On the 26th of October 2018, The University of Portsmouth Student Union hosted its third fight night. Eleven bouts were showcased on this evening, with each fight proving to be a tight contest for each competitor. An array of great boxers represented the University of Portsmouth Boxing Club/Gym 01 and faced off against opponents from areas such as Crawley, Fishergate, Horsham and many more. With a selection of weight divisions, the night would be an adrenaline-fueled night of agility, power and finesse.
From the first bout was a classic bitter rivalry of Southampton (Raheem Khan) Vs Portsmouth (Ryan Rodriguez) which was a perfect way to kick off the night. Rodriguez is the president of the Boxing Society here at Portsmouth, meaning everyone knew this would be a worthy faceoff. This fight was full of gripping moments from clean shots to the face to fantastic combinations from each fighter. The atmosphere was electric with a huge array of support for the UOP Boxing Society/Gym 01 fighters, which proved to be a beneficial factor in the fight. Rodriguez came out on top against Khan but both fighters fought with heart and determination.
“It can’t be denied that there is a huge growth of popularity for the sport”
As the eleven fights went on, none were bouts in which you could turn away for a second. During the ten minute interval, I managed to grab an interview with Ryan Rodriguez who won his fight against Raheem Khan and is the UOP Boxing Society President. He said he was that he was “buzzing” after the fight and that his mind wasn’t entirely focused on the fight itself. “I was focused on setting up the event rather than the fight itself, but to win at an event in which I helped set up feels really good after winning”, Ryan told me, as well as telling me more about how the sport of boxing has grown in popularity and how many new members the boxing club has recruited. “The popularity of boxing is mainly to do with the professional side of things, like with Anthony Joshua as the face of boxing in the UK”, he went on to add that “we have seen growth in the club with 120 new members and new female only sessions. There is a huge team atmosphere at the club so no one feels left out”. It can’t be denied that there is a huge growth of popularity for the sport and I can see that that evening alone showed me why even though I wasn’t the biggest boxing fan. The excitement of three, 2-minute rounds was exhilarating, unknowing what could happen next in the ring.
The main event of the evening proved to be the most exciting, with Portsmouth’s Club Captain Omar ‘The Bomber’ Barry, competing against Dennis Buchannan out of Bexhill Boxing Club. The contest was made up of three, 3-minute rounds, with huge hits and crazy combos landing on each fighter. Buchannan decided to stick to a defensive approach in the first two rounds, whilst Barry came out firing on all cylinders showing why he is a British University Silver Medalist, and Sweden King of the Ring winner. Omar Barry won the bout and won ‘boxer of the night’, which was more than deserving after putting on a fantastic main event. I encourage all those who didn’t turn up on the night to attend Fight Night 4 on February 22nd 2019 which is not a night to be missed. I strongly encourage those who never gave a thought about boxing to give it a go, the UOP Boxing Club showed how exciting and fun boxing can be even to someone who prefers to watch team sports. If you want to get involved with boxing, search for the Boxing Club on the Student Union website under the activities section.
Fight Night 3 was a night of spectacle and professionalism as each boxer fought their heart out and may have encouraged some to take up the sport as a new hobby. The only negative about the night is we have to wait until February until the next one.