Ijaz Ahmed and Marcel Braithwaite battled to a split draw (114-115 Braithwaite, 117-111 Ahmed, 114-114). In the aftermath, Ahmed pondered whether he was “cursed” and said he was “upset with the result.” This a sadly familiar story for Ijaz Ahmed, who has drawn twice with Kaisy Khademi in previous attempts to win the British super-flyweight belt.
However, the true injustice was another horrific scorecard from Terry O’Connor. In a bout that was competitive and close, there is no logical explanation for giving it by 6 rounds to Ahmed. O’Connor previously attracted widespread criticism for delivering the same margin of victory to Lewis Ritson over Miguel Vazquez back in 2020.
Ijaz Ahmed Draws For The British Again
The heavier shots in the contest came from Braithwaite, who rocked Ijaz Ahmed on several occasions. He put a lot into those stiff, swinging shots, and Ahmed took advantage whenever Braithwaite was forced into taking rests in the fight. In particular, his inside uppercut work meant he ensured that the power deficit was mitigated, as he boxed his way back into contention.
Two hooks landed flush from Braithwaite at the end of the 11th round and he started strongly to the 12th as well, chipping away to the body. At that point, it looked like he had done enough, given the sense that he got the better of the all-important championship rounds.
A case could be made for a draw because of the number of swing rounds and perhaps Ijaz Ahmed’s fate is sadly consigned to a looping stream of close fights and rematches. But the sense of aggrievement can rightly be extended to Braithwaite too, given he was on the receiving end of another clanger from O’Connor.
Debutant looks like he’s been in the game for years
Zach Evans got the 40-36 win over MJ Hall. He was much more seasoned than your average debutant, which makes sense because he won a Yorkshire elite championship in his first amateur fight, after switching over to the sport from kickboxing.
The shot of the fight was a left uppercut that snapped MJ’s head back. Other highlights from Evans were his ability to rotate his body to work angles to twist into shots from a crouched position on the chest of his MJ. Plus, in one of the rare moments when he had MJ in the away fighter’s corner, he didn’t give him even a millisecond to breathe.
By Harry Duffy