Varsity 2013: Bristol Lack Knockout Punch

Bristol and UWE share the spoils in Varsity bout

On an entertaining night of boxing featuring teams from Bristol, UWE, Exeter, Bath and Brighton, Bristol and UWE drew 1-1 in their Varsity bouts.

Bristol were hoping to repeat their success in last year’s competition, which saw them comfortably beat their fierce rivals. Although a number of fighters had to withdraw, Patrick Armstrong, Edward Hussey, Ciaran Thapar and Hari May-Phippen were all in action.

Eyes on the Prize
Photo: Christian Foss

Captain Rory Bradshaw commented he was ‘fairly confident’ ahead of the evening, but was careful not to underestimate UWE, warning they had some ‘strong fighters’.

Sean Heveran, UWE captain, said he had faith in his team of ‘good, strong boxers’ and was adamant there would be no repeat of Varsity 2012.

Heveran also suggested that last year’s disappointing result was more down to unfair match-ups than the performance of the UWE boxers; a claim dismissed by a member of the Bristol Boxing Club as being ‘complete rubbish’.

Photo: Christian Foss

The atmosphere inside the Broad Plains Boxing Club was electric and, as soon as James Smith (UWE) and Patrick Armstrong (Bristol) stepped into the ring, the tension was clear. Armstrong put up an excellent fight, particularly in Round Three, but Smith was the more aggressive of the two and won by a unanimous decision.

This was followed by a quite remarkable boxing match between Edward Hussey (Bristol) and Fergus Gordon (Exeter). Gordon produced possibly the most aggressive display the Broad Plains Boxing Club is likely to see, quite literally charging at his opponent and landing numerous heavy blows.

Hussey’s face was covered in blood, as was the floor of the ring, and the referee was forced to stop proceedings.

Photo: Christian Foss

At this point, it looked like being a disappointing night for the Bristol Boxing Club, but fortunately Ciaran Thapar was on hand to deliver an outstanding performance against Max Laurie (UWE).

Drawing on outstanding vocal support from the stands, Thapar recovered from an unfortunate trip in the first round to comfortably beat his opponent through a second round stoppage.

Photo: Christian Foss

Sadly, in the female boxing, Hari May-Phippen wasn’t able to win her fight against Adrianne Phebey (Brighton), struggling defensively throughout.

Bristol were not involved in any of the four matches after the interval. Highlights included UWE captain Sean Heveran’s performance against John Moloney (Bath), as well as a closely-fought match between UWE’s Jack Roberts and Ben Kaluza (Bath), Bath winning by a majority decision.