullender right is followed up by a Markham left as this time Markham loses his gumshield.  It's a temporary break, the two re-engage centre ring before Mullender shows his strength  again in manoeuvring Markham back to the ropes.  How they are still doing this is beyond me.
The crowd give these two a well deserved applause to start the final round.  The right Markham guard seems to absorb a lot of Mullender's punches at the start but again when he opens up the two land at will on one another.  I do not envy the scoring judges at all.  The Mullender gumshield finds it way to the canvas again before the two have a final stand.  A swinging right from Mullender misses and the two again trade before the Mullender gumshield again falls out.  Both swing in heavy shots, digging the bottom of the barrel for what they have left.  Local pride right now overrules the English title.  Incredible exchanges end the brutal last round but neither man shows a weakness.  Incredible stuff.  As the final bell goes a beautiful embrace between two men who have just thrown everything at each other for 30 amazing minutes.  
An incredible fight, a classic tear up.  The judges score it 98-93, 97-94, 97-93 to Lee Markham although Mullender was so spirited in defeat.

Nick Webb vs Hari Miles (heavyweight, 4 x 3 minute rounds)
Hard hitting Webb, a man who has won all five of his bouts in the first round, is looking to continue his devastating streak against Miles, a man who has been a career cruiserweight and is known to come to fight.

Southpaw Miles starts with ambition, throwing a nice straight left to open the fight.  Webb is significantly bigger than Miles and in the clinch his weight and strength advantage are evident.  Webb looks sloppy as he goes to engage, a wide lazy left hook being telegraphed and Miles slipping under.  He then throws a huge right hand that if it landed would have sent Miles to the concourse.  It doesn't and Webb looks a bit crude in the process.  A nice straight left again from Miles connects and a good jab as the underdog seems to have the better of this first round.
Again in the second Miles opens the brighter, a nice left to the body. Connecting and a solid left bouncing off the Webb chin.  This is the first time Webb has seen the second round and his first live opponent.  Miles cannot miss with the straight left, Webb seemingly unprepared as Miles then lands a nice right on the ropes.  Webb gets caught coming in as he drops his right hands too low or throws wild shots.  Webb does though get a good right hand on the ropes but it doesn't deter Miles.  For me another Miles round.
Wenn seemingly cannot establish his jab despite the significant height and reach advantage.  He keeps going for the lead right but Miles is too wily for that.  When they do clinch Miles, despite the size disadvantage, is able to manoeuvre Webb around.  He lands a nice double jab that sense sweat from Webb's dreadlocks.  Miles even throws in a nice showboat that annoys Webb's.  Miles ducks a hook before landing a clean right off the Webb chin.  Webb does though do his own food work towards the end of the round, unloading on the ropes but as Miles evades, the bell goes.
In the final round Webb paws his jab, there is little behind it.  More wild swinging hooks, the quality is lacking here.  He does however land a nice lead right hand to the Miles face,  the workrate from Miles has dropped significantly by now, seemingly wilting under the pressure of the heavier fighter.  He has enough about him to still throw some nice counters as Webb is too obvious with his big shots.  The two nearly exit the ring over the top rope, 30+ stone of men testing the material.  There is no doubt that Webb can punch, the power he swings with is immense.  But his boxing skill is lacking, the work is rushed as he looked to land single shots rather than build an approach.
The referee scores it 40-37 to Nick Webb.  Miles off as a score.


Joe Fournier vs Bela Juhasz (light heavyweight, 4 x 3 minute rounds)
Fournier hails from Hounslow in London originally but these days is found out in Miami.  It's his first fight in the country of his birth and he looks to build on his current 3-0 record.  Fournier comes out in some dazzling blue shorts, lad best be able to back them up.  

The first round is slow.  Juhasz looks small for a light heavy and Fournier seemingly can't judge the height, numerous hooks going over the top.  However a nice right hand from Fournier sense his opponent into the corner where the American start to rain shots in.  A good ten seconds pass without any reply from Juhasz, but he covers well and slips out.
The second sees Fournier continue on top and it isn't long before he has Juhasz in the corner, landing a nice right hand followed by a left and a straight right.  He's down but beats the refs count only to then be pounced on by the  dominant Fournier as the ref steps in to stop the action.

   
Shannon Briggs vs Emilio Zarate (heavyweight, 6 x 3 minute rounds)
We all know the name, we have seen the 'Let's Go Champ' videos and finally we get to see the former heavyweight champion of the world, Shannon 'The Cannon' Briggs, step into a British ring.  A circus act or a man in his forties with something still to offer?

The crowd were well invested in his prolonged entrance.  When the bell finally rang,,,Briggs came out the block firing. He proved he could still dig, laying in solid lefts and rights as Zarate looked less rabbit in the headlights, more rabbit under the headlight.  An early knockdown for Briggs from a flurry of shots as he has it all his own way.  Zarate was well out of contention, his own punches could be counted on one hand.  A nice left to the body by Briggs and it's all over in round one.  
So, is there much left to Briggs?  Frankly this tells us nothing.  The ring walk was double the length of the fight and the robe he seemingly struggled with in the changing room put up more of a fight than Zarate.
 
 
David Haye vs Arnold Gjergjaj (10 x 3 minute rounds)
Gjergjaj has been built up on having the second longest unbeaten run in the heavyweight division, but that CV has lacked any quality names.  He will be hoping to take Haye further than Mark De Mori managed back in January.  Haye will be looking to build on that victory and move on to a proposed showdown with Shannon Briggs later in 2016.

The O2 is packed as Haye makes his familiar ring walk to 'Ain't no stopping us now'. Say what you like about the fight and the opponent, the public still want in on the Haye show.  Briggs has left the changing room and is in the crowd watching.  Haye comes out gently but it doesn't take long to unload.  A big right lands on The Cobra who takes a seat early on the canvas and Haye watches on as he gets back to his feet.  The Cobra doesn't dare throw his own shots and seemingly, Haye lets him see out the first round.  Clearly he could have capitalised if he wished, perhaps the dear of backlash was from the paying public and not The Cobra.  Another Haye shot on the bell drops The Cobra but he is sent back to his corner to see his team.  In round two Haye drops The Cobra again early with the jab, right hand.  This is an execution.   Again in the second he goes down.  It is abundantly clear there are levels to this sport, Haye is many, many levels above.
The crowd seem pleased with what they have seen.  We learned little from this.  The Cobra may have been undefeated arriving but his limited CV has been exposed here by the better, stronger and faster man.
​Next up for Haye is Briggs.  Neither had a workout tonight so it remains to be seen how the two will fare when they eventually meet.
 


Kay Prosper vs Innocent Anyanwu (super lightweight, 4x 3 minutes rounds)
Prosper made his bow at the O2 back in January, blowing away Lee Connelly in one round.  This time it's a toughter test as rugged Nigerian Anyanwu was the challenge, a man who has previously gone the distance with the likes of Gary Sykes and Tamuka Mucha. In the first round Prosper worked his jab well, holding the squat Anwayu at bay as he looke do advance on his unbeaten opponent. Prosper had to display his slick defence as he was caught under pressure at times, struggling in the corner as the pressure was turned up. In the second round Prosper was more on top of the action, showing some slick countering abilities as Anwayu didn't relent in his front foot approach. Prosper is renowned for his power shots but was unable to get off his usual array, the powerful and short Anwayu closing down the space he had to work.

By the end of th fit Prosper was on top but not without his moments of trouble, the first real test of his career to date. The referee scored it 40-37 to Prosper.


A side note to this, the night also saw funds raised for British boxer Nick Blackwell who tragically had his career cut short by a bleed on the brain.  10% of ticket sales have been donated to Nick in what is a heart warming gesture from Haye. In