Ovill McKenzie, brought in on late notice to challenge Tony Conquest for the Commonwealth title at cruiserweight, won his third title with the organisation after knocking the champion out in five rounds at the Copper Box Arena in Stratford on Saturday, April 12. Peacock boxer McKenzie had his man down in the third, stayed disciplined and scored the stoppage in the fifth leaving Conquest needing oxygen.
Canning Town’s Peacock Gymnasium is home to many athletes including champion kickboxers, wrestlers and weight-lifters. However, they are most renowned for producing boxers and there is currently another stable of fighters being nurtured there, from all experience-levels, ready to challenge for titles. One of them, Ovill McKenzie, takes on Commonwealth titlist Tony Conquest in a cruiserweight punch-up this evening and Ovill’s gym-mate Ahmet Patterson breaks the bout down for Onthebeak.com…
Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro – London
Earlier today, Friday, November 25, Francis and George Warren officially announced that British cruiserweight champion Leon ‘Solid’ Williams will defend his newly acquired title, against Southern Area champion Tony ‘Conqueror’ Conquest, at the York Hall in Bethnal Green, London on Friday, January 13, 2012, in a fight that will be broadcast live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky 456 & Virgin 546).
Williams, who relieved Rob Norton of the coveted Lonsdale belt back in October, spoke briefly on the upcoming showdown with his long time friend Tony Conquest: “I’m excited, I’m already back in training preparing to crush him. It’s going to be a nightmare for him, he wont be conquering me anyway, I’ll be conquering him.
“Friendships done now it’s official, we’re not friends, he’s my enemy right now and I’m gonna crush him on January 13. I’ve got a big following, which is good. I thank them all, because it is because of them that I am in the position I am now. I’m gonna put on a great show for them and crush Tony and then we’ll celebrate all day, every day… yeaaahh.”
The Warren brothers have put together a top class support card for Williams v Conquest, headed by a heavyweight clash between Larry ‘The War Machine’ Olabamiwo and former Commonwealth champion Sam Sexton. Also on the card are ‘Super’ Bradley Skeete, Williams’ TRAD TKO Gym mate ‘Saint’ George Jupp, John Wayne Hibbert, Daryl Williams, Charlie Hit and John Dignam, all against yet to be named opponents.
Leon ‘Solid’ Williams Versus Tony ‘Conqueror’ Conquest for the British cruiserweight title headlines Francis and George Warren’s Queensberry Promotions first event of the New Year, which takes place at York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, on Friday, January 13, 2012 and broadcast live on BoxNation (Sky platform Channel 456 & Virgin 546)
Tickets, priced £40 (Standard Seated) and £60 (Ringside) for Williams v Conquest will be available shortly online at www.tkoboxoffice.com. Tickets will also be available direct from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA.
All Pictures: Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro
Enzo Maccarinelli‘s ring return on Friday, November 18 in London, was short-lived as the Welshman landed at will on undefeated Hungarian opponent Gyorgy Marosi. Also boxing on the York Hall card, was rising British cruiserweight Tony Conquest, who triumphed over Toks Owoh to gain the Southern Area championship. Athletically-gifted and eyebrow-raising prospect Frank Buglioni was also in action and doubled his record to 2-0-0, 2ko.
Alan Dawson – London
Burgeoning British cruiserweight Tony Conquest won a shut-out victory over Toks Owoh at the York Hall, Bethnal Green in London on Friday, November 18. A former sparring partner of Roy Jones Jr, Owoh was competitive for the first few rounds but Conquest’s blows to the 39-year-old’s body ensured Owoh’s tank emptied sooner, rather than later. Conquest was awarded the Southern Area title for his win.
Referee verdict: 100-91 to Conquest.
In the first round, Conquest highlighted his fluid style by applying a veteran’s maturity when using angles to pivot away and then unleash a double jab when he had re-rooted his boots. An active upper body movement was constantly applied in order to veer away from Owoh’s shots fired to the upstairs and, overall, it was Conquest who had snatched the ten score from the opening three minutes as he had a: been more active and b: produced the more sterling work.
Owoh sent his orthodox lead punches to both Conquest’s head and body in the second round, however, the difference in speed of hand between the two fighters was telling, and an asset that Conquest had and Owoh hadn’t. An undefeated 27-year-old, Conquest had the edge in the second also and his attention to Owoh’s solar plexus and sides of his midsection paid instant dividends as the 39-year-old returned to his stool with a gaping jaw due to the heavy intakes of air he needed in order to get his breath back.
Conquest’s punch variety was shown off in the third: tight right uppercuts and swift right hooks sent in from the inside complemented his work when fighting from range when he landed right hands over the top. Any energy that Owoh had left, Conquest sought to deplete in the fourth as he dug right hands into Owoh’s abdominal region once, twice, thrice… taking a step in every time Owoh stepped back and repeated his body work. Owoh also received left hands onto his chin and, whilst he was punching back, he was by no means as competitive as Conquest by this point.
When Conquest increased the pressure, forced the fight, he completely perturbed Owoh from action who began covering up, retreating into a defensive shell and began boxing on slowly-executed back steps. What spelled further trouble for the former world-ranked super middleweight was that he had not boxed more than six rounds for seven years and so, in rounds seven, eight and so on, Owoh was in territory unfamiliar to him in his late 30′s and was boxing like he was looking to survive against a guy who continuously got the upper hand whenever there was an exchange.
In the penultimate round, Conquest let his fists go, and broke through Owoh’s stubborn guard by launching relentless hooks and straights. Moments later, Owoh was wobbled with a thunderous uppercut who ended up having his mouth guard punched out of his mush and the 20 seconds break while he had it refitted would have served as a welcome respite from the younger man’s bombardment.
Conquest eased off the gas in the tenth and final round, out-working, out-classing and out-punching Owoh. The latter, though, lasted long enough to hear the final bell but it was Conquest who rightly had his glove held high as the contest’s winner.
“It’s fantastic,” said an elated Conquest to Box Nation whilst looking at his new belt. “Toks is a former world title contender and he’s been in there with Glen Johnson. He knows what to do on the inside and he mucks you around a bit. I think the difference was a little bit of speed. He’s a fit 39-year-old, he couldn’t half sling it!”
The general feeling is that, even though it did not serve as an official eliminator, Conquest has now maneuvered himself into the mandatory position for Leon Williams’ Lonsdale title – a fact backed by promoter Francis Warren, who explained that a January 13 date had been penciled in.
Conquest preserved his undefeated status and rose to 8-0-0, 2ko. Owoh dropped to 20-6-0, 11ko.
Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro – London
This coming Friday, Romford’s hot cruiserweight prospect Tony ‘Conqueror’ Conquest gets his first shot at a championship title when he faces Chalk Farm’s former world-ranked star Toks Owoh for the vacant BBBofC Southern Area cruiserweight title, at Francis and George Warren’s Queensberry Promotions event at York Hall in Bethnal Green on Friday, November 18 – which will also broadcast live on BoxNation (Sky platform channel 456).
The outcome of Friday’s showdown between Conquest and Owoh is very much of interest to new British cruiserweight champion Leon ‘Solid’ Williams, not just because it’s for the belt he vacated just a few weeks ago – in order to challenge, and beat, long time champ Rob Norton for his coveted Lonsdale belt – but because whoever wins this intriguing battle, between a wily old fox and the new kid on the block, will be his next opponent early in 2012.
Following a training session at the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town, a relaxed Williams said: “I see Tony Conquest beating Toks comfortably. He’s got good movement, good footwork and good work rate. Toks wont be able to get near him.
“Tony’s a young man, 12 years younger than Toks, and he’s on the way up. The same can’t be said for Toks, he’s 39-years-old and really doesn’t have anywhere to go. Don’t get me wrong, he was a world class fighter in his day, at super middle, but just hasn’t shined as a cruiser… he’s a shadow of that guy who earned a world title shot at the turn of this century.
“Tony’s unbeaten in seven and is determined to make his mark as a pro. He’ll be well prepared for anything Toks can bring on the night. Basically, I’m sure it will be Tony that’ll win and will be fighting me in January. That’ll be a great fight for the fans.
“Tony’s a good friend of mine but it’s a fight, it’s business and I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do and he’s got to do what he’s got to do. Hopefully we’ll keep our friendship afterwards, but during the fight it’s a fight, nuff said.”
Tony Conquest versus Toks Owoh for the vacant BBBofC Southern Area cruiserweight title features on Francis and George Warren’s Queensberry promotion event, headlined by Enzo Maccarinelli versus Gyorgy Marosi, which takes place at the York Hall in Bethnal Green, and broadcast live on BoxNation (Sky Platform Ch. 456), on Friday the 18th November 2011.
Tickets, priced £60 (Ringside) and £40 (Standard Seated), are available now online at www.tkoboxoffice.com or from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA.
Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro – London
Francis and George Warren may be new to the boxing promotions business, but no one can deny they have hit the ground running. Their first show produced a ‘Fight of the Year’ front runner, when Liam Walsh successfully defended his Commonwealth title in a proper barnstorming battle royale with Paul Appleby. Their second event see new star signing, cruiserweight Leon ‘Solid’ Williams, wrestle the Lonsdale belt from long time champ Rob Norton’s iron grip.
For their third event, at York Hall in Bethnal Green on Friday, November 18 and live on BoxNation (Sky platform channel 456), Francis and George have another major battle headlining, as former WBU and WBO cruiserweight world champion Enzo Maccarinelli makes his welcome return to the ring… as a light heavyweight.
Big Mac’s opponent on Friday will be unbeaten Gyorgy Marosi. This will be no easy fight for Maccarinelli, as Marosi is a tough battler who has stopped eight of his twelve opponents and is the reigning Hungarian super middleweight champion. This guy is a fast-starting, big hitter as he has stopped six opponents in two rounds or less, one in the third and one in the fifth. His biggest scalp to date is Arnold Turos, who was 14-1 with six knockouts when he faced Marosi, who stopped him in the first round.
Now Maccarinelli is another thing altogether… I’m a big fan of the cruiserweight division and he was a two time world champion. As a cruiser, Maccarinelli overcame an early career loss to Lee Swaby in only his fourth contest, to build up an impressive record before becoming one of the biggest names on the world scene.
With ten excellent wins (seven inside the distance) under his belt since the loss to Swaby, the Welshman challenged for the vacant WBU world title against the seriously tough Bruce ‘Lionheart’ Scott. Maccarinelli overcome a first round knockdown to stop the durable Scott in the fourth and lift the coveted crown.
Maccarinelli successfully defended his belt seven times, with only two going the full distance. His first, against Andrei Karsten in September 2003, lasted just one minute and ten seconds. His second
victim opponent, Earl Morais, fared just a little better, having lasted until the one minute thirty second mark before being knocked out.
In February 2004, Garry Delaney visited the canvas no less than seven times before referee Dave Parris decided to call a halt to the proceedings after two minutes and thirty seven seconds of the eighth round. Five months later, Ismail Abdoul achieved something no one else had during Maccarinelli’s reign to that point – he went the distance. Saying that, he was totally outclassed by the Swansea man, who had out-pointed the Belgium by a 120-108 and 119-109 (twice) margin.
Two further stoppage finishes followed, a third round knockout of Jesper Kristiansen in September 2004 and a fourth round stoppage of America’s Rich LaMontagne in January 2005. For his final defense of the WBU title, Maccarinelli faced and beat former British, Commonwealth and WBU world champion Mark Hobson in a thrilling encounter at the M.E.N. in Manchester in March 2006.
In his next bout, Maccarinelli challenged Marcelo Fabian Dominguez for the interim WBO title. In yet another thriller, Big Mac added another stoppage finish to his record, this time a ninth round TKO finish. Seven months after their first encounter Maccarinelli and Mark Hobson again went to war, this time for the full WBO World crown. Big Mac took no chances and dispatched Hobson after just one minute and eleven seconds of the first round.
In April 2007 American, Bobby Gunn crossed the Atlantic to try his luck against Swansea’s finest, without success as Big Mac stopped him after just two minutes and thirty five seconds of the first round. Three months later another American, Wayne Braithwaite, made the trip to see if he could do what Gunn couldn’t and take the belt away from Maccarinelli. He couldn’t either although he did manage to go the distance to become the only person that did during Big Mac’s reign as WBO champ.
In November 2007, Mohamed Azzaoui made the even longer flight, from New Zealand, but got sent back home after just fifty eight seconds of the fourth round. Then it was the big one, on the 8th March 2008 Maccarinelli and WBC/WBA world champion David Haye locked horns in a unification Battle Royale. The fierce battle lasted just over five minutes before the almighty Haye became the unified champ.
One non-championship bout followed before Maccarinelli was back on the championship trail, this time against American exiled Brit, Ola Afolabi for the interim WBO title. Maccarinelli’s fans could see their man easily cruising towards another title, when the unthinkable happened – Afolabi, who was way behind on points, was under big pressure and was backed up to the ropes, as Maccarinelli started to unload, Afolabi let rip with a sharp right and sent Big Mac down and out.
Maccarinelli brushed himself down and in his very next fight challenged Denis Lebedev for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental belt. Big Mac’s luck had run out as after just two minutes and twenty seconds of the third round referee Terry O’Connor called a halt to the proceedings to save Maccarinelli suffering another knockout.
Two further non-championship bouts followed, neither opponent were to go the distance, before Maccarinelli challenged Alexander Kotlobay for the vacant European crown. The Mac was back, having dispatched Kotlobay in just two minutes and fifteen seconds of the first round. Unfortunately Maccranelli’s reign came to an abrupt halt, after being dropped twice heavily in the seventh round, by challenger Alexander Frenkel in September 2009.
Maccarinelli decided to switch to the light heavyweight division earlier this year and, on Friday, will make his first outing at this new weight. Word is he is stronger at the lower weight so even though Bonfire night was just over a week ago you can expect fireworks on Friday night.
Heading up the support is Tony Conquest versus Toks Owoh for the vacant Southern Area cruiserweight title. New British Champ Leon Williams is sure to be taking a lot of interest in this fight as it’s rumoured that the winner of this then gets to face him early in the new year. This will be former world #3 ranked super middleweight Owoh’s first shot at a Cruiserweight belt.
With just two wins under his belt since moving to the division, back in March, Owoh may find his much younger opponent too much to handle. Conquest is some 12 years Owoh’s junior and is unbeaten in seven outings. The leveler may be experience, Owoh has not only fought eighteen times more than Conquest but has also fought a championship bout previously, having fought and lost to American Glen Johnson for the IBF Inter-Continental super middleweight title.
The undercard features a plethora of local prospects, including the exciting young lightweight prospect Billy Morgan, who is coached by the legendary Jimmy Tibbs and his son Mark at the TRAD TKO gym in Canning Town, and Graham Earl’s unbeaten protege, heavyweight Tom Little.
Southampton’s unbeaten light welterweight Matty Tew makes his first trip to the famous York Hall, whilst Light Heavyweight Menay Edwards makes a much shorter trip from Crayford. Finally, and adding an international flavour to the proceedings, is Norwegian featherweight Andreas Evensen.
Some may remember former WBO Inter-Continental champion Evensen, as last year he crossed the North Sea to unsuccessfully challenge WBO world champ Ricky Burns for his super featherweight crown.
Francis and George Warren’s Queensberry promotion event, headlined by the Enzo Maccarinelli versus Gyorgy Marosi, takes place at the York Hall in Bethnal Green, and broadcast live on BoxNation (Sky Platform Ch. 456), on Friday, November 18 2011. Tickets, priced £60 (Ringside) and £40 (Standard Seated), are available now online at www.tkoboxoffice.com or from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA.
Tommy Barber – London
Cruiserweight prospect Tony Conquest took on Hastings Rasani at the York Hall in Bethnal Green on Friday, September 30 in a rematch of their 2010 dust-up and, like he had done in the first bout, emerged triumphant due to a referee’s decision after six rounds. Rasani boxed with a low guard and was caught a number of times with Conquest’s clinical right cross.
Conquest, boxing with silver trunks with a black trim, switch-hit effectively in the opening stanza, employing astute head movement in an attempt to dodge any incoming shots from Rasani; an experienced journeyman of 87 professional bouts.
When on the attack, Conquest adopted the classic two-punch combo that consisted of the orthodox jab followed up with the right cross. Conquest also landed the left jab, right hand, left hook in numerous flurries throughout the opening two rounds. Rasani, meanwhile, was not as active as Conquest and was forced onto the backfoot at the beginning of the third round as he took a head-bound combination flush on the chin.
Hastings Rasani was not as well conditioned as Conquest, who could also brag superior hand-speed, yet Rasani landed his most notable punch of the fight with his overhand right – something that had given him confidence as he unleashed the shot with more regularity for the remainder of the round.
An accurate puncher, Conquest was able to land more punches than usual as Rasani’s low, almost non-existent, guard meant he was always vulnerable to the right hand over the top.
Conquest trumped Rasani by way of a shut-out win in 2010 and would have perhaps desired a greater victory at the York Hall this evening, however, he boxed patiently, probed for his openings – even as late as the fourth round of their bout scheduled for six. Rasani was all too often flat-footed and stayed in front of Conquest – no lateral movement to speak of – which allowed Conquest to pick his opponent off with left hand jabs.
Rasani, clad in black with a camo twist, took two solid right crosses in the penultimate round and returned to his stool with swelling around his brow, however, in the final stanza the Zimbabwean sought to spoil the tempo by tying up. He also tagged Conquest on either side of the body. Rasani was wobbly-legged at the end of the fight after numerous taggings on his chin from Conquest’s right hands… he survived the round and the bout, though, yet it was Conquest who had his arm raised for producing the greater work from start to finish.
With the win, Conquest moves up to 7-0-0, 2ko while Rasani, who has acted as a trial horse for Carl Thompson, David Haye, Tony Bellew, Ovill McKenzie and Matty Askin, slumped to 23-60-4, 16ko.