Ellis Zorro thrived on the biggest night of his career beating Ricky Reeves in the Boxxer Series cruiserweight event final in Manchester to claim the £40,000 cash prize and the coveted path to more opportunities on TV scenes.
The 29-year-old was too skilled, too smart and too experienced for his heavyweight rivals as he resisted the temptation to go for knockouts and instead relied on his confident jab and IQ to clear his way a path to glory.
It proved the story of a final in which he gave Reeves a few openings while challenging his opponent to step on him knowing his own expertise in counter punching, seeing the job as the most gifted technician in the game. domain throughout.
And on a night of gripping individual stories synonymous with the events of the Boxxer series, from Reeves’ background as a high school teacher to Jack Fay’s return from homelessness, Zorro explained that he plans to use much of his prize money to pay for the floor. therapy for her autistic daughter.
Boxxer Series Cruiserweight Tournament: Results
|Quarter-finals||Ellis Zorro defeats. Jay Farrell (UD)|
|Jamie Smith beats. Jack Fay (TKO)|
|Ricky Reeves defeats. Anees Taj (MD)|
|Sheldon McDonald defeats. Ryan Cotterell (UD)|
|Semi-finals||Ellis Zorro defeats. Jamie Smith (UD)|
|Ricky Reeves defeats. Sheldon McDonald (TKO)|
|Final||Ellis Zorro defeats. Ricky Reeves (UD)|
Zorro was unfazed in each of his three fights and responded emphatically to several competitors calling him out before the midweek draw.
“That was the plan, my trainer Martin told me to keep my cool and that’s what I did, I landed heavy punches and outplayed my opponents and now I have 40 sacks ahead,” Zorro said.
“For me it was one round at a time, all these other guys were calling me and they weren’t even paired with me. It was a waste of time and energy.
“I understand why they were doing it, but I showed that no one here is on my level.
“I want to start fighting for titles, English or British, I know Deion Jumah and Mikael Lawal are supposed to fight for the Brits, I’ll take the winner. But I’m just happy to be on Sky and this platform at the future .”
Zorro’s path to the final saw him rely on his ring experience to outplay the mighty Jamie Smith in a commanding performance in which he landed his jab consistently while dictating the tempo of the fight from start to finish. end.
He had extended his professional record to 12-0 in the first quarter-final of the night as he took down Liverpudlian Jay Farrell to set the tone early after being regularly called up by his rivals earlier in the week.
Reeves, who leads Year 10 at Parkwood Academy in Sheffield, produced one of the surprise moments and most impressive comebacks of the night when he exploded into life to knock out Sheldon McDonald in the third round of their half -final after apparently being behind on the judge’s cards.
He had been forced to dig deep earlier in the tournament when he waged war with law graduate Anees Taj by majority decision after taking down his man with a vicious uppercut in the final second of the first round. Taj recovered admirably in the final two laps but couldn’t land enough to reverse the knockdown.
The promises of a high-octane night had come true in the second quarter-final when favorite Smith survived a first-round onslaught from Fay to make his power count and secure the stoppage.
McDonald then challenged his limited experience with a commanding performance to advance to the semi-finals with a unanimous decision victory over Ryan Cotterell, knocking the 22-year-old down within 45 seconds of the first bell before nailing his distance and show off an impressive boxing IQ to control the rest of the contest.
After that ?
Undefeated heavyweight Richard Riakporhe will continue his quest for a world title opportunity when he takes on Fabio Turchi at Wembley’s OVO Arena on June 11, live on sky sports.
Riakporhe’s fight with the Italian is an eliminator, with the winner moving up to second in the IBF heavyweight rankings and in position to challenge champion Maris Breidis later this year.
Londoner Riakporhe took his professional record to 14-0 with an eighth-round knockout of Deion Jumah in the capital at the end of March.
The 32-year-old, who has recorded 10 knockout victories, recently said Sky Sports News that he hopes his first world title shot can be staged at Selhurst Park, the home of his beloved Crystal Palace.
Riakporhe said: “I am ready to continue my assault on the heavyweight division. The midnight train is on an unstoppable streak and Turchi is the next man tied to the tracks ahead of me.
“He’s a good boxer and I expect a tough fight but nothing I can’t handle. I’m coming out of this one with the win and heading into the hunt for the world title.”