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DEFEAT BUT HARRY'S ON HIS METTLE; Member of scrap family makes debut.


BIRMINGHAM'S newest heavyweight Harry Taroni, heir to the famed city scrap metal empire, can scrap.

That was clear following his debut for Tamworth Amateur Boxing Club on an excellent dinner show at Drayton Manor on Friday night.

The 22-year-old faced a man mountain in Hulton Abbey's Simon Murphy - and found the physical disadvantages too much, dropping a points decision.

But Taroni, who gave away two stone, showed sufficient old-fashioned bottle to turn the battle into the official "fight of the night".

What's more, Harry displayed a granite chin, taking ram-rod, flush right hands and wading back into the fray.

Murphy - a dead ringer for action hero Dolph Lundgren - was simply too big a unit to shift. His dimensions suggested one of Taroni's cranes would've been needed.

He stuck to the basics, measuring Taroni with a broomstave jab, then hurling straight rights that landed with unerring accuracy. It wasn't subtle, but it was effective.

Taroni shrugged off blows to the chin and hammered back. Others would've buckled.

He had his moments, particularly in the second, but Murphy inevitably had the last word. To his credit, Harry never allowed the big man to dominate.

Taroni took a standing count after shipping a heavy right in the third, and last, round, but continued to wade back into the battle.

In defeat, Taroni showed potential - and should take heart: not many of his future opponent will be as colossal as Murphy.

In the main event, over three, three minute rounds, Tamworth light-heavyweight Dave Butlin rattled Ryan Whelan (Nechells) time and again with right hooks.

The points decision for Butlin was surprisingly split; I thought he dominated.

Whelan, tall and rangy, showed grit and durability.

Butlin paved the way to victory with right hooks over Whelan's lead and, by the second, was threading together combinations.

That session was one-way traffic for long periods.

Whelan, who showed bravery above and beyond the call of duty, rallied in the last, but lacked Butlin's firepower.

Flyweight John Seopolo, from Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, looked a handful in gaining points victory over Naveed Amjad (Hamer). Again, I thought the rangy Brummie won beyond doubt and disagreed wih the split decision.

Seopolo, unorthodox and rangy, proved a Jack-in-the box, landing punches from unusual angles and raking Amjad with long rights.

Amjad was caught by a straight right in the opening seconds and given a standing count. He came into the contest as Seopolo's work threatened to become ragged, but simply struggled with the sheer volume of shots coming his way. By the end, Amjad's nose was spilling blood. Seopolo was the busier in the last round.

In a fine welterweight scrap, Shrewsbury's Kyle Morris outpointed Lewis Pritchard (Tamworth) in a nip-and-tuck affair. The pair got stuck-in from the opening bell.

From there on, Morris' intelligent counters proved the difference.

At junior, Morgan Drayton (Tamworth) showed potential in clearly outpointing Willenhall Coventry's John Connors.

In an all girls schools bout, Ruby Moss, from Golden Ring Southampton, and Tamworth's own Scarlet Howes showed fine technique and served-up a thoroughly enjoyable three rounder. Ruby shone and took a split decision.

Schoolboy Zac Johal (Coventry Boys) switched-hitted and shimmied his way to a split verdict over Tamworth's McKenzie Hathaway.

Mason Davies (Tamworth) kept the punches coming to overwhelm Eddie Kelly (Golden Ring Southampton) in one round.


| Harry Taroni, with two muskets at Taroni's scrapyard, showed good potential as he lost on points to Simon Murphy
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 29, 2018
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