Match-making is spot on as Norwich fighters lead home success
- Credit: Jerry Daws
Small but perfectly formed could apply to the latest Norwich boxing show – and the star performer.
At 9st 3lbs Zaiphan Morris isn't the biggest and even his opponent on Saturday, Harvey Helmsley, towered over him. But what he lacks in size the 30-year-old makes up for in determination: again, pretty much like the show.
For four rounds, Morris – backed by a noisy home crowd at the Mercy nightclub – was never very far from Helmsley's face. The height advantage was obvious, but Morris mixed it well, working the head and the body, defending well and moving out of trouble, once Jon Thaxton in the corner could make himself heard. It worked, because by the fourth and final round, Morris was in control, running out the winner by 39 points to 37.
Morris' victory was the finale to a night when fellow city boxer Duane Green beat Kevin McCauley 40:37 on points, following up his excellent win over Prizefighter winner Robert Lloyd Taylor last time out. The bonus for Green is that Everett has now got him a slot on the Luke Campbell-Tommy Coyle show at Hull's KC Stadium on August 1.
Joe Hurn – who hails from Clacton but spends a lot of his time training under Graham Everett at the Kickstop Gym – demolished Portsmouth's Liam Griffiths in two rounds, confirming what Everett predicted, that he has a title challenge in him next year.
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The tear-up of the night award was reserved for Matty Parr, a debutant from St Ives, who spent all four rounds trading punches toe to toe with Lithuanian Egidijus Kakstsys, winning 40:38.
The match-making couldn't have been better, but what is mouth-watering is that there is more to come – Norwich heavyweight Sam Sexton will return for the next Norwich fight night, in September, as will Lowestoft's Craig Poxton, who starts punching again this week after hand surgery. World youth champion Nathan Dale, a spectator on Saturday, will have to settle for a supporting role again in September as he is due to undergo hand surgery in Manchester next month.
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For now, the spotlight shines on Morris and Co, to Everett's delight.
'Duane boxed above and beyond,' said Everett. 'He is benefiting from sparring with Billy Bird and Anthony Ogogo and is really doing well.
'Zaiphan had what I would call a good learning fight. The kid was very experienced, big and strong. He packed 9st 6lb into that body somehow. Zaiphan did what he had to do, punch and move, and once he got into that rhythm, he had the faster hands and the faster feet and I think Zaiphan is doing really well.
'Zaiphan has good work ethics – he will be back in the gym this week, learning again.'
While the summer gives some fighters a break, apart from gym work, they will return in September.
'What we lacked in quantity we made up for in quality,' added Everett. 'The matchings were brilliant, so massive respect to Mervyn Turner – we had one fighter fail a medical the day before because of a dislocated thumb and many promoters would have pulled out, but Mervyn has dug in and produced a great night at a great venue. I am pleased, for him and Jon (Thaxton), Glenn Saffer and everyone, they are all working hard.'