Town vs. Gown
BOXING: CUABC record turned “upside-town” as the Blues bludgeon their way to victory.
Thursday night saw the first University win in the Town versus Gown fixture in years.
In the decisive 7 – 1 win, thirteen Cambridge boxers stepped into the ring (eight of whom doing so for the first time) in a mixture of inter and intra club bouts. CUABC met with several local Cambridge boxing clubs, dispatching its opponents with professionalism, with all parties displaying the skill and courage that has captures fans imaginations for millennia. I am sure Thursday night’s performance was exactly what Joyce Carroll Oates had in mind when she commented that boxing is simply “what other sports aspire to be”.
In the first fight of the evening two Cambridge University boxers Greg Nance and Simon Senaussi entered the ring, both for their debut bout. The first round saw a dynamic and thoroughly enthusiastic presentation from both boxers, with Fitzwilliam’s Greg Nance’s wise use of his height advantage.
Senaussi, Wolfson’s Isreali-French International Relations student exhibited a truly diplomatic effort, choosing his engagements wisely by weaving beautifully inside and outside of Nance’s arrow straight punches in an impressive display of technical boxing. But in the third round Nance’s stamina pay off in his dominance of the ring, and overall win of the first bout of the night.
Big things were expected from Chris Perry, but I think very few of us were prepared for the dazzling performance Chris put on for the night’s third bout. The mild mannered King’s Philosophy student faced Daniel Aero of Cambridge ABC, and from the very start of the bout showed an uncanny instinct to exploit his opponent’s weaknesses.
In a debut bout it is uncommon for a boxer to be so in tune with his opponent, and Chris cunningly threw intricate and detailed combinations to Aero’s head and body, typifying the “thinking-man’s sport”. Yet Aero took nothing lying down, and came back strong in the third round. Perry however, braving a bloodied nose and no doubt exhausted, valiantly battered his rival into a unanimous decision.
After the next bout, I doubt whether I will ever be able to look at Nick “the thunder from down under” Edelman in quite the same way again. In a simply brutal display of aggression, Edelman sustained a tempo of combinations that I have rarely witnessed. His rival, Andrew Butcher of Icini was (if you’ll excuse the pun) simply Butcher-ed.
Sam Burges should have been a dancer. I believe the first round of the bout went in his favour simply because the beauty of his footwork must have dazzled his opponent. Joel Saul, of Cambridge ABC bobbed and weaved between Sam’s shots, and at times in the second round appeared to be controlling the ring. Nonetheless, Burges chased Saul around the ring’s four corners, causing him to take a standing count from the referee in the third round, and retire shortly afterwards.
Fitz’s Rob Liu deserves a special mention after he only narrowly lost to Rich Rowland, boxing with a dislocated shoulder. That nobody in the audience was the wiser was testament to a remarkable display of bravery.
Chris Meurice and Russell Brinklow collided for the final bout of the night in a senior heavyweight contest. With nose-snapping power, these two juggernauts exchanged shots in a shocking display of raw power. Chanting his nickname, “Sparta” Meurice was keenly encouraged by the Corpus Pelicans, throwing straight, bone-shattering shots at his opponent’s desperate guard. The two bricks fought valiantly, but Chris ultimately took home a decisive win for Cambridge, methodically beating his contender in the third round.
Aron Schleider and Sebastian Pender also brought home the bacon for the Light Blues and the team is looking very strong for March’s Varsity match, and I certainly do not envy any Oxford man naïve enough to step into the ring if the varsity team is made up even partly from those who boxed on Thursday night.