Cambridge celebrate victory Jet Photography

Cambridge have won 56 matches of the 114 Varsity boxing matches; Oxford 54. Five TKOs formed part of a 6-3 Cambridge victory on Saturday (05/03), making 2023 the latest win in an incredible four-year streak for the light blues.

The night began explosively with the women’s bouts. CUABC’s Fiorella Gallardo matched OUABC’s Charlotte Berkin in a closely-contested split-decision fight. Both boxers traded feints and counters, filling Oxford’s Town Hall with cheers after every blow. Charlotte’s combinations proved too much, and she secured a (dark) blue-corner victory. This was followed up by CUABC Captain Mimo Sandford, who showed off her dazzling technique and used her longer reach effectively. Despite this, her opponent ducked and weaved fluidly, landing solid counters to defeat the Light Blue.

Although the women’s matches do not count towards the overall score, the momentum was now firmly in Oxford’s favour. That is, until Cambridge Men’s Captain Will Tan stepped into the ring. In a display of raw power, speed, technique, and agility, Will smashed Oxford boxer Daniel Goh, ending the match in only two rounds. Adam Lonie followed with an equally dominant showing, stopping Oxford Yang Xu in the second round with another Technical Knockout (TKO).

Oxford now needed a win, and got one through a match cancelled by England boxing due to a disparity in boxing experience. In a display of sportsmanship, Cambridge’s Emil Ares watched as Oxford’s Roberto Lacourt climbed into the ring and received a win by default. The home crowd went wild as Fidel did a victory lap. Cambridge’s fans cheered for Emil from the sides.

The roaring chants of Oxford continued as OUABC’s Ali Nasiri put in an insane showing against Cambridge’s Alby Biju, stopping the fight early. The match began evenly, but after a standing count Alby mistakenly put his hands down to touch gloves: Ali used this slipup to nail the Cambridge boxer with a meteoric right, to end the fight with another TKO.

The flow of the night was firmly in Oxford’s favour, which only continued with a strong showing by George Gardner against Cambridge’s Sam Tarr. Despite use of the classic “Bradford triangle” and his well-timed counters, Sam got pushed into the corner by the Oxford southpaw, and was forced to deal with countless devastating punches until the referee stopped the match.

The score was now 3-2 in Oxford’s favour and the energy was electric in the hall. CUABC’s Daniel Cossey faced Oxford Men’s Captain David Seiferth as sounds of “OX-FORD, OX-FORD” flooded the ornate hall. The taller Cambridge boxer was seemingly untouchable and untiring, throwing punches continuously throughout the entire match. The Oxford Captain had no response, taking punch after punch with his guard up, his attempts to counter redirected by Daniel who, at one point, spun his opponent a full 360 degrees. The match finished with a split decision in favour of Daniel to the deafening sound of “CAM-BRIDGE”.


Mountain View

Gown thrash Town

In the next fight, Oxford’s Max Jenkins, a veteran of nine bouts, stared down Cambridge’s Kiran Kang, a four-month rookie with a single previous bout. They circled each other for a second before it exploded. Kiran quickly fired off left and right but Max deflected the shots on his gloves. He launched killer shots of his own, missing by millimetres as Kiran faded in and out, before eventually bringing Max to his knees with a right hand. We entered the third round and it turned into gruelling slugfest, blow for blow. Both fighters were exhausted and battered but were pushed on by the frenzied crowd and corner teams. The judges deliberated: it was close, a split decision – in favour of the Cambridge underdog!

At this point something changed, the Oxford crowd went quiet and Cambridge were on their feet. Another victory would clinch the tournament. CUABC veteran Elliot Tebboth faced Ade Olugboji in a nerve-racking three rounds. Despite pushing Elliot back with a flurry of blows, Ade struggled to land anything solid and in return took the biggest shots Elliot had. With an iron-clad chin, Ade fought till the end and continued to advance on Elliot. The Cambridge boxer stayed composed, and took a decision on points.

There was one final, utterly spectacular heavyweight match. CUABC’s two-bout Chike Pilgrim faced off OUABC’s seven-bout Ed Andrews. The two massive boxers visibly bent the canvas beneath their feet. Ten seconds in, Chike caught Ed with a vicious uppercut and left him staring at the ceiling. Convinced he had won, Chike started jumping up and down, shaking the ring, and proceeded to wait in the Oxford Team’s corner, corrected only by chants of “Wrong Corner Chike!” This gave his opponent enough time to stand up, before he was knocked down twice more in the second round, as Cambridge won by TKO to secure their fourth Varsity win in a row.