Zero to Hero Season 4 Fight Night

December 7, 2013 in Boxing, Bristol, South West

Prologue: 19 fights, 38 boxers, 2 teams and one crazy night of white-collar boxing.
The Zero to Hero fight night saw the 38 participants step into the ring after a gruelling 10 week programme and whatever the result feel like a hero.

All images: Graham Hall

The trainers in opposing corners are Andy Cleeves’ men in red and Jake O’Hagan’s men in blue.

The 38 contenders were divided into teams red and blue for a truly unforgettable night, the 19 fights reported below were all special, they all had their own unique brand of boxing to offer the viewers which included a number of friends and family of the competitors as well as members of the general public.

The venue for this event was the Hand Arena in Clevedon and it was packed out with just over 2000 spectators here to see all these heroes in their respective bouts. The format was a simple one 19 fights, 3 rounds per fight and three minutes a round.

Fight 1: Danny “Ard Knuckle” Arbuckle (Red) vs Lee “The Insane” Keohane (Blue)

Danny is 23, a builder and lives in Portishead. Lee is 35, a lorry driver and lives in Shepton Mallet

First Round:
Going into the ring in front of a packed crowd will always bring nerves around but particularly during the first fight there is definitely the air of the unknown. The nerves appeared to get to Danny early on as a telling right hand from Lee drew blood from Arbuckle setting up what was likely to be a hard three rounds for the red fighter. The round was a cagey affair although Lee had the upper hand with a few good jabs and punches.


Second Round:
The second round saw Lee dominate throughout with flurry of jabs and punches, Danny defended as well as he could and did land the odd counter punch but Lee was setting out his stall in this fight and he was building momentum with a number of hefty blows. The referee had to step in and gave Danny a standing count and checked to see if he was ok to continue.


Third Round:
Lee had Danny on the ropes early on during the final round, clearly looking to grab the momentum and deliver the killer blow. Danny tried to reply but Lee was able to dodge his right and left hand punches and was able to counter with a few heavy blows of his own continually right to the nose. It was clear where this match was going as Danny’s punches became laboured and Lee capitalised on Danny’s fatigue and the obvious bruising he encountered throughout the fight with a unanimous win to set up a 1-0 score line for the blue team.


Fight 2: Chris “The Silent Assassin” Cates (Red) vs Andy “The Special Delivery” Morris (Blue)

Chris is 33, a ground worker and lives in Clevedon Andy is 32, a postman and lives in Warmley

First Round:
The early exchanges were cagey with Chris the first to advance with a flurry of left and right hand punches to Andy’s head and body and dragged Andy all the way back to the ropes. From this position Andy hit back with a huge blow to Chris’ face, trying to grab back some momentum Chris tried to push Andy back but instead ran into punches from Andy who was at this stage slightly ahead.


Second Round:
This round was a bit more tactical with both fighter seemingly happy to sit back and wait for the other to attack. Chris was looking the more weary of the fighters but did land some great shots despite taking a lot of hits from Andy.


Third Round:
Chris started the round the more eager of the two fighter and quickly started lunging in trying to land some telling blows. Andy was using the ring to dodge and was very good on his feet trying to use this to his advantage. Chris managed to get some serious right and left hand combos going and managed to hit Andy more than a few times in the head and to the extent he continuously knocked Andy’s head guard off. Andy did respond with more than a few jabs, uppercuts and punches of his own but Chris was able to duck a lot of punches as well and in the end secured the victory in what was arguably one of the closest matches of the night.
Red 1-1 Blue



Fight 3: Liam “Right Hook” Rich (Red) vs Gerry “Friction” Byrne (Blue)

Liam is 22, lives in Clevedon and works as a Honda Technician
Gerry is 33, lives in St Annes Park and works as a floor layer

First Round:
All out war to begin with in this fight with both fighters throwing hefty punches and landing. Liam was the first to go down on one knee due to pressure from Gerry but he quickly got up and managed to resume what was a very heavy first round. Neither of the fighters appeared interested in defence and this made the fight more exciting, there was no obvious winner thus far as they were both throwing and landing huge right hands at each other.


Second round:
After the exciting first round this round became a cagey affair with both fighters seemingly very tired after putting so much effort in first time. Gerry landed a few power punches directly to Liam’s face and nose but Liam was also ducking more than a fair share of the punches to stay well in contention. Gerry continued to apply pressure to Liam with another series of big punches and there were a few coming togethers as well.


Third round:
Gerry continued his good form from the last round and put red down onto the canvas again with another exchange of meaty blows, Liam did manage to hit Gerry with a few punches but Gerry remained untroubled and managed to see out the remainder of the round. Gerry won the match to give the blues another win.
Blue 2-1 Red


Fight 4: David “Iron Jaw” Slocombe (Red) vs Jason “Twinkle Toes” Tomlin (Blue)

David is 18, lives in Weston-Super-Mare and is a sales assistant
Jason is 31, lives in Kingswood and is a security engineer

First Round:
In a seeming mismatch of styles with the power of David and the height and reach advantage Jason had this fight could have gone either way. The opening exchanges saw Jason get the better of David with a blow flush to the nose that produced blood and this was just the start from Jason as his movement and apparent lightness of feet allowed him to give David the run around and allowed him to take advantage of his initial blow with a series of punches and jabs, with the nosebleed appearing to hamper David heavily.


Second Round:
Jason began this round with all guns blazing in a bid to establish momentum gained from the first round and he had David again in all sorts of trouble on the ropes connecting a series of punches both to the body and continually in the face. David did launch a counter attack of his own with some huge left punches and at one stage on the ropes Jason looked in terrible trouble but he ended the round with a left and right combo to David’s face to go into the final round with a huge advantage.


Third Round:
Both fighters went very hard at the start with David needing a big round here to secure the win for the red team, David’s punching power at times allowed him to maintain some momentum but Jason fought through some huge punches to land some telling blows of his own particularly a hefty blow to David’s chin and this got him on the ropes. In the dying moments of the round neither fighter was interested in defence and they matched each other blow for blow and when the bell toled it confirmed that Jason won and gave the Blue team a 3-1 advantage after four matches.
Blue 3-1 Red


Fight 5: Thai “The Head Hunter” Punter (Red) vs Nicky “Too Tricky” Evans (Blue)

Thai is 23, lives in Portishead and is a fire engineer
Nicky is 24, lives in Lockleaze and is a maintenance contractor

First Round:
Nicky began the round throwing a flurry of punches both left and right knocking Thai slightly off perch but Thai then found some rhythm responding with a few left and right hand combos of his own and had Nicky on the ropes soon after. There was frenetic movement from both fighters round the ring but Thai was forcing Nicky back but he responded with some terrific ducking and weaving, Thai ended the round slightly ahead with a composed performance.


Second Round:
Nicky started the round with a high arm defence and it appeared to work when he countered Thai with two hefty right hand punches straight to Thai’s head. However Thai responded with four punches and this fight was seemingly a close affair. As the round wore on Thai resumed his control from the end of the first round with some well placed left jabs with the occasion hefty right hand and all Nicky could do was wait for an opening that didn’t come very often.


Third Round:
Both fighters began the round with a few speculative jabs and then progressed into trying full blown punches but they were both able to dodge them very easily. It took until the latter stages of the round for this fight to truly spark and Nicky trying to land a few haymakers managed to connect but the round ended with Thai responding well by hammering Nicky in the corner with a series of jabs punches and uppercuts. This final series of blows secured a second win on the night for the red team to make it 3-2.
Blue 3-2 Red


Fight 6: Jamie “Bizzle” Vincent (Red) vs Tony “If he dies he dies” Hillier (Blue)

Jamie is 29, lives in Portishead and is a project manager.
Tony is 23, lives in St George and is a security engineer.

First Round:
Tony started the round doing all the running, using the ring and its spaces effectively to land some meaty punches mainly to the head but there were a few jabs to the body mixed in for good measure as well. One telling right hand connected with Jamie’s nose and forced yet another bleed and if match four taught us anything it’s that these injuries are really hard to come back from.


Second Round:
This round and match turned into a bloody affair with Tony continually landing heavy blows to Jamie’s face and this making the fight much more difficult for Jamie to win. Tony’s defence when tested by Jamie was stout and despite Jamie landing a few good right hits Tony ended the round with a combination of hard right and left hand punches to Jamie’s face.


Third Round:
Jamie seemingly saved his strength for this final round and had the better of Tony by landing more than a few punches and jabs to the face and body. Tony countered slightly with a few counter punches but Jamie won the round but overall Tony won the match with two very convincing rounds to give the blue team a 4-2 advantage.
Blue 4-2 Red



Fight 7: Jonjo “Thrilla” Miskella (Red) vs Dean “Mad Deano Knock Em Cleano” Gasson (Blue)

Jonjo is 29, lives in Horfield and is a road worker
Dean is 33, lives in Lockleaze and is an electrician

First Round:
Jonjo flew in at the start of this opening round and forced Dean into ducking and weaving, both fighters appearing very nimble on their feet although Jonjo has the slight height advantage. Jonjo used his jab very effectively with Dean looking to simply pick him off with the jab, Jonjo able to land punches and combos regularly.


Second Round:
Jonjo again able to stamp his authority on this round, freely punching Dean with both right and left and able to land some damaging shots to the head. Dean counter punched and managed to get Jonjo onto the ropes hitting him with some powerful left and right hand punches to both body and face but Jonjo regained control with some effective jabs and ended the round still comfortably ahead.


Third Round:
Dean needed to come into this round and hit Jonjo hard and he decided to do exactly that, he caught Jonjo with a few punches but also left himself open to some counter jabs and punches and Jonjo duly obliged. Jonjo managed to avoid other Dean onslaughts by ducking, weaving and using the ring well, despite Dean landing a huge right hand blow to the face the match ended and Jonjo was victorious.
Blue 4-3 Red


Fight 8: Daniel “The Bath Bomber” Cliffe (Red) vs Stu “Million Dollars” Mills (Blue)

Daniel is 28, lives in Bath and is a plasterer
Stu is 36, lives in Little Stoke and is a forklift salesman

First Round:
Stu doing all the running early on landing some telling blows with Daniel able to withstand them, shortly after Daniel landed a right hook that managed to put Stu on the canvas. Daniel capitalised on this with a series of right handed jabs and punches and Stu responded with a series of his own blows and landed a crushing blow straight onto Daniels face. The round ended with Daniel on the ropes but fighting back and holding his own, they went into the second round even stevens.


Second Round:
Daniel really hit the ground running in this round throwing some great right handed punches and at one stage had Stu right on the ropes with two right handed punches followed by a left, Stu remaining in the hunt despite taking a lot of hits. Stu countered with a left and right hook but Daniel again resumed control of the round again pinning Stu to the ropes but Stu responded with a five shot combo to end the round.


Third Round:
Brilliant start to this round with both fighters going to war landed hefty right handed punches all landing directly in the face, Stu looking to press for an advantage kept getting caught on the counter by Daniel. Despite fatigue setting in they both went hammer and tongs all the way to the end of the round but Stu wont this round with three heavy blows right on Daniel’s nose.
The fight was exceptionally close but in the end was awarded to Daniel to level the night up.
Blue 4-4 Red



Fight 9: Gareth “The Machine” Harry (Red) vs Jamie “The Cutter through Butter” Bennett (Blue)

Gareth is 34, lives in Yatton and is a pet pharmaceutical manager
Jamie is 31, lives in Fishponds and is an electrical contractor

First Round:
Gareth started the round the stronger, hammering Jamie with left and right hands and eventually knocking Jamie down with a huge right punch. Gareth continued the round landing more crushing blows and the left handed jab proved particularly effective for the red team fighter.


Second Round:
Jamie seized the initiative early on in this round with a strong opening, both fighters more than willing to use the ring to their advantage. Gareth countered the initial onslaught with a few strong left hand punches of his own and the occasional uppercut but Jamie looked very intent on ploughing through Gareth to steal some points and momentum back ahead of the third round but Gareth ended the round with a strong right hand straight into Jamie’s chin.


Third Round:
Jamie started the final round by ducking Gareth’s punches a lot better and countering with jabs as well but that didn’t last long as Gareth landed yet another huge right hand to Jamie’s chin and the result when the final bell rang was no surprise as the red teams Gareth won the fight to make the score 4-5 to the red team.
Blue 4-5 Red


Fight 10: Mike “Silverback” Allen (Red) vs Richard “The Bear” Duffy (Blue)

Mike is 42, lives in Yatton and is a warehouse manager
Richard is 32, lives in Brislingtonand is an electrician

First Round:
This was the heavyweight battle of the night and it didn’t disappoint with Richard starting the round the stronger of the two pushing Mike right into the ropes with some very strong right and left punches to the head and body. Richard continued through the round hitting Mike with big punches both to the head and body and easily won the round.


Second Round:
Richard continued his first round domination by landing another hefty right and left hand combo straight to Mike’s face, Mike countered with some heavy shots of his own. Richard wrestled back some momentum to get Mike on the ropes again but Mike found a way through with a few counter punches.


Third Round:
Both fighters continued to land telling blows throughout the final round with Richard yet again peppering Mike on the ropes. Mike not backing down despite taking a lot of hefty punches throughout, Richard pinning Mike predominantly with body shots to the rope and Mike countering with a few solid right hands but primarily defending. Richard won the fight overall to restore the points balance.
Blue 5-5 Red


Fight 11: David “Luck of the Irish” Hewitt (Red) vs Stu “Goliath” Jones (Blue)

David is 29, lives in Portishead and is a mini bus driver
Stu is 36, lives in Death Valley and is a ceiling fixer

First Round:
On reflection this has to be my favourite fight of the night. A true David vs Goliath story. Stu began the round the stronger hammering red with a multitude of solid punches but David was hitting on the counter and more than holding his own. Stu progressed through the round landing some heavy shots and managed to get David on the ropes and hit him with some hefty body shots.


Second Round:
Stu began the round again slightly stronger although again David was resolute ducking the heavier shots and countering with a few shots of his own. Stu had David on the ropes at regular intervals and managed to land a few heavy left and right punches straight to the face.


Third Round:
David started the round by landing a telling shot to Stu’s nose and causing it to bleed. David had found a chink in Goliaths armour and proceeded to hit him there on numerous occasions, the combination of fatigue and the blow to the nose took its toll on Stu and despite still swinging powerfully David managed to avoid most the blows and lead an attack of his own. David ended the round with Stu on the ropes and having landed numerous blows both to the body and face David ended up winning the round and the fight, it was a great fight and the underdog definitely had his day.
Blue 5-6 Red


Fight 12: Adam “The Technician” Jones (Red) vs Lewis “Makes You Miss” Mayers (Blue)

Adam is 43, lives in Clevedon and is a voice and data engineer
Lewis is 23, lives in Hengrove and is a support worker

First Round:
Lewis began the fight strong opening with a left and right hand punch combo and whilst in the ascendancy threw the technician to the ground. Having got up Adam then found his way into the round and pinned Lewis to the ropes with a flurry of punches, Adam ended the round ducking a big punch from Lewis and countering with a well-aimed body shot with the right hand.


Second Round:
It was the red teams Adam that started the round well this time and threw multiple shots to Lewis’ body and Lewis seemed unable to cope. Lewis did hit back with a left and right punch combo but as the round wore on it was increasingly evident that Adam was able to outmuscle Lewis at will.


Third Round:
Adam used the momentum gained from the second round and started this final round well again with vital left and right handed jabs. Lewis countered by hitting Adam hard and forcing the issue but Adam managed to force him back into the ropes, Adam ended the final round by hitting Lewis with a huge right hand and keeping him on the ropes.
The match ended with the red teams Adam Jones awarded the win.
Blue 5-7 Red


Fight 13: Daniel “Lion Heart” Wlaznik (Red) vs Gerald “The Hot Steppa” Homes (Blue)

Daniel is 20, lives in Portishead and is an auto electrician
Gerald is 43, lives in Stockwood and is a director

First Round:
The opening round saw Gerald hit the ground running with a few big shots early on predominantly right handed hits and all Daniel could do in response was ride out the round and get in a few left handed jabs whenever it was possible.


Second Round:
Cagey start to the second round from both fighters with “The Hot Steppa” letting Lion Heart hit him with multiple jabs to the body and seemingly the first round effort had taken its toll. Daniel continued with the body shot tactic and it paid dividends with Gerald regularly on the ropes and taking hits in a scrappy round.



Third Round:
Gerald found an extra yard during the break to re assume command of the fight landing more than a few hits to the Daniels head but it wasn’t long until the Lion heart roared again with his tactic of left shots to the body finding a way through Geralds initial assault. The match was finally stopped on the ropes after Daniels multiple body shot assault proved too much for Gerald to continue on with.
Another win for the red team to take the score to 5-8
Blue 5-8 Red


Fight 14: Nick “Nancy Boy” Adams (Red) vs Ben “Get Me a Beer Ready” Gilks (Blue)

Nick is 24, lives in Clevedon and is an office worker
Ben is 28, lives in Winford and is an MD

First Round:
This match saw both fighters start well with Ben looking to hit hard with the left and Nick ducking and dodging the initial punches. Ben managed to end the round with Nick on the ropes and a few damaging uppercuts and punches proving too much for Nick.


Second Round:
Nick found another level at the start of this round and hit Ben with a strong right hand straight to the head however Nick didn’t stop there and after unleashing a flurry of punches and forcing Ben on the back foot. However it didn’t take long for Ben to respond with some more hefty left hand punches two to the body and one hammer to the head and Ben ended the round with Nick again on the ropes.


Third Round:
For the second round running Nick started the round better with left and right hits to the head, Ben again had to wrestle back momentum and obliged with a typical left hand punch and ended the round with a multiple bout of punches and this won him the round and the match.
A first win for team blue for quite some time and you could say just what the doctor ordered…
Blue 6-8 Red


Fight 15: Tim “The Terrifier” Dyer (Red) vs Jordan “The Dyer Destroyer” Cornick (Blue)

Tim is 22, lives in Portishead and is a carpenter
Jordan is 23, lives in Knowle West and is an Industrial Boiler Removal Engineer

First Round:
Jordan opened this fight with a few hammer blows with Tim doing his best to dodge some of the huge punches that came his way. Jordan ended the round with Tim on the ropes and doing his best to push Jordan off and dodge the hefty right hand blows to body and head.


Second Round:
It was another quick start again from Jordan continuing his good work from the last round with another heavy right hand but Tim counterpunches with five good punches to body and face for the first time in the match pins Jordan up against the ropes. Tim continues to press home the advantage with a right hand uppercut and two shots to the head and ends the round by hammering Jordan up against the ropes with left and right body shots.



Third Round:
The final round was a winner takes all round with Jordan starting this round with a few strong shots but Tim continued his form from the last round and took complete control of the match. This tie was ended by stoppage after Tim continually hit Jordan with several body shots.
Blue 6-9 Red


Fight 16: Grant “Judgement” Day (Red) vs Ben “The Widow Maker” Jonas (Blue)

Grant is 37, lives in Portishead and is a retail manager
Ben is 29, lives in Clevedon and is a carpet fitter

First Round:
Frenetic start with both fighters losing footing at regular intervals but Ben was more accurate with his punches. Both fighters using the ring a lot, Grant in particularly was more than happy to move round the ring to duck the incoming blows.


Second Round:
Grant started the round well and landed the left jab on a regular basis with Ben unable to sway out of the way. Both fighters approached the fight with a similar and unique brand and Grant again took charge of the round by landing numerous left hand punches and ducking and countering against Ben when needed.



Third Round:
The final round started with Ben hitting Grant with a strong left hand and landing him on the canvas, then it was Ben’s turn to hit the floor and throughout the round he was grounded an astonishing four times. The fight ended with Grant landing a barrage of left and right hand punches and Ben countering by getting Grant on the ropes and landing right hand punches to the body.
In what was a relatively close match between two fighters of unique styles but the red teams Grant Day was awarded the win to leave the blue team with no chance of winning the battle of the teams.
Blue 6-10 Red


Fight 17: Matthew “Hurricane” Hampton (Red) vs Riaz Ali (Blue)

Matthew is 37, lives in Clevedon and is a fire fighter
Riaz is 29, lives in Bedminster and is an accounts supervisor

First Round:
Matthew started the round on the back foot as Riaz advanced but Matthew countered by landing a solid right hand which pushed Riaz back into the corner and then he continued with a few combos. In attempts to bring the momentum back his way Riaz pushed forward and landed a steady right and left hand combo and had a much better second half of the round.


Second Round:
Both fighters started the round fast, throwing big shots and the fight was getting very scrappy, Matthew at this stage was boxing more on the back foot. Both fighters played it safe and were looking to land jabs from range and neither appeared to have much success but in the dying seconds of the round Riaz advanced to get Matthew on the ropes, Matthew tied up the round and avoided any real punishment.


Third Round:
Riaz advanced in this round first pushed Matthew to the corner with two clean shots, Matthew countered with a heavy right hand of his own and also getting in the jab when possible. The round ended with Riaz getting Matthew again on the ropes and beginning to land the jab himself when wrestling breaks out and the referee steps in as the fight officially ends.



Matthew is awarded the fight in another win for the red team, it didn’t end there however as ther MC gave Riaz the microphone and he propose to his girlfriend and the answer was yes. Who said boxing couldn’t be mushy…well other than the fighters of course.
Blue 6-11 Red


Fight 18: Gareth “The Bull Dog” Bowen (Red) vs Jamie “ The Barbarian” Abbott (Blue)

Gareth is 26, lives in Bath and is a brick layer
Jamie is 23, lives in Warmley and is an engineer

First Round:
Both began the round aggressively landing and trading shots, Gareth landed the first big shot with a huge right hand connecting and the left hand pushed Jamie back. Jamie responded by throwing a few combos of his own and getting Gareth on the ropes, at this stage Jamie appeared to be throwing more punches but Gareth was the more accurate of the fighters throwing jabs and looping rights.


Second Round:
Gareth started the round with another big right hand and Jamie landed two shots to the body in response. Gareth again with the jab but Jamie seemed content with landing body shots, Gareth then hit Jamie with a right hand which started another nosebleed. However Jamie ended the round by pushing Gareth into the ropes and throwing both hands to the head and body and again primarily went for body shots.



Third Round:
For the third round running Gareth had the stronger start and pushed Jamie back, Jamie responded by pushing Gareth back into the ropes but he got caught with some good counter punches from the red team fighter. This final round ended with a flurry of punches from both fighters with Gareth aiming for his bleeding nose and in response Jamie swinging with both hands to bring the fight his way.
However the when the fight ended it was the red teams Gareth who was awarded the fight and on the night this was a crushing victory for the red team who now led 12-6
Blue 6-12 Red


Fight 19: James “Pocket Rocket” Edwards (Red) vs Nick “Your Wallet” Gregory (Blue)

James is 36, lives in Portishead and is a sales rep
Nick is 25, lives in Lockleaze and is an administrator

First Round:
Both fighters met in the centre of the ring and James began his night by pushing Nick back, this final fight began as a scrappy affair with neither able to land any shots cleanly but both throwing big shots. Nick threw a head and body combo and then began to settle into the fight landing some one twos but James landed a few glancing left and rights just before the bell.



Second Round:
James started the round more aggressive but this didn’t last for long as Nick pushed him into the ropes and landed a couple through the guard. Nick then landed a solid right hand as James stepped in; James did wrestle back the initiative and landed a few more shots himself but seemingly with not much power and Nick ended the round landing a big right.


Third Round:
Final round of the final fight and both fighters came out swinging this pushed Nick onto the backfoot early and James landed some shots from range, with Nick landing a counter right punch in response. James was looking to push forward and landed a flurry of shots while having Nick up against the ropes, Nick was beginning to show signs of tiredness while up against the ropes but James ended the round having not landed too many clean punches.


The fight was awarded to the Blue teams Nick Gregory and after what has been a tough night for the blue team it must have been nice to cap it off with a win.


The final tally for this great night of boxing is: Blue 7-12 Red.

3 responses to Zero to Hero Season 4 Fight Night

  1. Fight 10.
    2nd and 3rd round you mixed names up and I actually won the fight.

    Rich Duffy blue team :)

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