Paul O’Hagan Overpowers Akash Hussein In Brief Tyneside Derby

NEWCASTLE, ENGLAND — Gateshead’s Paul O’Hagan made a splash on his professional debut when he flattened fellow cruiserweight Akash Hussein in the opening round at Newcastle’s O2 Academy. O’Hagan, who arrived with a winning record assembled on the unlicensed white collar circuit, knocked the stuffing out of Hussein with a crunching right and then a follow-up left hook early in the session that dumped him hard onto his backside. After slowly dragging himself upright, Hussein, tottering on wooden legs, was bundled over with a chopping right hand in O’Hagan’s corner and then, after struggling to his feet once again, polished off against the ropes.

O’Hagan (192 lbs.) started brusquely and backed his Newcastle rival to up against the ropes. “Cash," as Hussein goes by, came off the strands to exchange mid-ring and that was all she wrote. Referee Graeme Williams of England took a bit of flak from Hussein’s supporters but the stoppage looked right on cue. Hussein (197 lbs.) was still unsure on his feet as he made his way down from the ring apron. Time was 1:36 and Hussein drops to 2-2, 0 KO.

South Shields lightweight Anthony “Baby Face” Nelson (4-0 , 1KO) tried hard to rid himself of Sheffield trickster Anwar Alfadli, yet was forced to settle for a 40-36 decision after four rounds. Alfadi (1-29-4, 0KO) resembled a limbo dancer at times; backpedalling around the ring with his hands by his waist and his chin in the air while looking to counter Nelson (117 lbs.) with wild, swinging punches.

A missed swipe in round 3 actually landed Alfadli (119 lbs.) on his head. Obviously embarrassed, he attempted to save face by flipping up onto his feet only to walk into a series of right hands that Nelson varied well to head and body. The 27-year-old Nelson appeared to have scored a knockdown in the last, catching Alfadli with a left hook as he hurled himself off his feet once again, yet referee Andrew Wright of England judged it a slip.

“Lightning” Lee Mould (137 lbs.) gave stubby Glaswegian Ryan McNicol (135 lbs.) a bit of a working over through four rounds to win by the same margin as gym-mate Nelson. Redhead Mould seemed slower than advertised, but had little trouble hitting his mark with sturdy hooks and uppercuts. McNicol, to his credit, refused to roll over.

The show-stopper last time out, Tommy Ward (whose real name is Thomas Patrick, previously reported as Taylor) was put through his paces by 44 year-old marvel Delroy Spencer. County Durham’s Ward, 26 years Delroy’s junior, landed some spiteful left hooks, notably in rounds 1 and 3, yet couldn’t budge the Wolverhampton veteran. Spencer managed to dislodge the youngster’s gum shield in the 3rd, yet went down 40-36 on the cards. Ward (123 lbs.) moves to 3-0, 1KO, while Spencer (117 lbs.) slips to 14-145-3, 1 KO.

The original headline act between retired heavyweight David Ferguson and Hungarian Gyula Bozai had to be scrapped at the last minute after Bozai decided he was too tired to leave his hotel. Whether it was an ill-judged ploy to wangle an early Christmas bonus or as a result of stumbling across Newcastle Brown Ale for the first time, he is unlikely to be invited back.

Promoter: Wraith Promotions

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C., where he is a staff writer for CQ Roll Call.