Students went head-to-head in Varsity boxing last night – with the University of Sheffield being crowned champions over Hallam.
Hundreds of students wearing maroon representing team Hallam gathered alongside a similar sized crowd of University of Sheffield fans in black and gold. They made their voices heard with chants and screams for their respective universities.
The event was in the Octagon arena, placing the University of Sheffield on home soil and was part of the two-week Varisty programme of events between the two institutions.
All 14 fights were broadcast on the University of Sheffield’s Forge Radio and Forge TV. Radio commentator Adam Thomas described the scene as “electric”.
The first fight of the night was different to the rest. It saw Emily Evans against Andrea Szolboda, who were both representing the University of Sheffield.
Oliver Mitchell, a University of Sheffield student, said: “The fixture was quite confusing as I wasn’t really sure who the point went to, but the standard of boxing between both fighters was top notch so I didn’t really care.”
Before the interval there were multiple winners such as Stephan Fleming (Uni of), Adam Mason (Hallam), and Matt Weaver (Uni of) – setting the score as 5-1 to University of Sheffield.
The second half resumed, with the crowd staying in high spirits. Mr Mitchell said: “The atmosphere was absolutely fantastic, far better than I could have ever imagined from a uni event.”
However, there was not only a scuffle in the ring but outside. Two crowd members and a boxer were taken outside by security and an announcement made telling people to ‘calm down’ and ‘don’t ruin it for your universities’.
More drama happened outside the ring with boxing coach Pohodin Oleksandr falling and hurting his ankle. He took to Instagram and posted “we ended this great show, unfortunately in the hospital and it was me”.
The final event saw Richard Naylor (Hallam) versus Kenneth Anitboro (University of Sheffield) who were fighting for the Yorkshire belt. There was a first-round knockout for Anitboro with Naylor needing medical attention after the fight.
This concluded day seven of Varsity seeing the University of Sheffield currently winning 8-2.
One event which is always assumed a certainty for Hallam is the boxing. This is after Hallam winning the last six meetings. Nevertheless, the University of Sheffield won last night, a result they haven’t seen since 2014.
Fan reactions were ecstatic, with Oliver Mitchell commenting: “When Uni of won the fight that meant we won the point overall, it was absolutely incredible, especially as we hadn’t done it since 2014.”